Advice for Addicted Shoppers from Joan the Shopper
by Joan Birsh
I’ve always perceived SHOPPING as a game. Sort of like Monopoly, only with credit cards as markers. And up until early March the real-live Ocean Reef Shopping Game offered wonderful places to land – major retail stores in Fishing Village like Lilly, J. McLaughlin, Vineyard Vines, Orvis. And a host of smaller boutiques in the Fishing Village and scattered around The Reef (e.g. The Burgee Shop, the Tennis and Golf Shops, Dockside Living, Spa and many more).
Then we drew that nasty card called Coronavirus that read “Go directly to your house and stay there.”
But for dedicated shoppers closed stores and house arrest does not mean the Game is over. The secret is this: Make everything a fun shopping experience – whether it is choosing a new sundress from the Lilly catalogue or ordering a box of Cheerios from Wynn’s. Below are a few tips on the new rules.
Three of my favorite Fishing Village stores are closed but their catalogues are easily available. (If you haven’t gotten one in the mail, all the new merchandise is on the store’s internet site.)
Lilly Pulitzer – After pouring over the Lilly catalogue online, I settled on the pale blue and white striped Hollie Tunic Dress. I also have my eye on a pair of the new high-rise leggings. Don’t you love those Lilly fabrics – so distinctive. Both are perfect for dressing up and staying home. Rule 1 of the Shopping Game. Dress-up is fun, even if nobody sees you except a spouse or roommate.
J. McLaughlin – I’ve always thought of J. McLaughlin as the consummate Ocean Reef store, filled with great clothes that “go everywhere” (or temporarily “nowhere” as the case may be). After spending a delightful hour of digital browsing on the McLaughlin site, I chose the classic pleated Eileen Skirt (pictured on the model). The catalogue described it as feeling “very French fashion editor.” Watch for me, I plan to wear it next season to a Food and Film dinner at the Cultural Center.
Vineyard Vines – At Vineyard Vines I was looking specifically for a birthday present for my grandson, a recent college grad, who works for a financial firm in NYC. I opened the website and there it was – the new lightweight pullovers were specially featured. I chose the Saltwater ½ -zip, described as a perfect mix of polished and casual. Note: They also have these pullovers for women. Maybe I’ll pretend it is also my birthday.
I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned earlier that you can order a box of Cheerios from Wynn’s. And now you can have your Cheerios and everything else on your list delivered. You have only to call or email Wynn’s between 10 am – 4 pm and in a new delivery partnership with Ocean Reef Club, you can count on your groceries arriving on your doorstep. Phone 305-204-4005 or email email@example.com
… I know we all miss the pleasures of wandering the aisles at Wynn’s. For me the store always had wonderful shopping opportunities that far exceeded my list of essentials. Last Christmas I found my dog there. A wonderful life-sized replica of a black retriever that I named Shopper. So realistic that people have actually come up to pet her.
BEAUTY AND THE BOOZE
(Sorry I couldn’t resist the title.)
…The Spa at the Fitness Center is not officially open, but Jillian Barron, the Spa Director, is determined to safeguard your beauty. (Maybe nobody sees you but I bet you have a mirror.) So email firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange for a home delivery of all your favorite beauty aids. Jill has a long list of suggested products… After extensive personal research I am prepared to recommend Booze as a temporary cure for Cabin Fever. And any fear of running out of the prescribed dosage was quickly allayed by the information that wine and spirits are easily available by calling or emailing Micah and Wyatt at Port O’Call. Both of these experts are available daily from 11 am to 7 pm to take your order and, if needed, to offer spiritual advice (the booze kind, not the religious kind). They are encouraging delivery but curbside pickup is also available. Call Port O’Call at 305-367-5999 or email at email@example.com.
For those of you, who truly miss the pleasure of scouring the racks at your favorite stores without a specific purchase in mind – try one of the highend websites that specialize in serious bargains of designer clothes. Ask Google for “Ultimate List – 13 private sales websites.” I spent several hours yesterday playing “what should I buy” on a site called Rue La La.
SHOPPING IN YOUR CLOSET
This enforced “time-out” has offered many of us the chance to finally organize our bureau drawers and closets. The idea is to separate clothes into 3 categories: (1) those you wear; (2) those you haven’t worn for 10 years; (3) those that were a mistake to begin with and you know you’ll never wear again. So far this triage hasn’t worked very well for me. I’ve discarded one size 12 sweater (was I ever a size 12?) and two pairs of shoes with soles that had melted away. In the “haven’t worn in 10 years” category I found an attractive black and white tunic I purchased at Boutique D’Reef in 1994, a great golf skirt from the Golf Shop and a timeless red sweater from Orvis. I immediately promoted them all to category 1.
MY LIFE IS A COSTUME PARTY
Pre-Corona I enjoyed choosing what I was going to wear for Zumba, bridge, golf, lunch at the 19th Hole, dinner at Gianni. And now, even though the social highlight of the day is sharing a take-out meal in our kitchen with my husband, I am continuing my life-long game of creating a mix-and-match of appropriate outfits. It’s fun. The trick is to think of yourself as your own real-live Barbie Doll. Dressing-up is Play Time. So enjoy the game!