Pockets Pop Up on Fancy Gowns

Pockets are appearing on the frocks of young designers like Joseph Altuzarra, as well as fashion elder statesman Oscar de la Renta. Pockets even appeared on haute couture clothing at the Christian Dior show in July.

These pockets tend to be fashionable, not functional, inserted more to give the garments a nonchalant look than to hold a pair of keys. But in the age of black-tie selfies, many designers insist a woman could squeeze a lipstick or a smartphone in there.

Eurailing Around Europe—As an Adult 

The all-you-can-visit train adventure is a teenage rite of passage. But what’s it like to do it 35 years later?
When writer Finn-Olaf Jones turned 50 last year, he bought himself a 10-day Eurail ticket to find out.

Eurailing Around Europe—As an Adult

The all-you-can-visit train adventure is a teenage rite of passage. But what’s it like to do it 35 years later?

When writer Finn-Olaf Jones turned 50 last year, he bought himself a 10-day Eurail ticket to find out.

Dreaming of a Freestanding Tub?

Whether it’s a traditional design steeped in British country-house charm that recalls the less debauched parts of “Brideshead Revisited,” or a contemporary model that conjures minimalist spas, the freestanding tub has a newfound stature as the focal point in today’s more ambitious bathrooms.
Sales are approaching a high-water mark: Of designers who belong to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, more than 60% polled in a 2013 report said they ordered freestanding tubs for bathroom projects, up 7% over 2012, with their choices “trending toward contemporary and transitional styles,” rather than antique looks, said NKBA president John Petrie.

Dreaming of a Freestanding Tub?

Whether it’s a traditional design steeped in British country-house charm that recalls the less debauched parts of “Brideshead Revisited,” or a contemporary model that conjures minimalist spas, the freestanding tub has a newfound stature as the focal point in today’s more ambitious bathrooms.

Sales are approaching a high-water mark: Of designers who belong to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, more than 60% polled in a 2013 report said they ordered freestanding tubs for bathroom projects, up 7% over 2012, with their choices “trending toward contemporary and transitional styles,” rather than antique looks, said NKBA president John Petrie.

The Higher Costs of Weekend Grilling
Planning a barbecue for Labor Day? High food prices are leading to trade-offs even in upper-income households:

After a few years of steadily upward-creeping prices, experts say this fall many more families will start to feel the sting of higher food bills, as several economic events push the price of staples to new heights. In July, beef prices rose 10% over July 2013 levels, while fresh fruits were 6% higher and butter was 17% higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rising prices have been battering the budgets of low-income consumers in recent years. Now, researchers say more high-income households, defined as those earning more than $100,000 a year, report feeling pressure, too. Last month, some 36% of these consumers said food prices are negatively impacting their overall spending habits, up from 20% in January, according to survey data by Consumer Edge Research.

The Higher Costs of Weekend Grilling

Planning a barbecue for Labor Day? High food prices are leading to trade-offs even in upper-income households:

After a few years of steadily upward-creeping prices, experts say this fall many more families will start to feel the sting of higher food bills, as several economic events push the price of staples to new heights. In July, beef prices rose 10% over July 2013 levels, while fresh fruits were 6% higher and butter was 17% higher, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Rising prices have been battering the budgets of low-income consumers in recent years. Now, researchers say more high-income households, defined as those earning more than $100,000 a year, report feeling pressure, too. Last month, some 36% of these consumers said food prices are negatively impacting their overall spending habits, up from 20% in January, according to survey data by Consumer Edge Research.

Hollywood Is Working Hard to Make You Cry

These are happy days for people who like to cry at movies.

Opening this weekend is “If I Stay,” about a cello-playing teenager who falls into a coma after a car accident. Coming this fall: more opportunities to get out the handkerchiefs. “The Skeleton Twins,” “This is Where I Leave You” and “Men, Women & Children” delve into the emotional minefields of parents and children, fraying marriages and estranged siblings trying to reconnect. (Read more.)

