Thursday, January 31, 2008

Anticipating Spring

Arrivals we're looking for on 34th Street in the next couple weeks:

ThreeAsFour collection for Gap. I haven't seen anything from this, but this is from their website (right). Adorable, love the top and wish I could wear those shorts.

Of course, the Pierre Hardy shoes for Gap (the 34th Street staff is so sick of me calling, but I'll piss anyone off for Pierre).

According to Fashionista.com, a GapBody collaboration with Marie-Amelie Sauve will also be arriving soon. Ms. Sauve is a French stylist and consultant for Balenciaga and Paris Vogue. Mmmm, a French-influenced body line at Gap, we have so much to look forward to this spring.

Tara Subkoff for Bebe. Ms. Subkoff calls this collection "'80s feminist meets '40s Hollywood glam." The dresses (right) are lovely; it's interesting how seamless her translation into a mass market is with these designs. Can't wait to see the rest. 34th Street thinks they'll arrive in about three weeks.

More Alice & Olivia shoes at Payless (after seeing the two styles 34th Street managed to sneak in, I'm dying for more). Click here to be notified of arrivals.

The Abaete & Lela Rose lines for Payless are in the store on 34th Street. No mas for the Patricia Field collaboration. Sorry kids!

Gap, 60 W. 34th St @ Broadway
Bebe
, 1 W. 34th St at 5th Avenue

Payless
, 110 W. 34th St between 6th and 7th

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pre, Post, Whatever

Strawberry's pre-spring collection has arrived. Or maybe it's just spring. Here are some top highlights, shirts I'd buy for their ease and lightness (and price, $9.99 - $32.99):

Although honestly, I'm a little confused. I can barely remember last spring, but don't these shapes look too familiar? Perhaps the buyers know the ladies love a forgiving style. Those last tops are working the sheer trend for spring, and in a nice, wearable manner. And there's a soft hippie look going here that can be nicely applied to your wardrobe. But I thought we were moving towards a more fitted aesthetic. I do look a bit preggers. Soon we'll see what the other stores are showing...

Strawberry, Manhattan Mall, levels C1 & 1, 33rd & 6th Ave

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Strawberry's Calling

I've been trying like hell to ignore the call of the sale boot, seemingly hundreds of them on 34th Street all trying to lure me into pre-spring spending debt. So how could it be that the little corner shoe department, hidden on the lower level of Strawberry in Manhattan Mall, sucked me in and spit me out with two new pairs of boots (almost three)? Incomprehensible. All I can say is visit and see for yourself. I can't believe there's anything left in size 9 but it's true: the elusive sale sizes are there. How much on sale? 50% off the lowest marked price on selected items, which seems to be most of the boots in stock.

Those flat greys are Steve Madden, $35 down from $109.99. And the Blowfish snow boot, an ugg-comfortable boot I'll wear, is just $20. Also seen at the sale: Jeffrey Campbell black riding boots for less than $50, and not on sale, cute Jeffrey Campbell bi-color pumps (under $70). Yes, these are all probably last season but they don't look it.

Tomorrow we'll continue with more Strawberry, as I almost threw out my shoulder thanks to the enormous armful of clothes I dragged into the dressing room (upon exiting said room one is where? On the perimeter of the boot sale. Resistance is futile.)

Strawberry, Manhattan Mall, level 1 & C1, 33rd & 6th Ave

Monday, January 28, 2008

And Another Thing

The earlier mentioned "Six in the City" column also reminded me of all the coat sales now going on round town. Just the other day I saw the yellow coat (right) we featured months earlier, now on sale at Forever 21. This could be worth investigating, because you're not posing for the papparazzi (well, not this year), so it's ok to bundle up (dig out your Sunday Post - I know you bought one - and read Page Six Magazine's Faran Krentcil's funny column in which she discovers one of the reasons why celebrities don't wear outerwear: "It doesn't look as cute in photos"). Be glad you're anonymous and warm.

