outfit: post-80’s main street USA

ootd 2018-02-25 at 1.26.52 PM

This is what I wore today, but it could just as well have been taken in the 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s. Fashion hasn’t really changed much in the post 80’s era. In my teens and 20’s, I wanted my clothes to stand out and say something special.  That was probably the 1980’s era American optimism and my youthful naïveté still brewing at the time, which has since faded away, alongside the death of the American dream.  Fast forward to today. I’ve developed a sober appreciation for dressing just like everyone else.  That attitude though, has not taken the joy out of getting dressed for me.  It’s a quieter joy than it used to be, but there’s joy nonetheless.

ootd 2018-02-25 at 1.26.25 PM

It was raining and muddy at the park today, where I took Freddy for his morning walk, so I decided to forego my usual oxfords and dusted off these crepe work boots for the occasion.  I covered the boots in wax a while back to protect them from water damage.  The wax dried and leaves a faint white dusty layer unevenly distributed in the crevices, which gives the boots the appearance of spending a lot of time on a construction site.  This is workwear chic done unintentionally.

I went to the cleaners to pick up my tailored shirt on Friday but the tailor said the seam work was more difficult than expected and she needed more time to work on it, which was OK with me.  She spent more than two hours tailoring this shirt and was not finished. I’m only paying her $35 for it.  That’s barely a living wage in the U.S.  It was another affirmation that I should be paying more for clothes.

How was your weekend?  On Friday, we stayed out late. Then I spent Saturday getting some much needed R&R. And today, Sunday, I’m working on a presentation that I have to give at work.  I have a number of presentations and research projects that I need to work on right now.  I’m starting to resent all these extra projects that I became involved in, which I don’t get paid extra for, and which dip into my free time.

And lastly, here’s a documentary about the anti-fashion movement that started in the 1990’s, as a reaction to the over the top optimism of the 1980’s.  I think you’ll find it interesting.

[outfit:  *lauren manoogian ribbed tee, *levi’s 501ct jeans, APC armelle boot, everlane long puffer; *=pre-owned]

outfit: very blah

ootd 2018-02-22 at 11.22.24 PM

Quick outfit post here of what I wore to work today.  The outfit worked against me all day.  First off, it looks kind of blah.  It’s bland and uninteresting. The wide boat neck slipped toward the edge of my shoulders and revealed my bra strap; I found myself becoming self conscious and frequently re-adjusting my top.  Then during lunch I splattered tomato sauce all over it, and I didn’t want to dab it with water because it is already a bit sheer.  So I walked around with two red stains on my top all day. So overall this outfit was a dud. I almost didn’t post it, but I felt it was important to be real and show the not so great outfits too.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to certification course on treating opioid addiction with suboxone.  It starts very early in the morning, but I will hopefully get home early, while there is still daylight to snap an OOTD photo.  After the class, I’m planning on picking up a tunic top that I had tailored into a semi-crop top at the dry cleaners.  I hope it works out.. so stay tuned for that.

NYER CAP CONT Shot 2018-02-22 at 11.10.18 PM

And lastly, here’s what I submitted to this week’s caption contest in the New Yorker magazine.  Kind of lame, but ’twas the best I got, LOL.  Would love to hear any of your ideas for this caption contest.

[outfit:  *eileen fisher linen top, *vince cotton trousers, hopp studio oxfords;*=pre-owned]

outfit: sweat shorts (I was referred to a money coach + no-sew mending)

ootd shirt repair 2018-02-19 at 11.58.48 PM

I used paypal earnings from selling some clothes on Poshmark to buy these pre-owned (new with tags) James Perse sweat shorts (MSRP = $165 vs. price I paid = $35).  These shorts had been in my “likes” folder for quite some time.  It’s something I would consider buying new as well, which helped me figure out whether I wanted it because it was discounted or if I really wanted it for what it is.  In the end, I decided yes I really wanted it for what it is, because I could see myself wearing them a lot, and especially because I don’t already own anything similar.  The Paypal credit and the 80% off retail price tag helped seal the deal too, of course.

At home, my legs like to breathe, and while frolicking around the apartment sans pants is totally acceptable, a lot of times a little bottom coverage is necessary, like when I’m stir frying something in the kitchen and need to avoid oil splatter or when I’m doing chores and need pockets to carry my phone around with me because I’m in the middle of a super long text conversation with a friend.  Anyway, I like these shorts a lot.  They have become the first thing I change into when I get home from work.  They are very soft and I love the functionality of the 3 pockets.  The length is nice, but the opening is a bit narrow so if you have medium to large thighs, these might feel too constricting in that area.  For reference, I’m wearing a JP size 1 here, and normally I’m a size 27-28 in pants.

