Saturday, July 31, 2010

More J. Crew

I received my J. Crew order a couple of days ago. I have to photograph the items to show how they look in real life, but I am very happy. The dress is a more muted purple (definitely purple rather than fuschia) which is prettier than the color online. It's lined in cotton and is going to be a great summer addition. My one quibble is that I wish it was a little wider at the bottom but I'll still get a lot of use out of it. I wish I had held off ordering it as it dropped in price $10 (which would admittedly have only saved me $7) before the 30% off sale ended. The skirt was as pretty as I remembered. It fits although I may have sized up to a L just to have it be a little more roomy. Of course, then I'd run the risk of it falling off. In addition, I'm doing yoga a lot and may very well be a size smaller in time. I also tend to buy clothing a size too big for no particular reason. Sometimes, as with Banda, this backfires as the dress runs really large.

Later in the week--the day after I thought the J. Crew 30% discount had ended, I found some new sale items I wanted. I was pleased to see that the sale was ongoing, and purchased the following, which should arrive early next week.

I got this in a medium for about $65 (with the 30% discount). I was thrilled as I've wanted it since I first saw it but was patiently waiting for it to go on sale. It then sold out but even though more were ordered, I never thought it would go on sale. I know Marti gets great use from hers and I'm sure this will be a favourite. The gold color is still full price, btw.

This t-shirt was just $20 with the additional 30% discount. It was another item I'd contemplated buying when I saw it in the store ($39 originally) but I was on the fence. Not any more. The stripes fade in one corner as though the shirt has been well worn which I actually like. I think I'll also wear this one a lot and both items will work together well and be basics that combine nicely with other items in my closet.

I also found the following skirt in the Flatiron J. Crew store. I'd wanted it when I first saw it but it was $139 which was a little high when the sales tax is factored in. Then it was reduced to $79.99, Diane Kruger was photographed in it and it sold out. I found one online for $49 with 30% discount but it was size 10--too big. It also sold before I could go back and put it in my cart. The one I found was a 6 and fit perfectly and with the 30% store discount, was just over $30.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mayle for Sale

I still have to photograph my Mayle and the other items I have for sale. These are from Caroline (complicatedskirt[at]gmail[dot]com). If you have any questions about the items or are interested, please let her know.

Mayle belt, size S, $65.

Reedition Mitsu, size 4, very rare, sold out immediately. Fabric is a beautiful brocade (I'd have snapped this one up if it was in my size). Would fit 4-6.  Complete with original tag, $250.

 Silk camisole, size 4 (would also fit a 6), Spring 2008. Worn a couple of times and freshly dry cleaned (photo has some digital noise). Coveted and rare blue colorway. $150.

 Betto dress, resort 08, size S,  $125.

Ebba dress, pre-fall 08, size 6 (would also fit a size 4), $110.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coming soon--some Mayle for sale

It has been a while since I've offered any Mayle for sale on my blog. A friend is cleaning out some items from their closet and I'll be posting them here as soon as I have confirmation on prices. As well as two items from the last collections, she's got a summer 08 top for sale, a reedition Mitsu in a brocade fabric and a belt from (I think) SS 07.

I also have a couple of pieces that have been in my closet that I will probably never end up wearing because they don't fit me quite the way I'd like--as well as a size 2 Pilar in ivory that Evan bought by mistake (obviously it has never been worn as I could never fit into it). I'll also post photos of these.

I've also got other items that have never been worn as they either don't fit or never fitted my lifestyle. These include Lyell pieces, Prada shoes and the Rachel Comey dress I got at the recent sample sale. I'm going to post them here first and if there are no takers, send them off to ebay or INA.

Another Splurge

Today is the last day of's additional 30% off already marked down items (use code Extra30 at checkout, something I nearly forgot to do). There were several items I wanted but because of my J. Crew splurge and the 50% discount on Criterion Collection dvds at Barnes and Noble, I really couldn't justify more than one item--even one was pushing it. So I slept on it last night, chatted to Cindy and Joyce and decided to get the Rachel Comey sailor dress that I have coveted since seeing it in Coclico earlier this summer. The print has a lovely sheen, I love nautically inspired items and the sleeves and back are irresistible. Let's hope it fits! Given how small this season's Rachel Comey has been running, it was just as well that only the size L was left. At $154 (down from $440), I think this was an acceptable splurge, and one that I can use birthday money to cover.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Old Mayle

I've had little luck with Mayle finds recently--nothing much has been on ebay and I was outbid for two dresses on my covet list recently. One exception seems to be footwear. I got a great pair of wedge boots from Odessa in Portland (photos to come) earlier in June, and a month before that, I found these beauties when I was shopping with Marti. I love the green--one of my favorite shades for summer. As you can see, they were never even worn.

