Tag Archives: vacation

Shopping: NYC

Shopping in New York City is not the same as shopping in any other US city. Coming from the west coast and Hawaii, it’s nearly shocking at the lack of customer service I’ve yet to experience at the vast number of stores I’ve already shopped at on this trip.

Exterior of Jeffrey in the Meatpacking district.

Some things to keep in mind when shopping in New York:

  1. You need to have a lot of $$$. 50 bucks magically vanishes from your wallet when you walk out the door.
  2. Have no expectation that anyone will help you, even at the big name stores. However at a boutique store in the meatpacking district a store Jeffrey blew my mind with such nice sales staff. In fact I was instantly humored when this guy asked if we could be boyfriend/girlfriend. New Yorkers were never accused of being timid.
  3. You need endurance, lots of it. Keep snacks like almonds and water in your purse.
  4. Other shoppers may have enjoyed a few cocktails at brunch before hand.
  5. Just like you, New Yorkers love a good bargain. Find the sales rack near the back wall, there are always a few gems hidden in there, though digging is required.
  6. Don’t be shocked at the checkout line, add 10% sales tax before you swipe your card. If you’re buying something big, have them ship it to your home address if you live in a state with cheaper sales tax.
  7. If you need another size in anything, say your prayers, it’s probably sold out. Fashionistas know a good thing when they see it. Act fast when you find something you like.
  8. Sales people act like they’re doing you a favor by ringing your stuff up. When they say they close at 8:30 pm, they really mean lights off, drawers closed at 8:30 pm. Though this was the case at Bloomingdales we did find a nice lady who helped scour the racks in the dark for any other pair of pants by the same maker as the ones I wanted to buy but were missing a tag. We were there, lights turning off, and she was the only one that would help us! We even had to leave through the employee exit. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t make sure all shoppers left before drawers started closing. This is unheard of at Nordstrom.
  9. True for street fairs: If you have to ask the price, it’s not set. Bargaining is necessary. If you don’t like a price, say so. And if you think it’s too much, walk away. Next time you walk by they may just be ready to sell it to you for the price you were willing to pay.
  10. Style doesn’t have to be expensive. Case in point: I purchased  $10 pair of earrings at a street market. Three different sales staff at super uber expensive Jeffrey commented on how much they liked them. Flattery or not, it was nice.
  11. NYC is a great place to find large bargain shopping stores like Loehmann’s & Century21. However the secret is out, so expect huge crowds and shared dressing rooms. Prepare by dressing in base layers that you can easily slip something over what you’re wearing to avoid exposing your skivvies to total strangers.
  12. Don’t put your purse down, or leave it in the dressing room, ever. This goes for everywhere, not just NY.
  13. In order to get what you want, you must be adamant and push back. Or you might just have to leave empty-handed.

So if you don’t LOVE to shop, shopping in the heart of NYC might be just too much. Enter the scene with caution. I love it here, and love shopping here, but it takes a true shopping junkie like me to deal with all the craziness shopping here entails. Look for more shopping tidbits and photos to come soon.

Keep Summer in the Air

Candles by Diptyque are a new obsession of mine, thanks to a recent introduction at Cielo Home.

Love the Gardenia scent, but I also have the Freesia. It keeps summer here just a wee bit longer, as the weather turns to fall.

The candles aren’t cheap at $60, but the claim is it’s just $1 an hour because they last 60 hours. And you’ll get to burn every last drop of wax, so nothing’s wasted.

I’ve barely made a dent in mine after several evening sessions, so I’ll keep you posted if the claim is indeed true.

Nothing Beats Smelling like a Rose

Spring has sprung.

But with chilly nights still ahead, it’s not too late to seek out that perfect luxurious bath treat.Skeptical about bath oils from years of ugly oil rings left in the tub, I was hesitant to try yet another, this time one by Jo Malone. I gave three scents a whirl: Orange Blossom, Pomegranate Noir, and Red Roses. Each oil turned into the perfect milky bath consistency, no superfluous bubbles, nothing noxious, and voila, not a trace of the oily stuff. I was sold on the product, but which scent?

For me, the classic rose smell reminds me of my mother, wearing Anais Anais when I was young, but I heart the calming nature of a true rose scent.

So far, this is my choice for calming my nerves at the end of a long day: Jo Malone’s bath oil in Red Roses ($65). It’s a bit pricey, but if it allows me to scrap the Ambien and gets me all my zzzz’s, it’s well worth it.

Sweet Dreams.

Bathe Me in Lavender

We’ve all been through the shelves of offerings, trying out a lot of bath soaks, bubbles, and oils.

Like you, I feel like I’ve tried it all.

Not so. When there was a massive 40% off sale on Dr. Hauschka products at Whole Foods earlier this month I went a little bizerk and bought a slew of products I’ve never been tempted to splurge on before.

I’m loving everything I bought. (More on that in a future post.)

But what I’m in love with most is this Lavender Bath oil.

It’s smells amazing, not overwhelming. Leaves skin silky, not shiny. Like magic, it disperses in the water for a perfect concoction. And best of all, there’s no oil/dirt ring left when the water’s gone.

Soak in luxury with this stuff!

It’s heaven, and best of all, you’ll sleep better. I am.

Inspired Vintage Chic: 1979 Swimwear

Summer is almost here, and that means one thing to us girls: bathing season! No need to freak that you can’t put down that gelato, or finally start that exercise routine. What you really need is a fabulous swimsuit, one that shows enough to be sexy, but modest and hip.Let me introduce you to my friend and swimwear designer Suzanna (Suzy) Kuhlemann of 1979.Options other than a skimpy Brazilian are hard to come by these days, especially styles that are fashionable and subtly sexy. For the woman who knows that less can sometimes be more, Suzy created her line of elegantly fashioned one and two-piece swim suits since arriving to Hawaii for her sister’s wedding last January.

Colorful solids, prints, and flirty aloha wear prints make up her current 1979 collection. These are suits that make us forget about tan lines, and our obsession for showing too much skin, which is a good thing.

Find her creations:

1164 Smith Street in Chinatown
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 225-2727
767 Kailua Rd # 100
Kailua, HI 96734-2842
(808) 263-3366
MUUMUU HEAVEN JAPAN Shichirigahama Higashi 3-1-7 Kamakura, Japan

It’s a Wrap

Scoring a thick uber long knit scarf has been a mission of mine since departing the tropics. I wanted one to appear as if it might be choking me. Not sure why I find that appealing…more to do with trapping in the heat and blocking the chill I think than losing the ability to breathe. Creepy kind of, I know. Unofficially, I’m calling it the Boa Constrictor look, and now it’s my look, as I’ve found one. Super soft, cuddly, chic, plus incredibly warm, and mine is thanks to it’s scrumptious blend of wool, mohair and nylon.
Though even with my avid and thorough search in my new hometown, I didn’t find this beauty in PDX, but rather on a recent trip that led me to College Avenue in Berekely, CA. I found it where I least expected it: At Keneuoe Vivere, a boutique specializing in women’s contemporary suiting (mostly). The local designer just opened up shop, and she focuses on custom made and off the rack tailored and fitted-to-you pieces.

Prices vary broadly in range, including suiting and some knitwear, so odds are there’s something there for you in your price bracket. But overall prices were what I’d expect, and decent, considering the extra work going into each piece that’s made just down the avenue in Berkeley by good ol’ Americans. Keneuoe (if that’s her name) is looking to expand the shop to include men’s wear, more knits, and a working studio right in the store.

I plan on returning to this spot on my next visit.

Support Local, Cute, and PRETTY!