Tag Archives: men’s retail boston

Women Now Outshine the Men at Work…Is That Acceptable? Really?

Donald Trump Bad Hair Day

Here is the supposed KING of Business. So are we (I mean the work force of America) saying that it is OK for a man to parade around like this just as long as he makes a lot of money?  Would that be acceptable for women? Funny, every time a women runs for office, all the press and opponents talk about is her dress and her hair, but we don’t even speak about a man (well ok we are finally making fun of “The Donald”).

Is this Best We Can Do?

Here you go…here is the perfect illustration of our illustrious young male workforce, badly dress and groomed. Why aren’t the women of the world screaming for a revolution….Would you really look at these guys and think they are the best you could hire for your company?  How can you tell them apart?  They all think they look the part, and what they really look like is that they have white man’s disease, you can tell they can’t dance either. Maybe one of them could have worn a dark trouser that possibly would fit them without having a saggy ass. Maybe one of them could have worn a patterned shirt or dare I say a tie. We all know they were wearing blue blazers (without a spec of a design element anywhere). Somewhere there is a secret code that informs these men that it’s the only acceptable uniform to wear; khakis, a blue or white plain shirt and a navy blazer and you are all set for the business world. Get an $8 hair cut while you are at it.

Well guess what men of the secret code…your competition isn’t each other any more. it’s women. And I can say for certain, because many of them are my customers, women are grooming themselves to look more modern for business to beat the competition in their saggy assed suits from Joseph A. Banks. Get ready… So when you walk out of an interview all wrinkled (or unwrinkled in your stay pressed shirt and pants) that the women (or male) interviewer is going to respond better to a candidate with an aura of a well dressed and groomed person, not someone in the secret code uniform.

Now I know that I’m a woman, and women aren’t part of the CLUB…. But this code has gone on for way too long. It was cool to see men stop being so buttoned up, but of course we had to go to extremes and soon they are wearing pajamas around because they are comfortable. If that’s the case why wear clothes at all?

Is this Really Sexy? I Guess if You Have Money You Shouldn't Care..I Think You Should

Whether men like it or not, to compete in this business climate they are going to have to put more time and effort into their appearance or be left behind. There are leaders in this endeavor. The look may not scream out (which is the point) but check out the grooming and the variety of dress.

He Looks Modern Without Looking Stuffy

Look a Different Colored Shirt?

Now There's a Man Who Knows How To Tie aTie

See my point? Please….

What Do The Working Women Wear?

I’m in the middle of buying “Pre-Fall”…whatever that means…and I’m looking at some pretty nice things when it occurs to me that I keep say the same thing to these brands, “What is she going to wear “that” with to the office?” You would think I was asking the most ridiculous question. The answer is always the same “oh they can throw “that” over black pants or a skirt”. Really? So I ask “who do you think is wearing these $1500 tailored jackets?” The answer is women who work.

This kills me. I come from a time when women were lucky just to be able to be in the same office as men, never mind having the same job. We have gone through several incarnations of workwear for women and we finally have the freedom to express ourselves (granted with some limitations) and we still have to explain to manufacturers that all these expensive clothes are worn by women who have somewhere to go in them…they actually serve a purpose. it’s not just fashion.

Look at the Cut (which is outstanding,) the Fabric Brings in the Freshness

As you can see we are just getting in some great suits for spring that I think show there is creativity in this category…..which means someone is thinking about the customer,  not pandering to the unrealistic pages of fashion magazines. This next suit is from Jason Wu. He’s part of the new generation of great creative and technical designers that move the needle forward for womens wear.

His use of lace, technical fabric and zipper closure freshen up this spring staple

So Simple but is it Really?

Last but not least (at all) is what looks like a simple black suit from The Row, but upon closer inspection the delicious fabric, the hip structure that make you look skinny (believe it or not ) and the skinny pant makes this suit a head turner. These are just a few examples of the new work wear. This is also a reminder that when you come to Louis you are NOT just looking at “fashion” that a designer puts out there, you are looking at an edited collection of clothing that has a purpose for your lifestyle….and isn’t that why you buy clothes?

“That Shit Cray”

My 19 year old daughter took me to see Kanye West and Jay-Z last night. This is the truth. At the dinner we had before the concert she gave me a tutorial on some of the language and what it means and a small history of old school rap i.e. Jay-Z and how Kanye changed rap from  the streets to popular poetry. As she was talking to me I was looking at her remembering her first concert. She was 6 and I took HER to see the “Spice Girls” (indulgent but historical at the same time). I also took her to see Britney Spears twice, Janet Jackson, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and several Summer Jams. She went to see the Back Street Boys and Shakira with other parents; all by the age of 13. Now she was taking her mother to a concert ….this concept blew my mind. I would never have taken my mother to a concert at 19, and here she was taking pictures with me on her I Phone.

