So - which ass-kicking boots do I buy?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

After the Fit Flops of Summer are Gone

As much as I love, love, love summer (the beach, the smell of sunblock, the heat's making the consumption of ice cream damn near a necessity), I must acknowledge that there is already a certain crispness in the air, and with the first of the 400 fall holidays already behind us, there is no denying that fall is pulling into the station. And with fall come two lovely, beautiful, wonderful things - outerwear and.... boots. That's right, boots. Boots, boots boots!

Let's say a person has a generous number of boots already, but, let's just say, she doesn't have any casual, to-the-knee, ass-kicking boots. Well, not in brown. And let's say she has assembled an assortment of coupons, rewards cards and Amex gift cards, which when combined would bring the cost of these hypothetical boots down to a mere $10, if that much. Which boots should she buy? Should she buy the lace-up, Lucky pair, that tells her fellow subway riders she is not joking about her strict enforcement of the one-ass-one-seat rule? Or should she buy the pre-distressed, lug-soled Clarks that make a similar statement, but with a hint more granola, but for sure not even a whiff of that acrid patchouli oil?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Make Your Own Lucky

My Lucky abandonment is complete. I am now faced with post-traumatic store syndrome, brought on by the homogenization and boringification of my favorite retail outlet. I attend twelve step meetings and have an official, turquoise-adorned, flowy-sleeved sponsor. But between the meetings and texts to my sponsor, I find myself trawling sites and stores in search of that same feeling that Lucky used to bring me.

My latest find is this $25 blouse. I liked the adorned smockiness and the gauzy feel. For all that, though, it is a weak substitute. It is the methodone of boho blouses.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Lucky is no longer. Oh, sure, it exists, but it is no longer Lucky. Now it's some other store entirely. Some store selling basic, Gap-like tanks in a variety of bright hues, tied up with twine in cute little bundles, at two-fer prices. The store is clean and bright and has big displays with pictures of freshly scrubbed 18-year-olds wearing boring American Eagley clothes. Who wants that? Maybe freshly scrubbed 18-year olds. Who need multiple tanks.

As you can imagine, this situation has inspired quite the identity crisis in me. Where will I buy my Stevie Nicks floor length velvet coats, for hanging out with the stoners? Who will crochet me granny-square scarves? Am I to cobble my own giant clogs with studs or pre-distresesd motorcycle boots (for wearing on the subway, of course)? These are some of the very many questions Lucky, and its new parent company, Liz Claiborne, have left me with.

I conferred with the two managers (who no doubt were preparing to act as bouncers, should I reach the hysterical state I seemed to be working myself into) at my local Lucky store, and learned that, for now, the accessories were still from the old, Gene-and-Barry, long-live-rock-n-roll Lucky. So, I bought these $54 shoes as one last hurrah (and possibly some earrings... and a set of bracelets). With a 5 inch heel they make me hugely tall and vaguely menacing. Should be very helpful the next time I run into Tim Gunn in my neighborhood and proceed to take him to task for destroying my store. No doubt I'll be asked to remove them for the mugshot and/or visit with the court-appointed psychiatrist (I do hope it's B.D. Wong).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain, Rain, Stay All Day

You know what would be so freaking awesome? If it would just rain some more. Truly, it just has not rained enough this spring. For sure my feet have perma-sog, but that is a small price to pay for the joy that is chilly, wet overcast days, weeks on end. I honestly hope that we never see a sunny warm day ever again, and I commemorate this desire with a $21 floral blouse covered in flowers, all in varying shades of glorious gray.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gift Me

It is my birthday month (yes, I get a whole month, I am just that awesome), and all my good friends are helping me celebrate! My pal Mr. Loehmann, my buddy Ms. Sephora, the friendly Mr. B. Republic and my new BFF, Dr. Antrhopologie.

OK, I do have actual human friends and family and they may remember my birthday, but they typically do not offer me a set of lip glosses, $15 of free merchandise, or clothing at an additional 15% off. Or this awesome glazed leather bag for $85, courtesy of my aforementioned BFF. Of course, a true BFF would figure out just where I am supposed to store all these bags. And she would not say, "wherever the frick you're gonna store all those boots, you boot-n-bag-crazy fool." Becuase that is not a nice way to talk to the birthday girl.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's Warm! It's Warm! It's Warm!

