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Six things I liked this week

(1) The new Hulu original show, 11.22.63. James Franco plays the protaganist and travels back in time to before the JFK assassination. Episodes drop once a week and it’s week 1. We’re learning patience.

Image: Hulu

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(1) There was a frenzy a while back and this Love Sam lace blouse sold out. But, then Shopbop restocked and Anthropologie got it too. It’s a copy of Etoile Isabel Marant’s Garbo blouse from last summer. I don’t have the appetite for Etoile Isabel Marant prices, so this will suffice. It is on the shorter side and runs big. It’s super breezy for hot summer days. It comes in black as well on Shopbop, but it’s too dark for the summer!

(2) I’m not keeping this mesh dottie top by Sweet Pea from Anthropologie, but some people might like the style. It’s a bit too vintage for me.

(3) My favorite proper striped boatneck mariniere is from Uniqlo (second would be Petit Bateau!). Warning, it runs big and is a heavier cotton so it’s not for hot weather. I have two from a few years ago and they both have held up very well. Sidenote: If you get your hands on the Airism slip, it’s fabulous for hot weather. It’s hard to find though – sold out super fast in the US and I didn’t even see it in HK/Singapore.
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Get 25% off sale items at Petit Bateau through Sunday, July 14 with code EXTRA25. I’m a die hard fan of their t-shirts. I’ve worn a variation since 2004. My current favorite are the boatneck tees I previously mentioned, but are no longer sold. Good thing I kind of stocked up? The extra 25% makes the prices pretty reasonable… of course you cannot compare with prices in France. The PB website also leaves much to be desired in terms of styling, product pictures, and basic website functionalities! If you’re looking for modeling pictures, check the French site where the images above are from. Their sizing chart is pretty accurate, but sizing may vary between style.

My picks: Floral rabbit, the Kitsune Mariniere Top, Classic Black V-Neck Top, Colorblock Cardigan (also comes in Tiffany blue…). See all sale items.

If you missed the SkinCareRX sale last month, they are still having some great deals:

I don’t think the two rebates can be combined, but it never hurts to ask.

Zara‘s semiannual sale continues on. Like Forever 21, Zara is a retailer where it’s easy to rack up a bunch of purchases that ultimately have no long term viability, which I really do not like. I’ve unknowingly gone on a Forever 21 and Zara fast, so let’s see if I cave. I was keeping tabs on this lightweight trench coat, since it reminded me of the Baukjen Jodie Trench, but my size ran out and I think it’s still a far stretch from Jodie. I adore Baukjen’s fit and quality. The basic thong sandals (above) look like a great, affordable ($19.99!) alternative to the K. Jacques Delta sandal. I wonder if it’s durable enough for a walk around the city!

Shoescribe is owned by Yoox (which I’ve been avoiding because it’s addicting and time consuming) and has an pretty good shoe sale going on. As someone who doesn’t wear heels often, here are my favorite brands:

Calypso St. Barth is having an additional 50% off sale, so I wandered over for a browse. The good news is that the stock is decent and some of the AG jean prices are really good. Like the leopard leggings that I compared to Old Navy. While I was on the site, I came across these sandals. Yes, I like all types of nude footwear, so of course I’m looking at nude sandals!

I thought the Erika Metallic Sandal by Sol Sana was very chic.

At $150, it’s not something I would buy without research. So, I googled the sandals. And… I was extremely surprised to find that these sandals actually go for $86 on the “street”. Calypso marked them up almost 2x! Reference: Shopbop and Piperlime. Not cool, Calypso.

~

Though I try to keep track of what I buy online by pinning to a secret board, I often forget until I open the package. Later in the day, I reached down to open the latest Zara package and found… more nude sandals! I love browsing new arrivals and Zara is usually a weekend activity. As I mentioned a while back, Zara girls’ shoes are a great alternative for those who are sized US 8 or smaller. I’m typically between an 7.5/38 and 8/39 in their women’s shoes and between 5 and 6, converted to girls’ sizing. Most of their shoes go up to 5, but on rare occasions go up to 6.

Note that when you’re shopping the girls’ shoes, you have to scroll to the very bottom of the dropdown for the women’s 5 or 6.

I love the look of these glitter flat sandals and basic ankle strap sandals. And unlike the women’s sandals, the ankle closure is velcro! I’ve never LOVED Zara’s shoes, so I’ll have to think about these for a bit. I tried on the glitter sandals in a 6 and the basic sandlas in a 5. The 6 is slightly big, but let’s not forget how heat affects feet!

I was overdue in cleaning my room by a few years. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t love shopping so much and had a normal amount of me-time. I didn’t have much time to do it, but I easily filled up 3 bags of thirty gallon trash bags before I left the country. Major thanks to the roommate for arranging a donation pickup! I cannot wait to go through another round of layoffs. I should’ve pulled a Steve Jobs uniform ages ago, for work, and saved a TON of money.

