On The Real History of Madewell, 1937

That piece was well-written and engaging, but there are quite a few things about it that irked me. For someone who hadn't bothered looking into what happened to the family company until he saw the name pop up in Soho, the author had a bit too much simmering indignation for my taste ("Wasn’t that misleading and just a little bit gross?"). And as someone that has spent a great deal of time inside Madewell stores and on the website, I can honestly say I've never once noticed any association with "New Bedford" or overt references to the brand's purported history. To the extent that Madewell has touted its workwear roots, it generally seems to be in connection with collaborations they enter into with actual artisanal/local brands. Abercrombie immediately sprung to mind when I read the lede here (we're all familiar with how A&F allegedly outfitted Teddy Roosevelt for his safaris). Both Madewell and Abercrombie have been fairly upfront, in my experience, with acknowledging their corporate parents. I imagine that most consumers know that the Madewell in their shopping mall is not a mom and pop operation. They also know they haven't been shopping there since 1937. It's interesting that the author got in touch with the owner of Save Khaki. They have a store across the street from my apartment (and just a few blocks away from the Soho location of Madewell). That brand definitely has a "hand-made" sort of aesthetic to it, though I admittedly know nothing of where it obtains or manufactures its goods. I wonder if Dan (or that vintage store owner in New Bedford) would have been offended if David Mullen had simply tacked the Madewell name onto his company instead of passing it along to J. Crew. This comment was a lot of words about a store that sells jeans but I have so many feelings clothes. Just so many.

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm 1

On Aspiring To Be An Effortlessly Cool Woman With $400 Shoes

Nice clothing is my biggest indulgence. I try to buy less and buy better, partially because I have admittedly expensive taste but partially because supporting fast fashion giants like Forever21 and H&M has seemed increasingly unethical over the last few years due to concerns over everything from poor labor conditions to rampant design piracy. But, because I am not lucky enough to have an unlimited budget, I do nearly all of my shopping at sample sales, or at least at designer discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or Century 21. If you live in New York, I cannot recommend sample sale shopping enough. It can be stressful and plenty of times you'll walk away empty handed, but sometimes you come upon some downright steals. I once got a $750 Tibi skirt for $65. Another time I got a Proenza Schouler tunic/dress for TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS. If you're diligent, you can find a sale in NY for most major designers at least once a year. I've found that Racked NY and Mizhattan are the most reliable sources for upcoming sales.

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm 0

On Two Weddings, One Summer

Since graduating law school, my summers have been a steady stream of wedding after wedding after wedding. In 2012, my boyfriend and I were invited to 7 weddings, 6 of which we attended. We live in NY and the weddings were spread out everywhere from DC to Nashville to Indianapolis. All required an Amtrak ride or a flight and at least one night in a hotel. We had to rent a car for 2 or 3 of them, plus gifts, of course. I would estimate we easily spent $5000 attending weddings that year. I was able to repeat a few dresses, as some of the guest lists were mutually exclusive of one another. However, might I recommend Rent the Runway for everyone's wedding needs? It was great for the dates when I was sick of everything in my closet and couldn't be bothered to go shopping for a new dress. I have admittedly expensive taste, so I probably wouldn't be spending less than $100 on a new dress unless it was on sale. I've used RTR several times and never paid more than $50 for a rental (usually less with a coupon or code). The whole rental process is super painless and the customer service people were always great. I swear they aren't paying me to say this.

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 11:45 am 0

On How Wizards Do Money: Neville Longbottom

@HelloTheFuture Don't want to delve too deep into the ethics of caring for elderly/disabled family members, but maybe it was just too much for Gran? She already had Neville to raise and being a full-time caretaker to two low-functioning/high-needs adults is a lot to ask of anyone.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm 0

On How Wizards Do Money: Neville Longbottom

@apples and oranges Well, presumably there are still costs for potion-making supplies and other healing "substances" (bezoars, Skele-gro, etc.). I like to think of the spells as more like surgery - procedures to be carried out by highly trained, competent medical professionals and supplemented with medication.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm 2

On How Wizards Do Money: Neville Longbottom

I feel strongly that the wizarding world has universal health care and also that the Ministry would provide long-term care and survivor benefits for Aurors injured in the line of duty.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm 4

On Spending Three Years in College, Rather Than Four, to Save Money

I finished in 3 years at an expensive private school in an expensive city, thanks mostly to a glut of AP credits. Between scholarships and my parents' contribution, I was paying for about 25%-30% of the total cost of my education. I managed to fit in an a summer abroad (study abroad was required for our honors program) and a senior thesis, but not much else. Between the core requirements, my major, minor, and honors program, I had maybe one or two "just for fun" classes. My three years flew by and I never felt like I had a chance to explore anything other than my poorly conceived plan to go to law school, where I ended up immediately after undergrad. I definitely could have used the extra time (especially after taking the LSAT) to figure out what things actually interest me (hint, not the law!). In retrospect, the extra year of undergrad would have been a much cheaper deal than law school.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 11:14 am 0

On Would You Pay $375 for A Night at the Museum? ANY Museum?

Having fully investigated this yesterday when it was announced, you should be aware that you DO get a cot, though you are asked to bring a sleeping bag (see here: http://www.amnh.org/plan-your-visit/amnh-sleepovers/for-grown-ups). The FAQs also clarify that the "breakfast snack" consists of "fresh fruit, granola bars, muffins, yogurt, coffee, tea, and juice." All that being established, this event is now sold out.

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 11:43 am 0

On I've Fallen Into the 'Lifestyle Inflation' Trap

Hey, you guys are talking about me! A thought. There is a flip side to the "I'm a grad student/struggling writer/freelance creative type and all my friends are corporate shills that make so much money!" lament. Us corporate shills make a lot of money because nobody would be willing to do these jobs for less than the suitable compensation we make. Many of us have advanced degrees that put us into six figure student loan debt. You cannot afford to take an unpaid or low-wage internship when you are staring at a $1700 monthly loan payment shortly after the bar exam is over. Trust me, we are envious of those of you that can make your own schedules, study things that interest you, and ignore your emails after 6pm and on the weekends. From our side, those look like luxuries in the same way our brunches and weekend trips look like them to you. Corporate shill jobs obviously have their perks. A pleasant work-life balance and fulfilling/satisfying/enjoyable work just usually aren't included.

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 2:32 pm 0

On Where Pop Culture Goes to College

I had to do some fact checking here. Though you are technically correct that in the Gossip Girl book series, Blair Waldorf seems to have been admitted to Yale, in the television show, she has her dreams shattered when she is rejected. Instead, she enrolls at NYU and then later, Columbia. NYU has so many fictional alumni that during freshman orientation (nearly 10 years ago, ughhhhhh) they showed us a video with clips from basically every time the school was ever mentioned on film/tv.

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm 0