Tuesday, October 31, 2006

shelly steffee sample sale

there's a sample sale this saturday and sunday:
Saturday, November 4 (noon-9.p.m.) and Sunday, November 5 (noon-6 p.m.) for perfect-fit coats, jackets, dresses, and sportswear pieces reduced by up to 80 percent. Shelly Steffee, 34 Gansevoort Street (at Hudson Street); 917-408-0409.

too bad i'm going to the addison gallery american art conference on saturday. should i go on sunday just to check it out? no, i shouldn't, because i just bought this opening ceremony coat and a present for my partner (something nice from a.p.c.), so i can't buy anything more for november. and plus, there's christmas coming up, which means more presents (3 for me, 1 for him, etc.).

but come spring, i'll be there.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Maria Byman

I bought the skirt two autumns ago on Mulberry St. somewhere in Nolita. The designer is Maria Byman. I rarely buy new labels until I've researched them, but this was an impulse buy. She also had these fantastic shrunken wool (we would call this "felting", i guess) knee-length schlumpy skirts that were beautiful because they distorted the body so much. Even this one makes me feel like I've gained a few inches to my waist, the fabric is so thick. Normally when I buy something by an independent designer, I usually try to buy more from them. For some reason I haven't come across her things since. Her website looks promising: www.mariabyman.com

Maria Byman felted skirt: $260 from somewhere in NYC
black shirt: $20

Total: $280

Sunday, October 29, 2006

my life would be complete if only

someone would buy me these marc by marc jacobs mouse flats in brown suede (8 or 8 1/2) from shopbop.com. Only $285!!! now if only someone would buy my wedding dress so i could buy more stuff, er, i mean, pay my bills. sigh. http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/listing/1034.htm

Saturday, October 28, 2006

not for lowly suffering grad students

so, i dared to ask how much that stand-up collar coat costs. here is the response:

"The Trench Coat is available in sizes 0, 2, 4, 8, 10, and 12. The size 6 is sold out (available by custom order). It is gorgeous - felted wool with charmeuse details at the cuff and full lining. The stand up collar is fleece, and the belt, shoulder epaulets, and wrists are adjustable.

The price is $1150. Shipping is $15, and there is no tax when shipped
outside New York. "

Damn, if it were $800, i would probably seriously consider it, sad as that sounds.

i've decided this is the main problem: people often choose quantity over quality and/or price. but if you add all your purchases up for the past few months, you might be surprised to find that you have spent a huge amount on clothing. i was raised to believe that it is better to spend more money on fewer items. this policy only works if a) your fashion style remains relatively steady, b) your body doesn't drastically change, and c) you only make two or three big purchases a year.
what has happened in my case is that i buy four really expensive things each year ($400-600 each). this in itself is not bad. BUT, my concept of "basics" has shifted so radically that paying $60-80 for a layering tee is normal. i should be buying those things at H&M or the Gap, not at Petit Bateau.

this is all said as a way of mentioning that i ended up buying that opening ceremony coat. it was one of those weeks, i guess.

a note of consolation: i heard that shelly steffee has a huge sample sale sometime in the spring where her pieces are marked down 90% or so. i'll have to keep my ear to the ground and will be sure to dash for the Lucky Star bus when i find out when it is. can you imagine buying that coat for $120??

Friday, October 27, 2006

net-a-porter fall treat

In case you have some disposable income and feel like buying new fall things for 50% off, net-a-porter is having a "fall treat" special until nov. 6.

my picks (pictures taking too long to load):

marc by marc jacobs owl sweater: $119
hanii y angora/wool collarless coat: $909 (this price is wrong, they clearly have not marked it down yet, it should be $450ish)
anna sui faux lamb detail coat: $348
catherine malandrino taffeta dress: $287

i wouldn't wear the sweater, but i love that there are little owls with button eyes.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

pinafore wednesday

My Anna Molinari coat is a little too big, an Italian 44, which is like a US 8, and I'm not sure what possessed me to buy it in that size except that I like to be able to drive the car while wearing a coat (sleeves are a bit long). Oh well. At least I can wear lots of layers underneath to fill it out. I bought it nearly 4 years ago at Nordstrom in downtown Seattle. I was working as a stockgirl in the Hosiery department there and became chummy with the women working in the Via C dept, which sold all the good boutique labels like Catherine Malandrino that one wouldn't expect at Nordstrom. Anyway, it was on sale, and I had my employee discount, I think 15%, so why not?

