Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trader Joe's: A Love Story

Is it because D'Agastino's sucks so much in comparison?  Perhaps.  But the fact that I lost my whole entire wallet there last week and it was returned to me WITH NOTHING MISSING might be the real reason that Trader Joe's is my new boyfriend.

I started revisiting TJ's a couple of weeks ago as part of my attempt to eat differently -- and hopefully -- more healthfully.  Not only do they have an interesting selection of foods, but their packaging, signage and merchandising is fun and accessible. 

I dissed and dismissed TJ's last year because the line to pay can sometimes start AT THE FRONT DOOR.  But it hasn't been that bad recently, and they are extremely efficient and nice and it's like a little party in the grocery store.  Genius. 

Call me, TJ.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aeffe: More Boutique than Brawl

at Aeffe sale when designers such as Moschino are featured. A respite from the hoarders at virtually every sale this season. Selection smaller than year's past, most likely wiped out by yesterday's friends & family preview which was mobbed according to a number of sales staff and a few returnees. A brave man was the first one in the dressing room and the women had to wait - but just a few minutes. If you are looking to add to your collection, go! Explore lower priced lines lines like Moschino Cheap & Chic and Moschino Love - they are scattered on the left side of the room and in the back of the second room. There are more broken zippers and ripped side hems than usual - probably from yesterday's enthused bargain shoppers. Many regular die-hard Moschino sample sale fans in the room - feels like a reunion - the regulars wearing flats, the newbies high heels. Staff helpful - ask if the offerings are this season's or last year's. Shoppers sharing their castoffs - a jacket of mine was an item that was gingerly handed over with grace and good intentions - she even offered the matching skirt. Timeless advice - don't buy what's already in your closet! Prices are an additional 20% off what's marked. I have a decade old Moschino dress and jacket festooned with brightly colored buttons that generated more than two dozen compliments last weekend - pick the right pieces and you'll be getting props for years to come.
30 West 56th Street until Saturday

<3 Nancy Brenner

On line at Moschino: Nancy Brenner Reports!

On line for entry now - the pent-up shopping demand is palatable. A regular mother/daughter team who usually spend the day are already first online. I really want to know where their discards go. Another mother and daughter team ahead of me and so far everyone is wearing black - I hope there are some bright colors. BRRR - I haven't stood in the cold for a sale in quite some time. Prada bags and Chanel eyeglasses in full force. More later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May 1 is Springtime in Belgium!

And at Change of Season in the East Village.  It's supposed to be hot as blazes this weekend so get down there at 3 p.m. and cool off with a refreshing beverage and some goods from Belgium.
p.s. how clever is this invitation?

Monday, April 26, 2010



Just in time for Mother's Day, with great discounts (-60% off!) to inspire you!

Wednesday, April 28th
5.30 - 7.30 pm
80 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1004 (bet 13th & 14th Streets)

Laura's groundbreaking Meatpacking District Boutique may have closed last Fall, but her 18kt & sterling silver precious & semi-precious are still available. Many great items under $30.00 (cash only please)
Questions? Please email:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Project Runway: I Won't Spoil it, but...

...while it wasn't who I expected would win, based on tonight's show, the designer who won deserved it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 24-25: Crafts on Columbus

CRAFTS ON COLUMBUS is this weekend (April 24 & 25) on Columbus Ave. between 77th-81st St., featuring all kinds of arts and crafts from local artisans, such as BELLE DE NUIT NYC who will be sharing space with jewelry designer, Anne Woodman.  Get your Momma's Day gifts early!

Friends & Family Offers Flood Fifth Avenue

Lord & Taylor seems to have this best department store discounts at 25% off.
Believe it or not Bergorf has the best buy on cosmetics with a $25 Beauty Gift Card towards a purchase of $100 or more starting on Thursday.
Saks is 20% off, 10% on cosmetics online use coupon code FRIEND3.
Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor LOFT: Friends and Family! 30% off your entire purchase Tuesday, April 20 through Sunday, April 25.

~Nancy Brenner

Monday, April 19, 2010

Uniqlo to Open Second New York Location @ 666 Fifth Ave. (Between 52nd - 53rd St.)

