Sorry guys, I’ve been lagging behind on posts lately.
Continue reading “outfit: nude or black? (+ apartment hunting in LA)”
Sorry guys, I’ve been lagging behind on posts lately.
Continue reading “outfit: nude or black? (+ apartment hunting in LA)”
One thing I learned this year about my clothing preferences: I really like rolled edges in knitwear. Continue reading “Outfit: Rolled Edges (+ Which dress should I buy?)”
I wore this outfit to work today, except I also had on a black cardigan and was wearing black oxfords. I changed into these sandals when I got home. Patients rarely ever comment on my clothes at work, but this sweet 90 year old lady who I was called to see today because she was delirious and kept talking about wanting to die, took notice of my outfit. When I met with her, she asked me very politely, “Excuse me but may I ask why are you wearing all black? Are you my death angel? Because if you are, please take me, I’m ready to go.” I pulled up my dress to show her that I was wearing purple colored socks and therefore could not possibly be her death angel. This made us both laugh. Later, she kept referring to me as “hey lady with the purple socks”, lol.
But anyway, this is my first and only long dress in my wardrobe and I love it. It’s the tencel stretch terry jumper dress from Eileen Fisher. I tried on the grey version on a whim. Really loved it and then decided to buy the black version for practicality. The turtleneck part looks smart. And the large cut off arm holes let’s you change things up by wearing it over various types of fitted tops. They look good with thin long sleeves and fitted tanks. I’m wearing mine with a Spanx tank top that I usually wear when I don’t want to bother with wearing a bra but still want to be held in. In this outfit, I feel like a character from the Adam’s Family.
This dress is one of those rare finds that look much better in real life and on average human bodies than on the tall super thin model. My good friend Joy (aka my dermatologist friend) recently bought the same dress or one very similar to it from EF, and I think she looks really good in it with a striped top! You can see it over at her brand spankin’ new outfit instagram account, seejoywear. I’m excited she decided to start posting her outfits because I’ve always admired her style, which always manages to be put together, modern, chic, but down to earth and relatable.
I will not follow outfit blogs/IG accounts where it looks like it took the person 10 hours to get dressed and do their hair and make up. Ugh no thanks!
In other news, I’ve been procrastinating on my research projects these past few days and watching too much TV. Is anyone else watching Queer Eye and/or the new season of Terrace House on Netflix? Jonathan from Queer Eye is really growing on me. And I love the decor in the new Terrace House.
[outfit: new eileen fisher stretch tencel terry jumper dress, PACT long leggings, *kork ease wedges, HOPP studio oxfords, purple vietnam socks]
I usually show you guys what I wore to work during the week, but today I didn’t wear this outfit to work. I put it on when I got home actually, after I picked up this shirt from the tailor/dry cleaners. I got this Trademark top from TheRealReal for like $30 a few months back (the MSRP is probably around $300-400; they no longer manufacture clothes btw). I had prior good experiences with Trademark and try to stick with brands that I know make high quality garments when shopping secondhand, because otherwise, it’s a real crap shoot. But when I received this top in the mail, I was disappointed to find out it was shaped more like a tunic and bulged out in unflattering ways when I sat down. There were still a lot of winning qualities about the garment though so I fussed over it for a while debating if I should return it or try to make it work. Continue reading “outfit: hem and haw (+ what I’m reading)”
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]
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?
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.
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]
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)]
January 2018 is coming to a close.
Continue reading “End of January reflections + the death of my winter leggings”
How many panties do you own? I’m not one for counting how many items are in my wardrobe, with one exception: panties! Here in NYC, I do my laundry at “The Mat” about every one-two weeks. Anything more frequent than that is expensive and inconvenient. I always feel like I’m at the brink of running out of panties to wear. Why haven’t I learned my lesson and bought more? Today while folding laundry, (something which btw, I really learned to enjoy doing while practicing mindfulness and listening to music, especially folding towels, love doing that! seriously), I thought it’d be a good idea to count how many panties I still own to assess how bad the panty shortage is. Drum roll please… so I own a grand total of 8 pairs of panties! Good panties that is. When I dug around my underwear drawer, I found two more pairs that I never wear because although “pretty” I never reach for them because they are made of polyester and don’t feel nice against the skin. Then I found 3 more pairs with holes in them (like the one in the picture). If I stretch out my laundry to every two weeks, I tap into this desperation pile of panties. It’s terrible. I bit the bullet and decided I would replace the ripped and polyester panties with unbleached organic cottons versions, which are on their way. I chose organic cotton because it’s better for the environment, but I read reviews about how it reduces your exposure to pesticides too. Does that really matter though??! The panties get washed presumably so is it really leaching pesticides onto your skin? It’s not like we’re eating the cotton. I have no idea and wonder if that’s just another marketing gimmick. My underwear collection has evolved a lot over the years. Have yours? I’ve always stuck to mostly cottons in the bikini or high waisted cuts (aka. granny panties). Occasionally I’ll have a moment of poor judgment and think I should wear something less boring like lace or panties with ridiculous patterns and embellishments, but I never end up wearing them, and that’s money down the drain! Besides even if I was motivated by the idea of looking “sexy” (cringe), I really don’t think men care all that much about underwear anyway.
