Eva says, “If not now … When?”

Rosetta Grey shoes – all of Eva’s favorite things: good height, good leather, retro style

I met Eva at work and was struck by her original fashion sense and creative style. But Eva and I really bonded when we discovered our mutual love of Loehmann’s and why we miss it now that it is gone. I understand so well how Eva feels about her clothes and the personal relationship she has with each and every piece. And I am familiar with Eva’s story about how her love of fashion started. Here is Eva …

My love of fashion started when I was a little girl, shopping with my mom. I learned everything about the art of shopping for a good sale from her. Of course, there was an effort to be fiscally responsible but shopping for a good buy was so much more; it was about learning to shop creatively. I grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, home to the original Daffy’s  discount store. My mom and I would shop at Daffy’s and then head over to the Shoe Town across the street – that was our thing. We always had a time limit to our shopping day and I learned how to have fun with shopping and to be creative within constraints, something that is a big part of me to this day …

I grew up in a school environment which required me to dress with certain restrictions. I can trace my love of shoes to this time in my life. Shoes and accessories were the elements that helped me to stand out and step away from the conformity and simply, be myself. When I went to college and experienced total fashion freedom that was the moment I fell in love with vintage shopping – and learned how to fully express my individuality …

My husband calls me the vulture when I shop: I circle with great patience and wait for the right moment to make my purchase. It is really the thrill of the hunt for me. Continue reading

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Why We Miss Loehmann’s!

It happened the other morning – I woke up at 5:00 am with a conversation in my head: Why We Miss Loehmann’s. My friend Kate sat down with me to discuss why some of us cannot seem to replace this one-of-a-kind shopping experience …

Filmed and Edited by Eric Guarino; Shot on location at Mondo Summit

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Leopard and Leaves

Optimized-P1050547Optimized-P1050549Leopard is always in season but I find myself pulling out my leopard pieces especially now, as temperatures cool and I need strong accents to highlight the black. If you haven’t purchased a leopard accessory in a while, try now. Start small – a pair of shoes, a belt, a blouse – these pack a big fashion punch.

Shoes, Diane von Furstenberg; pants, Loehmann’s

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A Fashion Show for my Mom

photo 2-2

I spent my younger days shopping with my mom. In fact, I spent the sweetest part of my life with her next to me in the dressing room. As soon as I hit my teens she would take me to shop for myself; I remember visiting jeans stores where I would try on colorful bell-bottoms and Huckapoo shirts (it was the 70’s!). My mom would also take me to her favorite shopping spots; stores like the then-small boutique, Ann Taylor, where I learned more about young designers and style and dressing from the most stylish woman I have ever known. Continue reading

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The Skull’s The Limit

A close up view of my favorite skull sweater -  Photo Credit Lisa Reznik

A close up from my favorite skull sweater – Photo Credit Lisa Reznik

Every October I pull out my skull sweater. I would wear it to sleep if I could – I love it that much. I can’t tell you why, exactly, but I am kooky for skulls. I purchased it several years ago at my all-time favorite place, Loehmann’s. Sad sigh. Does anyone else miss Loehmann’s as much as I do – the original Loehmann’s with the Back Room and the one-for-all dressing rooms? But I digress! Wishing everyone a very Happy Halloween!

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Do I really have to shop for it?

My podcast returns! Photo credit, Patricia Saxton

Photo credit, Patricia Saxton

I really dislike shopping for clothes. Huh? You mean, you write about fashion and you don’t like to shop? Absolutely, don’t. like. to. shop. Department stores make me dizzy, the lights bring out my claustrophobia and I can’t see the clothes clearly after a while. In fact, I have developed an attitude of just get in, get out every time I go to a department store. Online shopping is easier but filled with uncertainty because you aren’t able to touch and feel and see the clothes until they show up at your door, and frankly – half of everything I purchase online has to go back. The most bearable way for me to shop is at consignment or vintage stores because that is less about feeling the anxiety and pressure to find something, and more about discovering new treasures. That is perhaps why I loved Loehmann’s so much; shopping there was more like a treasure-hunt. And there was something so wonderful about the large, dressing rooms filled with women encouraging you and supporting you. Everyone deserves to hear: “Honey, you should really buy that. It looks nice on you!” But sadly, the original Loehmann’s is gone and you know how I feel about the online version of Loehmann’s

No, I love how the right clothes make you feel and love expressing myself through clothes and color and texture, but I do not love to shop for them. And therein lies the problem. In fact, every time I need to buy something, I kind of break out in a sweat, and ask myself, ‘do I really have to shop for it?’