I kept thinking about all the times in the car when she was younger, she would turn up the volume (and the bass) when a rap song came on the radio.  I thought the songs were completely inappropriate (especially the messages about women).  She would yell back “it’s poetry Mom”. I shook my head and thought she’ll figure it out. I would say “every song sounds the same and has the same beat”, and she would say “it’s about the words Mom”.

Kanye and Sam

Let’s go back to how we got the tickets to this show (which by the way she saw in DC a few weeks ago when she was at school). I was early when I was on my way topic her up at the airport  on Sunday, so I stopped by the store to check in on things. While standing there in walks Kanye West and entourage. He was pleasant and introduced himself to me and complimented the store. All I could do was think about how I could get my daughter and get back so she could meet one of her favorite ….favorite…rappers? I jumped in the car and in a flash brought her back. With all the confidence in the world I watched her stick out her hand and introduce herself to him. Taking her lead I too started a discussion about his first attempt at  fashion with a show in Paris this past October. Though the show was an OK first try,  I thought his media response was dead on…”it was just his first attempt and fashion is about trying and learning from your mistakes”. He then picked up the conversation and went on about how nothing was going to stop him and he learnt so much, and his next go around would be better. I commented on his confidence and then he challenged me to come to a concert to see how much he changed rap music. I went and it did change my view of rap music. But another surprise was my daughter’s expression of satisfaction that  she had introduced me to an experience,  as I had done when she was young. As they always say, you are never too young to learn.

You Can't Miss His Presence

Here’s what I discovered. There must be thousands of words in every rap song. When the music started (the floor was shaking) the audience was shouting back the words to the performers. They knew every word, every nuance to every line. There were no musicians , no dancers, no strong melodies, just two people manning the synthesizers and  the performers with their words. So THIS was the poetry she was talking about. This was what moved this generation into memorizing hundreds of songs… it was exhilarating . These two performers had to be in the best shape to go on like this for 2 1/2 hours…. no stimulants here or they couldn’t get the words out…their energy was pure and real, and the audience was the same way.

Armed with Only Their Words

Here they are just sitting while the crowd was standing and completely motivated by their words. The encore was a process of the two of them singing the same song over and over, to beat the fact that they repeated it 5 times in Miami…Boston can claim that they repeated it 6 times, a record, and the audience shouted each time, like it was the first. The name of the song “Paris” the hook is “That Shit Cray”….i.e. That Shit’s Crazy…..it really was.

That Shit Cray

That Grand Feeling of Perfection

I love my new boots. Yes I know you hear it all the time the “perfect boot” for Fall. But I mean this…but how would you know. Every magazine, every website, every shopping website, every catalogue, even every store claims this every Fall. It kinda looses it’s meaning. Having said that when you find the right one for you, it feels sooooo good. Every time you put them on, with every outfit, you say to yourself, “wow these are great boots”. Your start to take care of them…you bring them to be resoled with a rush charge. When you pack to go away you start with the boots and figure out your outfits that will surely highlight the boots. You find yourself wearing them everyday and when you have to wear another pair you sigh and make sure your wear the “great boots” the next day. Sometimes if you are really careful you wear them two years in a row everyday until the boots just plain wear out.

cool side buckle, tight at the ankle and calf, tall, great leather, flat, comfortable

Great heel, no shiny leather, open at the knee, easy to get on and off

Sorry for the blurry pictures I was in a hurry but you get the picture right? Pierre Hardy had these boots last year, but he perfected them this season. You will probably not find these in any magazine, you will probably not find these on any website….because they do not register as perfection from the photos. They do not register perfection from the description. They do not register perfection from the name brand. Actually they would only register perfection if you actually saw, felt, tried on these boots when someone pointed to them in front of you and you tried them on immediately. The consumer is missing so much by falling into the trap of brands, ease and the addiction of point and click.

When I “buy” for the store, I look at each piece I purchase with the same inspection as I did buying these boots for myself. That feeling of perfection when you own something that rewards you every time you wear it, is the goal. There are so many items that are chosen that even looking at them on the racks of our store you wouldn’t know were perfection until you tried them on. I make sure I see everything on a body before I “buy” the product, especially shoes. Shoes look so different on and off the foot. Not everything comes out the way it was shown…fabrics can change fit can be funny, but to be sure I am inspecting and selecting with a sharp focus, and aiming for no mistakes.

But what I’m really reaching for ALL of the time is giving you that feeling of confidence every time you pull that garment out of the closet and put it on your body…..ahhhh appreciation!!!!!

Have We’ve Become the Communists?

Just look at us…. yes the capitalists that we are, how are we choosing to spend our money as a collective group? Ok let’s narrow down the question to how are we spending money on clothes in this country….what is an “acceptable look” when we walk down the street. Here are a few pictures of people I shot while I was walking down the street this morning.

