to shop / {sale alert} j.crew sale on sale

The J.Crew sale has some pieces at amazing prices with the additional 60% off to the point where my not that fashion conscious friend is also partaking in the sale. Note, not everything is final sale. The easiest way to tell is by looking at your cart.

I don’t think J.Crew is totally back. There are some gems, but it takes work to find them. It helps a ton that they have reviews on their site and I still peruse J.Crew Aficionada from time to time. For men, I recommend checking out the Frugal Male Fashion subreddit.

If you haven’t signed up for their new rewards program, you should as it gives you free standard shipping (snail speed) and less reason to sit on your cart.

What I like: 

Ordered but haven’t gotten it yet:

I have been watching Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up and read her book many years ago. J.Crew certainly sparks joy for me. It’s tough shopping online and not seeing something in the store, but I’m totally ok with returning what I don’t like or reselling/using Amex Reeturn Protection for final sale items, or reselling/donating something one the joy is gone.

  • Happy Shopping!
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2018 thoughts on bags

Updated: Bao Bao Issey Miyake added

Every year I intend to write ‘year in review’ posts. Somehow time escapes me, so let’s see if this works this year. I plan to write on different topics. First up: bags.

I go through periods of times of buying no bags and then bam! I get a few. I bought a few recently, mostly black bags.

($$$$ to $)

  • The spendiest purchases were driven by Hedi’s takeover of Céline. I couldn’t get myself to Europe soon enough, so I managed with duty free shops in Seoul. Prices are comfortably below US prices and the # of stores are somewhat plentiful. I went to 4 duty free boutiques – 3 in Seoul and 1 in the Incheon airport! For the most part, what I purchased is what I have wanted to purchase for years but the opportunity and urgency never arose. I have no regrets with my purchases, although I have yet to use all of them. I have invested in Samorga inserts for most of them.

I am hesitant to buy Céline secondhand online. It’s hard to assess the structure of a non-super structured bag on the internet. Or for example, the Trio was quietly redesigned in recent years where the straps that connect to the purse were reinforced. This isn’t apparent in most online listings. I wouldn’t want to buy an older Trio. I haven’t sold any of my Célines, but the resale of some of them look roughly the same as duty free. It’s a no lose situation, in my opinion. Some of the classic Phoebe Philo designs are still around but now don the new Celine logo (no accent over the é) and new colors.

Image: Celine

  • (Updated: Can’t believe I forgot to include Bao Bao!) My friend Pam got me into Bao Bao Issey Miyake bags. At some point, they were super hard to buy in Asia. Almost everyone and their mom has one, it seems. They are popular with the older crowd. The brand is Japanese, but I found these bags much better stocked in the US and sometimes on sale/discount! I have four of the totes in different sizes (Prism or Lucent) and got the last one when I was in Tokyo. I highly recommend these for its lightweight, low maintenance, easy to pack (flattens), and uncommon style (at least outside of Asia). I think I’m done for now!

Prism Tote in a Japan-exclusive color

  • The APC Meryl in quilted black leather is a nice APC alternative to my favorite half moon bag. Slightly smaller, softer yet not delicate. Compact enough to throw into a tote. The strap is also thick and comfy. I really like wearing a crossbody to work when I don’t have too much to carry!

Image: APC

  • I purchased the Mansur Gavriel tumble small tote in black during the first online sample sale. It took me almost half a year to unbox it. I love the size, the slouch, the light weight, and the price. I find the “large” MG tote to be way too big. Tumble leather is very nice and different than the more popular vegetable tanned, calf leather, or saffiano. I wouldn’t have given tumble a second glance if I hadn’t seen it in person. It gives a different vibe for the same style in another bag. The only thing that is slightly off-putting is the smell of the leather. Most of it has aired out but there is still a whiff (and this happened to my new Céline bags too). I sometimes use this bag for work and throw the Meryl in when I don’t have time to switch bags. It’s perfect for papers, but I wouldn’t weigh it down with a laptop.


