All posts in Style advice

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A Vision in White

With warmer weather, it’s time to swap out dark winter colors with the ultimate summer hue – white.

You may not want to orchestrate a complete wardrobe white-out, but adding a handbag is easier to manage (and way less intrusive on your dry cleaning bill). Take some time to think about what sort of white you want to hang on your shoulder. Will it be a quilted classic Chanel or a boho Chloe or a rebellious Balenciaga? Whatever your vision, this is your blank canvas to run with.

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Elizabeth’s Picks: Handbag advice from Portero’s expert

As a Portero shopper, you might wonder how we guarantee the pre-owned and vintage handbags listed are authentic. The key – we have experts on staff. When it comes to handbags, Elizabeth Bernstein knows everything. And for a good reason, she loves and treasures them. Case in point: She’s pictured here with a vintage bright pink ostrich Hermès envelope clutch.

We’ve been featuring Elizabeth’s favorite picks, so here’s the scoop about her personal approach to handbags and collecting.

Q What is your handbag right now?

A For everyday right now, I am in love with a large Fendi peekaboo that is the perfect size for my MacBook, and has the perfect strap for carrying on my shoulder. Often when you think about having to put a computer into a bag, they can look sloppy. This seems to be my current answer to a heavy yet chic load. Same goes for my brown suede Celine phantom tote. For evening I prefer a 28cm or 32cm Kelly or something crocodile in a good color. Oh, and cross-body bags on weekend days, no matter what.

Q How did you become an authenticator?

A Over the years I have always been an extremely passionate handbag collector and a lover of vintage pieces. If you like vintage as much as I do, you better learn a thing or two about authentication because department stores do not sell these kinds of treasures. I am an investigative person by nature, and I became fascinated with the construction of bags, furs, clothing and accessories at a very young age. I have been gathering tidbits of knowledge through many years of working, traveling, studying, meeting artisans, visiting factories and finding great mentors. It is truly a labor of love to continue acquiring more knowledge about luxury craftsmanship . The “learning” process of authenticating is never over, as long as our beloved luxury brands continue to provide innovation and creations that we all adore – there is always more to be learned!

Q Why handbags?

A A handbag says so much about a person. I can often tell where they might be from, age, interests, if they have children, if they are a romantic or conservative, type of clothing they might buy, where they vacation, etc. Yes, it sounds crazy, but very true. It is a type of language in fashion that is one of my favorites to speak.

I have always been in love with luxury craftsmanship, leathers, exotic skins, details, handwork, etc. A great bag and accessories can make make outfit sublime, rather than just a little bit better. Especially over the last 20 years, women have taken so much pride in their bag collections – they really say a lot about who they are. I often meet people who have little interest in the traditional adornment of jewelry, yet have bag collections could that bring a tear to your eye.

I myself have always been a busy person on the go with a lot to carry. It has always been important to me to look very chic whilst toting my essentials all over the city and the world!

Read more…


The best fashion “commandment” ever

Thank you, for offering this keen style advice. Pretty much no matter what kind of bag you’re carrying – whether it’s clutch or cross-body – if you want to look like a fashion editor, just carry it like it’s a football.

Shop for your next bag here.

Tracey Rolex

Spring forward in style with a timeless Rolex watch

If you’re going to lose an hour this weekend, why not do it in style? We’ve been obsessing on Pinterest about chic combination of Rolex watches and bracelets, so we’re adding one more. This one is a vintage Rolex stainless steel oyster Perpetual Datejust automatic watch from 1971. It’s technically a men’s watch, we love making it feminized with a single bangle and showing that you don’t need to save your Rolex for special occasions.

You might want to check out more of Tracey’s ideas on how to mix up your arm candy here.

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Our expert picks her favorite vintage gifts

What was classic then, is classic now, and will be classic forever? A vintage gift!

We asked our expert handbag authenticator Elizabeth Bernstein for her tips and favorite picks for this year.

Yes, Elizabeth loves to give her friends vintage — here’s the scoop:

Q Why give vintage?
A You can guarantee it will be one of the most original gifts that person will receive. Vintage and antiques are very personal items that are considered rare, special, have had some type of sentimental value to someone, artistic, unusual, items no longer made with such great quality.

