Tagged: shopping

Just Touched Down in Londontown: Exploring London

By Margaret Waterman, Staff Writer

Camden Market is a great way to spend a weekend in London./ PHOTO BY Margaret Waterman

Camden Market is a great way to spend a weekend in London./ PHOTO BY Margaret Waterman

After a sad departure from my internship on Thursday, it was really nice to spend a weekend in London. Even though we live here, it’s hard to feel like we’ve seen all the city has to offer with our full-time jobs.

Friday night started off with a bang — after farewell drinks with my work colleagues, my friends and I met up in Shoreditch, an up-and-coming neighborhood in East London. Shoreditch is a part of the city that has become increasingly gentrified. Filled with bars and clubs, it’s a trendy area we felt we had to check out before we returned home to the states.

After checking out a fun club there, we made our way over to Hoxton, another area with the same trendy feel. The club we went to there, the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, was three venues all in one: a lounge, a bar and a club and was an awesome way to end the evening. My roommate and I danced on stage with a random stranger for the better part of the night and had a blast.

Saturday morning, we woke up and headed over to Camden Market in Camden Town. After almost a whole semester in London, we were so happy to finally be able to check out the famous market in northern London. It was absolutely packed with shoppers, merchants and Londoners just milling about. There were a bunch of different markets — Inverness Market, Horse Stables Market and Camden Lock Market, among others — that we explored for hours.

Even though I didn’t buy anything, I was tempted all day; we passed hundreds of food vendors from all over the world, dozens of clothing merchants and people selling knick-knacks that could satisfy any shopper’s needs.

The next day, we headed out the door at 10:30 a.m. We made our way over to Canary Wharf to catch some of the London Marathon. The six of us grabbed a pint at Smollensky’s and watched runners pass through the city’s financial district at the 18th mile marker.

Next, we took the Docklands Light Railway to the O2 Arena to check out The British Music Experience. We learned about the history of British music from the 1940s onward and even recorded songs in their on-site studio (the highlight was definitely either our rendition of “Wonderwall” by Oasis or of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.) We saw outfits worn by David Bowie, Jimmy Page and the Spice Girls and got to look at a selection of Sir Elton John’s glasses.

After a tour around the museum, we took a gondola over the River Thames to see the Olympic Park. We all love the Olympics and loved checking out the site of the 2012 summer games.

After a long day of sightseeing, we went back to one of our favorite pubs, called The Mayflower. We hung out on their deck, overlooking the Thames and London’s glittering skyline before heading back to South Kensington. It seems crazy, but I think we’re ready to start our last full week abroad.


America’s Most Shoplifted Items

By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer

Shoppers beware this holiday season./PHOTO VIA Flickr user freefotouk

I would like to dedicate this post to all the retail stores out there bracing for the holiday season madness. It is the best time of year for the retail industry because shoppers will be bustling in and out of stores, all hours of the day.

However, since there are more consumers in the stores, retailers should implement loss prevention strategies in order to prevent theft. The National Retail Federation just released its ninth annual Organized Retail Crime Survey, revealing the country’s most shoplifted items.

1. Cell phones

iPhones and Android devices are arguably the most desired holiday gifts. On its release weekend in September, the iPhone 5S and 5C sold over 9 million units, which broke Apple’s sales record for iPhones.  Its competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is also doing well. Samsung sold over 5 million units in its release month.

2. Laptops

The lives of college students revolve around one item: their laptops. You can’t really survive college without one. The big debate is whether one wants a PC or a Mac. I prefer the lighter, more stylish MacBook Pro.

3. Weight-loss pills

I’m pretty sure you could end a friendship if you give someone weight-loss pills as a gift. Most of these pills are simply caffeine and diuretics, which results in electrolyte imbalance. Try the old-fashioned way of losing weight before resorting to pills.

4. Handbags

Handbags are a hot item. These accessories are usually expensive but this is the season of sales! So, at some point this holiday season, head over to Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman in the coming weeks to catch handbags at a reduced price.

5. Designer clothing

Designer clothes are also expensive gifts and vulnerable to theft. Therefore I advise anyone to just stay away from designer merchandise if you can not afford it. You don’t want to get attached to a $500 cardigan and then become depressed after looking at the price.

6. LCD televisions

LCD (liquid-crystal display) televisions are the most widely produced television type because it makes everything appear high quality. Like most technology during the holiday season, these items should be on sale. Make a trip to Best Buy or PC Richards.

7. Lotions and creams

Lotion is essential for surviving winter. Nobody wants to leave his or her house with dry skin. It doesn’t really make sense to steal lotion because it’s not expensive at all. But I guess since it’s a necessity (in my opinion), it’s going to be susceptible to theft.

Check out the WBAL-TV article for more info on common shoplifted items.

Fashion Padawan: The Shoes I’m Currently Coveting

By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer

Nothing beats classic./PHOTO VIA Danny McCarthy

Shoes are the foundation of any outfit. And if we’re going by my shoe collection, my outfit is built on a foundation of sand and Jell-O. I’m not saying my harem of shoes is dismal, but it could definitely stand to be improved upon. I think one reason I hardly ever buy shoes is that it is such a major purchase and I don’t do well with bigger decisions. Just ask anyone who is out to dinner with me.

But let’s call a spade a spade: Shoes are more expensive than your average article of clothing. And, after all, shoes tend to get more wear and tear than your sweater, unless you’re doing weird things with that sweater.

So if one day I hit the jackpot/pull a bank job (which one do you is more likely?) and I decide to spend some of my millions on shoes, here are the shoes I’d currently go for:

Shoes I Heart:

1. Clarks Desert Boots: Okay, so I already have a pair of Clarks Desert Boots, but I have the “Sandy”-colored ones. I have my heart set on the brown suede, a chocolate-y dream that would do wonders for my autumnal outfits. Dark brown suede, dark jeans and a cozy striped sweater: could anything be better than that?

Price: $120

Years of My Life That I’d Be Willing To Give Up: 1.5

2. TOMS: These are adorable and need to be in my life. I bought my first pair of TOMS over the summer, and fell in love. I went for the safer black color, but I want to own a pair of red slip-ons before the end of this year. They’re so light and comfortable; I feel like I’m walking on a cloud that a child in Africa is also walking on. Side note: make sure you wear socks with TOMS, because if you don’t, they will smell and you will be embarrassed.

Price: $48

Years of My Life That I’d Be Willing to Give Up: .6

3. Sperry Top-Siders: The only pair of shoes I have never owned; and I want to so badly. I want to go for the Original in either light blue or faded green, but they’re expensive enough to give me pause. I used to hate Sperry Top-Siders because I thought they were very “Dad”-ish, but they’ve grown on me, like fungus on the walls of Lascaux Caves (too soon?).

Price: $70

Years of My Life That I’d Be Willing to Give Up: 2

So there you have it, a peek into my deepest shoe desires. This also goes for anyone who wants to buy me a present: Let’s hold off on the gift-cards, and look to the aforementioned items for reference. Thanks!

May the Fashion Be With You!