Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spring = SHOES

Shoes to look forward to seeing at stores on 34th street this spring:

Those sandals! I'm almost as impressed as I am with the gold lacing on the wedge above!

 And some Steve Maddens, available at the 34th Street Steve Madden boutique.

Steve Madden
41 W. 34th Street
Macy's Herald Square 151 W. 34th Street 

Monday, January 30, 2012

bar III for Summer '12

AGH, Macy's bar III slays me again. Not only are the clothes killing me, but the jewelry is totally doing me in. Tired of the hyperbole? OK, look at the pretty pictures:

Get me the smelling salts: Jewelry in department with clothes in Impulse on 2.
DETAILS. Bar III does these lovely layering pieces in every collection and they are always perfect.

Now I can just go to bar III in Macy's Herald Square and get everything I need for romantic summer evenings down by the beach. Throw in a babysitter and I'm theirs for life.

Macy's Herald Square 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue

Friday, January 27, 2012

34th Street Weekend Sale Picks: The New jcpenney Edition

#1.  jcpenney
Because they are banishing their traditional sale structure, and are giving us everyday low prices. Which means you can get this lovely Allen B. floral print blouse for $25 right now.  100 W. 32nd Street 

#2.  Express
Because they are having a 50% off sale on maxi skirts, plus a whole lot more. But I'd pick up a maxi or two! The one below is pleated, which I love.  901 Avenue of the Americas

ADORE this graphic T. And I am someone who is really sick of  the graphic T takeover  of the world.

#3.  Famous Footwear
Because they are having a Clearance Dots sale, which I don't really understand (see R. Johnson + jcpenney) but it means you can get some of these for less!  250 W. 34th Street

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The New jcpenney: A Lot More than a Lowercase "J"

I find this new logo oddly soothing.

I'm not going to rehash here all the changes going on at jcpenney that you can read about everywhere, including here, here, and here. Instead, I'll talk about buying leggings there yesterday.

The sweater on the left is a.n.a. The I Heart Ronson leggings and boucle jacket are on the right.

I stopped by jcpenney Manhattan Mall to check out the mood of the store while the big rally was going on elsewhere. The store was buzzing with talk and energy. I think retail department CEOs should dress in drag (or incognito, if they are female) and spend a morning in the women's dressing rooms. This will give him/her some interesting perspective. It's one my favorite things about the job, listening to retail staff chatter.

While eavesdropping I tried on a lot of a.n.a, thinking I'd do a cute "A New Approach" story as that's what "a.n.a" stands for. But only the sweater (above) looked OK on me, so I moved on to the I Heart Ronson. That boucle cropped jacket is even better looking in person, and it's $30. The leggings are $10. Both are red tag items, which in the new pricing scheme means that's the everyday price.

When I saw the leggings on the rack and the $10 price, I thought "That's exactly what I would pay for these leggings." I tried them on and thought "Perfect for $10." I then bought them. I didn't for a second think "I'm going to wait till these go on sale." Don't laugh when I say this, but I felt like I had just experienced an honest, straightforward retail transaction. And I felt relieved. Finally, no more sale tags.

These leggings make me think Ron Johnson is really on to something. You?

jcpenney Manhattan Mall lower levels 1 & 2, 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Brits Invade 34th Street: Kate Moss for Mango

Yesterday it was smart British actor Max Irons, and today it's smart British supermodel Kate Moss. I'm all Anglo this week. Don't worry, tomorrow I'm getting all American again with JCPenney and Ron Johnson.

But for now, let's enjoy Kate Moss as the new face of Mango. If you haven't visited the new store on 34th Street, get there soon to catch the end of the winter sale with items 50% - 70% off.

So very Kate, so very pretty. But the one of the left is PERFECTION. As I tweeted yesterday, that needs to be my spring uniform. I'm buying every last bit, and I almost never do that.

So glam with the curls and the lashes, but wait, the true genius model photo is below:

Do you have any idea how hard it is to gaze longingly at a sweater on set, and make it look romantic and thoughtful? She is the master, bow down.

