Twelve Months of Shoes

Did someone say shoe of the month?

Some time ago I became aware that there is such a thing as a shoe-of-the-month club. There are several, actually. One called Shoedazzle, styled by Rachel Zoe. A J. Crew one. One called Shoemint, where you can also tap into sister sites to buy bags, jewelry, and clothes, extra closet sold separately.

Naturally, this discovery led me to stroll down memory lane to the high-school days when I belonged to the Columbia House Record Club. There was nothing better than coming home at the end of a boring day at school and finding a package of Cure, R.E.M., and Depeche Mode cassettes (yes, cassettes), waiting in the mailbox.

Then it led me to recall the unfortunate year or two after college that I belonged to the

Wow, you need some really dry lips to join the lip balm of the month club, I’d think.

Book-of-the-Month Club and ended up with a book on dream interpretation (It seemed like a good idea at the time), and a cookbook from which I have made exactly two recipes, neither of which have come out that good.

Then I started wondering what other “of the month clubs” there are, which led me on a slightly hilarious journey.

Here are a few: Wine, craft beer, and coffee. Yum, yum, and yum. I’ve even come across a wine of the month club that sells wine by women vintners only, which is very cool. But did you know you can also do of-the-month clubs for cigars, dog treats, and jerky? Pass, pass, and pass. There are also monthly subscriptions for teddy bears, tea, chai tea (who knew there’s more than one kind of chai tea?), mustard, cheesecake, cupcakes, peanut-butter-and-jelly, hot sauce (not to be confused with the BBQ sauce club), pasta, pickles, soap and—wait for it—water. Yes, water. Or pardon me, fine water.

There are several, as I mentioned, on the more sartorial end of the spectrum. I confess to wanting, just an eensy-weensy bit, to join Birchbox, which sends makeup and product samples to your door, nestled in a cute little box, of course. There are so many of-the-month clubs that I wonder if there is a club of the month club, where you can try a different of-the-month club every month.

I wonder if there is a club of the month club, where you can try a different of-the- month club each month.

Actually, looking back at the list, it seems you could actually subsist only on items ordered from of-the-month clubs. That might be a project worth trying. I’d happily live on PB&J, pasta, cupcakes, and wine for a year, though the challenge would probably be fitting into the clothing-of-the month. I’d probably have to switch, then, to the lower-calorie water-of-the month club. But there would be soap, and coffee, and of course, I could always join the Book-of-the-Month Club again. I may never have to leave the house again.

 

Wake Up and Face Your Closet

It’s that time again.

Yes, that time. Time to decide what I’m going to wear to work tomorrow.

Much as I love clothing, I hate this part of my day. I mean, I can barely make it through one day, and before that day is out you want me to start planning for the next? Whatever happened to living in the moment, people?

Tocky the rolling alarm clock

Waking up is hard to do. So I bought Tocky, the alarm clock that rolls around so you have to get out of bed and chase it around the room. My cat isn’t a fan. Photo courtesy of Brookstone.

When I had a job where I started work at 4 a.m. (yes, you read that right), picking out the next day’s outfit was part of the pre-bed routine. I laid out everything, down to my, um… everything. That way I could sleep as late as possible and get dressed on autopilot.

Now, though, I tend to put off this task until I am showered and standing in front of my closet bemoaning the fact that I have nothing to wear. An early-morning denim crisis, if you will. Sometimes I even lie in bed an extra few minutes, telling myself that I’m mentally reviewing the contents of my closet and deciding what to wear. This tends to work not that well.

However, when I pick out my clothes the night before, I find it shaves a much-needed five to seven minutes off my morning routine. I’ve even—don’t laugh—looked for Lifehacker articles on how to buy time in the morning, but I haven’t found much of use.

I’m curious– is there anyone else out there who loves clothes but loathes having to decide what to wear every day? Do you choose your outfit the night before, or wait for inspiration to strike in the a.m.? Do you, god help me, put together a week’s worth of outfits on Sunday?

Okay, you write, while I get into bed and maybe think about what I’m wearing tomorrow. Or not.

Make Mine a Double: Gap Men’s Khakis and Jameson

A Boston Globe article this past weekend about stores enticing shopping-phobic men through their doors by offering whiskey and other manly perks reminded me of this one time back when I lived in Phoenix. I was out doing some shopping when I saw a sign in the window of the Gap.

It read: “Try on a pair of men’s khakis, get $10 off any purchase!”

I approached a salesgirl. “So can I try on a pair of men’s khaki’s and get the $10 discount?” I was all set to wage a sartorial feminism campaign a la Gloria Steinem. “Gap gives better discounts to men! I’d call the corporate offices first thing Monday morning.

Jameson Irish Whiskey Bottle Shot GreenBut the salesgirl shrugged. “Yeah, of course. We can’t offer a discount to men and not to women. That would probably be illegal or something.” Continue reading

Crisis in Denim Contemplates Letting Herself Go

Lately, I’ve been thinking about letting myself, well…how shall I say it?

Amy's Bread Pink Frosted Cake

I would eat an entire one of these in one sitting, if I could just bring myself not to care about fitting into super-cute clothes. It’s delicious. Plus, it’s pink, like my blog. Photo courtesy of Amy’s Bread.

I’ve been thinking about letting myself go. Really go to seed. As in, drop that Abs Attack! class and let my only exercise be the walk from the couch to the freezer for a gallon of Edy’s Slow Churned (Light ice cream ceases to be “light” when you eat one dozen servings over the course of as many hours, bee-tee-dubs.).