Have you guys checked out the new mini release by Elizabeth Suzann? I’m really excited by the Andy Trousers. I’m too short to pull off full on wide leg pants like the Florence pants, but the Andy’s strike a nice balance. They are loose and wide but have a subtle taper at the ankle, that is just enough to give an elongating effect. I’m admiring the ones in midweight linen, but don’t actually want to buy anything right now. And I don’t feel pressure to either because I know these pants will still be there months and maybe even years down the line. I’m also kind of over the Clyde jacket in cotton canvas. I felt the ES cotton canvas in real life when I bought the Tilda pants in that fabric, and it was impressively thick and sturdy (I ended up returning those pants because of the bulk), but for my purposes, I think the fabric in jacket form is a bit overboard. If I worked on a farm, it might make sense. I do really like the same Clyde jacket in midweight linen though. I haven’t made up my mind about the Clyde trench yet. I like the length and lapels, but the batwinging on it is a bit too extreme to be practical for me. Will it feel right when driving a car? I do really like the parabola top in midweight linen and think the black version would pair nicely with a black pair of linen Andy trousers, like the one Chung is wearing here, for a head to toe wrinkly black linen monochrome outfit (it’s so dreamy!).
[image: from the elizabeth suzann website]
Anyway, I’m admiring all the new pieces, can imagine a few of them in my wardrobe, but don’t necessarily have a strong urge to buy anything right now (even if I could afford it right now, which I can’t). Sometimes I do get a sudden urge to replace all my clothes with everything ES. Rachel Hochman on my blog roll, who is an engineering grad student at Berkeley, owns a ton of ES. She’s even featured on the ES website in the community section! I’m so impressed by her outfits and wish more people would post pics of their ES clothes. There must be more people out there, somewhere. Please come out of the shadows and share!
I know a lot of people hate the idea of making new year’s resolutions but not me! There’s no harm in trying to make improvements. And if you fail, well, then you are just back to where you were before.
How did I do in 2017? According to my resolutions blog post in Jan 2017, I had hoped to only spend 1200 dollars on clothes all year. Well, that was a major fail! Because I spent 3x that amount! But I did make good on my other goal of staying out of credit card debt. When I graduated from medical school (5 years ago), I was 10K in credit card debt, mostly just spent on daily living costs while receiving minimal parental financial support.
I was able to climb out of that debt exactly two years ago and stayed out of that kind of debt since. In order to pay it off, I don’t think I ever made any big sacrifices with my clothes, but I did cut out things like going out to nice restaurants and bars. And I haven’t travelled much at all either. Most of my vacations were stay-cations.
When people come visit me in NYC, they often ask if I’ve been to [insert trendy new restaurant]. But my answer is almost always no. I rarely go out which is fine by me because I’m happier as a home body than most people. Some people might read this and think I’ve prioritized consumer goods over life experiences, but for me, my clothes are important experiences.
Another resolution I made last year was to improve my summer wardrobe, which I did succeed in doing. In 2017, I added a handful of linen flow-y garments and work friendly sandals. I always had something to wear in the summer. So in 2018, I won’t need to add that much for the summer. In 2016, I did a really good job of beefing up my winter wardrobe, so this year I’ve been really toasty and didn’t have to invest in any winter outerwear or accessories. I’m still using all the same stuff from two years ago.
This year I don’t have any major seasonal type gaps in my wardrobe to fill but may need a few things throughout the year to replace unwanted or worn out things. I think 2018, will be about upgrading existing garments types that I already have rather than filling holes. This year I won’t be putting a dollar amount limit on my clothing budget. I think it makes more sense to just limit the rate of my clothing acquisitions.
