I’m wrapping up my series on new clothing purchases with the last month in 2019. I’ll be creating some new content for 2020 — things like responsible consumption, second hand shopping and styling old clothes in new ways. Here’s what I added in December:
Lucky Brand Jeans black skinnies — $99
These were sort of an impulse-y buy. One day I realized I didn’t have a pair of black skinny jeans and I needed some. I went over to Banana Republic, and then Lucky, and found the perfect pair. You know you’ve made a good choice when you wear them immediately and then for like 4 days in a row.
Google released its “2019 Year in Search” covered in the CNN article here which listed the most Googled outfit related searches. So, what are they, and do I care?
Egirl/Eboy is basically 80s punk with a little 90s grunge mixed in. How cute are these kids with their tartan, ripped jeans, fishnets, studded belts, chains and heavy eyeliner? I want to make them a mix tape with the Cure, Minor Threat, Siouxsie & the Banshees and Soundgarden. and WHAT I WOULD BUY: GAP Plaid Pants
Soft Girl is the same as above, but with pastels. Same high-waisted pants with heavy cinched belt, also too-short skirts and too-short tops. WHAT I WOULD BUY: Asos Overalls
Biker Shorts is pretty self-explanatory, but must include oversized tee, really big sneakers or combat boots. Bonus points for a blazer and/or fanny pack. WHAT I WOULD BUY: Free People Bike Shorts
VSCO Girl is so hard to define because it’s always evolving and so varied by season and location. May include: cowry shell necklace, crop top, ripped jeans, VANS. Beach-y and relaxed with a heavy dose of privilege. WHAT I WOULD BUY: Santa Cruz Tee
Dickies are actually really cool. The retro, masculine, can-I-check-your-oil look is edgy yet accessible. Look good with converse or VANS. They come in lots of unexpected colors as well as boiler suit versions. Balancing them out with softer elements, like a feminine tee, make for a great outfit. WHAT I WOULD BUY: Madewell x Dickies Twill Pants
White Jeans also seems like a no brainer. Popular pairings: more white or tans or other neutrals. Extra credit for a brown leather tote bag. WHAT I WOULD WEAR: Sézane Brut Sexy in Ecru
Fila is just Fila. I like that so many fitness brands never seem to go out of style. I’m not sure I need to explain this, basically, if you have a Fila sweatshirt (or really any fitness brand), wear it. WHAT I WOULD BUY: Hanami Logo Sweatshirt
Champion is the same as Fila. (BTW, I just want to applaud the marketing departments that are keeping these brands relevant and profitable.) And I want to say, I love seeing how you don’t have to have a lot of money to be on trend. And that you don’t need to follow trends. Just find what you like and wear it! WHAT I WOULD BUY: Champion Joggers
Leather pants are great as long as you can afford them and aren’t against leather. Faux is also an option. I’m not a big fan of “leather” leggings that don’t look like pants. But whatever your preference, all you need to add is a tee shirt, a cozy sweater and literally any shoes. WHAT I WOULD BUY: Emerson Fry Vegan Leggings
How I describe the perfect boots. They weren’t easy to find. I looked and looked. I finally chose the Madewell ones but they did not have a pointed toe! I thought I was okay with that, but it turns out I wasn’t. So I sent them back. The final-final choice was the Cole Haan pair, from Nordstrom rack and I got my usual 8.5 size and then conceded that I needed the 9. Now I am happy. (Photo above shows the first purchase on the left and the second on the right.)
Here are all the ones I found in my search, so if you’re in the market, I hope this helps.
So, it’s winter(ish). And that means I’m cozying up alone with books. Here’s the journey where my introversion has taken me.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love by Jonathan Van Ness
I got this book for my birthday. I love Queer Eye and so I knew I’d enjoy this. I’m also a sucker for a story of a checkered past. So, yeah. By the time I finished the book, I felt such a strong feeling that Jonathan and I were friends and should chat everyday. Side note: check out Gay of Thrones.
Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
I started off slow with this one but was glad I stuck it out. It was really good. What’s it like to be a chef kidnapped by pirates? You’re about to find out. Pirates, trade wars, gourmet food prep … could be a current TV show … only it’s 100 years ago.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I’m proud to say I got this book from the library (and by “got” I mean had it downloaded and then had to wait to have it renewed through my Libby app). This book was so beautiful! The imagery! The mood. I just wanted to BE there. I was there. Creative and original. Highly recommend.