Lingo: The Blue Dress Chronicles

I've written about Lingo (Chelsea, W. 19th St.) on these e-pages before.  And I will again. 
This time I have to share the wealth regarding this blue dress (which also comes in a reddish-pink hue), with black hand-crocheted detail.  I spied a sample of it a couple of weeks ago, and upon hearing that my size had arrived, booked back there yesterday to try it on.  OK, so it ended up not being the right thing for me, but it is a great summer frock for perhaps someone of smaller stature, and with some actual melanin in their skin, which accounts for about everybody except for me and albinos.

But don't cry for me Argentina, for I picked up two tops and a skirt and booked happily home again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Uniqlo Collaborates with Costello Tagliapietra for Spring/Summer 2010

UNIQLO has announced their latest collaboration of fun and flirty dresses for the Spring / Summer 2010 season with Costello Tagliapietra hitting stores in May. This women’s collection will consist of dresses in 14 styles in a range of spring colors including grey, rose, mustard yellow and cornflower blue and will feature soft, draped fabrics including silk and slub jersey at prices ranging from $29.50-$39.50.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bring Brass Knuckle Rings! Report From the Front: Cynthia Steffe...

...and a mouth guard to the Cynthia Steffe sale as it is one of the roughest rides of the year.

Sale tips: Pop in your contacts - no matter how itchy your eyes are from the 10.9 pollen count. Don't stop to tweet, IM, update your Facebook status or check out the Rue La La sale on your iPhone app. Do not haul your 50 lb. IT, bag; it will just slow you down. Bib necklace? Remove, even if you just bought it at the Lee Angel sample sale, no time to untangle an unwieldy top. Say "hi" to guard Bobbi on the way in, who organized the Pamplona "running of the bulls" this morning.

Dresses with tags still attached for $275 sold for $30. Silk tops for $20. Leathers - only saw two pieces - one skirt fit for a tiny 10-year-old at $50, leathers were wiped out by the "friends and family" start at 9 a.m. Watch out for the gang of merch and mirror hoarders from Cedarhurst - some of them are reselling and they grab the goods like no one else. Tip: Shop the floor near their posse for discards.

If you've been feeling an urge to splurge, go. Not for the shy or uninitiated.

550 Seventh Avenue - 10-5 Thursday 10th Floor, Friday, no telling what will remain...

Because SOMEONE has to do it...thanks Nancy Brenner!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trend Alert from GSNYC: Royal Blue

This is based on little more than a gut instinct.  Prediction: Royal Blue is the new Black. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saks: These Shoes Are Cool

Yes, I realize these look like Dorothy shoes gone awry, but I can't help but envision the perfect rocker chick wearing the perfect rocker outfit topped (bottomed?) off by these shoes, by Jerome C. Rousseau. $495 at Saks.  Maybe the wizard can get some for you.

Friday, April 09, 2010

LES: Every nook and cranny has a tailor...

...and I found one on a block better known for it's Streit's Matzo factory.  But this tailor could probably alter the shift on the Statue of Liberty, if she needed an adjustment. His name is Mustafa and I entrusted him with my sample sale finds - pegging a hem, raising shoulders, fixing an errant lining, all on one frock for a custom-made fit. He also fashioned a form-fitting top to slip under a wedding dress - a solution for cold-shouldered brides or those who don't have time to hit the gym to banish upper arm jiggle. Embrace your visions for a catwalk strut at Laura and Melinda (named after his two daughters). You can even drop by after work - open until 8 p.m. six nights a week, open 7 days.

137 Rivington St
(between Norfolk St & Suffolk St)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-4500

~Nancy Brenner

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Report From the Front: Shoshanna

Dramamine is a must before this dizzy sample sale where you'll be competing with professional "flippers" of merch (I saw a duo at the Barneys sale grab 35 pairs of shoes) and die-hard Shoshanna fans filling out their spring and summer wardrobes. At $50 a dress (retailing at $305 and $350) you can't beat the bargains. There are some dresses with busted zippers - recessionistas don't despair - head one block south to Pacific Trimming at 218 West 38th and get one for a buck! Lots of vivid reds, purples and prints. A must for their true sample size and those with tailors who can take in or let out pieces for a perfect fit.