Resolutions for wardrobe:
Resolutions for health:
I already started these resolutions in December and have made good on these promises. I completed day 7 in the Barre3 8-day beginner series and have been sore since I started on Christmas. The Barre3 online courses give you a sticker for each calendar day, each time you complete a work out. As a good student, I’ll do anything for a sticker! It’s genius.
On top of that, I’ve remained vegetarian for all meals except dinner with a few exceptions, while cutting back on carbs simultaneously. And have been taking my vitamin D daily. I also updated my skincare routine and already feel like my skin is a million times smoother (I’ll write more about this in another post).
Let’s just hope I can keep it up! What about you? How did you do on last years resolutions? Do you have any wardrobe or health related resolutions for 2018?
Bonus: A sweet but healthy smoothie recipe
If you’re really craving a sweet dessert but want to keep it (somewhat) healthy then this is the perfect recipe! I’ve made it a few times already. The BF loves it so much, he keeps requesting that I make it again and again. For two serving sizes, combine the following in a blender:
This is probably around 280 calories total; half that if you’re sharing it. Enjoy!
2017 flew by, didn’t it? Actually for me, I’m grateful to say that this year felt a little bit slower than previous years.
I keep a bookmarks folder in my google chrome with random links I stumble across that I want to share with you guys and whenever I reach at least 3 links, I’ll put out a post like this one.
This year I missed out on the MOMA Is Fashion Modern? show, but probably better is this video tour of the exhibit by MOMA’s curator Paola Antonelli here. You must also check out all the videos in MOMA’s series Fashion as Design, here. The video on Levi’s vintage denim and on the lifecycle of clothes were my favorites.
I’ve been interested in learning more about skincare ingredients lately and found a youtube channel by dermatologist Dr. Dray. I especially like this video where she kind of goes undercover into CVS and teaches you how to shop smart for skincare products. In addition to sunscreen, she’s a big proponent of niacinamide and ceramides, but feels topical vitamin C is probably not worth the hype.
And finally you all know how much I’ve been obsessing over the HOPP studio shoes ever since I heard about them a few months ago. After agonizing over if and what I should buy, I went with the super practical essential oxfords in black nubuck (pictured above). There’s an executive level professional at my job who wears a pair of HOPP shoes at work. When I look at her, I think “modern power woman”. This marketing video / testimonial about the essential oxfords sealed the deal for me:
I agree with what she says about the “sexy” look as feeling very cheesy. It’s so refreshing to hear this!
In addition to the HOPP shoes, I added a few more things to my wardrobe: the carpenter pants by Black Crane and a pair of Lemaire twisted pants. Right out of the box I fell in love with them but they are getting tailored right now so I won’t be able to post a proper review until after Wednesday. I also bought a lounge bra from ThirdLoveto wear around the house and for low impact work outs. My Patagonia heavy duty sports bra is a bit too constricting (great for running) but as my dermatologist friend Joy (hi Joy!) confirmed, it was making my chest break out with folliculitis from all the compression and sweat build up. A while back I ordered the Elizabeth Suzann Harper tunic but it’s taken ES a long time to make it, but that’s OK. According to ES, all the employees got 10 paid days off this week (and that’s good!), so the Harper will have to wait til 2018. Looking forward to it so much! I’d been stalking that piece for over a year already!
This New Year’s Eve we’ve decided to stay cozy at home. Going out for NYE in NYC is always such a hassle and disappointment. Today I’ve been busy making smoothies, cooking, and will probably split a bottle of wine with the BF later while we watch the ball drop. This year has been a good year for this blog. I’ve been able to post more because I try to stick to writing ‘organically’, in a non-fussy way, about my interests in getting dressed, clothes, design, and other random things. It’s a lot of fun. Please, if you don’t already have a blog, and share similar interests, please create one so I can follow you! 👩🏻💻
Happy New Year! 🥂
It took me about 6 months to finally decide to buy this cross body bag from Baggu; I finally bought it when it was on sale for 20% off on black friday. I almost never carry my laptop around with me so I didn’t need a larger bag than this. For years I used my APC half moon bag primarily, but because my job now requires me to carry around a bag and I’m constantly digging around my bag for a pen, index cards to write notes, or to check my pager, the half moon bag with its stiff zipper became impractical. For a while I used a vintage coach mini bag but that quickly deteriorated. I learned my lesson: I’m never buying vintage leather ever again. I chose this baggu bag because it was the smallest size that was still big enough to be functional; it’s easy to open and close; there’s no frills; and the leather feels thick and buttery soft; I also love the thin round strap that tie easily into a top knot to create a cute short length. I took a leap away from the usual black leather I’m prone to and went for brown. I’ve been leaning toward light colors, tan, oatmeal, and browns as much as possible. I think it reflects my desire to go back to California and be among the dry desert landscapes again. Continue reading “how to wear a top knot (on your bag!)”
