Today’s post is written by fabulous forum member Melissa, who currently lives in Maryville, CA. Melissa just graduated from Berkley and will soon be heading back home to Salt Lake City where she’ll be returning to her full time work as an antiquarian bookseller. Melissa recently joined a bunch of fellow California YLF ladies in San Jose, and by the sounds of things everyone had a ball!

One Sunday in August no less than ten wonderful women (nine members plus one gracious guest) met up for some shopping at San Jose’s Westfield Mall!  I was thrilled to meet and spend time with Rosie, Lisa (cyan45) plus her friend Aimee, Cathy (cciele), Nisha (nonie), Kelly (kellygirl), Srujana, Marianna, and Kim (queenie).  Not only is YLF an unbelievably wonderful online community, but its members are equally amazing in person, and we had a great time shopping and socializing.

Rosie (sporting her versatile L.A.M.B. bag and stunning zebra print dress) and I arrived and began the day well by spotting and hugging Lisa before we were even sure whether or not she was part of our group (maybe it was her fab outfit, with killer pops of yellow and blue, that drew us to her right away).  Lisa’s visiting friend Aimee, looking adorable in a striped ruffled top, came out to join the fun, and we all sat down to chat.  Any vicious rumors going around that someone brought out homemade pastries at this point and forced people to eat them should of course be dismissed as shopping-crazed delusions, and should in no way be interpreted as reflections on the character of a certain guest blogger.

The combination of pastry and shopping anticipation may have gone to my head at this point, and things started to get a bit fuzzy, so please forgive any errors of recollection.  After Cathy (pulling off a casual ensemble with harem pants) and Nisha (rocking a summery look with shorts and stripes) arrived, we made our way to Ann Taylor Loft, where I filled a hole in my basic wardrobe by buying a cropped white denim jacket.  We then abandoned Cathy to her fate at the Lush store and descended en masse on the Nordstrom coffee stand to ensure that no one would be making any fashion decisions without the benefit of caffeine.  Srujana turned up for our coffee adventure and wowed us all by sporting daytime appropriate sequins.

Trying On

After fueling up, we retrieved Cathy and made our way to Nordstrom for some very successful shopping.  The ever-thoughtful Rosie had let us all know beforehand that she wanted to do something special for Marianna to let her know how much love and support the whole YLF community is sending her way.  Armed with the generous donations of many forum members, we went to the shoe department hoping against hope that they might have the coveted Me Too flats in Marianna’s hard-to-find size, and miraculously they did!  We were able to get the shoes as well as a gift certificate, and we were all very excited at completing our gift mission.

Kelly (whose beautifully paired ruffled tunic and leggings inspired instant compliments) joined us in the shoe department.  With our numbers starting to swell, we considered implementing a Scouts-inspired buddy system to keep track of everyone, but we decided against it when we remembered that the Scouts have no shopping merit badge.  Proceeding upstairs, some serious shopping ensued: Cathy and I tried on the flounce tbd tunic on behalf of forum member Maya so that she could see it on actual people; I believe Cathy and Kelly both got silk Bellatrix tunics and Kelly found some jeans; and I scored a great orange top in Individualist.

MariannaAfter all that shopping, we needed more fortification, so a stop at the Nordstrom Café was in order.  Happily, Kim (looking queenly in a snakeprint top) and Marianna (wearing polka dots with panache) were able to join us for lunch.  It was wonderful to be able to present Marianna’s gifts to her in person.  She was thrilled by her new shoes, and knew exactly where she wanted to spend her gift certificate.  Marianna headed for handbags with her YLF entourage in tow and immediately found the perfect bag:  the gorgeous Kate Spade bow shopper in red.  It suits her perfectly, and looked great with the outfit she had on.

WWe had to say goodbye to several people at this point, but we managed to console ourselves at Kenneth Cole.  They had a great sale going, and I got a lovely silk work dress and was overwhelmed to find my dream purple leather moto jacket heavily discounted.  Srujana found one of the most flattering and versatile dresses I’ve ever seen in a to-die-for deep purple silk.  We were much less impressed by J. Crew and Talbot’s.  We all agreed that Talbot’s would be much more appealing if the store were re-tooled to reflect the image change shown in their current catalogue.  We mustered up the energy to make one final stop at Ann Taylor, where I found a denim pencil skirt and an excellent rolled-tab work shirt in a flattering berry color (three cheers for shirts that are neither white nor black!).  Rosie also acquired a patterned skirt and an eye-catching red and black top.

It was beyond amazing to meet up with so many great women in one day, and I loved every minute of it!  I worried that the large size of our group would make it difficult to shop, but in the end I found that it was actually an enormous advantage, because shopping in a large group really gave me time to carefully think through my purchases.  Thank you so much to all who came out for a wonderful day in San Jose, and a huge thank you to Angie and Greg for making this all possible, and to Angie for generously sharing her wisdom and expertise with us through YLF.

Group Photo

The San Jose group, from left to right: Kelly, Cathy, Rosie, Aimee (Lisa’s guest), Melissa, Nisha, Lisa and Srujana.