Forever 21, 50 W. 34th Street between 5th & 6th

Social Remedies

Why I'll never quit my day job to become a blonde socialite:

"Tinsley Mortimer never wears a coat either, but it's not for the cameras. It's to preserve her firm complexion, which some swear happens when your skin's exposed to extreme temperatures."
-from Faran Krentcil's Page Six Magazine column, Six in the City, in Sunday's Post.
Retail PR beware: you better stop this story before it spreads or risk a drop in next year's winter coat sales. But speaking of complexions and extreme temperatures, here's a good product to apply winter mornings and evenings:

You'll find this in the skin care aisle of 34th Street's drugstores, like the Duane Reades on 1 Penn Plaza East & West. I discovered it after my aesthetician caught me jogging one cold, blustery morning. After lecturing me on the dangers of winter weather, she recommended an expensive product to protect my easily irritated skin. Being broke as usual, I asked about cheaper alternatives. Lucky for me she's not just my skin care specialist but also a friend, and she told me about Aquaphor. I've had a tube in my nightstand ever since. I use a lot at night on my face, lips and on rough spots (dishpan hands, elbows, knees, feet). In winter mornings I'll use a little under moisturizer. My mother used it on her scars after major surgery removing skin cancer from her face, and I hear it's great for eczema. I'm happy to see an "on the go" size on the Aquaphor website; I'm looking for it today.

And as I've been attacked by strange allergies this week and have suffered from endless sneezing and runny nose, I've been using another favorite drugstore product: Bacitracin. Did you know this antibiotic ointment is the only thing that relieves and quickly heals soreness from noses chapped by tissues? Ask your freshly inked friends for bacitracin testimonials, as many use this to help heal new tattoos.

Duane Reade, 1 Penn Plaza West & 1 Penn Plaza East

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Don't Let Him Eat Cake

We return to the scene of the crime: Xmastime, our manny blogger, is at the kid's birthday party, trying (?) to stay on the diet track. C'mon, Xmas!

"WHAT I WANTED TO WRITE HERE:
I tried to blend into the woodwork while chewing on some celery sticks and drinking bottled water, but when those big brown eyes looked up at me and said 'please Uncle Xmastime, please join my celebration by eating some birthday cake,' my resistance was broken down and I allowed a small piece of yellow cake (no icing!) to melt slightly in my mouth before washing it out with a bottle of Evian when she turned away - all followed by an almost ugly scene where I had to be convinced to be driven the 100 miles back to NYC, as opposed to walking back for the exercise.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED:
I got no idea whose party it is or who the f--k this kid is, I just knocked some lady over doing a 2 1/2 pike into the cake, my snout is buried 3 inches deep in icing and I have no idea where my shirt is. Shaking in Crisco-induced convulsions I am dragged into the back seat of a car, and I wake up hours later in my room to MASH reruns.

So 3 outta the last 4 days were complete disasters. My spirit, I will admit, is a tad broken. I look at the INC 33s hanging on my wall and I'm frustrated that the week didn't go as well as planned. Heartbroke. But I know the next week will go better. Hell, I reckon it can't get much worse. And whether, as I move along in my journey, I am slow to succeed or quick to fail, my own humanity is marked by Ben Franklin, who once famously said: 'any man who would give up freedom for security deserves neither, cuz I'm long, and I'm strong, and I'm down to get the friction on, so ladies, ladies, do you wanna roll in my Mercedes? Then turn around, stick it out, so even white boys got to shout, baby got back.'"
Oh, my, Xmastime. We gotta get him off the c*a*k(e), cause I'm pretty sure Ben Franklin is misquoted up there. Return next weekend to see if Xmastime ever comes out of the sugar coma.

"Just" Birthday Cake

Our manny blogger, the New Year's resolution diet man, Mr. Big 42 to Svelte 33-inch waist, the Great Xmastime, continues with week two of the diet.

"This past week did not end well, diet-wise. I was fine up through Thursday until about 7pm, eating right, working out, and no booze. Then I ran into a buddy of mine and raced through pops as if it was 1999, back when we were young and dumb and full of dreams. So not only was that day's healthy living ruined, but also Friday's, during which I spent all day crying and whining about how crappy I felt. OF COURSE I couldn't work out! OF COURSE I had to get some pizza!! I'm only human, people. A beautiful, sun-kissed human who seems to have been licked into existence by golden kittens and muscled thunderbolts of charisma and raw sinew, but a human nonetheless.

Not to worry, the next day I hunkered back down. Worked out like crazy, ate raw green beans and read the Ben Franklin biography I checked outta the library in 2002. A good day of clean living in anybody's book.