 

Notice the uniform, flip flops, t-shirt etc.

The uniform, t-shirt, jeans and flip flops

Uniform, t-shirt and flip flops

Don't we look elegant?

All photos were shot within 3 minutes of each other

The reason why I called us capitalists is that we HAVE the freedom to choose individual clothes to represent our individual personalities. We don’t have to wear a uniform, we don’t have to equalize our society by dressing exactly the same. So why are we dressing the same…and by the way looking sloppy as we do it….Why?  OK I know the economy is in the tank and  disposable income is non-existent…but at a certain point we’ve  become a nation of people dressing sloppy with cheap, disposable clothing….. maybe we might want to start taking pride in our appearance….because that might make us take pride in ourselves and our country.

When I am in showrooms with stores from China (yes there are many) I notice the buyers to be exceptionally well dressed. They spend time to put themselves together in a way that reminds me of American women in the 50’s. These women look like Grace Kelly in a 1950’s movie. They have an individuality in their appearance that rivals the glory days of Hollywood. I realize these women are a small percentage of the total population of China but they symbolize a new generation of Chinese moving forward toward an affluent society. Where are we in America moving to?….Will we continue to buy cheap clothing and throw it away 3 months later? Will we continue to meld together and begin to look exactly the same as each other? Will we except sloppy as OK instead taking pride in ourselves and our appearance?

Maybe we are the ones who are moving towards communism and the Chinese are moving towards capitalism???? What a switch…..

 

Here’s What the News Didn’t Tell You

I’m sure it’s a big deal that Whitey Bulger got caught….now that’s he’s 81 years old. Everyday down here at Fan Pier there is heavy security and three police boats on the harbor for every visit. There are also a tons of “News Vehicles” and reporters ready to report his every move. Here is the scoop the tax payers are paying for his expensive transport, his healthcare and his legal team for years to come and he will probably die before he ever gets sentenced. But you would think while they have news crews down here they might walk 500 feet to their right and find an amazing event taking place on the water for the next four days. Extreme sailing races  happen all over the world and followed by millions of fans. The organization chose Boston as its’ first destination in the United States because it was the perfect set up to bring the people closer to the races. Usually the races are farther out at sea and video is the only way to watch them. The races started yesterday and will continue until Monday.

How LUCKY we are to have this in our city yet our press and television stations find it NOT noteworthy. What wrong with this picture?  Is it too POSITIVE  a new story so we should not be privileged to the information? Are they holding the story a secret  until the races have been here for five years and then they might mention them???? OK maybe sailing isn’t generic enough to be put on television…how about the most amazing FIREWORKS ????? The fact that they had to close Logan for the fireworks last night, would that be newsworthy ?????? Oh NOOOOOO even the Globe couldn’t drum up a photo and report on what’s happening right under their noses but I’m sure they had an article on who visited the courtroom yesterday….500 feet away.

By the way here’s the fireworks finale from last night…it was amazing!!!

Why Did The “All American” Look Go from Healthy to Trashy?

When networks decided to save money by utilizing “Reality TV” the women in these shows were suppose represent the “everyday woman” in America. We used to show women on TV looking clean cut and healthy, now we show them in strapless everything, and short skirts and dresses. I think the networks use the phrase “women, other women can relate to”. Really? Maybe the line should be “women who represent our seedy side”. The problem is young girls now think that it’s cool to look and and act like this. And everywhere I look today there they are  women in strapless whatever, monster shoes and always acting a little tipsy.

Is this the Gold standard for Young Women Today?

Television DOES influence people into thinking this is the way to live …or this is the way to look…..Well I say fight back. To use a word for people 25 and older  I think it is totally INAPPROPRIATE . This look is trashy!!!! Women can always RESORT to this look but if you have depth in your mind, body and soul you can create a less …uh…obvious look that would make you look elegant….complicated….intelligent…and yes beautiful.

We need to show an alternative to this…I hope that there is an alternative to this otherwise woman should just stop trying altogether. There is no need for design and creativity if this is the uniform for “every woman”. It’s funny how women are responding to the way women dressed in the 60’s when they watch “Mad Men”. Though the women are very finished and well groomed in the show those clothes were uncomfortable. Today we have so many more choices of clothes to wear. We have lifestyles that can afford several different “Looks” with sleeves and a neckline and maybe length from the thigh down.

