Wednesday, October 28, 2009


As I was about to get in the shower this afternoon after working out at the gym, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number (it was a 917 area code, so local). I couldn't believe it when it was my best friend from college--Harry. She's in town for just a few days, which is a miracle in more ways than one as she has a fear of flying and has only flown twice since she was 17.

I love Harry to death but she is notoriously late and awful with plans. Already, we've planned to meet once and she's had to cancel. Back in the days before cellphones when we were undergrads at the University of Kent, I'd wait for her outside Boots in the High Street for hours. She'd always swear she'd make it by 10 am, and often wasn't there until 1 p.m., always with excuses. We lived in the same college, so I don't really understand why we didn't agree to meet by Lord Rutherford's bust in the quadrangle--equidistant from both our rooms--and get the bus in together. But I guess that's the mindset of 18 year old girls. No matter how hungry, cold or frustrated I was with her, I couldn't stop smiling when Harry rushed up to me, carrying at least two carrier bags, explaining all the reasons why she was late. Half the blame has to be mine for believing she might actually make it into town on a Saturday morning by 10. Of course, I was always up for breakfast--they served it only until 8.50 am and I wasn't going to miss out on a meal or coffee that I'd already paid for. Besides, I had a fondness for the rubbery toast and small slightly damp wrapped butter portions and the weird but strong coffee made out of some liquid concentrate.

Harry is a character and a wonderful human being. I'll get to see her on Friday (alas I teach all day and most of tomorrow night with an 11 am-10 p.m. schedule), but she leaves Saturday and it is such a shame she isn't here for longer. I haven't seen her for three years, but hopefully, this Christmas she'll have time to get together in London or somewhere between her home and mine. Regardless of how little time we'll have together, I am utterly thrilled that she's here and that I'll get to see her soon.

More J. Crew Jewelry

Once again, I was early for acupuncture. Once again, I fell victim to my own consumerist desires. With 10 minutes to spare, I decided to check the jewelry at J. Crew and walked out with two pieces--a pair of earrings and a rhinestone/glass bracelet. I love bracelets but they aren't easy to find, other than bangles which don't fit over my wrists or bracelets threaded on elastic (bound to break). I chose between three yesterday and still may go back to get another. I also like the fact J. Crew offer a teacher discount--nobody else does and it is good to feel wanted when you do a job as a college professor that never offers bonuses and doesn't have good pay but requires many years of education.

Onto the jewelry. These are my new finds:

This bracelet almost looks like a cuff and lies flat. The earrings are both lovely and lightweight. There are some even nicer pieces but I really can't wear earrings that heavy--if they were lighter weight, I'd be there getting thee or four pairs. Here they are:

Finally, here's the other bracelet. If I finish the book this week (and I think it is possible), I may treat myself to this as well. I just have a few misgivings about the clasp--will it support such a substantial bracelet?

If I purchase this, I just have to decide between the white pearl beads on gold and the rose gold/pink version.

Or I could just be a good girl and stop spending money on accessories but that would be less fun. I have to admit I've spent more on J. Crew than any other store this year, what with these fabulous accessories and the lovely striped long sleeved t-shirt I bought there recently. I guess it shows that this has not been the most inspired season.

Friday, October 23, 2009


So I'm still coveting the other pair of Gap/Pierre Hardy boots--the shorter pair. I know I shouldn't buy more and I realize the Gap have successfully eaked out these boots to whet peopl's appeatite (mine included). But they are so comfortable that I think I'll bite the bullet, providing I can find them.

