Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Born Many Years Apart, Yet a Perfect Match

Becki Newton proves that there is more than one way to wear Gap's tubular scarf. Photos courtesy of Gap.

“FRUGAL fatigue.” You have it? You know what it is, right? The condition – as defined by one of the commentators on CNBC's “Fast Money” – characterized by a weariness of being frugal and thus wanting to spend money. Of a great desire to pony up for something a bit more substantial than toothpaste and toilet paper. According to the “Fast Money” guy, many Americans are tired of T&T and crave SONY&DKNY&BMW&I-PHONE & the like. This being December, FF is probably taking a huge toll on lots of folk.

Yours Truly, on a strict money diet for many moons now, is not suffering from FF. But I would be remiss if I did not do my patriotic duty and lend a hand to my fellow Americans who are agitating to furiously and, no doubt, responsibly spend for the holidays. Over the next several days I will introduce a product (or brand) a day that I would buy for myself or someone else if I were spending (and could afford to, of course).


Let’s see, Gift No. 2:

When Gap decided to open another store in Soho, it turned the occasion into an event by throwing a party with that do-gooder formula that’s so au courant: identify a cause (Feeding America); select a partner (NYLON magazine) in said cause; engage a hot deejay (DJ Cassidy); dangle a few celebrities (i.e., Becki Newton, Emmy Rossum); open the bar (beer, water, wine); pass hors d’oeuvres (chocolate-themed sweets) and offer an interesting discount (30 percent).

And because this is Soho, the coolest place on God’s green earth, it can’t be just any Gap store. Uh-uh. It has to have a certain look, and a hook. For instance, be inspired by something hipper-than-thou such as a certain Gap pop-up store in Los Angeles. And a theme helps, something along the lines of Gap’s new 1969 Premium Jeans collection. Do ensure that the jeans bear provocative monikers like “Real Straight” for women and “Skinny” for men and have a place on a “denim wall” constructed of materials that evoke Soho. Industrial metal shelving and acrylic panels are good choices. This is not your father’s Gap, unless he’s an editor at NYLON.

It’s a nifty enough concept, but Gap is not building a store on jeans alone. Taking up space on wooden sawhorse tables and in plywood cubes are select pieces from the current collection, including the lush, cherry-red tubular scarf that “Ugly Betty’s” Becki Newton (pictured above) breezed by wearing. Asked where she got it, BN happily pointed it out “over there.” I’d first seen that style in the September issue of Marie Claire, then at H&M. It has also popped up in a few men’s mags. Has exciting possibilities, that one. The Gap scarf is much more affordable than Anna Kula’s version shown to good effect in MC and appears to be at less risk of collecting fur balls than H&M’s. At $19.50, it looks like a keeper.

The pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance, however, is the red tartan button-down shirt for men and women (possibly marked down from around $50). Gap must have locked that pattern away in its vault, until an opportune time, because I own the very one in a cotton/lycra bodysuit that I bought circa mid-1990s. I know it’s an exact match because I was wearing the bodysuit (now a cropped top after my seamstress at the time had her way with it) the night of the party! The shirt and my top would make a fetching “shirt-set,” judging from the oohs and aahs they elicited from observers. And one can wear the set to a Gap party in the year 2025 and probably still be on trend.

Visit any Gap store or gap.com to shop/browse for the shirt, scarf and other products … Learn more about Feeding America at www.feedingamerica.org.

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