When First Lady Michelle Obama stepped out at the inaugural ball Monday in a red Jason Wu gown, retailers smiled. Just a few weeks shy of Valentine's Day and stores already are filled with red, red, red. What timing!
You can see red at Kohl's Department Store in Fairview Heights, Collinsville and Edwardsville. Check out the Candie's red high heels ($54.99) and the Chaps straight-leg red corduroy slacks in misses sizes on sale for $35.40. I spied plenty of red handbags, and pretty, flirty dresses, too, on sale for $45.
Through Monday, take 30 percent off select fall and winter shoe styles at Sole Survivor Shoes and Leather in downtown Belleville. Namebrands include Sanita, El Naturalista, Earth and Merrell. While you're there, check, out the 50 percent off clearance table. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday.
You know spring break is not that far off when Target gets out the swimsuits. All swimwear for women is on sale, with skimpiest junior-size Xhilaration tops and bottoms $14 each. The less skimpy but still bikini separates from Mossimo are $16 each and the Merona line of tankinis (more fabric, less skin) are $18 apiece.
World Market in Shiloh has some colorful additions for your kitchen, including 12-inch nonstick wok skillets for $5.99. I call them skillets because these "woks" have a long wood handle, while most woks have a pair of gripper handles. These come in enameled green, orange and yellow and are dishwasher safe.
Is watching your heart rate is part of your sports regimen? The Belleville Walmart is carrying the Sportline 12-Function ECG Heart Rate Monitor Watch for $38.97. It comes in black, and with the touch of a bottom can do a dozen functions, including measure calories burned, percentage of maximum heart rate and tracking distance covered and speed. It comes with a lithium battery and five-year warranty.
How much would you spend on mascara if you thought it would make your eyelashes look amazing? I've heard a lot lately about They're Real! Mascara from Benefit Cosmetics. A tube costs $23 and is suppose to lengthen, volumize, lift, curl and separate. They're Real! is the No. 1 selling mascara at Ulta Beauty in Fairview Heights. You can read several hundred reviews on the Benefits website, most of which are positive. By the way, the brush has a unique design that has been described as having tiny prongs at the end that make it easy to get into the corners of your eyes and grab those little lashes that you otherwise can't reach.
If you have yet to buy yourself a pair of sturdy boots this winter, Sports Authority in Fairview Heights is having a sale through today. These are the kind of practical boots you want to be wearing in a snowstorm, with lots of good traction, padding and lacing. Check out the 60 percent-off boots from Alpine Design for men and women. Then wander over to the clearance shoe section, where you might also find some boots as much as 75 percent off.
Another way to stay warm: Sears at St. Clair Square has a cute portable electric fireplace for $118.99 on sale (regularly $169.99). When I saw it, it made me think it would be nice for apartment dwellers, or to put in a bedroom because it is smaller: about 26 inches in tall and 20 inches wide. It comes assembled, has a 1,500-watt heater and hidden casters if you want to move it around. The finish aims to looks like walnut. You can turn the heat off and just have the realistic-looking flames and there is a bottom drawer for storage.