Love this for $19.50, under a suit, or with jeans. Of course, I prefer the Kansas version,

but you may prefer the Oz version, in technicolor.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Secret Vice

I have a thing for belts. It is not unlike my thing for boots. Well, it is unlike my thing for boots in that my belt obsession is more easily hidden, as I can fit all the belts on a belt hanger in my closet. Here is the one I am most recently obsessing over, $14 with a coupon. Perfect for one of those 'it's-a-shirt, no-it's-a-dress, no-it's-a-shirt' shirts. Or dress.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

These $30 knee-high boots are calling to me. "Jayn, won't you take us in? We have never had a real home to call our own. And we just know we would love it with you With all the other boots you have already taken in, every day would be like a party!"

But, alas, I must respond, "O, beautiful, brown boots of a height I do not yet possess, I just cannot take you in. I have sworn an oath to leave space in my room for a bed."

Being so cruel to those innocent, and inexpensive, boots has left me feeling like a true bitch. Which is to say, I feel like myself. And so I very much want to welcome this $15 'Bitch is the New Black' shirt to my overcrowded middle drawer. Except the two family members in their formative years can both read, and will without a doubt shout the text on this shirt far and wide, causing Child Services to remove them from my custody. And as much as that would provide me with a well-deserved break, the whole episode would, in the end, cost me dearly child in psychologist fees. And so I leave this item behind as well.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chain Gang

It feels like all I do lately is work. Well, there has been some cookie-eating, especially yesterday. And it would be a baldfaced lie to claim there was no hot chocolate-drinking. And, of course, there is the diet coke-drinking, but that is more of an intravenous drip and less of an activity.

To mark my constant feeling that I am a prisoner on a chain gang, I am considering these $50 boots. The connection is a bit of a stretch, I know, but when I work so hard, I feel I deserve gifts. And who best knows what those gifts should be? I do, I do!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fear of a Blue Jacket

Everyone has irrational fears. Well, everyone else has irrational fears - mine are all entirely reasonable. Wearing patterns: what am I a clown? Loose teeth: OMG, too scary to even contemplate. Speaking in front of large groups: I might get ridiculed by a significant partner, after presenting at a meeting of firm leaders, who claimed I was reading too much off my notes, hypothetically of course. Lastly, blue: what shoes do you wear, can you wear jeans, what matches it - help me!!

If you are immune to the terror that is the color blue, you should purchase this $17.50 jacket. It comes in both Scary Blue and Blue Fright. Take your pick, just leave me out of it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Scarf it down

We get it, Winter. You've been feeling a little overlooked, what with all the talk about global warming, and you just want to remind us all you're still here. Well, let me assure you that with the third blizzard, you really got your point across. We remember you. You can stop now.

But just in case you don't, I've shelled out $3 bucks for this scarf.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shoe Me the Money

I may have mentioned this before, but periodically Amanda needs to remind me that I am not, in fact, Sheryl Crow. You would think the lack of royalty checks would tip me off. I'm not that clever. But clever enough to find these for $35.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Title with Vest Pun

One day last week I watched the Today show - well, I watched the Today show every day last week, and every day of the last 26,000 weeks as well - and they did an instructional piece on layering. They took their usual somebody-please-give-me-a-sandwich model and put her in a reasonable top and, alas, leggings. Then they 'layered' roughly 73 other items on top, including a vest, a belt, a cardigan, a parka, a down vest, a hat and a reasonably small blue plastic child's chair. Oddly, by the end of the lesson, this 83 1/2 pound woman looked laughably puffy and wide. So much so that the show's host started to giggle. Thank you , Today Show; lesson learned!

That said, I think this little 'boyfriend' vest (does your actual boyfriend wear a vest with a shirred back panel?) over a tailored blouse and with a skinny belt would make an attractive ensemble - with actual pants of course.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back in Black

That trip into the wide world of color was scary. Admittedly, both items were the same color... Nonetheless, I must retreat back to the warm comfort of black. Sometimes pairing it with the shocking contrast of gray, you know, when I am feeling full-on cuh-razy.

This dress at's incredibly painful-to-use site is only $17.50 with their 30% off coupon.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I spent my entire childhood in purple. That means that in nursery I wore a purple pinafore and rode a sparkly purple tricycle. I spent elementary school playing in my purple-flowered room, in a purple dress, or riding my purple bicycle, wearing a lavender windbreaker . And because my childhood, apparently, continued straight through high school, I had a purple curling iron, purple lipstick, purple moccasins, and, so sorry to say, purple heart-shaped glasses that, even now, I cannot convince myself were ironic. Purple sweater, purple eyeshadow, purple earrings (again with the hearts). It really is no surprise that I spent my twenties in various shades of black.

