Lately there are a lot of impressive claims about the brain boosting powers of things like calisthenics, crosswords, and complicated software. Advancements in technology and neurosciences are fueling the phenomenon. We have better equipment for studying and measuring brain function and smart people devoting themselves to the research. Most of them admit that while we know a lot more than we did even a few years ago, what we know about the brain is still relatively little compared to what we don’t know.
If the shoe fits, buy it in multiples. After years of hard knocks (literally) at the Lord & Taylor NYC annual shoe sale (my favorite), I’ve learned a few things about how to navigate a crazy sale like a pro. My top 5 tips for throwing yourself into the middle of any of the summer shoe sales will keep you from running away in frustration. You have to be patient to stay in the game.
(I also shopped the sale online. SEE BELOW for my picks (all under $100).
Go it alone and unencumbered. The sale can get crazy, dragging kids or husbands will amp up your stress and interfere with your concentration. You need to be able to let your shopping endorphins kick in and block out everything but the end prize, which is a serious shoe score.
Go at off-peak hours. A weekday morning is best. Midday is OK, but there is a lunchtime rush, so avoid going between noon and 2 PM. Weekends are for die-hard shoe fetishists.
Don’t engage a sales person right away. Look at everything first and gather what you want to try on. Getting the shoes in your size takes time, so hand over several pairs at once and be prepared to wait. If you think you might need to try the shoe in another size, ask for it at the same time.
Know your numbers. The sale prices are great and it’s tempting to go a little crazy. Having a budget in mind will help you edit your selections.
Keep your head on straight. Remember nothing is a bargain unless it fits and nothing is a bargain if you buy it just because it’s on sale.
Now it’s just as rewarding and MUCH easier to shop online where it seems that there are even bigger savings. Here are some of our favorites right now, all under $100.
Seasonless is not just a word for bland soup. Seasonless style should define at least 80% of our wardrobes. To that end, now’s the time to mine the summer sales. The obvious scores are seasonal items we can grab for a song, but the real steals are garments that can add value to our closet all year long.
We shopped online for some of some updated basics and found great deals that will take you into Fall 2011 and even beyond.
The Ankle Pant: Black is a no-brainer, but this past season red pants have been an unexpected standout. If you decide to try red, look for a darker shade like the Priscilla Pant above. Whichever color you choose, this pant can easily take you through fall in most climates. When the weather starts to cool down, add novelty tights or knee socks and a pair of ankle booties.
The Boot Leg Knit Pant:This is the pant you’ll pull on every day. These pants do double and triple duty as workout pants and lounging pants. They can also be dressed up with a hip length tunic or long shirt and low belt for a less causal look. It’s a good item to have in multiples.
The Scoop Neck T: An often overlooked staple, it’s a great alternative to a tank top or short sleeve tee when you want more arm coverage. They also look great worn backwards! The back scoop is a secret sexy variation. Eddie Bauer offers them in both 3/4 sleeve and long sleeve versions and lots of colors.
The Long Sweater Cardigan: This is another item that can go causal or dressed up. The crochet version above is a steal at $25. It comes in several colors, BUT we recommend the black. The caveat with inexpensive sweaters is that the lighter the color, the cheaper they look. Nothing is a bargain if it looks cheap!
The Serape: Interesting hand woven wraps like this serape from Eddie Bauer will transform anything you toss it over: gym clothes, denim jacket, white shirt, or even winter coat. It’s also a great airplane blanket.
Fat Free Dressing
Fat Free Tanks & Tees: These are NOTHING like your mother’s faint-inducing girdles. They are “power tools” for the new millennium. By the time a gal hits 40 or so her lingerie needs to work a little harder to defy gravity. Shapewear takes on the heavy lifting: banishing back fat, holding the “girls” in place, and taming the tummy.
Extreme weather can really cramp a girl’s style. Mid-winter freezes and mid-summer heat waves have a way of lulling us into comfort over style. Then one day we catch a glimpse of ourselves looking like we just finished sweeping out the basement. We’re surprised by the frumpy creature staring back at us and we wonder why someone doesn’t throw her out of Starbuck’s? Get a grip on your summer style, here are some tips on how to look good in the summer heat.
Andy Warhol famously said it: everyone has their 15 minutes of fame. His opinion was gleaned from a life spent observing popular culture and those who influence art, music, and fashion. Though some quarter hours seem longer and are more conspicuous than others, in the end, they flicker and flame out to make room for the next big thing.
If art mimics life then fashion mimics art; what’s new is always driving change. Models included. Where will the face that is everywhere today be in 20, 30, or 40 years? If they’re smart, they’ll be lucky. Survival is an art in itself.
Three of our favorites fashion models of the 60s, 70s, and 80s are doing very well in life, love, happiness, and success after 40, 50, and 60.
Jerry Hall. Big Rock Stars and BIG Rocks
For some girls, there’s no bigger prize than landing a HUGE rock star. When she snagged Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall landed the biggest one of all.
There’s an unconfirmed story that Hall exploited her love of BIG jewels to take the edge off his chronic infidelity. Every time he was unfaithful, she got a jewel that was BIGGER than the one she got the last time. It worked for a number of years until there wasn’t a jewel big enough.
She survived the break up, raised their 4 kids and now says she’s thinking about new love. In this interview, she denounces cosmetic enhancement of any kind. When asked what she believes makes a woman beautiful, she swears that love is the answer.
The BIGGEST Thing Going Was Smaller Than a Size O
Twiggy. In an interview back in the 80s, then super-model, Linda Evangelista, famously said that she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 dollars a day. She can thank Twiggy for that exalted status. When Twiggy (aka Lesley Hornby) broke out as a 16 year old Size Sub 0 waif-like model, she went on to become one of the most recognized faces in the world, and dominated the fashion scene for 10 years.
Since then, she’s had a successful career in music and film, wrote several books, designed a line of clothing and revived her modeling career as the face of Oil of Olay in 2009.
The ORIGINAL Gap
Lauren Hutton. At the height of her career she refused to repair the gap between her two front teeth. In fact it became her trademark. As an advocate for natural beauty, she taught us that the perfection one can achieve artificially isn’t’ nearly as interesting as one beautiful imperfection.
We were being seated in a NYC restaurant, where I noticed Ms. Hutton eating lunch alone. I mentioned to the young hostess seating us that her customer was a former very famous model and I thought she still looked beautiful. The woman said, “she comes in almost every day and I had no idea she was anyone famous.” Later, the girl returned to our table to report that she had had a conversation with Hutton who sent her back to us to thank me for my compliment.
Even though it’s a standard retail practice, we still get a little disoriented when we walk through the stores in July and see winter merchandise. The early fall collections the stores bring in are meant to whet our appetite. The fashion engine is always driven by what’s coming next. Here are 5 new directions for Fall 2011
Regardless of what’s trending, if you care about how you look, you have a couple of favorite colors that consistently make you feel and look good. It’s not a bad thing to stick with what works, and use this season’s offerings to add a blast of new excitement to your wardrobe.