outfit: back to getting dressed.

Muji cotton top | Trademark jeans | Eileen Fisher slides

I mentioned a while back that I started taking magnesium glycinate supplements for mild insomnia, stress, and infrequent heart arrhythmias….

Well, I thought I was taking 400mg per day (my target dose) for a couple weeks. I didn’t notice much difference except a slight improvement on my sleep but not much else. Yesterday I read the instructions on the bottle a bit closer, and realized I was actually only taking 200mg! Oops. I decided to do a little more research, and some sources recommend taking upwards of 600mg per day for people who are under chronic stress (because cortisol depletes magnesium). So I decided to increase my dose, and wow, today I feel significantly better, eg. I felt generally more relaxed and focused than I was previously. The effect is subtle but it’s significant enough to be worth continuing. Magnesium is a nutrient found in food, but apparently centuries of farming have stripped it from our farm soil, so it doesn’t matter how many veggies you consume, you are likely not getting enough. Anyway, just thought I’d share something that might be helpful to someone else out there.

OK, back to getting dressed. I changed into this outfit after work today, threw on a coat and went out to Happy Hour.

Last night, I visited the Eileen Fisher sale page and found a few things deeply discounted that just 4 months ago, I had tried on in the store, actually bought at full price, and returned later. I did this back when my things were in storage and I needed clothes to start my new job. After some thought, I realized the purchases were impulsive, driven by anxiety of starting a new job. I snapped out of it and returned everything the next week. But I did love the clothes, and a part of me was sad to return them. So I was happy to see these items 70% off.

I repurchased everything except for a blazer. I have one blazer, and that’s enough. I have to really look in the mirror and reflect on myself if I were to ever consider purchasing another blazer. I am not a blazer person and moments when I think I am one is a sure sign of some insecurity lurking around the corner.

But anyway, I’ve learned that EF has consistently good sales, so it pays to wait. It also pays to try on their stuff in person on the first go. Sometimes I feel lame for wearing Eileen Fisher, and yes a lot of their stuff is matronly, but I find that if you are selective about things, you can create a really versatile work wardrobe, and feel good about its ethical manufacturing. I like the feeling when I enter their stores too. I’m not overwhelmed and I don’t get the sensory overload the way I do with most other stores.

I’ve also recently sold or donated about 6 pairs of shoes. A few of them were worn out from over-use (my SAS shoes, Everlane day flats), and a few others were shoes I never ended up wearing (Allbirds, and my Nike tennis shoes). In the process I resurrected a pair of flats that were unworn for over a year and actually wore them daily in the past week. In general I think that if an item is unworn for over a year, it’s very unlikely I’ll ever wear it again, but that’s not always the case.

Now I’m in need of a pair of flats more than ever. I’m kind of in love with the Mansur Gavriel ballerina flats because they are similar to the Martiniano’s but has more structure to them. Too bad they are all sold out!

I’ll be posting a few more additions to my wardrobe in upcoming weeks and a tour of our “den”, so stay tuned!

p.s. I laughed out loud to this post by Haley over at Man Repeller about the “Upper East Side mom puffer coat”.

13 thoughts on “outfit: back to getting dressed.

  1. Can you recommend where to get the magnesium? That is a good tip and I’m usually very wary of vitamins. I trust you more! My husband and I have a baby and hellllo chronic stress (of the good type) although I bet that would have been beneficial when both of us were in grad school. Love the EF tip too. I agree, they can go matronly, but the quality is terrific and it’s about being selective to get the right aesthetic. I have some wide legged wool trousers that are super comfortable and if worn with the right top go more arty than old lady. My main prob with EF is that they run so huge!


  2. EF is a great source for basics, but I don’t think I’ll ever pay full price for anything. Since reading this article from The Strategist (http://nymag.com/strategist/article/the-best-secondhand-eileen-fisher-linen-on-ebay.html) all of my EF purchases have been secondhand and under $25, and some items were NWT.

    You’re spot on with recognizing that buying a garment that’s not “you” is a sign that something else is going on – I’m glad you realized before adding it to your cart! I’ve ended up with way too many aspirational/”what was I thinking?” pieces by not paying attention to the reasoning behind my shopping impulses.


    1. wow, did not see that strategist article before. I currently own 4 linen tops from EF bought secondhand. They are my favorite for the summer, and each I bought for under $20.