Too bad JP doesn’t offer detailed size charts for every garment.  I don’t understand why retailers don’t post these measurements. Seems like it would be cost-saving to go that extra mile to prevent avoidable returns.  It would also help customers overcome the fear of buying something online.

I’m doing pretty good with my spending in the month of February.  So far I’ve only used credits/paypal earnings for new additions, so I don’t really count that as real spending, but of course it is.

Today I had my final session with my personal finance coach (provided free of cost by my employer) and she referred me to a “money coach” / retirement specialist with another agency (also provided free of cost by my employer) for further guidance about financial matters beyond budgeting and saving.  I made sure to check that there is a fiduciary relationship between adviser and client with no sales component to their business before signing up.  I’ve felt very confused about retirement/investments and the question of disability insurance.  There’s so many conflicts of interest, and an entire blood sucking industry out there that preys on naive physicians, so I’m looking forward to hearing from an expert with no financial incentives to sell me on one thing or another.  I’ll write more on this in another post.

A couple days ago, I found this hole in my favorite (only) ribbed tee!  But thank god I had some tear mender glue laying around and was able to glue the hole shut.  The whole process took less than 2 minutes.  Easy peasy.

ootd shirt repair 2018-02-19 at 11.58.23 PM

before

ootd shirt repair 2018-02-19 at 11.58.38 PM

after

I can’t sew very well, and honestly don’t have the patience for it, and although I would love to learn how, and went so far as to look up the best sewing machine and finding local sewing classes in my area, I decided against it in the end; I don’t have room for another hobby in my life at this point.  Do you sew?  Do you own a sewing machine?  If yes, how often do you use it?

[outfit:  *cuyana scoop silk tank, *james perse brushed fleece shorts; *=pre-owned]

outfit: comfy-core + (Everlane long puffer review)

everlane winter long puffer 2018-02-19 at 11.44.01 AM

Thank god for 3-day weekends!  I am relishing this day off.  I wasn’t sure what to wear today and decided to dig a little deeper into my closet for something I haven’t worn in a long time.  I decided on this very old long sleeve shirt from Target.  I think I’ve had it since the beginning of med school so it’s about 8 or 9? years old.  It’s front panel is made up a polyester blend and is sewn on in a quilted pattern.  To be honest it feels very cheap (and it was!), and it’s probably something I would not buy again today,  but I think it looks nice and it fills a small gap in my wardrobe repertoire, so I’ve held onto it for all these years.  You’ve probably seen me wear these Lemaire twist seam pants a few times already, but I cannot gush enough about how comfortable they feel, seriously.  These are hands down my most comfortable pair of pants.  The denim is buttery soft and the cut hugs but does not constrict in anyway.  They are expensive, but if you ever catch it on sale or find them secondhand, I would highly recommend going for it (and then tailoring them to your height because Lemaire pants tend to run very long).

What were you up to this weekend?  On Saturday we went to a matinee showing of the new PT Anderson film starring Daniel Day Lewis, The Phantom Thread.  It’s supposedly Daniel Day Lewis’s last film before he enters retirement and like most of his movies, it was really good!  Watch the trailor here.  It’s a dark unconventional love story about a master dress designer played by Day Lewis and “his muse”.  The characters are complex and the story unfolds in a refreshingly subtle manner.  Highly highly recommend.  (addendum:  The movie was really amusing to me also because Daniel Day Lewis looks strikingly similar to my psychoanalyst (I was in analysis a couple years ago).. his hair, demeanor, voice.. all of it, except for the attitude. Day Lewis’s character is anal and downright mean. My analyst on the other hand, had a kind, gentle attitude.)

everlane winter long puffer 2018-02-19 at 11.44.46 AM

In other news, I slacked a lot on work outs during the week.  Mainly because I got a keratin treatment to tame my wild hair and it required no washing for 3 days.  I really like the way my hair feels now.  It still has it’s texture and volume, but is like 50% smoother.  I went to Salon Riz in NYC because its the only salon that seemed to offer a light version of keratin treatments.  And the price ($200) seemed reasonable compared to the usual 400 dollar price tag in NYC.  To my surprise I was lucky enough to get the owner Mike to do my hair.  He’s an adorable scruffy Lebanese guy who had so much warmth and character.  The salon itself is very warm and home-like, and feels high end without any of your usual NYC pretention and snobbery.  Highly recommend that place if you are in the area.  But anyway over the weekend I started Barre3 back up again, and while balancing on one leg for one of the poses, I tweaked my left knee, and now every time there’s impact on that knee, it hurts.  I hope this isn’t the start of a bad knee.  Fingers crossed.  I’m going to focus on more upper body this week to let it heal.

