Monday, May 20, 2019

Outfit Post: First Signs of Summer (and the Madewell Medium Transport Tote)

Top: LinenFox Kimono Top, milky white, size S/M
Dress: Grana Silk V-Neck Slip Dress, size M (old version, current)
Shoes: FitFlop "The Skinny", light brown, size 7 (old, limited sizes)
Bag: Madewell Medium Transport Tote, english saddle
Bracelet: Coach hinged bangle (old, similar or similar from Kate Spade)

And just like that, it's starting to feel a bit like summer here in NYC! I'm actually a bit surprised we had such a relatively long burst of more spring-like weather this year, I've been wearing my old Everlane Classic Trench (discontinued, current version with some design changes) for most of the last month and a half, which is a bit more use than I normally get out of it each spring. We might have only another week or two, however, before the really miserable hot, humid, and muggy weather starts setting in. 

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My LinenFox Mona Top order finally arrived in the mail late last week! Their basic shipping option doesn't come with tracking information, so it was a mystery to me when it would arrive, until it was actually here. After it was made to order and shipped, which took around four weeks from when I bought it in early April, it ended up taking around two-and-a-half weeks to get from Lithuania to my apartment. I had done a lot of online browsing between all the popular linen shops on Etsy before deciding on this top. I liked the look and shape of it a bit better than that of the similar NotPerfectLinen "square" top. (I do slightly wish that LinenFox had a wider range of colors though, the way NotPerfectLinen seems to.)

I'm quite pleased with my new top! The linen feels nice, I haven't found it scratchy. As with many other white tops these days, particularly with a fabric that's light enough to be comfortable in our hot and humid NYC summers, this top is a little, but not overly, sheer. As you can see above, a faint hint of the black dress I'm wearing underneath is visible in the sunlight if you really squint to look for it, but the black fabric isn't showing through too badly, in my opinion.

The size S/M of this top is, in keeping with the design, a bit boxy on me, as it's meant to be, and I think it's the right size. On me, it's a bit more cropped and boxy than it looks on Elaine, because I'm likely quite a bit wider around the bust (which can pull up the front hems of some tops and dresses a bit), and maybe have a slightly longer torso. For reference, I'm 5'3'' with legs slightly too short for some non-cropped petite sizing pants and a mostly "regular" sizing torso for tops and dresses, and I measure around 37''-27''-37.5''. If I were to buy another one of these tops, I think I might consider asking them to customize it by adding just a bit of extra length to the body. As it is, this top might be just a little too short on me to easily tuck into skirt or pant waistbands that hit at my natural waist (I could do it, but the top might be somewhat prone to slipping out, or might look a little odd to me). I do think it looks good when untucked though, like in this outfit.

And I know, I know, I totally said I once ordered the Madewell Medium Transport Tote and sent it back because I just didn't need another leather tote, so one might be surprised to see it here now. But after K got it for me for Christmas, and after trying it on in person again, I've changed my mind and found that I actually really love it, and that it fills a different enough niche from my other tote bags.

I've been carrying the Medium Transport Tote as my work handbag almost every day for the past month and a half, and I've found it very functional. (But do keep in mind that I don't have a work laptop anymore and rarely need to bring papers home, so I generally don't carry much.) This bag is very light, so my shoulder doesn't get antsy the way it sometimes does with my other favorite work bag, the noticeably heavier Coach Rogue in dark denim (old, current colors). It's really a perfect size for me in that, unlike the Rogue, it's just big enough to comfortably accommodate a medium-sized stack of letter-sized papers and a letter-sized notepad, though it probably won't fit a large binder. I particularly like the look of this bag when I carry it by the adjustable long shoulder strap like in the photos above, it's comfortable to do so throughout my entire walking commute (please note that the strap is not quite long enough, even when adjusted to the maximum length, for me to comfortably carry this bag cross-body, that could be a downside for some).

My only small quibble is that the top-handle straps feel just a touch too short for me to comfortably carry it tucked under my shoulder sometimes. It's alright and comfortable-ish to do so, though still a little short for my preferences, when I'm wearing lighter clothing in spring or summer, including my trench coat, but might feel like a bit of a squeeze if I had a thicker wool-blend or down coat on. One other potential quibble for some, though it's actually a plus for me, as I like the look of patina-ed and aged brown leather, is that when seeing it on other people (whether out and about or on social media), I've seen that this "english saddle" shade may change color and take on some noticeable wear and tear over time. I'm actually eager to see that happen with mine! The only other potential complaint I can think of is that the leather on the entire Madewell Transport line of bags can feel a bit dry or stiff in comparison to the softer pebbled leathers I usually prefer for handbags (like that of the super-squishy "classic" Cuyana totes, which are in the same general price range). 

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