Friday, September 30, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Anthro is Hurting My Feelings.

Mariane sent me a pair of pants she likes from Anthro so I went to see what's new for fall and y'all, it is GOOD. Ugh. So good. But also kind of mean because WTF with this beautiful dress? Why is it so expensive? Since when do we charge that much for viscose? Hmph. Anyway, here's what else I like:

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Stuff I Like: Fall Reading List.

I realized that I posted about my summer reading list but never updated on my progress. Here's what I'm reading, what I've read and what I have on deck: 

Currently Reading: 

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
A few of you sang this book's praises and so far I'm very much enjoying it. I'm about a third of the way through and it's just exactly my brand of quirky. I love the characters, especially Elizabeth Zott who's the main character, and the writing is sharp. It's also funny, which I wasn't expecting! Just a delight and I was happy to see it's being adapted for a show because it really lends itself to a (hopefully good) screen adaptation. 

Four I recently finished:

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
This one has been getting a lot of press and for good reason! It was a really top notch read. I don't know that I loved every element of it but I was very invested in the story and satisfied by the ending. It's a story of friendship, grief, love and failure, and introduced me to the world of video game design which I knew nothing about. Some books I read and immediately forget. This one I'm still thinking about weeks later. Recommend. 

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer
This book was an entertaining read but not amazing. It had a few cringe moments for me but overall I found it enjoyable and I especially loved a lot of the secondary characters. That said, I'm getting a little tired of the trope of the beautiful girl (who doesn't know it!) who's good at everything (but doesn't know it!) and thinks she's not good enough for the guy. Also, I know that this is a first effort for Kate Spencer and I applaud anyone brave enough to write a novel, so here's to hoping she keeps writing! 

Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane 
Delightful as always. Maybe not her 100% best but it was, as always, well-written with characters who seem like real people. Anyone who's ever been in a toxic relationship will relate to this one. If you've never read Mhairi McFarlane, she's really reliably good! I've talked about her before on the blog and have never not liked one of her books. 

The Mermaid's Child by Jo Baker
This one was...weird. Part odyssey, part fairy tale, part...I'm not sure, but so beautifully written. The ending felt abrupt but probably because I wasn't expecting it to end, like, ever. It was an epic journey of a story and while it wasn't perfect, I still really enjoyed it. Jo Baker is just such a excellent atmospheric writer.

Three I've got on my "to read" list:

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson 
Brand new Kate Atkinson!! I have loved nearly everything she's written so I'm very excited to read this. Described by Slate: "The Jazz Age London of Shrines of Gaiety is nearly as merciless as Dickens’ Victorian metropolis and even more rife with crime and intrigue.” 

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
Described as: "A heartwarming and hilarious novel about a divorced romance channel screenwriter whose script about her marriage’s collapse just might help her reclaim her life and find love."

The Body Lies by Jo Baker
Described as: "A work of riveting psychological suspense that grapples with how to live as a woman in the world--or in the pages of a book--when the stakes are dangerously high"

One I DNF'd because life is too short to read something you're not into:

A Hundred Other Girls by Iman Hariri-Kia 
I wanted to love this because I really dig a story set in the fashion/magazine world but this one just didn't land for me. It feels young, the writing is a bit clunky, and some of the characters didn't seem like real, fully fleshed out people. But, it had fun NYC energy and its set in the fashion world which is always entertaining, so your mileage may vary. 

That's it for now! Please let me know in the comments how you feel about any or all of these books (or recommend something you think I might like!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Stuff I Like: Loungewear.

Y'all, For someone who's been writing a style blog for more than ten  years, I'm a real disappointment when it comes to at-home fashion. I want to be the person that gets fully dressed in a cute outfit every morning for my remote job but honestly, unless I have a meeting, I'm wearing loungewear. It's not cute but I am VERY comfortable. I'll just see myself out. 

Orrrrrr I could tell you all about it and make you a slob like me. That seems like a better plan, somehow. First, I need to tell you about my favorite hoodie.  It's disgusting and I love it so much that when my first one wore out I tracked another one down on Poshmark. It's the velour-lined hoodie from J.Crew:

If they ever make it again I will probably buy four of them. It's just the right amount of cozy without being too thick and the lining is super-soft. I also have a pile-lined hoodie from Uniqlo and its great, but it's really best for the dead of winter. 

I have been thinking about upgrading my at-home hoodie game with this cashmere version from J.Crew. It's something I can see actually wearing out in the world and it would be great for travel. It's definitely under consideration. 

Next, let's talk joggers. I've mentioned my love for Quince SuperSoft Fleece Pants (I also love the fleece crew but not the hoodie, which I found flimsy) of which I own three pairs. But you know what? My Vuori Performance joggers are still my first choice. They're lightweight, incredibly soft and somehow still manage to be flattering. I also super-love the Long-Sleeve Halo Crew which is technically a sweatshirt but... elevated. Sometimes pricier things are actually worth it and for me, Vuori has been worth it.

