My Last Trip to Loehmann’s

This week I paid my respects to a dying friend.  I had to go and at least say goodbye.  I’ve enjoyed regular visits to this 93-year-old entity for at least a decade-and-a-half (probably longer) and I will miss her.

Ahhhhh, yes, I’m talking about Loehmann’s.  They are closing for good and I’m bummed.  It certainly isn’t the best shopping experience out there– it isn’t nearly as pleasant a place to shop as your local Macy’s– but it is a place to find bargains, particularly on designer apparel.  I discovered Loehmann’s while I was a single, a career girl who loved nice clothes but couldn’t afford to buy the labels that I really wanted at full retail.  I was not born into a wealthy family.  In fact, as my brother has put it, “the Herron gene” drives us to get as much value as possible out of our money.  My dad is great at finding deals, and my grandmother was downright thrifty.  Since I majored in Fashion Design in college, I have a real appreciation of quality fabrics and garment construction (or lack thereof), and Loehmann’s has enabled me to buy higher quality than I would be able to afford otherwise.

After I married, I continued to shop there, not just for myself, but for Manly Guy as well.  Although Loehmann’s stopped carrying children’s clothing last year, at one point I was able to get a smattering of fashion-forward items for the whole family.  I’ve had friends who tried to shop there but didn’t like it.  It isn’t the kind of store that you can go in with a list of things that you are looking for.  They get some pieces from good labels, but they usually don’t get the cream of the crop, the best-selling pieces, because those sell at full-price generally.  The store has always been a jumble of stuff, and there have been plenty of trips there where I found nothing that I wanted to buy.  But I’ve also had shopping trips where I’ve come home with two big bags of stuff, and everything was 60-90% off retail.  (This week, despite the fact that the store closing was announced more than a week before I got down there and the store was pretty picked-over, I found a dozen items, including a cool BCBG blouse for $18 that was originally $240 and a Ben Sherman shirt for Manly Guy for $15.)

Since I have plenty of clothes and don’t really need anything, the rule for myself has been to only shop the clearance racks and I could only buy an item if it was at least 75% off.  I made out like a bandit on more than one occasion, and I have several Moschino cocktail dresses in my closet, all because of Loehmann’s.  It would be hard to justify spending $1000 or more on a dress these days; with four kids I’m always needing to get stuff for them.  Loehmann’s gave me an easy way to buy lovely things for myself without too much guilt about the cost.  Now I don’t know where I’m going to get my next Moschino cocktail dress . . .



Here is my new BCBG blouse that I picked up this week for $18.

Eyelash Extensions– To Touch Up or To Let Them Fall Out?

Okay– let me be very upfront about it.  This is going to be a rather frivolous post.

Until a few months ago, I didn’t know what eyelash extensions even *were*, let alone had tried them.  I suspect that many of my female friends and acquaintances had tried them or at least knew about them long before I considered this silly little beauty service.  When I heard about them, I thought “wouldn’t that be fun to have around our anniversary?”  We celebrate our anniversary (in June) with several nights out over a week or so, and this year we went to an opera, a symphony concert, and a fabulous dinner out.  Of course, having several big nights out in a short time span meant that getting eyelash extensions was easier to justify than it would be normally.

So, what are the downsides, you ask?  First of all, eyelash extensions are expensive.  The initial set and the touch-up appointments are pricy, and they need to be maintained regularly if you don’t want them to fall out.  Since the process is gluing fake eyelashes on your eyelids, there are some inherent risks (such as eye infection); the release form that I had to sign was a bit scary!  And if one’s eyes are a bit sensitive (like mine seem to be), they can be somewhat irritating to wear.  Not terribly, but in a low-grade annoying sort of way.

Then why get them?  Because they are fun and sexy.  You get to *wake up* with lovely eyelashes!  My eyelashes have always been fine, light and thin, and it hasn’t improved as I have gotten older.  It has been a nice treat to have dark, pretty, noticeable eyelashes, even when I’m not “made up”.


Unfortunately, my practical side is likely to win out.  I am scheduled for an eyelash extension touch up this week, and I’m pretty sure I’m canceling.  I’m a bit tired of not being able to rub my eyes, needing to specially clean my eyelashes every morning, and not being able to put my face toward the shower head.  Going forward I might get eyelash extensions twice a year (anniversary and Christmas), but not get any touch ups.  That way I get to have fun with big lashes, but I don’t have them for so long that they really start to bug me.