This Old Hat Makes a Comeback

Photo by Kira Ross

I love wearing hats. I have always loved wearing hats. I am the person who can’t pass through a department store without checking out the hats and accessories first. Always tempted to buy a new one, and I often do – especially cozy, winter hats. You can imagine my utter surprise when I found this one-of-a-kind hat, forgotten in the very back of my coat closet. This brown knit hat is at least 30 years old – I remember the moment I first found it at Loehmann’s – I knew it was too special to pass up.

But somewhere along the way I forgot about it. I traded it in for newer versions and more modern styles. It was gone so long that I never even knew how much I missed it! But I did miss it and now that I rediscovered it, I haven’t stopped wearing it. I was reminded again of a very important rule of fashion: before buying something new, shop your closet first.

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Have Fun Experimenting with Fashion

Photo by Alexandra

Preparing myself for the coldest temperatures of the season, I decided to experiment before stepping out the door. The result – wearing two jackets in-tandem; I paired my leather Diesel jacket underneath my black pea-coat (which is living its second life with me, a precious hand-me-down my mother purchased at Loehmann’s, who wore it for years before giving it to me). On their own, each would not have been warm enough. Together, the jackets gave me the extra warmth I needed to brace against the snow and wind.

Nothing is more fun than experimenting with your clothes. Trying new styles, playing with textures and fabrics, and staying open to new ideas and concepts helps make old clothes feel new again. And adds life to well-loved pieces. There is nothing that says you have to wear the same thing over and over, the same exact way. The most creative stylists aren’t afraid to experiment and consistently look at new ways to put clothes together. I want to dress like that. I don’t want to follow any set rules when it comes to fashion – I would rather make up my own rules as I go along.

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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?

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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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