to shop / clare v. & other stories collab is live!

Image source: Steven Alan

Steven Alan is the first to sell Clare Vivier’s new collab with & Other Stories. It officially launches on & Other Stories and in their NYC store on March 5th. The collection is also available at the Steven La Brea and Nolita stores. The collection is punchy and begging for warm weather. What do you think?

P.S. Some of Clare V’s non-collab items are on sale.

general / happy monday!

Image source: Target

I. Food

II. Fashion

  • Are you a Madewell fan? Here’s a little history on the brand.
  • Oops – I misspoke in the last brain dump. Uniqlo’s big anniversary sale is still going on and there’s an additional $5 off $100 coupon. I went to the Paramus, NJ location last night to make a massive Urban Sweats return and checked out the +J collection while I was at it. I ended up loving the wool wrap coat and need a sale. By the way, the Paramus store may be my favorite area Uniqlo since they are not as crowded as the city ones and have its own entrance.
  • Amex users, I hope you are taking advantage of Amex offers. It’s a little frustrating since offers come from different channels and aren’t always communicated and are sometimes targeted. I check my Amex offers tab online or through the Amex app every few days, I skim Slickdeals updates (through RSS), and my bff keeps me informed.
    • NYCers, read on. You can get a $10 statement credit for each $50 spent at participating NYC retailers, up to three times! In the past, gift cards have qualified, but I will be poring over the terms before I take the plunge. Phone orders and online orders do not count. The retailers include B&H, Uniqlo!, and H&M. See the full list here. To get the offer, follow the Twitter syncing process, tweet #Amexshopny, and wait for a confirmation, or you can register directly here.
  • How to make leather shoes last.

Continue reading “general / happy monday!”

to travel / my entourage

With my Old Navy chambray shirt (similar), gold Saltwater sandals (here, here, or here), and Forever 21 leggings (similar) in a Westin Moana Surfrider elevator (they have many and the decor varies!).

Clare Vivier x & other stories crossbody shoulder bag, Tumi laptop bag, Longchamp XL Le Pliage tote, and 27″ Brics Pininfarina spinner.

I like the concept of traveling light and occasionally remind myself that I traveled around with a carryon for 2 months last summer, but in reality, sometimes I don’t want to stress about packing optimally. I loved the 21″ Bric’s Pininfarina carryon spinner (spinner puts much less stress on your wrist!) and jumped at the 27″ when it appeared on vente-privee for an extremely reasonable price. The 27″ has been checked in multiple times and has no marks whatsoever despite falling 4″ off a rack on a bus. I’m very impressed with the Italian brand’s quality — especially since I hear the worst reviews on Rimowa which costs 2-3x what I paid for my Bric’s. It looks like the model has been discontinued (the finish is a matte texture) and has been replaced with a smooth, shiny material, but you can still find both versions online for retail at Amazon, Horchow, Kaehler, Luggage Pros, Lord & Taylor, and Bloomingdale’s.

I’m a huge fan of traveling with nylon Longchamp. The bags itself are light and chic (I try to look presentable when flying). I typically use the Longchamp XL Le Pliage short handled tote as a carryall for random large objects (like shoes), duty free purchases, food purchases, or to consolidate bags as I often board with a Crumpler camera bag, the Tumi laptop bag, and purse. The camera bag does not always count towards your carryon limit. Should there be any super strict airline employees or policies (like the UK once allowing a single carryon even if you’re only transiting), I chuck everything into the Longchamp, but that hasn’t happened in ages. And if you don’t need the Longchamp, you can easily fold it up!

I used to travel with an L sized short handled tote (small travel bag) but now think it’s too small. I recommend the black or dark colors for durability, as it may pick up smudges. My black Planetes large tote is 4 years old and still going strong! While the Planetes cannot be folded up like the Le Pliage line, it is still easy to store flat in your luggage. I do not recommend the expandable travel tote unless you have an extremely strong shoulder — it’s awkward to carry when expanded. I eBayed mine — what’s the point of keeping if I can’t use it whilst expanded without injuring myself?

