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Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category


Are these impractical? Yes? Really? I thought I might wear them to walk the dog, run errands, you know, wherever.

They’re mine now. Damn you discount shopping! I couldn’t resist!

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Yesterday I set the stage: glamorous women, men in plaid pants, fur stoles in August!  Yes, it was the 52nd annual Southampton Hospital Benefit, called “Some Enchanted Evening.”

Today, I’m continuing the saga as we enter The Dinner Hour!! (cue scary music)

The Southampton Hospital Benefit is so huge, so gigantic, that it can only be held in a tent.  Nine hundred people were at this benefit.  And not one of them knew or cared who I was. Typical day in the life.

After the hors d’oevres free cocktail hour, we entered the dinner tent.  Our table, #79, or as I like to call it, The Jewish Table, (why the Jewish table?  I’m guessing that our dinner companions, the Kaplans, the Fienbergs, and the Goldsteins were Jewish. Just a guess.) (more…)

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It’s the party where fabulous gowns, gobs of jewelry, and men in pink plaid shorts and knee socks collide. It’s the Southampton Hospital annual benefit evening. And I was there.

photo credit: Blanche WilliamsonSouthampton, for those without access to movies, TV, newspapers, magazines, or other sentient beings, is one of the towns in the swanky NY resort area known as The Hamptons.

After a lifetime in the Hamptons, I’d heard all about the big parties and the glamorous people.  I just wasn’t one of them. Unless bad hair and stained 20 year old t-shirts are glam, that is.  I never went to the benefit because I was never part of Southampton “society.”  Why? Read on.

1. Have you checked out my last name, people? Rabinowitz-Friedman? Uh – Jew.  Actually, double Jew.  Southampton is not exactly a bastion of diversity. Founded in 1640, the town didn’t get a synagogue until the 1990’s. But at least they welcome my people kindly- with a lawsuit trying to stop the synagogue from existing at all.

2. I own neither a Lily Pulitzer dress, nor a pair of loafers with a cute little crest on them. Also, I have ankles.

3. I’d rather eat than drink at a party.

4. I don’t hang out on the veranda with my boarding school chums Kathy and Preston.  Mostly because I don’t have a veranda and I went to Public School with kids named Amy and David.

So this foray into the bowels heart of SH society, well, it was too much to pass up.  I considered wearing a sheitel – but decided that what with my fabulous new(ish) haircut I wouldn’t want to cover it up with a schmata on my head. (And if you know what I mean by this – you wouldn’t be part of SH society either!)

We arrived at the party and the first thing I see is a woman of a certain age wearing a white fur stole. It was 90 degrees people. I knew I was in for a weird night.

We wandered through the somewhat older crowd hoping for a familiar face. Quickly, I realized that even if  someone’s face had been familiar once, that had been several surgeries ago, so I wouldn’t recognize them anyway. Kinda like on a Soap Opera where the person disappears and comes back unrecognizable because of plastic surgery performed by a world renowned evil doctor in a faraway county .  Oh, and because they hired a new actress.

I haven’t seen so many Beauty Parlor, made-to-last-for-a-week hairdos since the last time I watched Mad Men. The hair spray fumes were suffocating. I fervently wished no one would light a match.

No one did.  Nor did anyone speak to us or even give us the eye contact that might be necessary for us to speak to them.  This was not a warm and welcoming crowd. Also, for people who are supposedly part of society – well, let’s just say there were a lot of women of a certain age dressed like they were certainly a whole lot younger.  Tip to women around the world: when your breast hover somewhere around your navel, it’s not a good idea to go braless in a skimpy dress.

It was a weird mix of truly gorgeous society women, and truly tacky false-eyelash wearing, bad plastic surgery sporting wannabes.   Look!  Over there!  A jewel encrusted emerald green silk strapless shift.  And look!  over there!  a silver lame skin tight gown that wouldn’t be out of place on Snookie from the Jersey Shore.  And I don’t even think you’re allowed to say the words “Jersey Shore” when you’re in the Hamptons.  On pain of having to wear lip liner without lipstick.  Oh the horror.