Image: Mansur Gavriel

  • Clare V perf/perforated leather. I really like most of the items in this leather, especially the SLGs. The patina on this simple tote is incredible, but I rarely use something that big nowadays. I need a key wallet and really want one of the Clare V perforated wallets in a lighter brown (cuoio), but they seem to sell out so fast. I got the Bruno sans strap. It’s a nice, casual summer/fall bag. Slightly bigger than a crossbody. It’s CV’s 10 year anniversary, by the way.

Image: Clare V

  • J.Crew has these super affordable camo print everyday totes and you can monogram them! (Thanks to the stranger sporting a bag at EWR arrivals.) I’m typically not one to personalize things, but I couldn’t resist ordering these with an orange monogram over Cyber Week — the 50% off promotion applied to the bags and monograms. Great for gifting. Do note their processing time, I’m still waiting for my order. (Similar is the LLBean Hunter tote, however no monogram. Previously mentioned here. Mine is going strong and so practical.)

Image: J.Crew

  • The Momofuku Milk Bar book pre-order came with this tote for free. I love their cake and the tote is perfection. The tote has since sold out but it’s available in this set. (Sidenote: the book is surprisingly OOS on Amazon. I don’t plan to bake cake, I got it for the eye candy.)


Image: Twitter

I sold some bags this year – bags that no longer spark joy (like the MG saffiano bucket bag and the Ecco Derna lady bag) and plain ol’ shopping regrets (such as the another MG sample sale purchase and the Clare V Le Big Sac!). Resale value is something I think about when I buy a more expensive bag. There are some more bags to clean out once I have time!

to shop / {sale alert} labor day sales

  • beautytap 25% off Sulwhasoo and COSRX. Get additional 15% off with code beautytap2018 (unsure of expiration). Formerly known as w2beauty. They also have 3-5 day shipping in the US now, which is great considering these prices! Without a sale/discount code, the prices are considered on the higher end of Korean sites. (Note their search function is not very good. Better to use Google.)


Sulwhasoo: I have some Sulwhasoo products (the two overnight vitalizing and radiance energy masks and the clarifying mask) but recently got more products. I’m a big fan of the First Care Activating Serum EX in the limited edition plum blossom (review) and the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Emulsion (light moisturizer with a ginseng hanbang smell). These two products achieve that elusive glow.

I tried samples of the Snowise serum (love but the price!), cleansing oil and cleansing foam (meh primarily due to smell and I have tons of cleansers), Bloomstay line (verdict is out, the entire line smells amazing, but the serum is too sticky, the water and cream seem ok). I love gifts with purchase and I had maximized the samples or free minis through my purchases from Korea (or got a really good price). I think samples are the best way to test before diving into a pricey purchase.

I also refer to this very comprehensive overview of the Sulwhasoo products from a Redditor and for Korea airport duty free prices as a baseline.

COSRX: A budget friendly, no frills brand. Sadly many of these products are out of stock and beautytap doesn’t filter them out. (Dermstore has 20% off all COSRX and ends up being a teensy bit more expensive, Ulta has some products. Otherwise I occasionally place a large order at SweetCorea, where the collection is complete but you will need to pay overseas shipping.) I currently don’t use any of their products every single day. I recommend the overnight masks (rice and honey) and use them in the cold winter days as a moisturizer. I also like the Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence for repairing skin or extra moisture. Their pimple stickers, A-sol, and centella cream are for pimple maintenance, which is rare but still necessary. The mister on the other hand uses the One Step Moisture Up Pad in his daily routine and it’s gotten rid of all his flaky skin.

  • J.Crew 40% off almost site-wide sale. It works on beauty (which is full of cleaner beauty), unfortunately the only Megababe product left is the bust dust (their thigh rescue product is great if you avoid skirts in warmer weather!). As for the clothes, I’m waiting for their comeback. Although the sweater blazer always look tempting.

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 / j.crew x net-a-porter boatneck t-shirt in dotted stripes, pt 2

Net-a-Porter has marked down the entire J.Crew x Net-a-Porter collection (and many other things like these Comme des Garcons wallets and APC crossbody bags). If you like the boatneck tee in dotted stripe in pink (previously blogged about in blue), it’s 30% off and free shipping. (Still full price on J.Crew and excluded from most codes.)

Image source: NAP