Retail Therapy: Kami Gray

October 6, 2009 by Lila Delilah

You know when it comes to getting great deals, fashion stylists have all the inside scoop. After all, they are professional shoppers. Kami Gray knows her way around the wardrobe closet as a stylist for shows like, House, Veronica Mars, and Hell’s Kitchen. In addition, Kami is the best selling author of the Denim Diet: Sixteen Simple Habits to Get You Into Your Dream Pair of Jeans.

In this week’s Retail Therapy, Kami spills her favorite discount haunts this season’s biggest must-have.

Your most prized “deal?”

I frequent high-end resale boutiques looking for classic pieces from recent designer lines. You have no idea how many brand spanking new items –with the tags attached –are available since the economic downturn. I have found countless deals, but my most prized deal is a pale pink tweed cropped Valentino jacket. (Retail price: $1990. Found for: $399.) It’s so Carrie Bradshaw, but paired with an Oscar de la Renta chocolate brown cashmere kick pleat skirt, I can create a look that’s more sophisticated and work friendly.

Biggest regret that you didn’t purchase?

There are so many! The one item I’m still kicking myself over is an Akris Punto caramel leather motorcycle jacket I found at the same resale shop I purchased the Valentino tweed jacket at and it’s long gone now! Bummer. I thought I couldn’t possibly have both (truth is, I shouldn’t have bought either!) and I thought the Akris Pinto leather jacket was less practical. It wasn’t. As the author of The Denim Diet, I wear denim constantly. How adorable would a caramel leather jacket look with skinny jeans tucked into a pair of charcoal grey suede ankle boots? Darn.

This season your clients are looking for a great deal on what item?

Clients keep asking about boots, specifically authentic cowboy-style ankle boots. This is definitely going to be another big year for boots. I think people are worried that cowboy ankle boots are merely a trend. I disagree. Stuffing your skinny jeans into them or wearing them with tights and a flouncy short dress may be a trend, but that classic boot bottom can be worn for years to come.

What’s your number one shopping tip?

Shop Neiman’s Last Call, Saks Off Fifth, and Nordstrom Rack, but find out when new shipments arrive. Don’t be shy! Store clerks are happy to give you the goods. New shipment arrivals typically coincide with less busy days (early in the week), which makes shopping easier anyway because their are less people vying for the same skirt or dressing room.

What’s your biggest weakness?

Easy. Flap pocket jeans. They make my backside look so shapely that I can skip all those awful lunges at the gym. I have way too many pairs, but I always seem to find a way to rationalize the expense when I come across a new, must-have pair.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?

One of a kind pieces from up and coming, super talented artisans–especially jewelry designers. I love having something that no one else has and I have no problem paying what someone deserves for their unique execution and high quality craftsmanship.


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