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163 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
48 Post Road East, Westport

These stores are beautiful but, honestly, I’ve only ever seen one other person inside of them. When I walked in I half expected them to offer me a pineapple or beg for news from the outside world.

I’m not sure who is their target market, but Joie (“zhwah”) is a popular brand so someone must be buying their threads. Pretty much everything in the store is an article of clothing you already have in your closet, but made with more expensive fabric. So fabric-wise it’s fabulous, but the Guggenheim isn’t salivating for a retrospective.

The company started in 2001 in Southern California with a hip line of cargo pants in different fabrics. Super-skinny, but super cool. The cargos did well, so they began creating a “lifestyle brand” of everything BUT cargos. Hmm…

Regardless, it’s refreshing to know you don’t have to go far to buy a $249 silk tank top. It’s what separates Fairfield County from, like, almost every other county in the entire world. So let’s all take a moment to appreciate where we live.

Robin’s note: And speaking of emaciated, their skinny jeans should be sold with a free “Flopsy Ate My Dinner” t-shirt.  An injudicious sales person informed a friend of mine that the jeans “wouldn’t fit her body shape,” which, while possibly true, still makes one’s trigger finger twitch. To be fair, the saleswoman (girl?) in Westport was kind and helpful when I was in the store, and courteously helped a borderline-sociopathic woman with the return of a sale item.

Click to read the rest ... "Joie"

Fashion     Greenwich     Westport    
Friday, August 29, 2014 • Permalink


DWR, New Canaan

A Consignment Boutique
33 East Avenue, New Canaan

Eight years ago, in Palm Beach, I stumbled across a vintage clothing store on Worth Avenue. They had just received two vintage c. 1955 Lilly Pulitzer dresses. Now, said another way (for the sake of clarity), they had just received two used dresses. We’re not talking couture or seminal contemporary fashion. The price, upon inquiry: $450. Each.

Horrified, I raised my eyebrows and smiled as if to say, “Wow, what a deal!”, pretended my attention was diverted by a $3,000 secondhand Pucci, and quietly left the store.

Well, folks, I’m vindicated: DWR has two of the same style vintage Lilly dresses for $98 each. Plus, as with all of their apparel, the dresses are discounted every 30 day period they remain unsold. It may not be enough to cripple Worth Avenue, but when the indulgent clotheshorse who bought the dresses eight years ago finds out, she’ll feel pretty silly. Assuming she remembers.

DWR (Done With Retail) is a year-old consignment boutique begun by Denise and Nicole, two disenchanted retail excecutives in New Canaan, and their store reflects a typical resident’s closet: Lilly, Rebecca Taylor, Trina Turk and the like, alongside J.‘s McLaughlin and Crew, and a smattering of high-end designers. The prices are reasonable: most pieces are under $100 with Lilly dresses averaging $65.The occasional Chanel bag drifts through, as do Hermes scarves, Dolce & Gabana blouses, and everything else in which you’d expect the New Canaan housewife (or her daughter) to be cavorting about town.

Robin’s note: DWR consigns a small collection of Tiffany jewelry, including an Elsa Peretti 18K pendant on a silk cord for $345 (minus 20% for being in the store for over 30 days), currently retailing for $825. Black suede Manolo Blahniks sell for $100, and I bought a pair of Lilly pants for my daughter for $14.

Click to read the rest ... "DWR"

Consignment     Fashion     New Canaan    
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 • Permalink

South Moon Under


14 Post Road East, Westport

Born from a surf shack in 1968, South Moon Under honors it roots by selling swimsuits year ‘round. Which is fabulous for those of you itching for a mid-winter bikini spree. Personally, I try to avoid that kind of reality (and many others, including my birthday, dirty toilets, and the tower of mail and overdue library books on my kitchen counter.)

If you don’t want a bikini but you want to show skin, they’ve got you covered. Tiny cut-offs, pleather crop tops, patterned halters. If the sight of your pasty thighs in short-shorts sends you screaming for a maxi-dress, you’re in luck: they’ve got those, too. Colorful ones. So you can cover up. Sort of.

There are all sorts of fun, relaxed clothing appropriate for a privileged teenager or working twenty-something on vacation. If you don’t like what you see, wait a week. New clothing and different designers will keep you and your budget in a constant state of wonder.

Robin’s note: The entire bottom floor is a sale room! It’s kind of empty now, but it won’t be for long. Retailers tend to overestimate the number of rayon-blend dresses and novelty sweaters it takes to saturate our market.

Who you’ll see shopping here: Moms of teens, shopping for themselves or for their teen daughter.

Their specialty: Swimsuits, sundresses, bold jewelry, and colorful tops.

Click to read the rest ... "South Moon Under"

Fashion     Westport    
Monday, March 31, 2014 • Permalink

Brandy Melville


375 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich
142 Main Street, Westport

I tend to dismiss teen apparel shops for the cheesy, over-priced, slutty clothes. So I’m always flummoxed when I find myself in one of their fitting rooms trying to yank their leggings over my… well, you get the picture. And so it was with Italy-based Brandy Melville when they rolled into town.

Sure, they have the requisite barely-there tops and crotch-grazing skirts. But their sweatshirts and oversized-tops are super-comfy and flattering, their jewelry is cute and cheap, and their suede fringe backpack is pretty cool. Quality’s decent, too.

Robin’s note: Their “One Size Fits Most” policy is a tad distressing. I mean, with pants the girth of a garden hose, I assume “most” refers to the population of Somalia. Before blazing American frontier their policy was “One Size Fits All.” So when they get a toehold in the midwest it’ll probably be “One Size.”

Their specialty: Loose-fitting tops, angora sweaters, and tight bottoms.