The dress is by Maria Bonita Extra, from Impulse. It's a size 4 but super huge, I can pull it on and run out the door in 35 seconds. The shirt is from some store in the Lab, which is an anti-mall down the street from South Coast Plaza, in Costa Mesa, a place I consider my home away from home. Pinstriped with demure ruffles at the sleeves and collar. It's funny because I've seen variations on this at both J Crew and Nili Lotan. The former costs about $80, and the Nili Lotan is somewhere around $220. Mine is by Steven Alan, and for some reason the store had it priced at $80 rather than the $150 listed on Steven Alan's website. Another example of how confusing all this pricing and markups business really is.

Steven Alan ruffle shirt: $80
Maria Bonita Extra dress: $230 from Impulse
Anna Molinari coat: $460 from Nordstrom (I think the original price was around $800)

Total: $770

(hey, coats are expensive things, and no, I refuse to buy them from H & M, no matter how cute they may appear. I have standards, you know)

Chinatowns (downtown NYC and Flushing)

Flushing, Queens. Intersection of Roosevelt and Main/

Flushing. New apt/office combo building. A marriage of pagoda moderne and commercial modernism.

Fantastic condo/office block topping ground floor shops near Flushing library.

Flushing Mall. Two-story, warehouse-like structure with large food court. Strange awning, meant to mimic upturned eaves?

Chinatown intersecting with Lower East Side

Shopfront temple and one of the many bus companies.

Must be an association building, hence the roof architectural detail and shrine on the top floor with a giant gilded Buddha statue.

Mayle coat on ebay

There's a new Mayle coat (sz. 6) up for sale on eBay, starting bid $299, she says she paid $790, which I can believe. The ivory collar and sleeves are attached to the plaid coat. I'm not really sold on the back, but that's not the best pose, either.

Update: my APC black peacoat is now sold out. So much for the cheap option.

Mayle coat on eBay: I think it'll sell for $450. That is, if anyone is willing to start off with such a high bid.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

shelly steffee appreciation day

That's Turtle's reflection at the bottom of the mirror, and Hector is sitting on the bed like the fatty that he is. I was feeling pretty bored this morning, hence the unexciting outfit. The tunic dress is actually quite pretty and delicate, but you can't see any of the details. I saw this dress at Dress, on Newbury St., and then I saw it on this really lovely punky girl in the West Village. I ended up buying it at Dress during their summer sale a few weeks later. Then I noticed that it was a Lucky Breaks item from www.revolveclothing.com. Go figure.

I dragged my winter coats out from the basement today. My Anna Molinari coat had this dark stiff mark on the pocket. Guess what? I left a lollipop in it months ago and it melted, hence the sugar stain. I washed it out by hand and it looks fine now. I'll have to model my coats and shoes, too.

I'm still sitting on the fence about that Opening Ceremony funnelneck coat. I just found out from Jill that they're getting this amazing Shelly Steffee dress. I can't wait to see it on their website, things are always styled in such an attractive way:


The back is what kills me. Anyway, I bet it's over $600, silk or something nice like that. Aargh! I have zero need for such a lovely dress. But lucky for me, Shelly Steffee also designs very practical things for the everyday grad student.

Case in point:

If I had tons of money to spend on a short coat, this would be IT. Oh Shelly Steffee, this is too much. I'm not even going to email her store and ask how much it costs. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. Well, that's really a stupid thing to think. I have bought things without looking at the price, just so the salesgirls wouldn't look down on me, but what a dumb thing to do in the end. Very few of us are so rich that budgets don't matter. Why even pretend?

