Macy’s Back-To-School Campaign: A Shopping & Photoshoot Story

When I was asked to participate in a shoot for Macy’s Back-to-School campaign with my son, I thought, how could I not do this for him? Then the reality set in that I would be in the shoot too. I am way past my prime, especially when it comes to modeling. I thought shopping for the right outfit for both of us was going to be a breeze, but I quickly realized I have never shopped for an entire look, soup-to-nuts before and the task was going to be daunting.

My son was easy since I have dressed him since the day he was born. However, for me I had to think of everything from a jacket, to a bag, to jewelry! Now if you have never been to the Macy’s Herald Square store in NYC before…it’s massive! As in, it encompasses an entire city block and is 10 floors massive. As soon as I walked into the store to begin shopping, I felt overwhelmed and defeated. I only had four hours to shop and did not know the layout of the store at all! I needed a game plan.

Then I got the bright idea to have a personal shopper help me navigate! I went straight to the Macy’s By Appointment Office on the 3rd floor and asked if there might be anyone available to assist me. Typically one should make an appointment first, but I was fortunate that someone happened to be free. In walked Zelda who at first glance looked like she could have been my aunt. I thought to myself “this woman is never going to get my style.” Yet after answering a few of her very pointed questions I knew she got me. Thank God! We were off! I was actually running after the very sprite spitfire.


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I informed Zelda I could shop for my son in about 20 minutes (I had figured out where the boys Ralph Lauren department was myself), we just needed to concentrate on my outfit. Now I am typically put together, but fairly casual when I take my son to school. I don’t have an office job to get to and am usually running errands with my younger son or finding a coffee shop with WiFi where I can work. I decided I wanted either patterned denim or leather pants since they are on trend this season and totally my style. We could work the rest of the outfit around the jeans. None of the patterned denim worked for me since it was all located in the “tween” department so we found a great pair of half denim/half leggings in the Guess department. We also grabbed a ton of tops as we wandered around the departments, but as soon as I saw the grey t-shirt with a giant white flower on it in the Rachel Rachel Roy department I had a feeling it was going to be ‘the one’. Most of the jackets we found were too ‘officey’ looking for me and Zelda and I were perusing the DKNY and Armani Jeans departments when my eyes fell on this amazing black Armani Jeans military-inspired wool jacket. It was coming together now.

My outfit for the Macy’s shoot.

I was now off the the boys’ Ralph Lauren department without my helpful Zelda. However, I picked out my son’s outfit in a total of 15 minutes. I already knew I was going to get his shoes and socks online, so I grabbed khakis, a button-down and an adorable navy sweatshirt. And since my son loves to wear a belt like his Daddy, I added a Nautica reversible belt. I ran out of time to find shoes and jewelry for myself, but was able to grab this Calvin Klein cross-body bag on my way out the door. However, I had our managing editor Carol scour Macy’s in Chicago to find my missing items. I had to leave on vacation the next day and after nearly 8 years of working together, she knows my taste and shoe size.

My son, Liam’s outfit.

A few days later Carol was texting me images of booties and jewelry she had found at Macy’s Chicago. It was all perfect! She found the perfect booties with a bit of a heel, but stacked so they were comfortable enough to wear for hours walking around NYC. Now I was getting really excited about this shoot which was scheduled for the day after I got back from vacation.

So the Monday after we returned from our trip we were off to a studio in TriBeCa. Liam was most excited about the cab ride. Our photographer is a familiar face from the Style Coalition, Ana Schechter. I soon found out not only is she a great photographer, but she’s really good with children! Also participating in the shoot was my friend Kat from Corporette and Gabriella from Miss Omni Media, both with their children as well.

Anyway, as soon as we walked in the studio I was whisked off to have my hair styled. Thankfully everybody was wonderful at keeping Liam occupied. I looked over after 10 minutes and saw him already hamming it up for Ana! That’s my son! Next it was time for my makeup. I am pretty sure at this point Liam had a few juice boxes and a handful of cookies! He would run over and check on me for a second and then take off again. To say he was comfortable is an understatement.

Liam getting his hair styled.

Of the three participants we were the second team up. Liam looked adorable and 100% as I would normally style him for school. I also felt completely me in my outfit which I had not seen all pulled together until I put them on at the shoot. Phew.

Here I am coaching my son! Not that he needed it.

I wasn’t sure how Liam was going to do since this was a first for him, but he was a natural! In fact, I think he had a blast. I know he was exhausted!

Liam passed out in the taxi on ride home.

Check out the back-to-school items I picked for Liam on Pinterest:
Want a chance to win your own Macy’s shopping trip? Win a $1,000 shopping spree at Macy’s with Redbook’s Back-to-School photo contest! Tweet a back-to-school photo of your kid(s) and tag it #SchoolSnaps. Check out the entries here!

– Lauren Dimet Waters

This is a sponsored post.

Photo: Ana Schechter, ANAPHOTO

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