1. Be Better at…Shopping.

    I’m from Texas, and once a year, the state offers a weekend of tax-free purchases on clothing, school supplies etc. I have seen parking-related brawls, have witnessed a near eye-gouging over a pair of BCBG white jeans, and have since vowed to never step foot into a retail establishment when this time rolls around. Think…NYC on any culturally significant parade day (I love you Puerto Ricans, but your parade makes me want to move to the suburbs).

    Well once again, New York has trumped Texas and therefore validated me making the trek across this fair country to the land of impossibly high rent and hot dogs with toppings like kimchi, coleslaw, and organic placenta (OK, maybe not placenta). 

    NY state goes back and forth regarding sales tax on clothing items, and finally, once again, they’ve removed sales tax on clothing and shoes costing less than $110 bucks. This is good news people. 

    The state officially says, “Sales of eligible clothing and footwear costing less than $110 per item or pair are exempt from the state’s 4% sales tax and local tax in those localities that enacted the exemption.” This also includes the 4.5% city, 4% state and .0375% Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District tax (whatever that is).

    Sunday is the first day of the exemption people, so go forth and shop. And if you need some help finding the right places to buy some new duds for under $110 bucks, I’ve included a short list of some Park Slope gems below:

    Mommies: BUMP; 464 Bergen St.
    Dudes: PRIVATE STOCK; 458 Bergen St. 
    Gal’s Shoes: SOULA, 184 5th Ave.
     Kiddos: LULU’S THEN AND NOW; 75A 5th Ave.
    Rich People: BIRD316 5th Ave 
     Thrift: PONY; 69 5th Ave.
    Happy Shopping Lovies,

  2. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Mandals Editions:

    My eyes are burning, my stomach feels nauseous, and I can’t walk down the street without wanting to scream obscenities at people. It’s that time of year folks…Mandals season. 

    Now for those of you not familar with the term Mandals…lemme break it down. 


    I’m not sure what’s happening with the current state of affairs in our country, but we are really in the trenches here people. In my awesome 25 years..I’ve never witnessed such foot-based abominations as I have this summer.  Look, I get that I live in Park Slope, the sensible shoe capital of the world (I’m looking at you: vegans, eco-friendly lesbians, moms, graphic designer stay-at-home dads, juice bar consumers), and I work in Soho, the European Visitor capital of the world…but why must I be subjected to such atrocities. And beyond that…I work on the same city street as the Crocs store. WTF. This is some cruel joke…and guess what’s across the street? CHANEL. Mother F-ing CHANEL. This is what they meant by the Tribulation folks. Welcome.

    An Open Letter to you Lydon Hanson, Scott Seamans, and George Boedecker, inventors of Crocs footwear:

    Dear L, S, and G,

    This is a cruel joke that you have played on society. I’m guessing this is how the process went…Over too many flaming shots of Barcardi 151, you asked each other how embarrassingly awful you could make a shoe look, but convince the general public that comfort matters more than looking like a complete doucher. I feel like this is all a joke…I pray that one day you will reveal yourselves… like the Insane Clown Posse revealed themselves as Evangelical Christians while writing music about “Bugz on my Nutz”… tell me this is just your little social experiment and then make them go away. PLEASE. 

    Save us from this, we don’t deserve it. Oh, and stay away from the CHANEL store.

    xoxo Chinae

    Alright so now that that’s done… let’s see the Acceptable, Utterly Terrible, and some tips on Summer Men’s Footwear!

    Let’s start with the BAD:

    My retinas are burning and you can bet your life I cleared my search history after putting this together. Ok….so we’ve already heard my rant on…

    1) Crocs: Unless you are a chef, gardener, or are wading through swamps for a living, you can’t own these. And don’t do this to your kids either, you’ll have a 25 year old child who can’t tie shoes and has no friends.

    2)Leather Tevas: this is a favorite in the Slope. You are not hiking, and for God-sakes you are around other humans, you have enveloped your foot in a leather cage of ugly.

    3) Adidas Slip-On’s: Unless you are a high school basketball player in 1997 (and i’m pretty sure time travel hasn’t been invented) you aren’t allowed to sport these.

    4)THE CREEPIEST SHOE EVER: I don’t care if they are good for balance and running, it’s scary and I’ll never be on board with this. I don’t care if they cure AIDS…not happening.

    5) A Leather Fitness Sandal: Welp, I think that pretty much sums it up. You should save the $200 bucks (and your dignity) and buy yourself a two-month gym membership instead.

    6) The Name Brand Flip Flop: You are probably a guido or foreign. I love visitors to our country…really, I do…but the TSA needs to start checking for these in suitcases coming from Europe and/or NJ.

    And now for the Good:

    These are all socially acceptable options for the male foot region in the summertime. Try a Sperry’s Topsider in this cool grey tone…goes with everything and looks great even worn in. Also for a more formal option…check out these grey suede cuties from J. Crew…they will transition nicely into the Fall and you’ll look effortlessly stylish at the 9986 weddings you are attending this June. For some sneaker options, I like these two gems…the white patent WeSC shoes are for the more daring, they are a great marriage between a boat shoe and a sneaker in that crisp white. As always, the Converse All Star is a winner and can transition from day to evening with the right ensemble. And if you MUST wear a Mandal….just stick with a simple leather flip flop like these classic Rainbows. 

    Style Tip: To refresh an older pair of shoes, pick some new bold colored laces like the ones above from J. Crew. It’ll breathe some new life into your old faithfuls!

    Now, if I see you in any of these “bad” shoes, I am allow to put you in a rear naked chokehold.

    xoxo Chinae