Hey guys. Sorry, but if you want that shopping report, you'll have to bear with me through a bit of an opening rant... anyway, my wife of 8 years and I are on our way to divorce. It's not a particularly amicable one, and it promises to get worse before it gets better. The short of it is that she wants the house, the family car and, oh, about 5 grand a month in support so she can maintain her "˜lifestyle'. The good news is that she won't get it all, and it'll only be for five years or so. The bad news is that she will get most of it, mainly because she's incapable of supporting herself, let alone supporting our son (age 1.5), and I'd rather give it to her than spend it on lawyers. So, having gone through what must have been a weekend from hell, and being depressed as all heck, I've decided that nothing beats a nice shopping spree as a mood enhancer, bearing in mind that those might have to be put on hold for a few years now, what with that 5K a month support deal. So I boarded the PATH train to NYC, first stop - Barney's. Â I wore my favorite Heschung boots, a Barney's sports shirt and blue jeans of no particular pedigree. My best shoe purchase to date was a pair of C&J handgrade Tavistocks (a longish square-toed wingtip in black, no perfs, $260). A bit snug for my feet at D fitting, but nevertheless comfortable enough for a whole day of walking. I would have liked another pair in brown, but they seem to be out of circulation at the moment. I right away spotted in the sales corner two pairs of the gorgeous handgrade Seymour double monk-strap, which are also being phased out of the C& J lineup (for the next 2 years, according to the salesclerk) for the same $260. Alas, both last pairs, both 8D (I wear 9 to 9.5, D-E, depending on model). Next attempt was a Leicester brogue oxford in black (looked surprisingly good with jeans) for $199, but in 9D again too snug. I contemplated a pair of handgrade wingtips (downing?), again no luck with size. But I HAD to get me a C&J, so I settled on a pair of Sedburgh - a derby with Dainite sole, storm welt, and walnut "˜hurricane' hide (see http://www.crockettandjones.co.uk/Ne.../sedburgh.html price was an acceptable $299, which came to $324 with tax. I can get away with wearing them to the office with casual pants and still be the best shod person around, upper management included (I work as an in-house attorney for a prominent financial services company who's gone casual in 2001, much to my dismay). Other than C&J, I spotted a gorgeous Lidfort split-toe boot in scotch grain, rubber sole, again $199. It seemed to have been blake-stitched, I might be back to get them too. There were a couple of Pelusos in the same price range, some with channeled soles, but still blake (you could see the stitching from within - thanks for the education, shoe experts on this board.) for some reason, the quality of leather on the Pelusos seemed avergae at best. Barney's label shoes have disappointed me in the past quality-wise, so I didn't even look there. Ferragamos and Maglis abounded, but are not my cup of tea. I then climbed to the 6th and 7th floors in search of pants. I spotted a Boss casual cotton flat-fronts in a sort of striped gray that I liked, but the cut was too denim-like ($100). Incotex chinos were present in a variety of colors for about $260, but they were too high-waisted for me. dress wool Incotex in charcoal ($450) were exquisitely made and tempting but a tad too steep. The salesclerk said they are never on sale, and I don't pay retail, so there you go. Moving on - my original plan was to work my way up Madison and visit the well-known names - Ralph Lauren, Lobb, Davide Cenci, Weston, etc. the rain kinda spoiled it for me, Â so I decided to head downtown, to Century 21. On the way I stopped for an iced latte and picked up a copy of my favorite car magazine - the British CAR, so my mood improved just so. I have special sentiments to C21, as my office used to be right across from it - the 70th floor of WTC building 2 - and I can still remember the sight of the torn C21 faÃ§ade on that terrible day (in case you're wondering - I was just getting out of the lobby when the second plane hit my office just above my head, luckily I wasn't injured by the massive debris.) Okay - back to shopping: right by the entrance there was a small rack of Pantherella, Lorenzo Uomo and Kenzo (made in Italy) socks, for $5-9, so I stocked up on dress and casual (nice thick two-tone cotton Pantherellas, reminiscent of the Richard James found at Barney's). I proceeded to get some other essentials, such as boxer briefs and undershirts (in lieu of doing my own laundry this weekend - the wife got temporary possession of the Mieles). I then climbed upstairs to the suit department and was greeted by a rack of beautiful Isaias, as was reported here last week. At $900 they seemed a good deal, and there were several in my size, but the cut wasn't right for me - shoulders and chest were fine, but there wasn't enough waist suppression for my taste, and the jacket (40 reg) was too long (I'm 5'7", waist 32, 150 lbs, which is about 5 too many, and disproportionally broad-shouldered). Perhaps I need 40 short. There were the reported fused Barberas and some Cerruti 1881. What caught my eyes was a pair of Brioni pants, in light, creamy gray, one of my favorite colors, beautifully made and a good deal, I believe, at $230. Cut was just right - I call it "˜European' for lack of a better term, which for me means not too much in the way of rise. Only problem is material - very light weight, and I'm afraid not up to daily use. I didn't get it, but may change my mind tomorrow, and go there during lunch (uh, the perks of working in Manhattan) - should I get it? To top it all off, I paid a visit to J&R music world a few blocks north, and purchased a DVD of one of my favorite British shows - the Sandbaggers: a very real, down to earth portrayal of the British secret service starring Roy Marsden, clad in weird 3 piece 70s suits, with shirt collars protruding about 2 inches proud of the suit collar. When I got home I went online and purchased a Met opera gift certificate for my therapist who spent what must have been 2 sessions with me on the phone during the weekend - I know she'll enjoy it. That's it for today Â - admittedly modest as far as sprees go, but satisfying nonetheless. Sorry for the verbiage.
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5/31/04 at 8:18pm