to shop / what i bought and like

FYI, Everlane is currently Pop-In@Nordstrom.

I am a fan of the idea of Alex Mill, by J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler’s son. Most pieces are simple, a little boxy, and certainly too simple to pay full price. Nordstrom has some items on sale; I kept the balcamaan jacket and textured dot shirt.

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COS dainty earrings on my list.

Ann Taylor seamed ponte side zip leggings may be my new go-to. I prefer the side zip and higher waist vs pull ups (like the new Spanx perfect pant line).

Clare V‘s new Fall 2019 collection, eyeing…

  • The Mirabel crossbody. Large enough to hold a mini umbrella (important criteria). This one is larger than the midi (which I’ve never tried) and the opening is wider. It looks lightweight. Being able to change bag straps is also a plus.

  • The Tropezienne (the OG and my favorite CV style) is back, unlined, with long handles for shoulder carry, and in three colors. The glossy ‘old fashioned’ vegetable tanned leather is the most substantial CV leather. Previously reviewed here and mentioned in one of my first posts ~10 years ago.

Have you seen the metallic Baggus?? Bronze is my favorite.

Apolis polka dot custom bags. Also featuring CV chic.

Heath Ceramics seasonal winter bud vases

Images from respective retailers

to shop / target: 20 years of design for all

I have much love for Target, especially their designer collaborations over the years. They are celebrating 20 years of designer collaborations and bringing back items from 20 partners (from more than 150!) on September 14. Twenty years is a long time. I had a lot less disposable income 20 years ago, but regardless, I still love these affordable collaborations.

Perusing the list of 150+, there are a few pre-2012 collaborations I never knew about or forgot about! And let me remind you that last time Target did a lookback on the collaborations’ dresses in 2011, Chrissy Teigen was the model.

  • Tord Boontje (2006), collaboration, and if you’ve followed me a long time, you will recall this curtain.
  • Richard Chai (2008), collaboration. I had quite a number of items from this collection. My favorite (and I don’t know what happened to it) was the dress in the blue/white print. There are quite a number of the dresses on Poshmark, but I feel too old for it now.
  • Thakoon (2008). The pieces I liked are all featured in the upcoming release. I didn’t pick up any items from the 2011 re-release, but will definitely do it this time. I wore the black dress enough that it was wearing out and holes formed. eBay didn’t have any good replacements. This release will also sell the skirt and tee separately in the same prints.

  • John Derian (2008, 2010). I was certainly not into John Derian back then. Tempted by this upcoming release, but I’m not big on melamine.
  • Orla Kiely (2009). Collaboration. Too bad this one isn’t coming back but it’s so close to the normal collection. My mom picked up so many pieces of this for me and I kind of regret returning too much of it. It was one of the few home collections that was not heavy on melamine.
  • Liberty of London (2010). This was a good one and there are still so many items on eBay, Poshmark, etc. This was when I could still dabble in the XXL girls’ department.
  • Tucker (2010). Collaboration.

Sadly it is hard to find lookbooks for the older fashion collections as many blogs are now defunct or publications RIP’ed.

You can click through the lookbooks for the 20 designers on Target now. Given the popularity of these releases, there is even a “How to Shop” page.

All images from Target

to pamper / amorepacific skincare

Amorepacific owns a ton of brands (including Sulwhasoo, Laneige) but the Amorepacific brand itself is not popular in Korea. My Korean friends often don’t even know that there are Amorepacific branded products!


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The Essence

I love the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence. Green tea leaves are picked by hand from Amorepacific’s green tea gardens on Jeju Island, naturally fermented for 100 days, then the tea extracted through a 24 hour process. The “vintage” is from the product of a single crop and the aging process. It is full of powerful antioxidants, which protect against sun damage and is touted to promote skin clarity, texture and elasticity.

I bought mine in Seoul last October and am almost done with the 4 oz bottle after non-daily use (I alternate with a Sulwhasoo water). I am a bit heavy handed with application. I shake some into my palm and spread/pat it on my face. It is very watery. If you use serums, essence helps your skin absorb the serum and you should apply them while your skin is still wet from the essence. My skin feels hydrated, dewy from using this essence in addition to healthy despite what serums I use.

