Neiman Marcus Meets Target Meets A Lot of Buildup Over Nothing.

Sister Sesh and I have been plotting our attack plan for the Neiman Marcus +Target Present Holiday24 (yeah, I’m not typing that out again) for a week. We have had strategy sessions that have lasted longer than an Obama-Romney debate. We settled on going to the local Target, meeting at 6:30am. We picked Target over the local Neiman Marcus because we are both VERY familiar with the Target store layout, they have carts (take that, NM!), and there were no free coffee/cookies/donuts, like some of the Neimans were doing. Plus, we figured all the Bellevue Betties would be at NM and they have way more money than either one of us and would be more likely to clean out the shelves.

After agonizing (were we going to the right store?!), I set my alarm for 5:48am (I insisted on getting one more minute of sleep over a normal work day), put on my running shoes (visions of things getting ugly) and ended up zipping into the Target parking lot at about 6:20am. There were a bunch of cars in the lot, but no one was standing next to the giant “FRONT OF LINE STARTS HERE” sign, so I drove over to Starbucks to meet Sister Sesh. Fortified, we headed back to Target. Keep in mind, while I have done the Jason Wu for Target thing, Sister Sesh is a designer collaboration sale virgin.

For the line that wasn't there.
This would imply there was a line.

As we pull back into the Target parking lot, I tell her to park so that we are facing the entrance, so we can wait in the car until people start lining up. She proceeds to park facing away from the front and next to a white Hummer. My sister has literally managed to park in the worst possible spot in the entire lot, less than 10 seconds after I told her where to park. The Hummer is completely obscuring our view of where people are supposed to queue up. If I turn around and crane my neck, I can watch the front doors of the store.

So we’re now sitting in The Wagon in front of Target at 6:30am, in the pitch dark. I keep telling her people will show up (“there will be people in line by 7:00am, I guarantee it.”). 7:00am arrives. Again, there are no people. We entertain ourselves by guessing which cars the night staff will go to, who are trickling out of the store. The night staff at Target are an interesting bunch. Let’s just say they don’t have to wear red polos and khakis. A few look like mountain men. And meth addicts (hey, I said “look,” not “are”). One guy emerges and I say to Sister Sesh, who can’t see the entrance, “Man, that guy lit up a cigarette the minute he stepped out of the door.” I’ve barely finished my sentence when she firmly states, “Datsun.” I’m like “He’s walking towards us…ok…he’s approaching… ok… shit… shit… I think you’re right…he’s going to… he’s going to….THE DATSUN WITH THE SLOW WHEEL!” This game continued, sprinkled in with me announcing the arrival of every vehicle into the Target parking lot, which is a surprising amount considering it’s not even 7:30am. There are workers arriving (they all park in the choice spots, by the way). There are an INSANE amount of people arriving who think the store is open (I mean, this Target was definitely missing out on some business). There are no Holiday24 crazies arriving.

We tell ourselves everyone went to Neiman. We cover all matter of topics, from Covert Affairs, to shopping strategies but steadfastly avoid talking about all the sleep we could have gotten without sacrificing a good spot in line. Finally, at about 7:35am, a carload arrives with two women and some kids (who brings their toddlers to something like this??? Clearly someone who did not experience Missoni Madness). Five minutes later, a Mini Cooper drives up and a man and woman get out, who I am positive think the store is open and desperately need something like…cold medicine (I mean, she is wearing plaid flannel sleep pants), but instead we have Our First Shoppers (to not hide in their car, like us).

Now that there is someone officially in line, and I don’t have to be That Person at the Front of the Line (loser!), I jump out of the car screaming “I’m going! I’m going!” and speed walk to the front of the store, so I can be That Second Person in Line. Needless to say, this starts a trend, and anyone who has been hiding in their cars, roll out and form the (pretty sad actually) line of about ten people. By the time the doors open there is, at most, twenty people in line, including some woman who is dressed to the nines who asks why we’re standing in line and claims she “didn’t know the sale was today” even though I SWEAR I saw her at Wu.

