#IBTC

EVERLANE shirt / CITIZENS OF HUMANITY jeans / TABITHA SIMMONS boots

Here is a photo of me having a lot more fun playing in my clothes instead of chasing down new ones. Just kidding – I was at a wedding reception that came a year after the wedding and someone made a joke about my half-assed attempts at posing. Occasion aside, the brand is strong and I haven’t bought anything new this month.

*cue applause*

Actually, no. I bought bras because the three I owned were completely thrashed and I didn’t realize how thrashed until I got new ones.

While we’re on the subject, can I talk about how oppressive it is to shop for bras? A few weeks ago I went to a proper lingerie shop for a fitting (highly recommended, btw). After the nice woman confirmed that childbearing had remodeled my boobs for good, I went to Nordstrom a couple weeks later to look for things I could actually wear in my real life and not the imaginary one where I lay around all day and take boudoir photos. I get to Nordstrom on the last day of their anniversary sale and a nice woman with a boot on her leg combed through the racks to find what would fit me. My “new” size (and I use that word loosely because it’s technically been this size since Hogs weaned, I just wasn’t wearing the correct bra size) is one that a lot of companies don’t manufacture. Shouts out to the IBTC and everyone repping 30″ bands.

Anyway, she’s pulling all the things and I take a handful into the dressing room and begin trying them on. Two hours later and I hadn’t found anything that was plain black, fit well, and didn’t read underneath my clothes. TWO HOURS. TWO WHOLE ASS HOURS.  I thought, “maybe I don’t really need this. I can make do,” but then I remembered that the woman helping me had a boot on and was running back and forth across the store despite the fact that she couldn’t really run and I felt bad so I bought two options I had no intention of keeping just to make it look like I wasn’t a complete jerk.

A couple days later, I was on Pret’s blog and she mentioned Gap Body in her post. Two things: one – I had no idea that Gap sold underwear; two – I had no idea that Gap was perpetually 40% off.  I was halfway to ordering when I realized that Gap still has physical stores and one was near Nordstrom. Convenient. The next day, I returned the pity bras I’d bought and then went to Gap to vet their sizing system. The selection in the physical store sucked, but I found one I liked and bought it.

The cashier was one of those people who whispers everything – this isn’t germane to the story in any way, but I found it intriguing. Have you ever bought a bra from someone who whispers everything?  It’s odd.

The following day, I ordered the styles I actually wanted online (this and this) and finally wore one today. Right now, I’m sitting up straight, my boobs look like they care about their appearance, and I realized that one should probably replace these things more than once every several years. I hear it’s *supposed* to be every six months, but that also seems ridiculous.

Long digression, but the point of this all is to say that I made it through more than half of the month without buying new clothes and I’m proud of meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Also, these boots are killers but completely worth the shredded foot feeling and I still love these jeans.

 

 

 

Hiatus


Dead Fleurette / Linda V. Wright’s daughter, India

Clothes are stressful, but so nice to look at. The top image is one that has stuck in my mind since 2010. I miss DF so much. The bottom is an example of perfect styling. Neither have anything to do with this post.  

I’m taking a break from shopping for the rest of the year. I’m doing it because I need to calibrate my priorities, I need to save money, and because I don’t think I can actually do it. It’s a very layered approach.

So nice I did it twice / CITIZENS OF HUMANITY Liya jeans in Rock On (tailored) and Fade Out (awaiting tailoring).

Looking at what I’ve bought over the last seven months, I am pleased.  I made some mistakes and forgot certain things don’t ‘work’ on me, but I have everything that I need and then some. And that’s why I need to chill. With the exceptions of replacing t-shirts when they wear out and a pair of rain boots, I am no longer seeking out the new. For five months. I have a closet full of my grails already and I need to appreciate them.

Since January, I’ve bought (read: both purchased and, for the time being, have kept) the following. Items in red will be sold…for reasons.

Rodebjer camel coat
AA hoodie and shorts set, AA white cropped fisherman sweater
DBM hoodie
snow coat
Chloe Sevigny x Opening Ceremony Maryellen boots
Rossmore earrings
Catbird choker
AA dark indigo denim skirt, AA navy blue wrap skirt
AA black ponte tank dress
Gucci Brixton loafers
Stutterheim Stockholm long raincoat
Madewell socks
CoH Liya jeans
Elizabeth Suzann raw silk Maxine top
AA black bodysuit
Rick Owens Lillies dress
blue suede Jordan 1s
white Chucks
vintage Levis 501 cutoffs
CoH Liya jeans
vintage lounge shorts
Isabel Marant striped Zita sweater (same style as Fleurette’s above)

A lot of this stuff was a result of seasonal unpreparedness. Winter was more unpleasant than expected and I never needed dedicated summer clothes. Anticipating this summer to be hot as hell, I bought my two t-shirts company and my legs some breathing room.  Winter saw two coats and a couple of hoodies.
 
As for the rest, a couple were grail-level items, American Apparel was liquidating merchandise, and the rest were flights of fancy. Some worked, some didn’t.
 
