Monday, August 31, 2009

Big Best Buys

Meet my new best buy:

T-shirts are H&M Mama organic cotton, $19.95. The leggings are $14.95 (go get them, preggos) and the stretchy skirt (comfortable) is either $24.95 or $12.95. Sorry, got the prices mixed up.

Long leggings from H&M Mama. Kind of boring, I know, but they are that thin, slightly see-through material, and are so long I can cover my heels for a while (see feet above). I'm like a dancer! Yeah, until my monster feet force the leggings back up to my ankles where they stay nicely scrunched up. This I love, as I'm tall and it's a luxury to have a little extra fabric at the ankles. These leggings also have the big belly panel and are not a bit scratchy, but instead are all comfort and stretch.

This morning my doctor looked at me, felt around my belly, and said "You're going to have a big baby." This puts the fear of "big" into me and makes me want to wrap myself in a big sweater, sit on the couch for a few days, and read a couple Candace Bushnell novels. Yes, escapism rocks (big sweater, left, $59.95).

Mama, found at H&M Herald Square, 34th & 6th Ave

Friday, August 28, 2009

Red Boots Do It For Me

When I first saw Footloose, I vowed someday I'd own red boots like Lori Singer's. None in my closet yet, but the vow lives on. These alice+olivia for Payless boots aren't quite the same style (not so cowboy-ish), but still they evoke red-boot-yearning:

Mid-calf, fold-down, and much more cherry red than my camera can capture. These aren't orange. Scarlet sunset slouch, $49.99. Here's the official photo, and I can vouch for that color:

More alice+olivia:

I know, you can't see my toe, but that's due to my swollen preggo feet, not alice+olivia design. The Robertson Jeweled boot, $49.99. Actually more cute IRL and has my fave a+o tassel.

Two more styles, both $49.99: I didn't like the sweater wedge in the box, but then fell for it when I put it on (the leather is slate grey). Actually, it's not really on because my foot wouldn't fit. Brilliant idea, doing shoe posts in my 8th month. I'm not so crazy about the Frankenstein wedge, feels a little too raver child for me.

And for a totally different look, the Mallory suede bootie by Lela Rose for Payless, $34.99. Very, very pretty. Lela Rose always nails a few styles big time in all of her Payless collections.

More designer collab offerings should be arriving in store soon. Didn't see any fall Abaete's yet. And I haven't seen a Patricia Field shoe in Payless since late last winter/early spring. Where are you, Patricia Field for Payless?

Payless, 110 W. 34th @ Broadway

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Friends & Family Thursday

I must interrupt my regularly scheduled 34th Street shoe reviews for a Friends & Family notice:

Hit up Lane Bryant on 34th Street from today to Sunday and get 30% off. I'm always drawn to the Lane Bryant on 34th Street because of the Cacique in the windows. When I was younger the Cacique bras fit me better than Victoria's Secret, and they always had great sales. Now they're exclusive to Lane Bryant. Jealous. I'm also jealous of this:

Now it's a jumpsuit...

Now it's pants. The convertible jumpsuit, $79.50 before F&F. Still I wait in vain for a maternity jumpsuit, and here Lane Bryant has one that converts! Sheesh!
Lane Bryant, 7 W. 34th Street between 5th & 6th

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Siriano Boot

Here is the sole pair of Christian Siriano boots ($49.99) that I could find in my size (now a 10, previously 9) on 34th Street. The heel shape is consistent throughout his Payless line, and I wish I could show you how pretty the other shoes are on, but there were no 10's. The 9's were not going on my feet. I think the larger sizes were being unpacked, so I'll try them on my next visit. I did not spot the pretty green booties.

I love the heel, love the toe, love the lining, love the hardware, and it was fine for walking. Speaking of comfort, I did find a Siriano flat in a 10 that was awfully stiff and would need some breaking in, but this is Payless and that is typical of their flats. One question: do I care about the gaps on the ankle? I used to hate this, and wanted my booties to fit tight around the ankle. Nowadays, however, this may pass as quirky and hip. I can't decide. But you should visit Payless on 34th Street and see for yourself. There are lots of other Siriano boot and shoe styles, none of which are online yet. And supposedly not in select stores till September 8th.