OK, so back to this outfit.  Before I left the house to walk Freddy, I threw on my new replacement puffer and a pair of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck-socks-and-Birks.  It was warm enough today to keep the puffer open like this, which is my favorite way to wear it.


So as you may know, Everlane sent me a replacement long winter puffer after I emailed them about the button breaking apart on my old (first generation) long puffer.  The new puffer comes with a few upgrades that I’m enjoying now.  For the price, I think it’s a really good value actually, but it’s not without its flaws.  Here are all the ways the new version out performs the old puffer:

  • The hood is larger — The hood is larger and more resistant to being knocked down by wind.  There’s also an interior drawstring that can be tightened around the neck.
  • More pockets — The old version had two exterior pockets and one zip interior pocket (that got stuck often!).  The new version has 4 large exterior pockets and one buttoned interior pocket.  The pocket placement though is a bit awkward.  The side pockets are a bit too high to use as hand warmers.  The flap pockets are at a better height for hand warming but its vertical orientation and non lined interior make them not the best for hand warming.  I’m finding myself using the flap pockets for hand warming anyway because the height is right.
  • Warmer — The new version is much warmer.  I start overheating within a couple minutes of coming indoors.  Above 37 degrees outside, and I’ll have to wear it unzipped to stay at a comfortable temperature.
  • Better zipper — the newer versions have a double zipper, that can be unzipped from the bottom which allows you to create more wiggle room for your legs or reach into your pant pockets if you need to.  The old version always got caught on the loose fabric around the zipper but the new version has the fabric stitched down to avoid getting caught in the zipper.  Nonetheless, the zipper is NOT smooth going all the way and seems to get stuck on something invisible around the pocket area.  It usually unsticks with some tugging. This might be a defect that is unique to the particular coat that I received though.  I do like that the zipper is a matte black.  In my not so humble opinion, I think glossy metallic hardware on puffers can look kind of tacky, especially the kind with atrocious branding all over (*ahem, Michael Kors).
  • Puffy-er — The new version is bulkier.  I wished I had sized down to an XS for this reason.  There is an option to cinch it at the waist with an interior string, but I prefer not to.  I like a straighter silhouette.  Straight looks modern I think. And whenever I see puffer jackets with a super cinched in waist it gives me the impression that there is too much concern over appearing skinny, and that just screams of a conventional desperation for thinness, when for god’s sake, it’s a puffer, so who cares!

Puffers can be really expensive, so if you are in need of a high quality, no non-sense puffer, that is extremely warm, and don’t want to spend a lot of money, I would recommend this one.  I think for the price, it’s going to be hard to find better quality, but if you can spend more, you could probably find better options.

[outfit:  very old Target quilted long sleeve, Lemaire twist pant, Levi’s socks, Arizona Birkenstocks, Everlane long puffer]

outfit: dynamic pleats

ootd2018-02-15 at 8.48.18 PM

I wore this outfit to work today. It was about 51 degrees F. It’s my second time wearing this pre-owned Jil Sander’s pleated skirt.  It’s a heavy weight knit material with an intricate ribbed / pleated structure.  The design is really smart.  I don’t know how one even dreams up structure like this and then executes it so finely.  But leave it up to a German minimalist fashion designer to do it.  When I walk, the pleats and triangle shapes bounce up and down, making this otherwise pared down gray skirt, dynamic and interesting. But when I stand still, it lays almost completely flat.  It feels like a sweater and pulls on to your waist like one too.  I was very close to re-selling it though, because at the time I received it a few months ago, I didn’t have true black leggings and shoes that I felt paired nicely with the skirt, but now with my new leggings and HOPP oxfords, I can put together modest preppy outfits with a big range of tops.  Something told me this skirt was special enough to hold onto even though I went 3 months without wearing it.  My closet just needed some additional adjustments to make it work.

In other news:  Everlane sent me a replacement puffer coat today.  I’ll post a proper review of it soon.  Need to road test it first.  Stay tuned!

