Inside Rue: What a Sample Sale Really Looks Like

It’s true: one of the best perks we have working at Rue La La (besides the endless M&Ms) is access to associate sample sales. Pure fashion chaos, generally unleashed in the second floor cafe, that instantly brightens up a Thursday or Friday afternoon.

So what do they really look like?

We’ve all heard of the Running of the Brides. And yes, it looks exactly like that. Associates start lining up at least 15 minutes before the sale, armed with bags (for storing stuff as you scoop) and wallets. Then as soon as we’re all given the go-ahead, the mad dash to the goods begins. Everything from athleticwear and lingerie to wedding dresses and towel sets. If you blink, you’ll miss it.

Some might say there’s strategy involved, but for me, I head straight for what catches my eye and start rummaging for treasures. However, I’ve seen fellow co-workers with more pre-planning (and better running) snag everything from luxe dresses to designer shoes for mere dollars.

This week’s haul was two sets of high-end towels, in luxuriously soft Egyptian and bamboo cotton. It was about time I snagged myself some grown-up towels, and as one associate mentioned – “you can’t get them for this price anywhere else.”

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

Have you snagged something at one of our Associate Sample Sale Boutiques? Share it in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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September 3, 2012

Inside Rue: How We Do Birthdays

I’m a sucker for birthdays. And here at Rue, we do them right. From full-blown cube decorations (streamers, print-outs, and signage galore) to loads and loads of treats (five words: Sportello chocolate peanut butter cupcake), we take on big days with style – and a healthy dose of sugar. Here’s a peek at some of the month’s celebrations.

Birthdays at Rue La La


By Joanna Berliner, Editor

How does your office celebrate birthdays? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us a pic a@ruelala.

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August 27, 2012

Inside Rue: What Our Desks Really Look Like

I’ll be the first to admit: my desk is a big mess. Papers everywhere, folders, empty water bottles, the works. I like to brush it into the category of “I’m a creative person, I’m a writer! My desk is supposed to look like this.” And never mind the empty boxes and shoes hiding underneath my chair.

But I’m not the only one who’s into the hoarding thing at the office. Here’s what some of our creative team is stashing in drawers and under desks – whether it’s magazines for inspiration, an endless supply of snacks from the snack closet (because you never know when they’ll run out), or shoes. Plenty and plenty of shoes.


By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

What does your work desk look like? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us a pic at @ruelala.

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

August 20, 2012

Inside Rue: An Intern’s Behind-the-Scenes Scoop

As an avid Rue La La shopper, when it came time to look for a summer internship in Boston, Rue was at the top of my list. I mean, who wouldn’t love to work with a company that’s fun and totally obsessed with fashion? When I got here, however, I discovered a lot more I would have never known as just a Member. Here’s a list of my favorite things:

Best-Dressed Office Award
The first thing I noticed when I started at Rue is that the associates really do dress as well as you’d imagine. Every day I see a coworker’s ensemble and get ideas for myself. Arm parties and maxi dresses are practically a uniform in the summer.

Associate Sample Sales Are Real
Once a month, everyone frantically lines up in the café (secretly eyeing the handbags in the back) until they’re given the go signal. After that, everything’s fair game. I’ve seen designer gowns bartered for, entire linen closets outfitted from top to bottom, and I’ve personally snagged enough cooking supplies to fill my dorm kitchen.

Work Hard, Shop Harder
I overhear people talking about the dress they just ordered or how their entire outfit is from our site all the time. You know it’s a good sign when the associates are as excited about their finds as our Members are.

Sugar = Food for Fashion
I figured out that our secret to keeping everything running smoothly is sugar. We have one candy machine that dispenses M&Ms with our logo, and another with rainbow-colored gumballs. Confession: I can hear every time the M&Ms machine is used from my desk, and believe me, we eat a ton.

By Katie Donham, Merchandising Intern

Anything else you want to know about the daily happenings at our office? Ask us in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala

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August 6, 2012

Rue How-To: Open a Bottle of Champagne

Bottles were popping as our studio crew prepared the set for this coming Wednesday’s Lilly Pulitzer Boutique (yep – that’s real Champagne the model’s holding), and we found ourselves wondering, exactly how were those bottles opened? We consulted one of our studio assistants for a step-by-step look at how to uncork a bottle of Champagne – without poking an eye out.

1. Remove the foil covering the cork.

2. At the base of the cork’s cage (those woven wires encasing the cork), there will be a twisted piece of wire, almost like a tab, pressed against the bottle. Bend it away from the bottle, then untwist it.

3. Gently pull the cage off of the cork. *Note* Be extra careful as you remove the cage – and be sure to do so with the cork pointing away from you! Every once in a while an over-agitated bottle can pop its cork unexpectedly (and hellopoked-out eye).

4. Grab a dishtowel and wrap it around the middle of the bottle.

5. Hold the middle of the bottle firmly with one hand, and the top of the cork firmly with the other.

6. At the same time – and very slowly – twist the cork clockwise, and the bottle counterclockwise. *Tip* Sometimes holding the bottle between your knees helps anchor it as you twist.

7. Continue until you feel (and hear!) the cork pop.

8. Remove the cork, fill your flute, and salute!

Our Lilly Pulitzer Boutique opens Monday, July 30, at 11AM ET.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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July 30, 2012

Most Wanted: A Peek at Next Week’s Boutiques

Confession: Friday afternoon’s iced coffee was paired with a very thorough investigation of what’s in store on Rue this week (because waiting simply isn’t as fun); and, from a bedmate for summer nights to colored skinnies that will work year-round, my email reminders have been set accordingly.

