New Year’s Resolutions, Crisis in Denim Style

Frye boots, Bordeaux color

Maybe this will be the year these gorgeous Frye bordeaux-colored boots (their color name, not mine), magically land in my closet.

Being Jewish brings with it many burdens (the guilt! the guilt!), not the least of which is having to mark not one but two new years (the regular January one, and Rosh Hashana), which means not one but two sets of resolutions to break and feel guilty about later.

It’s good to have resolutions large and small to cover all aspects of your life. I mean, sure I have big resolutions that involve vowing to be a better person, one who smiles and says ‘excuse me’ to the fellow subway passenger with her bag on a seat rather than one who gives the scowl of death and wishes she had one of those handbags that is also a set of rings that is also a weapon until said passenger sheepishly moves her bag (even though it is COMPLETELY against New York City subway etiquette to have your bag on a seat during rush hour when people are STANDING, I’m just SAYING.).

What I’m getting at is that I like to start the new year with some smaller resolutions as well. Not personality-changing ones, necessarily, but sartorial ones that will make getting dressed in the morning more efficient and pleasureable; resolutions that will keep me from spending money on things I don’t need, while helping me enjoy the ones I already have.

So here, in no particular order, are my top Rosh Hashana resolutions, Crisis in Denim style: Continue reading

Sartorial Literary Moment: Molly Ringwald’s New Novel

I’m just going to put it out there: I own the deluxe “Everything’s Duckie” edition of the 1986 Molly Ringwald movie Pretty in Pink. It is, I would say, in my list of top five—no, make that top three—favorite movies of all time. So it’s with tremendous interest that I see that Molly Ringwald has a written a novel.

I need you now, like I needed you then…

Now, I’m fully aware that of the Molly Ringwald oeuvre, Pretty in Pink was probably not the most popular. To a lot of 80s teens, the redhead will always be Claire Standish, the rich girl who pouts her way through detention in The Breakfast Club. For most, I think she was the overlooked Samantha Baker, whose parents forget her birthday in Sixteen Candles.

But to me she was—and will always remain (high five if you get my reference here)—Andie Walsh in Pretty in Pink. Continue reading

What I Bought–I Mean Did–on My Summer Vacation

Now I’ll give the long-awaited answer to the question: What did I end up buying on vacation?

The answer is: Wait for it…

Nothing.

Yes. I’m just as shocked as you are.

See: There were a couple things I contemplated, but I found myself mired in an existential discussion with my Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV), about whether I actually wanted to have these things, or whether I just wanted to buy them. This is, of course, a broad and, may I say, extremely tiring question. I mean, I certainly didn’t want to buy something just to buy something. On the other hand, some of my most-worn items are ones I bought on vacation or at some other time when I just felt like buying something for the pleasure of buying something.

Anyway. First, I almost bought a ring. It had a simple, gold-plated base and a round piece of red/pink sea glass. It was not at all expensive and Mom was like “just get the effing ring,” though she said it more politely because she’s a mom. But it was only the second day of vacation. What if I found something I liked more?

Over the next day or so I did think about the ring, and planned to go back for it, but I got too busy doing such vacation-y things as lying down, reading, drinking wine, eating, and lying down again.

Gone fishing - Herringbones Design Shop

The shop where I almost bought (yet another) bag. I may call and ask them to send it to me. Will I like it as much now that vacation is over?

In a different store, on the last day, I found a super-cute fabric/knit tote bag, with all my fave colors (black, maroon, olive, grey), and lots of little pockets inside. It was a great end-of-summer bag, and everyone knows you can never have too many bags. But again, doubt raised its ugly head. Did I want THIS bag? Or did I just want to go home from vacation with a souvenir?

I decided to ignore my RIIV and “just buy the effing ring.” But, when I returned to the first store (stay with me here, I know it’s getting confusing) the ring had been sold. Suddenly, I really, really wanted it. “And you’re sure you don’t have one in back, right? What about online? The Portland store?” The saleswoman was fairly unsympathetic, conveying a kind of “you snooze, you lose” attitude which seemed fair enough, since the day before, when I had been about to go back to the store, I had actually fallen asleep.

However, now that I’m home I find myself thinking about that bag. I’m even considering calling the store, giving them my credit card, and asking them to send it to me. The problem is, will I like it as much, now that vacation is over?

