News & Runway

Flowers, Shoes, and Other Little Luxuries: Closed Set with Julie Bensman


Anyone who lives in NYC can attest to the fact that it's been raining recently. Like, a lot. And while rain is bad for things like frizz-prone hair and suede shoes, it is most certainly PERFECT for cozying up on one's couch with a cup of tea and finding The Sound of Music on television. One of my favorite numbers from the musical is, appropriately, "My Favorite Things." I challenge anyone not to sing along when Maria launches into verse. After Captain Von Trapp scolds her for suggesting the notion of "play clothes" for the children and the network cut to a commercial, I started thinking about the last time I indulged in some of my own favorite things…and was sad to hear my old friends, the proverbial crickets, chirping. My apartment doesn't allow pets, so whiskers on kittens is a tall order, and the only thing on which raindrops fall outside my window is the neon Erotica sign just below. Sigh.

The message in Maria's melody is one of little luxuries, small things we should be surrounding ourselves with each day/week to brighten the monotony of routine. For this reason, I was particularly excited to be invited to a flower arranging class last week, hosted by H. Bloom. The subscription-based floral service recently started offering flower arranging classes for groups of up to 14 people ($150/person, which includes all flowers, vases, instruction, and even wine and cheese). At the end of class, I took home the most beautiful arrangement of roses and now get to smile each morning when I'm surprised (yet again) to see it on my kitchen table. Whether you're arranging them yourself or ordering them to be delivered each week, H. Bloom is a wonderful way to treat yourself to a little luxury (and one that starts at only $29, including delivery!)

h.bloom flower arranging

I racked my brain to think of some other little luxuries I enjoy. I came up with three (it's a working list):

  1. Shoes. So what if I bought my dress on sale for $16.48 at a suburban Chicago Target and my hair was cut in my bathroom sink with $9.99 Sally Hansen scissors? A pair of killer shoes that may or may not be equivalent to half a month's rent balances out my frugality in almost every other aspect of life.
  2. Stationery. Someone gave me a monogrammed Cartier stationery set when I moved from Chicago to New York and it's still one of the best gifts I've ever received. Writing a hand written note or thank you card is an act I'm amazed more people don't commit. 
  3. Baths. This is truly a luxury if you live in a leased apartment in NYC. I get creeped out thinking about standing in some of the showers I've seen, let alone let the entire length of my epidermis marinate in water contained by it. I stayed in a hotel recently that had a beautiful bathtub and, needless to say, I was a shriveled raisin by the time I emerged some hours later. Divine.

xoxo, Julie

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Julie Bensman, editor-at-largeThe Fashion Spot's Editor-at-Large, Julie Bensman, is also the Entertainment Editor for Niche Media, whose titles include Gotham, Hamptons, Ocean Drive and LA Confidential. Closed Set is a collection of her musings on all things fashion, from an editor’s desk to your desktop.