[outfit:  *everlane ribbed wool/cashmere turtleneck, *jil sander skirt, in touch made in usa organic cotton leggings, hopp studio oxfords, baggu crossbody; *=pre-owned]

A wallet upgrade + what I got for V-day.

square zip wallet everlane 2018-02-14 at 5.59.35 PM

I came home to an Everlane package at my doorstep today.  I used store credit to purchase the square zip wallet to replace my old unstructured leather pouch from Madewell.  Here’s a picture of what my old wallet looked like.  As you can see, the fabric on the interior is filthy.  It’s a stained a yellowish green! (your eyes are not playing tricks on you).

square zip wallet everlane 2018-02-14 at 5.58.31 PM

I emptied everything out of my old wallet and transferred them to the new wallet.  I decluttered out two credit cards (that I never used) and stored them away in a drawer.  Now there’s only one credit card in my wallet (the one with the lowest APR and best rewards points).  In addition, I’m carrying my state ID, subway card, and debit card.  I stored my health and dental insurance cards in the hidden pocket behind the coin purse.  There’s a few quarters in the coin pocket and some cash in the cash slot.  The cash slot is a bit stiff right now but maybe it will soften up with use.

square zip wallet everlane 2018-02-14 at 5.58.41 PM

As for the wallet itself, my immediate reaction when I opened the box was “wow, so pretty!”.  The silver color was less tacky than I feared it might be.  It’s very mirror-like, doesn’t really look like leather but it is?. The silver is semi matte, enough to look almost like a neutral. I love the compactness and structure.  The zipper is decent but could be a bit smoother, but that doesn’t bother me much.  I also don’t like how prominent the branding is on the front of the wallet. What bothered me the most about this wallet is how easily it scratches.  I noticed several squiggly scratches on the back side within the first 10 minutes of owning this damn wallet, WTF!!?  The only thing I did was fill it with cards and place it on the table to photograph for you guys.  At this rate, the entire surface will be full of scratches by the end of the month.  It’s almost a deal breaker for me but I like it enough.  That and the fact that I used store credit, means that I will grin and bear with it.  If I was paying with new money, I think I would’ve returned it for the scratches alone.  I wish it was available in black leather, but no, Everlane can’t seem to ever get their inventory right to stock up on enough black items.  Why is it so hard for them to predict that black will be the most popular color?!

There are many versions of this wallet from other brands like the iconic one from Comme des Garcons, cuyana, and baggu.  If store credit did not factor into this equation, I would’ve gone for the baggu version, for its discreet branding, the fact that they are a local NYC company, seems to be the best value out of the four.

And finally, for V-day, the BF gifted me un-dyed linen bed sheets! I had mentioned linen sheets a while back but didn’t think he’d actually buy them! Feeling very lucky and grateful for him and the sheets. It’s seriously the best material gift I ever received!  For him, I gifted him a 100% cotton long sleeved gray T-shirt after he mentioned his desire to bring back the whole long sleeved T-shirt look from the 90’s.  I have to agree with him.  They are very flattering on guys.

a few good links

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  • I recently discovered a blog called “The Petite Pear Project”, dedicated to writing about getting dressed as a pear shaped petite woman.  I admire the narrow focus of her blog (some of the best blogs focus narrowly on one topic, and do it well).  I liked her new post on the issue of variable sizing across clothing brands, here.
  • I was moved by this Racked article about one woman’s experience of guilt over getting dressed in expensive clothes against her background of starting out poor. Having been between two classes my entire life, I can’t get dressed without thinking about class politics and feeling guilty about finances too.
  • And for those of you who are physicians or future physicians, I discovered this great new blog by Wall Street MD.  He wrote a very concise and clear article on the importance of disability insurance recently.  He personally answered a lot of my questions through e-mail.  The other day I listened to an episode of Dave Ramsey and was horrified by the bad advice he gave one poor physician who was in a deep hole of student loan debt that seemed insurmountable with her relatively small income.  At least in that episode, he was not up to date with the nuances of the student loan forgiveness programs and basically gave her advice that would cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars! I’m disturbed by how many people might have gone down a path of financial ruin by following his shallow advice.  The White Coat Investor wrote a letter to Dave Ramsey to call him out on it.  I think finally Ramsey has updated his knowledge, but for years he was giving out bad info.  This does not give me much confidence in his advice beyond some of his simpler points of paying down debt and tracking your expenses.  I want to be better informed about these personal finance gurus, so next on my reading list is this book, Pound Foolish:  The Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry.

[image:  Fan pattern on cloth at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum]