Mango 7 West 34th Street just west of Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Campaign Face: Max Irons for Macy's INC

It's not that the photos aren't great, and Max Irons doesn't look gorgeous in them, and the clothes don't look perfect...

 It's the damn video that really gets a girl.

Max Irons for Macy's INC Men's SS12 from Factory PR on Vimeo.

I'm running out and buying all the Macy's INC: International Concepts for my husband today. You? Does a British accent and a killer jawline do that to you, too?

If you want to see from whence all that charming Britishness was spawned, watch Brideshead Revisited. Meanwhile, go visit the INC International Collection at Macy's Herald Square, as the new men's collection hit stores yesterday.

Macy's Herald Square 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue

Monday, January 23, 2012

Uniqlo Jeans Winner! And Belly Video

First I'd like to apologize for not announcing the winner last week as promised. I do this all the time, decide to give something away, post it, and then forget about it. Sometimes people remind me about this on Twitter, and any such help is greatly appreciated.

And the winner is: Elizabeth! Congrats, Elizabeth. I'll be emailing you today to get your mailing address. I'm much better with the prize-sending follow-up than the winner-selection follow-up. Hey, I'm pretty much a one-woman band over here :)

Speaking of women, I saw this video by Margaret Lazarus over the weekend and have not been able to get it out of my head since. I'll be honest and frank: this video kind of grossed me out. My post-baby belly resembles much of the below. But I couldn't stop watching, and have since been viewing my belly in a totally different way. No, I don't love it, but I'm thinking perhaps it's time to embrace my flawed mid-section: the c-section scar the nurses raved about, the odd cellulite and excess skin that is no way mine and I will continue to subject to yoga, and the duo of holes in my belly, remains of the trial I went through to conceive. What do you think, can you embrace your flaws as an important story about yourself?

WARNING: If you are like my sister and bellybuttons freak you out, do not watch. Also, if you are one of those fashion types who think just seeing stretch marks and cellulite will infect themselves with such afflictions, do not click.

Friday, January 20, 2012

34th Street Weekend Sale Picks: Winter Won't Be On Sale Forever

#1.  Joe Fresh   
Because they are having a 40%-60% off sale on winter items, including shoes like these and sequin leggings like these.  215 W. 34th Street

#2. Brookstone  
Because yes, that personal massager is on sale.  142 W. 34th Street

#3. Old Navy 
Because you can earn some Super Cash this weekend, and all the fitness wear is on sale. What was your New Year's resolution again?!   150 W. 34th Street

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Awesome Fresh for Spring

I was pretty knocked out by the new Joe Fresh styles today on 34th Street. There's an irresistible nautical section up front. Also, they've got an awesome pair of orange rainboots. My boss has outlawed the use of "awesome" in the office, and rightly so, but the first thing I thought when I saw construction orange rainboots was "awesome." I'm pushing for a ban of "actually" next.

 Can you see the side-stripe on the wide-leg jeans? That sweater below is from winter, and is on sale for $49.

Awesome, yes? Well, not actually awesome like Mount Rushmore, but very very cute.

Joe Fresh Pop-Up 215 W. 34th Street

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Daffy's Herald Square for Accessories

I'm really annoyed with my Hayden Harnett bag for falling apart after three years, but I guess I should have known when the hardware on an outside pocket fell off the first week I wore it.

So I've been looking a little closer at bags these days, wondering what the heck I'm going to carry for New York Fashion Week. Daffy's had a few impressive choices that I'm considering, as my Birkin bag most likely won't be making it from Paris in time (joking, joking, and *wish*).

This might be the best casual "sporty" bag I've seen yet. Gym clothes, overnighter, love this.

Polka dot clutch. What's more adorable?

A few more typical, everyday choices. Not bad, right?!

I had to throw in the suede and leather jackets. They are such a typical awesome Daffy's find.

