Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Buys '09

I shop.

A lot.

For me it's a hobby, sport and therapy all rolled into one. Of course, when I stop and think about what I've spent over the past year on everything from stretchy, tie-dyed hair ties to shearling-lined boots and tinted lip balm, it kinda makes my tummy hurt. At the same time, few things make me feel happier than a package waiting on my doorstep or a super-sale dress I've scored at a local boutique's sale.

And — this is so not normal — but I kind of panic a little as the year winds down, and I think about all the things I bought for a song, thinking I won't ever find such bargains again. (I've been known to save the price tags on especially marked-down items.) It's the same creepy feeling I get when I realize all the Christmas presents I've carefully shopped for year-round have been given away and I have to start all over again.

Anyway, I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight my Best Buys of the past year:

• Haute Hippie short-sleeved poncho. I saw this in a few places and fell in love. It's a silk-cashmere-cotton blend, which sounds so yummy. The sticking point was the $139 price tag. Yikes. But, I just wanted to feel it and, with the power of online shopping (and free returns), I bought it just to see if it was worth obsessing over. It was. Amazingly, it popped up on eBay for about $40. I snapped it up. I love this so much that when a long-sleeve version came up on eBay, I bought it, too.

• J. Crew Chalet shearling-lined boots. They were a splurge, but they are so amazingly soft and cuddly inside that I may have them welded onto my feet.

• Good-to-Go bag. From one of my favorite sites — — this purse organizer is awesome. It has tons of little pockets around the outside and a big drawstring pouch in the middle. Makes it so easy to switch purses.

• NYC In A New York Minute express nail color. Sure the best things in life are free, but paying $1.72 for nail polish that really, truly dries in about a minute is pretty sweet. This stuff is awesome, has a great range of colors and you can't beat the price. Look for it at Target and drug stores.

• Clarisonic. I may love it as much as my children. Maybe more because it doesn't talk back or leave messes around the house AND it makes my skin glow. The kids give me wrinkles and gray hair. I really don't know if it makes me look younger, but my skin feels soft. My face just doesn't feel clean if I don't use it. Again, a splurge but since I never, ever have time (or money) to get facials anymore, this thing is a godsend.

• Sam Edelman "Flora" driving mocs. These feel like slippers but look soooo much chicer.

• Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans. Believe the hype. The jeans that touched off the slouchy, comfortable look are the best. The best. Amazingly soft denim and such a cute look. You've got to be careful with oversized jeans to make sure they don't make you look, well, oversized. The big, low-placed pockets are incredibly flattering to the ol' badonkadonk.

• Patterson J, Kincaid striped Greenwich top. This recently made the list for "cool new brands I've discovered." The top, purchased on crazy super-sale at Neiman Marcus's online shop (another previous posting) was such an incredible find. The material is exquisitely soft. The styling — slightly oversized with big arm holes — is very current. Outfit perfection: I throw an athletic-type bra or bandeau bra underneath and pair with skinny jeans and a moto jacket.

Here's to a 2010 filled with lots of great shopping.

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