outfit: complimented

ootd monday harper tunic elizabeth suzann_1244

Today, a woman at work said to me “I really like the way you dress.”  And I jokingly replied “Oh like kind of frumpy?”  We both laughed.  I’ve always dressed a little different from the general population.  My sisters used to tease me about how I dressed like a homeless person, lol.  But anyway, I think this woman who complimented me today was being genuine and I felt good knowing someone else out there appreciates a non-traditional way of dressing.  It’s not like my outfits are loud or flamboyant but there are eccentric aspects to my clothes, like that giant pocket and those brown socks. I didn’t wear these shoes to work, BTW.  I changed out of them and into my oxfords before heading out the door.  A while back another one of my co-workers asked me where I bought my clothes.  She commented on how I always looked appropriate for work but that my clothes stood out to her.  I gave her some suggestions on where to buy clothes but a couple weeks later, she told me she still couldn’t find anything she liked.  My guess is that although she could appreciate what I was wearing, she didn’t actually see herself wearing the same stuff.  So much of our style choices is not based on what we think looks nice on others, but more about what makes us feel like our true selves.  So do you want to buy that blazer because that’s how you think you should dress?  Or do you want it because that speaks to who you really are?  I ask myself similar questions about so many aspects of life.  Do you want kids because that’s what you think you should be doing or does that speak to who you really are?  Do you want to buy a house because that’s what you think you should be doing, or is owning a home speak to what you really want?  Usually what gives me the answer is being hyperaware of that little pit in my stomach, that little twinge of regret, when I imagine doing something I don’t truly want to do.

[outfit:  elizabeth suzann linen gauze harper tunic, elizabeth suzann twill clyde work pants (old), gold toe socks, pre-owned kork ease wedge sandals]

outfit: a pop of orange

ootd weeknd 2018-02-11 at 4.37.15 PM

Quick rainy day outfit post here.  It was pouring rain when we finally got out of bed this dreary Sunday morning.  Both me and Freddy are donning neon orange rain gear. You might remember how the dry cleaners totally fucked up this coat by bleaching the sleeves.  I covered up the bleach spots with green marker but now I kind of regret doing that.  It’s my wabi sabi mindset making me regret that decision. There was something naturally imperfect about the appearance of those bleach stains.  I should have just left it alone.  It’s like that feeling some one gets when they are on the Antique’s Road Show and the appraiser tells them that the value of their item would have been 10x more if they hadn’t cleaned it up.  Oh well, not that big of a deal.  Moving on.

I almost sold the jeans I’m wearing here. They are APC japanese denim that I bought new about 4 years ago.  I find myself reaching for them less often lately, mainly because they sit kind of low on my waist, and I don’t like the feeling of anything constricting me low on the waist.  But I did notice a tiny little hole developing over the left knee, and that little hole will turn into gold one day! That little hole and the prospect of it turning into a big distressed tear convinced me I should hold onto it longterm.  When I wear my New Balance shoes, I like to add a little pop of color with my socks.  Here I’m wearing a salmon colored ribbed sock I bought from Uniqlo a long time ago.

ootd weeknd 2018-02-11 at 4.35.15 PM

Here’s what I submitted to the New Yorker caption contest this week.  I’m not very good at coming up with clever captions, but it’s fun trying.

I’ve been busy with work related reading and really enjoy spending my breaks checking in on the style blogs I follow, but I always feel like there isn’t enough posting going on out there.  Every once in a while I go on a search for new blogs, but it is so hard to find ones that are NOT obnoxious.  There are a ton of style blogs, but almost all of them are filled to the brim with sponsored content, unrealistic images of perfection, or super high end / unattainable clothes.  It’s really frustrating.  Where are all the ‘real’ bloggers?!

[outfit:  apc nepal coat, apc japanese denim, uniqlo salmon socks, new balance 999s]

outfit: RIP my dearly beloved linen top

ootd weeknd 2018-02-10 at 3.44.01 PM

Wah! While getting dressed this morning, I discovered a big hole in my favorite linen top.  The fabric disintegrated where my right arm rubs against the side of my body.  I’m not surprised given how frequently I wear this top.  I bought it pre-owned about one year ago.  It’s been an every day staple in my closet since. I wore it on it’s own in the summer and under sweaters in the winter.  Sad to see it go, but it lived a good life.  I hate the idea of wasting precious linen fabric though… trying to think of ways to repurpose the material.  Any ideas?

ootd weeknd 2018-02-10 at 3.43.48 PM

I kept my color palette light today.  I was initially hesitant about pairing a cool toned white with a warm toned white, but after snapping this OOTD photo, I think it actually looks OK.

ootd weeknd 2018-02-10 at 3.43.32 PM

So I emailed Everlane to complain about the button on my winter puffer falling apart and they very graciously offered to replace it with the newer version. They are letting me keep my old puffer until the new one comes in after I told them that I only had one winter jacket and couldn’t go a single day without one.  Once the new one comes in, I’ll send back the old one.  I guess they want to inspect it.  Overall I liked the old puffer.  The design is good, but aside from the button falling off, I didn’t like how the loose fabric around the zipper would get jammed into the zipper.  This happened a few times and resulted in me crawling out of my zipped up puffer to take it off.  Then I had to yank at the fabric to free up the zipper.  This never tore the fabric but it caused me to be very slow and cautious whenever zipping up which became a daily annoyance. It looks like the new version has the fabric stitched down flat around the zipper to prevent this from happening.  My old puffer was the first generation winter puffer made by Everlane, and it seems like the newer versions have a lot of upgrades, like a larger hood, fleeced lined pockets, better insulation, etc… so I’m looking forward to being able to compare them.