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In search of the Color of The Year

Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.”
Leatrice Eiseman
Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®

Each year Pantone selects a color to inspire and provide a catalyst for creative spark. Last week, Pantone selected its Color of the Year: Marsala, an earthy red-brown, like the red wine itself. I hesitated at first because the red I favor is more of a clear, bright apple-red but I kept an open mind as I went in search of a richer, deeper red – to see if it has a place in my wardrobe.

I searched clothing: P1050408P1050430P1050413

I searched accessories:P1050457

I searched outerwear:P1050424

I searched underwear:P1050433

I even searched Chanel:P1050454 Continue reading

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My Loehmann’s Woe: Where did you go?

Play
Loehmann's, January 10, 2014 - liquidation has begun ...
The old Loehmann’s; an actual store
The New Loehmann's - online-only shopping destination
The New Loehmann’s; an online-only shopping destination

In the past few days, my mailbox has been filling up with messages from Loehmann’s. You heard me: Loehmann’s. At first, I was thrilled. Could it be that it had all been a bad dream, and Loehmann’s never really went out of business? Was it all in my head? The thrill quickly turned to extreme disappointment, when I reviewed the advertisements more closely and saw that they read: The New Loehmann’s. In the back of my mind, I remember that this was coming: the new online-only version of Loehmann’s. And yes, I remember saying to myself then, and here on the blog as well, that an online only Loehmann’s is a contradiction. It does not make sense. Because the magic of Loehmann’s was in the store itself; in the aisles and in the dressing rooms. Especially, the dressing rooms. Join me in today’s podcast as I ponder this sad-but-true new reality for Loehmann’s and for us shoppers …

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I’m not buying that!

P1000049 3Reported by Fashionista.com: After struggling with bankruptcy for years and finally closing its doors in February, Loehmann’s is coming back. What? Really? Apparently, Loehmann’s was given a second life when hedge fund Esopus Creek Value Series Fund LP acquired Loehmann’s name and intellectual properties in bankruptcy court. Now, Esopus has brought on brand development and advisory firm CAK Entertainment Inc to launch a new Loehmann’s in May; as on online-only retailer.

Here is where you have me. I am very pleased that they will be carrying the same brands. And I understand the importance of online shopping, especially when research shows that the younger market shops online. But then, I say, don’t call it Loehmann’s. Loehmann’s can’t be about online-only shopping!! Where are the dressing rooms? Where are the almost-naked women? Where is the camaraderie; the other women telling you to buy-that-outfit-because-it looks-so-great-on-you-and-you-will-regret-it-if-you-don’t-get-it?

Who are they kidding?! Loehmann’s is not an online-only shopping experience. And if they think we don’t remember what Loehmann’s was, I’m not buying that!

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Weighing in on the pros of consignment shopping

Marci Kessler

Marci Kessler

Marci Kessler is the CEO of DoubleTake Consignment Boutiques: four stores throughout New Jersey; Short Hills, Ridgewood, Englewood and Red Bank. She has over 21 years experience in the fashion industry and has been involved in managing and maintaining the unique world of quality, designer consignment since launching her first boutique in May, 1992. What a role model for her two teenage sons, who have watched each of their parents run their own businesses and work hard every day to maintain them. But, of course, she had no idea this would be her future when she got her first job in high school, working in the changing room at Loehmann’s

MKG: Marci, what did you learn from that early experience at Loehmann’s?

Marci: Ultimately, I learned much more than I thought at the time. I remember my manager would go through the racks at the end of the day and make sure that every piece of clothing looked perfect. I needed to check that before I could leave the store; I think that is why I am a stickler today. Working in Loehmann’s I developed skills in merchandising, display, and customer service. In those days, Loehmann’s had impeccable customer service; it was their top priority. And today, quality customer service is the key for me. I want customers to feel like they are being taken care of when they shop: doors opened for them, help with moving their clothing to consign from the cars to the store, going above and beyond with every detail. This is very important to me. Continue reading

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