Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some of My Favorite: Shopping Friends, Mall Stores, J Crew Dresses for Spring

I have a few friends who are truly my favorite shopping partners. These are the kind of friends I can leisurely wonder around with and browse boutiques or hit a hard-core, dig-through-everything-on-sale outlet stores. They're the ones who hand me something over the dressing room door and it's always cool and fits just right and I like it better than anything I took in with me. And they may even rationalize a purchase for me so I don't have to do it myself: "I know you don't have anywhere to wear that, but it looks so good on you and it's on sale!" (It's lovely to have someone talk you into something you want.)

The trouble is that one of these friends lives in Manhattan, one lives in Brooklyn and one lives in Colorado. I don't live in any of those places. (I'm happy to audition local fellow shoppers--say the word, ladies.)

My Brooklyn friend visits here frequently so I get to shop with her a few times a year. I just had a day of boutiquing with my Manhattan friend. And last week I got to hit the mall with my Colorado friend. (We emailed about where to shop. Me: "What are you up for? Anthro? Shoes?" Her: "The Mall sounds good. Unless you think that would be lame." Me: "Are you kidding? The Mall is my favorite place!")

We parked by Macy's and walked past the oh-so-hideous prom dress department (dear god--I was never happier to not be a teenager) and hit all my favorite places to hit in The Mall: Gap, Banana Republic, J Crew and Sephora.

I gotta tell you, fellow shoppers, the Gap these day: bad. I don't know what's going on there but I find it ill-fitting and tuti-fruiti. It's all wrong. I have not liked a thing in the Gap the last few seasons. Banana, on the other hand, seems to be hitting all the right notes with me. (See recent posts on several Banana dresses I've purchased lately.) I've loved the color palette, the shapes, the fit. And I've really been wild about the sale prices. (I recently got a blue silk disco-vibe dress there for $23.99. During my latest Mall visit I grabbed an uber-oversize faux pearl necklace for $5.99)

But J Crew...I love you most of all. I've been hitting their final sale online fairly hard. (Oh the sweaters!) I've been scouring the in-store sale racks regularly. (Took home a black with touches of gold thread wool/cashmere pencil skirt--love it!--for $20.99. It cost me more than that to get it hemmed.)

My recent J Crew score was the papaya-hued version of the dress shown below in light pewter. (I don't see the orange-y one online). Good with both heels or flat sandals and a cardigan.

There are few other J Crew dresses I'm smitten with. (I love love love dresses.) The simple linen dress below is made special with a dash of metallic, a defined waist and a bow detail. (I heart bows--I'm girly.)

And so you don't think this post looks like a casual version of the Oscars (what was with the white/ivory/cream thing Hollywood?) here's a lovely bright (papaya!) with similar features as the above--a defined waist and a bow--but with a more squarish neckline and in cotton.

And back to white...I'd get married all over again just so I could wear this tulle and organza wedding cake of a dress. I am a sucker for tiers.


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