I mean, here I am, pushing middle age. Single. We all know it’s right about now that gravity really starts to gain the upper hand anyway, so why not let gravity do its thing (exert its saggy forces on my body), while I do my thing (eat a tub of ice cream the size of my head all in one sitting)? I’d never have to have a denim crisis when my cropped Paige jeans felt snug. Instead, I’d just pull on my fave elastic-waist jeans.

Well, here’s my reason: Continue reading

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

White SLAP Watch Me Silly

I’m pretty certain that the day I decide to wear a fabulous off-white sundress will be the day I spill a quadruple venti nine-pump mocha (with skim milk, of course) all over myself. Needless to say, I have tended to shy away from the white-jeans trend, I have only one white blouse, and I don’t even own a classic white t-shirt. I did wear a fancy white dress on one fateful day, but I can’t say as that turned out real well.

White SLAP Watch

The white SLAP Watch I bought Mom. I want one tooooo….Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.

However, inexplicably, I have become a hugundous fan of white watches. In fact, as soon as one caught my eye, I started noticing them on wrists all across the city. Then, around that time, Mom announced that she wanted a white SLAP Watch.

Permit me just a moment to explain. Last year, Mom and I discovered SLAP watches in a little boutique in Maine. We each bought the all-black one with the all-black face, no numbers, and orange hands. I love mine, especially since I’m a sucker for solid neutrals with just a smattering of color.  If you don’t look too closely, it looks like a watch I might have purchased at the MOMA Design Store. Mom got into the whole mix and match faces and bands thing which is one of SLAP’s hallmarks, so I bought Mom a white SLAP watch.

Now I want one (insert super-annoying whiney voice here) and am searching for the slightly Continue reading

Hunger Wins Out Over Barney’s Warehouse Sale

Last Wednesday I was abducted by aliens.

You scoff. But really, what else would explain why, finding myself in Chelsea with an hour to kill, I chose to eat dinner instead of going to the Barney’s Warehouse Sale? (The sale ends today, having been extended for one more day.)

I even got past the first security guard and was about to check my bags and make a beeline for the racks.

Then, I heard a voice of admonishment. This time it was not my Really Irritating Internal Voice (RIIV). It was, in fact, my stomach growling.

That’s when I realized that even the most battle-hardened shoppers have their limits. On the outside the Warehouse sale seemed fairly tame on this mid-week eve. But I’ve heard tell tales of elbows thrown and punches narrowly ducked, and I realized: There was no way to do the Warehouse Sale on an empty stomach.

So I admitted defeat, Yelped the nearest sushi bar and ordered some maki.

I guess it’s easier to just say I was abducted by aliens, than to admit I couldn’t brave the Barney’s Warehouse Sale.

Part Purse, Part Jewelry, Part…. Weapon?

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had to make an appearance at some fancy event where there was someone that for whatever reason we wanted to punch. We haven’t acted on this because we are not violent people, and also because in prison you don’t get days off to go to Nordstrom, which makes doing time very unappealing.

A purse that doubles as a piece of jewelry that doubles as a weapon.

However, this handbag I saw the other night while browsing in Loehmann’s may make the temptation hard to resist. See, I found this evening bag that was designed to be carried not by a strap or handles, but by a knuckleduster. That’s right, the clasp was made of one of those rings with multiple loops that slips over three or four fingers at once and binds them together.

Now, I love rings, but the knuckleduster is not a trend I much care for. I’ve seen some more delicate designs that look interesting in the display case, but the idea of wearing something that limits my dexterity makes me anxious.

However, if you like that style of jewelry, this handbag is definitely for you. It’s perfect if you’re at a cocktail party and you want to hold your glass of wine with one hand and, um, punch someone with the other. Or you could just put the weapon bag down and use that hand to grab yourself another drink. You’ll feel much better.

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.

Crisis in Denim is Actually Pretty Impressed

I’ll never forget one of my favorite sweaters. I was in ninth grade, and the sweater was a charcoal grey wool cardigan with a small royal crest on the left side offering a tiny pop of red and yellow. It was Benetton, and the pride of my wardrobe. Even when I was young(er) I had a thing for simple, understated clothing in neutral colors. Of course, my peers were not impressed, since the Benetton logo wasn’t emblazoned across the chest. I don’t remember getting a single compliment on my Benetton cardigan unless I did some serious fishing.

Which is why I was not surprised to find that my favorite Olympic garb has been the grey jackets that the U.S. team members competing in indoor sports have been wearing on the podium during the medal ceremonies. I especially love that they are cinched at the waist and longer in the back with black piping and a simple patch on the side. Because I am a big fan of symbolism I especially like the 50 little notches on the back representing 50 states. Forget the bright ensembles worn for the opening ceremony. This simple jacket paired with black track pants has been my favorite Olympic wear.

I did have to laugh at a couple articles, especially this one in Forbes criticizing the understated silvery grey as not being patriotic enough, since apparently the American flag

I bet I would look almost as cute in this jacket as Missy Franklin does. Plus, I could swim 500 meters– it would only take me like an hour and a half.

sewn on the sleeve and the giant “The United States of America” across the back still leave room for confusion.

Also, apparently, anyone can buy one of these jackets for the low, low price of about $450. Enough people seem to have been sufficiently impressed with the jackets, because they are out of stock now.

If I can succeed in convincing the International Olympic Committee that wine drinking and New Yorker reading and sample-sale surfing are Olympic sports, I may just treat myself to one of these great silver jackets someday.