True to the cliché that Jews like food and gentiles like drink at their parties (see #3, above) cocktail hour passed with nary an hors d’oevres in sight. Then, just before I keeled over from the combination of alcohol, hairspray fumes and the crisp smell of cold hard cashthey herded us, cowlike (bejeweled cows – but still) into dinner, But to hear about that, you’ll have to check in tomorrow for part two: The Dinner.  Wherein a blond bimbo with big lips announces that she’s in the market for a man worth $50 million or more, and my husband baffles party goers by mentioning bungalow colonies in the Catskills.

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-10 I am old.

Not because of  my saggy knees, or brown spots, or my elbows that look as if they’ve been crumpled up in the back of a drawer for a few decades.  No, I am old because I am horrified by what “young girls” are wearing. (plus, I refer to anyone under thirty as a young girl – I’m old for sure!)

With summer-like weather upon the city, (though this week things seem to have cooled down) everyone is letting everything hang out.  Manhattan is suffering from TMI of the body: and frankly, I don’t want to see it!

I mean, is there some rule that if you are female and possessing of a bustline you must display it so prominently one is tempted to insert a coin, grab your arm, and go for the jackpot?

Did I miss the memo that said your skirt must be so short that when you raise your arm to wave to your friend across the street, you reveal a thong so deeply wedged in it reappears on the other side?

Did someone forget to mention to me that tank tops must be worn below the bra line, so that all you need is a glass of mead and some rotten teeth to accurately approximate a Medieval serving wench?

Did I neglect to read the e-mail about displaying one’s love handles at every opportunity? Or the one about how the low-hanging pants once exclusively associated with plumbers have somehow become a fashion trend?

What ever happened to keepin’ it covered? If you’re twenty-something, well, OK.  I don’t love it, but at least you’re twenty something. It’s the thirty, forty, even fifty-somethings wearing belly shirts that really get me.  Here’s a newsflash:  I don’t care how fit you are:  unless you’re a supermodel, a movie star or a porn star, once you’ve given birth, nobody wants to see your stomach.

Plus, the flesh on display is not always taut – even when it is young.  I suppose I should think it’s great that these girls feel confident enough about their bodies that they don’t care that they’re muffin’-topping it around town.  But I don’t even like seeing the svelte ones so scantily clad the mother in me wants to run across the street and hand them a robe.  Why on earth would I want to see the pudgy ones busting out of their hip-huggers?

When I was a teenager, Preppy was in.  We must have looked ridiculous, a bunch of frizzy haired Jewish girls in multiple polo shirts with the collars turned up, as if we thought the real Wasps might not notice we were poseurs if we piled on the polos with aplomb. Our look was Wasp-wanna-be.

Today, Preppy for men is still in, but for young women, the look, evidently, is now “hooker with good highlights.”  For example, the other day in Zabars I saw a polo-wearing college boy with his short-short wearing, bra displaying, tummy flashing, $400 haircut sporting girlfriend. It looked like a casting call for a new movie: Preppy and the Parentally-supported Porn Star.

I know it’s judgmental.  I know I shouldn’t care what others wear.  But I do care.  I care because I don’t want my daughter thinking that objectifying herself is a good thing.  I don’t want my son getting the idea that women are adornments, or sex objects, or are there for his viewing pleasure.  And in case you think that sounds like I’m abdicating responsibility for raising him right, think about this: pit a mother’s admonitions to respect girls against an actual, buttocks flashing female…and guess who wins.

Look, I’m all for women reveling in their sexuality. But reveling and revealing are two different things. This physiological TMI offends me as a woman.  It sets a bad example for my kids.But mostly, it makes me hope and pray that the fashion cycle keeps turning, and the Preppy look returns to prominence by the time my daughter hits puberty.

Because by then, if she tries to go out of the house looking like a runaway who’s fallen in with a bad pimp…well I’ll be too old to do anything about it.

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The crazy blind dates. The long curly hair. The constant wondering when (and if) I would find Mr. Right. The cosmos. Other than the shoes and the rampantly indiscriminate sex, I could relate to Carrie’s life in the HBO hit series Sex in the City.

Of course by the time the show aired I was already married, and by the time it ended I already had two kids, but still, her life was close enough to what my reality had been – the glamorous, better dressed version of my reality – that even with its excesses, the show rang true.