Oh Well.

Twelfth Street Cynthia Vincent dress: $125 (marked down from $215)
Habitual jeans: $185 (or something like that, from Impulse Seattle)

Total: $310

Monday, October 23, 2006

Variations in Grey

Any hue tinged with grey seems about perfect to me right now. I'm probably trying to convince myself that I need to buy those grey suede boots. (Update: never mind, they're sold out in my size. They have the black ones in stock, though. meh.)

This agnes b. skirt is my favorite everyday skirt, but I can't seem to find anything else in that store to buy. The Philip Lim shirt is a disaster in waiting, so delicate and white. Today, I nearly spoiled it with soy sauce at the dim sum place in Chinatown. Same goes for the cardigan. I should wear a full bib when I eat. My clothes don't deserve to be ruined like this.

3.1 Philip Lim blouse: $79 from Barneys (on sale)
agnes b. linen skirt: $89 from agnes b. (sale)
Rebecca Taylor cardigan: $120 from Barneys outlet

Total: $288

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Rachel Comey boots

My partner told me I have a self-esteem problem because I feel the need to buy something every three days and actually do buy something every 1 1/2 weeks.

I can't say I disagree with him on this one. I do, however, disagree that I never wash the dishes or clean out the cat litter. Cleanliness is next to Fordliness in my books.

Here are some boots that I would like. I can't copy and paste the image, so you'll have to follow the link. I prefer the grey suede, which for some reason isn't loading on their website:

By the way: I tried on this Mayle sweater and thought it was pretty cute, even though the waist balloons out and makes me look fat. I dunno, I like Mayle and all, but I look like a distended sheep. Anyway, $350? Cheap for Mayle, not cheap for the October budget. If I buy anything else this month for about that much money, it certainly won't be a sweater.


Maybe boots (Rachel Comey), or maybe this APC wool short coat from Azalea San Francisco:

Mayle sweater: $350 from LouisBoston (Zoe in Princeton is sold out)
Rachel Comey boots: $368 from www.stevenalan.com
APC coat: $306 from www.azaleasf.com (or $260 with a toutie.com 15% off coupon code)

Notice how I'm lowering my price point?? I really am trying to be better about spending, you know.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tempted by the Devil, which we call NYC

So, I'm back from The City. Fung Wah there, Lucky Star back. $30 round trip on the Chinatown buses. This is apt since I went to ostensibly take photos of the chinatowns in Manhattan and Flushing, Queens. Also, I wanted to go visit my friend in Brooklyn.

Pictures of my trip will be posted tomorrow or so, I hope.

But, today I want to talk to you about my brush with the Devil. I wish I had photos to explain what happened, but I'm happy to report I did not buy a $570 short coat.

It was from Lyell, on Elizabeth St. in Nolita. I'd never gone in before, though I'd heard of the label. Lots of pencil skirts, demure sweaters and silk blouses, vintage-y but simple. But naturally I was captivated by the coats.

It was aubergine, in an interesting wool fabric, double-breasted, peter pan collar, hitting just around the hips. I've never owned a short coat. The 10 other coats vanished from my mind when I laid eyes on this Lyell creation.

I spent three days agonizing over whether or not I'd ever be able to live without it. I stood in the cold rain on Tuesday night, staring at the shop front, knowing I shouldn't buy it. Then, on Wednesday, two hours before I had to go home, I tried the coat on again. The wool seemed scratchier than I had imagined. The lining was a thick acetate, not like the fine silk that lined my beloved Anna Molinari green and peacock blue military coat. The spell was broken and I realized that I'd get over it.

I decided I'd rather have this Opening Ceremony short-sleeved (impractical in Boston, but who cares!) wool coat. Here's an image taken from Impulse's website (all the other online vendors have it in black. Boo to black! we prefer color):

I emailed Jill, but of course they're sold out in the Small. They only had one in each size, and I had been forewarned by her blog a month ago. This is one of the problems of being more financially cautious: by the time you've decided to buy something, it's probably sold out. Sometimes you're lucky and it goes on sale. But size 6 tends to sell pretty quickly, I guess.