This woman needs ruffles.
I think we can all agree this woman needs ruffles.

We head in, grab a cart and go straight for the Lela Rose top. My immediate impression: it looks much different in person (more of a coffee-toned liner). I grab a Robert Rodriguez georgette chiffon blouse (which looked better in person). In true “designer collab” fashion, I take two sizes just in case. I grab the Tracy Reese dessert plates and a Marc Jacobs gunmetal gray pouch. My arms are overflowing so I dump stuff in my cart and consider the Thom Browne blazer. I throw in a Rodarte ornament. Sister Sesh and I look around and realize there are maybe all of 25 people (maybe) leisurely looking at stuff and picking up a few items. There is no grabbing (except for yours truly). There is no elbowing. There is no breathless hovering. In fact, I’m comfortable enough to leave my cart full of goods left unattended (this would NEVER have happened during Wu, when girls were accusing other girls of stealing shit).

We try stuff on. The Lela Rose top, which was my number one priority item, makes me look as flat as a 14 year old boy. The Thom Browne blazer is way too nautical (this, coming from a girl who WORKS IN THE YACHTING INDUSTRY). The Robert Rodriguez top is good, though. It feels well constructed, the material feels high end (ok, maybe mid-end) and it’s very on trend. Some would say it is a bit clown-ish, but ruffles are popular right now, and the shirt is pretty flattering (although the buttons at the neckline are really annoying; I think I bruised my trachea trying to unbutton them).

We review our cart. There are three sets of Tracy Reese dessert plates, that we agonize over for ourselves and for gifts. We decide the Marc Jacobs pouch is way too awkwardly sized… too big to really carry as an evening purse… and too small to carry as an every day purse. Back to the shelves they go. We each grab the Marc Jacobs scarf, an item I had absolutely not wanted going into this event (I have a lot of scarves). Into the cart they go. The Rodarte ornament…$20 for an ornament seems ridiculous. So back to the shelf IT goes. We ooh and ahh and covet the Tracy Reese plates but in the end we decide we don’t eat enough dessert (hahahahaha. kidding. as if) to justify them and back to the shelf THEY go. Defying any sort of logic, we both decide to buy matching Marc Jacobs scarves. They’re super soft, a wool-cashmere blend, and something you can wear with almost anything since they’re black.

 Living on the very edge of fashion, she chose a black scarf.
Living on the very edge of fashion, she chose a black scarf.

So it all started with a whimper and well…ended with one, too. To summarize:

Time Spent in Car: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Time Spent in Line: Less than 15 minutes

Items Bought: Two. The Marc Jacobs scarf and the Robert Rodriguez top.

Sleep Lost: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Money Spent: Less than $170

The Good: My scarf and blouse, the plates, the Brian Atwood gloves, the Caroline Herrera travel pouches, the Tory Burch coffee thermos, the Rag and Bone men’s sweater (which I saw a girl wearing online…looked really cute),  and the best item in the ENTIRE collection… the white Marchesa kid’s dress, which would be perfect for a flower girl (also, the only item that looked picked through, by the time we left).

The Bad: The suitcase (small, weird fabric), the Brian Atwood sunglasses (hello clearance section), the Oscar de La Renta tote (I have no idea why people liked this bag…it looked chintzy and just…completely out of season)

The Inexplicably Ugly: The Prabal Gurang evening bag, that LITERALLY looked like something you would buy at Wet Seal, and the Skaist Taylor furry hat (however, it is apparently for kids, whereas I thought it was for adults. Which explains things. A bit).

Things that Seemed Stupidly Overpriced: The Judith Leiber compacts, the Eddie Borgo accent box (which was TINY)

What I Hope to Buy Once it Goes on Sale: The Proenza Schouler sweatshirt, the Oscar de La Renta pet bowl

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I drive my Suzuki in Gucci Heels.

