Steven Alan's Mini-Opening
Fashion News: Derek Lam Takes Tod's Driver's Seat

Alex K Goes Shopping: UNIQLO Redux

30crit1600What more can we possibly say about UNIQLO?  By now you have to know that we are unabashed fans. You could almost call us a UNIQLO pusher, so we were curious to see what sort of contrived cynicism Alex Kuczynski could bring to today's Thursday Styles, especially after seeing today's title, "The Wool Over My Eyes Should Be Cashmere", suggesting some sort of swindle. How disturbing to find ourselves on exactly the same page with our favorite shopping scribe! She loves them just as much as we do, and Miss Thrifty even betrays her true buying habits (which we suspected all along) when she casually reveals that a polyester down jacket for $99.50 looks just like the one she spent $700 on last year. Even we who have no fear of luxury items would tell you that thee is no reason to spend that much on a down jacket, particularly if it reflects the same pared-down aesthetic as UNIQLO. 

We can't let her completely off the hook, though. It must be noted that her fear of big crowds is a little over-exaggerated when she says that she refuses to set foot in a large store between now and the end of the year.

Yes, I might mind the physical horror of being mauled while reaching for a flat-screen television set. But what I really could not bear is participating in the grand cliché of it all — that my eyes would meet the wild eyes of other shoppers, people who believe with all their heart that if they park outside a Wal-Mart all night in order to buy Dad a slightly discounted flat-screen TV, they will have accomplished something when in fact they have been lured into one of the most breathtaking marketing ploys thrust upon the shopping public.

We actually doubt that Alex would be caught dead shopping for herself in Wal-Mart, but holiday shopping in the city is not a constant Best Buy free-for-all-frenzy. As for TV and other electronics shopping, that's what the Internet was made for. Naturally, we warn against weekend shopping trips to the most popular retail neighborhoods like the village or midtown. However, weekday mornings are usually surprisingly comfortable for shopping even in the largest city stores, especially now, early on in the season. Don't be deterred. The only thing to look out for is the papparazzi-like proliferation of aggressive fragrance models in the cosmetic departments. We usually think of the main corridor on Bloomingdale's main floor as "The Gauntlet". We recommend running it with headphones and sunglasses. Maybe a hat, too.

Critical Shopper: The Wool Over My Eyes Should Be Cashmere by Alex Kuczynski (NYTimes)
UNIQLO 546 Broadway, SoHo


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