When I logged onto the Everlane website to make the complaint, I found out I had $125 in store credit that I had forgotten about! I hadn’t logged in for many weeks. I combed the entire website looking for something to buy with that credit, but honestly I didn’t want anything.  I did want a more functional wallet though, and spent a lot of time debating over the zip up square wallet.  It isn’t exactly what I want, especially since the black one was sold out, but it’s good enough, so I went ahead and bought the silver colored one with store credit.  Silver is a little crazy for me.  But we’ll see…  I’ll let ya’ll know what I think when it comes in.  Stay tuned!

[outfit:  old zara knit sweater (5+ years old), pre-owned black crane corduroy carpenter pants, arizona birkenstocks]

What’s in my bag?

bag contents

Prototypical ‘what’s in my bag’ blog post here.

I’m working on a research project today.  It’s very tedious. I got bored and decided to unload everything from my bag onto my desk to write this blog post.

What’s in my bag?

  1. A 6 year old leather wallet from Madewell that holds my cards, cash, and coins all in one pocket.  I’m really unhappy with this wallet.  It’s quite dirty inside and the two card slots are too small.  Because everything is in one pocket, I find it takes a long time to find the card I’m looking for, which I’m sure irritates the hell out of the New Yorkers waiting behind me in line.  I should probably replace it with something more functional and structured.
  2. A 4 year old key chain from Madewell with my house keys.  Very happy with this.  It’s functional and the furry texture of the key chain makes it easy to find in my purse.
  3. My work pager (it hardly ever rings anymore, thank god); battered from the many times I’ve dropped it, held together with scotch tape.
  4. A pill box for random OTC meds that I use on an as needed (PRN) basis
  5. A cheap pen
  6. Cerave healing ointment for lips.
  7. Dr. Hauschka rose day cream –  I no longer use this on my face because of all the botanical ingredients that I’m actually trying to avoid, but I need to use it up so now it is delegated to hand cream that I keep in my purse.  It smells amazing; nice for freshening up the stinky air inside the subway on my commute.

Not shown are my ID badge and headphones, both of which I usually wear on my body while commuting.  I tend to carry bags on the smaller side.  There are times where I need to carry larger items, and for that I take along a canvas tote or one of those netted french market bags.  I’ve had mild scoliosis since puberty which has never given me any problems but when I was diagnosed with it at age 12, my pediatrician warned me to never carry a big purse because that could make it worse, so I never did!

outfit: high waters

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My 5th grader self would have made fun of me for wearing such cropped pants with socks.  “Haha, she’s wearing high waters!”  But I’ve become accustomed to this look.  It is a tad dorky, but I do this so I can still make good use of my summer trousers in the winter.  I think if I were staying in NYC any longer, I’d invest in more ankle covering pants, but given it will be my last winter, I’m not going to waste my money on that.

I’m wearing a new pair of organic cotton leggings (that replaced my worn out American Apparel winter leggings) underneath these pants and faded dark brown wool/cotton socks underneath.  This kept me pretty warm today in 29 degree F snowy weather.  When wearing light colored pants, I like to avoid black socks.  Black socks and light pants look too harsh and contrast-y.  I tend to go with faded dark colors for socks or a subtle heathered pattern.

A few posts back, I mentioned my dire underwear situation.  Since then I’ve added 7 more pairs of organic cotton underwear to my collection.  I feel much less stressed out now when it gets closer to laundry day and my supply starts to run low.  My emergency panties is just that, now only for emergencies, rather than a regular thing I dip into.  I bought them from a company on amazon called Hesta that’s based out of LA.  They make a good standard basic panty.  Just simple quality panties with good seams, and no frills.

Other than the leggings and panties, I don’t have much to update you guys on my wardrobe.  I haven’t had a strong desire to buy any new clothes lately.  Not even the new Elizabeth Suzann items anymore.  I got really excited about them initially but those feelings faded quite a bit.  So maybe I’ll buy more ES when things warm up but not anytime soon.

Actually I do have a little update.  One of the metal buttons on my old Everlane winter puffer fell off on its own.  There was no tugging or damage that I inflicted on it.  I actually never use the buttons.  I usually just zip up my jacket and keep the buttons unbuttoned.  But suddenly a button fell to the ground.  On closer inspection the metal buttons are made of two pieces that are then cauterized together.  It’s slightly annoying that the button fell off without any stressed put on it, but it’s hardly noticeable so I’m not going to try and replace it or fix it which would be near impossible anyway.  But this does not give me confidence in the quality of Everlane’s winter puffers and I would not recommend anyone invest in one from now on.

