Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I got out of the house early this morning. After waking to the 6:30 am airplanes that are my daily, although unwanted, alarm, I dressed quickly, dropped off the ever constant forgotten item at my ex husband's house for my daughter, and hit the highway.

I decided to stop at Starbucks for a quick cup since lunch was a long way off and I was so early.

While waiting on my order and perusing the Wall Street Journal on the rack by the door, a woman tapped me on the shoulder with a loud excuse me. I turned around, startled, and jumped out of her way -- I mean, here was an actual paying customer for the free read I was sneaking.

But no, she did not want the printed daily, she wanted to tell me how much she loved my boots, and to ask where oh where did I get them?

"Oh, these boots? I bought them at Loehmann's, years ago."

"I know where that is," she replied.

"You should head there soon," I informed her, "they're going out of business, selling everything."

After the woman walked away, I took a look at my outfit. My boots, my dress and my stockings, all purchased at Loehmann's, only my under and outer garments were not from the store on Camino Del Rio N,  I mean, seriously, without Loehmann's I would have been standing there in my bra and wool jacket. Burr.

How can this be happening? 

My mom turned my on to Loehmann's years ago, when I was still in high school. My mother was a very successful fundraiser, and had to dress up almost every day of her working years. She purchased myriad suits at Loemann's, and I took her lead and headed there whenever I needed to buy one.

The last suit I bought there, a gorgeous jacket and skirt combo, is perfection, and makes me feel like a corporate goddess when I wear it (which is admittedly not often). It's got great lines, is well made and didn't come close to breaking the bank.

Loehmann's was my go-to place for designer jeans for years, I could always find a great selection, all of which were long enough, even after washing and drying.

I'll admit, their selection has been declining over the past few years, but still.......closing? I loved hunting through the endless racks to find that one those few things I couldn't do without, which I knew I'd never see on anyone else.

But this isn't only my materialistic, bargain-hunting side mourning. This is also a bit of history closing. Loehmann's first opened in Brooklyn in 1920. It was opened by a woman, no less, Mrs Frieda Loehmann, who had to bring home the bacon when her musician husband was out of work.

Today there are 39 stores nation wide, all slated to close.

I know, I know, it's just a store, and most people don't care, or even know about Loehmann's. It's obviously dated in too many ways to be viable today, but for me, it's the end of an era. Spending an hour or two there was therapeutic, and almost always satisfying. I loved scouring the sales floor for the off price Free People shirt, or the black riding boots that someone would compliment me on, even years later. I even got a kick out of the communal dressing room if I was trying on something uncomplicated.

I'm sad for myself and for the fact that I won't be able to to introduce my own daughters to this chicest of discount stores. The grandaddymommy of them all.

At least I have the many, many rare gems in my closet that will last for years, if not forever.

Goodbye, Loehmann's, we'll miss you.


Pat said...

So well said, Beth! Progress? Is painful.
I am sorry for you that your go-to store is closing. Lucky for me that pretty much my entire wardrobe now comes from LL Bean. Now if they were to close I would be in big trouble!
Love, MOM

Me, You, or Ellie said...

We had a Loehmann's in Norwalk, and our Aunt Uffie shopped there. I am the worst shopper in the history of the universe, myself, and was totally overwhelmed by that place the few times I went there.

But, sorry for you! No doubt something totally crappy and unnecessary will take poor ol' Loehmann's place.


mom c said...

I had one awesome day at Loehmann's - I bought a blue dress and a purple dress. The purple I wore for Ellie's wedding, and the blue for Jane's! (their weddings were six months apart) - both dresses were beautiful!! love, mom c

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Mom! I did not know that! But I *did* know you totally nailed both dresses.

What a great story!


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Love that story, mom! I like Loehmann's, haven't had the best luck with clothes but have certainly found a few prizes over the years, and they have awesome hair products at the front. Are they already closed, or should we have a field trip?