The Rise of the Five-Figure Bicycle


Prices for elite bicycles are soaring. High-performance materials, such as titanium and carbon fiber, and more advanced components, including electronic gear-shifting systems, drive up costs. The average wholesale price of a bicycle sold at specialty shops, which generate the most dollars in U.S. bike sales, jumped 75% in 2013 from a decade earlier, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association.
And bicycle enthusiasts, typically wealthier than average and competitive, seem willing to pay for the most advanced bikes available.
Trek, a leading bicycle manufacturer, offers seven stock models priced at more than $11,000. A growing number of small companies make hand-built bicycles, which can be far more expensive than mass-produced ones. Ben Cox, owner of the Newbury Park Bicycle Shop, in Newbury Park, Calif., says he sells five to 10 bikes a week at $10,000 or more. For a handful of his customers, Mr. Cox says, “there is no ceiling.”

The Rise of the Five-Figure Bicycle

Prices for elite bicycles are soaring. High-performance materials, such as titanium and carbon fiber, and more advanced components, including electronic gear-shifting systems, drive up costs. The average wholesale price of a bicycle sold at specialty shops, which generate the most dollars in U.S. bike sales, jumped 75% in 2013 from a decade earlier, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

And bicycle enthusiasts, typically wealthier than average and competitive, seem willing to pay for the most advanced bikes available.

Trek, a leading bicycle manufacturer, offers seven stock models priced at more than $11,000. A growing number of small companies make hand-built bicycles, which can be far more expensive than mass-produced ones. Ben Cox, owner of the Newbury Park Bicycle Shop, in Newbury Park, Calif., says he sells five to 10 bikes a week at $10,000 or more. For a handful of his customers, Mr. Cox says, “there is no ceiling.”

Today’s House of the Day: The five-story landmark Harlem townhouse of actress Tamara Tunie and singer Gregory Generet.

The more than 4,000-square-foot home was built in the 1890s and has been lovingly renovated by the couple, who believe they are only the third owners of the home.

Related story: Harlem Home With ‘Feel and Character’ Intact

Related video: A Harlem Home Renovated With Love, On the Market

A Special Reflective Coating Helps This Bike Stand Out at Night
It’s a conundrum every city bicyclist who pedals after sunset has grappled with: How to be seen by drivers in the dark of night? You can attach blinking lights and shiny stickers to your bike or backpack, or wear special reflective jackets. But these approaches have their flaws. Batteries die, stickers peel or fade with time, and jackets can be left at home.
One new solution is just hitting the streets after a successful Kickstarter campaign: the Lumen from San Francisco’s Mission Bicycle Company. Using the same principle that makes street signs so dazzlingly reflective, the frame and rims of this sleek urban bike reflect a blazing white when the beam of a car’s headlights fall upon them.

A Special Reflective Coating Helps This Bike Stand Out at Night

It’s a conundrum every city bicyclist who pedals after sunset has grappled with: How to be seen by drivers in the dark of night? You can attach blinking lights and shiny stickers to your bike or backpack, or wear special reflective jackets. But these approaches have their flaws. Batteries die, stickers peel or fade with time, and jackets can be left at home.

One new solution is just hitting the streets after a successful Kickstarter campaign: the Lumen from San Francisco’s Mission Bicycle Company. Using the same principle that makes street signs so dazzlingly reflective, the frame and rims of this sleek urban bike reflect a blazing white when the beam of a car’s headlights fall upon them.

How to Spend the Perfect Long Weekend in Seattle

Seattle may be most associated with the Space Needle, fleece jackets and rain, but a long weekend there doesn’t have to focus on the mainstays—there’s just as much culture as coffee to be enjoyed in the Emerald City.

The town has a wide-ranging art scene that includes the Seattle Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park and a property that showcases Dale Chihuly’s glass creations. Despite its super-casual, outdoorsy reputation, Seattle is home to hip and high-end clothing boutiques, in neighborhoods from Ballard to Capitol Hill to downtown. Food is practically a religion there, but it would be a shame to get completely caught up in the farm-to-table scene—there’s just too much great Asian food to be consumed. August, when precipitation is at a low point and the daylight lingers past 8 p.m., is an excellent time to enjoy Seattle’s multifaceted offerings. To experience many sides of the city in a short summer visit, follow our detailed itinerary—and skip the rental car. This jewel of the Pacific Northwest is so compact, you can reach everything by foot, taxi and boat.

Here’s our itinerary for a long weekend exploring the best of the city.

For the Perfect Cocktail, Use the Right Ice

Three types of ice are used at the Clam in New York’s West Village. Chef and co-owner Mike Price explains why certain cocktails are served with crushed ice vs. cubes. Photo: Jennifer Weiss for The Wall Street Journal

Read the related story:  Restaurateurs at the Mercy of Modern Ice Machines