  3. I was also writing to ask about the particular magnesium. I have a vague memory of people being fussy about the right and wrong strains of magnesium supplements, but no idea about the details.


  4. I love EF, but I don’t think it’s worth full price. In my experience, it doesn’t hold up long enough justify the full cost. Very few of my EF items have lasted for more than two seasons of wear (knit sweaters and system silk shirts have held up very well going on 4 or 5 years, but nothing else has). Now, I must admit that I have a smaller wardrobe, so everything gets worn frequently, and EF tends to provide the staples I reach for the most, so maybe I’m harder than average on my EF clothing. Folks will say that natural fibers don’t hold up as long, but I think that’s BS. I’ve had linen pants that I bought from a thrift store hold up beautifully for another 8 years. So why do my EF linen pants have holes in them after two? Or another example, in a rare case of loving something so much, I bought a down coat directly from EF that was originally priced around 400 (I think I paid 320 for it) because I didn’t want to risk it selling out (which it did). I love love love the coat, but it loses feathers all the time. At that price, it shouldn’t lose feathers!

    Most of my EF I get from Nordstrom on sale, or during my annual pilgrimage to the EF Company Store (their old school outlet where they sell leftover products, not a cheaper/crappier quality made for outlet lines). It’s a 75 minute drive away each way, but the pricing is totally worth it, especially if I can time it with a holiday at the end of the season, when they do store wide discounts on top everything already being on sale. The store also carries Green Eileen products – basically an EF thrift store within the Company Store. The pricing on those items is comparable to ebay prices. I’d never bother buying from ebay – the sizing is so inconsistent that I routinely try everything on in 3 sizes. I image my ebay success rate would be pretty low.


    1. That’s so interesting. It seems like in general newer clothing doesn’t last as long, even things from “sustainable” brands. I, too, have some thrifted pieces from various brands that I’ve had for several years and were probably worn a bit before I got them that have held up beautifully. I’m sure manufacturing is part of the issue, but I also wonder if expectations are part. Do clothing companies count on consumers wanting the new thing so much that they just don’t bother making clothes in ways that will help them last?


    2. I agree that it’s not worth full price, but that could just be me being frugal and willing to wait for sales. People willing to pay full price is probably what makes the whole operation (ethical manufacturing) possible. I rarely wear clothes to the point that they are falling apart. And my closet is pretty small too, and that might mean that my turnover is pretty high. Shoes on the other hand, I usually completely destroy after about 1 yr of use. I’ve never been to a company store before but now I’ll have to look it up to see if there’s one near me. The only thing I’ll buy secondhand online these days are loose fit tops. Everything else is too risky when it comes to sizing. I’ve been burned too many times… and I no longer have the patience or time to return or try to re-sell items that didn’t work out.


  5. I understand your conflicting feelings about Eileen Fisher. I often feel a bit sheepish when I reveal that I am wearing something by the brand (in response to a clothing inquiry/ compliment), probably because of EF’s “menocore” affiliation – lol. But as you point out, you can score some nice workhorse pieces if you are selective. Many of the pieces are practical basics that can blend with any aesthetic as long as you are careful about the cut. Unfortunately, I don’t find that the pieces are all that durable given their price point, so I never pay full price.


    1. You put it nicely.. I can’t get myself to pay full price for EF too anymore, but haven’t run into durability issues with them, then again I don’t think I run into durability issues w most clothes because maybe I don’t own them long enough? I had one linen top that developed big holes, but I wore that top almost daily to lounge around the house for a year..and thought that made sense.


  6. I’ve been seeing that specific puffy coat on a lot of people here in NYC recently! If I remember right, I first read an article about that coat around February or March of 2018, but I never saw anyone wearing the coat back then. This year, it’s everywhere. It’s kind of interesting looking, but also sort of weird with the odd pocket placement and puffier panels in the front and back, just an odd shape.

    I’ve been trying out magnesium glycinate, but because I keep forgetting to take it throughout the day, I’m probably not getting the right dose (it may be as little as 75 mg, using a brand found on Amazon that I think has 150 mg per 2 capsules). Will look into it more.


    1. I can just imagine this coat all over the UES. I left right before it became a thing. The designer coat that it’s based off of looks a lot better. If only they made the zipper less shiny, it’d look better I think. As for Mag Glycinate, I take 400mg all at night or around dinner time and that seems to work just fine.


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