Daffy's Herald Square 34th Street and Broadway

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Almost Extinct: Old Wool Sweaters

I'll be announcing the Uniqlo jeans giveaway post-Google et.al blackout (updated to add: no Google blackout, look for their protest note). In the meantime, please enjoy a little weekend DIY project I was forced into during a trip I made with a sister this past weekend to my mom's in Iowa.

First, right off the airplane, we scoured Goodwill for old wool sweaters. I thought, "No problem, Goodwill in Des Moines, Iowa, will be packed full of wool sweaters." Guess what? WRONG. The DIYrs have taken command of all secondhand stores in Iowa. Wool sweaters, beware: you will be pillaged, felted, and remade into pillows, gloves, and, as in our case, toddler blankets:

This idea came from my sister, who found it in a magazine ages ago. Here's the deal: stakeout your Goodwill/Salvation Army and use your sample sale shopping skills to snatch those sweaters out of your fellow DIYr's arms. I'm hardly joking as I practically had to drag my own mom away from a fellow shopper's cart that boasted a particularly fine specimen of men's wool sweater. Be sure to heed this important sweater picking detail: buy sweaters that are at least 70% wool. They need to felt up so they've got to be mostly wool. Now go home, revive yourself with caffeine or wine, depending on the hour, and get started. 

First, wash those sweaters in hot water, preferably in a machine that agitates. I didn't really understand this part as I thought all machines agitated, but I've guess there's been a lot of changes in washing machine technology since I've lived in a house with a washing machine. Next put those sweaters in the dryer on the hottest cycle possible. Basically do everything you've been told not to do with wool. 

When they're dry, cut them into squares using a uniform guide. We put down sandpaper with adhesive to help keep the square in place as we cut (see above), but we didn't get rough enough sandpaper. Go for the really scratchy stuff.

Then lay out those squares and decide on a pattern. When you're with family, this will take a while. You'll argue about keeping the argyle and lavender squares in a neat diagonal pattern, you'll fight about whether or not to use the grey plaid, and then, finally, you'll all decide to make it bigger. So there goes the perfect diagonal pattern you fought for so dearly. After this grueling decision-making process, pin the squares in strips (but don't pin the strips together yet). Next, watch Downton Abbey online for about four hours and go to bed.

The next day you go buy the rest of your supplies, namely a nice cotton backing for the squares and a pretty patterned material for the back of the blanket. Joanne's in Des Moines was a great resource for this until we got stuck behind a couple of scrapbookers at checkout who were buying about 3,000 sheets of paper that had to be rung up one by one. Damn those scrapbookers. Also, what the hell is scrapbooking?

I'd tell you what to do next but we had a sewing machine malfunction which hindered the completion of our blanket. Instead we traded photos of our squares with another sister on the East Coast, who was also working on a blanket and had a plethora of perfectly square blocks (ours, not so much). She also had a plethora of sweater pillows she had finished, most likely while we were watching Downton Abbey or sleeping. She's the truly talented and dedicated DIYr in the family. Probably, as I'm typing, she's finishing our blanket for us. If you have any questions about this project, please leave them in comments and I'll email the sister whose husband is now plotting to throw away pillows.

We'll be back to our regular 34th Street shopping soon. Happy (maybe) blackout day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

34th Street Weekend Sale Picks: Still Almost Everything

#1.  Levi's
Because there's 50% off already reduced items, including this really cute khaki jacket for about $30 and this even cuter cropped denim jacket with elbow pads for around $40. Bargain.  45 W. 34th Street

#2.  Gap
Because they're having a 30% off jeans sale. You know how I love Gap jeans. Also, you can get a pair of their GapFit workout pants on sale, starting at $25.  60 West 34th Street

#3.  Steve Madden
Because they've got up to 50% off select items. And if you haven't been to their recently renovated 34th Street store, you're missing out on a greatly improved shoe shopping experience. 41 West 34th Street

#4.  H&M
Because they've got tons of items on sale for $10, $15, and $20. I saw sweaters, skirts, and jackets, so go stock up for end-of-season.  47 West 34th Street