Wednesday, March 2, 2022

February 2022 Shopping Reflections

Things have definitely been extremely hectic at the office for me since I last posted, so much so that this monthly shopping reflections post is late! As I previewed a few weeks ago, this month involved more shopping from Tibi, from their ongoing end-of-season sale and also from the secondhand market via TheRealReal ("TRR"). 

Not listed with this month's shopping is my recent milestone gift to myself to celebrate taking my first deposition. With this and last year's milestone gift to commemorate the end of my student loan repayment, I feel it doesn't make sense to list them with the rest of my shopping that month because they're one-time only, special event purchases.

At least for the next month or two, I'm hoping to chill out a lot on shopping. I've definitely indulged - a lot! - in recent months. I generally don't ever actually need anything because my wardrobe is quite robust in size and variety. Things are also busy enough at work that I'm starting to feel like work-related stress might cause me to make unwise shopping decisions if I'm not careful. All things considered, it's best to take a step back from shopping for now.  

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I also tried on a suit from Theory this month, their two-button "Carissa" blazer and basic pencil skirt in "Good Wool." Back when I was a college senior contemplating my future career - while staring into the long aftermath of the 2008 recession - Theory suiting seemed like a completely unattainable luxury, especially because I was not on track to enter a well-paying job at the time. Fast forward several years to law school, and Theory suiting still felt a bit too lofty for me to seriously contemplate. Plus, I didn't yet learn that I would get better performance from wool-blend suits than from all-synthetics (the relatively improved breathability and temperature regulation helps a lot with increasing the amount of times I can wear a suit before dry cleaning; even if linings are all-synthetic across the board at any price point I'm shopping at), so I had so many other options on the market. These days, Theory suiting is in line with what I'm comfortably able to spend on business formal if it's made of at least a wool-blend fabric and fits me reasonably well off the rack. Also, there's less and less competition from relatively lower-priced brands offering any wool-blend suiting at all. 

But alas, now that I could finally bring myself to try on Theory's suiting, I also found it didn't suit my body type at all. Both the jacket and skirt would be better on a less curvy figure, much more so than with J.Crew. Theory doesn't seem to do petite sizing for women's suits now, but I found that the size 10 regular blazer was mostly pretty close to being a good fit on my 5'3'' frame. I very conspicuously need a petite blazer from just about every other brand I've ever tried on, but the shoulders and sleeves of the regular sizing Theory blazer were actually close to right. The body was way too boxy, though, and made the two-button style look super-dowdy.

Fashion - (TOTAL: $489.24)

  • Tibi Asymmetrical Hem Merino Wool Sweater, black - $80.95* - I'd been following this sweater on TRR for a while, and was initially undecided. But then someone else bought and returned it, so I figured if I was interested, it was time to order it or else I might regret it if someone else snapped it up and kept it.  Separately, with how unseasonably warm it was in NYC through late December, I'd been thinking my sweater collection is too heavy on medium-weight or thick cashmere and low on thinner merino wool sweaters, the kind that used to be available every year from J.Crew and Uniqlo in a decently wide range of colors and necklines. I browsed J.Crew, and was surprised they didn't currently seem to have anything like that. I ordered a simple black merino wool turtleneck from Banana Republic, but I just didn't like the way it fit or the feel of the material (it wasn't too thin, but something about the texture just didn't seem nice). This used merino wool Tibi sweater on TRR was in great condition. TRR accurately explained that the only visible wear and tear was that the inner tag is partially detached (which doesn't bother me). The material feels nice, well in line with what I was expecting, and the price was definitely right! I've worn this size S sweater quite a few times, it has a fairly relaxed fit that almost feels like a unisex S. 
  • Tibi Cashmere Oversized Drawstring Hem Sweater, wheat - $408.29* - Both Shopbop, and Tibi have now discounted this sweater more deeply than when I bought it. This was a more impulsive purchase, as it's a bit more oversized and relaxed than any other sweater I've owned to date, and I would also never have considered it at its original full price of $750. At current sale prices, however, I think this sweater is a fairly good value if it suits your personal style. I've grown to like this sweater a lot, though it definitely has a more casual and "chill" vibe than most of my other knitwear, it falls somewhere between a sweatshirt and a sweater. There's an interesting asymmetrical shoulder seam detail, which I didn't fully notice until the second or third time I wore it. I don't find this sweater too bulky or oversized under my coats, I'd describe it as a medium-weight knit though it looks heavier and thicker than that in some store photographs. I got the size S/M suggested for my measurements on Tibi's official size chart, and I think it fits as intended (actually very similar to how it fits on Tibi's model, even if the model must be a lot taller). The Shopbop store photography shows a model who sized down, I think. 
*Indicates that price includes sales tax and/or shipping fees. 

How are you doing? Things in the world are pretty heavy right now, and I know I don't have the  background knowledge to speak intelligently about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I've donated to World Central Kitchen to assist with relief efforts. 

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