to shop / recent purchases

1 / I eyed these Duralex colored glass tumblers for years. Expiring Nordstrom promo credit finally made me do it. The mister says ‘they are great for ice cream’.

Image: Nordstrom

2 / I really like cleaning my face and in recent years, I almost always double cleanse. It feels so satisfying after a long day. I love love love this Farmacy Beauty Very Cherry Clean cleansing balm. The cherry scent is a limited edition version that is only available on their own site. While I like a sherbet texture, the Lip Smacker-esque faux cherry scent is why I really love it and I look forward to using it (like how I fell in love with oil cleansing with the Tatcha cleansing oil). Massage on dry skin, add water to emulsify, and wash off! This sells out at times but you can sign up for restock alerts.

Image: Farmacy Beauty

3 / I picked up a pair of borosilicate glass tea mugs at Merci in Paris. I searched online at the time, but didn’t see this specific one, or else would have considered buying these online in the US. But then, buying drinkware is a theme of my infrequent Merci visits. I also recently picked up a borosilicate measuring cup from a Taiwanese brand. Love how delicate and lightweight borosilicate is.

Image: HAY

4 / I saw this Muji “coat” on the mannequin and made a beeline for the racks. It comes in multiple colors and I think the light grey looks the best. It wears more like a light jacket, but it is much warmer than it looks. The fit is cocoon — but in comparing the US vs Asia size charts, it looks like sizing varies globally. It washes easily on machine delicate/hang dry. As much as I like it, I consider it to be too casual for work due to the heather grey sweatshirt material. (Edit: the US version is cut larger (wider, longer) and though it has the same fabric content, it feels thinner.)

Image: Muji

5 / Tissue turtlenecks are my favorite for layering. I tried the outlet version, but the fit of the retail line is superior. The printed versions aren’t as nice.

Image

6 / Beauty Pie capsules are so convenient for travel, especially inflight pampering on a long-haul. I like using flat round Muji cream containers for storing a mixture of these — like a daily dose of vitamins as screwing/unscrewing the bottls adds to prep time. The ceramide and resveratrol ones for flight/evening and am trying the Vitamin C/E. I like most of what I’ve tried at Beauty Pie.

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

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