Fashion & Beauty

Summer Sales

July 28, 2020

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THE PANDEMIC has spurred the demise of a bevy of big-name retailers. Once the go-to preppy emporium with attitude, J. Crew was the first major clothing company to file for bankruptcy May 4. Grande dame Neiman Marcus, which followed in its footsteps three days later,  recently announced it was shutting down its much ballyhooed location in NYC’s Hudson Yards. On July 7 it was Brooks Brothers’ turn —the 202-year-old clothier that designed the Union Army’s uniforms during the Civil War and made the black coat Abraham Lincoln wore to his second inauguration. (Post-Covid-19, there’s hope these stores will be able to emerge from the embers). Nordstrom is not immune either. There haven’t been many nasty rumors, but the company permanently shuttered 16 of its 116 “full-line” stores. 

Smaller businesses have not fared too well either. E-commerce sites Totokaelo and Need Supply Co. announced they were shutting down a couple of weeks ago. The former attracted a sophisticated audience drawn to quality and fashion-forward design of labels like Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto. The clothing was beautiful, well-made and mostly in black and neutrals. Need Supply, which formed a joint venture with Totokaelo in 2018, offered a wider range of price points—and colors. 

We’re sad to see them sputter and/or disappear. In the meantime, if you act quickly, you can score some bargains or at least some discounts on, for example, a mint-green Anine Bing moto jacket (at Nordstrom), an ostrich wallet from Brooks Brothers and a pair of beach-ready linen pants from J. Crew. Note that some of these items are tagged final sale—sorry, no returns. 

—Janet Kelly


COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Brooks Brothers stopped designing and ordering exotic skins (ostrich, alligator, etc.) around a year ago and is selling the last of its remaining inventory in shoes, bags and small leather goods. Such as this Ostrich Wallet (reduced from $598 to $448.50), which, in addition to this vibrant orange, is available in a more predictable navy or red.  The price of Brooks’s Alligator Soft Frame Bag —with suede lining, brass hardware and tanned finish—has been slashed from $8,000 to $2,400.  You’ll still need deep pockets—just not quite as deep. Eight is the only size still available in Jimmy Choo’s Love Croc Embossed Pointed Toe Flat (reduced from $595 to $238, Nordstrom). If the shoe fits, you know what to do.


LEFT: Large patch pockets and stretchy twill fabric give Lafayette 148 New York’s tailored Annmarie Stretch Cotton Twill Jacket (reduced to $239.20 from $598, Nordstrom) a more relaxed feel.  You’ll find endless reasons to wear it this summer and beyond. Also, Lafayette 148 New York is having a general 65-percent-off sale on lots of classic-with-a-twist tops, pants and lightweight dresses. CENTER: Proenza Schouler’s Colorblock Drape Dress (reduced from $1,090 to $436) looks like separates from the front, but the pleated back that flows like an elegant cape reveals it’s all one elegant frock. RIGHT: We’re guessing you have enough black jackets. If so, snag Anine Bing’s Benjamin Moto Leather Jacket (reduced from $,1099 to $659.40, Nordstrom) in this mint ice cream color. You won’t be sorry you did.


LEFT: Light and floaty enough to pop over a swim suit at the beach but with enough construction and coverage to wear on a staycation in the city, J. Crew’s Drawstring Linen Pants (40 percent off $88 with code SHOPNOW) come in shocking pink, flax and white and sport a tuxedo stripe down the leg. Note: Only the white version is lined. RIGHT: Both stylish and classic, J. Crew’s Pacific Cat Eye Sunglasses (reduced from $69.50 to $56.99) are available in rose latte (shown) and neon red. 

LEFT: Copenhagen native Cecilie Bahnsen, who studied in London and worked in couture in Paris, started her eponymous label in 2015.  Sculptural silhouettes are her trademark. Practice social distancing in the designer’s Shirtdress with Voluminous Hem (reduced from $909 to $454.10, Totokaelo). RIGHT: You may not want to save this super-cute Scalloped Gingham Cotton Pajama and Eye Mask Set (reduced from $98 to $73.50, Brooks Brothers) just for the bedroom. Surely the top would work for a Zoom session. When you want to crawl under the covers and shut out the world, the eye mask could come in handy,


LEFT: Reduced from $450 to $180 at Need Supply, Rachel Comey’s small, crochet Doctor Bag with a zipper closure is so charming, we think it could probably cure whatever ails you, while it safely stores your hand sanitizer et al.  RIGHT: Your feet called. They said they’d like to have some fun. Vault by Vans Classic Slip-On LX Sneaker in Checkerboard (reduced from $70 to $52.50, Totokaelo) will make them happy.


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One thought on “Summer Sales

  1. Nancy G says:

    This is all so sad. I feel I’ve contributed to the demise of some of these retailers by not buying anything for so many months. But where are any of us going? I wear sweats most days. And don’t really need anything new for when I do venture out. What will be left when we finally emerge from this horror?

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