Choosey

It’s been a while since I’ve told a rambling and ridiculous acquisition story and there’s no time like the present. Settle in for a spell. I’m not sure why I didn’t tell this one earlier, but it was a pivotal moment for me.

Okay, it wasn’t exactly pivotal because it’s about shoes and completely trivial, but I feel like you knew that already. Roll with it.

My office’s holiday party was back in November and I was in Los Angeles for production up until the day of. It’s usually your standard holiday party, but this year there was a 70’s theme. Never one to shy away from a challenge or waste an opportunity to do the absolute most, I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out what I was going to wear. My sub-theme was basically half-naked and glitter, because 70’s.

The dress was easy enough. My mom, bless her hoarding tendencies, still had a brown suede trench coat that my boyfriend in high school bought for her almost 20 years ago. Jewelry was a no-brainer. What was giving me trouble was shoes. The only pair of platforms I owned weren’t suitable for the event so I *had* to find a pair.

Since I was in L.A., I figured I’d try a local cheap joint. That failed because I was either working and couldn’t make it anywhere before closing or I felt terrible about buying something I knew I wouldn’t wear again. Who has that kind of money?? Not me. After mulling, I decided I’d order something from Steve Madden since they ship from L.A. (or they used to…it had been a while since I’d shopped there) and there was a suitable pair on clearance. I’d wear them again, right?

So I order the shoes, pay for expedited shipping and then wait. And wait. And then realize that I may not get the shoes shipped in time for me to actually receive them before flying back to Portland because I ordered them on a Friday. Quelle Horreur!!

The next day, in a self-imposed panic over this and several unrelated things, I was driving around Santa Monica and noticed a Crossroads on the way to my hotel. That ALC sweater I bought a few months ago wasn’t working out, so I figured I’d sell it there to make myself feel a little better. I parked, walked over, and as soon as I stepped inside, I saw these:

JIMMY CHOO Kaytrin sandals

Seriously. Right as I walked in. They were at eye-level a few feet inside the front door. I’m pretty sure a choir of angels sang and I immediately thought of this pig and felt like this dog when I saw them. Are they 70’s? Hell no. But they have a platform, are suede all over, and are effing gorgeous.

They never left my possession after I confirmed the size was in the right range. Checked the price and they were $40 more than I paid for the clearance sale shoes from Steve Madden. Insane. I gave the rest of the store an obligatory once over, thanked the universe for coming through in a clutch, bought these jawns and had a completed, lovely look for the par-tay.

Of course, I have no photos of the entire outfit, but it was a good one.

Back to this being a (not really that) pivotal moment. After I found these, I remembered that:

1 – Secondhand shopping is really the wave

2 – Designer doesn’t have to cost much more than Steve Madden.

3 – SM doesn’t always ship from L.A. and expedited shipping isn’t always expedited (fortunately, they came in enough time for me to return them in-store).

And to end this on a more helpful and less self-indulgent note, on further inspection, I realized that the pitch of the SM shoes is much steeper than that of the Jimmy Choos. Consider the following for reference. You’ll notice the angle between heel and ball are very different between the two.

I was surprised because I’ve heard the latter isn’t known for being comfortable. That said, I know that I would have been a lot more uncomfortable in the former. My feet felt great at the end of the night; a stark contrast to 2016 where I couldn’t feel my middle three toes for a couple of weeks after the party.

Wins all around.

 

 

On Repeat

RODEBJER coat / EVERLANE sweater / CITIZENS of HUMANITY jeans / GUCCI loafers

I really like this sweater.

I really like these jeans.

I really like wearing this sweater and these jeans together.


Everlane has been very hit-or-miss with me lately, but this sweater is a keeper. I thought about getting one in another color, but I realize that I shouldn’t make that a habit. One is enough…unless the subject is a pair of jeans that fit perfectly; that magic number is three.

 

 

 

Notes on a Post-It: 007 – The Wrap-Up

from Temple Saint Claire’s Top Shelf on ITG

I wrote most of this to close out 2017, but that came and went. Here it is anyway.

I recently watched HyperNormalisation and am feeling very jaded and weary of the world. I later read this article and felt both better and worse. I know no better way to cope with these feelings other than turning to my loved ones and by talking about clothes. Since I’ve spent this weekend attending a friend’s wedding, crashing my old workplace’s holiday party, and hanging with my family, it’s time to talk about clothes.

After reading Archana’s latest post, I was impelled to look at the damage I did this year, reevaluate why it happened, and think about how I can do better next year; not just with clothes, but with life in general.

In review of 2017, I bought too much stuff. I spent over the recommended 4% of net earnings on this stuff. Some stuff was and is very useful and is well-loved. Other things were sold, returned, given to others, repurposed, or donated (or waiting to be one of the above).  I reaffirmed my weakness for sales and learned why seasonally appropriate clothing is important to have, or, rather, not get caught without at the wrong time.