BUT. Of course the very next day I got hit with the Lex Luthor of the dieting man: the birthday party. Ugh. This past summer I had lost about 30 lbs in a month and was on my way to getting back to my high-school playing weight when I ran into my own birthday and...well, here I am 7 months later back at my pre-diet weight. And, of course, by 'back at my pre-diet weight,' I mean 'I'm trying to engineer a chicken that lays fried chicken skins from KFC.' Not good. And to make matters worse it was a 4 year-old's birthday party. It's not even an adult's birthday party where you can chew on some pretzel rods and then slip away while everyone else gets drunk. At a kid's party, you know you're gonna hafta clap and sing and eat some cake."
Sure, Xmastime, you hafta eat some cake. Next up we find out what happened at the "kid's" party. Or do we?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Egg Foo Young Cont.

I'm craving me some Xmastime, how about you? Let's pick him up where we left off, post jeans shopping and Day One of his diet:

"Thanks to Trish [me] for being so patient and understanding (slowly explaining to me that the guy wasn't kidding about being able to have your jeans hemmed or altered). The whole excursion wasn't so bad after all. As for my diet, today I had a bowl of Cheerios, a can of tuna and then a big salad for dinner. I worked out for 45 minutes, which was perfect cause I blacked out after the first 15 and came to just in time to go for my one-hour walk. So Day One I feel good, I feel light, I feel like I can do this. And I got some jeans with a 33-inch waist hanging on my wall waiting for me, so it's 'Katy bar the door' I'm coming through and finishing 2008 thin, healthy, and with a Mrs. Xmastime."

One week later...

"One week down, one inch off. If I keep up this pace that means I will be chatting up the ladies in my INC size 33's on May 19 - and I know I will be doing well that night cause it's the 46th anniversary of the famous "Happy Birthday" performance Marilyn Monroe gave JFK at MSG. Speaking of which, I've spent a lot of the past week thinking of my beloved egg foo young.
Not because of my diet, but because I spend most of every week thinking of egg foo young. One thing I won't miss is the egg foo young combo at China Taste on Graham Avenue. If you eat there they insist on putting it on a plate that is the exact size as the food. The rice is piled a foot high and goes all the way to the edge of the plate. You're terrified that moving one grain of rice wrong will make the whole thing come tumbling down...like Jenga. It grosses you out to even think about scooping the rice up off the table and eating it: in the end I don't like to offend my hosts so I scoop. At $4.55 a combo plate it's not really worth jeopardizing US/China relations.

So I feel like I'm onto a good start. Eating right, dedicated to my workout regimen. Thinking about egg foo young instead of eating it. Lil Xmas is trying to be supportive, but I can see in his eyes he's wondering who will actually be able to fit in the 33s first, him or me. The race is ON, little man!!!

This week's 'WHAT I WON'T MISS ABOUT BEING OVERWEIGHT' item:
Having to arrive at the bar 20 minutes ahead of anyone else so you can sit down and bring your body temperature down from 'surface of the sun' to 'just off the surface of the sun.' I won't miss that."
Well, I was craving some egg foo young but not anymore. Return tomorrow and read about Xmastime falling off the wagon (but not with egg foo young, thank god). Wait and see if he can get back on, thus someday getting him into the size 33 INC jeans we bought him at Macy's Herald Square. Go, Xmas, go!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Air Jordan XX3 Videos

Outside Foot Locker on 34th Street: Marco, line member #2, was kind enough to show me his just bought, shiny new Air Jordan XX3s. I'm no sneakerhead, but I think I'm in love. See Chris? These guys look damn good for sleeping outside for days. I'd be scary ugly and really grouchy.

video

And here are Marco and Mike (#3) checking out the shoe numbers. Marco has #82 and Mike is #306. Thanks to all The Guys waiting in line and taking the time to talk with me. Hey, nice shoes, guys.


video

Real Shoe Lovers Wait In Line

The Guys who have been sleeping out in the elements for days now have their reward, the Jordan Air XX3 limited-edition shoe in Carolina Blue. Foot Locker opened their doors this morning at 6am to sell 23 pairs. See my guy Chris, the most gracious #1 on 34th Street, below. I hope he's #1 countrywide. But first, at 5:45 am, as my toes froze in my thin black boots (most of The Guys were wearing what on their feet? Duh, Air Jordans), I asked a few questions.