Otherwise, it's been an odd fall. I'm not that enthused about shopping and consequently the thought of upcoming sample sales doesn't thrill me the way it did in past seasons. I like some items from APC, Jeffrey Monteiro, Rachel Comey, Steven Alan, Lyell, J. Crew and even Kate Spade. But no Mayle means I have less interest in new clothing (although new shoes/jewelry and even sweaters are another matter) and am spending more time scouring out older pieces. But I miss the adrenalin of shopping and waiting/hiping those key pieces I need will be put on sale while anticipating the new lookbooks for holiday, resort and even spring 2010.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pierre Hardy for Gap boots

Although I can't eny that I have a lot of clothes, shoes and boots are always tough for me. As I teach, I spend a lot of time on my feet (my classes are often 3-4 hours long and in many cases, I don't get a chance to sit down). I also use public transit, often return home late at night and generally have a limited tolerance for pain. I have big feet (size 40, sometimes 41), so I have to compete with the other tall girls for limited sizes (shoes are made on a bell curve--just a few 35, 36, 40, 41).

In some ways, I think, this excuses me for buying the shearling Gap/Pierre Hardy boots yesterday, size 9.5. I was a touch early for acupuncture so I popped into the Gap on 17th and 5th and found them by the doorway. Without looking at them in a mirror, I quickly tried on the shearling in olive (the only ones, I think, in 9.5) and in 9. Time was at a premium, they seem comfortable, so I rushed to pay (no line) and left.

I did feel a bit bad for contaminating the pure space of acupuncture--a site for transcending materiality--with my bulky shoe box in its almost too small bag. But the session was great. Later, I tried my boots on during office hours and they were comfortable. My only misgiving is a lingering doubt that the shorter boots fit my style and my needs more--I need boots for dreses and skirts more than pants. So, do I get the shorter version too or sacrifice the beautiful olive ones for the gray ankle boots? Or do I wait for the shorter ones to go on sale? I guess I'm going to have to play this one by ear.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mayle for sale updates

Cindy's Michaela has sold, as has my Thea and the sale on my Lida is pending. Suvi is still available.

Thank you everybody for your interest in these pieces.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mayle for Sale, Part XII

Cindy is parting with two more beautiful pieces, one of them extremely rare. I love the Michaela and the Jemeen (as you know) is one of those dresses that's perfect and so wearable. Over to Cindy:

I am putting my exceedingly rare Michaela dress in the rio plata print up to trade or sell.  Only three of these gorgeous Michaela dresses were made for the Ten Little Indians limited re-editions collection.  It is a size 6, true to size (17” flat bust, 14.5” flat waist, hip is open), and in perfect condition.  I wore it twice – the day the 242 Elizabeth St. shop closed and for my wedding rehearsal dinner.  


Also for trade/sale – my black and white Jemeen dress from the Resort 2008 collection, size 4.  This dress can fit sizes 4-8 depending on your fit preference/height and is a lovely workhorse mainstay for your collection.  New without tags. 


Please contact mayletradesale[at]gmail[dot]com if interested.  Thank you!

A Happy Ending

In late September, I saw a dress on ebay that was top of a friend's covet list. It had a low BIN so I bought it after calling her (she was not near a computer). Then the long wait began. The seller didn't respond to emails as she was on holiday, the package never arrived.

I finally filed for restitution throught ebay. The seller again didn't contact me so I called them after the required week had elapsed and a coupon refunding my money is on its way. Ebay were amazing on this and I have the funds for another Mayle purchase. I wish my friend had been able to get her dress but this wasn't the disaster it could have been.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Even with my efforts to be healthy, my life has been so busy that I've relied on the odd yoga video and walking/shopping for my workouts in recent months. This is not something I'm proud of. I used to work out 5 times a week and my stomach was flat. I was also a small size 6. After doing more reading last week, I decided that I had to stop procrastinating. So, on Saturday, I headed into Manhattan to get some gym shoes (my last pair were 1/2 size too big and literally cut grooves into my heels) and then went to the local gym and signed up for a year's membership. I didn't make it there today (the pile of 140 exams for two classes made sure that wouldn't happen), but tomorrow I'm going to start on my new routine. If I can make it there three times a week, I'll be happy. As I teach evenings, the daytime beckons. I like to do cardio every day and alternate weights for upper and lower body but I'm going to be realistic and start light and build up. I cannot sacrifice work time for the gym, but I can't continue sacrificing everything else for work.