Love Anyway by Jeremy Courtney
I was invited to meet this author and be a part of a making a difference in war-torn places. The evening was amazing and I’m so glad I went. Taking a close up look at the wars in the middle east is not something I frequently or willingly do. The refugee crisis and ever widening violence in this world is just too painful for me to look at. So, reading this was a big step. And it was so worth it.
Have you read any of these books? It’s always interesting to step back and look at what themes I’ve been immersing myself in. Growing up gay in the midwest. Getting kidnapped by pirates. Surviving poverty, abuse and rejection. Facing the worst atrocities as well as your own crisis of faith. Sort of connected. Sometimes our trials and suffering lead to great accomplishments. Sometimes our attempts to escape lead us right back to where we were. But, hopefully our experiences will shape us into something useful and something we can be proud of.
Cole Haan Chelsea Boots — $80
I’ve been on an endless hunt for some pointy toe, low heel boots. Originally, I settled on this pair from Madewell, which were pricey and not very pointy. My lovely friend Annie had given me a gift card to Nordstrom so I returned the first pair and got these. (top photo)
& Other Stories Peacoat — $245
A huge splurge! I lived with this coat handing in my closet for a while before suddenly wearing it on a fancy night out. I did not regret it. It is so warm (100% wool) and enveloping. I believe it will be a staple for years to come. I managed to sell my old black wool coat on Poshmark to make room. (bottom photo)
GAP workout leggings — 2 pair $67
I needed long leggings and I found 2 great pair at GAP. One black and one striped. Great deal! (middle photo)
COS Sparkle Socks — $9
Oh, I almost forgot, I also got a pair of sparkly socks from COS (high end sister store to H&M). I wanted so many things in the store but decided to wait…
J. Crew d’orsay flats (similar) $35 — These have been on my wishlist for a very long time. Found them secondhand on Poshmark. (middle photo) I did buy these Aldo shoes first but then realized they weren’t what I wanted so I returned them.
Anthropologie belt $48 — I found this perfect thin brown belt with gold buckle while visiting family in DC. (top photo) In my belt search, I tried this Madewell belt
As I consider getting a new coat this year, let me reflect on the (old) coats I already have.
J. CREW PEA COAT — Hello old friend. This was a good investment. I think I actually got in used on eBay. Had it for years. It’s stadium cloth and very warm. The only issue is it is short and when we get into winter here in PA, my butt needs to be covered. Also, I’ve had to resew the buttons back on 100 times. I’d love to trade it for a black version that’s longer/oversized (mentioned in my & Other Stories Try-on post.) But I have a renewed appreciation for it now and will definitely keep it. poshmark
J. CREW PUFFER COAT — This was my favorite coat for a while. It’s actually not black but charcoal. It’s super warm, super cute, goes with everything. It has a detachable hood. I ended up getting another puffer, again, so my booty isn’t cold. See below. everlane
J. CREW DUFFLE COAT — I have been neglecting this coat lately. I keep thinking I need a coat that’s a light color, but I have this “pink lady.” It seemed enormous to me when I got it, (again, used on eBay) but after trying on a bunch of coats recently, I realize it’s not. It’s actually quite fitted. And cute. Also stadium cloth and very warm. Luckily, it is, at this moment, not in need of dry cleaning. Word to the wise: light coats are high maintenance. new version
UNIQLO X INES DE LA FRESSANGE TOP COAT — This coat also suddenly seems so minimal and fitted. I’m not sure it was a good choice. It looks like a proper menswear style wool coat, very classic. But it’s very thin (as in not warm) so I just don’t wear it that much. If you live somewhere with mild winters, I’d recommend. new version
UNIQLO LONG PUFFER — I got this last year. I wore it almost every day of the winter, as well as into the “Spring”. Ah, Pennsylvania… It’s lightweight but so toasty and it can be packed very small. Every East Coast girl needs a coat like this. I assumed I would one day get the Northface version, but this one is great. new version
ROXY SKI JACKET — Although it’s a ski jacket, which I need, I wear it as a regular everyday coat. It’s warm, it’s waterproof and the pattern is very cool. It’s a good option when my whole outfit is black and I need some color. A gift from my sister, who has an almost identical one with feathers instead of leaves. similar
Here we are again. It’s Fall and I’m wondering, “Do I need another coat?” I’ve been browsing. A lot. So, late one night I ordered THREE from & Other Stories, which has free shipping and free returns. The first coat style I’ve been on the hunt for is…