FH: "What do you think Micheal Jordan's doing right now?"
The Guys: "That *#$$@!'s sleeping!"
FH: "Where are the girls?"
The Guys: "They didn't make the 23's for girls."
FH: "Don't you guys miss some feminine company out here in the cold?" Mumbling ensues; I think the answer was no.
FH: "How do your girlfriends feel about you being out here all week?" Volume of mumbling increases. No one seems too worried.
One Guy: "I haven't got anyone waiting for me, but if there was I wouldn't care." Hmm, that could be the problem. But wait, guys,
FH: "Women love shoes too!"
The Guys: "Yeah, women are crazy about shoes, but they're crazy about some weird shoes!" Whoa, patent leather sneakerhead, who you calling weird?!
FH: "Is it true this is the last Air Jordan release?" As patient and cooperative as The Guys have been with me, they were unable to hide their disdain for this ignorant question.
The Guys: "This is the last of his numbers, not the last Jordan shoe..." "Once there was a raffle for a $2,000 shoe," "yo, how'd that happen with the raffle, what did you have to do to get that?" "and then there's the Eminem shoe no one knew about, he just tossed it into the audience at his concert," "like there's a bunch of New Yorkers walking around with $5,000 shoes that nobody knows about..."
I'd sparked a lively and, for me, esoteric discussion of unknown collectibles wandering the streets. Meanwhile my mind wandered, musing upon these admirable young men and their shoe passion. Can the legendary female passion for shoes equal this impressive quest for the XX3 on 34th Street? Or have we met our match? Yes, women have queued up early in the morning for sales, like at the Manolo Blahnik boutique, the shoe floor at Saks on Black Friday, and for designer lines like Stella McCartney at H&M. They've torn clothes off mannequins, yanked trench coats from strange hands, and shoved older women aside to snag the proper size. But would we wait outside a shoe store for over four days in winter cold? Hell, no. Men can go four days without showering. No way would a woman sit for days unshowered in broad daylight on a major NYC street.

So yes, The Guys, congratulations, you totally win. You are the true shoe enthusiasts. For more proof, check out Sneakerhead Hollywood (bottom) and his tattoo. I don't know any girls with tattoos commemorating their shoe achievements.

Chris, on the left, 5:45am
The manager opens the door for Chris, 6am












Foot Locker,
120 W. 34th between 6th & 7th

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Accessorize Forever


Forever 21 just got in serious spring accessories. Yesterday they were putting out lots of necklaces, like these on the left ($6.80). Avoid others that expose cheap hardware. But some are no-brainers, like the long, colorful wooden baubles. There's great hues, geometric shapes and, for now, plenty to choose from. Visit before the weekend. Even the earrings have some winners; I like the big colorful wooden hoops. Thanks, spring ethnic trend.

And lately I've seen many Forever 21 bags that have tempted close inspection. Some are not totally flimsy looking, like this satchel tote, left, for $32.80. Apply the same hardware principle from above. The bags are priced $20 and up. I'm going back to look for this tote, found on their website, right: perfect hip irony for the Rockaways and Coney Island. I'll let you know if/when it's in store.

What couldn't I resist at Forever 21 yesterday? Scarves. Check out the long plaid ones on the second floor near the Heritage Collection (right off the escalator and through accessories); they come in blue, green and pink. And here's a great scarf shape, left, perfect for your hair or worn around the neck, it also comes in brown ($6.80).

Forever 21, 50 W. 34th between 5th & 6th

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

True Blue

What's it take to be a real collector, a true fan who is devoted to that which drives him to buy, love, and hoard? Ask Chris, the guy who's number one in line to buy a pair of the Carolina-blue, Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Jordan XX3's. If you're like him, you'd wait outside Foot Locker on 34th Street in cold January weather for four days to be the first of 23 to buy a pair.

Chris, (left, Mr. #1), came in from Jersey on Monday at 4pm, and will stay out here till the shoes go on sale Friday. So far, Foot Locker on 34th says they'll sell the shoes Friday morning, not after midnight on Thursday. [UPDATE] newest word from the store is Thursday - midnight, check back or call the store as this times seems arbitrary. [NEWEST UPDATE] Friday morning at 6am. Same for Footaction, Retro was right!

#2 (Mike) & #3 (Marco) in line got here yesterday. #4, Retro Will, a self-proclaimed "big sneakerhead," arrived this morning.

So what's the big deal? Obviously you're not a sneakerhead. This is the launch of the $230 limited-release shoes; there will be 23 pairs sold at 23 stores in the country. Retro Will says 8 of the 23 stores in the US are in New York City, and two of them are on 34th Street: Foot Locker and Footaction* at 1 Penn Plaza.