Shopping Rule #436: Everything Looks Better on Vacation

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

What to Buy on Vacation? How About Everything. 

A friend once mentioned something in passing about wearing her “vacation dress.” I figured she meant a dress that she had bought FOR vacation: Something cute yet comfy, that would, in fashion-mag parlance, “make the transition from day to evening.” But no. She was talking about a dress she had bought ON vacation. Something she would probably not have purchased had she not been rested, relaxed, and in a shopping mood.

You Can Tell Me: Share Your Favorite Vacation Purchase

This little exchange popped into my head yesterday, since I happen to be on vacation. And you know you’re on vacation in a New England beach town when you go a-browsing in a shop you would give little more than a haughty sniff to back home and fall in love with absolutely everything in it. Flowered skirts. Earrings with smiling whales.

Even non-clothes: A red ceramic butter dish with white polka dots? Love! Birdhouses made of wine corks? Sure–years of trauma wrought by my viewing of The Birds— totally a thing of the past.  Even placards with such inspirational quotes as “One day can bend your life” (though not surprisingly I read that as “A single day can END your life” which makes more sense).

All this to say I am on vacation and a little antsy to treat myself to something.

Tell me about a piece of clothing you bought on vacation that you probably would never have bought at any other time.

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

For god only knows what reason, I had a dream the other night about Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life. Yeah, I know. My subconscious was pretty freaked out too.

After dreaming of that late 70s/early 80s sitcom about boarding school girls and their kindly house mother, I woke up with the overwhelming need to do some IMDBing.

Seen through a contemporary lens, the The Facts of Life had shortcomings. The show’s one African-American character had a somewhat belittling name (Tootie); another character made overtly violent threats at her classmates (Jo). My eight-year-old self didn’t understand this. Instead, I couldn’t wait each week to see the gorgeous, stuck-up Blair flip her blonde hair, flaunt her beautiful clothes, and reluctantly learn a life lesson.

When the world never seems to be living up to your dreams

What does this have to do with clothing? Well, in looking on IMDB, I found a picture of Blair and was immediately struck by how much her clothing resembles the clothes I see everywhere now—both in stores and out and about. I mean, I know the late 70s and early 80s are back. I see young(er) people wearing kicky little hats, shorts over tights, and oversized blazers. Still, I don’t think I realized just how MUCH the era was back until I saw  Blair’s platform open-toed sneakers, shortest of short shorts, and button-down midriff-tied shirt.

I was especially struck by the shoes. I guess because I was so little when the show first came out, I don’t remember platform sneakers from that era. Until my dream and subsequent IMDB session, I had figured they were a more modern outgrowth of the rise of athletic wear as fashion.

Although, I do have to say: Poor Mrs. Garrett. I mean, as much as viewers and characters alike loved her, she certainly got the short end of the stick in the costume department.

Ah well. As they say. You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have…

You knew that was coming, didn’t you?

Buying Away the Blues

Just Doing a Quick Size Exchange at Nordstrom. I’ll Only be 5 Minutes. Really.

That’s not me. That is my jacket.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

I have something I need to confess.

Last week, I self-pity shopped. It was a brief but highly successful retail therapy session that made me feel even better than a gazillion milligrams of Prozac mixed with a bottle of merlot and poured over a gallon of Edy’s Slow Churned probably could have.

It started innocently enough. I had an exchange to make at Nordstrom—one size blazer for another. I’d be in and out in five minutes.

But. Somehow on the short walk from car to mall, I started to feel liked I’d gained 20 pounds in two days. Before me appeared the face of every guy who had ever not texted or called me for a second date. I saw all my job applications in the reject pile on the desk of the editor at my dreamiest of dream jobs.

Then I bought a leather jacket, and I felt much better.

A Quick Lap Around the Store

This is also not me. My jacket, though.
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

I mean, it was the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and all bets are pretty much off when fall clothes are marked down by a third. Plus, it was almost closing time and the store was all but empty. Over the weekend it had been crowded, and wasn’t there the chance that I’d missed something great because someone had planted herself in such a way as to block  my view of the perfect top? Just in case I’d better do a quick lap around the floor.

In my defense, Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV), I had been wanting a short black leather jacket for quite awhile and hadn’t had much luck finding one I liked in my price range. But there it was. Continue reading