Wednesday, March 27, 2019

March 2019 Shopping Reflections

Now that the weather's starting to warm up, I've been thinking a lot about summer clothing. As I can't help but emphasize several times every year, I don't particularly enjoy dressing for our long NYC summers. It tends to get hot and humid fast, with barely any days of balmy spring weather, and then I insist on wearing only fabrics I consider warm weather-friendly (cotton, linen, silk, or rayon) as much as possible until mid or late September, whenever the temperatures start descending rapidly.

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Once I'm sure that warm weather is here to stay for the foreseeable future, I'll need to start taking steps to do some maintenance of my winter gear. It's now been two long fall/winter seasons since I last had my L.L. Bean boots (with Gore-Tex and Thinsulate) resoled, and it's high time to send them back for another round. (Fun fact, my post about resoling my Bean boots is my single most popular one, because it gets, by far, the most Google search traffic. Alas, most people who come across it have no interest in the rest of my blog!) It's also long past time to launder my down coat (don't think too hard about how long it's been, but in actuality it simply doesn't get dirty easily, even with frequent wear). I think I'll be machine-washing my coat, and machine-drying it with some tennis balls tossed into the dryer to fluff it up. Wish me luck!

I tried on a few other things this month that were less summer weather-oriented, but was disappointed to find that those items, some of which I had really loved the idea and look of, didn't work for me at all. That was mainly the Rachel Comey Mars boots, which run very, very small (I sized all the way up from my usual 7.5 to an 8.5 and could only barely get them on due to the lack of zipper) and just weren't the right shoe for me, and the MM. LaFleur Etsuko dress in blue and black brush jacquard print, which didn't fit me right at all, as I'm just too busty. I was quite sad neither item worked for me, as they're both so pretty.

Fashion - (TOTAL: $69.80)
  • Uniqlo x J.W. Anderson Wrap Skirt, navy blue - $39.90 - Longtime readers may recall that the last time I bought skirts from Uniqlo, it turned out poorly. Those skirts were too voluminous, and one flared out too much at the waist. There were also too long, close to being maxi length on me. I also didn't like the synthetic-blended fabrics, which made the skirts unsuitable for hot weather. When I wore one outside briefly in summer, just to run a quick errand and test it out, it started feeling a bit like a non-breathable fabric tents that held in hot air. This time, I have a clearer sense of what I'm looking for, I've been thinking about midi length wrap skirts or slip skirts, ones that wouldn't have as dramatic an a-line silhouette. This skirt seems to have been designed to be knee-length, but it's midi length on my relatively short-legged 5'3'' self. Plus, it's 100% cotton. I'm optimistic about this purchase, but we'll need to wait until the weather warms up to see if it turns out well and I actually reach for it often. This is a true wrap skirt, so it runs the risk of being fussy to put on, but I found it easy to work with when I tried it on a few times at home. Because it's so adjustable, I found the size S and M to both look very similar, though I picked the M because I wanted it to be potentially more forgiving in the waist if needed. 
  • Uniqlo Linen-Blend Short-Sleeve Blouse, blue - $29.90 - I really wanted the white version of this or the linen-blend button-down short sleeve blouse to work for me, but I found both white blouses slightly too sheer. I wasn't going to keep this blue one, but after trying it on with jeans, I thought the slightly lighter and brighter than navy shade of blue was very pretty, and that it made for a nice contrast with jeans. I've generally been pleased with the durability of Uniqlo's linen-rayon blend fabric (those long open cardigans I bought last year and loved so much have a similar fabric composition, and they're still going strong) and find it to be comfortable to wear during the height of NYC summer. Both of these Uniqlo linen-blend blouses run quite large and have a lot of room in the body, and they can both flare out a bit from the widest point of the chest (a little bit of that "boob tent" effect I'm sensitive to, as a fairly busty person who is otherwise smaller-framed). But because this blouse is a bit shorter in length than the button-down and because of the sleeves and the look of the light, breezy fabric, I'm okay with the overall look of it, that effect is not as pronounced as with the other blouse. 

I found this to be a very reasonable shopping month, though of course, I still have most of the year left to go, so I can't be too proud yet! Although it might look like I'm thinking about a really large number of potential purchases, certainly far more than I could ever need, a lot of those images sort of represent many different possible ways of getting at an idea for just one or two actual potential additions to my closet, maybe one new summer dress, whether it turns out to have sleeves or not, whatever the silhouette or color (I find all my summer dresses fairly interchangeable in terms of the role they play in my wardrobe, even ones with dramatically different looks), and one or two new tops and skirts for summer. And sometimes I'm mulling over multiple colors of the same thing, or something like that, or thinking about many different possible ways of indulging in just one really fancy purchase, and only after I've moved some other things around in my budget.

How was your shopping month? Are you starting to think about clothes for next season? Do you have a preference between dressing for winter or for summer? I'm a winter person all the way, though of course, once the cold temperatures set in, I complain about that too, the same way I do about summer heat and humidity. Comfortable temperatures simply don't last very long here, so I'm fussing about the weather most of the year!

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