What are these guys going to do with the shoes once they have them? Chris, who owns 65 pairs of Air Jordans, says he "might wear them in a year or two." Retro Will has 40 pairs but likes to "double-up" his sneakers. He's going to have a hard time doing that with the blue XX3 as they're selling just one per customer; stores will have two in each size. For those of you interested, so far there's an 11, a 10 1/2, a 9 1/2, and an 8 in line*.

What these guys aren't doing with these shoes is reselling them (they could easily get over $1,000, probably on Friday morning at 10am). True collectors like Retro and Chris look down on such practices; Chris calls them "hypebeasts." I'm so adopting that term.

*If you're planning to wait in line, call ahead and find out the store's policy. Footaction is not admitting to selling the XX3 yet; they say call Thursday morning. But I'm thinking Retro Will is a good source. The guys say such tactics are used to weed out the "poison" - resellers.

Foot Locker,
120 W. 34th between Broadway & 7th, 212-629-4419
Footaction, 1 Penn Plaza, 646-473-1945 (call on Thursday morning for more information)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Girls Have Arrived

After checking out the Krizia/Stuart Weitzman sale at Soiffer Haskin (um, sit this one out, although there are some lovely Krizia winter coats), I dropped by Payless on 34th & Broadway and found:

The Alice + Olivia for Payless shoes, I'm so excited. The adrenaline really kicked in with the polka dots ($30), but crashed a little when I saw the black wedge ($40). It looked unimpressive in the box, but no worries; it's great and stylish on the foot and is even comfortable, big platform and all. Go now and buy it, you'll probably be the first because the Alice + Olivia collection isn't even on the Payless website yet. Looks like someone sneaked them in overnight, very sly and VIP-y. Shhhh.

Payless, 110 W. 34th @ Broadway

Tuesday Miscellany

-- Visit Soiffer Haskin today and tomorrow for the Krizia/Stuart Weitzman sample sales. If you buy two or more Stuart Weitzman shoes you'll get an additional 10% off, and Krizia is now 85-90% off retail. Here's a couple of Krizia spring 2008's:

I either didn't like this collection or couldn't get over the knee socks with everything. I'm checking out the sale this morning. Now if they have this kittycat bag from spring '07...

-- The Aeropostale in Manhattan Mall still has coupons for the Teens for Jeans campaign. Donate your "gently worn" jeans at the store (they'll go to local teen homeless shelters) and get a coupon for 20% off your next Aeropostale jeans purchase. The store said they should have enough coupons for another week.

-- Quote from February Vogue's "Overheard," p. 136:

"Gap and Pierre Hardy launch a much-anticipated line of summer sandals, wedges, and flats, next month - welcome news to shoe savants who now don't have to make the trip abroad or solicit expat friends to grab a pair, as they might have done when the shoe designer's debut collaborative collection flew off French and U.K. shelves last fall."
So next month means March? I'm putting money on them being on 34th Street just before March. Mr. Hardy's summer '08 collection shoes are now on his site, like these...


-- A favorite piece from the Raf Simons fall 08:

If I could afford it I'd buy this all for my man and then borrow it. My ideal daywear is ambisexual - maybe as an OWC (one wardrobe couple) we could afford some Raf Simons. Who in the district would pick up on this jacket? Zara, perhaps? Also note Mr. Simons' creeper inspired shoes throughout the video. Everyone pat yourself on the back for not throwing away leopard print creepers from the 90's.

Soiffer Haskin, 317 W. 33rd, just west of 8th Ave
Aeropostale, Manhattan Mall, level 1, 6th Ave & 33rd St
Gap, 60 W. 34th @ Broadway
Zara, 39 W. 34th between 5th & 6th

Monday, January 21, 2008

Farewell Foo Young (Part Two)

We pick up with manny blogger Xmastime jeans shopping at Cambridge Members. Read on as he discovers Macy's is not an exclusive members only club...

"So I was then introduced to a pair of $175 jeans. Unbelievable. To me, it's silly to charge $175 for jeans since anyone even considering such a price probably has no idea how much he even spends on jeans, so why not just go all out and charge $1,000? I was also informed that I've been wearing jeans incorrectly my whole life - apparently they should settle ON the hip, not OVER the hip. I am 35 years old. Why am I just now hearing about this? I wear jeans every day of my life and at no point did anyone ever sit me down and explain how to wear them. I should feel a little cheated, no? Luckily, I was then distracted by the salesman saying he gets his jeans custom-made overseas. Lil Xmas chose this exact moment to say his first words - I won't repeat them here, but they rhyme with "WHAT the f--k???!!!!"

