Today’s post about the shopping part of our fabulous Manhattan gathering was written by arty and colourful New Jersey native and ex-Manhattan resident Maya, a long time YLF supporter and cherished forum member.

Angie was in Manhattan last week and met with a few forum members for a day of eating and shopping. Most of us were seeing each other for the first time, but there were no awkward moments and the entire day was a tremendous success. After breakfast, we immediately hit the dazzling array of shops in Soho. It was bitterly cold, but we bundled up in our hats, boots, and gloves for a stroll down Broadway.

Our first stop was H&M, where I found plenty of gems: a waistcoat, a fuchsia blazer, and a sweet printed trapeze top. Angie had me try on the waistcoat over the trapeze top and I was over the moon. I probably wouldn’t have picked up these pieces on my own, thinking that they wouldn’t work together. The lesson I took from this is to try EVERYTHING. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

At breakfast, Laura showed us a beautiful Tory Burch top that had unfortunately become a wardrobe orphan. This is where Angie’s talent really came through. Laura tried on the blouse on in the H&M fitting room. Angie borrowed a few accessories from me and Tanya, and totally transformed it from unwearable to fantastic! It was quite a treat to see her at work, doing what she does best and breathing new life into something that almost made the trash pile. Laura looked amazing in a skinny belt and a short, chunky necklace.

Our next stops were Uniqlo, Mango, Zara and Ann Fontaine. Angie came away with an adorable gray jumper dress, while Tanya found a beautiful ruffle blouse and purple umbrella (umbrellas are accessories too!).

Tanya & Laura

Our last stop for the day was a Macy’s in midtown that I generally avoid at all costs. This is the world’s largest department store building, covering an entire city block. Navigating through this labyrinth can be an overwhelming experience, but it became less painful with an army of supporters and a specific goal in mind: to find dresses for Laura! Laura suddenly went from having no options to having too many! Eventually she narrowed them down to three amazing dresses.

On the way out, a black knit biker jacket was spotted in a medium on the wrong rack, but it was too big. Eventually Angie tracked it down in my size and I was over the moon once more. I had to return the fuchsia blazer to H&M to get it, but this was the statement piece of a lifetime and I don’t regret the trade-off one bit. It was a fabulous end to a fabulous day.


A year ago, I would have never imagined myself doing something like this. I actually dislike shopping, and my social circle is mostly people my age who are pretty similar to me. Despite that, I felt perfectly comfortable and at ease with the ladies of YLF, and I had a lot of fun shopping with them! We are different in many ways, but we had a marvelous time and were all able to find something to take home and love. We hit every price point from H&M to Ann Fontaine, with all different bodies, lifestyles, and ages. If there is one thing to take away from this experience, it’s that style truly is for everyone! If you get a chance to attend a YLF gathering, drop whatever plans you might otherwise have and do it! It was an unforgettable and amazing experience that I hope to replicate again soon!