Recall how I did a 60 minute workout on Monday to make up for 3 days of laziness.  Well, bad idea!  I still feel very sore, especially around my shoulders, neck, and upper abs.  I know this is supposed to be a good feeling, but sore shoulders make me feel like I’m anxious or stressed even when I’m not.  And my abs hurt if I yawn or sneeze.  It’s very strange.  Again, I’m new to this whole working out thing (as of January 1st).  The day after the 60 min workout, I didn’t exercise because of the soreness.  I’m not sure if you’re supposed to push through the soreness or take a rest, but mentally I wanted to rest.  Yesterday I did a 30 minute work out and it felt good and went by really fast in comparison.  I think doing the 60 min workout gave me perspective on the 30 minutes ones so I’ll be more inclined to just get the 30 minute ones done in the future.

I’m still not losing any more weight but I’m kind of over that goal.  And I haven’t lost any inches either.  But it is easier for me to do planks and hold downward dog poses now so I know that I’m getting physically stronger.  I’m glad that working out is becoming more of a habit for me, something I never thought possible.  I’ll probably live a few years longer as a result.

Other updates.  I’ve been battling winter dryness these past few weeks.  My lips and ears were really chapped to the point of cracking and bleeding.  I’d also wake up with a parched throat and feel desperate for water in the mornings, which is annoying because that delays my coffee consumption.  But anyway, I’m doing much better now because of two things I’ve added to my routine:  1) I’m turning on the diffuser at my bedside every night.  It really works!  On nights where I forget to use it, I wake up with a dry throat.  On nights I do use it, my mucous membranes are nice and moist (“MMM” for those of you in medicine).  I haven’t used any essential oils with it, but I’m glad that is an option for me if I wanted to in the future.  A humidifier would do the trick even better, but they are all ugly and bulky and I didn’t think I needed something so powerful.  2) I started using the cerave healing ointment on my lips.  Within the first day of using this my cracked lips healed up significantly.  And it didn’t heal up when I used standard Chapstick or a very expensive Korean lip balm that I received as a gift for Christmas.

[outfit:  street vendor scarf, *apiece apart boat neck cotton top, *vince trousers, hopp studios essential oxfords, baggu crossbody; *=pre-owned; base-layer:  thirdlove 24/7 bra, hesta organic cotton panties, In Touch organic cotton leggings (made in USA)]

 

 

outfit: what I read and wore this weekend

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On Saturday I read this little book about the concept of Wabi Sabi for artists, designers, poets & philosophers by Leonard Koren.  To be honest, it fell way short of my expectations.  It’s attempt to articulate the essence of wabi sabi was shallow and missed the mark on many points.  It could have offered a wealth of guidance for the creative process too but it didn’t cover that topic at all.  Why even give it the title it has? Thumbs down.  If you’re interested in this topic, I’d highly recommend the book by Andrew Juniper instead.

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On Saturday I wore this outfit around the house.  I’m wearing my eggplant colored athletic workout leggings that I bought from Amazon.  It’s got a pocket at the side of the thigh that I use to carry my iPhone around the house while listening to podcasts or audiobooks.  On Saturday, I finished doing my taxes.  I owed the federal gov’ment money but got a tiny bit more back from the state.  I don’t think the new tax law did much to change things for me.  This year H&R block let’s you photograph your W2 and other tax forms and automatically fills the info into your taxes.  This saved a lot of time, but also made me feel a little paranoid about what happens to the photograph. Saturday night the BF decided to move furniture around again in the living room.  We moved the mirror and sofa closer to the windows and moved the dining table to the opposite side of the room.

On Sunday, we did laundry and made some hot pot for dinner.  I wore my vintage Trademark 4 pocket shirt and Trademark jeans (Trademark no longer sells clothes btw).  Both shirt and jeans are around 300-400 dollars retail but I got the top for $30 a few years ago at a New Orleans thrift store and bought the jeans for $25 at the real real.  I seem to own a lot of navy.  I need to stop buying so much navy.

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I was seriously lazy and skipped Barre3  for 3 days straight.  To make up for it, I’m going to do a 60 minute workout tonight.

Are any of you guys watching the Superbowl tonight?  I’m not!  I’m morally opposed for all the major reasons, and I’m not alone anymore.  But I might tune in for the Justin Timberlake half time show to hate watch.  His new album is seriously bad.  Pitchfork wrote an on point critique of it here[update: JT’s performance was not that bad mainly because he didn’t sing any songs from the new album!  He probably knows how terrible it is!]

