2018 thoughts on clothes and shoes

Yup, still catching up on my 2018 thoughts. Previously: 2018 thoughts on bags and self-care

In general, I think I have a better sense of what works for my body and lifestyle. I also think I spend less on clothes than I used to, but I have not backed this up with credit card statement analysis. I have gotten better at returning things on time. Earlier in the year, I was better at reselling whatever didn’t work. I need to get back on that.

I work in New York City. Companies have gone more casual. My office has a business casual dress code with most women veering on the casual end and it saddens me.  With that said, women dress for other women and I’m pretty demotivated to dress nicely! Of course, it is a personal choice on how to dress, but I still prefer to dress nicer. Even outside of the office, when I do go out, people don’t dress up. And it’s not because we’re going to a KBBQ. I prefer to buy clothes that can be worn all the time.

I still love neutral colors, especially black and navy. It’s versatile. I used to really like red as an accent color. Now, not so much. Perhaps forest green is the new red for me?

I. Clothes

Brands I can’t quit

UniqloStill my favorite for basics and the occasional collab. I consider it affordable enough that sometimes I buy at full price. I also had no problems with their e-commerce this year. I prefer to pay through PayPal (and they refund return shipping). My 2018 faves:

  • Airism slip (previously). I wear this year-round under most dresses. Sorry, it’s not available… I did wait 4 years for it to come back the last time so I did stockpile this!
  • U Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt (previously). The Uniqlo U collaboration is recurring and each season has a new batch of colors. I haven’t checked out the new season (just launched) to confirm the fabric weight is still the same but I’m semi-shocked that Uniqlo increased the retail price from $9.90 to $14.90! You can find the past season on sale. New season also has a boxier relax fit version (unsure if it’s the same weight).
  • Blocktech Outerwear (previously). However, this is one where I like to see them in person as I do not like the stiffy, boxy ones. Current Blocktech styles.
  • Tomas Maier Flight Jacket. I got it in olive green (sold out). It’s on the lighter side for a jacket and perfect for layering, travel. Lots of pockets. This was an unexpected love for a lackluster (to me) collab.
  • Extra Fine Cotton A-Line Striped 3/4 Sleeve Dress (previously). My favorite dress of the summer and perfect for those balmy summer days. It also does not require ironing after washing! Uniqlo has brought it back in slightly different colors. It also comes in dark solid colors, but I personally prefer the lighter colors since it’s a bit tenty.
  • Light V-Neck Cardigan (previously). Also another summer staple. Hunter green has been having a moment and I couldn’t resist (and it’s a departure from my standard black and navy). Hope they will bring back the style for this spring, but I am stocked up for now.

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to shop / {psa} j.crew price adjustments

Last week, I posted about the J.Crew sale. If you recently ordered or received anything, you may be eligible for price adjustments. J.Crew added new items to the sale and dropped prices of some items. This works for items in transit that were ordered a while back, an order I received about a week ago with final sale items, etc.

  • Request via live chat: I found it easier to do it over chat — I gave them the order number. You can find the chat link on this page. If it’s grayed out, it probably means they are at capacity. You can check back later, which is what I did last night.
  • Call: If you have something simple, you can give them a call.
  • E-mail: Given the nature of the fluctuating prices, I chose not to request it via e-mail. I tend to do this if there was a new site-wide promo rather than an item’s price changed.

To show how ridiculous the price difference can be, I ordered the Petite curvy slim stretch perfect shirt in Stewart tartan in November 2018 during the Black Friday sale at 50% for ~$35. The waitlist was later cancelled, but once it popped back, I ordered it at full price and planned to ask for a price adjustment once I figured out which size fit better. Before I had a chance to ask for a price adjustment from $69.50 to ~$35, they added the shirt to final sale for $26.99 + 70% off for a total of $8.10. That’s 88% off!

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: 

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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

Continue reading “2018 thoughts on bags”

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.