But here we are, on the cusp of a new Sex and the City movie, and I can’t help but wonder….why is it that my life now centers around organizing my synagogue’s High Holy Days, cleaning up after the dog, and packing up the kids for sleepaway camp, while Carrie and the gang still have lives that include gallivanting across the desert in designer duds?

Read the rest of this post on New York City Moms blog by clicking here.

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I have big boobs. That’s just a fact.  And lest you think I’m bragging about it, let me tell you the truth about big boobs: after you have children, after you nurse children, after gravity takes its toll, after forty, big boobs are saggy boobs.  Perky and 36DD are simply not words you hear together, unless some major surgery and some sort of foreign gel or liquid is involved.  So when I go bra shopping, it is not about fun,  fashion and sexiness.  It’s about hoistin’ those babies up.

Until today.

Because today,  I went to the new {intimacy} flagship store on 62nd and 3rd and had a fitting by none other than The Bra Whisperer herself, {intimacy} Founder and Chief Bra Fitter, Susan Nethero, (a five-time Oprah guest. FIVE!). And man, was it amazing. Turns out, I was wearing the wrong size.  Evidently, while my boobs may be gigundoid, I need a 32, instead of a 36.I am petite!

Susan Nethero

(that alone made it worth the trip across town.  Me? Petite? Ha!) Turns out, wearing the right bra can make you look taller and thinner.  Turns out, just because I’m huge, doesn’t mean I have to wear boring lingerie.  I can hoist ‘em up and look good doin’ it.

First,a  few facts: {intimacy} is a lingerie store renowned for personalized service, expert fitting, huge selection (mostly high end – don’t say you haven’t been warned), and excellent, knowledgeable customer service.

Second, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did get some lovely free lingerie from Susan and the folks at Intimacy during my visit, but as usual, they didn’t tell me what to say or obligate me to say anything at all. And I’m the kinda girl who just won’t say anything if I don’t have anything nice to say.

Third, you need a new bra. (more…)

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I’ve written quite a bit about Karla Colletto – the fabulously expensive and fabulously flattering swimsuit that actually managed to make me feel less than disgusting on the beach last summer.   But notice that first “fabulously?”  The expense of a KC bathing suit is a bit daunting — upwards of $200 dollars to start.

So here I am with a new recommendation:  Shape FX. It is QUITE unlike me to buy a bathing suit online — I need to try on, try on, try on.  Check out the strategic qualities of it’s camoflage abilities:  does my stomach look enormous?  Does the skin above the leg line bulge?  Is my back fat under control?  But after reading about Shape FX in Rachel Ray’s magazine (my guilty pleasure – hey, if I can’t eat fish cooked with a pound of butter and a cup of cream at least I can read about it) I decided to take a chance.

See Shape FX is all about strategic dressing.  You take a little questionnaire online about your body, then they recommend clothing just for you.  I took the quiz, bought the bathing suit and all I can say is:

OMG.

Quite possibly, the most flattering bathing suit EVER.  And way way less expensive than Karla.

So there you have it.  My new (budget friendly) alternative to my first love, Karla Colletto.  I plan to try their push up, control pants too.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Forty is the new thirty.  Fifty is the new forty.  Twenty one is the new eighteen.  In fact, my hormones are skyrocketing to adolescent levels even as I type.

It’s the new math.  And Lord knows, I’ve never been much good at math. Funny.  I’m not much good at getting younger as I age, either.

This  new math is everywhere.  It also applies to clothing: What used to be called a size ten is now called a size eight. (Though at Old Navy, they call it a size six.  God bless vanity sizing.) In this economy, it also applies to shopping: what used to cost $30 now is a 50%-off fifteen bucks.

Everything that can have a numerical value associated with it seems to have gone down.  Except, of course, the size a woman is “supposed to be.”

Seems to me that the only value moving backwards the “optimum” size for a woman, as portrayed by TV, magazines, movies, and runway shows.  Because according to them, size six is the new size twelve. In other words:if you’re wearing a size six, you’re big.  Excuse me?  I mean, I’m pretty pleased when I’m in my vanity size 8′s, thank you very much.