It goes without saying that all of this fanciness should be worn with Birkenstock Boston Clogs. They're having a moment right now and are hard to find, but if you can track down a pair of the shearling-lined version (more colors here) they're worth ever single cozy penny. 

Finally, it's been a while since I rambled on about socks, right?  Last fall I bought a pair of my favorite Bombas athletic socks in the calf length version and they are THE BEST. Great around the house or for athletic endeavors but even better to wear with boots. They're contoured L and R and do not slide down. They also don't have an obnoxious toe seam so they're truly comfortable. Perfection! And, if you're new to Bombas you can get 25% off your first purchase if you go through my link. (Full disclosure: I get $20 credit with each sale.) 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Digging in At Nordstrom Rack

I used to spend hours at Nordstrom Rack, digging around and hoping to find something amazing. I have better luck online than in store these days - you just never know what you'll find:

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Review: Quince Mongolian Cashmere Fisherman Sweater.

Hi! Now it's my turn to beat you over the head with this Quince sweater. Yesterday I posted a reader review comparing this sweater with one by Jenni Kayne (unfair! Stop making me want expensive things!) and today I'm showing you my Quince cashmere Fisherman sweater with which I'm quite pleased:

First of all, I don't have a Jenni Kayne sweater as a comparison but this Quince sweater feels light and soft like a cloud. I was delighted when I first saw it. I sized up to a large because I wanted it to be slouchy and over-sized and that's what I got. It looks 800% better if you do a little half tuck:

So slouchy and soft and comfy! The sleeves are extra long but the body is kind of boxy and hits me at the hip (I'm 5'5") so if you're tall, this one might not work for you. As for the knit, I'm a delicate flower who finds all versions of wool/cashmere/alpaca itchy but I wore this one for a good half an hour without a tee underneath and wasn't bothered. This has never happened! (I'm still probably going to wear a tee underneath though, so if you have any liner tee suggestions, please let me know.)

I'm wearing the sweater with an older pair of Madewell Boyjeans that I completely love. This current version is probably the most similar. I'm also wearing my new M.Gemi shearling and suede clogs which I bought recently on Poshmark. They are A DELIGHT. M.Gemi is currently only stocking the back strap version but Madewell has a shearling lined clog and if you're feeling spending, there's a really nice pair by Rag & Bone. (Is anyone else weirded out by the clogs with shearling on the outside? I mean, yes, SO CUTE but how do you clean them?) On to details:

Hello, I need a bang trim. This is just to show you the sweater knit up a bit closer. I'm wearing my Gorjana Compass Coin necklace all simple-like. Now, this crossbody bag of mine:

It's by Elliott Lucca and I thrifted it to sell on Poshmark but now I'm wavering. Do I keep it or sell it? It's kind of cute and the color is interesting, right? For something similar I like this Frye crossbody but I'm also kind of into this MZ Wallace quilted bag and ugh, how cute is this Hammitt crossbody? Yes, I know it has a face. Anyway, I have the Elliott Lucca bag listed but I'm wavering. Anyway, aren't my clogs cute? They bring me stompy, shearling-lined joy. 

PS. If you're new to Quince and want $20 off your first purchase, please use my link(Full disclosure: for each purchase through my link I receive credits to spend which allows me to try and review more stuff!) 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Reader Review: Quince Cashmere vs Jenni Kayne Cashmere

Hi all! Blog reader Robyn was kind enough to update me on her recent sweater purchases and review them for us. She bought the Jenni Kayne Cashmere Fisherman Sweater and the Quince Mongolian Cashmere Fisherman sweater that's supposed to be a very good dupe. Here's what she has to say:

Ok so I got both sweaters and I’ll get right to the punchline: the Jenni Kayne is far superior, DAMMIT. It’s lofty and exquisitely soft and the color is rich and beautiful:

Here's a closeup shot of the knit:

The Quince sweater *looks* identical in terms of knit and cut, but it’s thinner, a bit itchy (though I have super sensitive skin so YMMV), and just looks cheaper in general. I got the cream color and I could see my bra through it:

And a closeup shot of the knit:

Still, if you’re on a budget it’s not a bad choice, particularly, I’d suspect, in the darker colors. I got a small in both brands and the Quince was maybe a smidge bigger, but just a smidge.