David Beckham is admiring my $900 shoes.
David Beckham is admiring my $900 shoes.

I had a bit of an epiphany driving home on Friday, navigating the mean streets of Seattle in my $4,000 1998 Suzuki Sidekick whilst wearing a $350 pair of Gucci sandals: I’m a bit of a financial dichotomy. To wit:

1. I have a pair of Emilio Pucci pumps with a retail price of $920. I wear them 1-2 times a year. Don’t worry, I only spent 1/3 of that $920. Or so.

2. I pouted lustily in line at Costco today when the cashier told me I had to buy 2 boxes of Cheerios to use my $3.50-off coupon and huffily told them to forget about it.

3. I have over $900 of shoes in my house right now to wear with my wedding dress. You know, shoes no one is going to see (Gucci and Kate Spade. The Guccis are to DIE for comfortable and just pure gorgeous, but potentially could get caught in the grass. The Kate Spades are half as much as the Guccis and really fun [think bright. think blue. think not wedding] and have a stacked heel).

4. I have clothes in my closet from 1997, that I still wear.

5. I wear something (well, 2 things now) every day that cost more than my car (I’m not telling, I don’t want to get mugged by my vast readership).

6. I buy store brand as much as possibly, and actually, true story, at the QFC on Mercer Island (!) last week saw the price of peppers and said, out loud, “$3 for a pepper? Are you fucking kidding me?” And then refused to buy one.

nice shirt.
Me and Pink Neon both wore these checked button downs from Abercrombie and Fitch (back when Fitch got some love still) on our senior cruise in 1999. I still wear mine.

7. I insist on paying for all my downloadable music, by buying it through iTunes, nevermind that my future husband pretty much can find any song online for free. It’s like an honesty disease, that he teases me about ad nauseum.

8. I am mightily ashamed to admit this but I have underwear that are still in my rotation that quite literally were bought the first year JCrew sold underwear. I’d put this at 1996. I might be being generous. This makes me: A. Gross as all hell, B: thrifty C: owner of some amazingly well made ‘roos, D: all of the above.

9. Penny the Wonderdog eats sustainably harvested Canadian uberfood that costs $50 a bag. Tonight, The Sessionista’s Man got a frozen pizza for dinner.

10. My car key fob (remember, Suzuki Sidekick) is Louis Vuitton, straight from 101 avenues des Champs-Elysees.

Hopefully Monsieur Sessionista doesn’t read this one…

XOXO,

The Sessionista

Odds and Ends

The Sessionista has been all over the place the last few weeks (mostly trying to earn a dime, after all, she’s got a wedding to fund). So here’s an abbreviated Seattle Sessions for you to chew on:

Rest in Pieces: Farewell, my dearest ’70s sunglasses…I knew you for so little and yet you’d already earned a spot in my coveted sunglasses rotation. Little did I know that our Memorial Day Weekend fling would be our last, and that you’d die a grisly death at the jaws of Penny on Tuesday afternoon.

If we were equating luxury with boats, this is what I was expecting...
If we were equating luxury with boats, this is what I was expecting...

Luxury is in the Bag: Sessionista and Sister Sesh hit up the SATC2 party at Palomino Bellevue, pulled in by the promise of a luxury swag bag. Dear Palomino, here’s a primer on what constitutes luxury: mini Creme de la Mer samples, Ciroc vodka samples (it’s good enough for Diddy), a Dior charm. Even a mini-NARS lipstick. What doesn’t constitute luxury: a bottle of water, free tanning sessions and a shampoo sample of the size you’d get in your newspaper. $10 cocktails didn’t help, but the free food from the reinvigorated Palomino happy hour menu (the donuts are the shit) did soothe The Sesh.

...and this is what I got.
...and this is what I got.

