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Where Racked Editors Shopped This Week: Stella Dallas, Century 21, and a Ridiculous Hamptons Boutique

A purple handbag painted with the words "Beach Birkin" Photo: Bizarre Bags

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Welcome back to Shopping Journal, a weekly feature where Racked editors share what they're buying and where.

Hamptons boutiques are truly hilarious; they are parodies unto themselves and also nearly indistinguishable from one another. This is why I can’t tell you which store window in Southampton displays this particular atrocity:

My first question was, of course, "Is this real?" This is a dumb question. Of course it’s not. Even though painted (or defaced, as they say) Birkins are a thing (Kim Kardashian has at least two), a random boutique in the Hamptons is not going to carry one. I know this because I listen to Planet Money. JK, also because I work here.

Anyway, this garbage "Beach Birkin" with tacky scarf-wrapped handles will cost you $600. Peak Hamptons. Julia Rubin, features editor

I’ve known I have a skinny jean problem for a little while now. I’m all too aware that the same pants that announced me as cool 10 years ago now give me away as behind the times, or worse — old. But it’s hard to change your ways. Last Sunday, inspired by a contributor’s tips on branching out from skinnies, I took the leap. (Or rather, I walked into a situation that made it really, really easy to do so.)

Coffee with a friend brought me within walking distance of one of New York’s best vintage stores, Stella Dallas. They’ve got rows and rows of perfect T-shirts, non-frumpy vintage dresses, silk tank tops, crochet everything, and the best part: a whole sea of denim, with each piece priced around $20.

Since it’s actually kind of rare to spot vintage Levi’s in New York in a size that fits me, I went a little crazy. I tried on about 99 pairs, and walked away with some loose-fitting, perfectly worn-in 501s and a great pair of overall shorts that I can’t wait to wear. I still love my skinny jeans, but it’s nice to have options!Cory Baldwin, shopping editor

As of this publication, I am less than 24 hours away from the beginning of a week-long vacation in Hawaii — if you’re counting the plane ride as vacation, that is. So with beaches on the brain, I wandered into the swimwear section of the Lincoln Center Century 21 last weekend after making my way through the Designer Trunk Show sale and coming up empty.

Finding a flattering cut for something that still leaves you pretty close to naked in public isn’t easy, but I thought I had found it in this strapless Chloé one-piece that came in coral with navy piping. The curvatures on the side mimicked my own shape, and I liked how the back was pretty much non-existent, save for a string that tied around the shoulder blades.

But it turned out that the tie was the reason I couldn’t buy it. I spent several minutes fumbling around in the dressing room trying to tie it properly, but any which way I moved, the suit would slip right down to my stomach. I always try to minimize the risk of wardrobe malfunctions, but I’m particularly trying to minimize it for this trip — it’s a family vacation, after all.

So instead, I’ll be packing up the bikinis I already have, including a Mara Hoffman top I picked up at last summer’s sample sale that’s cut like this and therefore has zero risk of flashing.Laura Gurfein, Racked NY editor