My friend Bella and I decided to go for a back to school shop  in Soho at Broadway Lafayette.  This area is like an outdoor mall that constantly has foot traffic, with crowds of people and tourists.  It has all the stores one would need– Brandy Melville, H&M, Zara, Topshop (my favorite), Aritzia, Free People, LF, American Apparel, Victoria Secrets, and Urban Outfitters.  I don’t often shop at big brand name stores because the clothing is often badly made–loose threads,  crummy zippers– and everyone has it. I hate spending a lot of money on a dress from Urban and seeing a friend wearing the same thing.  Usually I stay far away from Broadway Lafayette because of its constant mayhem.  But, I needed my basics.  I was on the hunt for a chunky sweater, boots, leggings, and a t-shirt dress.

My first stop was Aritzia for the leggings and chunky sweater.  Aritzia has a great assortment of well-made clothing, which doesn’t fall apart in three washes. The leggings from Aritzia cost $22.  I strongly recommend them. They are opaque; no one will see your days of the week underwear.  While I was at Aritzia I found a beautiful cardigan which was cream colored and had navy trim by the zipper.  I instantly fell in love with it, but it was $182, and my friend pointed out very sensibly, “Allie, it costs more than your boots.”

After Aritzia I went to Brandy Melville. Brandy Melville’s clothing isn’t very well made but they use a soft material which is comfortable.  They had something I wanted– a comfy t-shirt dress.  I didn’t find what I came for, but I left with something pretty close.  I purchased a long white t-shirt which falls nicely.  You can pair long t-shirts with anything– high waisted jeans, a maxi skirt, or just some simple leggings.  They’re great and only cost $20.  Brandy also makes great sweaters, and baby doll dresses.  I am kinda over my crop-top phase, but if you’re still in yours, they have great ones which fit really well.

I am addicted to shoes.  I have several pairs of boots (my mother loves to point this out) but I still crave more.  I have been on a hunt for the perfect boot for a while.  I found the Buckle Back Ankle Boot by Jeffrey Campbell which cost $248. I also found the Biker Boot at Madewell, which cost $178. No matter how much I babysit, I will never earn enough to afford either of those.  I was on a search for an affordable, well-made boot, and a boot that no one else had.  I don’t know if you guys know how hard that is to find.  Believe me, it is a challenge.  I had found the boot at Sam Edelman, it caught my eye.  I had an uneasy feeling, I was worried these too would be out of my price range.  I turned the boot over, prepared to be let down, when the label read $120. I was overcome with joy.  I had met my match.

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