DSW Can Kiss My…: Annoyed with work, The Sesh stopped by DSW for the first time in awhile, have $10 reward certificate to burn…and couldn’t find anything to buy. Am totally in the doldrums now that the Designer Shoe Warehouse doesn’t carry designer. I mean, WTF? Clearly they should rename themselves Average Shoe Warehouse.

Rebecca and Kate, Meet the Sessionista: ASW didn’t satisfy my need to drown my work sorrows in finery, so it was off to The Rack where “JUST OFF THE TRUCK!” signs (which frankly, seems a little declasse for Nordstrom) screamed at me to pick up a darling Rebecca Taylor schoolgirl meets workgirl dress, and a too cute for words nubby blue and orange striped Kate Spade skirt for Sister Sesh.

TV Euphoria: When not shopping, the Sessionista can be found (these last few days) compulsively watching Glee, listening to “I Dreamed a Dream” as sung by Idina Menzel and Lea Michele and then smoothly segueing into the Best. Show. On. Television, Friday Night Lights.

Ciao,

The Sesh

Session #12: Less Glitter, More Gold.

The Sessionista was excited to see that Bellevue Goodwill was putting on a special Designer Label Sale, but skeptical after her experience with the Glitter Sale. Too many half-naked women, too little designer goods. So it was with a bit of trepidation Sessionista set out for the Designer Label Sale. All set to meet up with Milosh and Sister Sessionista on Saturday at 11, but when I realized how close I was to the Bellevue Goodwill on Friday night, it seemed SILLY not to go check it out. Clothes were supposed to be set out throughout the day but my natural skepticism urged me to go check things out early.

First good sign: no line out the door. I breezed in and went straight for the labeled racks, festooned with brown and pink balloons. I quickly flicked through the racks, grabbing anything that looked halfway decent. I quickly found myself with my hands full: Theory wool blazer (that looked as if it’d been washed in a washing machine), bedazzled pink Free People cardigan (nevermind that I don’t wear cardis ever), a pair of Joe’s jeans and a black stretchy dress. I then took quick stock of the shoes and dismissed them all. For some reason shoes at Goodwill are always super worn, and I’m not a fan of used shoes. I started pawing through the handbags and suddenly realized that this was nothing like the Glitter Sale. For one thing, there were no women running around wearing only nylons. More importantly, there were actually some high end designer things on the racks, even 10 hours after the sale started. I grabbed a very, very worn black Kate Spade with a bunch of ink stains inside it, that was made in Italy and looked authentic. A small, bright yellow barrel bag caught my eye as well, a yellow suede Celine number. I grabbed it, and figured I’d inspect it later to determine if it was real. Then I found a gorgeous dark brown leather satchel that was just divine. All smooth and worn, with a lovely patina.

My new bag, making friends with my couch. And my pillow. And hopefully, with me.
My new bag, making friends with my couch. And my pillow. And hopefully, with me.

I grabbed my loot and went to stand in line for the 3 (!) dressing rooms that they seemed to have. Luckily the woman with the SHOPPING CART full of shit was behind me and not in front of me. And I had my friends Nugget and Foy to keep me company, who, like me, once they realized how close they were to the sale couldn’t resist.

Once I finally got in the dressing room (which was really gross and dusty and nasty, meaning I had to hop around in my pink chinoiserie satin pumps trying to get my pants on and off), I quickly realized the jeans were the only clothes worth holding on to. Then came the handbag dilemma. I’d inspected the Celine closely, and was put off by the liner. It seemed too cheap to be part of a genuine designer bag. It did have an Italy tag for its country of origin, but I was skeptical. The should strap leather looked and felt real until I inspected the seam. I decided I wasn’t willing to pay $30 for what was probably just a good fake. I set it down, and also decided to let go of the Kate Spade, since it was so worn. Which left me with the brown bag. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, Brahmin, and it was really pricey for Goodwill, at $49. I was torn. But the more I petted the leather I just decided I couldn’t resist. It seemed like a bag that would always be in style, and would last forever. So as we rung ourselves out, I managed to spend $75 on two items while Nugs got a Coach purse and Foy got a dress, each spending less than $25. Even as we were on our way out Foy pulled out a Chanel skirt, as if from nowhere. In the Glitter Sale, you’d have to be at the head of the line to get your hands on anything with a label like Chanel.

