they came home with me - the year so far


  • Red cotton jeans from M&S
  • Camel leather lace-ups from Dieppa Restrepo 
  • Glasses from Tom Ford
  • Navy and off-white cotton gingham blouse from Muji 
  • Grey cotton-linen dress from A.P.C.
  • Chambray boyfriend shorts from Esprit
  • Palm leaf hat from Crazy Crow Trading Post 

    It's sale season, which always makes me perk up a bit. Almost everything ends up in a sale these days and if you have a strong sense of what you like and don't like, you're likely to be able to zoom in on the perfect item for you season after season. I have nothing against paying full-price for things, but why not economise when you can?

    That said, I have not actively shopped the sales this year, and only made one proper shopping excursion: an A.P.C. clearance sale in early June.

    I wasn't so keen on going to the sale, given the feelings I expressed about the brand here. If not for a friend who wanted to go, I might have missed it altogether. But it was a different story when I got there, and saw a dress. Vanity won - it's one of those deceptively simple, well-made dresses I can't resist. I'm still embarrassed that the frivolous side of me beat out the side that wants to be principled.

    I'm even more embarrassed about my Esprit shorts - the brand has a murky manufacturing record - but I wanted a pair of affordable, nice-looking shorts that covered my thighs for my trip to Turkey and they were the best option.

    I'm writing about this not to make excuses for my choices, but to confront a personal weakness - when it comes to shopping, I often choose the aesthetically appealing and convenient way out. It is also often, for me, the realistic option. For example, I sometimes find more "ethical" options online, but can't bring myself to pay for the shipping which can cost more than the item itself.

    My goal has long been to shop less, whether it's fast fashion or the most artisanal, luxurious things money can buy, and buy with the intention of using things for a long time. To that end, I think I am reasonably successful - there are very few things I've bought that are white elephants and I am still wearing things from places like H&M I bought 8, 9 years ago. I suppose that is one way I make my peace with the odd dodgy chain store buy.

    Oh, and that much longed-for hat, which I was so looking forward to wear on my trip to Turkey? It is unlikely to arrive in time for my trip. Karma for my flaky behaviour, I reckon.

    By the way, how's everyone coping with the demise of Google Reader. I find Feedly to be a great replacement. 


    Pret a Porter P said…
    As long as you love and/or have use for the pieces you acquire, I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. Have a safe and awesome trip!

    On a side note, I've been using the reader on blogger's dashboard and it works just fine for me. No fuss.
    Kali said…
    Very nice little collection! It is the Muji blouse in the first picture? I love it!

    I agree with you a lot on ethical positions. Sometimes I struggle between ideal behaviour and what I actually can do. But I think as long as we try best we can, and wear what we own as long as possible, then there is nothing to be too beat up about.

    Have a nice trip and enjoy! I hope you'll take nice pictures there :)
    petrichore said…
    You are a wonderful example of self-restraint. I have to admit, I am quite a bit off from my proposed 12-item limit this year. Oh well.
    Ammu said…
    It's hard to resist once you are in the store - and these days, thanks to the internet, you are always in the store :)
    I was so furious after working on the Rana Plaza story, but I still can't bring myself to throw out the one piece I own from the brands who manufactured there - black denim shorts from Benetton. I figure they are the only pair of shorts I own, they fit like a dream, and holding on to them keeps me from buying any more pairs.
    P.S. those camel brogues are just gorgeous. The leather looks like butter.
    Nomadic D. said…
    I totally hear you about the ethical shopping dilemma. As much as I would love for all my purchases to be from small independent artists and manufacturers, the reality of my life simply doesn't allow for that right now. I will have to content myself with doing the best I can, and at least being aware and making an effort. And the occasional H&M purchase, well that's just going to have to be ok for now.

    As for google reader, that was pretty rough for me! I tried feedly but I really missed having the notifier, so I've switched to The Old Reader. Pretty happy with it so far!
    I bought three pairs of shoes during sale season - 2 Stella McCartneys and 1 Ann Demeulemeester. I feel good about these purchases, prior to them I would have trouble completing my outfits with shoes but now I seem to have more outfit choices with them!

    I'm trying to spend less too but sometimes when I'm stressed out at work I get home and "window" shop online, which can get dangerous. I signed up for recently, you just add links to items you want and they alert you when they go on sale.

    I'm using, a few kinks but so far it's almost exactly the same as google reader, minus app support.
    Letitia said…
    Having the mindset is the first step to change. But I wonder, where do you find online that the shipping is so high it ends up costing more than the goods?? Didn't know that still took place!
    lin said…
    Pret a Porter P: Thanks!

    And I didn't even know Blogger had a dashboard...

    Kali: No, that is actually an old striped top from APC...I was too lazy to fish the Muji blouse from my wardrobe and take a picture...

    petrichore: It seems so easy when we say we'll only buy one new thing a month doesn't it? Haha. I actually left out the boring necessities like socks, basic undies, and basic tanks for layering or sleeping in, else it would be a longer list. But I buy those things quite grudging, unlike the things on this list.

    Ammu: You're in that it doesn't make much sense to throw away something serviceable, that would be a waste in its own way.

    I love the shoes too, I'm already all set to buy a second pair in the right colour, when the time comes.

    nomadic d: I enjoy how the shutdown of Google Reader has led me to be a bit more adventurous when looking for online platforms...I am so Google dependent.

    koko: that sounds like a very useful but also very dangerous service, haha.

    letitia: International shipping from the US to Singapore can be really expensive. The big stores, if they ship, charge a flat rate like US$15 which is fine, and Shopbop ships for free over US$100. But Everlane, for example, doesn't ship internationally and if I use a third-party service, it easily costs as much if not more than the US$15 t-shirt. Smaller online boutiques that carry hard to find brands charge about US$30 and up to ship internationally.

    And once I buy something, there is no returning it if it's not a great fit - few places offer free return international shipping.
    Eileen said…
    I am collating the list of items I ended up keeping. Sometimes it takes a while to decide if what I bought is something I will constantly wear or if it is just a whim. A couple of items went to the resale market which there are others that are excellent purchases.

    Don't feel too bad about the "personal weakness". Life is complicated enough and as long as you put what you buy into good use, I think that's fine:)

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