We got out of there before Mr. Overseas convinced us to buy a miniature black suit for Lil Xmas for 'only' $475 ('believe me, you might need it soon' he said to Lil Xmas while eyeballing me, grrrrr), and headed over to Macy's. Which was a trip for me since Macy's is one of those places you hear about from the second you're born, but don't think people actually go there. I had no idea anybody could just breeze in - I envisioned an alarm going off as I entered, warning security that someone who had once bought 21 hot dogs for 99 cents at a supermarket was entering the building. But soon we were strolling through the floors, going from designer to designer. Turns out each designer is like his own little country and Macy's is like Europe. Fascinating. It actually didn't take too long for us to settle on a nice pair of INC jeans. Not too fancy, but metro enough to let you think you could beat the hell out of me with my ironic HR Pufnstuf lunch box.

All's fair in love and jeans, brah."
Return for more Xmastime insight into this societal enigma, the guy who first stepped into a Macy's at age 35.

Cambridge Members, 33rd & Broadway
Macy's, 151 W. 34th between Broadway & 7th Ave.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Farewell Foo Young (Part One)

We started the week with Xmastime, so we'll end it by checking in on our dieting resolution man. Here's the skinny (ha, ha) from the manny blogger himself, and his version of our day of jeans shopping, Part One. We'll post Part Two later for your weekend reading pleasure.

"Sunday night before shopping I polished off my last meal from Kam Sing (Farewell, Foo Young), slid into bed and had a panic attack for about 6 hours. Cause let's face it, a guy shopping for clothes with a woman who knows what she's doing is as overwhelming as the first time he ever had sex. Memories of crying in the middle of a mall and holding handbags outside fitting rooms came flooding back to me. Needless to say, I got zero sleep Sunday night.

But Monday afternoon I scooped up Lil Xmas, met Trish from the Fashion Herald and started my first ever shopping trip for jeans. We were whisked away into a small joint* where, upon entering, I immediately thought 'oh well, they sell suits, not jeans' and I turned Lil Xmas' stroller back towards the door...whereupon I was reminded of yet another difference between men and women. A dude will enter a store and if he doesn't immediately see what he's looking for, he will leave. Goodbye. Women, either out of some hopeless naivete or because they don't see the extra 4 seconds as taking up time from curing cancer/hating on K-Fed, will always ask if what they want is there. A woman can walk into a store whose sign reads 'WE SELL POTATO CHIPS' and, before leaving, will ask 'do you guys sell Hello Kitty license plates?' And, unbelievably, their success rate is about 98%. I'm always amazed they even get the guy working to go look; next thing you know he's walking up with '...the last set of Hello Kitty plates in stock...' One big life lesson you learn while shopping with a woman: it never hurts to ask."
Return for part two, where Xmastime learns how to wear jeans (really!), sees his first pair of $100+ jeans (he's like a jeans virgin!), has a mad run-in with a well clad, custom-fit-jeans-wearing salesclerk, and gives us more fascinating insight into the mind of a guy who, as rumor has it, got his last pair of jeans free with an oil change.

*Cambridge Members, 1270 Broadway @ 33rd

Booting Up in January

Aren't we always looking for boots? When will the retail gods catch on and stock us up with new boots in January? Us gals don't stop shopping for boots in September, that's for sure. And we're so tired of those old boots we bought ages ago (August-October 2007).

I went with Erica to look for boots, and let me tell you, we weren't the only ones on 34th Street's Steve Madden trying on tall, mid-calf, and short booties. But we were all eyeing each others boxes, sizing them up. You know, like hey, I'll arm-wrestle you for that 9 1/2. Guys should really hang out at shoe stores more often.

Here's what Erica came up with:

Cute, grey, and buckled, what more do you want? They were the last pair in a size 10 for $149. But hurry down to Macy's and you may get lucky with some very fun Sam Edelman boots on sale (and check out his sequin flats for $89). For those of you with small feet, there's a fantastic off white, low-heeled Frye boot marked down. But none in Erica's size. Most other stores were depleted in size 10's also: Baker's, Aldo, Shoe Mania. I know, boots take up a lot of room and spring stock is arriving, but...we want more boots! Always, all the time, even in the summertime (well, maybe not in August).

