Department Score! 150 Years of Style at Macy's
By DANICA LO
WE love New York for its boutiques and quirky shops, but sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned department store, with everything under one roof. And it doesn't get more old-fashioned-er or everything-er than Macy's Herald Square. The store - celebrating its 150th birthday today - boasts 2.5 million square feet of shopping space smack-dab in Midtown. To celebrate its birthday, we unleashed fashion and housewares gurus unto their respective departments of expertise. They've picked out their favorite merchandise - and they've shown us why Macy's is still a shopping destination.
PHOTOS: 150 Years of Macy's Style
Gretta Monahan, co-host of "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style"
Fashion and beauty expert Monahan can revamp a look from tired to traffic-stopping with a few carefully selected accessories. As soon as we get to Macy's, she makes a beeline for its newest exclusive jewelry collection. "These L'una by RFMAS pieces are 100 percent sterling silver - so modern and timeless," she explains. "I love the infinity bracelet [$695] and ring [$195] - you can get the same luxurious feeling of, say, Cartier, for less money."
At Sonia Rykiel, Monahan picks a simple grommetted leather wallet, $240, that she suggests can double as a clutch. "You can just grab this and go, but still make a statement," Monahan says. "It's versatile and affordable."
"A high-fashion all-weather boot is my must-have this season," Monahan says as she tries on Via Spiga's patent-leather lug-sole ankle boots, $275. "I love the extra hardware, plus they're comfortable and have a lug sole. They go with dress pants and jeans - and you don't have to change when you get to the office."
"For just $10, you can instantly update your look with color tights," Monahan says. She's especially fond of red, grays and browns this season - "and teal, green, plum, navy and electric blue." Hue tights, two for $20.
Scarves, Monahan explains, are an easy way to add finish and polish to a look. "I like this Collection 18 fashion scarf [$38] because it's a light knit - really a four-season accessory," she says. Monahan dresses up the scarf with a Macy's brand deco brooch, $30.
Thom Filicia, author of "Thom Filicia Style"
The Emmy-winning television host and author is known as much for his keen eye for interior decoration as he is for his sharp wit and warm charm. The behemoth Macy's furniture department may seem intimidating at first, but Filicia picked out his top-five favorite pieces in a jiffy.
"It's almost a hybrid," he says when he sees British Passage padded-back stools, $1,897 for two. "It's like a library piece turned into a bar stool - it's an unusual piece, but could easily warm up a modern space."
"This tripod lamp is a classic piece - and I like the details on it," Filicia says about this Ralph Lauren floor lamp, left, $600. "I like the industrial aspect - the exposed screws and cord - and the brass hardware with the simple paper shade. You could even get a charcoal gray shade and it would change the look completely. It's handsome."
"The velvet pinstripe fabric on this rocking chair is very smart and cool," Filicia says, leaning back into this $1,200 Modern Concepts piece, inset. "It's both modern and traditional - mixing the warmth of velvet with the texture of hard steel. The soft, organic shape is very inviting."
A Martha Stewart bar-cabinet hybrid, $2,199, is "very pretty and very smart," Filicia says. "It would work great as extra storage for an apartment with a small kitchen - it's very practical for storing flatware and glasses." He suggests it for people who entertain at home. "It gets people out of the kitchen, and it goes with the chair we picked out."
"This sofa is very smart with very clean lines," Filicia says about a $1,749 Martha Stewart with Bernhardt Putnam couch. "It has great, classic design - and you could even take the cushions off and have an instant guest bed."
Torah Bright and Sarah Burke, Roxy team snowboarders
Bright (brunette, above and inset) and Burke spend a lot of time outdoors in wintry climes - they're two of the most accomplished snowboarders in the world and have racked up an impressive number of gold medals between them. We put their cold-weather expertise to the test in the women's outerwear department at Macy's.
The two did their sponser proud in a Roxy gray jacket, $84.50, and blue corduroy jacket, $69.50 (inset); and green plaid hooded jacket, $69.50, and orange trench, $79.50.
"It's great," Burke exclaims when she sees an Elie Tahari fur-trimmed coat, $995. "It looks like something Beyoncé would wear. It's fun and fashionable."
"I really like the leather buckles on this coat," Bright says when she sees a 2XPose wool jacket, $215. "Plus you could wear the big collar up or down."
Both Bright and Burke picked a Jones New York sweat-shirt-silhouette blush-brown leather jacket, $500. "We like the soft, furry lining," Bright says.
Katie Lee Joel, author of "The Comfort Table"
This 26-centimeter Le Creuset cast-iron pot, right, may be $219, but chef Joel, recent winner of Rachael Ray's Burger Bash, says it's a great investment. "I make pot roast in these," Joel says. "It's a great heat conductor and nonstick without being chemical."
"I have two of these," Joel says about Cuisinart's Mini-Prep Processor, $50. "I use it to chop onions and garlic, make salsas and sauces like pesto. Everyone should have one - especially if you live in New York and don't have a lot of space in your kitchen."
"I use my OXO Salad Spinner [$30, inset] every day," Joel says. "You can wash, dry and then store your leftovers - look, it has a locking mechanism."
"I can't function in the morning until I have my first cup of coffee," Joel says. She loves the Capresso 10-cup Thermal Coffee Maker, $400, because it's got a grinder built in. "And it has a gold filter so you don't need paper filters," she says. "And once your coffee is brewed, the thermos keeps it super-hot for 12 hours."
Joel uses her KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer, $400, two or three times a week. "When I first moved to New York, it was the one luxury item in my apartment," she says. "It saves me a lot of time - I use it to make mashed potatoes, beat egg whites for meringue and make homemade pasta."
"I really only use three knives," Joel says. "A serrated knife, a paring knife and a Wusthof Santoku knife [$140]. A sharp knife is a safe knife - so I sharpen mine a couple of times a week."