[picture of NYC marathon runners near my apartment]
2017 is nearing the finish line. How much did you spend on clothes this year? How much should one spend on clothes, anyway?
The answer is very personal and different for everyone of course. I hesitated to write about this, but it’s something on all our minds, isn’t it? Unless you’re loaded, we can’t look at clothes without considering how much it will cost us. It’s probably something we are not supposed to talk about in real life, so I’m glad this blog isn’t ‘real life’. I appreciate it when other blogs write not only about the clothes they’re wearing but the cost as well.
I’ve been reading Invincible Summer (highly recommend), a personal finance/style blog written by a lawyer in NYC, and what she referred me to over at Refinery 29, Money Diaries, a series of posts that take you through how a real woman spent her money each day over the course of a week. It’s interesting to see how other women with similar salaries spend their money in your city, but it’s also fun to read about how really wealthy women spend their money. It’s easy to get all judge-y about what you read there, so you gotta keep your negativity in check.
It might sound crazy, but I just signed up for a personal finance coach. I probably wouldn’t get one on my own, but my employer offers free financial counseling for all its employees. It’s free, so why not? Plus, when it comes to finances, I am clueless. I spent my entire life as a student, studying stuff that isn’t useful in the real world. So my financial literacy is really poor. Financial coaching starts off with a 30 minute prescreen interview, followed by a one hour initial assessment over the phone, then homework assignments and follow up sessions. I’m only in the early stage, but hope to come out a little wiser about money issues.
So how much should one spend on clothes? I googled this question, and read a general rule of no more than 5% of your monthly income. Most women spend about 3-10% of their income on clothes. I was actually relieved to hear this, because I fell within the “normal” range, and I was under the impression that I spent way too much on clothes. Mainly because I compare myself to the BF, who rarely buys clothes; maybe about once or twice per year. His wardrobe is limited to t-shirts and khakis. He basically shops only to replace clothes that are stained or ripped.
Like a good student, I did my math homework, and added up how much I spent on clothes in 2017. This was easy because I only ever shop online. I bought one thing this entire year at a brick and mortar store (when I needed last minute shoes for a special event). My spending habits were interesting to dissect. This year I shopped probably more than any previous year but I think I shopped smarter. I expected my clothing budget to be high because this year I made a concerted effort to build a long lasting functional wardrobe.
In 2017, I bought a total of 69 clothing items, 16 of those items were brand new, 53 were pre-owned, and 12 items cost $0 because I used credits I earned from selling my own clothes. About 1 in 5 items I purchased were bad decisions, that I either re-sold or donated if pre-owned, or returned if bought new. All in all, I spent $2824 in 2017 on clothes. November just started, so that makes my monthly average about $260. The average cost of each item was $50. But if you remove the outliers, (ahem $400 Kamm pants), the average cost of each item is probably closer to $30. That’s pretty good considering all the clothes I bought were from ‘ethical’ brands and made of 100% natural fibers. Continue reading “How much money I spent on clothes in 2017.”
I keep a running list of clothes that I want to buy. And recently added a classic ribbed tee to the list. I own a few high rise trousers that only work well with fitted tops and need some tees to go with them. You know the kind that’s fitted but not too fitted, with a crew neck and fitted sleeves. It’s actually pretty hard to find a good quality version made of natural fibers. Continue reading “The clothes I’m stalking now.”
The past couple of weeks have been way too busy over here (big changes at work and a possible relocation to Brooklyn is in the works!)… But now I’m back and have a few closet updates to share.
The picture above shows all the tops I wore this past week. Notice the 3 linen tops? They’re all secondhand EF shell tops, slightly cropped. They feel very airy without the frumpy factor seen with EF’s longer tunic-y tops. I love the way linen bounces back after each wash. It doesn’t shrink. It contracts. Continue reading “closet update: more linen, Organic by John Patrick, and soft footbed Birks”