Steve Madden Shoes, 41 W. 34th between 5th & 6th
Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th between Broadway & 7th

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh, Pierre

I've been harassing my friends at Gap on 34th and they think the Pierre Hardy shoes will be coming in a few weeks. 1-800-GapStyle is less confident; the party line is end of February. But my Gap kids feel confident 34th Street will be the first to get the collection because "we're the biggest store." 75 select stores will carry the line, so big or small, I'm just happy that 34th Street is getting the Pierre Hardy collection for spring, which includes these gladiator sandals:

How to choose just one? WWD said in an article last November that prices for the line will run $78-$98. Slight sticker shock for a bargain shopper, but great prices from the man who designs shoe for Hermes and Balenciaga, and makes bags like these:

and shoes from his own line like these:

I could dive into that bag and stay there all day. And although that geometric shoe may be out there for some, I LOVE it. It's different from all the other geometrics I've seen and it makes me laugh. I like a good sense of humor in my shoes. Can't wait to see what else shows up on 34th Street in two weeks, or three weeks or four....stay tuned because I'm pounding on the door day one.

Gap, 60 W. 34th @ Broadway

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ciao, Enzo

Enzo Angiolini is leaving Manhattan's best midtown mall (my criteria is based mostly on the existence and authenticity of a mall staple, the "food court"). I was grief struck to see the "Closing Location" sign on the second floor, as this is the store that produced the pretty grey Echo gloves. But isn't there always a silver lining? Now I own the bright, coughdrop blue Echo knit cap (right), formerly $30, now $8. The white Nine West hat (left) was $30 and is now $11.99. Everything in the store is 60% off the marked price. There are: boots; suede booties; lace-up booties; and lots of Nine West flats (same company, the store across the hall is already closed). Sizes are limited and the store was hopping so visit soon. No booties in size 9, but there was a 9 1/2 in the brown lace-up this afternoon. There's also one lovely dove grey Enzo jacket (waterproof?) in a large for $30. Store closes on the 29th of this month.

Enzo Angiolini, Manhattan Mall level 2, 6th Avenue & 33rd St.

Hydrate in Herald Square

Don't think because it's wintertime you don't need to replenish your body with essential fluids while running around looking for the perfect boot on sale in your size (see post tomorrow). After you find that $400 boot for $100, the last pair in your size you eagerly snatched from the horrified salesman (60 cal.), the one you tried on, pulled, zipped, and gazed lovingly at in the mirror (110 cal.), and the pair that gave you that final rush of adrenaline as you carried them to the counter, dug for your credit card, then walked joyously down the street with your victim in tow (50-150 cal.), please drop by Herald Square to rehydrate. Gatorade is promoting its new "G2," a low caloric electrolyte drink. Thus the free samples today and tomorrow in Herald Square. Here's Derek Jeter helping out Gatorade last night on 34th Street:

It's tragic that men who work out for a living continue to wear baggy jeans. But I still like this rear shot (left) as he completely physically dominates everyone. Click on the right for the classic Jeter burning gaze. Whoa, welcome to sports, fashion fans. And that G2? Thanks god we can now guzzle a low-cal Gatorade. It'll help fuel spring shopping frenzies and keep us confident in those little skirts and dresses.

*completely unscientific calculation of calories burned

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Count Them Out (just for today)

Even Macy's Herald Square needs a break every once in a while (well, once a year). The store is closed today for inventory but no worries, they'll be open again tomorrow at 10am with regular hours. Us 34th Street regulars can wait a day but someone should warn the airlines; there could be some mad European flight rescheduling.




Macy's Herald Square
, 151 W. 34th between Broadway & 7th

Art Seen and More

Outside Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg last weekend, Mashinka, Jeremy James, and Kelley:

Brooklyn art opening fashion. First, Jeremy's spats caught my eye, then the clever coordination with Mashinka's black and white dress, coat and bag. She's perfectly geometric and deco- chic. Mashinka likes Betsey Johnson and shops Macy's Herald Square, where she just got Betsey Johnson shoes. Of course I reminded her of Betsey Johnson's intimates line, also at Macy's and perfect for Mashinka.

Kelley shops vintage and is partial to the French apparel, which reminded me of Isabel Marant (below, in W magazine article) in "those French girls" article in W this month. Does this not look like Kelley? I love the surprising shoe with the skinny jean and rustic top. Favorite quotes from the article: "I think it's my French side. There's always a masculine, androgynous look;" and on showing after and sharing models with Dior for spring 2008, "We're both in the Tuileries, so I'm going to do a big car-wash corridor between his tent and my tent...The girls just go through the car wash and come out on my stage. You won't recognize them." A model car wash, if only.

