After 4 people mentioned this new store to me (including one friend who also asked me what a womens 'pump' was) I decided I had to check it out. What store? Uniqlo. Featuring designs by Jil Sander, the Japanese chain carves a niche in the fashion landscape that has been previously unoccupied (wallet friendly but not cheap and brimming with poly-blend). Since Comme des Garcons' Spring collection in 2008, (not to mention Project Runway's season 3 winner Jeffery Sebelia) I have been a fan of Japanese inspiration in fabric form.
Uniqlo manages to hit the much sought after price point without the usual sacrifice of fit and fabrication that is typical of chains like Forever21 and other lower-market offerings. Their 'synthetic leather' campaign demonstrates an awareness of the cultural rejection of genuine leathers, yet the industry's refusal to part with the stylish staples often crafted from such skins. (Forget 'pleather' like the mini dress Carrie Bradshaw donned in an early episode of Sex and the City where she dated a guy who also dated guys, and then played spin the bottle with Alanis Morissette.) The mens selections are a little too modern for my prepster hubby, but with prices starting at $49 for a cotton blazer, he might learn to embrace the more fitted, urban genre of Japanese dressing.
When you want to spend less money on a new outfit than you did on this week's Fresh Direct delivery, its sometimes hard to find items that don't ooze polyester and ill-finished seams. Check out Uniqlo on Broadway and Spring and dazzle your next dinner date, or the boss at Monday's weekly recap meeting. (MTV is filming a new series on getting a job after college at my office beginning tomorrow so I've already devoted too much time to choosing the appropriate wardrobe option. 'Dazzling' is the last thing I can conjure up at the moment, but we shall see what happens.)