Retail Therapy: Amy Odell

August 26, 2010 by Lila Delilah

Everyone who lives in New York or dreams of living in New York, reads New York Magazine. Everyone that works in fashion or aspires to work in fashion reads New York Magazine’s fashion blog, The Cut. As founding editor, Amy Odell has successfully created a voice that is straight-shooting, informative, sometimes ironic but always hilarious– very New York.

Sitting at the helm of New York Magazine’s fashion blog, you know Amy has all the dirt on the who, what and wear. (Yes, I know that was corny.) Forget about full price shoes, she won’t even spend full price on Strawberries. Now, this is a woman we can shop with!

What’s your most prized deal?
I buy practically all of my clothes on sale, so I don’t even know if I can narrow it down. I once got a pair of Elizabeth and James cropped trousers on Gilt Groupe for under $40, marked down from around an original price of $200. I also have gotten amazing stuff at the Alexander Wang and Prada sample sales. At Wang if you go on the last day they mark things down even more — pretty much steadily on the hour — so you’re likely to get, say, three great items you’ll wear again and again and AGAIN for around $200. At Prada I once got a crop top for under $50, which is a steal for any item of Prada apparel, and a sick pair of red heels for a ridiculous amount off at a sale before that.

Biggest regret that you didn’t purchase?
The one-shoulder Alexander Wang white shirt dress from fall 2009. It was on Gilt Groupe a while ago–IN MY SIZE–and I didn’t buy it. I would Google around for it every now and then shorty thereafter and never found one at as good a price in my size. After that I really learned that if I know I’m going to love and wear a designer item forever and it’s staring me in the face on sale to just go for it and look at it as an investment.

This season you are looking for…
I kind of love the furry boot thing, but I’m not over-the-top enough, day-to-day, to go for the crazier styles. So maybe I’ll actually buy boot with just a dash of nice plush fur (or FAUX fur). I also LOVE that the collegiate schoolgirl look is back! I think every girl wanted to be Cher in Clueless when it came out and I am by no means an exception. So a funky schoolgirl skirt and some over-the-knee socks, perhaps paired with a very cool Prada-esque high-heeled loafer and a blouse or white shirt. If only someone had made a Cher pen with a nice feathery tip for me to bring to my meetings when I actually maybe source and wear this fantasy look.

What’s your number one shopping tip?
SALES. Sales, sales, and more sales. And did I mention sales? SALES. I only buy things on sale. Even at Uniqlo where most things are practically cheap I think I’ve only bought things on sale. And I never feel like my wardrobe is lacking because I’m too cheap to pay full price. It’s so easy to find great things on sale in pretty much every store, especially between seasons. And websites like Gilt and even Bluefly have great finds year-round. When I find an item I really want I Google around until I find the best deal, and then I go for it. But I’m the kind of person who won’t buy strawberries if they’re $4.99 instead of $3.99 so this is a way of thinking that’s quite ingrained in my psyche.

What’s your biggest weakness?
Things by certain designers. Namely Alexander Wang, Vena Cava, Rick Owens, and many more labels at Oak and Opening Ceremony (but I have only bought things full-price at those stores maybe one time in my life between the two of them).

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
Good makeup. My must-have that I will always pay full price for is good mascara. I’m lucky because we often have samples of wonderful new makeup collections in the office that I can try or check out before committing. But great designer makeup is always cheaper than designer clothes, and it can have just as or almost as big an impact than, say, a great blazer. And a great mascara, for example, adds that subtle touch of drama that people might not be able to put their finger on when they see you and notice how great you look.


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