But lately I have come around to the idea of a touch of purple as an accent color, to the notion that one can enjoy wearing a color without extending the theme to include mascara (you didn't think I missed out on plum mascara, did you?) and eyeliner, (lavender, on the inside of the bottom lid, of course). Here are two awesome purple suede purses, for $15 and $80. Either is big enough to slip in a small purple notebook and purple glitter paint pen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Legend of Brooklyn

Once upon a time, many years ago, as far back as the late '90s, in a faraway village called East, there lived a group of twentysomethings. They were all recent college graduates, some from Pratt, some from NYU -- though the latter would be quick to tell you they were in Gallatin, and all bankrolled by parents they liked to pretend they didn't have.

They were happy in their little Village, and rarely left, until one fateful day, when the Villagers found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. You see, unsuccessful dotcom start-ups pretty much ran themselves, they couldn't watch TV because they all pretended they hated TV, and none of the Villagers was due to get a new face tattoo anytime soon. So they decided to go on adventure.

"Where should we go?" cried one, as she fiddled with her lip ring.

"We could go West," suggested another.

"No, not West! West is the Land of the Men Who Are Gay Unironically. We cannot go west," explained the first.

"How about South?" offered a third Villager.

"No, not South! I had Chinese for lunch," said another, running his hand through his dreadlocks.

They all knew they could not go North, for they were afraid of North. North was the domain of the People in Suits, and the Villagers were terrified the People in Suits would trap them in their cubicle dungeons. So that left only . . .

"East? How can we go East? East is only water!" wondered the Villagers.

"Then we will CROSS the water!" declared the bravest of them all.

So they all put on their tightest jeans, and packed some kimchi for the road, and departed on their journey to cross the water, which they did via the L train.

And lo and behold, once they made it to the other side, they were rewarded for their bravery and cunning, for the found a land of riches, a magical land no one had ever seen before. There were dive bars as far as the eye could see, vintage clothing shops on every corner, and not a single Starbucks. Indie music filled the air, PBR flowed like water, and a faint scent of pot tingled their noses.

The Villagers cried in delight, and hugged each other -- but, you know, ironically. "We have discovered the promised land! A land no one has ever seen before! We will call it Brooklyn. Here we can dwell, and open pottery studios!"

And so they stayed, and they live there to this day.

Commemorate their historic journey with this t-shirt, $16 through Sunday.

Fold Me Up, Fold Me Down

I love this 'origami' cardigan. The neck is adorned with precisely my type of origami - meaning origami done by those short on skill and patience. The neck is covered in squares with each corner folded down precisely once. But so cute, right?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tank for the Memories

I am supposed to be in Florida right now. Right now, do you hear me?! I am not. I am instead martyring myself for my job. A big, giant February deadline looms, and I have to pretend to be an adult and stick around and see that all the work gets done and possibly even do some of it myself. But every time I put on another layer, or see my hat-head and bright red nose in the mirror after I come in from the cold, I just want to cry.

So, I am going to change into this $14 Lucky tank that reminds me so much of every childhood summer I spent in Delray Beach, home of shuffleboard and clubhouse card games. I will turn up the heat fill the the bathroom with steam and pretend to work on that elusive perfect tan that anybody else with my utter lack of melanin would have given up on at around age 7 but that I somehow still think is almost within reach.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cord-ally Yours

Boots, sports bottles, thermals... what do these things have in common? They are all things I liked so much, I went out and bought more and more and more of them; if one is good, 23 are even better. More is more. At this point I am either a compulsive or a 'collector.' Let's go with the latter term.
Sadly, cords fall into the collectibles category. Admittedly it took 4 or 5 years, but now I need never buy myself another pair. But perhaps you have not discovered the cord. If you, like me, resist dressing up on your days off, then you, like me, will appreciate how a good pair of cords can take over where jeans leave off. And, at only $17, these are bootcut, allowing room for your collectible boots, and possibly a sports bottle or two.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Only a Hobo...

... and only $20. (Plus, it gave me the opportunity to reference vintage Rod Stewart.)
The bag comes in blue and beige, but obviously black is the way to go. I mean, blue? What am I? A clown?
And now Amanda is now thinking, "If you only were - then you could entertain at bat mitzvahs."