Jessie James

Jessie James
Jessie James

Neighborhood: West Village
Type of Place: Women's Clothing

When I left my apartment today, the sky was grey and the air felt
chilly but not horribly cold: The weather was nothing remarkable. A few
hours later, snow was tumbling heavily from the sky; and a half an hour
after that, the sun was out! By sunset, the temperature felt like it had
dropped by about a million degrees, and a strong wind seemed to be
scolding pedestrians for being outside. OK, so February in New York City is
not a great time for temperate or reliable forecasts. It can, however,
be an especially good time for shopping.

Take, for example, the finds now available at Jessie James, a lovely
West Village boutique. I liked the shop immediately: interesting and
appealing music playing (an indie-rock version of the BeeGee's "How Deep Is
Your Love"? Who knew?); helpful but unoppressive salespeople; cute
displays. But when I started diving into the racks, I was considerably
impressed by just how appealing the clothes are and just how good the
current deals. As the shop turns from winter merchandise to spring, its
sale should not be missed. One practical reason why: Designers often turn
out "winter" merchadise that will suffice only if you're spending the
season in Barbados, have no intention of being outside for more than 30
seconds at a time, are a master of layering, or don't mind freezing
your patootie off. In other words, this winter clothing will work just
fine for spring, summer, and fall.

Examples: a gorgeous forest-green blouse with sheer swiss-dotted
sleeves and neck from Diana Samandi, now $102; a black silk babydoll top, now
$123, from Karen Zambos; Madison Marcus' stunning rose dress in heavy
silk (in general, seek out the great jewel-tone silks from this
designer), now $147; a Chaiken blouse in plum silk, now $130; and from Alisha
Levine, a silver blouse in rough silk with 3/4 sleeves "made on the
therd planet from the sun in the USA," now $94. The beautiful material
could make this the centerpiece of a casual outfit or the glitter in a
black-tie ensemble; the blouse can be layered with a shawl in winter or
worn alone in warmer times. If you're someone who looks good in silver,
it's my opinion that this one shirt will see you through many years of
great dressing.

Terrific, you say; but I'm cold right now! Understood; and you can grab
a hand-knit Chaiken sweater in yummy grey wool, now $174 (from $436!);
or a comfy cardigan in a lighter grey wool, now $61, from M. Rena.

I imagine that the sleeveless grey and white seersucker and swiss-dot
babydoll dress from Julie Hause must be from a previous spring line;
that or Ms. Hause doesn't know winter exists. In any case, it's delightful
and a steal ($77.50, from $310), just waiting for a warm-weather
special event.

I could go on; my notes say there's "nothing here that isn't cute." But
it'll be most fun for you to check things out for yourself--and, in a
few weeks' time, see what this hugely likable shop's new stock will

  - Pamela Grossman; Feb 10, 2008

Jessie James
95 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10014

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