Payless, 110 W. 34th @ Broadway

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zara Boots

Think I"ll focus on 34th Street shoes for the rest of the week as a paean to my currently swollen, dumpling feet. The good thing about the swelling? My feet have filled out nicely, so now I'm practically vein-free, sans laser or other surgery. Always a silver lining...

Zara (5th & 42nd) windows: over-the-knee leather boots, small-stud boots, over-the-knee suede boots.

I twittered about the great boots in the Zara window on 5th Avenue weeks ago, so I thought I should take a closer look at the boot situation at Zara on 34th Street.

If you want the over-the-knee suede boots for $249 (above right), get to Zara on 34th Street ASAP and see if the ones in the window are your size. That's it. I checked the 5th Avenue & 42nd store also, and ditto: just the window pair and none inside. Those sold out quick. The tall leather boots ($189, above left) are diminishing quickly also, so again, get to Zara soon if you're interested. Looks like over-the-knee is a hit for fall.

But booties are a must, too, and Zara on 34th Street has plenty of the above. These three caught my eye ($79.90, $89.90, & $109), and there are lots more studded and sky-high styles. I prefer the simplicity of the suede boot with the commando soles, and am really drawn to the middle ankle boot with the straps. But then I'm kind of tired of the studded, 6-inch heel look. Or perhaps it's my dumpling feet that aren't allowing me to even consider them. Shoot, now I've got to pick up some dumplings on the way home.

Zara, 39 W. 34th between 5th & 6th Avenues

Monday, August 24, 2009

Maternity 1969

Will it ever stop, these 1969's? No, because today it's maternity 1969! Why? I am unable to walk down to 34th Street to scope out new fashion. On Saturday I wore heels because I'm vain, vain, and vain. Long story short, we had a baby shower in our old hometown and I knew my girl, a modeling cohort from back in the day, would be dropping by. Do you think I'm going to let my old runway partner out-heel me? Hell, no. You should have seen my feet Saturday night, shamefully swollen. But worth every painful minute because my girl did me proud with her 6-inch heels.

Luckily, today I remembered that I tried on the maternity 1969's while Martin tried on the boys at Gap Herald Square.

side shot of the "Long & Lean" maternity flared legs, $69.50. "Long & Lean," hahaha! These have the full maternity panel and great stretch. Lace-trimmed tank worn throughout is GapMaternity.

Left: Curvy, limited edition button-welt wide-legs with the semi-demi panel, $69.50. Right: "Always Skinny," $79.50, no panel.

My favorites? "Long & Lean." These are really long (I had the regular inseam, I need the long inseam for the other two styles) and the flared leg was perfect. For maternity staples, I'd buy these for a wide-leg, and get the JCPenney for straight-legs. Not that I didn't like "Always Skinny," but the JCP's were less $$.

Comfort-speaking, the 1969's scored high with me. Full-panel, semi-panel, or no panel, there was no chafing and sitting down was perfectly fine with no painful digging into the belly. I stuck with the 29/8's, my pre-maternity size, and the fit in all styles was right on. Definitely try on a couple styles of the 1969's to find your favorite and help you through all your big months.

Herald Square, 60 W. 34th @ 6th Avenue

Friday, August 21, 2009

Make it to Measure: My Suit Update

I haven't written about My Suit in a long time, but lately I've had a lot of inquiries into the store, their suits, and their pricing. Mostly questions run toward the "Can I really get a good custom suit that cheap?" And from the feedback I've been getting, the answer is "Yes."

Unfortunately, no photos of the actual suits yet, but I'll update later if I can twist some arms. For now, I'll supply you with some quotes from a former employee of my company, a guy who knew of the store but never bought a suit from there till recently:

"They did a great job, really excellent service. I'll definitely go back to them!"

& upon further probing:

"I paid $500, the lowest rate, and got a well-fitting, european-style suit. Picked out color, buttons, pockets, all details...def recommend."

When I last spoke with My Suit, they told me they source a lot of their fabric from Italian mills. The choice, of course, is yours. You can get the expensive wools, or go lower brow. But you will get fitted, and all the trimming choices are yours. And yes, the suits start at $495.