The "LOOK" looks the Same Coming and Going

It’s Not Even Warm Yet and Spring has Just Sprung

I must have received two hundred e-mails requesting I go to New York, and yes. Europe in May and June for appointments for pre Spring (November/December deliveries). This delivery may be 25% of the overall buy for the Spring/Summer season. I will have to go back in September/October for a January-March delivery. There is something wrong with this. I have been wailing about this since some marketing genius came up with this idea seven years ago. Hey, he/she thought that for Christmas, since every store was on sale and no one wanted to buy marked down apparel for presents, stores could supply fresh pre-spring merchandise that consumers would buy as “holiday presents”. But all that move did was change the consumers’ buying habits to eliminate apparel as a desired “holiday gift”, and stores are full of spring merchandise when it’s freezing out.  Here’s the rub, after five months it’s just beginning to feel like spring in Boston. The weather has been awful, and this has made spring late …. so I’m in pre spring buying for  well… pre spring?????  I know our weather is different from the rest of the country but that just means a longer period of warm weather for others. If the fall season could be fall merchandise for well …..”the Fall months” and then spring could be delivered when the weather IS turning warmer things would be as they should be .  If vendors could just show once a season instead making buyers travel twice a season or four times a year think of the time and energy we all would be saving. Vendors could easily spread out their deliveries (December-March), even the designers would be relieved  because they really only have one focus a season ….that is really viable  (if they were to admit it).

Just to prove that there is a reality gap in the northeast, it’s 50 degrees today and here are some pictures from my garden right now….

Cherry Blossoms around my house

What would spring be without tulips?

It's May and these are my dogwood trees they are late this year

It's May 11th and My Azaleas are just coming out

Here’s my prediction, it’s going to be too expensive to give inventories away anymore (on sale). Stores will have to pay up to 30% more to replace that inventory. Why shorten a season when adding merchandise is too costly?  So will pre spring remain relevant?  Will the fall season clothing stay in stores through the cold months?  Will all these stores readjust their timetables to coincide with reality?  Will giving apparel for Christmas or the holidays regain it’s importance again? How will American stores teach the consumer to appreciate what they are buying instead of purchasing for the sake of purchasing something that has been marked down?

Get ready for inflation it’s coming….and it’s going to change our purchasing habits from consumers to stores’ timetables….hopefully.

9/11, 9 Years and 8 Months Later

Samantha Greenberg (right in the middle) Outside the White House May 1, 2011

This is my daughter outside the White House last night drinking in the excitement from the news of the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden for  the 9/11 catastrophe that happened 9 years and 8 months ago. She was 9 at the time….. I was, in fact, in New York at the time, it was “Fashion Week”.  I was walking back to my hotel from the gym with a Starbucks in my hand when I witnessed the first plane fly into the World Trade Center. I could see papers flying everywhere, I was ten blocks away in Soho. I ran into my hotel lobby shouting that “a plane just went into the World Trade center Building” and people just looked at me like I was crazy…I probably would have done the same thing. I ran up to my room called my husband and described what I had just seen. I had the television on and “The Today” show was on and Katie Couric was just announcing the same story. My husband and I discussed how we were going to tell Samantha, my daughter that her mother was OK and that he would pick her up from school so that no one else would say anything to her. When I got out of the shower my husband called me back to say (to my disbelief) that a second plane had also crashed into the World Trade Center and again made a plan to make sure that Sam talked to me on the phone when she got out of school so she wouldn’t worry.

After watching the remaining disaster unfold (in real time only seen on New York television) I got dressed and walked outside to see if I could help, only to witness ash covered people, hundreds of them, walking up the street towards uptown in a zombie like state. There was a smell in the air even though the smoke and smog didn’t actually infiltrate Soho until the next day. I tried to go to the site but the police had already restricted the area. I remember standing in the street thinking life as we know it will never be the same in America, that safe “we’ll never be attacked in this country” feeling was gone.

I went back into the hotel and called my husband and Sam. She got on the phone to tell me about some incident in school where a girl fell off a swing and had to be taken to the hospital…she really couldn’t understand the scope of what happened. Our worries, we thought, were overblown

The next day I went and stood in line at St Vincent’s Hospital to give blood. It was there that I saw all the photographs being posted. People had already made posters of their friends and family members to circulate near the hospital hoping that their loved ones made it out in time. It was heartbreaking, There will always be a hole in my heart from the experience.

Yet there was something unexpectedly rejuvenating about seeing my daughter celebrating in these pictures last night. I realized that although she wasn’t immediately affected by the trauma of my experience, her life was TOTALLY affected by it everyday thereafter.  9/11 is a noun to her. Every time she travels on a plane, everyday in the newspapers, on TV or online, she is exposed to the resulting wars and acts of terrorism. Hers is a life void of the secure feelings we USED to have. And with Bin Laden’s death comes a fresh sense of hope for her that life might one day return to a world at rest instead of full of unrest.

Here’s Sam at the gate of the White House

Celebrating for the Cameras

With all that has happened in this world,  three wars being fought and financial instability a constant in our future, it has been reassuring watching the youth all around the world  trying to change the status quo, pushing the boundaries to make a more peaceful and caring world. It’s light at the end of the tunnel.