Websites of the week
As I mentioned yesterday, I spent some time in Soho this weekend, much of it just walking around and browsing. I'm trying not to spend too much money at the moment (ha!), since I'll be moving shortly, so I played a game I like to play when I'm on a tight budget: I call it "If I had $1,000," and I basically go into a store and decide what I'd buy if I had $1,000 to spend. (Try it--you might find it either pleasurable or torturous.) Anyway, I found two (fairly) new stores where I had the most fun playing my little game.

The first store, Te Casan, got quite a bit of attention when it debuted six months ago, and I'm a bit ashamed to say this was my first visit to the store. I'd been holding off, though, because as you know, I love shoes, and I just didn't want to tempt myself. To refresh your memory, Te Casan features exclusive, limited-edition shoes by seven designers who work only for the store. The salespeople are very attentive and knowledgeable, but the true stars are the shoes themselves, which reflect a variety of trends and styles--some are very baroque, others are totally '80s. I found that my favorite designer is Fay Baldock, who, according to her bio, worked with Dries van Noten, a designer I also admire very much. She designed two of my favorite shoes in the store, this mod Mary Jane and this nude pump with gorgeous, unexpected peacock-inspired detail at the heel.

My other favorite designer was former Alexander McQueen employee Gaetano Perrone, whose shoes are architecture-inspired. They're also incredibly sexy, as you can see in this pair, a patent nude pump with trendy square toe and concealed platform, sure to give you mile-long legs.

Those three pairs of shoes pretty much take me to $1,000. In other words, Te Casan's prices are "moderate"--most are in the $200-$300 range--which makes them a doable splurge. Well, one pair at a time, that is.

The second store I discovered was Pinky Otto, which MK and I were attracted to based on the adorable dress in the window. And once we got inside the tiny store, we found dresses upon dresses, all completely and utterly adorable. The great thing about the store is that they carry no more than three of each style, so if you buy a dress there (everything is private label), you won't be seeing it on every other girl south of 14th Street. The catch is that the dresses come in one size...which is small. But don't be discouraged by that--I can wear a 6 or an 8, and everything I tried on fit me; MK, who's a bit smaller than me, looked great in everything she tried on as well. Hey, it's like the real-life equivalent of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! Now, supposedly you can shop online, but that function doesn't appear to be working at the moment, so I can't show you what I'd buy with my imaginary $1,000 (to give you an idea, it would probably buy you about five dresses). Nevertheless, I highly suggest checking out the store, especially since this is the year of the dress. I can't wait to see what Pinky Otto comes up with for fall.

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