Shopping With Designers, The Elie Tahari Edition

That's us (on the left) with Joe Zee and Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam.

We’ve written before about the perils of shopping when a designer is present, but last night’s experience with Elie Tahari proved us delightfully wrong.

In honor of the brand’s new e-commerce site, we were invited to Tahari’s West Broadway store to pick out an item from the new Fall collection and get styled by the man himself as well as ELLE creative director, Joe Zee. And while we normally fear the awkwardness that comes from perusing wares while the maker of said wares is nearby, watching and silently judging, Tahari’s graciously friendly attitude was incredibly refreshing.

We were standing in front of a rack of beautifully made (and, if we spent our working hours in a more professionally attired setting, perfectly appropriate) shift dresses, when Mr. Tahari sidled up next to us and pointed out a gorgeous leopard print, wool coat. “You would look beautiful in that,” he advised, smiling. Welp, we were sold.

Glowing, we put on the coat and then realized we’d need to add a little more Tahari to the ensemble in order for it to work. (Our jeans-and-converse-and-grey-tee combo wasn’t quite a match.) And this is the part of the post where we thank our lucky stars someone like Joe Zee exists in this industry. “I love that coat,” he complimented. He is, quite possibly, the friendliest man in fashion. We thanked him profusely, then confessed our conundrum. We don’t really do shift dresses or silk blouses all that well, we admitted. What else should we wear with this coat? Zee directed us to fellow ELLE-er, Sarah Schussheim, who looked us up and down and told us to put on a pair of Tahari’s red skinny jeans, stat.

And so we did. There’s never been a better case for designer, erm, group shopping.

You can check out the new collection and some of Tahari’s personal favorites at

[Images via CFDA Tumblr.]

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