What you should buy: Sweatshirts and over-sized tees, jewelry for teen gifts.

What you may not know but should:
  - All materials are eco-friendly.
  - Sororities are encouraged to schedule private shopping nights in any location.
  - Yes, everything is “One Size Fits Most” and has been for the past 30 years.

Fashion     Greenwich     Westport    
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 • Permalink

Designer Label Consignment

Designer Label Consignment

1344 Post Road East, Westport

Despite what the past few store write-ups may lead one to believe, my goal in life is not to troll the county for vintage clothing stores. But given the economy and my penchant for high-end designer clothing I can’t afford, it seems like a pretty good idea right now.

Which leads me to this place. I’ve driven by it a million times and it was only when I had to bring my car in for repairs (in the attached strip mall) that I decided to pop in. The first thing I spotted was a cotton Pucci dress for $95 and I cried out to the manager, “I’ve never been in before but I’m so excited I’m finally here!” She… didn’t share my enthusiasm and I stood there smiling like a mentally challenged golden retriever. A gorgeous pair of embroidered Manolos for $110 and a Stella McCartney dress for $45 heightened my solitary utopia, as did the $35 Marni top, Stella shorts, and Etro silk blouse.

Seeing a Chico’s cardigan broke my heart (please people: stop abusing the hard-won “Designer” appellation!), but a nearby row of Akris suits for $175 and a St. John suit for $110 were the threads that mended the fickle little muscle of mine back together.

Robin’s note: As I strode toward the dressing rooms with my bonanza, the manager stopped me and whispered of the elderly man occupying one of the two rooms, “Wait until he leaves. He’s very sweet, but the curtains separating the rooms are sheer and he likes to peek.” THANK YOU, SALES MANAGER.

Click to read the rest ... "Designer Label Consignment"

Consignment     Fashion     Westport    
Monday, January 13, 2014 • Permalink


Roundabout, Westport

606 Post Road East, Westport
48 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich

If $60 Manolo Blahniks and $150 Gaultier suits send a riotous, teeming pack of non-sexual pheromones to your brain, then Roundabout is going to make you very, very happy.

Robin’s note: Try on everything before purchasing and make sure the shoes stay on your feet: just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s wearable. And they don’t return ANYTHING.

Who you’ll see shopping here: Moms who love to shop.

Their specialty: Chanel suits and overstock Shin Choi.

What you should buy: The mint condition Etro/Prada/Gucci/de la Renta (etc.) hiding in the racks on the left side of the store.

What you may not know but should:
1. Consignments are only accepted with original sales receipt.
2. Cut-rate deals are even crazier when they’re clearing out seasonal merchandise, so go late fall/late spring.
3. Chanel rarely, if ever, gets further discounts. So don’t hold your breath.

Consignment     Fashion     Greenwich     Westport    
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 • Permalink


Dovecote, Westport

56 Post Road East, Westport

A gorgeous interior design boutique, yes, but lets focus on the key attraction: luscious, scrumptious, over-the-top and just-perfect jewelry.

Robin’s note: Many of the designer collections are rare birds for this neck of the woods, so whims of comparison shopping are just that: whims.

Their specialty: Statement bracelets and necklaces.

What you should buy: Delicate drop necklaces and chandelier earrings.

What you may not know but should: You’re probably familiar with Dovecote’s near-legendary warehouse sales. If you decide to fight the maddening throngs for cut-rate prices on home décor, do so—but know the best baubles never go bargain basement. http://www.dovecote-westport.com

Fashion     Westport    
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 • Permalink


107 Main Street, New Canaan

Boutique with gobs of terrific jewelry (much of it designer, some if it fine) at all price points, and drips and drabs of almost everything else.

Robin’s note: Fun store, but crowded and lacking focus: jewelry, dishes, glassware, a few racks of clothes, cluttered wall o’ baby gifts, etc.

Who’ll you’ll see shopping here: People who need gifts for women of all ages.

Their specialty: Jewelry.

What you should buy: Jewelry or baby gifts.

What you may not know but should: I found the exact same shirt I admired in a store a block away - $8 less at Wave.

Fashion     New Canaan    
Monday, June 20, 2011 • Permalink


256 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich

If Lucky Jeans and J. Crew had a fully-formed love child, Madewell would be it.

Robin’s note: Their striped cardigans are perfectly roomy.

Who you’ll see shopping here: Women 20 to 50 who want something more casual (and cheaper) than J. Crew, but less “I wish I were a hippy” than Lucky.

Their specialty: Jeans and boots.

What you should buy: Long striped cardigans and Hunter rain boots.

What you may not know but should:
  1. Madewell and J. Crew share a CEO: Mickey Drexler.
  2. In Greenwich, the longest inseam measurement is 34. In Manhattan it’s 36. Evidently legs grow longer in the city.

Fashion     Greenwich    
Thursday, June 16, 2011 • Permalink


Lucy's, Westport

48 Post Road East, Westport

A lovely boutique with pricey day-to-evening attire and a solid designer selection. I wish someone would re-write their website copy, but I digress.

Robin’s note: I bought a pair of Paige Denim jeans at a whopping 13% discount. Their sales rarely qualify as such.

Who shops here: Moms who need a cocktail dress for themselves or a hip, expensive prom dress for their daughters.

What’s their specialty: DVF dresses and colorful silky tops.

What you should buy: They have an impressive selection of chic hard-to-find blazers and jackets.

What you may not know but should: Girls’ Night Out! Lucy’s will entertain you and your friends while you shop with drinks, snacks, and mini-manicures. Yes, manicures. While you try on clothes. Not sure how that works, but I trust their judgment.

Fashion     Westport    
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 • Permalink

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