I had the best laid plans for shopping while I was at Blogher10 in New York City - drop luggage at hotel, hit subway to Century 21, grab a bite to eat, find the Camper store in SOHO, and then get lost in SOHO.  I even  test drove my shoes a few weeks in advance (the black Fly London wedges) to make sure they wouldn't slow me down.      

In the end I never made it to Century 21.  A few days before my trip I realized an old work friend Tracie was flying from TO to New York at same time as me (she flew to LaGuardia, me to Newark).  We chatted at the airport and then agreed to meet up for a bit of shopping before she had to head to a  lunch meeting. Since she was not interested in the hours of work involved at Century 21, we met in SOHO.  I could always hit Century 21 later.   Well I never got to Century 21.  I just got caught up in the awesomeness  that is SOHO.   Once in SOHO I could not bring myself to leave until I had to head back to my hotel to shower and get ready for the evening's events. In fact I didn't even stop for lunch.   I'll have to plan another trip to NYC to hit what friends refered to as "Winners on crack". 

Photo credit: Anthropologie.com

The trip started at Anthropologie.   For my Vancouver friends, it is sad that this fantastic store is only in Toronto and Edmonton.  But then again maybe it is better for my pocket-book that it isn't.  If you are a fan of Emma Pillsbury on Glee, then you will appreciate this store's vintage flavour and feminine esthetic.  I was happy to find some items in my size. Although I did have to take my normal 20 items into the change room to find one that fit and that I loved enough to buy.   The staff were very engaged, if perhaps a bit too in love with everything I tried on - even when it obviously didn't fit me that well.  My friend Tracie was lucky and went home with pretty much a complete outfit.   I found one great dark red knit top, embellished with some great buttons (at right).  Photos of me in the top will follow once the heat wave has ended. 

Then Tracie went to her meeting and I hit the Eileen Fisher store.  Lots of great basic essentials for women of all sizes and heights.  Unfortunately nothing that I LOVED or that fit my pocket-book.  Plus, after the first "hello" the staff pretty much ignored me.  I might have looked sweaty but I did carry about 10 items around the store with me and then go into the change room for at least 10 minutes with nothing from nobody.  Just saying!

 

Jeans are on my list. So I entered the clearly named Jean Shop.  I didn't realize I was walking into one of the hottest jean spots in the US,  that was featured in HBO’s series “How To Make It In America”.  They make high quality classic denim.  They were very helpful in getting me different sizes, stiffness and washes, and explaining their business.  The jeans start really stiff, but can be softened to your specifications.  They can also be given a custom wash.  They are not inexpensive jeans. But I thought if I found the perfect pair of jeans that would last for years I might invest.  Unfortunately none of the sizes that I tried really fit my figure or enhanced my best assets.  And the 0% lycra made me nervous.     

I walked into some high-end stores like Prada and Chanel.  The Prada store was pretty intimidating until you got downstairs into their little enclaves of clothes.  But that first staircase was tough to walk.  I saw a 4 block line up for a "secret" sample sale. The store front was all white, the bags leaving were all white.  I asked at a local store and they said they thought it was an Alexander McQueen sample sale.  But having seen 2 women reading wedding related materials, I think it was likely a bridal sale. Either way I don't fit any sample sizes, so I wasn't going to line up to find out.  

Photo credit: Camper.com

 

Photo credit: Camper.com

 

Then I wandered into the Camper Store.   If by wandering you mean made a bee line there.  I think I made the sales person nervous as I picked up about 12 pairs of shoes to try on.  But he quickly realized I was a serious customer.  Why do I love Campers?  First is the slightly quirky unique style. And second is the comfort.  I bought two pairs of sandals on sale. The first were brown.  I never buy brown. But I have noticed more and more often that a nice pair of brown sandals would be perfect.  And they came with this awesome rubber heel and sole, which makes them the second most comfortable pair of shoes I own (after my crocs). Plus they make my feet look long and lean. 

The second pair of sandals are a blue heeled sandal with leather and canvas straps that have an orange detail on the straps from their TWs line.  I couldn't find a picture online and my feet are still blistered and non-photo worthy.   And sandals just don't photograph well without a foot in them.

I saw a crocs store in SOHO.  I took a twit pic and wondered online how SOHO could have come so far downhill.  Then later on the weekend I complemented a women on her super cute animal print high heels. She told me they were crocs.  Maybe I should have gone in that store.

I also visited a number of high end vintage/consignment stores.  Some lovely things, but little in my size.  And the authentic vintage accessories were frankly out of my price range. But such unique stores to wander in and out of, as my stomach got hungrier and my feet more tired. 

In the end the pre-shopping trip shoe testing was useless. I had failed to take into account that my feet swell when I fly and the NYC humidity. So while my Fly London wedges are super comfortable, I still came away with blisters.  In fact the conference and all its walking and standing only made my feet worse.  I had to change shoes several times a day to keep them as happy as possible. And I ended up wearing my new brown Campers home on the plane because they were the only shoes I could still stand up in. Even the thong flip flops had started to cause issues between my toes.  

Photo credit: anntaylorloft.com

 

On another day when I had a few minutes between Blogher sessions I slipped over to The Loft, which was conveniently across my hotel.  There I bought some great basics.  Cotton tank tops in purple, teal, grey and green.  A lovely charcoal grey short-sleeved cardigan. And a great fitting denim blazer.   I wish Ann Taylor would expand into Canada.   

That is pretty much it for my US shopping. Just enough to get back into the country without paying any extra duty or taxes. 
Actually I did buy one more thing. But that should be part of the Sex and the City tour post.  To come later this week.