I also ordered the baby alpaca cardigan from Quince and it is DELICIOUS. So soft, not itchy. Recommend 💯 

Thanks, Robyn! She's got a great recipe blog for high altitude cooks and you can also find her on Instagram @butterandair and @robyn_nicoli

Just FYI, I also ordered the Quince cashmere fisherman sweater and I'll be posting an outfit tomorrow with my thoughts! If you've never shopped Quince before and want $20 off your first purchase, please use my link (full disclosure: for each purchase I get credits to spend.) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Two Good Sales (and what I bought.)

I am absolutely not shopping! I am not buying things, nope no way. And then came the Really Good Sales:

First: BlueMercury is having an anniversary event - 20% off a purchase of $150 for BlueRewards members. This is the promotion for you if you're a fan of SkinCeuticals, Augustinus Bader, R+Co, diptyque and LAFCO. Now is the time to stock up on that expensive shit that you feel guilty buying but don't want to live without. I mean, listen. I really like a Target candle but I freaking LOVE a Lafco candle. I gave into this promotion because they had my favorite fall/winter candle in stock:

It's warm, spicy but not sharp at all. It's just winter-y and comforting without being outright seasonal. I just love it. I'm curious about the Spiced Pomander candle as well, but I think I'll wait until closer to the holidays for that one. I also bought my usual SkinCeuticals Phyto serum and an R+Co travel sized tube of the blow-out balm, which I've been wanting to try. 

Just a note: the discount code doesn't work on the Dyson Airwrap but it DOES work on the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer which I have and love and use every single day. (I, um, traded my Airwrap for the Supersonic hairdryer because I'm far too lazy to bother curling my hair. It was a solid decision.) 

Next up, Madewell! They're offering 25% off everything for Insiders (this is the time to buy a leather jacket, just FYI. Usually they're excluded.) I'd just been texting with Marianne about how I don't feel like Madewell's denim this fall is very interesting or tempting but half an hour later I was ordering this pair of Perfect Vintage jeans

While they aren't the bootcut or barrel jeans of my fall vision, they are: mid-rise, a dark wash, and straight leg. I mean, these are the jeans I will be wearing every single day if they work for me. We shall see! I was also quite tempted by these boots and this shirt-jacket and oh my god this leather jacket, but I resisted. For now. We'll see. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Banana Republic For Fall.

I'm not sure how I feel about Banana Republic's recent upscale rebranding but I have to admit, price points aside, the fall collection is pretty tempting. Marianne just ordered this blazer because they're offering 40% off a full-priced purchase with their friends & family sale. Here's what I really like: 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Beauty: Recent Purchases.

 I've been pretty boring with my makeup lately but I have managed to buy a couple of new things I'm happy with, after doing a thorough makeup bag clean-out in which I tossed a lot of old crap. Marianne would be proud of me! She's always horrified at my using makeup that's more than, like, four days old. ANYWAY. I wanted a new cream blush and had heard great things about Rare Beauty Soft Pinch so I trotted over to Sephora and checked it out. I wanted a color that would give me a really natural flush and ended up with this:

This stuff is kind of amazing, y'all. The color is super natural, little goes a long way and it STAYS PUT. I am really impressed! It's also not crazy expensive, which I appreciate. I'll definitely be checking out more from this brand. (What can't Selena Gomez do?)

I should also mention that I got a deluxe sample of the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm and I really like it. It does an amazing job of removing makeup and sunscreen and felt really good. I don't know that I'll rush to replace the balm I'm currently using, but this one is a contender. 

I threw away my old makeup sponge and bought a new one by Real Techniques, a brand Marianne told me about. They're way less expensive than Beauty Blender and they work exactly the same. Before this I'd been using a sponge from Wander Beauty, maker of my favorite mascara, and it's quite good too. I mean, they're all just lil sponges. I do find that Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap works wonderfully when cleaning makeup brushes and sponges, which I think I've mentioned before. 

I recently impulse-purchased this set of metal face thingies and I am not sure this was something I truly needed in my life, but they're kind of fun? The big ball roller thing feels really nice and I use the smaller one to apply eye cream - it feels soothing and seem to help de-puff a bit. It was mostly a stupid purchase for things I didn't really need, but if you want a frivolous treat, you could do worse. Oh, also! I use the spoony ends to scoop out products that come in tub form - my eye cream and Jones Road foundation, specifically. It's much nicer than dipping my fingers in and getting crap under my fingernails. Bleh.

And finally! I ordered a sample kit from Riddle Oil and I've been having a great time with it. You get a little rollerball bottle of all seven of their scents in a very fancy little box and I honestly like most of them a lot. The Original and the Sphinx are a little confusing because they're only base notes - this means they don't smell like anything until you put them on your skin and wait a bit for them to activate. (They explain it with too many words here.) Anyway, they're all very subtle and wearable. Also, you can get $10 off your first order through my link! (full disclosure: I also get $10 credit.) I can't test to see if this discount works on the sample sets, so let me know if you try it! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Outfit of The Day: Grayson Changemaker Dress Review.

