they came home with me, july edition


- Margaret Howell shirt

- Orla Kiely for Uniqlo scarf
- Seafolly bikini

- Uniqlo linen shirt
- Massimo Dutti linen knit henley
- MHL by Margaret Howell cotton-linen sailor  top

- Filippa K navy cotton twill shirtdress
- COS cream chunky cotton knit tank
- Pointer cream canvas sneakers
- Massimo Dutti low-heeled t-strap pumps

10 items for the year already! I felt like I was doing so well on my one item a month plan until I got to Berlin and then I went a little out of control.


I bought this MHL top in the NAP sale before I left for my holiday. I loved it the minute I saw it but had a feeling it would keep to the sales, and it did!


These Massimo Dutti heels are meant to go with my bridesmaids' dress, which looks horrible with flats, no matter which flats I try it with. Happy to have found these at a markdown as I hadn't wanted to spend too much. My first-ever pair of heels... everything else I've ever worn were borrowed or hand-me-downs from my sisters.


Around the time I started putting together this post, I came across this excellent post by Maja where she gives a candid take on the quest for a perfect wardrobe - a timely read as I sat down to evaluate my buys and my buying habits.

It made me realise one crucial thing - while she doesn't see clothing as a hobby, I do. (I feel like I should point out I have other hobbies too.) This blog is part of that hobby.

I get too much pleasure out of this to think I can realistically eliminate wants. Instead, I hope to master the art of appreciating things from a distance, instead of feeling the need to own it. I'm only sometimes successful.

I also try to appreciate my things more, and this is where my blog comes in handy. I can ramble on about a particular item of clothing, and lately I think outfit posts are part of that as well - a visual record of what I enjoy to inspire myself. (As narcissistic that sounds!)

In any case, I don't think the perfect wardrobe is a static thing. Lifestyle changes, new ideas, these things all affect how we dress. We derive over time certain constants but we also adopt new things. I guess the goal is to reconcile that with my desire to be less wasteful.


Joy said…
I think this is a great wrap up to keep track of purchases! Love the things you've bought so far. Love the tasteful neutral palette of the things you've bought so far. I can't wait to go check out Maja's post and if I can find it, MHL products in NYC.

I agree in being less wasteful as the ultimate goal behind curating the wardrobe. Waste not, want not!
Eileen said…
I like the things you have bought so far! The sailor top is so cute. Didn't Steven Alan have something in that collar too?

I agree with you that the perfect wardrobe is not a static thing. I am still tweaking what I have and learning what works and what doesn't. Thankfully there is ebay to give these items a new lease of life. I am less impulsive these days and I am happy to see personal growth. Thanks for inspiring, Lin!
Pret a Porter P said…
I admire your discipline, and I like the items that you’ve chosen for yourself. I try to buy things that either serve a practical/utilitarian function or are soul-stirrers. I have no problem parting with things that no longer serve me. I too need to work on my being able to appreciate something without hitting the bid now button—I’m getting better, sort of.
Sue said…
Hi - I'm another lurker who has followed for a little while but just wanted to wish you a belated birthday greeting and to admire the spoils from your trip. I love the Filippa K shirt dress - that is my kind of easy going dress which seems to have timeless appeal. And I'm so pleased that you said the perfect wardrobe is not a static thing - I went through a phase when I first started reading blogs like your own and the Cat's Meow where I felt like I needed to cull everything in my wardrobe but ultimately I couldn't let everything go as I don't have such a self assured idea of my own style - I'm a bit of Heinz 57 - a bit of everything! I like the "utilitarian" feel of the pieces you have chosen and that they are not strictly following the latest dictates of fashion but are something you like and "classic" in a not mainstream way.
helin said…
I love that you can restrain yourself so well. I wish I could do half of what you're currently doing. This weekend I cleaned out my shoe closet and I decided that for every pair I'll buy from now on, I'll throw out, give away an existing pair. Otherwise, they will take over my life.. :)
Please keep inspiring me...
Ammu said…
Love that MHL top, and can totally see you in it!
I completely see what you mean about the evolving wardrobe. It's a hobby for me too. In earlier months I put a lot of energy into culling, today I am a little more relaxed about it. It happens easily enough, organically. And I really enjoy wearing the same things over and over. Lists are also terribly useful because I have realised what a "uniform" person I am, buying multiples, or buying (and wearing) different versions of the same thing, i.e. statement necklaces.
Maja H said…
Thank you so much for the link love, Lin! What a nice surprise!