Today and tomorrow
231 West 39th Street, Suite 422
~Nancy Brenner

Monday, April 05, 2010

April 6&7: IMOGA Private Sale

Yes, it's for kids.  Yes it's in New Jersey.  But isn't that where kids live?  Check out the IMOGA children's clothing sale.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

April 6-10: Blow Out Sample Sale at Jaehee Bridal Atelier

It's almost that time of year again...if you are on the hunt for bridal and mother's gowns you may want to consider a trip to Jaehee in Englewood, NJ (close to the George Washington Bridge).  Beautiful, high-end gowns at great prices. I may even have to get married to have an excuse to go myself! Read on for the 911...

Sample Sale - Save up to 75%

April 6-10, 2010

Designers include: Amsale, Amy Michelson, Angel Sanchez, Anne Barge, Atelier Aimee, Badgely Mischka, Carolina Herrera, Christos, Clair Pettibone, David Fielden, Elizabeth Fillmore, Jenny Packham, Kenneth Pool, La Sposa, Manuel Mota, Melissa Sweet, Nicole Miller, Paloma Blaca, Platinum, Priscilla of Boston, Pronovias, Reem Acra, Rosa Clara, San Patrick, Vineyard, Stephen Yearick, Damianou, Daymor, Jovani and many more!
Call (201) 541-0077 today for your sample sale appointment!

Upcoming Trunk Shows:
* April 16-17 - Christos
* April 23-24 - Melissa Sweet
* April 30-May 1 - Enzoani

Jaehee Bridal
66 N Van Brunt St.
Englewood, NJ 07631

To schedule your private consultation, call (201) 541-0077 or visit for more information.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Leather by...Stella Zotis (of Project Runway fame)

I don't think I've exclaimed my deep and lasting love of New York City recently.  Well the other night was one of those nights that reinforced my enduring commitment...but I somewhat digress.... 

I went with Laura (of Belle de Nuit flowers) to the Catclub's reunion party at the Bowery Electric primarily to see Stella Zotis' leather fashion show.  Talk about leather-work -- Damn!  I think it's safe to say that these are not the kinds of leather designs that you find in a suburban department store.  This is rock 'n' roll craftsmanship at its finest.  Certainly it helps if you also live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, but you might just need at least one Stella Leatha outfit for one of those "special occasions" that you don't tell your parents or kids about. 

Or your boss. 

Or your husband. 

Anyway, I'm kind of loving this whole metallic leather trend.  I may have to investigate further, and determine if this curious material might somehow suit yours truly, somewhere besides on my feet.

April Sales Bring May Card Debt

and sample sale boo-boos. There are more sample sales than tree allergans in the air, but there's no Zyrtec for the reaction to a spending spree contributing to personal bankruptcies which are at their highest increase since October 2005, according to today's New York Times.
What to know before you go over your limit:
- Spring clean first, so you won't come home with another LBD or pencil skirt that looks like the lost identitical twin to the one you already own.
- Shoes, no matter how cheap, no matter how much it goes with THAT dress, don't be seduced by a one-night fling shoe. They will stare at you at you in the middle of the night from your closet screaming MISTAKE. Think of how much money you will be saving at the podiatrist, physical therapy, on orthotics, on cab rides, etc.
- Buttercup yellow is all over the runway, but if it makes you look like, well, a sour lemon, skip it. Don't be a sucker for a trendy hue that's not for you.
- Never give away a classic. I couldn't let go of this super-cool round black grommet cross-body bag by Cynthia Rowley - and now it's this season's up-dater - and a one-of-a-kind!
- Do a reconnaissance mission in advance of the sales - play a little game called "If I were a millionaire, would I pay retail fill in the blank." If you only want it because a "Babe Ruthless" type from "Whip It" is giving you a hip fracture to get to it, skip it.
- Samples sales can be - addictive, so before you hit Vegas, or the Tory Burch, sample sale, set a limit. Preferably cash. And leave your credit/debit cards at home. Your balance sheet will thank you.

<3 Nancy Brenner

Alert the Media: Outdoor Seating Now at Curry In a Hurry

on Lexington & 28th for the uninitiated.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

This Weekend: STORE CLOSING SALE - (eco)mpassion

2 Great Jones Street, New York, NY
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
12 -7pm
Store Closing Sale - Everything must go
Everything must go by Saturday, April 3rd
All inventory marked down
All fixtures, Mannequins, Racks, Shelves, Office equipment Steamers, Hangers, Audio/Video (damn, they really do mean everything)