J. Crew Sale Splurges

I've been a relatively restrained shopper of late. Partly this is because I have had other expenses--like buying a new Macbook Pro--and partly because there has been nothing to buy. I missed a couple of semi-promising sample sales while my parents were here, but in general I feel the collections this summer have been relatively uninspiring and the discounts haven't been great enough to inspire me to spend. Like my parents, I ended up spending at that old stand-by, J. Crew.

Yesterday, I checked out their online sale and bought the following:

It was originally $399 as it's J. Crew collection. I saw this in the Flatiron shop and lovingly touched it even though I couldn't afford it then. At $199 with 30% off it was a far more reasonable $135-ish plus tax. I love sequinned items and this seemed the perfect combination for a skirt. I can see myself wearing it to brighten up a fall or early winter day with a cashmere sweater, for an early fall day with a Mayle top (maybe Clothilde or Aurelie) or even teaming it with a loose t-shirt for late summer sparkle.

I also got the following dress for $54--a combination that also gave me free shipping. It's cotton so it will be cool and I thought the back was great. In the fall, I plan to wear it with cardigans and bright tights.

Mum and Dad's visit

The last two weeks flew by in a blur. I had a great time with my parents, spending my time eating, talking, swimming, shopping, walking, sight-seeing and laughing. It was great to see them, although obviously sad when I saw the backs of their heads disappear as they merged into the crowds in departures at JFK while I stood behind the security gates.

Alas, we had horribly hot and humid weather while they were here, but my Mum managed like a trooper while the heat did affect my dad on a couple of occasions. Still, most parents wouldn't have had the stamina to do what they did. My mother and I swam laps in their hotel pool every morning, capping out at 164 laps each on Friday (about 90 laps of a standard Olympic size pool). Even though I didn't get to yoga, I gave myself a workout.

During their holiday, we went to see the New York Philharmonic at Prospect Park, walked through Central Park, went to the Acquarium  at Coney Island and walked down the boardwalk and on the beach, walked the High Line, wandered around Cobble Hill, the Upper West Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, the Flatiron District, Soho, Nolita, Tribeca, the Meatpacking District and the West Village, hid from the heat in Rockefeller Center, Time Warner Center/Columbus Circle and Chelsea Market and went out to Long Island to meet with Evan's family. We shopped quite a bit--J. Crew proving to be a favourite with both parents: Mum got eight t-shirts, including three 3/4 sleeved striped tops and Dad found two pairs of trousers, two shirts and a hat. Mum also found a cardigan at Anthropologie and Dad got four shirts from Century 21.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Total Insanity

I'm not going to summarize all the events of this weekend--partly because it would sound like a bad episode of Beverly Hills 90210/original Melrose Place/Gossip Girl--but let it suffice to say that some bad and crazy things have happened to people very close to me of late and this weekend represented an acceleration of that trend. I also don't want to revisit it or commemorate it further.

This week starts on its own hectic note. I've had to make some adjustments to next semester's teaching and hope I can keep up with my crazy schedule. At least I'm working at a time when many don't have that privilege. I'm also trying to get as much reading as possible finished before Mum and Dad arrive on Wednesday. I'd like to do some writing too but that looks increasingly distant. Anybody who thinks faculty get summers off have no idea how insane they are for most of us--how much work we have to squeeze into these months. In many respects, I think it is the busiest time of year.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


It hasn't been blogging weather recently--or weather for anything. It hit 103 in Central Park today and I think our apt. is about as hot. I've been inside the bedroom (the air conditioned room without internet) reading for my new book and going to yoga in the evenings.

Hopefully it will cool down tomorrow. My parents arrive next week and I'd like it to be perfect then (but obviously I can't control the weather). If heat now is the price for perfect later, I'll take it.

The heat has forced me to search my closet for suitable items. Silk is out, as is anything clingy or heavy. So far. the items in top rotation are my Vain and Vapid Leo dress (cotton, loose cut, light color and longer sleeves make it a perfect item to fight sunburn and the heat), a grey and ivory striped loose cut dress from the Gap's brief European line a couple of years back and my Lyell linen/cotton print romper from last year. Tomorrow perhaps I'll wear my Mayle Cecilia dress or possibly one of the cotton or linen dresses Phillip Lin designed for Uniqlo a few years back--which are far better than any recent designer-chain store collaborations.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday Weekend

I had hoped to work and play this weekend but in trying to move files from my old Powerbook to my new MacBook Pro I managed to destroy my copy of Microsoft Office. I was using dropbox which is a great program, but I forgot that it doesn't copy files, just moves them. This was a fatal error. In moving my Office X, I think the program files were converted to documents and then wouldn't convert back. This also meant my original program was destroyed, so instead of having to work on my old laptop before my new Microsoft Office arrives in the mail this week, I have a new laptop with no word processing program... Of course this would happen when the library is shut, the tech staff at NYU are on vacation, etc.