My Suit Made to Measure, 1270 Broadway @ 33rd Street

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Esprit de 34th Street?

Perhaps you didn't realize that Apple, years ago, leased a space on 34th Street (21-25 W. 34th) to build a store? And then decided not to go ahead with the site, but has been paying rent for it since 2006? In an Observer bit by Dana Rubinstein called "Esprit de Core? Apparel Giant Chomping at Apple Space on 34th," an unconfirmed rumor is officially confirmed as a rumor: Esprit may be taking over the lease.

Rendering of possible Apple store on 34th Street. Sigh. Should we start a Topshop-like campaign to convince M. Jobs that we are worthy? Really, we are. We have very pretty trash cans and lovely tree pits.
Esprit offerings from their website. Ahem.

This is not the Esprit my sister and I dreamed of buying as young teens living in Iowa. We used to pour over Esprit's colorful mailers like we were Little House on the Prairie pioneers reading the Sears catalog. That was back in the day when Midwest fashion really truly was nonexistent (Cintra is about 20 years behind). But did I hear the company is going through another overhaul? I say bring back the Esprit of yore. Of course, I haven't shopped Esprit in years, so perhaps the stores are a different, more fashionable animal? Comments from Esprit shoppers very welcome, thanks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kids at Daffy's Pop-Up

Even amongst all the beautiful European clothes at Daffy's Pop-Up store, now dedicated to the kids, I couldn't resist taking a million shots of baby shoes.

Click for up-close cuteness. These baby shoes by Alviero Martini are $13.99.

This cute baby stuff is like an illness. Please feel free to smack me in comments if, post-baby, I begin to gush on and on about baby clothes.

Of course there were other adorable offerings:

Gorgeous Alviero Martini newborn set, $23.99, (reg.$219), Martini newborn cardigan, $19.99, (reg.$180), and Room Seven jacket, $49.99 (reg. $100).

For the little guy: newborn vest by Trussardi, $26.99 (reg. $90), Feu Follet infant coat, $19.99 (reg. $56), and Riskyo Zero pants, $23.99 (reg. $80).

Mommy wants: Burani cardigan, $29.99 (reg. $234), Halabaloo button dress, $29.99 (reg. $72), and orange Le Fromage dress, $23.99 (reg. $76).

Room Seven stockings, and Moschino shoes and boots.

Daffy's Kid's Pop-Up at One Seventh Avenue South is open just in time for back-to-school. Chelsea moms are going to be thrilled with the selection and prices for these clothes. The buy is as well-edited and impressive as the adult pop-up, but not quite as quirky-minded. Instead it's more "elegance defined." Seriously, nobody does understated elegant kid like the Europeans (the Italians are well-represented here).

Again, everything in the pop-up can be found at Daffy's Herald Square. Moms, you really have to visit Herald Square for your baby, because I've been dropping by a lot lately to gawk. And between the above labels, the bon bebe, and the Small Paul, well, it's really, really cute.

Daffy's Pop-Up for Kids, One Seventh Avenue S. at Carmine St.
Open till early September

Daffy's Herald Square, 34th & Broadway

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1969's: The Men's

I took Martin to Gap Herald Square to try on the new 1969 men's denim. Naturally I was pleased when Martin choose the style my favorite male model in the campaign is wearing, Mr. Skinny Jean: Sell those skinnies! Here's Martin in his, also doing an admirable job of selling us some jeans:

Front view, side view.

And a few shirts. Left is a shirt/jacket hybrid we both found interesting, and to the right is a grey chambray, denim-look shirt ($44.50) which also comes in blue. We preferred the grey with the jeans. I wasn't thrilled with many of the men's shirts, but these two are definitely worth a look.

(Below left, my favorite shot! Thanks, Martin!)

Martin bought the skinny, raw denim jeans and is wearing them today at work. They look great on him and he's happy with the fit. He also got the $20 off Gap is now offering for the new 1969's, which was a good incentive, as he felt the jeans were more than worth the final price of $68 (after the $20 off). And Martin is no casual denim buyer. Nope, this is definitely a guy of discerning denim taste.

Gap Herald Square, 60 W. 34th at 6th Avenue