Monday, October 10, 2016

July and August Shopping Reflections

This post is quite late, to say the least, but better late than never! I did an average amount of shopping in July and August, a period when I was fully swept up into my transition to my new job and commute, hence my dropping off the face of the Earth for a while, blogging-wise. Almost everything was a planned purchase, with the exception of the Everlane Scoop-Neck Linen Tee, which was inspired by a surprise $25 off coupon from Everlane. 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've gotten into more of a habit of online window-shopping because my brain gets so worn out from my early morning wake-up calls and long train rides. I really should be using that time to read, though I'm having another one of those periods where it's been hard to find a book that feels worth reading. (I'm also still upset that the software on my Kindle Paperwhite doesn't keep track of my "last page read" in non-Amazon ebooks. My usual habit is to jump frequently between two to four different books at once, and this glitch or possibly intentional change seriously hampers that, probably enough that I should return it for another non-Amazon e-reader.)

July Fashion - (TOTAL: $158.90)
  • Free People Seamless Slip - $ 39.00 - I also tried another style, which was a little too low-cut and too expensive, given that I mainly needed a slip for only one dress in my closet, a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress (similar, but I got mine at The RealReal). The Free People Slip is stretchy, which results in a comfortable but fairly close fit from the chest all the way down to where it cuts off at mid-thigh. 
  • Cole Haan Tali Luxe Wedge - $119.90 - I mentioned this pair of shoes, and how much I loved the idea of subdued animal-print patent leather shoes, back in my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post. These are not as striking as the pair I saw one of my very stylish firm colleagues wearing: They actually look more like they're solid dark-brown in some lighting, but I'd like to think that this trait is good for their versatility. Although I haven't had a chance to wear them out yet, I expect these to be as comfortable as my last pair of Cole Haan wedges, which are my current office shoe of choice. 

August Fashion - (TOTAL: $106.95)
  • Everlane Scoop-Neck Linen Tee, white - $14.95 - Full price on this is $35, but I had received a $25 off coupon from Everlane. I did, however, have to pay shipping. I'm really picky when it comes to white tees, but the relaxed fit of this one is nice, and I find the scoop neck flattering. (I don't like the Everlane Cotton V-Neck in white because the fitted look plus color don't work for my chest, though I like that design in black.) The full price may be a little high for this item, but this was a good value for me with the coupon. 
  • Porcelain and Stone Buoy Charm - $92.00 - It took me quite a while to decide which Porcelain and Stone necklace I wanted! As I mentioned a few months ago, Porcelain and Stone products are handmade in Boston by a woman who owns her own business and studio. She makes so many pretty pieces, including this new arc-shaped necklace and these bar-shaped necklaces, which I previously ordered but returned because it didn't end up being the right look for me. Moorea Seal also stocks some of her designs.

Off-Budget Fashion - (TOTAL: ~$290.00)
  • J.Crew Factory Suit in Navy (blazer, skirt) - ~$145.00 -  I wrote up a quick review of these wool-blend J.Crew Factory Suits here. I've worn these a few times, and I can affirm my opinion that these are a very solid choice when it comes to a classic, conservative suit at a new-graduate and graduate student-friendly price point. All my other suits are synthetic fiber blends, and I'm finding that this wool-blend fabric is nicer to wear than my other suits, even if this must be one of the cheapest wool-blends out there: The fabric still breathes better than my other suits, making it more comfortable, especially in warm temperatures or stuffy indoor settings, even if the lining is all-synthetic. I also get fewer mysterious blotches and spots on the suit, which is a regular problem with my synthetic fabric suits. Note that J.Crew Factory pricing varies wildly from day to day, depending on what promotion they are running.
  • J.Crew Factory Suit in Gray (blazer, skirt) - ~$145.00 - As someone whose business formal wardrobe formerly consisted entirely of black suits, I'm still not too used to wearing a light-colored one. Among other things, I don't quite know what color tights to wear with this suit in the winter! (Black tights and black shoes are probably the best choice, as almost any other color of tights would be too out-there for conservative business formal, but I don't think the gray suit plus black tights combination is the most conservative look possible, which means I'd stay away from this suit for a wintertime court appearance.) 

July and August Beauty - (TOTAL: $43.39)
  • Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water - $6.99 - I'm a relatively recent convert to using micellar water after I bought a small bottle of the world-famous Bioderma Sensibio while I was in Taiwan. The Bioderma stuff is almost universally acknowledged as being one of the things to buy, beauty and skincare-wise, in France, but it can be significantly marked-up and difficult to find in the United States. For instance, there's often some basis for suspecting that many Amazon sellers of this product offer counterfeits. (My link goes to Birchbox, which I assume is a trustworthy source, and their prices seem extremely fair for a US-based source.) I've also tried a travel-sized bottle of the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water, which is also too expensive to become a regular part of my routine. The Simple Micellar Cleansing Water is a decent drugstore-priced micellar water, but I've found that it cleans makeup significantly less well than the Bioderma or the Koh Gen Do. I haven't actually tried the Garnier yet, but I'll report back when I do. I use micellar water either as a makeup-removing step before washing my face or, on days when I don't wear makeup, as an alternative to washing my face. (I use enough to dampen a cotton round and then wipe my face.) 
  • CosRx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence - $17.95 - This is my second bottle, and it's replacing the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence in my routine. I do prefer the thinner texture of the Missa, as that one has the texture of water, which I find absorbs better and is better-suited to being part of an extensive routine. The CosRx essence is a thicker liquid, resembling the Hada Labo lotion (a moisturizing toner). I can't think of an equivalent American drugstore product to compare it to, as I don't think that texture is common here. However, the CosRx is much more affordable and about as effective, so that decides the question. 
  • Nature Republic Calendula Sun Liquid - $18.45 - I purchased this in-person at one of Nature Republic's NYC-area shops. It's a little expensive, and it can even be found a little cheaper at the Amazon link I provided. It's a good sunscreen, though I'm not sure if I prefer it to the more affordable Biore one I usually use. 

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