Looking forward, my aim is to spend one-third (or less) the amount I spent in 2017. I want to be more thoughtful when evaluating whether or not I should buy something beyond, “this is cute and would look good with jeans.” I’d like a potential item’s utility to be the factor that matters the most.

Internetting led me to this Design Sponge interview with Roe of the @BrownKids and I took this away:

Ask yourself three questions when you’re out shopping: 

Do I want this because I cherish it or because I can afford it?

Is this so valuable to me, I would pay 3x as much for it?

Do I want this or freedom?

Don’t buy it because it’s cheap and don’t take it because it’s free. 

This is sage advice I will be carrying with me into the new year along with a fourth question: Can I manage without this? I’m certain the answer to this will always be no.

Another bit I picked up from Roe is the concept of self-honoring. While looking back on my balance sheet and determining whether or not each line item brought me joy or was a way I honored myself, I was unpleasantly surprised by all the spending on things that did neither. More self-honoring in 2018.

I don’t know what happened in the last three months, but I feel the effects of almost everything I do and eat and drink about threefold now. This is heavily influencing what I eat and drink and do. Eat your veggies and exercise, kids.

 

Touch All of This Skin

So…

I damn near burned my face off with a mask the other evening and realized I never got to that skin care post I alluded to way back whenever.

Burned off is a bit dramatic, but my skin has become incredibly sensitive and my face can’t handle the things it used to. Bentonite clay and ACV masks are no longer for your girl.

“What does work?” you may be wondering.

Well, I will tell you. After a lot of trial and error, this is where things have landed and I’m pleased to share the following info with the group. Most of it is fairly inexpensive or free.

It me. Brows filled in + Boy Brow, Balm dotcom on my lips and some Rosebud salve on my eyelids.

I wash my face with water. Yes, just water. I’ll use a bamboo face flannel¹ if I feel like I need to exfoliate. If I need additional hydration or am looking a little blah, I’ll wash my face with a cotton pad and rice water.² If I have on makeup, I’ll take it off with Glossier‘s Milky Jelly. I rarely wear makeup and thank goodness because Milky Jelly can sting a bit. It’s probably as gentle as baby coos for 99.9% of the population (and Bidi loves it!), but not moi. I’m special.

After cleansing, I spray my face with water in a can. I’ve used Evian in the past but am now using La Roche Posay. It’s probably unnecessary but the French facialist in this video swears by it and I believe her. It’s lovely to use and brings me joy so it stays in my life and therefore this post. Besides, I figure I can spend $7-$13 on a can of water since I don’t spend a ton of money on skincare in general.

I thought toners were bullshit but I kept using them because the internet always said they were great. I realized that they are great but it only matters if you’re using the right one. Lately, I’ve been using rice water (the same I use to wash my face) mixed with a bit of rose water.³ I LOVE my Lagom toner, but this one isn’t $24 a bottle because I make it with rice from the pantry and rose petals from outside. Living in Portland has its benefits.

Next, I use Mad Hippie’s vitamin C serum. It works well and I haven’t tried another brand for fear of my skin revolting.

I moisturize with Chicken Coop Botanicals rose oil. If I don’t use this, I will break out. Not badly, but I notice the difference when I deviate. It has three ingredients and if I could buy this in bulk, I would. When it’s cold, I layer it under Belle Butters mango butter for face. It’s super moisturizing and great for winter but there is minor skin protestation to the almond oil in it. I’m willing to suffer through this to avoid cracks in my face.

I do a mini facial massage when I apply moisturizer. Either this one from the aforementioned French facialist or another loosely based on the Tanaka facial massage (read: I do the steps I remember in the order that they come to mind). The idea is to get the lymph moving so I’m not overly methodical about it.

For my dark marks, I swipe on cocoa butter stick from the drug store. After that, Glossier Balm dotcom on my lips because dry lips are not in my ministry. It’s the best one out there and I can’t understand for the life of me why people call this hyped up Vaseline. I have to reapply Vaseline (or a different lip balm) every hour and a half to two hours. Balm dotcom lasts me almost an entire day.

That’s it.

=)

———–

1 – I made this using a free pattern Google found. This one looks cute. Bamboo yarn makes more of a difference than pattern though. If you aren’t the crocheting kind, you can buy bamboo face flannels most anywhere.

2 – To make rice water, cover a handful of rice with distilled water and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Pour off the water and store it in the fridge. You can dip a cotton pad in this and swipe it across your face, pour it into your hands, or put it in a spray bottle. I wouldn’t make a ton…it gets weird after 10-14 days or so.

3 – gather rose petals (clean ones!) and toss them in a sauce pan with enough distilled water to just cover them. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, and cover for about 20 minutes or until the petals lose their color. Strain the petals and store the rose water in the fridge. To make the toner, use 1 part rose water to 4 parts rice water. Or regular water. Whatever makes you happy.