to shop / j.crew chelsea boots in black leather review

I made three boot purchases this winter season. The J.Crew Chelsea Boot was one of them. I tried both my normal size and half a size down. I have wider feet (but not officially wide) and liked my normal size more with thin socks. The heel is a little over an inch and very comfortable. It also comes in two other shades of brown, but I’ve always been more of a black boot person. I got them for a great sale price in-store and am very happy with the purchase. Otherwise, I was keeping an eye on & Other Stories for Chelsea boots.

to shop / ankle boots and vintage coach madison

My two favorite buys of the 2012-2013 winter season.

I can’t recall how I got through prior winters without ankle boots, but I knew I needed something to cover my ankles because it was cold and wet! Wearing knee high boots to work gets constricting. I got these Report Jude ankle boots after seeing Olivia Palermo in them in a blog. That’s all it took. It makes it slightly better that I only paid $30 for them because they were on sale at Nordstrom and I had reward certificates. They were a godsend because Paris ended up being wet and cold in December, India was just plain cold, and Amsterdam was wet and cold in January. They are super durable and I don’t care what happens to them, which is great for trips through muddy conditions. There is a small downside: I went with my true size and they stretched out a litte bit, which is fine, but then they also squeak sometimes. Not enough for me to troubleshoot a solution yet.

In the Rodin Gardens during a drizzle.

I “discovered” vintage Coach bags earlier this year. Specifically Coach bags made in the 90s in Italy. Prior to this, I never understood the allure of Coach and their monogrammed bags. My Kelly bag from the Gramercy collection was mentioned here. I got another bag from the Gramercy collection off eBay, which was pricey, as a birthday present to myself. When I got it, I hated the style. I’m of the belief that most purchases should be practical investments. It was impossible to open and close without two hands which is too high maintenance for me. I gleefully got rid of it on eBay recently, but in the mean time, I found this crossbody “Sutton” satchel from the Coach Madison collection in a taupe-ish brown (which reminds me of Hermes’ etoupe). While the Gramercy collection’s textured leather can be likened to Prada’s saffiano leather, the Madison collection’s leather is compared to Chanel’s caviar leather. With a limited budget, I’m not one to be crazy for labels – I prefer to find well made, durable, quality leather in classic shapes (like Clare Vivier). And of late, I’ve been into crossbody bags since they are so convenient when I’m out and about. The Sutton is durable enough to withstand light rain and withstand some weight – it fit my umbrella, Kindle, DSLR body and 1-2 lenses, wallet, phone, etc. And it has feet!

And since I like bags of bags, I carried the Clare Vivier simple tote in leather (which I believe is now discontinued) with me to house my Coach bag so it wouldn’t have to touch the bare plane floor while traveling. (Sidenote: I’m surprised my CV tote has lasted this long and think I understand why they discontinued it in plain leather! The original simple tote is pretty flimsy but I still like it. You can find it now in a thicker basketweave.)


En route to Doha.

to shop / shopping black friday online

{Update on December 17}

I haven’t started shopping, or really eating, yet in Paris. It does help that the Parisians don’t really believe in having sales more than twice an year, or that French brands like Repetto or Petit Bateau is cheaper stateside than here, for the most part.

After resetting my expectations, I turned back online to catch the stateside Black Friday sales. Over the years, I’ve grown a distaste for shopping BF sales in person – crowds, store handled merchandise, etc. The sales are ok this year. If you’ve been waiting to buy, now is the time to unleash yourself because the deals are better than the usual. I will say I’m somewhat disgusted at myself and this is after I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, to which my comment to my friend was, “We’re not as bad… she buys expensive, ugly things!“. I was victims at:

  • Asos – 20% off everything with code HAPPYBLACKFRIDAY (I am too lazy to update my code page). I got a pretty lace dress that is quite Catherine Middleton. And no, I’m not sick of lace yet. {Ick – this went back right away. Bad quality and I really can’t do the midi length.}
  • Zara – BF pricing on limited items. I got 30% off a blazer that I could get a lot of wear out of. {This also went back. I wasn’t in love.}
  • Anthropologie. Even though I end up returning most of what I buy from here, I can’t help from stocking up on Eberjey undies at a dirt cheap price or more silky apparel. They are taking an additional 50% off the morning of BF and you can bet I prepared my cart in advance. This jacket I’ve wanted for a while has finally been clearanced to $20. Don’t look for it in the sale section because it isn’t there =P {Most of this stuff went back to…}
  • Madewell. Because I have too much money lying around, I’ve giving Barbour a try. I don’t blame the clever placement of the Barbour shop down the street from my Parisian friend’s flat at all. {My wallet is glad I didn’t like Barbour.} Continue reading “to shop / shopping black friday online”