Monday, November 29, 2021

November 2021 Shopping Reflections

With both this month's purchases, I think you'll really see what I mean about having some new personal style preferences from my full return to office life. I'm in the market now for some attention-grabbing items - particularly shoes - to go into outfits I hope are interesting and stand out a bit in a good way. I feel like both November purchases are unlike anything I've ever bought before, in all my years of keeping this blog, so that's how you know I'm definitely interested in things that are quite new to me. 

And ah, I think you'll also see what I mean about my willingness to allow a fair bit of lifestyle inflation in my wardrobe spending, now that I'm completely done with paying off my student loans. This was probably already obvious as early as August, was also certainly confirmed by October, and there's definitely no denying it anymore. 

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November's shopping list also means my recent bout of being busier and more stressed at work has caused me to do more online window-shopping with the potential to turn into actual shopping, not less. I'm definitely not having one of those times where I'm too tired to browse online stores. Though I was also a bit too mentally tired this year to have kept track of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales ahead of time. (I did end up doing a little bit of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale shopping, but mostly just for socks and some Stasher standup silicone storage bags.)

I'm also too frazzled to have started with any of my year-end holiday gift shopping yet, which is highly likely to bite me in the rear in a big way with shipping and supply chain issues these days. I have a few recipients I really need to buy gifts for, but no ideas at all for what to get them.

Fashion - (TOTAL: $928.16)

  • Tibi Brancusi Jeans, regular length, indigo denim - $419.17* - (also here and here) - This item is probably a particular surprise. After all, didn't I just say I wasn't interested in more dramatic wide-leg or barrel-shaped jeans because they were too far out of my style comfort zone? These Tibi Brancusi jeans are, however, fairly different from most other barrel jeans I've seen: They have a more relaxed waist designed to sit at the hip and not the natural waist in your true denim size - though it isn't a low-rise jean per se, it can also be belted and worn more high-waisted - and the fit is relaxed throughout. It's initially difficult to get a good read on how these fit from store photos, as different retailers style them very differently and might sometimes size down on their models. When a fairly tall model wears the "regular" length designed for women 5'6'' and under - as opposed to the "long" length for 5'7'' and above - the jeans can also look super-cropped. These Instagram posts give a good approximation of how my "true" size indigo Brancusi (the 28 regular) looks on me. Most Tibi employees on Instagram seem to prefer wearing their true jean size in denim Brancusi, even if the waist may be relaxed enough to technically allow sizing down. (They size up in the faux patent leather version, though) The Tibi store team has some videos and Stories on Instagram about how the Brancusi fit.  Amy Smilovic suggests it might make sense to toss your true size denim Brancusi in the drier after washing to get a slightly sleeker fit, which I'm seriously contemplating. At 5'3'' with shorter-than-average legs for my height, the length and volume of these jeans currently suit me better when I wear them belted and higher-waisted. I've worn these jeans out maybe four times now and they've also relaxed noticeably since I pulled them out of the package. Because of how the hem is tucked in and sewn at the cuffs, these should be practical even when there are rain puddles or snow and slush on the ground. The wider parts near the hem won't drag on the floor and get wet or dirty easily, something I'd worry about with most wider-leg pants or jeans. 
  • Office of Angela Scott Mr. Logan Oxfords, black - $508.99* - (also herehere, and here) - The price reflects a sale, and I'll also get a 2% Rakuten rebate. These shoes are certainly unlike any other pair I've bought in the years since starting this blog, with the hardware for the laces and the lug sole. I've mentioned the Office of Angela Scott twice, but never featured any of their shoes, so it may surprise you to learn this is the third of their styles I've ordered and tried on. With the other two designs, the Miss Button Derby (also here) and a discontinued one, I tried them on while shopping for a birthday gift from my mom, so I never specifically mentioned them. After trying three Angela Scott designs, I don't think the brand is generally a great fit for me, as someone with fairly wide feet. These shoes tend to feel more substantial and thus more stiff than other brands I've tried, which takes some getting used to. That combined with the narrow toe boxes on some styles, including the Miss Buttons - but not these Mr. Logans, which have a more spacious round toe box - makes it hard to find the right fit and can require fairly dramatic sizing up. When sizing up in the discontinued style I previously tried - these Mr. Georgies are probably the most similar-looking in the brand's current lineup - I found my heel easily slipped out in the size that accommodated the rest of my wide foot. In short, finding the right size in a particular Angela Scott shoe may take more trial and error than usual. I took my recommended size 38 in the Mr. Logans from the company's website (for someone who always wears 7.5, has a wider foot, and never sizes down but rarely sizes up), and I think that's definitely the right one. It's a close just-right fit in the toe box, but I do have to lace them tightly or else my ankle could slip a bit. I've worn these out once for a full day at the office, and breathed a sigh of relief after because they didn't cause pain or blisters and the slipping at the ankle wasn't too bad in practice, even though I was only wearing thin Falke tights and not thick socks. 
*Indicates that price includes sales tax. 

And that's it for this month! I'm not too sure what December's shopping for my wardrobe is going to look like, outside of my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sock purchases. I'm definitely also still eagerly awaiting the release of another skirt from Tibi, and I'm probably sure enough about it that I'll likely jump on it immediately when it's released, whenever that ends up being. 

Outside of that, I know I'm interested in adding some more variety to my selection of tops and shoes, but I don't think I'm actually in a hurry to do that. I can almost certainly wait for the post-New Years' winter sales, but if I remember correctly, last year's winter sales weren't that great and were also quite slow to get started, so maybe I won't end up buying anything else in the very short term. How's the rest of your shopping year looking? Were you able to find anything good during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year, whether for your closet or otherwise? 

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