The con? It is pricey. A full size bottle is 4 oz and $145. They recently started selling a 2.36 oz bottle for $95.

The Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder

This is a very popular item for AP’s sets. Chances are if you got a set, this was in it. You mix some powder with water and then massage it into your face, and then rinse. My skin does not feel tight, the pH seems to work well. A little goes a long way. I use it occasionally for a deep cleanse. I especially like using it before a sheet mask so the sheet mask can work off of a clean slate. Since it’s powder, it is TSA friendly. AP recently changed the packaging, I’m not sure if the formula changed at all. AP has an exclusive set of the full size powder and the mid sized essence for a good price (see below).

Other Products

  • Cleansing Oil – I’ve only ever tried this in the mini size. I like the formula but not the dispenser of the mini size. My face feels so silky smooth after I use the oil. It is scented and I don’t love the scent. I like trying new cleansing oils, so have yet to commit to a full size of this one.
  • Cleansing Foam – My friend loves this. It makes my skin feel a little tight, but after I apply my normal products, it feels fine. As someone who is deeply committed to the Cerave foaming cleanser for performance and value, I will use the free minis I get but will not commit to a full size.
  • Moisture Bound collection – This is their hydration line. I don’t like the scent so whenever I get something that has minis of this collection, I immediately gift it or it goes into the reselling pile. I especially hate the hydration spray. While the scent is also in some of their other products, it’s easier to tolerate when it can be washed off (cleansing product).
  • The Essential Creme Fluid/Vintage Wash Off Masque – I’m looking forward to trying these. The fluid is made with baby green tea leaves.

Where to Buy:

If you can get yourself to Korea…

  • Go to the Lotte Duty Free stores in the city. I went to one in Seoul and they had a great value set of the essence. I got 2 full sized bottles, 2 deluxe travel bottles, and a ton of minis/a roller for $209. This was not available on the app and I didn’t bother checking the airport.
  • Order on the Lotte Duty Free app for pickup at the airport and take advantage of the coupons (maximizing this would take a separate post).

In the US…

If you order from them, keep a record of your order confirmation screen. This didn’t happen to me on this site, but when I ordered from Sulwhasoo (sister site), I never got an order confirmation e-mail.

to shop / recent sales and musings (aug 2019)

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I’d been looking for a minimal baseball cap and found the answer at Everlane (referral link)! It is unisex, lightweight, and I like how it is not shallow. They are not a staple item and the colors get updated whenever they come back in stock. Of course I got it in black. It also comes in white, light grey, and light olive green.

I tried the day glove in leather and reknit. They felt the most comfortable sizing up, however, I did not like the style on my feet. I also noticed the reknit had a very slippery and thin bottom sole. Those aren’t anywhere near the Rothy’s, in case you were wondering.

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I’m really loving this season’s Uniqlo extra fine cotton shirtdresses (mentioned in my last post). It makes a perfect weekend outfit; I’ve found it a little too casual for work. It also has drawn random compliments from strangers. I got it in both stripe colorways (one is a brighter blue and the other is a darker navy blue) and light blue. I hang dry once I take it out of the washing machine and it dries mostly unwrinkled. It fits true to size for an oversized fit — I would recommend not sizing down. The pockets are also deep enough for water bottles, mini umbrellas, sunglasses, etc.

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If you’re interested in something by J.Crew, check Net-a-Porter (US, Europe, Australia), Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and 6pm . (I was surprised by the 6pm! They are owned by Amazon via Zappos.) Prices are not uniform across the board, which can work to your benefit.

My interest with J.Crew goes up and down so it is inevitable that something from a past season catches my eye and sold out, and monitoring popbacks is tiring. I was happy to find this Liberty chamomile red floral shirtdress (Nordstrom Rack, J.Crew, NAP US, NAP FR, NAP AU) and the buffalo gingham shirtdress (Nordstrom Rack, J.Crew) at other shops at reasonable prices. (I’m really into shirtdresses at the moment.)

