Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wardrobe Inventory: Longchamp Roseau Shopper Tote

The Longchamp roseau shoulder tote is my go-to work tote in the fall/winter. I paid $330 (including shipping) for it on Ebay and though it is to date the most money I have ever spent on a handbag, the cost-per-wear is pennies by this point. I was enabled by my friend, who has this in silver.

It's just a simple, classic work tote that holds its shape beautifully. Two open inside pockets are handy places for keys, Metrocard, office building pass, etc...and I like the generous interior zip pocket for my wallet & phone. It's so structured that though the lining is dark, it never becomes one of those black-hole bags through which you must fumble for things helplessly.

The only cons are that the sleek black leather scuffs easily, and the snaps come undone so quickly that you need to use the bamboo toggle (which is super-pretty, if not particularly efficient) if you don't want the bag to fly open. The 8.5-inch strap drop is also long on someone my height, but I don't mind that.

I used to have this fantasy of owning one perfect bag that I could wear with everything, always, and never have to swap it out. I imagined it would be a medium-ish leather shoulder bag in some neutral shade like taupe or gray, with a single strap, that would zip shut but have some kind of outside pocket for my Metrocard. Le Tanneur's Camille bag is probably the closest I ever saw to this perfect vision, though I think it only came in orange and cream. (And oh, how I loved it in orange. I am STILL kicking myself for not buying one when I had the chance. Very, very hard. Tip for everybody: You never regret the things you buy when traveling. You only regret the things you don't buy.) Since then, I've sort of veered to the collector's mentality when it comes to bags and for a while daydreamed about collecting different sizes, shapes, and colors. Now, trying to find a middle ground.

Wardrobe Inventory: Kenneth Cole Reaction Slip On By Flats

One day, I hobbled into De Janeiro for an emergency pair of flats when new pumps from a brand that shall remain unnamed were torturing my feet. These lovely, restoring flats were on the sale rack for $39.99 and so comfortable I floated out of the store. Over the next year, I wore them into the ground (their rubber soles don't really allow for easy re-soling, and anyway the uppers and inner lining were so worn and shredded it would have been embarrassing to take them to the cobbler), then I found another pair on Amazon. I am now in the process of wearing the second pair into the ground. I really might as well buy five pairs at this point and stock up so I never run out of these, ever.

Obviously their durability is nothing to write home about (it's not just the soles, the uppers also lose their shape pretty quickly), but the pewter color is so versatile, and they are probably the most comfortable shoes I own. No break-in period necessary. Size 6 is loose on me, which means these run big and wide.

Wardrobe Inventory: Jessica Simpson Victorina Platform Sandals in Orange

Yes, I have these in yellow. Yes, I also got them in orange.

Yes, this is embarrassing.

Wardrobe Inventory: Jessica Simpson Victorina Platform Sandals

These were $39.99 on sale at DSW (now $29.94). I normally don't go for platforms, especially such honking obnoxious platforms (I always remember Manolo Blahnik comparing walking in platforms to the movement of elephants) or heel heights this exaggerated, or anything associated with Jessica Simpson, but the heart wants what it wants. In this case, it wanted sunny yellow shoes with darling piping detail. I also have a few dresses that are hard to pair shoes with:
1. Very brightly patterned blue dress with a skirt too long and full on me.
2. This sailor-style dress from Pinup Couture that falls mid-calf, but the white piping on the hem is too cute to sacrifice.
3. Purple-flowered Ann Taylor dress, that again - OK, before this turns into a laundry list, I basically have quite a few dresses that are too bold or too long to pair with unassertive shoes. And these shoes can stand up to them.

And I was surprised by how comfortable and walkable these are, too! I wore their orange sisters (ahem, I sort of bought the orange as well because my gentleman caller liked them better, but I liked the yellow better, and CLEARLY the answer was to get both. Right.) while having to make a mad dash for a Megabus, and strangers were very impressed at how fast I could run in them.

