Tuesday, November 7, 2017

October Shopping Reflections

Another excessive shopping month, yikes! The good news is that my shopping frenzy of the last three months, instigated largely by my return to a private-sector paycheck, is starting to die down. It was a very dramatic change in a short time, and, in my defense, I had accumulated a backlog of work wardrobe needs. For instance, I didn't explain this fully before because I'm so self-conscious about it, but that extra inch around the chest, and probably some extra to my shoulders as well, sized me out of all my black blazers, hence the J.Crew Factory suit last month. I also needed that pair of presentable and walkable flats for court, for which the Cole Haan Tali Bow flats were perfect.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links that could result in a commission, typically a few cents, for me if you click. Thank you for your support!

The not-so-good news is that I have at least one more expensive month coming, though I'm much more confident of the big purchase that's coming up. Namely, I'm likely replacing my large Longchamp Planetes tote (now the Neo). In my usual way of not realizing something is totally worn out until several wears later, like when there was a hole in a pair of much-loved boots I was about to weatherproof, it was only during my recent business trip that I noticed how the leather handles had stretched out, making the bag hang awkwardly lower, and how the whole bag's turned really droopy and shapeless, even if I pack it carefully. Also, the shrinkage when Longchamp repairs the corners (by taking in the entire bag), ended up with it right on the edge of too small to comfortably accommodate my laptop in a sleeve.  I bought my Longchamp in December 2010, so it's seen almost seven years of heavy use, including as a constant companion on all my travels. These days, I'd almost always opt for either a leather bag or, if I'm carrying a serious volume of papers and my laptop, a backpack, for the office, so a new Longchamp might only be for travel, which might make the price tag frivolous. Yet it's been such a large part of all my many travels for years that I honestly can't imagine being without. (As for why I'm not using my Longchamp "Miaou" tote instead? I'm too scared of getting it dirty to shove it under the seat in front of me when flying. That one has not, therefore, been my most practical purchase, but it "sparks joy" enough that I don't regret it.) 

As for this month, the bulk of the spending was from a visit to the MM. LaFleur showroom. I'll write a more detailed post about the brand later, but to preview it now: I'm not the target customer, as the items are just too much more expensive than my usual; they do some things really well, including very consistent and true to their size chart sizing; I'm utterly baffled by their predilection for unlined dresses; and I really do love the things I bought, though because of the dramatic step up in price for me, I can't be sure that I made the wisest choices. For now, here are some other  blogs' comprehensive MM. LaFleur reviews that I found very helpful: here and here

Fashion - (TOTAL: $564.40) 
  • Nordstrom Cashmere and Silk Wrap - $59.40 - I generally don't talk much about the items that come to me as gifts, but my mom's generous Christmas gift the year I graduated (a surprise, unlike with our usual gifting practices) was a lovely, thin but actually warm, 69% cashmere, 31% silk Burberry scarf (identical design now in 80% modal, 10% cashmere, 10% silk, which strikes me as a serious step down even if I'm fond of modal for pajamas). I'm totally sheepish about how generous my mom is, though in my slight defense, as a tight-knit Taiwanese-American family, we do money differently.* I loved the material of that scarf so much that I'd been stalking this 55% cashmere, 45% silk Nordstrom brand scarf for a year, and leaped on the teal one when it went on sale. (Alas, the only color that remains on sale now is a bright pink that I find less versatile.) Do be warned that this fabric is fragile, even the weight of the sewn-in fabric tag was likely to pull a thread or two loose. With the higher silk content, this one is softer and has a more "slippery" texture than my other scarf. 
  • MM. LaFleur Didion Top, Ink Wash - $157.00** - I have an irrationally powerful fondness for this top, even though it's polyester (two layers that feel nicer and drape better than polyester tops I've had before, though given that all previous ones cost 25% of this, that's no surprise), and the design and the way it photographs on others, including on MM. LaFleur's own blog, suggests that it may have a "boob tent" effect or look deceptively broad and boxy on bustier women. Nonetheless, I love it, and the sort of dolman effect, wider cut of the top (the most similar shape I've seen is in the Everlane Square silk shirts, but those have a very different overall look with a collar and buttons) makes it drape particularly nicely when tucked in to a pencil skirt. The price is such a step up from my usual, it's even almost double the price of the Everlane shirts, that I don't know if I've made a completely silly decision, but I could see myself rebuying if a good color came up. 
  • MM. LaFleur Toi Dress, Deep Plum - $289.00** - This is lovely, and lined, and it fits me remarkably well, given that it's often photographed on significantly less busty women. I needed to size up to an 8, from my "typical" MM. LaFleur size of a 6. It's not one of their "bust-friendly" items, as it's quite fitted through the chest. There's a little extra room at my waist (and probably more flare to the a-line skirt at the hips than I need), though less than I expected. I'm incorporating this dress into my wedding guest outfit rotation. I've gotten tired of my Ann Taylor lace shift dress that I love, but that gets really boring when I wear it to the fifth straight wedding in a year. I've retired and will soon ThredUp consign the DvF Zarita dress (super sale at Nordstrom Rack, and cheaper in many sizes and colors at TheRealReal) I bought on sale before I started blogging because it's not flattering on me, as a stretchy dress with no structure. 
  • Pearl Source 7-8 MM Pearl Studs with 14K Gold Posts - $59.00 - Ugh, this was careless, but unlike with my February 2015 pair, which I wore for two years, I lost an earring while I was asleep barely eight months after purchasing my new pair, and couldn't find it. I like stud earrings that I never need to take off, even when showering, and I've been relying on pearl studs from Amazon (always competitively priced, and particularly affordable for sterling silver posts) for that purpose, as I need earrings with (actual, not plated) gold or sterling silver posts in order to wear them for even a few hours without irritation. I know from experience that two years of that kind of wear is too much, but keep at it nonetheless. It's definitely a bad at minimalism thing that I do, but I know myself, and the extra effort of taking off the earrings every night isn't something that generally fits well into my life. Also, if I fail to wear earrings for too long, the holes close up.
** Indicates that price includes sales tax.

If you're a Longchamp fan, did you also experience your tote getting extremely worn out with time, particularly with stretching out or excessive softening of the leather handles? If you have any experience with buying or trying on MM. LaFleur, what did you think?

*Law school peers from similar backgrounds often had considerable parental subsidies for tuition, sometimes in the form of interest-free loans with highly flexible repayment terms, rather than straight gifts, neither of which my family can provide. I'm extremely privileged to have their help in so many other ways, however, including my cell phone family plan and paying for my meals when I visit. Also, I send $60 home per paycheck as a symbolic gesture.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from anyone who might be reading! Please feel free to leave a comment or question.