Can you give a few examples of vintage gifts you’ve given or received?
Antique gold and emerald ornate broach, vintage Rolex, vintage gold jade and pearl necklace — to die for, vintage exotic skin bags, vintage costume jewelry, vintage hermes scarves, vintage LV bags and luggage, anything and everything vintage Chanel, vintage briefcases and luggage for every day use or for home decor, antique diamond and ruby cocktail ring, vintage chaise lounge, vintage fur stole, antique paintings and drawings, vintage couture dresses, suits, leather pants and skirts etc. let’s be serious — my life is at least 60 percent vintage. I love a good rare find and at this stage almost everyone I am close with knows it is always a safe bet to buy me vintage.

Who would like to be given vintage?
Wives (I have to list my category first, of course), girlfriends, best friends, people who do not have time to decorate or shop for clothing and accessories because pieces of flare and conversation are always great for these people i.e.. bankers, doctors, lawyers (people with less time), quirky people, husbands, neighbors, boyfriends, I don’t know if there is really a limit to who you can give vintage. They are such special pieces that I think they make anyone feel like you really took them into consideration when you found that special rare treasure.

Any favorite vintage items to give this year?
Vintage Rolexes are always a must have, looking to spend a bit less and get some insane fine or costume jewelry is always a good way to go, vintage Hermes, Chanel & LV bags are an amazing deal and always receive handfuls of compliments when worn, something nice for the home.

Any vintage on your gift list?
Dare I tell? Hopefully the right people are reading this… I do have an affinity vintage/antique engagement and cocktail rings and well-made costume statement jewelry. They are so romantic and unusual with incredible detail. I always have my eye on a vintage Hermes crocodile Kelly bag, and I collect vintage Rolexes and share them with my husband, so it is basically a gift for both of us. Two-for-one is always the best!

Elizabeth’s Vintage Gift Picks

“A cool piece of statement vintage costume, or an everyday sparkler!”
(Chanel Vintage Swarovski Crystal Sautoir Necklace and Vintage Platinum 1.30ctw Diamond Art Deco Ring)

See more of Elizabeth’s favorite picks after the jump

Read more…

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By popular demand — our ratings system is back!

When you buy pre-owned, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting. While it’s important to look at all of the photos and read the descriptions in listings, you can also get a quick picture of what you’re getting — from Pristine (like new!) to Fair (loved lots). As always, if you have specific questions about an item, you can contact customer care.

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Our new best friend Tory Burch says…

We’ve always wanted to be best friends with designer Tory Burch.  The goal? Get her on speed dial as a daily wardrobe consultant.

Truly, her personal style is simply lovely. Luckily, InStyle is making Tory’s wardrobe insight a bit more  accessible with a monthly “Ask a designer” advice column.

In her first column, she advises a 35-year-old woman who wants a timeless bag. Her suggestion? A Celine Trapeze.

We couldn’t agree more.


Contest: Mom knows best!

The countdown to Mother’s Day is on! We’re giving classics, brights, pearls and seriously over-the-top presents. And, you can never go wrong with Chanel.

To celebrate moms, we want to know: What’s the best style advice your mom ever gave you? Share on our Facebook page and you might win a $25 gift card for you and another one for your mom. (You have until midnight EST on Friday, May 11 to enter.)

To get you started: A dear friend’s mom believes in good foundation undergarments. Another swears by a smart strand of pearls to dress up any outfit. A favorite nonogenarian loves capes because they hide a multitude of sins.

Some other stylish mom advice we love:

“You almost always regret prints, but you’ll never regret wearing solids.” — Cate Edwards, on advice that her mom, Elizabeth Edwards, gave her.

“Get rid of all the things that are too ‘Mumsy.’ I got rid of all my over-baggy, nasty, jim-jam things that are frumpy, so when you put things together, everything is working.” — Heidi Klum to Styelist

“Everyone wants to be pretty. But to be amazing and special is about a lot more than your looks. It takes style, substance, kindness, and confidence. Remember to celebrate the qualities that make you unique. They are what inspire me as a makeup artist, and they should inspire you too. With or without makeup, you are pretty powerful.” — Makeup guru Bobbi Brown to Redbook

“I teach my daughters never to be afraid of looking foolish if they really believe in something. I love being innovative, and my goal is to inspire my girls to believe in themselves and not worry about what other people think. By teaching them to embrace personal style, they’re stretching their strengths and abilities and ultimately gaining confidence.” — Fashion designer Rachel Roy to Redbook

Can’t wait to hear the style secrets of your mom (or grandmother or aunt)!