Wardrobe Inventory: Adrienne Vittadini Charlann Flats

These bright green flats were $59.50 at DSW, and so pretty and comfortable that I broke my never-buy-at-full-price rule and took them home. In-store they only had green, but online, they also come in yellow, white, and orange. I kind of regret not waiting to get them online, because I think ALL the other colors are more versatile than this distinctive kelly green...but that's what I get for being impatient and impulsive.

Size 6 fit the best (still a little loose in the back) which means these shoes run large.

They're perfect for summer workwear (at least for my business-casual nonprofit office) as they're closed-toe, but the cutouts still provide some breathability. After a couple of months, I can attest that they are super-comfortable and seem to be holding up pretty well. I've worn them to work with a yellow-and-green dress & yellow cardigan, but felt a little too matchy-matchy. I like them best with black/white/gray. They also might look nice with a simple, solid yellow dress, but I don't have one. I've liked seeing bloggers pair green with blue, so maybe I'll try that.

Wardrobe Inventory: Urban Outfitters Globe Watch

Hadn't thought about Urban Outfitters in ages, but ExtraPetite's Around the World watch inspired me to browse through their watch section. I liked how the Globe Watch shows the numbers more distinctly, and it was on sale for $19 (though shipping was an egregious $10).

I was a little disappointed when I opened the box, because the map image is a little blurrier than it looked online, and the band was very stiff. Plus the buckle bar is flimsy and has already fallen out a couple of times. However, it does fit better than any other watch I've owned, and the design is fun.

I usually wear a bracelet that my gentleman caller gave me for my birthday - but I'm not a fan of how it looks to wear a bracelet & watch on the same wrist. Is it weird to wear a bracelet on one wrist and a watch on the other?

Wardrobe Inventory: Betsey Johnson Cherry Halter Dress

A sort of combined inspiration from Recovering Shopaholic and Fashion Jar inspired me to do a wardrobe inventory. I started out with a spreadsheet (how I love me the Excel filter function) but like how Fashion Jar is a more in-depth exploration of each piece, complete with visual. I thought I'd start with my latest purchase and work backwards from there.

This is an old Betsey Johnson dress (circa 2009, per Zappos). I found it while image-searching for something else, fell in object-lust, and tracked one down on Ebay.

Side note: Thank you, saved search function, I have much love for you as well. Except for the time when ANOTHER cherry-print Betsey Johnson dress, this time in silk, with a sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves, popped up, and it was so adorable I had to bid on it, and then I lost, and now, even though I finally possess the original cherry dress, I don't want to disable the "Betsey Johnson cherry dress" email alert because the silk one might come back - but how many cherry-print dresses does one woman need? 

Side Note 2: The saved-search alert has sent me way too many TERRY versions of this dress. Why does anyone want a dress of terry? So you can wear a towel on the street? So you can wipe down subway seats before you use them? So you don't have to use the incubators-of-super-bacteria aka hand-dryers that they have in public restrooms? I guess I could see it being a cute cover-up at the pool or the beach or maybe, maybe, something you put on right out of the shower, if robes are not to your taste...?

Side Note 3: Suddenly wanting the terry version of the dress, to wear right out of the shower.

Anyway. this is such an adorable confection of a dress. The cherries are embroidered, not printed, and although the combination of baby pink + sweetheart neckline + bow-at-the-neck is probably too sweet for most, my sugar tolerance is infinite. I *really* don't need any more casual summer dresses, especially one so cutesy that no cardigan could make it work-appropriate - unless maybe I button it all the way up so only the skirt shows? But that would be such a waste. It wants to be one of those effortless slip-on-and-go weekend summer dresses to wear with nothing more than sandals and maybe a simple necklace.

This dress just makes me so happy that I can't regret the purchase, all $58-including-shipping of it. It originally retailed for over $310 (For a casual summer dress. $310. For a casual summer dress. $310. I could repeat that in my head for hours and it still wouldn't make sense to me. I am clearly not the 1%.)
Size 2 fits me pretty well. It's just a little snug on me in the bust, which is odd because I never thought of myself as particularly voluptuous in that area - but the back is ruched, and might stretch out over time, so I'm not bothered. The only annoying thing is that the tag says dry-clean only - wonder if it's really necessary (material is 97% cotton, 3% spandex, lining 100% polyester).
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