Thanks to Christina, I recently acquired the Mayle high heeled Oxfords from Fall 06 in black suede. They are very high so not everyday shoes, but they are so comfortable and like new. I don't know the style name (that's one look book I never saw), but as soon as I get a working camera, I'll take photos to share. I've had very little luck with Mayle acquisitions recently, but given the expense of moving and acquiring new bookcases, closet shelving, a new dresser and wardrobe, that might be as well. My other major find was the Emmanuelle jacket from Fall 08. It was not cheap, but it is heavenly. Again, photos to come.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Cindy and I met up yesterday to comb consignment stores, visit Gerry at Poupette's stall at the Designer's Market and do a little window shopping. In the wake of Mayle's closure, it seems that my main spending has been on the Mayle secondary market, if we can call it that, and accessories. I'm relatively new to jewelry: not that I don't love it, or that I haven't bought stacks of earrings, necklaces and bracelets in the past, but so much of it was cheap. After finding tarnished pieces in makeup bags and boxes in the past, I went cold turkey. In grad school, I used to buy reworked vintage earrings from a stall in the library mall at Madison; I've also acquired more cheap jewelry from Forever 21, Topshop and the like over my life than I care to think. About five years ago, I realized that there was no point accessorizing good clothes with the cheapest costume jewelry and started to be far more selective. This meant finer pieces from craft shows, selected items from anthropologie, some pieces from Bird, a few Isabel Marant necklaces. Still, my collection of pieces was small and mainly consisted of a few necklaces and earrings. I love bracelets, particularly the 1950s/60s style chain bracelets with dangling charms etc. but whenever I bought one from a vintage store, I had the bad luck to get one that was on the verge of disintegration.

My grandmother was a jeweler so you'd think I'd have inherited some beautiful pieces. Alas, being in the trade, she knew fine jewelry to be a poor investment and selected to spend her money on clothing and stocks. Her fine pieces included her engagement ring (now worn by my wonderful sister-in-law), watches (I have one delicate gold one that I am too scared to wear), and a few pins and gold/silver evening bags that live in the bank. I knew fine jewelry was a poor investment. I also love it and can't afford it, so I think I just decided this was too much to consider and gave up.

Cindy opened my eyes to other options, like Poupette's rings and chains ( I don't have the most beautiful hands, but Gerry makes a beautiful looped G ring and I'm going to invest in the silver which has a beautiful sparkly finish. I'm tempted to go for the rose gold (my favorite gold) but the silver looked so great against my skin.
Along with Marti, Cindy also introduced me to J. Crew's costume jewelry. We went in yesterday and my window shopping translated into a real haul. I got the following pieces--a gold look chain bracelet with hanging circle/open square charms studded with rhinestones on one side (the 1950s/60s charm bracelet look I so love), a pair of rhinestone earrings in a clear crystal (the ones pictured below, but in the clear color--they are sold out online), and a double rope of clear rhinestones tied up with a black grosgrain ribbon.


They make me feel pretty, refract light to my face and will work with anything. Cindy bought two amazing statement necklaces with big rhinestone crystals--her eye is flawless for accessories as well as clothing.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Loving Helen

There are some Mayle items I always overlook. Pretty but somehow the weather or occasion isn't right. Or simply they fly under the radar. Until yesterday, Helen was one. I loved it in the holiday look book, but I bought it during the coldest weather so it remained on its hanger. Then it was too wet, too humid and too warm to wear. In some ways, it was the forgotten piece. I hadn't had it on for so long that I forgot why I liked it (other than the color--I love orange and it is a far easier color to wear than most people think).

Yesterday, I decided to wear it with jeans to teach. Lo and behold, it's a beautiful piece. Another reminder of why you have to try Mayle on, Helen drapes beautifully and has these amazing gathered 3/4 sleeves. It's not corporate, as I felt, but figure flattering with its high cinched waist. It will now be a worn far more often--it's versatile, pretty, detailed and another great Mayle find.