Sunday, February 26, 2006

Good Sale and Sunday Outfits

Those of you living here in NYC need to get yourselves to the uptown/downtown Patagonia sales. For the mere price of $120 I purchased yesterday:

  1. a brown denim-style hemp jacket which is very bomber-esque (lined with recycled something-or-other which is warm and toasty)
  2. a grey wool sweater with creme-colored stripes down the sides and the arms
  3. a white v-neck tshirt

Folks, now is the time when Patagonia gear is actually affordable, and considering it got down to about 5 degrees F last night, all the puffy down jackets will likely go fast. Everything is either 40% or 60% off. Seriously good deal - ends Monday at 7 pm.

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention UNI QLO, Japan's H&M which has a trial store here on Greene Street right off of Prince. It was dubbed the "holiday" store, but it seems to still be around and though it is not great for women's clothing, my husband has purchased an entirely new wardrobe there for about $85. I got a sweet little black rain slicker for just $20, so it can be a success for women occasionally as well.

And finally, the real reason for this posting - Sunday outfits. We all have them, so let's discuss them! This season, my Sunday outfit is a pair of straight-leg blue jeans with just the right amount of stretch, a black turtleneck sweater and a pair of faux sheepskin-lined boots that are multi-colored (pulled over the jeans). My Sunday outfit will definitely change as the weather warms, but for now this is the comfort zone for the weekend. I tried making the Sunday outfit more of a weekend outfit and wore it to my office on a Friday, since Fridays are casual at work, but the boots got too many comments so I'll probably keep this Sunday outfit to its designated day. Dear readers, I encourage you to share with me and the 3 people who read this your Sunday outfits.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

iPod Nation

Before I got an iPod, I had a specific opinion about people who wore headphones around the streets of NY. I had decided they were mainly single men who were not comfortable being by themselves during the day and therefore chose to plug into their discman, or walkman if they were old school, to tune in and drop out, as it were. Then the iPod was released and gained its cult following and I was even more opposed to the trend. It seemed it went from single men to just about everyone - man, woman, child - sporting the tell-tale white ear buds. "Can no one deal with their own reality?"

Perhaps it was the lure of the white wires, maybe it was the barrage of TV and billboard ads with the silhouettes dancing to their own drummer, but eventually the iPod craze hit me as well and about 5 months ago I became more curious than opposed. That curiosity led to questions to friends and colleagues with iPods, and those questions led my husband to buy me my very own iPod this Christmas.

I am writing this posting to testify that the cult of iPod is alive and active here in the city. The first time I stepped on the subway with those white wires leading from my ears, down my coat and tucked neatly into my right pocket, I got the looks...and maybe even a couple of nods...from my fellow carriers. This is no joke, it's some kind of secret society. Many of you Apple fans may laugh that it's taken me so long to understand something that you've been a part of for a while, but I am not a fan of the MAC and I will not be placing one of the those apple stickers on my car/bike/guitar case anytime soon. I do, however, understand the lure of the iPod - especially for those of us who have to walk the streets everyday and participate in the experience of NYC public transportation.

In reference to the iPod, I am sure many of you have heard the comment, "It's like having your own soundtrack," and it is definitely this escapism quality that makes the device so attractive to many people who live in this and other big cities. But what about the sheer status of the white wires? They mean just as much as carrying a certain handbag and wearing a type of shoe. So do people simply wear the white ear buds but connect them to another, more affordable MP3 player? Or maybe just a discman? Isn't that the same thing as toting around a Canal Street knockoff?

What am I getting at with all of this? Well, wearing the iPod is definitely making a statement - you acknowledge that you have a basic grasp of digital music technology, you acknowledge that you appreciate the escape from the mundane, and I believe you also acknowledge the trend. Because, let's face it, sometimes that thing just won't turn on, or won't turn off, or you fumble it in your hands while holding a cup of coffee and trying to take off a glove and you hope it doesn't drop because those hard drives are not meant to last, but dude, it looks really cool and it makes you feel cool too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's Cold

I won't be able to blog everyday, but this is President's weekend and my husband is surfing in FL so it's an exception. Also, it's freezing and I must comment. It got down to about 5 deg. last night - crazy cold. How are you expected to look good on a day like today?

Caught brunch at noon with some friends at Kasimir on Avenue B. Summary: no wait for a group of 5 but expect French-esque service. And my pal BW was head-to-toe Prada - winter jacket and sunglasses. He looked great, and it confirmed my hangup about the brand. It looks great on guys, no good on girls. Too sporty/structured/masculine.

Today is mostly about staying moisturized on the hands and face. CVS, here I come.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

You Be The Judge

Am I qualified to write and maintain a blog about being fashionable in New York City? Well, I've never worked in the fashion industry, publishing or retail. But if you're willing to read and check in on my musings, I can promise you that I will do my best to share how I try to keep up with the trends of the city as a salaried employee. In this inaugural post, I share with you my day of shopping.

A hearty breakfast at 9th Street Market (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) was the perfect start. For only $10 you get coffee or tea, your choice of 3 juices and a meal selection that ranges from french toast with a mound (read: mound) of fresh fruit to the "Belt Buster" bagel egg, cheese and bacon/sausage sammich.

The first stop for Shopfest 2006, as JK and I were calling it, was the Billion Dollar Babes sale on 18th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. For $182 I found 5 tops - 3 Petro Zillias, 1 Mon Petit Oiseau and 1 Ben Sherman. This sale has done me right in the past with tops, but I was alarmed to learn this time around that you must pay $10 for access to the dressing room (a new "feature" since the last time I attended BDB about 2 years ago). Also, the security was tight which after having to r.s.v.p. for the sale itself gets to be a little much. Summary: this sale has some good finds, but stay away if you prefer to be trusted as a paying shopper.

The next stop was another invite-only sale, but a much friendlier kind. My colleague has a friend (Shana) who trawls the Salvation Armys of our fine country and re-sells her finds at a deal. She has a great eye and an amazing knack for understanding body types and literally dressing you in her pieces as you shop the racks. I left with 2 blazers - one beige suede collarless and buttonless number (which she had paired with a red leather belt with gold buckle hardware) and one bright red cotton number with a matching silk scarf. Total cost: $55. Shana will be opening a store soon in Bklyn - stay tuned as I will definitely provide the name (CollectHer?) and address as soon as I have it. Summary: This is one to watch.

The final stop was the famed Barney's Warehouse Sale. Is this a good one? Yes. Do you have to be willing to get down and dirty? Absolutely. For those of you who know the drill, skip to the end of this post, but for those yet to venture into the mania, here goes. There are no dressing areas so women drop trou in the back corner by the coats. I am a size 10 shoe and they rarely have anything but Barney's label shoes in my size. I did purchase a Barney's label kitten-heel black leather pair a couple of years ago and I've only had to redo the sole once so they are pretty good quality. At that point in the day, I was too spent - literally and figuratively - to do any more damage, but there were a lot of great pants and jeans for $19 and $29 and of course the Marc Jacobs overstock. Also, the sale was offering 25% off of all Barney's and Co-op label items (shoot JK, we should have thought of that in our assessment of the black cashmere sweater!) and it runs through March 5th, so if you're paid bi-monthly, you can wait until next pay day and give it another try later this month!

The final stop was meant to be Find Outlet, but we were just too hungry (HR had joined us at that point and did really well at Barney's with the $19 short-sleeved blouses - bravo, BWS newcomer!) so it was off to City Bakery for pretzel croissants and hot chocolate.

All in all, a very successful day in the racks.