Best Bet: John Barrett’s Braid Bar

Earlier this summer, the announcement that the John Barrett Salon inside Bergdorf Goodman would debut a Braid Bar (754 Fifth Ave., at 58th St., ninth fl.; 212-872-2700), charging $45 for an artistic rendition of a French braid, was met with some eye rolls in the blogosphere. But upon closer investigation, the twenty-minute service turns out to be a worthy investment for an activity-packed summer weekend. The price is about half that of a premium blowout, and the results are doubly resilient. In this wearer’s case, it held up over 96 hours of barbecues, golf-cart joyriding, pool dips, apartment cleaning, and swampy outdoor dancing, not to mention an Amtrak nap and four solid nights of sleep. Plus, six new stores opening this month, a spate of late-summer espadrilles, and more in this week's issue. [NYM]