Maybe it does make sense. After all, if we’re all getting younger, shouldn’t we all be getting thinner too? Shouldn’t we all be careening towards pre-pubescent hips, flawless skin, and the ability to be out in the freezing cold without a jacket? I don’t know about you, but I’m not “youngening.”  I’ve said it before and I”ll say it again: if forty really is the new thirty, somebody forgot to tell my thighs. And my knees, and my eyesight. I’m not getting thinner and tauter any more than I’m getting younger and more interested in The Jonas Brothers.   My brain may say thirty, but my ovaries say “I don’t think so.” (more…)

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Genes vs Jeans


IS093-053They either make my butt look too big, or too broad. They accentuate my gut or give me muffin top.  They are jeans.  The bane of my existence.  My dream is to be able to look good in a white t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and some flip flops.  But it seems that my genes won’t let me look good in my jeans.

If any of you have been paying attention, you’ll know that for the past several months, I’ve been writing for 23andMe as one of their founding community members in the Pregnancy Community.  (And no, I’m not preggers.  I just have been – thus, I qualify.)  According to my genes, I am at a slightly elevated risk for obesity.  According to my genes, I will never look good in the aforementioned jeans, t-shirt and flip flops ensemble.  According to my jeans, my genes are correct.

I find it almost impossible to buy jeans.  If they’re “classic cut” they make my butt look like North Dakota – wide and flat.  If they’re low cut -  well, where do I begin?  How are you supposed to wear underwear with those low-cut jeans?  And if you’re not supposed to wear underwear (yuck!), then what are you supposed to do with your – ahem – furry bits?  Brazillian?  I don’t expect to rhumba any time soon.  Plus, I find it more than slightly offensive that men – with their hairy backs, fuzzy butts, and occasional ear hair, deem it “sexy” for a grown woman to be hairless “down there.”  Call me crazy, but that smacks of pedophilia to me.

Then there’s the question of how to keep those low-cut jeans from falling down.  Many’s the time I walked behind a teenage home-boy, wondering how he does it.  It truly is a miracle of fashion physics.  Their pants stay up, even with their waistbands way down.

SO I was already worried enough about my jeans, when suddenly my genes had to complicate things.

According to my genes, I am also at greater risk for developing diabetes.  Yet this doesn’t phase me.  Genes only slightly influence diabetes.  I figure that if I exercise and eat right, it won’t be a problem.  But obesity?  I’m a girl who watches each cookie I eat deposit itself as fat on my upper thighs.  I am a girl who almost always buys the size large.  I am the girl with back-muffin-top.  You know, at the bra line?  This obesity gene – is serious business. IT’S FREAKING ME OUT!

And because of that diabetes risk, I can even have a pint of chocolate chip mint to soothe my worried mind.

Darn you, jean-etics!

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This week, summer prematurely came to New York and with it, came a few discoveries.  42-15621069

1. People on the East Side spend a lot of time on their knees, while people on the West Side spend a lot of time on their food.  How else to explain the plethora of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils sprouting from every tree-trunk garden  from East 69th Street to East 91st Street, and the presence of Zabars, Citarella, H&H, Barney Greengrass and Fairway in roughly the same area on the West Side of town?

2. When your children scooter to school, it is unwise to wear your brand new bright yellow beaded Rafe flats.  You will get blisters.  You will bleed.  The yellow will turn orange.  And not in a good way.You don’t want orange shoes.

3. Whichever Ice Cream your child wants from the Ice Cream vendor whether it’s neon green shots, disgusting Sponge Bob ice with gumball eyes, or even the basic Ice Cream sandwich — said vendor will be out of it.

4. I am old.

No,  this isn’t about my upcoming birthday (Sunday – feel free to leave birthday greetings right here in the comment section.  No.  Really. Do.)  This isn’t about saggy knees, or brown spots, or elbows that look as if they’ve been crumpled up in the back of a drawer for a few decades.  No, I know I am old because I am consistently horrified by what “young girls” are wearing.

Yes, it seems I have jumped right from young mom in trendy threads, to disapproving Grandma in hip-high underwear without stopping at middle-aged woman still trying to be relevant.

But seriously.

Is there some rule that if you are female and possessing of a bustline you must display it so prominently that one might think your are at a State Fair, vying for the blue ribbon in Breast Augmentation? (more…)

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