The Method

sweater from a thrift shop / RAG & BONE jeans / MODE COLLECTIVE shoes

Something old, something new, something “thrifted,” and… selfie because I can’t be bothered with proper outfit documentation. Love me anyway? What I lack in photography I make up with meaningless banter about clothes!

For instance, all three of the above “somethings” could apply to these shoes. Patience, usually the most effective weapon against complete irresponsibility, paid off once again when I found these lovely triple strap stunners for $40 – down from their original retail at $250 some seasons ago.

*insert squee*

Now, the story here usually goes that I was looking for a particular thing for forever, stalking it for months/years and then I finally find it. Not so this time. I learned of these perusing the blog Harper & Harley a few weeks ago and they stuck in my craw; beautiful lines, nice heel, probably really painful to actually wear. I was intrigued. As always, intrigue soon led to fixation, so I poked around the internet until I found them on eBay (there are a few more still listed if anyone else is interested). Since I’m trying to make better decisions and not let impulsiveness rule me, I let them sit for a couple of weeks while debating the merits of ownership. Below, a sampling of my inner monologue:

“Ooh, made in Spain by artisans! That sounds much better than a sweatshop.”

“Yeah, but they’re going to hurt.”

“These are going to look amazing with jeans. And a big sweater on top? Or a t-shirt? Those faux Jesse Kamm sailor pants I made from those pants from Buffalo Exchange? ALL OF THE THINGS.”

“You see how thin those straps are? BRUH. SAUSAGE. TOES.”

“Her feet don’t look that pained.”

“She’s sitting in nearly all the photos where she has on these shoes.”

“But…”

“Hmm…”

“They’re $40.”

“I mean….you could just get them and if they hurt, resell them.”

“Yes. Yes I could.”

“And you have been wearing the same pair of “event shoes” since like…2012.”

“True.”

“F- it. Just buy the shoes.”

I mean, it isn’t so much a conversation as a string of thoughts that consider separate arguments, but never mind all that.

The point is I copped them and they don’t hurt as much as anticipated. And they do look amazing with jeans and a big sweater. And it’s always worth waiting a few weeks, months, or years to buy something because you’ll usually be able to find it at a reasonable price and you’ll be able to better gauge whether or not something is an impulse buy or something you truly want to have. A little distance can do wonders for your wallet and general clutter levels.

Ok that was three points, but you get what I mean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought

As Emily Bell has written: “Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security.”

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Bell, the director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia University – and a board member of the Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian – has outlined the seismic impact of social media for journalism. “Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years,” she wrote in March, “than perhaps at any time in the past 500.” The future of publishing is being put into the “hands of the few, who now control the destiny of the many”. News publishers have lost control over the distribution of their journalism, which for many readers is now “filtered through algorithms and platforms which are opaque and unpredictable”. This means that social media companies have become overwhelmingly powerful in determining what we read – and enormously profitable from the monetisation of other people’s work. As Bell notes: “There is a far greater concentration of power in this respect than there has ever been in the past.”

The increasing prevalence of this approach suggests that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the values of journalism – a consumerist shift. Instead of strengthening social bonds, or creating an informed public, or the idea of news as a civic good, a democratic necessity, it creates gangs, which spread instant falsehoods that fit their views, reinforcing each other’s beliefs, driving each other deeper into shared opinions, rather than established facts.

 

From Katharine Viner’s article  “How Technology Disrupted the Truth” in The Guardian.  Probably one of the  most important things I’ve read in a long time.

Thoughts?

Sale Time (or How to not go crazy during Sale Season)

Acne Star boots

photo via Harper & Harley

It’s sale season on the internet. This is always a trying time, full of angst, open tabs, and reflection on my life and its overall purpose. I once wrote in my “About” section that I live[d] to shop. Terrible. It’s still thrilling to take part in the dance of add-to-cart-oooh-my-card-info-is-saved-place-order, so I’m not sure I’ve overcome my demons.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t actually.

I have, however, learned to quiet them and stay out of their way for the most part; only battling them once the urge REALLY strikes. Oddly enough [sarcasm], I feel those urges most during sale season on the internet. What is a click-happy, reformed binge spender to do???

While I don’t have any surefire answers, I can tell you that the best lines of defense are the following;

  • budget for these moments (boring, but it works)
  • have a plan or idea of what  you generally need want (I keep a list on my phone)
  • don’t settle for things that aren’t quite right even if they are on sale (this takes constant reminding. CONSTANT. REMINDING.)
  • don’t make any high impact purchases of items you only learned about in the last week (more constant reminding)
  • if you find a grail-level item on sale, buy it

That’s it.  Five guidelines to keep the damage as minimal as possible and buyer’s remorse levels low.  You could keep the damage to non-existent by closing the tabs and ignoring all of it, but where is the fun in that? Nowhere. That’s where.

Sales n Stuff:

Shopbop

A roundup of indie boutiques via Garmentory

West End Select Shop (my favorite Portland boutique , also via Garmentory)

The Outnet (extra 30% off)

Barney’s Warehouse

Nasty Gal (extra 40% off)

SSENSE

Nordstrom Annual Sale (starts in July…but, you know…start looking now…for budgeting purposes)

 

Now, since I add an anecdote to nearly everything, I’ll tell you what led to this whole post to begin with.  I was minding my own business, reading through my feed on Feedly (mistake #1) when I caught wind of the sale at Shopbop (which is sort of a perpetual thing, no?). Anyway, I went to check it out (mistake #2) when right on the first page were the Acne Star boots. If you’ve been around this blog long enough, you’ll recall my knack for finding seasons-past Acne at a generous discount. Anyway, I see the boots and freak out because they’re half off and within acceptable splurge range for the brand, quality and style. Twenty one seconds later (because I’ve gotten really quick at thinking through all of these things), I completed my order and am now awaiting their arrival with hopes that they don’t truly run one size smaller. If they are, back they go.  Because we don’t settle even if things are on sale, right? Right. 

ETA: Verdict? They don’t run small, they run narrow…but I seem to have had success stretching them a bit with a pair of thick socks. HUZZAH!

 

 

Looking everywhere but the camera 

BLACK CRANE dress, CÉLINE shoes

This is the same dress as in the last post. It seems that I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of this one. This is the way things should be. Asé.

The weather in Portland is bordering on disrespectfully hot right. Not to worry, it’ll be back to rain in a few days; equally disrespectful. Not one to waste a cloudless sky in the PNW, I wore my favorite shoes that give me blisters but I still insist on making work. They make everything look better.

And isn’t that what life is all about? Trade-offs, right? There are going to be things you have to endure because other things (often in direct conflict or opposition to what you want or is most comfortable) are more important. You can’t really have it all – it’s usually one thing or the other. It’s taken me a long time to learn this. I’m still learning it.

Clothes make for a great starting point to existential and philosophical musings.