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Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Look for Less - Aquazurra Wild Thing Fringe Heels

The Aquazurra 'Wild Thing' fringe heeled sandals are the standout shoes favored by celebrities and bloggers alike. Why are they so popular? Well, perhaps it's the bold red color which demands attention, or maybe it's the flirty fringe detail, which lends a modern touch. They instantly add sophistication to midi dresses and distressed denim. There's no question that these heels make quite the style statement. They retail for $785 (see the beautiful blue version, cognac suede, or sleek black leather style), but if that's out of your budget, there are lots of options to get the look for less (and just in time for the holiday party season).

Aquazurra Wild Thing Fringe Suede Heels Sandals

photos via Pinterest

Aquazurra Wild Thing Fringe Heels look for less, Aquazurra fringe sandals look alikes

This style in black, mocha, or red pictured above is only $30 and this style in blue is only $35. I'm also eyeing this Steve Madden style (in 5 colors) for $130 and this style in red for $152.

Shop the look for less:

Shop the real deal:

Holiday 2015 Table Settings

With December almost here, it's time to decorate the home, celebrate the holidays, and cook (or eat) a feast! I'm getting inspiration for the holidays by dreaming up my ideal table setting. At the top of my list? Pops of cheerful red with metallic touches and playful snowflake graphics.

Fix a festive and stylish meal with these fourteen fun flourishes under $60 for your holiday table setting. I've got my eye on this deer figurine, this cute car print serving tray, and these charming reindeer salt and pepper shakers.

Christmas Holiday 2015 Table Setting Dining Decorations

1. Deer figurine, $12 
2. Tumbler set, $11.99
3. Holiday kitchen towels (2-pack), $5.99
4. Snowflake oven mitt, $5.99
5. Melamine car print tray, $9.99
6. Snowflake napkin rings (set of 4), $7.19
7. Joy marquee lights, $19.99
8. Metallic placemat, $4.99
9. Embroidered snowflake napkins (set of 4), $6.39
10. Dinnerware set, $59.99
11. 20 piece flatware set, $24.99 
12. Large car print serving bowl, $12.99
13. Snowman 16" x 12" platter, $44
14. Reindeer salt and pepper shakers, $7.99

More holiday decorations under $60:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday 2015 Stocking Stuffers

It's that time of year again. It's the season of indulging in holiday meals (hello, mashed potatoes!), sharing gifts with loved ones, attending holiday parties, and enjoying quality time with friends and family. When it comes to holiday gifts, that old saying that the best gifts come in small packages rings true. I love stylish accessories, beauty products, and jewelry as stocking stuffers because they allow the recipient to add a special finishing touch to their look. Whether it's a furry pom pom bag charm, a personalized pendant, or an animal print scarf, there are endless gifts that exude personality and charm (like this cute cat mug for $20) without draining your wallet. Below are ten of my favorite stocking stuffers under $130 plus other options under $35.

Holiday 2015 Stocking Stuffers gift ideas, holiday 2015 gift guide under $150

1. Smashbox 'step by step' contour kit, $45
2. Toms 'Dalston' 52mm sunglasses, $78
3. Wool blend beanie, $12.99
4. Kate Spade initial pendant locket necklace, $68
5. Faux fur pom pom charm, $15
6. Bow sequin pouch, $9.99
7. Artemis ear crawlers, $50
8. Animal print scarf, $6.99
9. UGG suede gloves, $79.99
10. Fit Bit activity and sleep tracker, $129.95

More ideas under $35:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Balmain for H&M Review

After watching the runway show, studying the lookbook, and stalking the endless social media posts, I was fortunate enough to be able to shop the Balmain for H&M collection in Los Angeles. Does it live up to all the #HMBalmaination hype? Did it look as good in person? How does the sizing run? I've got all the details in this fitting room review. After trying on a few pieces and seeing the merchandise up close, I'll be sharing my thoughts on fit and quality. Perhaps you read my tips for how to shop Balmain for H&M? If so, I hope they helped! 