Bedecked in her stretchies, The Sessionista is ready to try on clothes without waiting for a dressing room.
Bedecked in her stretchies, The Sessionista is ready to try on clothes without waiting for a dressing room.

The reality is I wasn’t even supposed to be at the sale until 11:00am on Saturday, with Sister Sesh and Milosh. I was excited to see what new things has been pulled out overnight. Milosh and I got things started and Sister Sesh breezed in a few minutes later. I could immediately tell things weren’t going to be as promising. Much of the same stuff was still available, and for awhile I had a hard time finding anything new. On the last few passes over the racks I discovered an overpriced Alexander McQueen red top with slits in the side ($99, although as Sister Sessionista pointed out, he is dead now so maybe there’s some extra value there). I also found two Burberry trenches which would be great if they weren’t huge. A pair of Celine shoes, but very rounded in the toe. I snagged a large nylon Kate Spade tote with leather accents, but it was very well worn and didn’t seem as nice as the Brahmin bag I picked up the day before (and there was no way I was buying more than one bag. I mean, I change my purse like, once a year), so I set it back. Sister Sesh found a few pairs of jeans, including a sweet pair of Citizens for Humanity, which I ended up purchasing (The Sessionista’s Man has given me an ultimatum about my recent jeans buying habit, which is basically I have to get rid of some of them OR ELSE… To be fair the 2 piles in our closet are threatening to bean me every time I walk in). Milosh got a coat for her mum and a dress for her sister-in-law, clearly a nicer, more thoughtful girl than me.

Overall the Designer Label Sale was FAR more worthwhile than the Glitter Sale and I’m hoping they run it next year!

Highlights: No lines. Decent selection of designer jeans.

Lowlights: Poor pricing- too much stuff was overpriced (I saw my Brahmin bag on eBay, which just sold for $25). And Goodwill and I have a VERY different idea of what classifies as designer. Mossimo? Merona? If you’re going to include Target, at least make sure it’s a designer’s Target line!

Sessionista Says: Two pairs of designer jeans and a timeless leather handbag for under $100? Worth it.

Here’s Your Chance for Cheap Designer

What I hope to find at the Designer Label Sale...
What I hope to find at the Designer Label Sale...

The Sessionista was stoked to hear that Goodwill has added an addition (potentially the BEST addition) to their series of special fundraising sales: The Designer Label Sale. Stop by Bellevue Goodwill Friday and Saturday for a chance at all sort of designer labels (GOOD designer labels. This is Bellevue, for God’s sake). Hopefully there’s less arse on display than there was at the 2009 Goodwill Glitter Sale. Can’t make it? Check back with The Sessionista to see if it was good (Prada) or bad (St. John).

What is ACTUALLY at the Designer Label Sale. I know. There's a chance this will be a huge waste of time, if you see where I'm going here.
What is ACTUALLY at the Designer Label Sale. I know. There's a chance this will be a huge waste of time, if you see where I'm going here.

The Details:

Goodwill Designer Label Sale @ Bellevue Goodwill.
9am-9pm Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1.

Clothes and accessories will be dispersed over the course of the event, so TECHNICALLY you don’t have to stand in line to get the best stuff. No promises on that one, though!

Saying Goodbye to My Choo

With studs like this, how could you resist
With studs like this, how could you resist?

So sad, The Sessionista is selling her Jimmy Choo for H&M studded black flats… They’re too big and eventually you just have to give in to the simple fact that if your feet haven’t grown in the past 15 years, they probably aren’t going to start growing just for a pair of shoes (not to mention if her feet grew, The Sessionista wouldn’t be able to fit into her REAL, honest-to-god, NOT just for H&M, actual Jimmy Choos, which set her back a bit more).