1. alice + olivia dress.  My alice + olivia wish list (by now, everyone at Rue has one) has been narrowed down to this absolutely-perfect-in-every-way dress. It’s sporty, it’s sultry, and there are tummy-tucking pleats at the waistline. Need I say more?

2. Cuddledown summer-weight comforter.  An apartment sans A/C, plus a non-negotiable need to be cuddled up at all times, equals this summer-weight comforter, a must for making even the muggiest nights cozy.

3. Rich & Skinny skinny jeans.  Considering the intense amount of wear these skinnies are about to endure (their hue is a friend to all seasons), “the girl in the dark magenta pants” may not be a far-off reality. And I’m fine with that.

4. Sunpan desk chair.  With autumn’s back-to-intense workload drawing nearer, this sleek seat will make bringing assignments home just that much more appealing.

5. Pre-loved Rolex watch.  A girl can dream.

Looking forward to something next week? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

- By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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July 15, 2012

Path to Picture Perfect: Inside Our Photo Studio

From always-bumping music to mass-emailing priceless outtakes, the Rue photo studio’s energy is, to say the least, totally contagious. We caught up with summer intern extraordinaire, Alix, for her fresh-eyed take on the non-stop action we’re always hoping to get in on.

More than just a pretty face.
After sitting for hair and makeup, the models are called to their sets. And with 50-plus styles to successfully maneuver in and out of – it’s time to hit the ground running.

Style stops for nothing.
A schedule of always-opening boutiques means steaming, styling, and shooting pieces with lightning-fast efficiency – not to mention a crack team of stylists at the helm, ready to handle any mini-crisis. Too-short suit sleeves? Problem solved with a few quick slits at the elbows.

Prop-tical illusions.
Those glasses of lemonade you may see in one of our home boutiques? They’re really just water with a little bit of orange juice, expertly mixed by Alix herself.

The closet of our dreams.
There are, give or take, 273 pairs of shoes in the Rue fashion closet. Swoon.

And back to that ever-present music.
The studio’s top ten picks, all worthy of questionable dance moves and off-pitch singing:
1. “Jump Around” - House of Pain
2. “What U Gon’ Do” - Lil’ John
3. “One Fine Day” - The Chiffons
4. “Don’t You Evah” - Spoon
5. “Call Me Maybe” - Carly Rae Jepson (and typically including that YouTube video)
6. “You Only Live Once” - The Strokes
7. “Love You Like A Love Song” - Selena Gomez
8. “No Rain” - Blind Melon
9. “Born in the U.S.A.” - Bruce Springsteen
10. “Poppin’ My Collar” - Three 6 Mafia

-By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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July 11, 2012

Renewal is in the Air

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April 1, 2012

Behind the Scenes: The Photo Shoot that Sent Us Back in Time

With timeless accessories and fifties movie-star styling, this shoot had us wishing for a time machine.

Clockwise from top:

- False lashes and liquid liner gave our model the perfect come-hither cat eye.

- For the shoot, Rue stylist Maureen pulled from her own personal collection of vintage jewelry and accessories.

- It took an hour each day (and lots of hairspray) to achieve those retro, polished locks.

- After hair came makeup – an hour or more of it every day (making our own routine seem suddenly low maintenance).

- Once the transformation was complete, this modern-day model looked like she stepped straight off the silver screen.

Our Now Playing: Iconic Style from the Silver Screen Boutique is now open.

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March 30, 2012

Seen At Rue: Henna Tattoos

On Friday, our SVP of Creative, Jen P., surprised us with a little end-of-the-week henna party. From our hands to our feet, the professional henna artist decked us out with temporary ink. Take a peek at our tats, then check out our chat with Nic.

Rue La La: This is such a fun treat for us! Can you tell us a little bit more about what you’ll be doing here today?
Nic: I’m doing henna, an ancient form of body art that utilizes the only plant on the planet with the ability to dye human skin for any length of time. It’s been used in India, Africa, and the Middle East for thousands of years.

Rue La La: You’ve been at this for quite some time – how did you get started as a henna artist?
Nic: I started when I was 11 years old. As a child, I was just grabbed by body art in every form and this was the one that was accessible to me, so I just kind of taught myself.

Rue La La: What’s your “typical” work in the henna world?
Nic: A lot of my work is bridal. Traditionally, Indian and Moroccan brides have a full application on their hands and feet before their wedding. And now, a lot of people are having pre-wedding parties so bridesmaids and guests can have a bit of work done.

Rue La La: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Nic: Mostly from traditional design motifs. I think they’re so beautiful – those really classic old-style designs. People have been using them for generations, and when artists work with a design idea for such a long time they streamline it and refine it.

Rue La La: We’ve seen you do everything from feathers to skulls today. What’s the design you get asked for most?
Nic: A lot of people come to me without an idea, so I’ll ask them whether they prefer floral or geometrical motifs because that will influence where I take the design. But as far as people coming to me with an idea, Khamsas, the hand of Fatima, are really popular. In the Middle East and North Africa, it’s a symbol of protection.

Check out more of Nic’s designs and download his patterns here. In Boston? He’s available for bookings, too.

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February 17, 2012