I keep a running list of things that peak my interest in a folder on my google chrome browser. Thought I’d share them with you here.
You might recall how much I talked about my ugly but comfortable SAS shoes? Well I just read about SAS making a line of minimalist comfort shoes, called HOPP, from the former Opening Ceremony designer, that are actually not ugly. The mules and boots look amaze and are supposed to be very comfortable. I’m not in the market for new shoes right now but when I am, these will be top on my list.
My boot collection is beginning to adapt to climate change. It used to snow hard in NYC. I’ve been here for 9 years and during the first 5, I remember getting stuck in blizzard conditions, had to stomp through huge piles of dirty slush and jump over 2-3 foot tall snow piles for most of the winter. Now with global warming, it’s still gross but not nearly as bad. And that’s why my hardcore winter boots from Ariat have collected dust for the past couple of years. I’m going to put them up for sale because they no longer suit my needs. And definitely won’t be needed when I’m back in California.
I’m putting my APC gigi boots and Everlane heel boots up for sale too because they have the opposite problem– they’re not really practical for the rain and snow. I realized this when I was slipping around while walking on the sidewalk in my Everlane heel boots when it snowed recently. I do not want to fall. In those boots, I worried about leather damage as they were in constant contact with snow and salt due to the relatively thin soles. I wasn’t entirely at ease in my clothes and that’s a problem. Good clothes should sort of disappear from your mind when you wear them. I hope these shoes which are still in great condition, find a good new home. Sometimes wardrobe planning means you have to create a large hole by removing let’s say 3 shoes, and filling it with 1 more versatile shoe.
I invested in a boot that I think strikes a nice balance for the new NYC winter: the APC Armelle ankle boot– an elegant but rugged boot with thick crepe soles that offer lots of cushion and stability, and a generous toe box. I tried them on at the APC store but ordered them online because the store didn’t carry the color I was looking for. I’m appreciating wider toe boxes nowadays and resent Everlane for making so many damn stiff pointy toed shoes. I was skimming through that book, The Lost Art of Dress; it talked about honoring the body’s natural lines; and choosing shoes that don’t work against those lines. Drinking the Kool-Aid, I decided to rid myself of pointy shoes once again. I sometimes go back forth on this issue, so don’t be surprised if next season I have a pair of pointy shoes on again.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing lots of job interviews by phone with employers in LA. In January, I’ll probably go in for in-person interviews. And right now, I have absolutely nothing to wear for that! I don’t own a single blazer. I don’t own a single pair of pants that can be worn with a nice blazer. I also don’t own a pair of standard professional looking pumps. It pains me to invest in these pieces, since I’m probably not going to wear them very often, but I forced myself. I bought the slim wool pants and classic blazer in navy from Everlane and bought a pair of pre-owned (like new) pumps from SAS (made in Italy). SAS shoes are expensive but you can find them really cheap secondhand. These 3 pieces are ultra classic, so I hope they can be worn again for future job interviews, beyond the upcoming ones. Or re-sold online.
I’ve been reading a lot of “conscious fashion” type blog posts purporting the benefits of maintaining a small wardrobe as no longer needing to waste time on shopping. Usually followed by “so I can have more time to enjoy what really matters in life” or “so I can spend more time with my family” etc. My reaction is always a bit of eye rolling when I read this. Implicit in those statements is the feeling that shopping is a chore and the belief that fashion and design is frivolous and unimportant. But I think many women, maybe half of all women, have a genuine interest in these areas. No one is calling spending time on listening to music or watching films as a waste of time. Instead they are elevated to “experiences”. Isn’t getting dressed and spending every waking second of your life in clothes an experience too?
A small wardrobe does not automatically equate to less shopping. My shopping rate is probably about the same, and that’s OK, but I shop smarter. My wardrobe is always evolving. As soon as something feels stale, it’s out, and I replace it with something better. Some people hate shopping for clothes, but I enjoy it– I think we can admit that aspect of ourselves and still be “conscious” about fashion. The word “shopping” has so many negative connotations now, but if we have an appreciation for clothing design and aesthetics (vs. “fashion”), maybe that’s what we should emphasize.
Someone (let’s just say a man) with an interest in music and vinyl records for example, spends a lot of time sampling music, reading Pitchfork, watching music videos, browsing through records, spending money on physical objects and concert tickets, but this is not looked down upon as “shopping”. Instead, “he’s just following his passion”. And that’s seen as interesting and respectable. But how is that so different than shopping for clothes? Oh, the misogyny of minimalism! I say that while whole-heartedly adopting the lifestyle-philosophy. Anyway, this is a long way of saying we don’t have to be ashamed of “shopping” and we can still be “conscious” about the environment and of our budgets while doing so.