They’re fabulous black studded flats, size 38 EUR or 7 US (this is where it all went downhill…The Sessionista requested a size 7 from her dear friend Posh and Posh totally came through for her, but little did The Sesh think to mention she’s actually a size 37 EUR). So they fit more like a 7.5.

New, with tags, original box, original shoe bag and original joie de New York as they were fedex’d straight from The City.

Interested? Send word to The Sessionista. They’re $90, although The Sessionista’s been known to cut a deal for fellow fashionistas.

Session #9: All That Glitters is Not Gold

Decked out in blue stretch pants (Wal-Mart) and a short gray tank top (K-Mart) (the hideousness of which can’t be translated to words), The Sessionista met with Sister Sessionista bright and early this morning for Goodwill’s annual Glitter Sale.

At the front of this line is an evil hoarder.
At the front of this line is an evil hoarder.

Made it to the sale by 8:30am and met up with Saucy and Saucy’s Mum who were conveniently holding a place in line for the Twin Sessionistas. Over 350 people were already in line, which gave The Sessionista pause. Would there even be anything left?!

Sister Sessionista and Saucy get ready to throw elbows.
Sister Sessionista and Saucy get ready to throw elbows.

After what felt like a neverending wait, The Twin Sessionistas, Saucy and Saucy’s Mum made it in. The Sessionista made a beeline for one lonely rack labeled “Designer.” Sample “designer” label? Neiman Marcus. Neiman, you are no Christian (Dior)!!! The Sessionista grabbed the only recognizable label on the rack without looking at size, style or cost. Turned out to be a Missoni lurex-esque cardigan with what may or may not have been a nicotine patch stuck on it (seriously).

Dodging local news cameramen (would die, DIE if The Sessionista was on TV in stretch pants), The Sessionista continued to flick through racks, heart sinking. What was going on? Where were all the good designer clothes? Did The Sessionista have it all wrong?? And not to be obtuse, but why did every other item of clothing have sequins, bugle beads or rhinestones affixed all over?? They weren’t kidding when they called it the Glitter Sale. There were people trying on dresses that were just AWFUL. Sister Sessionista made a good point: where the hell were people going to wear this bedazzled shit?

Saucy snagged a pair of gold sequined pumps and tossed Sessionista some orange suede Tod’s (too tight, but in great shape). Browsing the shoe rack, The Sessionista found a DARLING pair of gold Prada flats for only $9.99 (these must have escaped the scavenging crows who were at the front of the line who LITERALLY grabbed everything designer in sight and hoarded in the corner [evil hoarders]). A size 8, Sessionista gave them to Sister Sesh who promptly bought them ($9.99 Prada? Like unicorns, it’s a myth).

While avoiding a woman wearing only nylons (no underwear!!!) and hemming and hawing about the Missoni cardigan, The Sessionista’s cell started blowing up with phone calls from NYC. The Czarina was fighting a much bigger battle in New York, taking on the launch of Jimmy Choo for H&M. The Sessionista had emailed The Czarina a shopping list the day before and was getting constant calls and texts with updates (sample text: “fight just broke out. hilarious.”). A very brave but harried Czarina called with news that she had snagged a pair of flats AND the flutter sleeve dress, so The Sessionista decided against the Missoni cardi (still sad about that decision) and made a break for the exit where Sister Sessionista bought her Prada flats and a cute JCrew hoodie (with sequins, that Sessionista actually owned a decade ago).  In the kerfuffle, LOST Saucy and Saucy’s Mum. Three hours after arriving, The Twin Sessionistas emerged into the daylight and felt bad for the hordes of people still standing in line…did they know that everything had sequins on it and was made in 1988?

Goodwill’s Glitter Sale runs through tomorrow, November 15th, 9:00am-6:00pm and benefits Goodwill’s job placement and job training programs.

Sessionista Says: Ugh. So not worth the hassle or the naked people.