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Ralph Lauren | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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For the Darling Buds of May…or June…or July….

I love having cut flowers in the house. I might prefer plants if I had any talent at growing them, but I don’t. I look at plants, they curl up and die. So cut flowers it is. I love the color and cheer they add to any room.

But if you’re going to decorate with cut flowers, you need a good vase or two to show them off in. Well, I found a beauty at Ralph Lauren and it’s on sale!

Ralph Lauren Veranda Footed Vase This is the Veranda vase. Just look at those graceful lines, the subtle but charming details on the footed base. It’s a hefty lead crystal that will last and last and last, too. And at 11 3/4″ tall, it makes a dramatic statement no matter where you place it or what you display in it.

As for the savings, well, those are fairly dramatic, too. The regular price on this gorgeous vase is $133.50, but right now you can get it direct from Ralph Lauren for just  $89.99!

I think I’ll get one for the dining room…and one for the living room…and perhaps one for the kitchen….

For When You Invite Johnny Depp – or One of the Borgias – Over for Drinks

Today is the very last day of the Private Sale at Ralph Lauren. Whether you go to one of their brick and mortar stores or shop online, selected items are 40% off through the end of the day. My friends, there are some superfantastic bargains to be had. Here’s a personal favorite of mine:

Ralph Lauren Skull and Crossbones Decanter I’ve long had a fondness for piratical and slightly gothy goodies. As a child I longed to live in the Addams family mansion. Now Ralph Lauren has created the perfect decanter to grace just such a home…or one of slightly less esoteric taste. The lines are classic, elegant, graceful. It’s just decorated with a delightful skull and crossbones motif. So whether you long to sail away with Captain Jack Sparrow, or always wanted to serve a smoking cocktail to someone, this is the perfect decanter for you.

It’s handblown of 24% lead crystal, so wash it carefully by hand with a non-abrasive cleanser. Or just let everyone look at it when they come it. It’s good enough to simply look at, even if you never fill it.

Oh, and that price tag? Well, even Captain Jack would have to admit it’s a steal worth nearly twice the price! The regular retail is $495.00. Today only, it’s marked down to just $297.00. Don’t let a great deal like this slip through your fingers!

Oh, and don’t forget the matching double old-fashioned glasses!

Going Nuts

When dining with friends, I love to have a cheese course at the end. Some tasty (and often…um…fragrant) cheeses, some sliced fruit (last night it was pears and red, seedless grapes with stilton and a good, creamy chevre), and –  of course – a bowl of nuts. The course is incomplete without them. Alas, last night while I did have some lovely pecans on hand, I entirely failed to have the proper vessel to serve them in.

How I wish I had seen this in time:

R Lauren Horn Nut Bowl This spectacular nut bowl by Ralph Lauren is made of genuine buffalo horn with a silver plate foot. It’s completely food safe, so you can use it with nuts, fruit, and other lovely nibbles, but it simply wipes clean. That means you won’t want to put anything gooey in it, but if your nuts are gooey, then you have bigger problems than what bowl to put them in.

Right now, it’s even a deal. The regular price is $395.00, which really isn’t too much for so much added grace and elegance on a formal table. Still, why pay not too much when you can get a steal? Right now it’s on sale at Ralph Lauren for just $237.00.

Pass the nuts, please. What? Oh, no, I didn’t actually want to eat any. I just wanted to look at the bowl some more.

Be Superfantastic, Make a Difference

I’m a bit late getting this to you, but Ralph Lauren is having a promotion for National Volunteer Week that may interest you. Now through April 25, all purchases are 15% off. What’s more, 15% of the proceeds of your purchase will go to a charity you choose. Charities include Habitat for Humanity, Autism Speaks, and Waterkeeper Alliance, as well as four others. If you aren’t sure which group you’d like to support, don’t panic. The site includes information on each one. There’s a one-line mission statement followed by a brief interview with someone from the charity, discussing their purposes and practices.

So what does this mean in terms of savings for the savvy shopper? Well, here’s a nice example. In fact, it’s the example I would probably choose for myself.

Ralph Lauren Flat Bangle Simple, elegant, timeless, versatile…you can’t beat this for an investment piece of jewelry. This handsome bangle bracelet comes in your choice of gold vermeil or sterling silver , and will serve you well for years and years to come. It’s dramatic without being ostentatious. It’s now but it won’t look silly later on.

And of course there is that 15% off thing. The regular price is $195.00, but with the discount, you’ll save $29.25. That brings it down to a much more affordable $165.75, assuming my math is correct. Not bad.

Ralph Lauren then gives a percentage of what you have spent to, say, Autism Speaks, where it helps people advocate for the autistic. Or it goes to Habitat for Humanity, where it helps build a home for a family who otherwise would never own a house of their own. Or it goes to any of the other fine charities chosen. Just put the code for your chosen charity in the space provided when checking out. You decide what cause to support. You save some cash. You get something pretty you can wear for years. You do some good in the world.

Downside? I see no downside.

Be charitable. Be superfantastic.

Mighty Like a Rosette

Ruffles are big news in fashion just now. So are exuberant prints. Each can be done well, but it takes something special to make them work together without looking a tidge unfortunate.

Well, Ralph Lauren has done it with his pure silk Rosette dress.

