Class & Sass

Martha and Jen brave boutiques and international arrivals to get in gear for the holidays.

( J ) The holidays are indeed bedazzling. They are full of lights, sounds, smells and other stimulating sensations. If you allow them, they will sweep you up into the joyous feelings of the season. It is my favorite time of year. I still love going into the city to experience the buzz and thrill of it all – the windows on Fifth Avenue, the clip-clop of horses’ hooves in Central Park, the skaters twirling beneath the twinkling lights of the grand tree at Rockefeller Center, the aroma of chestnuts in the crisp, blustery air. My heart is full of hope and wonder… until I head to the airport and find myself thrown into the turmoil and chaos of holiday travel. And then I really do wonder (since we’ve successfully decoded the human genome) why do I still have to take off my shoes?

(M) One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to go to the international arrivals area of JFK to people-watch. It’s a never-ending stream of exuberant souls greeting their long-lost relatives, lovers, newborn grandchildren, etc. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes, and it always helps me put perspective on the holiday chaos and craziness. I know it sounds deranged to choose to go anywhere near an airport during the holidays, but the utter joy that abounds there has to be experienced to be believed. Best part: You don’t have to take off your shoes to partake of the fun.

( J ) This year when I’m standing shoeless, being patted and probed because the wire in my bra has set off the alarm once again, (I always forget something. The last time it was a comb resting in my unruly hair), I will try to look around and see the joyous faces of loved ones being reunited. I really never thought of it that way. I have noticed, however, how pleasant the security personnel have become in the airports. Is it because they get to see so many people disrobe and do so much patting down?

(M) You’ve experienced “pleasant security personnel”? I’m betting that’s because you always look totally hot and put together – even when you’re just going out to collect your mail. Did I ever tell you that I run and hide when I see you around town, because I generally look like crap? But I’m trying to pick up my game for the holiday season. So where do you suggest I go to look dazzling for my upcoming soirées?

(J) Well, that’s awfully sweet of you to say. It’s probably just because I’m from the South, and in the South, the glam thing is drilled into a girl from the time she starts walking. Women don’t even venture out to get their mail unless they have at least put on lipstick. Southern women have perfected the art of looking like they’ve just rolled out of bed, rosy-cheeked and coiffed. And although I don’t agree with you about your ever appearing disheveled, I do agree with you about the hassles of dress shopping. I have a secret weapon, though, which I will begrudgingly share – the Elephant’s Trunk in Mount Kisco. Have you ever been?

(M) I hadn’t been there in years but just went recently and it was a joyous experience. Just love the owners, Rafael and Robert, who’ve managed to stay in business for more than 40 years. (They were the first to bring faded blue jeans to Westchester.) They’ve got something for everyone, from hip and trendy cocktail dresses to stunning and stylish mother-of-the-bride gowns to tuxedos for men. You can even take an elevator (dressed in your gown and in bare feet) to the lingerie (i.e., Spanx) store below to have them fit you with whatever you might need to finish your ensemble. But perhaps the best part of all is the saleswomen. They are experts at finding dresses that will accentuate your best qualities while hiding the others and will swoon over you, making feel like a million bucks.

Wag Up
(M) Boots and chunky heels – They are comfortable and flattering.
(J) Holiday parties – Because I love dressing up. I always have. The frillier the better. It’s one of the greatest aspects of being a girl.

Wag Down
( M ) Guys who leave the toilet seat up.
( J ) Getting stripped, de-shoed, poked and patted down at airports during the jolly holidays, which make those days very un-jolly indeed.

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