Monday, January 11, 2010

Inching up and out of my comfort zone

Friday I made a day trip up to Manhattan with my friend Shauna. The goal of the day was for me to check out a certain city school, but lets be honest...we wanted to shop our hearts out. With post-holiday sales going and some birthday money I had some high retail expectations. Last year I got some pretty incredible deals due to the economic conditions (ahem Miu Miu mary-janes at 70% off and a skirt from Bendels when then still carried clothes...le sigh), but this year the sales aren't nearly as good. We hit up A.P.C. (they do simple so well...yet so expensive), Agent Provocateur (at 75% off we still couldn't justify a neon pink baby-doll), and Miu Miu (see below) but left with nothing.

Let me talk about Miu Miu for a second. I don't think I can begin to describe my affection for that store. I have never been to the one uptown, but the store in SoHo is most easily described as a candystore fit for Carrie Bradshaw. They have girlyness mastered and manage to make the entire store look like a giant confection with smoky mauves, mint greens, and golden beiges. Last year during sale season, not only was I very successful, I was treated like a princess.  Yesterday, we walked in and were greeted by an adorable salesperson named Spencer who gave us zero attitude and just as much time as any Park Avenue Princess. For kicks and potential purchases I asked him if they had any shoes on sale (you have to ask because there are no price tags), within minutes Spencer was giving us the footwear version of a Tupperware party. Let's just say he had me very close to buying a pair of rabbit fur trimmed heels, and I was torn if I should get a pair of gorgeous beige flats, but I left empty handed.

Miu Miu Fall 2009

I find at so many designer stores, especially in NYC, salespeople don't give you the time of day unless you are dripping in Van Cleefs & Arpels and toting a Chanel 2.55 bag, but from years of retail experience, you absolutely cannot judge your customers and expect a sale. That's what I love about Miu Miu, even though it's Prada's younger sister and a key chain retails for $200, they want you to feel awesome. When shopping, customer service and attention is #1, so regardless of the prices, I will definitely be back at Miu Miu.

Last Year's Miu Miu purchase. The most perfect shade of pink.

We gave up on designer digs on the cheap, so we did the polar opposite...Topshop. I had never been to the London megastore, and I'm not sure if I will be back. The moment I walked in I was drugged with loud remixes of my favorite songs (Shelter by The xx, specifically) and every trend imaginable at my fingertips. In my polyester and sequin fueled haze I thought it would be a great idea to try on acid-washed high waisted jeggings, a studded jacket that weighed at least 12 lbs, and something (I really cannot tell you what it was, either a dress or shirt) with shoulder pads. I was actually considering purchasing these items and thinking  they would be legitimately practical pieces to add to my closet. Shuana was in the same boat, hers including a leather dress with mesh inserts. In a moment of clarity, I realized the utter crap I was trying on was appealing because it allowed me to try the trends I secretly liked and the prices made them a reality. At that point I ran out of the dressing room. As much as I wanted to leave the store without a bag, I ended up with two shoe boxes. They had a two for one sale that I seriously could not ignore, so I have two new pairs of heels that I almost regret buying, but I see them as a way to expand my wardrobe and challenge myself.

 The Challenge:



Both pairs are no doubt on trend and wearable, but my personal style doesn't really match up. I'm more of a Ferragamo girl, and when it comes to heels I generally drool over Lanvin and Chloe. The first pair's upper screams Balmain from last spring, but the heel is going to be awesome for this spring/summer with it's wedgy heel that's going to be everywhere. The second pair has a Manolo Blahnik feel to them minus the heel. It will definitely be fun to play around with these and figure out ways to pair them with the rest of my wardrobe.

The other night my friend Mike came over and we had a lot of fun with a photo shoot that focused on coats and jackets. Once we are done editing I will most definitely post the pictures, but for now here is a hint.

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