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.
I have an ongoing battle in my mind when it comes to sunglasses: should I invest in a good pair, or keep buying crappy ones from fast fashion stores? It’s probably because I’m traumatized from the last time I had a nice pair of sunglasses, which were silver Ray Ban Aviators during my sophomore year of college. I dropped and shattered them twice, paying a hefty amount to get the glass lenses replaced. Once I said my final goodbye to them after someone stepped on them at a concert, I vowed to never buy expensive sunglasses again.
The thing about buying cheap ones, though, is that they break pretty quickly. And so after I cracked a pair of Zara sunnies I really liked last week, I finally made my way into Bloomingdale's on Tuesday night and browsed the sunglasses section. I skimmed many counters, from Prada to Tory Burch — there were so many freakin’ options, I didn’t even know where to start. Eventually, I found myself gravitating back to the Ray Ban counter and ended up buying a pair of round gold frames with green lenses (the Aviators brought back bad memories). They cost me a whopping $150, but this time, I’m going to try real hard to take better care of them.—Chavie Lieber, senior reporter
I took last Friday off and spent the majority of that day cleaning my apartment from top to bottom, so by the time the real weekend came around, I was aching to look at things I did not own. I did that at a lot of places near my East Village apartment — including Reformation, Meg, and Cloak & Dagger — and ended up making purchases at two of them.
The first was at Think Pink salon on Saturday afternoon, which had just the right amount of excess air conditioning for this impossibly hot weekend and was also blissfully quiet, save for a stellar piano soundtrack that included both "Con Te Partiro" and "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. I might like this playlist more than I like the cotton candy pink Essie shade I picked for my pedicure ($40), and I really like this color a lot!
The second was the next day at Verameat, which is less expensive than I remember it being from past shopping trips. I picked up this Summer Sixteen style ($28, minus a 10% friends and family discount but plus tax) and wore it out of the store. It was between that one and a version of these that says "Oh Shit!" but I thought the latter would either unnecessarily raise my anxiety levels or keep Fergie’s "London Bridge" stuck in my head for the rest of time.—Laura Gurfein, Racked NY editor
Our intern Kiara always shows up to work in the best outfits — last week, she carried a vintage Louis Vuitton Epi bucket bag! — and every time I ask her where she got a piece, her answer is always the same: Beacon’s Closet on 13th Street, where she works part-time. So when she texted me that she saw a pair of white Chanel wide-leg pants with a pearl detail on the back pocket, I knew this was my chance to dip a toe into the world of vintage.
I dragged a friend with me to the store after work to try on the pants (she held them for me), but they didn’t fit, dashing my dreams of transitioning such fancy pants into the perfect fall outfits. They gave me a huge wedgie in the front so I didn’t bring them home, but I’m much more inspired to shop vintage now, especially with Kiara’s help. —Channing Hargrove, Racked NY associate editor
I’ve been "growing out" a pixie cut for the past three summers. Which is to say, I’ve missed braids and ponytails for the past three summers, but the second I hit the awkward phase — usually mid-July, when it’s hot and humid as hell in New York and the last thing I want is my shapeless, non-haircut tickling the back of my neck — I chop off all my progress. This year, I’m trying to stay committed, and my current strategy is, at the very least, pretty fun: butterfly clips!
I went on a mission to find them last weekend, and while I didn’t snag any of those glittery ones from middle school, I did hit the jackpot at a dollar store in Ridgewood. There was a whole rainbow-colored wall of hair accessories, including butterfly clips sold in packs with hair ties and snap clips featuring weird little charms like red Hawaiian flowers, purple dolphins, and baby blue strawberries. I bought myself six packs for six bucks, and I’ve been wearing them just about every day since. I’m a little worried I look like Carrie from Two of a Kind (or maybe just a giant three-year-old?) but so far they are doing their job.—Cory Baldwin, shopping editor