September 28, 2012
I wanted gaiters for years, and was paralyzed by the staggering number of brands and features. Finally, this summer, I purchased a pair of Outdoor Research’s Women’s Crocodiles from Backcountry.com out of fear of a very rainy vacation. As is usually the case when I plan for the worst, my vacation had nothing but sunny days and beautiful weather. However, I was perfectly prepared for the rain we had in NYC today.
I am probably wearing them incorrectly, but still, these new gaiters made running errands in a downpour a lot more comfortable! No wet pant-bottoms! No rain going in my boots!
Because there is a strap that runs under your shoe, you need a little bit of a heel to wear them, so I can’t wear them with my waterproof sneakers. Those are Vasque hiking boots, for those keeping score at home!
I got a whole new rain outfit for my son, and I’ve been really happy with what I got for him:
I have been checking out umbrellas, and I haven’t found the perfect one yet, but what I have found is that you should avoid umbrellas that have an “auto close” feature. All that means is that a button collapses the umbrella spines, but I find them significantly harder to compress into final closing than a non-automatic closing umbrella! Currently, I am testing a Knirps umbrella from Germany, which is preternaturally lightweight, but supposedly lasts forever. Let me tell you, for the price, it better last forever! Ugh.
Currently, I use 66 Degrees North ski pants as rain pants (which I am happy with) and a 66 Degrees North rain jacket (which I am not happy with – it leaks). I was very happy with the child’s rain jacket and pants from 66 Degrees North, but my son grew out of them.
I plan on testing a Knirps Wind Trench Coat when I can get my hands on one.
One more thing I need to add to my rain repertoire is a waterproof backpack cover. I have no ideas for that so far. Suggestions welcome!
March 21, 2012
UPDATE: September 2012
Uniqlo kids clothes are WAY better now than when they were re-introduced in New York this past March when I hated them (see below). I was just there and thought there was plenty of great stuff, especially for toddlers. My only complaints were that the clothes don’t go big enough in size. The XL underwear, for example, is the right size for an 8 or 9 year old kid with an athletic build.
I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that when I passed by the Uniqlo store at 53rd and 5th in NYC today, they had kid’s clothes in the window. The bad news is that the selection is minimal, and what is there sucks. There is a small selection of skinny-fit jeans (same style for boys and girls), a few ugly girl’s sweaters, some lightweight, zip-up hoodies, and some uncomfortable looking boys clothes (button-down shirts for very little kids). Uniqlo has apparently decided to go after that ever-expanding “kids who like needlessly uncomfortable clothes” market. We all know how big that is.
Uniqlo is my favorite clothes store, I have been waiting for YEARS for them to carry kid’s clothes again, and I was ready to spend a lot of money on a whole hell of a lot of kid’s clothes. I walked out of there with 3 pairs of socks (for myself) and a pair of promotionally-priced boxer briefs ($3.90!) for my husband. Epic fail, Uniqlo.
November 18, 2010
You’ll hit the mother lode at 105 Chambers Street (just east of Church) 2nd floor. It’s not a store and you have to be buzzed in. Huge empty loft selling tons of Petit Bateau 50-60% off. They’ll be there through 11/29/10. They have a good selection of women’s tops, and a great selection of children’s clothes. Great stuff. Sure, all of our kids will be dressed exactly alike, but with Petit Bateau, that’s not such a horrible thing!
November 14, 2010
Natasha, I’ve been thinking about your water-stained purse all week, and I finally figured it out! I’m sorry I forgot all about this stuff when you originally asked me about it. Lexol is the stuff you should try. You can buy it at any shoe repair place. It’s about $6-8 a bottle. Lexol has a leather cleaner (in the orange little jug) and leather conditioner (in the little brown jug). I have used the leather conditioner many times and it does clean the leather as well. I would think the conditioner will do the trick on your purse. Just shake very, very well before opening and apply LIBERALLY. I practically pour this stuff on my leather, but you should try a little bit at first, like a sensible person would. Ignore my leather conditioning abandon! Rub it in a ton and then buff it. It’s great stuff. Plus, it doesn’t smell toxic to me. Many other leather conditioners do.
I must thank you for asking me about a leather cleaner, because your question made me buy a new jug of Lexol and condition my boots and jacket. I don’t ride anymore, but because of Lexol, they still look good even after 20+ years.
These days are over.
Granted, I’ve never taken a spill in them, but they did survive a particularly brutal late-80s Jane’s Addiction show, the Metallica AJFA Tour, Monsters of Rock (at least 2 shows), that legendary Faith No More / Voivod / Soundgarden show at the Ritz, Rollins Band stagediving, a few CMJ Marathons, a mosh pit that included members of Biohazard and Last Crack and working in the music industry. I’m just saying.
February 10, 2010
You can donate them or recycle them. Nike recycles old sneakers (from any brand). They separate and grind up the three parts of the sneaker (rubber, foam and fabric) to make new sports surfaces. Athletic shoes only, nothing with steel in them, no flip flops. See: www.nikereuseashoe.com for more details and more drop-off locations.
February 10, 2010
Ekologic makes sweaters and other stuff out of old cashmere sweaters. Their stuff makes a great gift, is beautiful, handmade, local (if you live near Troy, NY or thereabouts), recycled and comfortable. They have stuff for men and for women. What more can you ask for. Plus, they are really nice people.
February 10, 2010
No. Not necessarily. I found this wonderfully helpful article about how to handwash cashmere, silk and other things most people dry clean. Read through everything on the page, especially the “Golden Rules” and take it step by step. I washed a cashmere scarf as well as a silk night mask (yes, I sleep with a night mask), and followed the directions carefully, and they came out perfect. One thing, however, I was not able to find the Lux or Ivory brand soap flakes the article recommends. So, I grated up the plainest soap I have (the very highly recommended True soap). I grated it up a tiny amount (that was just enough) with the very highly recommended Microplane and the rest, as we say, is handwashing history.