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.

weekends / counting down

It was a loooong weekend. I’ve been easing into the iPhone and dealing with the massive battery drain. I also almost forgot the phone in Barnes and Nobles! Here are some randoms and there is more than just food, but I usually don’t post those on my blog:

I wanted to take my “new” Panasonic LX2 and the 20mm lens out, but it didn’t fit in my Chanel, so I busted out my vintage Coach. I’m in love with the vintage Italian made line and its durable, textured leather. The Coach resale market on eBay is quite massive. It takes some hunting to find the gems!

I caught up with a girlfriend at Vandaag for brunch. We lingered there for a long time, but I still had beef with the service. It took us forever to get the regular menu (do we look like mothers?) and even more time for water. The food was good (minus the fly that wouldn’t go away), the space was well lit, and the gin scented butter below was interesting.

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to shop / nude shoes from talbots, gap, corso como

In my neverending quest to find the best nude shoes, some recent reviews:

1) Gap Tie-back Ballet Flats ($49.95) – Not returned. I’m a fan of most Gap flats – they are super low maintenance with a rubber bottom and a leather upper. They are not the best quality, however, they last a while. The leather of these are softer and more distressed than normal. The toe box also needs a lot of stretching. They run TTS. The color is perfect. Refer to picture #1, left side. As with most Gap items, paying retail is insane, but this has sold so well without going on sale!

2) Talbots Jenni Scrunchy Leather Ballet Flats ($29.39) – Returned, but am exploring the black option. If the link goes to nowhere, try searching on the site. Talbots shoes are extremely underrated. They are often made in Italy and of quality leather. Especially lucrative when on sale. Talbots is having additional 40% off sale items right now and most items are not final sale. Their flats run 1/2 size big, so size down. These are scrunchy but don’t have the annoying, blister inducing elastic band that I find on Tory Burch. The color “mauve” is actually more like a light lavender… not nude at all. Refer to picture #1, right side.

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weekends / fourth of july in nj & pa & ny

Over the long weekend, I:

~ drove a Mustang (I asked for a Corolla… thanks, Hertz) ~

~ had country fried steak at Cracker Barrel ~

~ trafficked halal down to NJ ~

~ ate at Red Lobster and finally tried their cheddar biscuits (not pictured) ~

~ drank a peach milkshake from Chick-fil-a, after Cracker Barrel ~

~ tasted some new flavors from Butter Lane (grapefruit-ginger frosting? lime frosting?) ~

~ hung out with my friend’s baby… ~

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to shop / new workhorse shoes

I’ve been spending more than I want on shoes lately. I live in flats and some have been dying slowly after 3+ years of abuse on New York City streets, so I’ve been searching high and low for suitable replacements. I learned my lesson with flip flops and regret not listening to my mother, not to mention the germs. Life is too short to spend in uncomfortable shoes. I’ve been living in:

  • Gap ballet flats (Spring 2010) that are knock-offs of Repetto, except with a sturdier rubber bottom. I was in Boston for work, wandered to a Gap, and discovered that I totally missed out of this gem because I’d been out of the country. To further complicate things, it was on sale. I went into a frenzy mode and promptly located 4 pairs and had them shipped (for free). I got a pair in black, poppy red (pictured below), and metallic blue. I sold the metallic blue (just not my color scheme) and a pair of the blacks that was masquerading as a half size smaller (a nasty, old Gap habit). They have yet to have another ballet flat as great as this one – their current foldable city flat has no arch support and I limit it to airplane use. Sadly, my poppy red ballet flats from Zara are not as comfy as these and I’m still debating whether I want to break the Gap cap toe flats in.
  • Butter nude patent bow flats. So comfy. I got them zipsoled at the cobbler when they were brand new. They should last a while.
  • Two pairs of Marc by Marc Jacob ballet flats. I pulled a Jackie O at a post-Christmas sale at a now-defunct e-tailer and bought the same pair in two colors – black and a peachy ballet pink. I love MBMJ ballet flats (minus the mouse styles that I will never comprehend). They run half a size small. Sadly, their more recent styles have been too hardware-friendly and these two pairs are dying. I don’t think I’ll ever find a ballet flat in this shade of pink again!

  • Repettos – I have one pair that got caught in a torrential downpour that needs some TLC and a few new pairs to mull over (it takes me months to decide whether to keep and sole or to eBay).

Good shoes are not easy to find. I’m not afraid to buy/return or buy/eBay.

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