I doubt anyone wanted an H&M in South Florida more than me. The Swedish clothing company is known globally for its high-fashion designs at affordable prices. I once sneaked out of a funeral early in New York just to squeeze in a visit to H&M. Yes, not even death could get in the way of my burning desire to shop there. I have sent e-mails to Hm.com on an almost monthly basis for the past seven years begging for a South Florida store. I went so far as to contact H&M headquarters to see if I could convince investors here to open a franchise. For years, online message boards have been sprinkled with complaints about Florida’s lacking an H&M. There even are Facebook groups such as “H&M, Open a Store in South Florida (Miami) or ELSE!”
I did not create that Facebook group, but I freaked out when I learned an H&M had opened in Dubai and not Miami. The women there aren’t even allowed to show their clothing. Besides, it makes no sense for a low-price store to open in chichi Dubai, anyway. H&M heavily dominated the Northeast before opening locations in California and then Orlando. But I recently learned the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens soon will be home to the first South Florida H&M. The two-story, 20,409-square-foot store is set to open in November — clearly making it something to be thankful for this fall.
What I enjoy most about H&M is that for less than $10, you can pick up a chic, beaded plastic necklace that even the most skilled label whore could mistake for a Marni necklace, which retails for several hundred dollars. Much of the store’s clothing for men is so fitted and streamlined, it’s strikingly similar to Prada or Hugo Boss. Women can score must-have summer items such as a flirty floral dress for $9.95, a straw fedora for $7.95 and a pair of strappy, white sandals for $29.95. And none of it’s on a clearance rack — those are the actual prices.
I used to get depressed flipping through the pages of Glamour or Teen Vogue and seeing dozens of H&M outfits, knowing this was as close as I would ever get to them. The company’s American Web site doesn’t offer online shopping, so the only way to score H&M goods here is in person. But in the name of Madonna, Stella McCartney and Sonia Rykiel (all of whom did collections for H&M), style salvation, even in the Great Recession, shall deliver us from evil retail prices.
Just when I thought the sugar rush on the cupcake trend was fizzling out, a shop popped up on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach to get me all obsessed again. With its hot-pink door frame and black-and-white checkerboard floor, Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique resembles Barbie’s Dream House. I could be in the worst mood ever, but globs of frosting and buttery golden cake would send me into sugary submission.
Each of the shop’s cupcakes is named after a fashion designer, including Dolce and Banana, Jimmy Choo-colate, Oscar de la Raspberry, Apple Kors, Berry Wang, Donatella Vanilla and Cocoa Chanel. Owner Pam Joyner had a dream of combining her love for fashion with cupcakes. “It’s so great to see women and men step into the store smiling,” she says. “My friends and I have had a ball coming up with names for the cupcakes.”
In addition to gooey, marshmallow-filled cake sandwiches called Couture Whoopies, the shop offers a lollipop bar, vintage candy section, full coffee bar with cappuccino, lattes and flavored coffees, chai tea and green tea lattes, and, of course, haute chocolate. For added kitsch, the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is played nonstop on a pink, oven-shaped TV set.
Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique is located at 328 E. Atlantic Ave., in Delray Beach. Call 561-276-2334 or visit Cupcakecoutureusa.com.
According to Hallmark and desk calendars, May 9 is Mother’s Day. Sure, you could go the thoughtless, clichéd route and get your mom a bouquet of flowers or a stupid mug with your photo on it from a mall kiosk. But if you really want to make her laugh or cry this year, here are some Mother’s Day gift ideas that are sure to set you apart from your siblings.
• Fetus Cookie Cutter, $9.99 at Stupid.com. Ah, help Mom recall the heartburn, bloating and having to go on the wagon for nine months with this embryo-shaped cookiemaker that gives new meaning to “bun in the oven.”
• Instant Therapy Breath Spray, $8 at Fredflare.com. Mom may have screwed you up as a kid by forcing you to wear knockoff Kangaroos sneakers and taking embarrassing photos with the Easter Bunny, but she likely went through the same hell with her own mother. Show her you understand with this gag gift.
• Mornings Suck, Just Like Your Mom mug, $5.99 at Spencersonline.com. Sure, this coffee cup will piss her off, but not as much as a vacuum cleaner, package of Spanx or membership to Curves would.
• Mom Jeans T-shirt, $10.97 at Palmercash.com. Jessica Simpson took major media mocking for wearing a pair, but mom jeans can live on in a more tolerable way. This shirt printed with the phrase “Let’s Hear It for Mom Jeans” is a must for any mother who has ever rocked a pair of relaxed-fit Lee Jeans.
• MILF anklet, $22.95 at Nipplecharms.com. Mom’s expecting a pair of gold earrings or maybe a silver bracelet, but she’ll never suspect an ankle bracelet paying homage to hot moms everywhere.
Glamazon runs every other week. Contact Joanie Cox at email@example.com.