Remember this aesthetic in the upcoming months: Marant says she loves mixture, "Putting a very tailored jacket with something that is really fluffy..." This can be spring's motto, as it is full of transparent fluffy things. Get tailored jackets at H&M on the cheap, or spend a little more for a Zara Women pantsuit. Then go to Meridian, where you'll always find a lovely and light feminine underpinning or skirt. Such fun finding so many great blouses and skirts in one small store.

Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th between Broadway & 7th
H&M, 435 7th Avenue @ 34th
Zara, 39 W. 34th between 5th & 6th
Meridian, 977 Sixth Avenue between 35th & 36th

Monday, January 14, 2008

Xmastime Beginnith

Last week I went jeans shopping with our manny blogger Xmastime and his protege Lil Xmas. Recap? Xmastime is our New Year's resolution story. We'll be stalking him till he loses 10 inches off his waist. For incentive we bought him a pair of jeans, a la traditional girl dieting tactics, for him to diet down into. Here are the boys in Herald Square, pre and post-shopping:

Sweet, yes? I wish I had a photo of Xmastime's face when a Cambridge Members salesclerk said his jeans are custom made in Europe. Cambridge Members is also where Xmastime discovered Lil Xmas's penchant for bespoke suiting. Yes, Cambridge Members not only has custom suits for gentlemen, but also for the little guys. Thus, the price of their Italian jeans ($169) was not surprising (well, not to me). But we were all a little dubious about the name of the jeans splayed on the rear pocket: SuperRifle. Next stop, Macy's Herald Square.

Here we found INC jeans (right, $59) on the second floor of the men's department. The cut is stylish but not too slim, and the size is a good compromise: 33 waist. That gives Xmastime a little breathing room while maintaining his noble goal (32). These INC jeans have a good medium blue wash with a slight fade in the front. And the back pockets? Nice and plain for our American guys. But something tells me we'll be back at Cambridge Members one of these days for Lil Xmas.

Cambridge Members,
1270 Broadway @ 33rd
Macy's Herald Square, 151 W. 34th between Broadway & 7th

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lip Obsession

I've always got chapped lips, so I'm addicted to the lip balm displays at every drugstore counter in New York City. Yes, I'm the one holding up the line because I can't stop shopping. My favorite drugstores stock Burt's Bees close to the register so I can buy on impulse. This is how I discovered my new lip saver, Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil (the big fruit of 2007).

I love how it smells, it actually keep my lips chap-free throughout the day, and it gives me a slight berry tint. I like a little color from my lip balm. Look for it in Walgreen's at 5th & 33rd on the lower level temptingly displayed near the check-out. It's just $3.49. Next time I'm going for their "Super Shiny Lip Gloss." At this Walgreen's you can also pick up Bumble & Bumble, Bedhead, and Chi hair care products, or Iman's makeup line.

Speaking of natural, W magazine this month says "Burt's Bees is fed up with other beauty companies calling their lines 'natural' when they're not." Go, Bee, go. So the company has "teamed up with the Natural Products Association to create the Natural Standard...Products that meet the standard will be marked with a seal, which will begin to appear this year." Thanks, Burt's Bees, because for a while I've suspected "natural" is just a good way to charge a little more for a product. Keep an eye out for that seal.

Walgreen's,
350 Fifth @ W. 33rd Street

Almost a Shoe-In

The last day of the Shoe-Inn sale isn't bad. If you need some sandals or want satin Marc Jacobs moon boots (below, top) then I recommend a visit before 6:45pm. It closes at 7 and you'll need time to sort through boxes. Good news is prices have been further slashed and as I was leaving more shoe boxes were being unloaded. Bad news is the boots are pretty well picked through. Next time I'd go on the first day to get a great boot. But there are lots of Kors winter boots (below, bottom) in a size 10; a big 9 could fake it.

Comfortable, warm, waterproof and ugly fun. The Marc moon boot has been around for a while but I still would have bought it if my size (9) was available. There's only size "M" in black and yellow. There are also Tecnica moon boots.

Kors "Snowflake," warm, comfortable and stylish.

New pricing:
boots under $100 are now $49.99
boots over $100 are now $99.99
shoes under $50 are now $19.99
shoes over $50 are now $39.99
rain boots are $39.99
moon boots are $99.99

Shoe-Inn Sale, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th between 8th & 9th
today till 7pm