The plus of purging was that I could easily identify where not to spend my money:

  • High maintenance items, which means items that need to be dry cleaned for every wear or ironing is required. I rarely iron and am not a big fan of dry cleaning. I had some Forever 21 items that fell under this bucket. It pains me that I have $20+ F21 items that I only wore once!
  • Fast fashion:
    • Old Navy. Especially since I fell behind on returning within the generous return period.
    • Tops made of cheap material like modal/rayon blends, because they don’t last!
    • Gap. These weren’t unwise purchases. On the contrary, I got a TON of wear out of these $10-20 items, but they no longer have a purpose in my wardrobe and had to be let go. There was an amazing skirt in 2001. It was called the flirt skirt, a-line, knee length, lined, and had flattering seams. I got it in gray, khaki, black, and cream. It was on sale for $10 or less and they served me well probably through 2007. I haven’t worn it since. I also very sadly bid adieu to a cream blazer from the former-Marc Jacobs designer years. It fit well, was in perfect condition, and I even had to get it dry cleaned once when I got red wine on it in 2007, but I just don’t do puffed sleeves anymore and I rarely see those sleeves come off tastefully on an older woman.
  • Pants/shorts. The first to go when one gains weight!
  • Uncomfortable shoes. I think it is hard to find shoes that fit well and I can rarely determine if a pair will fit by just trying them on in store. I donated no-name shoes I bought in Taiwan department stores that ended up being super uncomfy and beyond repair. I thought they were expensive at the time — maybe $50 on sale. It’s better that I can’t remember the actual prices. Lesson learned to be super picky about shoes!
  • Super trendy items. When I visited Taipei a few winters ago, I picked up a scratchy dolman sweater that had a giant houndstooth print that I eyed while I was in the line for egg cakes. I probably paid $20-30 for it and never wore it and never will. I also cannot allow myself to buy anything else with sequins. It’s not my style.
  • No more t-shirts/tights/underwear/Uniqlo Heat Tech/leggings. I am an Petit Bateau addict. I think I’m set for a while and even have to start purging some of my PB t-shirts. I also accumulated a huge stock of tights/leggings/Heat Tech. Especially since there used to only be one Uniqlo in NYC and it sold out really fast!

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I’ve tried to downsize my RSS reader to no avail. I add more RSS feeds to my reader than I remove. There are too many interesting blogs out there… Recently I discovered Fast Food & Fast Fashion via Extra Petite via Feather Factor. All three blogs are written by savvy, stylish, Asian women who keep me updated on the latest fashion and deals. Being an Asian, I was wondering the other day why Asian women like to shop so much and can’t resist a bargain. Anyone have ideas?

FF&FF had a post on Zara girls’ shoes. Now, I have dabbled in the kids department at Massimo Dutti, Target, Crewcuts, and GapKids, but I am shocked that Zara girls had shoes big enough for me. I’m an US 8/Euro 39/Italian 38. Zara girls’ sizing is a bit confusing, but basically, a size 3.5 is an US 5/Euro 36, 4 is US 6/Euro 37, 5 is US 7/Euro 38, and 6 is US 8/Euro 39.

Their shoes typically go up to 5, but there was one pair that had a 6. I quickly placed an order (free shipping and a return policy makes it an easy decision) and they arrived yesterday. Sure enough, they fit with a bit of room to spare. What made it extra sweet was Zara’s sale price. At $20+ on sale, they aren’t super cheap, but it’s very reasonable.

Without looking at the product pages, can anyone guess which pair I got?

So, my girlfriends with smaller feet, check out Zara’s girls department.

Image source: Zara

{Update on December 17}

I haven’t started shopping, or really eating, yet in Paris. It does help that the Parisians don’t really believe in having sales more than twice an year, or that French brands like Repetto or Petit Bateau is cheaper stateside than here, for the most part.

After resetting my expectations, I turned back online to catch the stateside Black Friday sales. Over the years, I’ve grown a distaste for shopping BF sales in person – crowds, store handled merchandise, etc. The sales are ok this year. If you’ve been waiting to buy, now is the time to unleash yourself because the deals are better than the usual. I will say I’m somewhat disgusted at myself and this is after I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, to which my comment to my friend was, “We’re not as bad… she buys expensive, ugly things!“. I was victims at:

  • Asos – 20% off everything with code HAPPYBLACKFRIDAY (I am too lazy to update my code page). I got a pretty lace dress that is quite Catherine Middleton. And no, I’m not sick of lace yet. {Ick – this went back right away. Bad quality and I really can’t do the midi length.}
  • Zara – BF pricing on limited items. I got 30% off a blazer that I could get a lot of wear out of. {This also went back. I wasn’t in love.}
  • Anthropologie. Even though I end up returning most of what I buy from here, I can’t help from stocking up on Eberjey undies at a dirt cheap price or more silky apparel. They are taking an additional 50% off the morning of BF and you can bet I prepared my cart in advance. This jacket I’ve wanted for a while has finally been clearanced to $20. Don’t look for it in the sale section because it isn’t there =P {Most of this stuff went back to…}
  • Madewell. Because I have too much money lying around, I’ve giving Barbour a try. I don’t blame the clever placement of the Barbour shop down the street from my Parisian friend’s flat at all. {My wallet is glad I didn’t like Barbour.} Read More