I’ve offloaded a lot of items, but this list makes me want to further reduce the number of pieces I own. I want to step back and actually enjoy these clothes because I must have loved all this at one point, right? What’s the point of chasing more?
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Second to the Top Shelf

O hai!

Like a lot of people who spend too much time on the Internet and care about superficial things more than they should, I read Into The Gloss. More than anything else, I love playing voyeur and learning about  people’s routines and cabinets.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to do an ITG Top Shelf interview. Thing is, it wouldn’t be nearly as complex or expensive sounding as most on that site. Actually, it isn’t complex or super expensive at all.

I’ve been through several regimens but pared back to the following after reading this ITG article. In time, I finally admitted that most every cleanser dried out my skin (black soap included), most moisturizers I was using were way too heavy, and my skin type favors lighter weight oils (i.e. not high oleic acid). It took a little bit of research and patience, but my skin is looking a LOT healthier, clearer, and smoother now than it ever has…which is a big deal because hyperpigmentation and breakouts ruled my world for nearly two decades. Old heads here know what my cheeks and upper arms used to look like.

My overall approach is that I stick to products that can be used in more than one application. I have a lot less clutter in the bathroom as a result.

 

// FACE & BODY

I wash my face with plain water. Shouts out to Ariana for making this seem like a real thing because I doubt I’ll ever use a proper cleanser again. In the mornings, I usually just run a few handfuls over my face in the shower. At night, I scrub with a wet crocheted bamboo face flannel. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so this works well. On the rare occasion that I do wear makeup, I use grapeseed oil to dissolve it first. After washing, I use a spray toner from Lagom Body Co (or a mix of ACV and water once it runs out) and follow up with Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C serum and Rose oil from Chicken Coop Botanicals.  If I have dark marks, I swipe a drugstore cocoa butter stick across them. This all takes about two minutes. I use SPF sporadically..when I remember, it’s Bare Republic SPF 30.

I’ll use a mask every now and again – usually a mix of kaolin clay, bentonite clay and whatever else I have on hand. Honey and turmeric masks are amazing. I also use this Pacifica enzyme mask I got because it was on sale at the grocery store. I really like it. It’s one of those things I can do in the morning as I’m getting ready and it makes me look really radiant and fresh, like I got night of sleep. If I need to deeply exfoliate, I use either the Belle Butters Avo-Coco facial polish, Bee Lux Chaotic scrub, or a facial brush.

Body care is even less involved. I use Dr. Bronner’s castille soap and a Salux washcloth. It’s a little rough but I can’t stop using it now that I’m used to the feeling. If I feel like I need to be luxurious, I scrub with a mix of dark brown sugar and coconut oil. I also use Nene Organics Vagina Therapy for my lady bits. It’s amazing stuff and worth the additional expense.

Once I’m out of the shower, I moisturize all over with grapeseed oil.  If I’m going to be in the sun, I use Belle Butters Tanning Butter on the exposed areas. I brown instead of burn when I use this, so I’m counting it a win.

// MAKEUP

I don’t use much makeup because I’ve subscribed to the French-attributed notion that skincare trumps makeup. Also, I’m lazy and like to sleep in. I use three products daily, and they’re all Glossier: Boy Brow in black, Balm dotcom, and Cloud Paint in Beam. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll use their Haloscope in rose quartz or moonstone for a bit of highlight. Sometimes I’ll wear mascara. My favorite is  Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara because it doesn’t dry out completely and isn’t a nightmare to wash off.  If I’m going for something more dramatic, I’ll use NYX’s Doll Eyes.

If I feel like I need to do real makeup, I use a mix of Glossier Skin Tint in Dark or Deep,  some sort of eye makeup (I have a dual liquid liner and kohl liner for options), and finish with either MAC clear Lipglass or a matte red lip – Bawse Lady from The Lip Bar or every brown girl’s favorite, Ruby Woo.  I recently started using MAC’s Touch for daytime. It’s a really great nude shade.

// HAIR

I co-wash it when I remember and try to wet and/or moisturize it daily. Right now, I use Oyin Hair Dew. One of the benefits of having short hair is that this section is just as short.

// FRAGRANCE

I use an oil blend from The Wylde Life. I love it because it reminds me of the African Marketplace I used to go to in summertime as a kid. It’s called Dick Too Bomb; It makes me laugh any time I tell someone what it is, and they do ask because it smells amazing. I’m also having a love fest with samples of Commodity’s Gold scent and Skin by Clean Reserve. They’re both warm and light and beautiful and exactly how I want to smell, but I’m a commitment-phobe, so I’ve yet to buy a full bottle of anything.  Soon. Very soon.

 

As told to you by me because blog. Also, there are affiliate links because it’s a thing and disclosure is sexy. If you use them, I get a small kickback. Also, if you use this link for your Glossier purchase, you get 20% off your first order. Lastly, there are a few small businesses linked above – support them if you can! Thank  you for helping keep this going. Heart eye emoji.