Shop Like a Pro

You are itching for spring and you are ready to shop. We asked the pros to tell us where to find the best deals on the latest trends. These five masters of their craft have scoured thrift stores, racks and showroom floors to provide the intel needed to spruce up a stale wardrobe, work in fads with no remorse and blend vintage with new at home. Follow these words of wisdom and be prepared to start hearing, “Where did you get that?” A lot more often.


imageNew York-based image consultant and style expert Bernadett Vajda helps her clients
discover their inner beauty to enhance their personal style. What’s she looking for?

This spring I’m looking for anything pastel, low-heeled pumps and metallic anything, especially in makeup. My current favorite shops include Intermix, Barneys Co-op and Scoop NYC. Don’t shy away from stores that may not cater to your exact needs. If a lonely item sits in your closet for more then a year with the price tag still on it, donate the item to an online charity retailer like Invest in key items—think little black dress, raincoat, black pumps—that will provide longer wear throughout the years. Mondays are a great day to shop because the frenzy from the weekend is over and stores are restocking. Shopping for new clothes is about becoming an even better version of yourself—it’s how you want the world to see you.


imageCarol Davidson is president and chief style officer at StyleWorks of Union Square, an image consulting company. She teaches others how to use their visual identity to influence the image they project. For the spring shopping list, she suggested adding a touch of trend:

Floral prints, colored stripes, boxy cropped jackets, collarless coats and pattern matching. Spend on the investment pieces…a great trench, fabulous black pants and signature accessories. Add a bit of “cheap chic” for the trendier items from Zara, Michael by Michael Kors and Vince Camuto. For chic pool, patio or beachside looks, Calypso St. Barth. Shop on Friday—most stores do the bulk of their business on the weekends and the store is fully stocked.


imageCindy Lee Bergersen is the president and owner of Decoding Décor Design. She believes interior design is the most complicated of all art forms, but worth every effort. Her tips?

Always assess what you need and take measurements before leaving the house. Great home purchases can be found anywhere from flea markets to high-end furniture stores…think outside the box. When it comes to buying good furnishings, always invest in the best quality you can afford. Be wary of impulse buys—a good home design purchase should last for years—it morphs slowly over about a decade. Last year’s model, now marked down, could be the smartest purchase if it fits your needs and looks great.


imageJulie Rath, founder of New York-based Rath & Co., a men’s image consulting and personal styling firm, believes there is a “right” style for every man. A little hunting can lead to a look that is as unique as the individual. She reported:

I’m looking for spring sweaters to layer with glasses, sunglasses, a leather jacket and the perfect brown leather Chelsea boot. Department stores are great to shop at if you have a big shopping list. Otherwise, check out local boutiques. Depending on where you are, you can often find hidden gems. No good shopping decisions are ever made by wandering into a store without an agenda. Consider getting multiples of basics that work, but be wary of overzealous salespeople. Only buy things you absolutely love.


imageAs manager at Antique Center Southampton, Susan Allicino sees a lot of the best merchandise come through her doors. She believes a special antique or vintage item gives the home a fresh and interesting focal point. A large ornamental antique mirror or mid-century modern coffee table could do the trick. But she cautioned:

Decorating a room completely in one style instead of selecting a few vintage or antique pieces that add interest and character is a fad I could have done without. Always carry measurements and fabric swatches with you; you never know when you’re going to come across something wonderful. Antiques and vintage objects are a personal choice. If a piece speaks to you, you will always find a place in your home for it.