Longchamp is currently on sale at Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Magnums, Bagshop, and Longchamp (note: their inventory isn’t 100% accurate). If you’re an early bird, check Saks and Nordstrom in the morning for the best sale inventory. My favorites are the LM Metal travel bag in blue, Le Pliage small travel bag, Le Pliage large travel bag, and of course the black Planetes large tote.  If you’re visiting France, I recommend making your Longchamp purses there for significant savings, but also know that you may have to visit a few Longchamp boutiques to find everything in e.g., Paris, where there is significant tourist traffic which depletes inventory.

Note on Longchamp leather: In one of my first visits to Paris, I purchased a ballet pink Veau Foulonné tote (same shape as the Le Pliage, but in leather) during the July soldes. I’m not super rough on my bags but it did not last my durability test. The corners were too delicate and showed wear after a few wears. It eventually was eBayed. For styles that require durability (e.g. big totes), I do not recommend the Longchamp leather styles. On the contrary, I have a Veau Foulonné key holder in an impractical beige color that is 6 years old and going strong…

to shop / clare vivier x & other stories review (& other shoes)

Previously on & other stories

I got my & other stories goods last week, thanks to my friend’s friend who was visiting NYC and was nice enough to spare some luggage space. I was packing for a weekend trip and leaving a few hours later, so I didn’t have much time to analyze so I threw the Clare Vivier crossbody shoulder bag in black in my luggage.

  • The good news? I adore it. It’s the perfect size, the leather isn’t that delicate, and my favorite part is the magnetic flap closure. It’s so convenient to open and close (esp when I’m getting a manicure). I’m super happy with my purchase.
  • The bad news? The beautiful nude leather ballerina flats with drawstring detail were too big! Did I mention that the shoe designer is formerly of Acne? I thought my EU size would be the same as Zara/Repetto. My size is now sold out online but I have asked my friends in the UK to look out for me.

Not pictured is the ladder stitch scarf that I got in black/nude. As I mentioned before, I rarely go synthetic on scarves, but the stock photo (of the other color, draped) was so alluring. This was quite nice. I especially liked the size and weight. It’ll be an easy piece to pair with all the other black clothing in my wardrobe.

More has sold out on the website at the moment, however, they are slowly opening up stores – Copenhagen is open, and I believe Paris is soon.

If you’d like to read more about the store, check out susie bubble’s coverage.

P.S. My iPhone photo was edited with snapseed and Afterlight. Not too shabby. I didn’t like their border options though, so added that with tadaa.

P.S.S. I’m loving the lighting from my new photographer style decorative lamp, the Pangea Home Mary Floor Lamp, vs. the harsh ceiling fan light. I feel like I need a bulb with a warmer temperature, but it comes out great on the camera! Assembly was a pain though.

to shop / clare vivier x & other stories

Through Clare Vivier’s instagram, I found out that she just launched a special collection with a new luxury H&M brand called & Other Stories. I love COS, H&M’s most established luxury brand, so gravitating towards their newest concept was a no brainer. Adding CV to the mix is like the rainbow sprinkles on top of lots of icing. Sadly, the collection is available only in Northern and Western Europe. Fortunately, they are selling online in those countries. I immediately contacted one of my besties in London about the new store and his first response was “What do you want me to buy?”. I love when people get me :)


Image source (1) (2)

I ordered the above crossbody shoulder bag in black and yellow. I love the silhouette and the pictures of the textured leather looks like it would be very durable (like saffiano, hopefully?). I also ordered these nude leather ballerina flats with drawstring detail (and toe cleavage) and this black/nude shawl. I was tempted to order makeup but … I have enough red lipsticks for now and haven’t fully explored my goodies from HEMA from my Amsterdam trip. Their website is a little hard to navigate since there is no search function, but such is the price to pay for eye candy. The canary yellow bag is already sold out, so don’t wait too long!

H&M is supposed to open a COS-like store in New York and roll out online shopping in the near future.