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Jul 12, 2008: After the deluge, a question

WARNING: narcissism aheadNate's now over three weeks old and entering that state of fat and (mostly) happy. MJ and I are tired but doing well, and Iris is doing a bang-up job as big sister-in-chief.

If you've been around a newborn for any amount of time, you quickly realize that wearing shirts other than white or off-white is a pointless pursuit: most of what goes down inevitably comes up. It's also summer in NYC, so my wardrobe consists exclusively of shorts, white T-shirts, and cheap sandals. That'd be fine, if I hadn't realized—at a way-too-early hour this morning, while feeding Nate—that that's essentially my normal wardrobe.

And then it dawned on me: I'm 43 years old. And I still dress like I'm 23.

That really ought to change. Once the weather cools down a bit, at which point Nate's digestive tract should have matured, I've got to upgrade my wardrobe. So, my question: where do you shop for clothes online? Even though I live five miles from the mecca of US shopping, it's truly a hassle to get to Manhattan for a half day to try stuff on. And I really don't enjoy shopping. I'm hoping you can suggest a few online retailers that would be ideal for the mid-40s manchild without a sense of style, or much time or desire to work hard to look good...

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Comment: Mary (Jul 13, 2008)

Lands End and Eddie Bauer have good stuff, particularly if you hit a sale. Gap.com is good, too. I've also been known to find good clothes at Target.com, but please don't tell anyone. I'd be simply mortified if anyone knew. Mortified.

Congrats again on the little guy. I hope sleep is close to sufficient.

Comment: Timothy (Jul 14, 2008)

Why is it you feel that you have to change your wardrobe because of your age? And what does MJ say?

Comment: Lou (Jul 14, 2008)

Because I want my wardrobe to at least occasionally be coordinated with my gray hair... :-)

Comment: Indi Young (Jul 14, 2008)

If you dislike shopping, hire a personal shopper. I did that, otherwise I would have had nothing proper to wear because I can't force myself to go shopping for clothes. It's easier to go to the dentist or to go pick up trash by the side of the road. Luckily, I managed to find a friend-of-a-friend personal shopper who doesn't cost much and (get this!) shops at thrift stores. So I get an armload of clothes plus her services for $60.

Comment: Victor Lombardi (Jul 14, 2008)

I just thought about it, and then looked through my Clothing category on Delicious, and it occurred to me there's no killer site for buying clothes, at least not men's clothes. The funky t-shirt sites have done well, but other than that it's just brand sites and piece-specific sites.

Some people love Zappos for shoes, they have legendary customer service.

If I was to point to one place to buy generally good men's clothes it would be Banana Republic...

Comment: Victor Lombardi (Jul 14, 2008)

Also, it looks like Nau, an ambitious venture to create a sustainable clothing company with some rather cool clothes, is getting back to financial health with an infusion of cash...


Comment: Lou Rosenfeld (Jul 15, 2008)

Of course, the problems with these sites--as good as they are--is that they won't teach me how to dress. Maybe I'll have to bite the bullet and take Indi's advice.

Victor, would Uli be my personal shopper?

Comment: Myra Klarman (Jul 15, 2008)

Rico and I got ridiculously lucky during a speed-shopping trip. Inside of an hour, he got a comfortable, yet classy outfit at Banana Republic, and I hit paydirt at Macys.

The idea of a personal shopper is tempting, but sounds like Indi got lucky. Heck, I'm so quirky/picky, I feel guilty having a shop salesperson go around their store 10x looking for this and that. I can't imagine feeling good about dissing a pile of clothes I just paid someone to collect around town. Presumbably a good personal shopper would get it right more than not. Please report back if you try it.

A stylist is someone who could teach you how to dress, i.e., give you a different look, without doing all the shopping for you.

Personally, I see no problem with combining my grey hair with magenta board shorts and a tie-die T (my current duds). Then again, you're a few days older than me. :)

Comment: Lou Rosenfeld (Jul 15, 2008)

Ouch. Myra, happy belated birthday (to us)!

I don't want to give the impression that I'm going to give up on my grunginess. But it'd be nice to, say, go to dinner or a business meeting and dress somewhere in between shorts/T-shirt and a suit...

(Actually, while I have about six suits, I don't remember the last time I wore one. Probably none fit anymore.)

Comment: ML (Jul 24, 2008)

I have a cousin in Chelsea who is a fashion designer. He's doing menswear now so I can shoot an email and see if he does help folks with their "look" or if he knows someone who does it for a living.

Comment: Lisa (Jul 26, 2008)

Here are my suggestions - I happen to consider shopping one of my favorite pastimes!

Bluefly http://www.bluefly.com,

Piperlime http://www.piperlime.com/ has great shoes, and is part of the GAP Inc group, so you can hit Banana Republic and the Gap too...

Run in to an H&M http://www.hm.com/ and grab all sorts of things that might be interesting (the prices are so phenomenal, you can't really go wrong with experimenting with what colors and styles show your silver off well...),

Go to Nordstrom's (in person or online http://shop.nordstrom.com) and ask their personal shopper for help - they can gather items for you to try on, or send them off to you. They have great customer service, and the easiest return policy...

As a former mother of 5 babies, i can also tell you that even if you camouflage the stains, you still have that unique baby smell..

Happy shopping!

Comment: karen (Aug 3, 2008)

I like wearing white pants but it only turns up turning off-white with a toddler. Good for you for having thought about your wardrobe. All I can think of is my toddler's wardrobe. Haven't bought clothes for me for the longest time.


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