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The Best Thing You Can Buy at J.Crew

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The Best Sales to Shop Online This Weekend

This weekend’s sales aren’t going to scratch the itch for the kind of shopper who’s after the highest percentage off of any designer label, no matter the category or style. But if you’re looking to refresh your work wardrobe, pick up a few pairs of new shoes for spring, or get ready for wedding season, you’ll be psyched.

A bunch of so-called “friends and family” events are happening (but you can consider yourself part of the inner circle at Theory, Loeffler Randall, and Milly), and two excellent mid-season sales are up: Zara and COS. Need Supply is also running a hefty discount (70% off) with lots of spring-friendly items in the mix. All in all, you’re going to make out well. —Cory Baldwin, shopping editor

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COS: Mid-season sale. COS rarely holds sales, and when it does, it’s worth the wait. I’ve got a bunch of basics earmarked, including this Pan collar shirt, an olive bomber, and this belted wide-leg jumpsuit.

Theory: 25% off everything through Sunday with code “FRIENDS.” If you need to refresh your work wardrobe for spring, head on over to Theory’s friends and family sale. In addition to the office-friendly oxfords and smart trousers the brand is known for, there are some unexpectedly cute accessories at the moment, like this circle hardware crossbody bag.

Rachel Zoe: 30% off all shoes with the code “SPRINGCHIC.” The stylist-turned-designer’s site is having a flash shoe sale this weekend, and there are several pairs we’re eyeing, starting with these woven leather mules.

Loeffler Randall: 20% off sitewide with code “LRFRIENDS.” It’s a seriously good weekend for shoe shopping, since Loeffler Randall is running its friends and family sale this weekend, too. The selection is so good right now that you’re going to have a hard time choosing — not kidding — but if I had to pick, it would be between these strappy pink mules and these low-key block heels.

Milly: 20% off sitewide with the code “MILLYSQUAD.” Got a wedding to go to this spring? Yeah, ‘nuff said. There are dozens and dozens of appropriate options in the dress section, but don’t forget about curveballs like the brand’s cute swimwear and adorable children’s clothes.

Need Supply Co.: Up to 70% off select items. Need Supply is pretty much always running some sale or another, but with markdowns at up to 70% off, the sale section is full of some particularly great — and spring-y — deals at the moment.

Zara: 50% off select items. If you follow our sales list, you probably noted Zara here last week. But it’s not often the retailer has major sales, so it’s staying put! The shoes in particular are pretty great, like these pink cylinder heels and these (extremely cheap and cute) black ankle boots.

In the News
Plants Are the New Clothes

Yesterday, I experienced a real jolt of joy from the most unexpected source: Anthropologie’s plant nursery. Terrain is a very small business with just four locations, one of which is down the road from Anthropologie’s massive new store in Westport, Connecticut. It’s chicer than your average nursery, fully merchandised with beauty products, home goods, and coffee table books. I’ll openly admit that Terrain stole my heart in a way that no clothing store has of late. Because, well, plants are pure good. It’s really nice to just stare at some leaves for an hour. It nourishes your soul in a way that a rack of clothing never will.

Did I have the gnawing feeling that I was immersed in a jungle invented in a conference room somewhere? Oh yeah. I still enjoyed it.

The Anthropologie store, the reason the brand brought me to Connecticut, is absolutely bonkers. If 25,000 square feet doesn’t mean much to you, picture a charming former YMCA building gut-renovated and filled with a BHLDN bridal suite, a furniture design studio, a shoe lounge, a full floor of beauty products, and a restaurant. Where there used to be a gymnasium, there are clothes. Many, many clothes. The store is the latest in Anthropologie’s fleet of “large format” stores, a play to turn shopping into a magical, full-on experience at a time when so many retailers are closing their brick-and-mortar locations.

I bring up the fact that it’s an old YMCA because right down the block, Patagonia has a store in the old Westport Bank & Trust Company building, a traditional brick affair befitting its New England surroundings. The pairing is kind of funny because it’s glaringly indicative of brands’ current impulse to move into historic buildings and keep the exterior essentially the same while updating the interior according to their prescribed aesthetics. This sort of hyper-local store design is meant to convey authenticity and — much like Anthropologie’s extensive in-store offerings — give us a reason to get off our computers and shop IRL. Head out to the West Coast, and you’ll find it there, too: brands in Venice Beach bungalows.

Of course, as more brands take to this concept, the more it feels like corporate manipulation. The delight of clever store locations is a diminishing thrill. —Eliza Brooke, senior reporter

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Feature
Local Salons Can't Compete With Drybar and Glamsquad
Drybar salon

In December 2016, after 13 years in the business, celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson shuttered his Fifth Avenue salon.

While Gibson's salon had launched with great fanfare and grown steadily for years (thanks to celebrity clients like Anne Hathaway and Zoe Saldana), the salon business had changed; first subtly, and then swiftly. A few years ago, services like Gilt, Groupon, and LifeBooker allowed smaller salons to offer steep discounts, taking business from higher-end salons. At the same time, clients began flocking to YouTube and Instagram — instead of high-end stylists — for guidance.

“With all the access to information, we began to realize that what it looks like to be a hairdresser, and a salon, was starting to shift,” Gibson says during a recent phone call. “We were starting to think the giant luxury salon was outdated and needed a change.”

A more recent change salons like Gibson’s began to notice was how boutique-esque the industry was getting. Instead of envisioning hair salons as one-stop shops for all beauty needs, customers were now headed to boutique “bars” that specialized in facials, brows, and lashes for a quarter of the price.

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Just one Thing
The Best Thing You Can Buy at J.Crew Is the Socks
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J.Crew Trouser Socks$12.50

Let’s get some things out of the way: J.Crew is a wee bit pricey for what it is. The plus-size offerings aren’t great. And the company invented a holiday for stripes, the least interesting of all the patterns. Despite all of this, I will be rooting for J.Crew’s continued success solely because of its trouser socks.

They’re comfortable and tall enough to wear with boots, yet lay nicely under skinny jeans. There are warmer knit fabrics for cold winters and thinner socks for the beginning days of spring. For me, not getting to wear them full-time is the only sad part of summer.

There are, of course, downsides to J.Crew's trouser socks: Obviously, they're pricey. But I've come to accept that $12.50 trouser socks are going to be what bring me joy each day.—Caitlin Cruz, contributing writer

We Ask, You Tell
The Most Ridiculous Clothes You've Spotted on the Internet Lately
http://us.puma.com/en_US/pd/suspenders-pants/pna574290.html?dwvar_pna574290_color=01Insert alt text here
  • This “hoodie” that’s really just a scarf for your arms, submitted by Adrienne.
  • The “tinsel mom shorts” that promise to make your upper legs look like the streamer handle bars from your first bike, brought to us by Callia.
  • This very essential headpiece that you can now grab for 40% off, you lucky dog! From Gabriela.
  • Rihanna really let us down with these "suspenders pants" that resemble the zip-off cargo pants/shorts from decades past, brought to our attention by Hannah
  • Fashion has committed many unspeakable crimes against jeans this year: There’s this pair that comes with a tail attached, so you yourself can be both badly dressed and a cat toy at the same time, sent by Christopher. These inside-out-but-not jeans were surfaced by Katie in this very good tweet. And of course, the denim with clear plastic paneling for a “futuristic feel,” because as we all know, knees are the future!! Submitted by many concerned citizens on the internet.
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