I just did some quick math in my head, and came to the conclusion that I have bought at least three items of clothing/accessories every month this year. That is a lot, way more than I'm comfortable with. Most of them were very good items, but it is still too much. We'll have to practice that whole "not wanting" thing together I suppose :)

Oh and I love your shirt dress. I'd wear it to death.
miss sophie said…
i love that MHL sailor top! blogged about it on my wardrobe planning and then missed it during the sales. ah well. i'll live vicariously through you on this one :)

the Dutti heels are nice - they remind me of a kitten heel that Chanel would do.

learning to admire rather than own is such an apt way to put it. i've done okay this past year, given a few allowances i made for living abroad, but upon returning home, my impulse is to do some more editing...
The Waves said…
The sailor top is beautiful, and those sneakers, too.

My one-item-a-month plan went out of the window in May, sort of. I might be okay if I don't buy anything for the rest of the year, but I don't know if that's going to happen. So far, so good.

I feel the same way about clothing as a hobby. I like clothes too much to be a total minimalist. I like to have some variation. I guess the challenge is to keep things under control and not go completely crazy like I have done in the past. :)
lin said…
Joy: I found Maja's post so honest about the pitfalls of fantasising about a perfect wardrobe - and I think sometimes it's dangerous to have that kind of expectations..

MHL products should definitely be seen in person, their proportions can be a bit difficult to predict so I kind of went out on a limb on this one by ordering it online. Thank goodness it worked out!

Eileen: I loved that Steven Alan top and felt like I shouldn't have became unavailable before I made up my mind. Was really quite happy when I saw this top because it felt like a "second chance"!

Pret a Porter P: Your soul-stirrers always remind me not to settle for novelties. Ptactical things are my soul-stirrers, so that's very convenient for me haha.

Sue: Thanks! I actually haven't culled things in a while, at least a year, I love what I have for one reason or other, and I'm not bothered by the idea that I don't wear some of them any more. They're important to me and somehow I'm confident I haven't seen the end of them yet.

helin: I'm that way about shoes too! I've learnt that I don't like having too many shoes lying around that serve the same aesthetic and function.

Ammu: The top is so good for hot weather - just sits away from your body and is somehow sturdy and airy at the same time.

I don't really stress out about clothes (except for my compulsion to spend haha) and I enjoy that little routine of picking out my outfit and deciding what the day needs, and putting on something I love, and I love checking out what people are wearing. It's definitely a hobby!

Maja H: No problem! I really liked your post and how you just tackled the topic in a straightforward way without romanticising the whole idea of a perfect wardrobe.

It's surprising isn't it, how things add up. I totalled my spending for six months a few years ago and realised I could have gone on a fantastic vacation. That kind of sobered me up and put into perspective exactly how much of my income should go into clothes.

miss sophie: I was really thrilled it made it to the NAP sale.

I was a bit hesitant about the kitten heel because I never really liked them, but once they were on it seemed to work.

Do share about that editing process, if it happens!

The Waves: I had a figure I was aspiring to as well, would be interesting to see what happens by the end of the year.
I like your picks, Lin. They're all so tasteful. I guess it's human nature to constantly want more. Old toys are discarded to make way for new ones. That said, I still have Karen Walker dresses which I still wear despite having bought them 6 years ago.

I think more about longevity of each piece as well as my lifestyle before I succumb to a purchase. I haven't bought anything for the summer as it's so cold here all the time.
lin said…
chocolate, cookies & candies: Thanks!

Most of my clothes, except for my jeans, average about 3 years old, which isn't very long at all. I do have a few things that are 7, 8 years old, but not much. So much change happened when I started work, and figuring what works for my lifestyle and what image I wanted to project took time I guess. Makes me realise it's quite difficult to predict what will work 10 years down the road!

I expect to slow down in the shopping in the coming months when all the fall stocks start moving in...too heavy for Singapore!
Unknown said…
I have also found blogging to work in my favour with regards to shopping a little more carefully, whereas initially it seemed to accelerate my passion to consume. Not sure where/when that flipover actually occurred, possibly after quite a bit of consideration, self awareness and several atrocious shopping 'failures'.

Interesting concept: clothing as a hobby, also.

Myself...I am still learning, evolving, so to speak, especially with regards to what actually suits me, what feels much more like an extension of my personality, as opposed to what I merely love or admire. Which brings me to MHL! Oh dear, I definitely must see her garments in person, for I fear they're just not cut for 'me' at all. However, for the meantime I am content to own one or two accessories. On pins to see her AW12/13 knitwear offerings though!
lin said…
Lapin de Lune: I agree her clothes have to tried on in person; I remember visiting the shop in Paris and thinking her things looked quite different in real life. But I have been lucky so far with my online purchases.
caroline said…
That's a good way to shop. I might need to instill that practice into my life. 12 classic pieces a year sounds good. & adore your sailor top, that was on my wishlist. :)

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