So, Opening Ceremony still has two, I went to the store and checked. All I have to do is pick up the phone and call. Hmmm.

You know what I should really be doing right now? Researching my dissertation topic or going to bed. hmmm. I love thinking about clothes, I love plotting out future purchases, I love the whole strategy game of the whole thing. Clearly I'm sitting on the fence about new coat purchases, which makes me think I should hold off for this year. But a short cute coat with a warm high collar and a swing silhouette (my favorite)! Oh well.

Opening Ceremony wool coat: $425

Question: Why is Creatures of Comfort selling a black version for $675? This must be a typo. They couldn't possibly have marked it up that much! Someone should tell them.

Also, Tracey Ross is selling this Mayle eyelet dress for $330, but in the Nolita store it is priced at $710 and at Bird in Brooklyn, $650.

I am clearly a little too obsessive and need to channel this mental energy into something more productive. I meant it when I said I loved clothing.

(image from www.traceyross.com)

Friday, October 13, 2006

decisions decisions

I have a dilemma.

Meet APC trench coat in camel via www.impulseseattle.blogspot.com. Classic, very Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Meet APC trench coat in navy. Very sharp looking and sleek. But, I already have something similar in navy, from Paul & Joe, double-breasted raincoat with an empire waist.

This is quite possibly one of my greatest loves: Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons, Fall 2004 collection, retailed originally for over $1400, on eBay for $455 right now. My highest bid was $300. Dunno if a puffer coat is worth more than $500. As amazing as it is, it's still just a puffer coat. And a trench coat? Well, a trench coat is iconic and versatile.

A.P.C. trench coat: $398 from Impulse or from hejfina.com or from APC store in NYC $ ??.
Junya Watanabe: $500 +

novel thought: buy nothing

well, I think I'm going to NYC next week to take pictures of Chinatown and Flushing (disseration research), and there's that A.P.C. store on Mercer st, and then, of course, there's Opening Ceremony and Steven Alan and Mayle and, oh, whatever. I should be a good grad student and look at art and do actual research instead of obsessing about a trench coat just because I wish I were chic yet reclusive. I'm really just the latter.

a friendly reminder from my credit card

the proverbial credit card burning a hole in my pocket. or so American Express wants me to think.

A.P.C. love

It was hot, and then it was cold, so I started off with the dress and knee-high socks, and ended the day wearing jeans, too. I love my APC corduroy dress. Impulse, my favorite store anywhere, sold out immediately, so I ordered it from the APC website. Hooray! Another spendy full price purchase, but well worth it. A little too short to be worn alone, however.

A.P.C. dress: $208
Gap Body undershirt: $20
Habitual jeans: $185 (from lovely Jill at Impulse Seattle)

Total: $413

dries van noten

I love Dries Van Noten. In fact, I used to adore Marni, but nowadays I feel a) Marni has become redundant and overexposed b) I think her clothes overwhelm my own style to the extent that I become simply a girl wearing a Marni skirt.
I bought this dress at LouisBoston's fabulous half-yearly clearance sale. It was a last-minute find, and my dear friend Erin convinced me it was worth the splurge ($200 more than I had been willing to spend that day). I think it's one of the best purchases I've made in years. I feel it complements my personality rather nicely. Plus, it has this wonderful quality of being both impeccably structured and effortlessly floaty at the same time.

Dries Van Noten silk dress from Spring 2006: $500, marked down from $1000
Rebecca Beeson black shirt: $15, from Loehmanns

Total: $515 (a spendy but worthwhile outfit)

Clu at Stel's, Boston

An unusually warm day for October. I nearly forgot about my skirt, which was an impulse buy at Stel's in Boston (lovely people, lovely store, unlovely prices).

Clu skirt: $80, marked down from $180 from Stel's
black tank top: free
Saint Grace navy racerbank tanktop: $40 from Stel's

Total: $120