counterglance asked:

What outlets are good for the signs?

Aries- Sports, exercise, dancing, thrilling activities like skydiving or scuba diving, and taking a long drive or working on a car.

Taurus- Artistic activities especially music, painting, and writing. Cooking, being involved in the theater, being in the outdoors, shopping, or spa days.

Gemini- Blogging, writing, ranting to a friend, reading, and really any activity that both releases the mind and stimulates it (which can be a lot of different things!)

Cancer- Journal writing, painting, scrap-booking, drawing, arts and crafts, and cooking.  

Leo- Anything artistic especially painting, pottery, and fashion design. Acting, martial arts, and sun bathing.

Virgo- Collecting, reading, researching, organizing, scrap-booking, scavenger hunts and treasure hunt like activities, and writing.

Libra- Anything artistic at all especially playing a musical instrument, singing, or redecorating, spa day, meditation, acting or being involved in the theater.

Scorpio- Yoga, Tai Chi or more aggressive martial arts, anything artistic especially photography, thrilling activities like racing or scuba diving, swimming, diving, or sailing.

Sagittarius- Hiking, sports, writing, and any games they can play on a regular basis.

Capricorn- Pottery, jewelry making, working on a car, metal work (really anything with their hands), being outside, shopping, and cardio (even if it is just power walking). 

Aquarius- Extreme or uncommon sports, outdoor adventures, volunteering, graphic design, or any innovative endeavors with technology.

Pisces- Reading, daydreaming, anything artistic especially poetry, watching movies or TV, playing video games, or anything that can let them “escape”.

Fake Deals

Medium has a story today on the less-than-honest business practices of discount and outlet stores. An excerpt: 

Despite common belief, outlet clothing never enters a “regular” store and is most likely produced in an entirely different factory than the “regular” clothing. A few months ago I met with some people from Banana Republic Outlet. Banana Republic has a team of people whose sole responsibility is to design and manage production for their outlet stores. Their production team was looking for new ways to diversify their outlet product-line in order to compete with H&M and Zara. It is rumored that these huge retailers have such agile supply-chains that they are able to bring new product to their stores every 2 weeks. While Banana Republic and J.Crew are not trying to compete on price with H&M, their outlet counterparts must. This means that these companies produce lower cost and lower quality clothing specifically for their outlet stores.


TJ Maxx, known for it’s off-price designer labels, finds itself in a similar position. Ever notice that TJ’s will have a surplus of Calvin Klein, or Rachel Roy, or Elie Tahari clothing? This happens when TJ Maxx brokers a licensing deal with one of these brands. In this situation, the brand (ex: Calvin Klein) agrees to let TJ Maxx produce clothing with their label on it in return for a percentage, usually between 5-20% of the wholesale price of the garment. To put this in perspective, in 2012 Calvin Klein reported that “licensed products currently represent slightly over 50% of global retail sales.” At that time, licensing alone accounted for more than $3.8 billion in CK sales.

Licensing can be a great situation for the brand because they do not have to manage sourcing, production, or shipping. TJ Maxx, or the licensee, manages all of the nitty-gritty stuff, and makes the product in their factories at prices that they control. Then, they put the reputable brand label on the clothing and write that company a check. These branded garments end up at discount retailers and consumers buy them thinking that they’ve just scored an awesome Calvin Klein blazer.

You can read the rest of the article here. To figure out which outlet stores are worth visiting, you can read Jesse’s post from four years ago (as far as I know, all those recommendations are still good). He also has a great post on diffusion lines and licensed clothing

Michael Kors Settles Class Action Lawsuit

More shady practices from fashion retailers. While JC Penney has been busy dealing with a lawsuit that claims they hold fake sales, Michael Kors just agreed to pay $4.88 million dollars to settle a lawsuit accusing them of using deceptive price tags. Specifically price tags at their outlet stores, which were artificially marked-up in order to fool customers into thinking they were getting big bargains. Business Insider has the story:

Michael Kors was accused of creating an “illusion” of deep discounts by using tags containing made-up “manufacturer’s suggested retail prices,” or MSRP, and offers to sell the products at lower prices, termed “our price.”

Shoppers said the suggested retail prices were artificial because the tagged products had been made exclusively for Michael Kors outlets, and the London-based fashion house never intended to sell them at those prices.

As part of the settlement, Michael Kors will replace “MSRP” with “Value” on its price tags and display signage explaining that term, or stop using reference prices for products made exclusively for its outlets.

Reminds me of something a designer at a big suit manufacturer once told me: apparently outlet stores sometimes use phrases such as “compare to” instead of “marked down from” in order to skate these fine legal lines. Yes, you can compare this $200 suit to this $2,000 suit sold by the same label, but that doesn’t mean it’s been actually marked down from that price. Just another example of brands making lower-quality items exclusively for outlets, but selling them as though they’re out-of-season stock

Started installing #wiring for #electrical today in what will be the #remodeled #kitchen space. Putting careful consideration in this #renovationproject into number and location of all the #outlets. #lighting will be on #dimmer #switches to add ambience ( and maybe even save some $$ along the way by using less electricity!) #remodel #kitchenremodel #renovation #demolition #contractor #build #framing #realestate #property #fixerupper #lightingdesign #design #southwestremodel Follow my posts on Instagram and Twitter for details on our remodeling journey, #photos and #homeimprovement #tips along the way…