THE OVERSIZED PEA COAT. I have a short navy blue pea coat but see a lot that are longer and black (with black buttons). They just look so understated and chic. More European street-style, less preppy. This was probably my favorite of the 3 and I feel pretty certain I need it. It’s boxy and sculptural, very modern. The shell is 100% wool, in a boucle (nubby) texture. I tried it in a size 6 and it seemed right. Here’s the link for it as well as 2 other options. & OTHER STORIES $249 | ZARA $130 | UNIQLO $60
The second coat style I’ve been obsessing about for a while (and I know this is just being fueled by media and commercialism and whatnot) is…
THE CAMEL COAT. They are everywhere, have been everywhere, on social media and the trend only seems to be picking up speed. I love how they look with black or monotone outfits. My hesitation, though, has been that I generally don’t look good in shades of tan. And, that a coat like that would be an investment. I instantly thought I needed to size down. I got it in a 6. The shoulder seams weren’t where they should be an, I know, it’s oversized but it just seemed tent-like. Not a fan of the easily-wrinkled or noticeably wrinkled look and really don’t think I can pull off the color. It’s a no-go for me. Here’s the link to it though as well as the Everlane one I think I need to try and a very affordable option from H&M. & OTHER STORIES $249 | EVERLANE $298 | H&M $129
Lastly, I’ve been asking myself, would I ever, maybe consider the ubiquitous trend…
THE TEDDY COAT. I don’t love being like everyone else. I don’t love the brown color ones. And I don’t feel great about something made of polyester. But, cosy. I couldn’t stop laughing when I first put it on. SO BIG. Pretty crazy. I wanted to fall in love with it partly because it was on sale and almost sold out. At this moment, they only have it in a 10. (And this size 6 when I most certainly return it.) Really torn but I think I really can’t pull off this look. Link to it as well as the Madewell one I tried on recently and a cheap Popsugar one I tried on at Kohl’s that sort of faux fur. & OTHER STORIES $107 | MADEWELL $168 | KOHLS $78
That’s it. Three coats I want but don’t need. I’ve got to make a decision.
Ah, jackets. Time to think about them again. Time to shop for more? Or not. I first wanted to see what I have. I think my favorite, or the one I’m most looking forward to being able to throw on is this buffalo plaid popover from J. Crew.
Next is an army green utility jacket from H&M. It’s lightweight (not warm) but cute and goes good with jeans.
I’ve got my new oversized jean jacket from Madewell. Love it. Get it here.
Another lightweight utility jacket from H&M. This doesn’t get a lot of wear but it just feels like me, so it’s good. I think I’m attached to it because it feels very Swedish and reminds me of my friend Madeline Lundberg.
A grey on white leopard print fleece from Old Navy. Every time I go through a closet clean out I think I should get rid of this, then I put it on and I love it. It’s especially perfect as a coverup to go to the gym. I don’t know why I don’t reach for it more.
Trench coat from Target. Why don’t I look like all the street style photos I see on Pinterest? I might have to accept that I don’t look good in a trench coat. I’m also starting to realize that masculine jackets maybe look better over feminine outfits (dresses).
Utility parka from the GAP. I’m letting go of this finally. It’s nice but I never wear it. Buy it from my Poshmark closet here.
And this black leather jacket from Lucky Brand. I don’t know if it’s the leather jacket look or this particular one. I used to have a vinyl one from H&M that I wore all the time. Buy it from my Poshmark closet here.
Lastly is this bomber from the GAP. It’s terribly warm and has a bright orange lining. It’s a keeper.
So that’s all my jackets. I think I probably have enough.
I think I did well this past month. Only 3 adds. #secondhandseptember
New Balance for J. Crew 520 (Used/Poshmark) $40 | J. Crew
September was WARM in Pennsylvania this year. The shorts photo would have been appropriate all month but it was actually taken at the beginning, right after school started and I got these new sneaks. I love them. I’ve had my eye on them forever. So glad I found them, in perfect used condition, for only 40 bucks!
I have to be honest, I bought this shirt on a trip to BR that was strictly entertainment. I did not need another striped shirt. But it’s very flattering. The pink stripe looks really cheery on me.
J. Crew Black Wool Jacket/Blazer (Used/Poshmark) $44 | Poshmark
I’ve been going around and around looking for this wardrobe staple: the black blazer. I finally realized why I was stuck and why I’ve never worn blazers I’ve had in the past. The classic, masculine style doesn’t really look good me. I wanted more of a feminine, Chanel little black jacket style. This one (top photo) is really cute.