Nov 6, 2015 update - If you tried to shop and couldn't get your favorites, I'm sharing my stylish Balmain for H&M alternatives on my other blog The Key To Chic.

See perfect party pieces under $200:

HampMBalmain Alternatives

Here's a quick look at my top picks from the collection. I had my eye on some of the men's pieces, including the hoodie, green logo tee and the beanie.
Balmain HampM lookbook

The glitzy looks in the window display were nowhere to be found on the racks. It looks even better in person than from the photos and video. The beading and embellished details are rich, heavy, and possibly the best from any H&M collaboration to date.
Balmain for H&M Window Display

Appetizers and drinks during the launch party went relatively untouched while shoppers focused on the task at hand - procuring the goods and waiting in line to pay. 

Balmain for H&M drinks

Another look at the window display and the moto jacket with patches.

Balmain for H&M Mens Moto Jacket

Least Popular Items

Balmain for H&M Black T Shirt

The logo tees weren't very popular despite their $34.99 price points, and many remained on the racks. Interesting to note that they were customized to the local city. 

Balmain for H&M earrings

Earrings ($34.99) make great gift ideas, but were not very popular with shoppers.

Balmain for H&M green blouse

The striped blouse (69.99) was the least popular. It was the only item remaining in all sizes, while the rest of the racks were almost completely cleared within two minutes.

Balmain for H&M stripe blouse

Balmain for H&M stripe pants

Most Popular Pieces

Balmain for H&M green sequin dress

The green sequin dress ($199) is a size 4, and when I inspected it, it appeared to run small. It's well tailored and great quality. 

Balmain for HampM Mens Blazer

A fellow shopper of average height models the men's double-breasted blazer. 

Balmain for HampM sunglasses

The sunglasses ($49.99) are oversized and when I tried them on, they slipped down my nose slightly. 


The men's suede ankle boots ($129) looked nice in person and were almost sold out within minutes. I wish they had these for women!

These strappy heels ($199) were nowhere to be found. 

Balmain for HampM Strappy Heels

Fun fact: I spotted Cindy Crawford's daughter wearing this beaded dress ($649) while browsing the collection (with her mom). 

Balmain for HampM Beaded Dress

Fitting room

Here's what I was able to try on in the fitting room after watching the merchandise disappear in a flash. The competition was fierce and I wasn't able to snag my favorites in the frenzy. For reference, I'm a petite 101 lbs. and wear a size 4 at H&M.

Balmain for H&M fitting room

I tried on a men's medium in the green logo tee. It runs big, is soft, and has a flocked logo design. I would've brought home a size small if I could have found it.

Balmain for H&M Mens Logo T-Shirt

The pullover hoodie is a men's small. It has a long hemline which I tucked in. There are quilted panels on the shoulders and metal tips on the drawstring. It's well made, true to size, and comfortable. It's a top pick for me.

Balmain for H&M Mens Hoodie

The red faux fur coat ($129) had snaps (that look like buttons) and two side pockets. It's cropped, fluffy, and very soft. I'm wearing a 4 and it fit well. It's well worth the price tag and reminds me of the Lanvin for H&M coat I bought a few years ago. 

Balmain for H&M red fur coat

Unfortunately, I couldn't get my hands on the beaded dresses, trousers, or coats. I predict these will be the top sellers. The men's pieces ran small from what I heard in the fitting rooms. If in doubt, it's better to size up! 

The online launch takes place at 8am EST (bright and early at 5am PST for my West Coasters). Bookmark this page to shop the collection and review my shopping tips for more info on the return policy, quantity limits, and more. Browse my Balmain for H&M alternatives for all budgets (or check eBay) if you weren't able to buy your top picks. Or shop main line Balmain on saleGood luck! 

Catch up with me on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @thekeytochic for more shopping reviews, fashion inspiration, and outfit ideas. 

Shop budget-friendly Balmain for H&M alternatives:

Shop Balmain pieces that inspired the H&M collection:

Treat yourself to main line Balmain: