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Where Racked Editors Shopped This Week

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

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.


#brandyusa

A photo posted by Brandy Melville (@brandymelvilleusa) on

An already small summer wardrobe, laundry day(s), and recommendations from a couple of Racked editors dictated my shopping this week, since I needed T-shirts big time. Because Elana had a good experience scoring tees at Brandy Melville recently and because the mysterious brand has kept me curious for years, I popped down to its Soho location after work. At 27 years old, it was my first time in the teen store.

The opening paragraph of Racked's story — "The Brandy Melville girl has long hair and longer legs. She's a California cool girl, very young and very thin, in short shorts and oversized sweaters." — rang so deeply true for every single person there that it felt like I had stepped into a California Tumblr Girl vortex. Just being in the store felt like I was illicitly reading a girl’s diary. I felt old.

I still grabbed ten plain tees in either black or white (both giant and form-fitting, since “one size fits most” here) and walked out with four of them for under $70. They’re the softest, best-fitting tees I’ve ever found for about $20. The John Galt branding on the tags is mad creepy, though, and I'm probably going to cut them out.Kenzie Bryant, entertainment writer


We only had about an hour before Kelly left for the airport, and she had one vital New York errand left to run: purchasing the kind of gaudy, shimmery iPhone 6 Plus case that would make a pre-teen or Shoshanna from Girls glittering green with envy. On past trips to the city, Kelly purchased next-level sparkly cases on Canal Street — including a highly memorable 3D bejeweled peacock — but this trip had come up short thus far.

In Williamsburg, we poked through the Mini Mall, where I swore she'd find what she wanted, but only found a handful of subdued designs for the 6 regular and a high-concept paint-it-yourself case that wouldn't be dry by the time she got to airport security. We walked away empty-handed, save a (very minimalist) necklace for me in the shape of the Libra constellation. At a Pinky Otto (always want to call this place Pink Yotto) “sample sale,” there were no iPhone cases in sight, but we tried on dresses. I ended up buying one: a lovely brick red tent I ruined with pen the next day.

We struck out in the row of cutesy gift shops where magnets that compare men unfavorably to demons are sold, and again with the street vendors (who told us "two men and a woman used to sell them" but "business got bad"), and again at the Himalayan flag store. Finally, it was time to walk Kelly home, failed.

But underneath her Airbnb was a small miracle: a Phoneworks. We'd known it was there, but who really notices a phone repair store? Inside, she haggled the sales associate down on flat case that slung glitter around like a snow globe, filled with gold specks and shiny blue stars. It was $40, but she got it for $28. -- Meredith Haggerty, senior editor


#Denim is a way of life. #HM❤️

A photo posted by H&M (@hm) on

PSA: The giant H&M in Herald Square is having a great sale right now. This, sadly, is the last good thing I can say about my Tuesday evening trip there.

After finding some cute cropped jeans (like the ones above) for $10, the fitting room attendant made me leave them with him while I tried on my other seven items (the room’s limit). When I returned, my pants were nowhere to be found. Too lazy to wait in the enormous line again, I forked over the $10 without trying them on.

But apparently, everyone in the entire world is already aware of H&M’s whole sizing business (it was on the Today show show and everything!) so when I eventually tried them on at home, they weren’t even close to buttoning. It would’ve been funny if the jeans weren’t in a size that’s on the larger side of what I usually wear. I will most certainly be exchanging them for this will not be ten dollars wasted, damnit.

Also, CAN SOMEONE JUST “DISRUPT” OR WHATEVER THE FITTING ROOM ALREADY?! Rebecca Jennings, entertainment writer


The CFDA Fashion Incubator sale is one of my favorites because it’s the brands that fashion industry’s heavyweights are putting their money on to be the next big thing, but at serious discounts. I already knew that I was going to get something if it met my shopping mandate of only buying things that are 80% off current retail value or under $100, and in this case, that turned out to be a pair of Brother Vellies shoes.

Hello from my new apartment in my new @brothervellies sandals.

A photo posted by Channing Hargrove (@chan_inthecity) on

I’m obsessed with this label’s aesthetic and desperately want to look this cool wearing fur shoes in the summer. I found a pair I loved for $80, but wondered if I’d actually wear them out or just display them somewhere in my apartment (don’t judge). I took the plunge anyway, and I’m pleased to announce that the following morning, I actually wore them outside of my apartment. Channing Hargrove, Racked NY associate editor


This past January, my skin type suddenly changed dramatically — yay, hormones! I became the proud owner of a stubborn case of adult acne and was forced to shake up quite a few components of my beauty regimen to get things under control.

For starters, the supposedly “skin-clearing” face wash I’d been loyal to for years was suddenly too harsh and drying for my complexion, so my dermatologist suggested I try something a bit gentler: CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser. The stuff works great and my newly finicky skin has been tolerating it well these past few months, but very few Duane Reades in the city stock it. (Yet for some reason, the same brand’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser is available at literally every location. What gives?!)

As it turns out, the sole place to procure a bottle of the stuff is at the Duane Reade in Times Square; luckily, I happened upon Walgreens.com’s “Find it at a Store” feature before going on a wild goose chase around Manhattan. But I also learned another important lesson while searching for my cleanser: CeraVe products, like everything else, are way cheaper on Amazon. Looks like I’ll be going that route the next time I run out. —Elana Fishman, entertainment editor