Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shopping Hodgepodge

Just yesterday I thought to myself, "I really shouldn't be doing any more shopping for a while." But then I walked by the kitchenware store Broadway Panhandler and saw, in the window, this dish towel with a photo of some 50's housewives and the text, "You mean shopping for more useless crap isn't the meaning of life?" And that was enough to convince me to keep spending money I don't have on things I don't need. Yay!

Incidentally, what do you guys think of that category of Retro Bitch kitschy stuff, like coasters and aprons and post-its and whatnot? Sometimes I think they're cute, but a part of me thinks it's trying so hard to be subversive that they're lame. They're not as bad as those t-shirts that say something like, "Mrs. Pitt" or whatever, but they're in the same general category of ickiness.
But anyway, the dish towel convinced me to keep buying things in order to find inner happiness. Danielle and I went to the flea market on Greenwich Avenue in the West Village, recently mentioned in the NYTimes. Since it just opened for the season a week or two ago, and we went pretty early in the morning, there weren't a ton of vendors there. But there was a guy selling rings with typewriter keys and earrings with Scrabble tiles, plus a really sweet old pocket watch that I might have been tempted to buy if it actually kept time. There was also a Polish woman selling vintage jewelry who told us about fifty times that the gemstones were from Italy, and Danielle got a sweet cocktail ring with an amber stone. But the best stand belonged to this woman selling delicate, understated gold and silver jewelry. I should have gotten her name, but if you go, look for a middle-aged Black woman selling gorgeous jewelry at really good prices, with a sign that says "Ask prices! Tags equal ugly jewelry." I got a bracelet with little silver ball beads strung unto about a dozen silver chains all twisted together. It kind of reminds me of tinsel, but not in a tacky way. I'm very excited to wear it, although it's sort of a bitch to try and put it on by myself. That's why I need a roommate, for help fastening bracelets and doing zippers.

After exhausting the flea markets stands (I think we'll go back in a month or so, and I'll try and remember to take photos), we split up and I headed back home. But I couldn't resist stopping into Banana Republic, especially since they had those giant "SALE!" signs up in the windows. But really, there wasn't that much stuff on sale. Working retail, I learned that the clothes on the designated sale wall aren't necessarily more discounted than clothes elsewhere, they just don't fit into anywhere else, and the sale window displays are more about not having displays relating to the new merchandise than anything inside the store. But anyway, I went inside and was browsing without any intention of buying, or even trying things on. But then I saw this cotton short trench coat, except electric blue instead of green and on sale instead of $148. I'm on a quest for a fun spring coat, but this wasn't quite it. There was something odd happening the shoulders and neck, so I couldn't buy it. But once I decided to try it on, that gave me leave to go grab a bunch of other things to try on, just to justify taking my clothes off. Although, I guess you could argue that I didn't need to take many pieces of clothing off to try on a coat, but... whatever. I tried on this long-sleeve sweetheart neckline top, $14.99, which is about the same color as the jacket. This is a cute top, and I was really close to buying it, but at the last second I stopped and thought, "this is going to be one of those tops that hangs in my closets for months at a time, and I'll see it and think, 'this is cute, I should wear it more often,' but then not actually ever wear it." So good for me for having the foresight to not buy something I'll like but not love.

I also tried on this golden cap-sleeve silk dress, $109.99, which I believe I included in my post about yellow. I especially wanted to try it on because Blake Lively is wearing it in last month's issue of Vogue, although you can't really see it in the photo. Also, has anyone else noticed how, outside of Gossip Girl, Blake Lively is just as hot as Serena but Leighton Meester isn't nearly as hot as Blair? I mean, she's still a totally cute girl, but she's lacking that special quality that makes Blair the center of every scene. Maybe it's the hair? Although, Leighton's t-strap shoes in this photo are the hottest of the hot.

So anyway, the dress, which really should come with the belt but unfortunately doesn't. It's a good dress, but not perfect. First, the fabric seemed a little worn, and there were little runs in the silk in the skirt. Sure, I bet a ton of people have tried on this one dress in the last two months, but it should be able to hold up a little better. And second, there was something weird going on with the back, where if I stood up straight with my shoulders back the fabric would gap out, like they made it half an inch too broad. It was very odd. I might be tempted to buy it if it gets more deeply discounted, but until it's under a hundred I just can't.

So BR was a bust in the clothing department, but I did get a sweet bracelet. I like the cuff shape because it's way easier to get on, plus I have relatively big wrists so it fits nicely and won't fall off. It's pretty different from all my other jewelry, but it's such a statement piece that trying to match it with earrings or a necklace is unnecessary. It's enough jewelry for a whole outfit. I also like that it's thick enough to cover up the red string I have tied around my left wrist and I never take off because I know it'll never go back on. Anyway, this bracelet is $35.99 in stores, but no longer available online. Sorry for the amateur photography in this post, by the way. I now have a whole new respect for jewelry photographers, because trying to figure out how to get enough light without causing a glare is tough.

So my last stop on yesterday's mini-shopping tour was Payless Shoes, which can be so hit or miss that I don't stop there that often. But I'm glad I did yesterday, because the second I saw the Anatole Pump by Lela Rose, $27.99, I knew I was going to buy it. You could wear these shoes just about anywhere: the office, to go out, even to class up a pair of jeans. It's a totally timeless shape, and the polka dot prints gives it a little bit of whimsy. Now that I have these shoes I'll have no excuse to wear flats (although, last night I did a lot of walking in heels and I got this really gross blood blister on the ball of my left foot, so that's maybe a really good excuse to wear flats. Was this an overshare? Are you totally grossed out? Just be glad I didn't take a photo and post it, because I was really tempted).

I didn't buy these Captain Boat Mocs, $16.99, but I was horribly tempted. They obviously fit with my fantasy always-on-a-yacht style, and could be cute summer shoes when my pedicure is looking a bit too worn for flip flops. But I just couldn't convince myself that I wouldn't look at these in three months and think, "Why in the world did I buy these stupid shoes?" If they were real leather (and still miraculously $16.99), I might have been more willing to give them a chance, but for now I'm saying no.

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