There's nothing that quite says "worst blogger ever" like reviewing a dress that's nearly sold out forever, am I right? But even though I'm bummed to discover Grayson too late, I have to show you this dress anyway:

This is the Changemaker dress in liquid flannel and I absolutely love it. I've had it less than a week and I've already worn it out twice. It's not, like, figure flattering but sometimes you just want a dress you can throw on without thought and out the door you go, looking pretty damn good. Sadly, because Grayson is shutting down everything is final sale, so please take note of that. The Changemaker is still available in tissue cotton in a bunch of colors and in the liquid flannel  in a few colors including a very cute gray plaid. I was a bit worried about "liquid flannel" but it's Lyocell and not at all flannel-y, just heavier than cotton with a good drape and weight. 

I'm wearing the size 3 which is a medium and it's perfect. I probably could've even gone with a 2, but I wanted it to be loose and easy and it was final sale, so I didn't want to chance it. Because I know final sale is a risk, I feel it's my duty to let you know that LOFT has a fairly similar drop waist dress in two colors. I'm wearing the Grayson dress with my new-to-me M.Gemi Greta clogs though I think this pair at Madewell would totally fit the bill (and they're on sale if you're an Insider!) However...

I was feeling fancy so I tried it on with my new Loeffler Randall Emilia sandals (that are technically my wedding shoes but they're also just really cute dressy sandals that I hope to wear a lot.) They were a splurge but they are so freaking fun and pretty! Nordstrom has some of the other colors on sale, just FYI. Everyone needs one pair of really fun shoes! My bag is, of course, my Clare V. Midi Sac and woof, do I like this green one. On to details: 

I'm wearing my Gorjana herringbone chain with my vintage turquoise bead necklace because I think a black dress needs some color! For something similar, I think this chunky baby would be so striking against black and this cheap-and-cheerful option from H&M is basically exactly my vibe. 

And one final look at my Emilia sandals because they are so fun and the heel is perfect. (Marianne calls her pair "my tamales.")

Friday, September 9, 2022

Weekend Window Shopping: Autumnal AF.

 I am a summer person who LOVES fall clothes. I have started looking to see what I might want for fall and winter and everything is so tempting! Here's a roundup of what I love so far:

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Stuff I Bought: Not-Quite-Fall Edition.

I have a mental list of things I'd like to buy for fall/winter and have recently knocked a few of those items out with my usual brand of idiotic impulse shopping. It's great to be me.  First up, I received my Grayson dress and it's great:

I'll post an outfit soon! Unfortunately it's true that Grayson is shutting down so this dress is sold out in black but still available in a few colors and in cotton. I took a size 3/M in this and it's generous. My linen dress is also still in stock but everything is final sale. That said, I'm tempted to order a button up shirt before they're gone because people seem to love them! 

In truly fall-like news, I was recently influenced by a blog reader (hi, Robyn!) who told me she'd heard that the Quince cashmere fisherman sweater is similar to the Jenni Kayne version so I ordered one for Blog Science:

This is Very Important Sweater Research, yes? She also ordered the Quince sweater and the Jenni Kayne version to compare. (I consider this to be dangerous behavior but she promised to let me know her findings.) I can't do much about the wonders of Jenni Kayne cashmere but if you you're tempted by the Quince version, you can get $20 off your first order through my link. (Full disclosure: I get Quince credit with each sale.) 

Lastly, this isn't really a "fall" purchase but I wanted a truly comfortable pair of lightweight, packable sneakers for travel that are also not completely hideous. I love my Madewell Sidewalk sneakers but they're leather and more for fashion than serious walking. Marianne suggested I check out the Aertrex Carly which are super-sexy arch support sneakers. This is where we are, I guess. But they come in good colors and they are SO lightweight, so they'll pack well:

I tried them on and they seem great? They didn't have the white in my size in-store so I ordered them (though now I'm eyeing the leopard print and having mild regret.) I'll report back! 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

(Early) Weekend Window Shopping: Labor Day Sales!

So many good sales this weekend! (Okay, I know it's only Thursday but you gotta start early with these or all the good stuff is gone.) Here's what I have so far, with links to the sale and also one item from each that I'd personally love to own:

Extra 50% off all sale items

Extra 30% off Sale Styles

Banana Republic Factory
Extra 15% off at checkout

Extra 30% off select items

20% off sale

30% off your purchase, plus an extra 50% off sale with code LONGWKND

J.Crew Factory
50% off entire site & storewide, no exclusions

Kate Spade
30% off sale styles with code MORE30

Lo & Sons
Up to 50% off select items

Extra 40% off sale, 30% off fall faves with code LONGWEEKEND

Extra 40% off clearance (this is a good one!)