Wednesday, October 30, 2019

October 2019 Shopping Reflections

October has been fairly shopping-heavy for me. Things have remained consistently hectic at the office - outside of when I was on vacation - and I keep wanting to browse online shops late in the evening after work as a way of unwinding and de-stressing after a long day. Not the greatest habit, I know. It hasn't (yet) resulted in my actually ordering too many things to try on and potentially keep, but the risk is certainly there. 

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I'd say that one of this months' purchases, the Kate Spade "Lana" loafers in a croc-embossed "cherrywood" shade, was an indirect product of those work stress-driven online window-shopping impulses. As I explained last month, my sudden interest in the trend of colorful croc-embossed leather came about that way. At the time, a pair of shoes seemed to be the most likely way I'd indulge in that trend, in part because I don't currently own many shoes suitable for warmer weather; I grind them down so quickly with frequent - or unfortunately, sometimes with not-so-frequent - wear. 

This month's other purchases, though, have been much longer in the making. Starting last winter, because of an office policy change that put the kibosh on jeans for casual Fridays, I became interested in looking for a pair of black pants in more casual, comfortable materials. The sole purpose of these pants would be to wear on casual Fridays at work during the colder seasons. One idea was for something from an athleisure brand, possibly a pair of Athleta Wander pants or something similar. 

I never did get around to shopping for something for those pants last winter. Pants shopping is generally such a chore when one is quite short and also has shorter-than-average legs, such that most "petite"-sizing pants are still a little too long. I could never get up the energy to start trying things on last winter. And as soon as the weather warmed up, I lost interest completely. Now that the weather's cooling down again, it was time to resume the search. 

I had observed that solid black denim appeared acceptable for casual Fridays under the new policy, so that was the direction I ultimately went in. Between this month's purchase and the source of my current pair of skinny jeans (similar), it seems that Gap jeans fit me best. I also tried on practically every similar design at Madewell (the 9'' mid-rise skinny jeans in ISKO stay-black were my favorite of the bunch) and Everlane, but the Gap ones looked best on me by far. 

Fashion - (TOTAL: $403.57)
  • Elizabeth Suzann Ella Slip Dress in silk crepe, navy - $225.00 - (discontinued) - This dress has been on my main shopping list Pinterest board more or less since I started using it, for nearly a year. But I currently have plenty of summer dresses for the weekend that are still in good condition, so there was no real room for ordering it anytime soon. Then the company announced that the entire Ella product line would be discontinued, so I felt like it was "now or never," if I wanted it. (I like the neckline on the Ella much better than the necklines on the replacement designs, the Petra and the Polly.) The Elizabeth Suzann ("ES") silk crepe is nice, noticeably thicker and a bit more substantial than the Grana, Madewell, Everlane-ish silk I'm more accustomed to. Texture-wise, the ES silk has a little more stiffness than the Equipment silk blouses I've gotten at significant discount in the past
  • Kate Spade Lana Loafers, cherrywood - $138.60* - I had a slightly strange experience when deciding on these: I originally ordered both this Lana loafer (Bloomingdales was price-matching a sale at Kate Spade) and the Darien loafer from Kate Spade directly, both of which were supposed to be the same "cherrywood" shade. But the Darien loafer was a completely different color! On both websites, the "cherrywood" shade looks like a deep, somewhat multidimensional red with uneven shading to give it texture. Instead, the Darien loafer was this one-dimensional, very flat-looking mauve shade, not remotely like the website photo. Whereas the color of the Lana loafer on the website is accurate to what I actually received. How very strange! Has that ever happened to you, where the sample photographed for the retailer's website must not have looked at all like the actual product? Another note: This may be my first pair of shoes with a leather sole - which does feel a bit fragile - so I may need to take these to the cobbler before I wear them out, and ask them to add a protective layer of rubber. 
  • Gap Mid-Rise True Skinny Jeans, black rinse - $41.97 - All I wanted from this purchase was a pair of solid black skinny jeans that fit me well and had no fading or distressing or other design flourishes. Because Gap skinny jeans appear to suit my height and body shape the best,  based on each time I've shopped for jeans in recent memory, this pair fit the bill exactly.
*Indicates that price includes sales tax.

Going into November, the main thing on my mind shopping-wise will be holiday gifts for K and his parents. As I've somewhat sheepishly mentioned, my own immediate family takes an extremely unsentimental - but arguably practical - approach to gift-giving: The recipient selects their own gift, and might even go so far as to order it for themselves, in which case they receive reimbursement from the giver. K's family does holiday gifts the more traditional way, surprises all around. I enjoy participating in that family tradition, but it can be a little stressful trying to pick good and useful gifts. My gift selections for his parents have been a bit hit-or-miss over the years. I've had a few smashing successes, but also a few real duds, unfortunately.

Are you thinking ahead to holiday gifts for family and friends? Any good ideas for gifts this year? If you have a "business casual" workplace that observes "casual Fridays," are jeans allowed? I suspect that many business casual offices in various industries out there, in particular in non-NYC localities, generally allow jeans on at least some occasions. 

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