Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year's Resolution: January purchase

I totally overspent last year's clothing budget (and restaurant budget, but that's another topic), so I was rethinking my shopping resolution for 2014. I've decided that my plan is to: only buy one item of clothing a month. I won't worry so much about the exact spending amount, but hope that this will ensure that anything I do buy will be something that's absolutely loved and will be used frequently.

I'd thought that January's purchase would be this 50's-inspired piece from Unique Vintage, looking so lovely on Emma Pillsbury on Glee. (I've never actually seen a single episode of Glee, but still read the WWEPW website religiously because I like this character's style so much. I'm weird.)

I ignored some of the iffy reviews and focused on the one reviewer who said she wore it as her wedding dress! Surely a dress that was worn at someone's wedding must be divine. AND there was a 25%-off promotional code!

I have had some bad "Wait, THIS is what I ordered?!" letdown moments when opening packages. (I boycott Modcloth because they've sent me one or five too many of those.) This, people, was probably the worst.

1) The quality of the material is ba-yad. I'm not even an expert but this stuff looked and felt awful. It was a crinkly mess when I pulled it out of the package, but ironing wouldn't have smoothed out the stiff, rough texture. It felt like fabric designed for upholstery, not clothing. I had the impression that the material would be fairly flowy and drapy because that's usually what cowl-necklines are made out of - NOT the case. It was the stiffest fabric ever. I cannot emphasize that enough.
2) It *could* be that I wasn't filling out the bust properly, but do you see that graceful drapey effect at Emma's neckline? On me, it wasn't so much graceful draping as an armful of stiff upholstery ballooning in front of me like the front of a car. My chest would have entered every room several moments before me. It was so bad there was no way I could possibly wear it out in public. I keep staring at that picture of Emma and wondering if they altered the dress before putting on her. Even if I suddenly grew three cup sizes, there's no way I could possibly fill out that much fabric. 
3) Admittedly, I'm not the bustiest girl in the world. But if there's an armful of extra material in the neckline, hinting that the bust is too big, what is with that weird seam that cuts right across my chest, seeming to hint that the bust is too small? It looks like it's not in a great place on Emma, either.

There were no pros. OK, I guess the weight of the fabric wasn't so bad on the skirt portion, because it helped at least that part of the dress fall nicely. But the top of it was such a fail that no one would ever get around to noticing the skirt. Unique Vintage makes you pay for shipping both ways so I might have considered getting it tailored, but not only did the fabric feel cheap, the print wasn't nearly so pretty and delicate in person. In fact, when I first saw it, I thought it looked extremely crudely printed. (It looked better on, but still.)

So I returned it. Instead, my January purchase was this Tiffany's-inspired apple blossom necklace:
On clearance at the Met Museum store.

I glimpsed it shining in the showcase at the New York Historical Society museum store, went home and found it on sale for less than half the price at the Met Museum store, deliberated for a few days, and then bought it. And - I love it! It's not an everyday piece, but it's so pretty in the light (and the bright pink is toned down a lot when you wear it against your skin) that I would be happy just hanging it up somewhere and staring at it.

I have a very similar necklace by Michael Michaud (only his is inspired by magnolias, not apple blossoms) that I should consider selling/giving away, so I don't have TWO pink flower necklaces. But this one is longer, and has little pearls set in the flowers, and is a brighter pink overall - the other one is more subtle and subdued - I kind of want to keep both!

Wardrobe Inventory: Aerosoles Tyrolean Boots

Tastes really do change.

These are an old pair of Aerosoles I must have bought at least five years ago, at full price, because I loved the Victorian-inspired look. I wore them into the ground while they were still in stores (and at the time, I hadn't yet found my magical cobblers) and immediately bought a backup pair. At one point the clearance price dropped to $40, and I seriously considered getting a third pair, because I loved the look of these and was convinced that I would love and wear them forever.

Then one spring I put them away and forgot about them for a couple of years. I finally pulled them out yesterday, put them on, and went happily off to work.

And realized that I don't love them anymore.

I kept looking down at them and thinking how wide and round the toes are. At the time, I thought the rounded look was cute, but now I keep thinking "childish" and "clunky". (To be fair, it probably contributes to why these are so comfortable for walking even long distances. I've walked miles and miles in these.) The ultimate test, though - I HAVE magical cobblers who could resole and polish these into good-as-new quality once they wear out. But now I have doubts that they'll be worth the cost of repairs, given how little I want to wear them again.

It will, in the future, make me think twice about buying duplicates.

In my dreams, my next pair of Victorian-inspired shoes will be these:

Come on, Ebay, do your stuff!

Maybe these will stand the test of time better? 

But one pair at a time. By the time they're worn out past the point of no repair (if that does exist for my magical cobblers; I'm not sure that it does) there might be another pair I like even better.
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