Sunday, April 22, 2007

Poker Chick's Golden Rules of Fashion

Every woman likes to feel beautiful, and there's no better way than getting "all dressed up." Unfortunately, nothing stresses out a woman quite like what to wear to a formal function. The shopping, dieting, tanning, grooming, makeup.... it's enough to make your head spin.

Poker Chick got an early start on shopping for the wedding season this year and was reminded exactly why females dread shopping for these ocassions. Fortunately, the pain can be mitigated. Poker Chick presents her own golden rules on formalwear.

1. Know thy assets
(a.k.a. "Move away from the rack! It's not you, and it never will be!")
This rule saves an unbelievable amount of time, not to mention your self-esteem. There are a million dresses out there. You could be a 6 foot size 2 model, and they still will not all look good on you. Everyone's body is different and knowing in advance what works and what doesn't is huge. More importantly, you'll save yourself the tears of looking in a mirror and seeing a dress that's completely horrid. Most of us have natural tendencies to want to try these dresses on. Poker Chick calls this the poor-choice phenomenon. Poor-choice is a dangerous addiction that drives confident, beautiful women to fall apart, start dieting, get boob jobs, etc. Beware pushy salespeople who work on commission. Many are great, but many perpetuate the poor-choice phenomenon by convincing you that something looks great, when in fact - it does not (a good and honest friend can help you avoid this trap.)

How else do you avoid a fashion disaster? The answer varies considerably from person to person. In Poker Chick's case, the first step is to avoid couture that is too long, too busy, too polka-dotty, or has horizontal stripes. Next we eliminate anything that has too much fabric. It's overwhelming to a wee person. Finally, we must accept the fact that PC will never have "T&A"; not without surgery, at least. So we focus on the positive: legs, shoulders and back.

2. If it requires fancy undergarments, let it go.

Anything requiring a push-up, strapless, plunging, or convertible bra is waaaaaay too complicated. If it wants pantyhose, you don't want it. If you need any of those fancy tummy or thigh suckers to look good in it forget it. You need to be able to move. More importantly, you need to be able to eat. It's not worth the money if it's stopping you from indulging in the dessert table.

3. Don't look at price tags.
This one is a bit counter-intuitive. Shouldn't you stick to a budget? Of course. But if price is the first item you use to begin elimination, you'll always lose. "But Poker Chick?" you must be thinking. "What happens if the only dress that works is three times my budget?" Well, first of all, congratulations on finding something that works! One stunning dress at three times your budget is worth a thousand times more than three dresses at your initial budget. But if you still can't walk out of the store with it, you have many options, you just need to be persistent. A few ideas to start with:
  • Make friends with the salesperson. Now that they know what you're looking for they can find you a similar cut/style in a better price range. This trick works at different stores too.
  • Be persistent. Write down the name and style # and carry it with you. Look at different stores, or online; usually you can find the same dress for much less than you thought, often up to 70% less. (It's true! Poker Chick once fell in love with a $1,000 coat and found it for $299 one week later in a different store.)
  • Ask if it's going on sale. Many times they'll hold it for you, or even give you the sale price that day if you promise not to tell anyone.
4. If you think it's hideous, then you're probably right.

'Nuff said.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Poker Chick is Special

If you've ever received an unexpected windfall, you'll know how Poker Chick feels today. It started with a flight to Vegas. Many decisions needed to be made before booking. Thursday or Friday? Redeye return or not? 4 or 5 nights? Which airline?

After a week of waffling, way too much overthinking, and annoying every friend I have with a request for advice, I decided to book my flight. Friday am departure. Mon. night redeye return; going straight to work. Just one question left....Delta or Jet Blue?

Jet Blue was about $40 more for virtually the same times, but they're more comfortable, so I decided to go with them. Now, this classless airline eliminates any possibility for business class upgrades, but I'm smart enough to know that battle is lost before it can start. However, just to make sure, I called Delta. Yep, just as I thought. I'd have to buy a totally refundable ticket in order to qualify for an upgrade, or even use my miles. $500 more. So not worth it.

That settled it. A decision had been made!

I go online the next day, fully intending to book my ticket. Except now the Delta flight is $100 cheaper. Yikes! What do I do? More waffling, of course. Finally, I clicked "confirm booking" on Expedia, sealing my fate with Delta. I knew it was time to relax and breathe. But I'm still not sure I made the right decision, even though it was too late. I went to the Delta website and put in my frequent flyer number, curious to see if I could have gotten some sort of better deal. The same flights popped up, for the same price I paid on Expedia. Except there was this "request upgrade" button. WTF was this?

Anyone who's flown a redeye from the West Coast knows just how valuable business class can be. So I wasn't ready to let this rest. I called Delta again, only this time I called Skymiles and gave them my frequent flyer #. Guess what???? Poker Chick is a Silver Medallion member. What does this mean? Special line for check in, best selection of coach seats, priority boarding and.......

UNLIMITED COMPLIMENTARY UPGRADES!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Does anyone remember that time Poker Chick junior and I got randomly bumped up? Turns out it wasn't pity. It was superiority. Click here to see just how special I am.

I'm sticking with Delta, baby!



*Subject to availability