Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 Shopping Reflections

So this was an huge shopping month, especially for total dollars spent. I also have, er, a few online orders in the pipeline, so I suspect that next month will also not be a low-spending, low-shopping month. I've maybe been a little too focused on getting "joy" out of the items I buy, and not enough on budget and other limits. Going forward, I'll try to rein it in because it's starting to feel a bit much, but my efforts may not be fully apparent until April, at the earliest.

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The good and reasonable shopping news is that my search for new skinny jeans is complete. The choice came down to two pairs of mid-rise, dark wash Gap skinny jeans in petite lengths, the one I picked, or one that was cheaper, with slightly lower cotton content, but that also had more flattering fading. In the end, I picked the more expensive pair, partially because of the fabric content, but mainly because there was something a little off about the front pockets on the other pair, with the white fabric lining always threatening to peek out.

For a while after I bought my previous pair of skinny jeans, which were also my first ever designer jeans (from Rag & Bone, similar), I felt that it was totally worth it to have stepped up so dramatically in price from previous pairs (always from Uniqlo). I thought the Rag & Bone jeans miraculous because they never seemed to stretch out enough to sag between washes, a huge issue with past pairs of Uniqlo skinny jeans. It seems that I must eat my words a bit, because the Gap skinny jeans also don't sag noticeably on me between washes. It's also nice that they're petite length, as I never quite got around to hemming the Rag & Bone pair in the two years I owned them. 

Fashion - (TOTAL: $ 755.49)
  • Coach Rogue, dark denim - *$605.89 - (color no longer available online, full price in other colors) This was the big ticket item of the month, and hopefully of the entire year. I decided to get this instead of the Mansur Gavriel large tote that was on my shopping wish list, though it's an entirely different bag in many ways. Among other things, the Rogue doesn't accommodate a 13'' laptop or 8.5''x11'' notebooks, so it's not the work bag I had in mind. I'm a longtime Coach fan, but had not been interested in the new designs introduced since Stuart Vevers took the helm in 2013. I could appreciate that he was doing something interesting and new , but it was generally a bit too edgy or "young" for me. Then I saw someone on the street carrying the Rogue in this exact colorway, as a tote, rather than by the top handles, and I was enamored. Within days, I'd gone to Coach in Soho (after first visiting Mansur Gavriel to see if I should stick with my original shopping plan instead), and when I saw this on sale for only a little more than it would cost used on eBay, I bought it. I've carried it to work every weekday since. 
  • Mid-Rise True Skinny Jeans in 360 Stretch, dark indigo - $68.00 - I found that all of the petite Gap jeans I tried this time ran a little smaller than the stretchier designer jeans I was trying on around the same time. I'm often a 27, but am solidly a 28 petite in all of Gap's varieties. The fabric is also a bit stiffer and has noticeably less "give" and stretch than anything else I tried, though most of those other jeans ended up having less than 90% cotton. The Gap skinnies that were a dark wash all over, with no fading, were the stiffest pair of the lot. Because Gap petite skinny jeans fit the best (the Rag & Bones in an ankle length were the next best thing, but with very low cotton content), it was an easy choice. Their petite length is maybe a touch longer than my perfect length, but that's ultimately a negligible issue. 
  • Fossil Mini Tab Wallet - *$27.00 - Sadly, this is sold out at the sale price I got through Nordstrom Rack. I've been in the market for other card cases on and off for a while, ever since I realized how much I loved my Kate Spade Saturday one (long discontinued). This accordion-style card case is quite different, but I thought it might also have a good amount of space, more than most other card cases on the market. Plus, I liked that it was pink, and each slot is a different shade. This does have good capacity, but because the zip compartment in back is too small for anything more than two to three folded-up bills, it's not as functional as my old card case. It's pretty close, though! I'll be switching between this and the Kate Spade Saturday one. 
  • Bloomingdales Pop Top Cashmere Mitten - $54.60 - (exact color no longer in stock, similar by Kate Spade in wool) Although my super cheap-y tech-friendly gloves from Uniqlo (I wear men's size M) keep my hands warm enough, they weren't functioning as intended because I couldn't wake up my phone with the gloves on. (Once the phone was awake, I could use it with the gloves just fine.) Thus, I've been in the market for pop top convertible  mittens for a while, and ended up getting these. In hindsight, these may not be the best value. As with most cashmere, it's a bit pill-y and the pop-top means it's not as warm as traditional gloves. But because I'm not that picky about gloves and don't need much, I'll be happy to use these, and likely won't be tempted to get another pair. 
* Indicates that price includes sales tax.

How is your shopping year going so far? Any other longtime Coach fans here, and if so, any thought about Vevers's work? People were kind enough to leave many helpful recommendations for other jeans when I first wrote about my search (thank you!), so be sure to check out the comments there if you're in the market for jeans of various kinds. 

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