Other recent likes:

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Ferragamos are my work and dress shoe of choice. My recent discovery is that all the European boutiques seem to default to the wide width of C for whereas the US retailers default to B. I prefer C only for patent styles. When the sales kicked off last month, I found deals thanks to the European sale prices + favorable exchange rate + free express international shipping. The wide width threw off my plans. Thank goodness for free returns! On a similar note, Bloomingdales is having a pretty good sale and some items get an extra 50% off. Ferragamo sale shoe selections update throughout the day. Gilt also has a pile of Ferragamo shoes but it’s disorganized. I avoid final sale when it comes to Ferragamos because I go between two sizes, even if it’s the same style.

There are still a lot of Repetto deals to be found, especially if you have tiny feet — Farfetch, 24S, Gilt, Shopbop. And Webster has one pink gingham pair for a huge discount (code on top of page). Watch out for final sale as well.

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I really like the APC Meryl quilted bag. They’ve brought it back this season in black, navy, burgundy, and a tan brown, but you can snag it in brick (red? orange?) on sale. There are also some sale bags at Shopbop and APC, but slim pickings.

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If you like Muji and Ikea home goods, you may or may not have discovered Yamazaki Home. As someone who loves white everything, I love their minimalist, thoughtful style. Their products are also carried at Bloomingdales, Amazon, Container Store, Urban Outfitters, West Elm, etc. Prices can vary. I admire more than I’ve actually purchased. If you like to hang clothes temporarily, I have a few of these over the door valet hooks at home. You do have to see if your door would scratch when you close it though.

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Hermes had a popup sale at Short Hills, NJ recently. A friend graciously gave me a ride. It made me think of the Paris soldes from years past (previous). I don’t remember the prices for the Paris sale, but this sale was 50% off US retail. I am the owner of a few more silks (as is my father). I need to research scarf rings. I was about to purchase Hermes scarf cards on eBay, when I found them in PDF on the internet.

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My favorite Drunk Elephant product is the C Firma vitamin C serum. It comes in a very mini 0.27 oz as well as the full 1 oz size. Late last year they released a limited edition midi size (0.5 oz) and included it in the Get Even value set. I’d never used such fresh C Firma before that. I went to look for more but Sephora and Drunk Elephant are sold out of the set. However, it’s still available in Sephora stores in JCPenney stores in the US (locate store and order) and at Space NK UK (they won’t ship to the US).

to shop / gap and uniqlo lately (june 2019)

I haven’t loved anything from Gap in a long time. Their site isn’t as easy to browse (I like to sort by what’s new ), but I love that they have petite sizing and easy, free returns.

This puff sleeve utility jacket is very Goop, without the price tag and petite sizes! I prefer it in khaki without the belt. The pockets made it perfect for travel. Despite the linen content, it does not wrinkle easily. Perfect for spring or any space with air conditioning.

The Polka Dot V-Neck Popover Shirt is made of a lightweight, synthetic material. Perfect for balmy summer work days. It does run long, a little big, and low, so once again petite sizing was a winner. It was nicely cut.

The cotton and Lyocell material makes the Girlfriend Chino Joggers light enough for super humid summer. Trust me, I tested it in 96% humidity and 90+ F. It runs big and I think  they stretched out. I like the dark color — the green one had lighter stitching which I did not like. I also tested the High Rise Culottes (not pictured), which I recommend if you’re looking for culottes. They are easy to match and structured/light enough.

On to Uniqlo…

I’m late in posting, but these pleated pants are so comfy. They run BIG.

The extra fine cotton A-line 3/4 sleeve dress runs much longer than my favorite shirtdress of 2018 and comes off more casual. But it’s not bad. It comes in solids and stripes. I prefer stripes. It runs more TTS than the asymmetrical version.

I wear the lightweight v neck cardigans every summer and love this year’s version.

Images from Uniqlo and Gap