I hope to do some reading today but the nearly 100 degree weather isn't the most amenable to careful critical thought. We're in a crazy heatwave right now--temperatures will probably hit 100 tomorrow in NYC and in the midst of it all, our apartment will be without water on July 8. I suspect I'll be in the library all day where it is cool and relatively quiet.

As for our weekend, I did both yoga and pilates (and now feel the muscles in my lower abdomen more than ever before), so I feel quite virtuous. If nothing else, I am curious to see if I lose a dress size and develop a leaner body over the next month or two. Saturday, Evan and I went to Film Forum to see the Phil Spector documentary. It was really interesting--it was an episode of the BBC2 arts program, Arena, which again made me realize just how much better BBC programming can be than most US network offerings. Really HBO, and possibly Showtime, are the only channels that can compare--although Mad Men is a work of genius, it's not like AMC is regularly turning out programming at this level.

Yesterday we headed out to Governor's Island to see a free concert--She and Him. Alas, the organizers decided to put it in a small, cordoned off area of the island (rather than on one of the parks) and it was full long before we got there. Many more people had turned up than could be accommodated (bad planning on the organizers part) and the stage was so located that you could neither see anything nor hear much unless you were in that small area. Still, it was possibly for the best--with 95 temps and very little in the way of shade, we would have been crowded and exposed to the worst of the sun. As it was, Evan and I wandered around looking into the buildings, exploring parts of the island and finding some shade before standing in a really long line so he could buy some ice tea (again, they had no idea how popular the island would be in the summer) before sitting in the shade, reading the NY Times and playing with my new ipod touch. It was fun and restful--I could have stayed longer but the last ferry was at 7 so we left at 6 to avoid the crowds leaving the concert.

Unfortunately, the fireworks were on the Hudson for a second year running so there was no way we could see them--I love fireworks and think it was highly misguided to remove them from the East River even if it was only for two years. At least split the difference so Brooklyn and Queens can see them.

I'm not sure what I'm doing today. I have to do some reading and some work--even if I can't write anything yet. But hopefully this evening as it cools down slightly I'll be able to get outside and maybe see a movie with friends.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sample Sales

As I already hinted, yesterday's Rachel Comey sample sale was something of a waste of time. I didn't go when it first opened because the prices were so high and early reports from Caroline (who went at 11) were that it was a waste of time. Evidently everything ran really small, was priced very high (dresses around $250) and most of the stock was in strange prints. Hoping for reductions, I went at 2 to find that the sale had been picked almost bare. Like the other people there, I wandered around hoping that something was hidden, but the empty racks didn't hide much. One or two styles of shoes predominated, almost all in size 7 and almost all ugly--I swear the green leopard print pumps had been there last summer. There were four racks of old stock ($100 per item or 3 for $250) that were fairly densely packed and two near empty racks where this summer's items had hung. If it wasn't for the labels, you could have thought you were in a thrift store, such was the caliber of what was remaining. I found two pieces of note--the dress I bought (which I was only able to buy because another girl was considering purchasing it and finally decided against it) and a top in the same fabric.

I was surprised because the prices were so high--many items were available cheaper on line or in stores--so I presumed nothing would sell. I guess I ignored the psychological appeal of the sample sale--the sense that these have to be the best bargains and even the compulsion to spend on something such events produce. I'm sure in the heat of the morning many people felt if they didn't buy now, the dress, shoe, bag would be gone forever.

Of course, I fell victim to this compulsion too--see my earlier post. A perfectly lovely dress, yes, but one that isn't right for my figure. But it was more me than the ill fitting pants, scratchy cardigans or bizarre red strapless dress that may have been my other options. In that light, it was a dream find. At home, next to the clothes that actually fit me, not so much.

I'm a little annoyed with myself as I thought I'd learned the lesson of sample sales many years ago. When I first moved to NYC, I went to as many sales as I could and generally bought something that seemed a great deal at the time. DVF and Rebecca Taylor dresses, Autumn Cashmere cardigans, Frost French frocks, Delman flats, Twinkle knits--you name I bought it, along with a scattering of no name independent label items from designers long forgotten. Sure, a few such items were gold, but most were not me, went unworn and were donated to friends or charity stores. Some still hang in my closet waiting for something, some day when they suddenly become right. Add to this my Loehmanns, Century 21 and Barneys/Bergdorfs/Saks "finds" that weren't, and you have a lot of wasted money. Today, I know myself better--or so I thought--but I'm embarrassed to say I haven't learned my lesson as yesterday's pretty, but not me, dress attests. I think the lack of choice and the high prices of the new RC actually helped steer me into this dress--it was a deal, the prettiest thing left, but I would have been far better off saving the $100 towards a dress that actually works on me.