[outfit:  *everlane cashmere/wool sweater, amazon work out leggings; *trademark shirt, *eileen fisher linen top, *trademark jeans, new balance 999s, *=pre-owned]

 

outfit: the same thing every day (+ January expenditures)

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“Feels like” temperature today: 12 degrees F 🙄

There’s 6 more weeks til winter is over.  During the winter in NYC I wear the same outfit every day.  So sorry guys, not much variety here.ootd 2018-02-02 at 3.40.49 PM

The fabric on these Kamm pants feel dry and crisp.  It’s structured and hangs away from the body, leaving enough room for freezing cold miniature tornadoes to engulf your legs and turn them into icicles.  To prevent that from happening, I’ve been pairing these with my synthetic workout leggings. The shiny surface of work out leggings don’t cling to pants as much, so I do prefer them as a base-layer with pants that are a little on the tight side.

Here I am with my HOPP studio oxfords again.  I have a couple other options for shoes, but have not worn anything else on my feet since I got them.  They are seriously comfortable.  This past week though, I noticed an ache at my heel on the left side that I think is being caused from improper alignment of my foot.  I’ve been told the ligaments in my feet are weak, so I’m going to try using an ACE wrap to give it more support and slow down any further deterioration.  Ah, the joys of aging.

Anyway, I’m excited for the month of February because things at work will be a little more flexible so hopefully I’ll be able to share more OOTD photos with you guys here.

I finally did my personal finance homework today and tallied up all my expenses in January and made a bar graph of discretionary spending in each category.  This graph does not include regularly occurring bills for rent, utilities, loan payments, my subway card, etc.

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I spent $400 on clothes in January, but I didn’t actually buy a lot of clothes.  The one purchase that drove up that dollar amount was the HOPP studio oxfords, which cost $245 with taxes and shipping.  For the quality and the fact that I’ve worn these shoes every day, I think the purchase was a good one.  The rest of the $400 was spent on inexpensive workout clothes and underwear.  Because I’m working out more, I end up taking showers every day, and needing more bras, athletic wear, and underwear to go with that change in lifestyle.  I see it as a one time investment that I’ll probably need to maintain about once a year.

In any case $400 feels like a moderate amount to have spent, so in the month of February I’m going to be a little more conscious of my spending in that category.  I think another area where I could cut back a lot on is home supplies.  I probably went a little overboard with the scented candles and other random amazon purchases this month.  Areas where I did really well on were in the “fun” and “beauty” categories.  I bought a pair of concert tickets to see Men I Trust in March; this went into the fun category.  The tickets were only $26 for both me and the BF.  I’ve been to a million live concerts in my lifetime and the best ones are always lesser known indie acts (rather than the mainstream trash you tend to hear on the radio).  These bands tend to play at small venues that are dirt cheap to get into.  Usually the ambience and sound quality is a million times better than anything you might find at an arena or stadium type show.

No big plans this weekend.  I’m going to file my taxes.  I better get to it soon before the identity thefts beat me to it.

Anyway, thank God it’s Friday!!  I hope you all stay warm and cozy on your days off.  And thanks for visiting me here.  I always love reading your comments and feedback. Stay tuned for more updates from me later this weekend.

[outfit:  xmas gifted beanie, pre-owned everlane wool-cashmere sweater, kamm ranger pants size 6, gold toe socks, HOPP studio essential oxfords, old everlane winter puffer, baggu crossbody]

outfit: commuters incognito

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Today while taking this OOTD photo, I discovered the iPhone’s photo editing mark up feature and was able to use it to stay incognito and still be able to show you this beanie I got for Christmas.  It’s hard to find a beanie with the right proportions because my head is very large.  I’m like a lollipop.

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I also used it as an opportunity to show you some outfits that caught my eye on my commute to and from work.  I love this woman’s insulated coat.  You can’t see it here but she’s also wearing wide leg cropped pants with all white converse high tops with gray socks keeping her otherwise exposed shins warm.

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I love this charming modest outfit on this young lady.  She’s wearing turquoise velvet trousers with a patterned hem.  It’s not something I would wear myself but I admired it on her.

The trains have been a disaster lately, lots of delays or trains that skip my stop.  Loud speakers that are either way too loud or don’t work at all.  Extreme crowding.  Bad bad smells.  I couldn’t get on my train twice because it was too full.  The one upside to commuting here is getting to witness all the crazy random stuff that happens everyday, with the occasional cool outfits along the way.

[outfit:  xmas beanie, old street vendor scarf, uniqlo knit top, old everlane winter puffer, elizabeth suzann twill clyde pants, hopp studios essential oxfords, baggu crossbody]