Ralph Lauren Silk Rosette DressYes, the print is large, but the subtle coloring on a deep aubergine purple background keeps it dignified. Yes, there are ruffles, but they aren’t allowed to overtake the entire look. Everything is kept in balance. This is a ruffled print dress for grown-ups. It even comes in petite and women’s sizes, too.

The really great news is that the price has been reduced to a child’s size. Originally $229.00, it’s now just $79.00! That’s a savings of $150.00!

Now that’s something to be exuberant about!

Yar, Here Be Superfantastic Savings

Ralph Lauren is having a huge sale on already discounted items. For a limited time, select sale items are a further 20% off the already low, low prices. Be still, my beating heart!

That means you can get some amazing deals on designer goodies for the man, woman, child, home, or dog in your life. Just peruse the pages of the website, and you’ll find something to tickle your fancy that won’t hurt your budget.

Twistie’s choice? Well, I’m a sucker both for a good pair of cufflinks and for things piratical, so hands down this is what gets my nod:

R. Lauren Pirate Cufflinks These fun and fabulous cufflinks feature the classic skull and crossbones design favored by pirates for years on a background of your choice of black, blue, or red enamel over sterling silver for a subtle touch of rapscallionish humor.

Of course, the joke once took a serious bite out of the budget at $325.00. Since then, though, they’ve been marked down to just $199.00. Now, and for a limited time, they’re a further 20% off, which means you’ll save something in the neighborhood of another forty bucks on the price.

For that deal, I may just need to see if I can smuggle a pair to Johnny Depp. Mmmm…Johnny Depp.

A Class Ending

Dinner is over. It’s gone well, but now it’s time for dessert. You have the perfect taste treat to serve, but what is it going to go on? I have a suggestion, if you don’t mind:

Ralph Lauren Black Tie Dessert Plates These charming black tie dessert plates are by Ralph Lauren, and they’d be the perfect end to a lovely dinner. Each set consists of one each of the four patterns. The 6″diameter is just perfect for a slice of cake or pie, an arrangement of fruits, or for a smattering of bon bons.

Whatever you serve, it’s bound to look its best on this background.

As for the price, well, once upon a time the set of four plates would have set you back $100.00. Right now, though, you can get them direct from Ralph Lauren for a mere $74.99, or 25% off.

Well Bowl Me Over!

Ralph Lauren’s winter sale is on right now. That means dozens of superfantastic bargains for good little fashionistas of both genders.

As for me, I’ve fallen quite madly in love with this fabulous lead crystal bowl in the Mandarin pattern:

Ralph Lauren Mandarin Bowl Just look at the elegant shape, the graceful curls of the etching, the way it adds interest and pattern without overwhelming a simple tablescape or getting lost in a more elaborate one.

Fill it with floating candles, a glorious puff of seasonal flowers, or (as shown here) with a pile of perfect citrus fruit. Whatever your centerpiece, it’s bound to look lovely in this bowl. It will even look handsome just sitting by itself.

Oh, and did I mention the price? Well, normally it goes for $173.50, but right now with that aforementioned sale, it’s just $129.99.

By the way, if you spend more than $195.00, you can also qualify for free shipping! See site for details. I don’t know about you, but I could spend a lot more than $195.00 at Ralph Lauren!

Awfully Audrey

Ask anyone and you’ll learn anew that Audrey Hepburn is one of the great style icons of the twentieth – or indeed any – century. Every once in a blue moon, I come across something that just makes me sit up and say ‘that’s Audrey!’ and it makes me happy. Well, this morning I was taking a quick glance at Ralph Lauren.com and what should I find but this:

Ralph Lauren Houndstooth Swing Coat It couldn’t be more Audrey if it had been designed by Hubert de Givenchy himself!

The proportions are elegant, the houndstooth check utterly classic, and the entire feel is one of effortless class. It’s even got one spectacular slightly Bohemian touch in that fabulous collar that can be worn up or down, depending on how incognito you wish to be. It even comes in petite and plus sizes, too!

Oh, and did I mention the sale? Yes, all three size ranges are on sale. The original prices ranged from $409.00 to $399.00, but you can get it now from $279.99 to $229.99. But wait! There’s more! For a limited time, you can get an extra 30% off any of those prices! Plus there’s free shipping on orders over $175.00.

Go on. Audrey would want you to have it.

Investment Dressing Without Tears

Even if your budget is limited (and whose isn’t, these days?) it’s a good idea to splurge when you can manage it on a few pieces of really well-made clothes that will last for years. Pick something in a style that may or may not be the height of fashion now, but won’t ever look horribly dated in a color that’s never incorrect, impeccably made of excellent fabric. In fact, what you’re looking for is something along these lines:

Ralph Lauren Cashmere Dress This cashmere dress by Ralph Lauren is just the ticket if you’re looking to do investment dressing. The lines are classic enough to look right for years to come, but the look isn’t boring, either. It comes in a medium heather grey (shown), navy blue, or black. Those are colors that will never look out of place. It’s made of a lovely cashmere jersey, too. Dress it up, dress it down, accessorize it to your heart’s content…this will go from the office to dinner to the theater with ease and still look just right for a weekend in the country.

No, it isn’t cheap in any sense of the word. In fact, the original retail price is $598.00. It’s worth it, too. The good news is that you won’t pay what it’s worth. Instead, you’ll hurry over to Ralph Lauren.com and get it for just $299.00! That’s nearly half off for something you can wear for years and years to come.

And that’s why this investment is worth making, no matter what the stock market is doing.

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