some of what i wore (sept-oct)


A more complete record of what I wore the past few weeks would have much fewer sleeves, because the humidity has truly reached sauna levels. I can't believe there were days where I comfortably wore long-sleeves, but if I recall correctly, I spent one of those days almost entirely in AC (attended a workshop) and the other day was a cool, drizzly day. Even socks seem like a huge thing to ask of me.

The weather has made me really happy about my decision to chop the sleeves off that gingham top, which I've had for a few years now. The top is coarse, almost-linen like cotton, which is perfect for this kind of weather: doesn't stick to the skin like a T-shirt and far more breathable.

I'm also really happy with the linen and cotton gauze tank tops that I've added to my wardrobe this year, one of which is pictured here (the white one with the gathered neckline). It's from OZMA, a new-to-me brand, which I bought secondhand. Had I paid retail, I would have found it pricey for what it is, even after factoring in their sustainable and ethical production ethos. It's nice, but not that nice, if that makes any sense...

Trying expensive and new-to-me labels via the secondhand market has working out for me, as the ones I'm interested in tend to be available online only, making the risk of mistakes high. It's also yielded surprisingly practical buys, as I used to think shopping secondhand was for "Holy Grail" type items rather than useful day-to-day things.

Yet the patterned pants from MATTER (pictured above) for example, is a secondhand buy that turned out to be indispensable; the fabric has been outstanding in keeping me cool yet clothed in this hot weather.

The unassuming sleeveless black dress in the third row is also a nice and practical secondhand find - the Clyde dress from Elizabeth Suzann. Most ES designs aren't my style, but I've been hugely curious about their much-raved-about linen, possibly my favourite fabric of all time. So when the Clyde dress - one of the few ES items that intrigued me - showed up on Noihsaf Bazaar in my size, I went for it.

It was a good choice - the fabric is as awesome as everyone says it is, it's beautifully cut to balance between volume and drape, and it's easy to wear. Would I pay full retail for ES? Sure, if the right item came along. But I'm glad I got to try it out in a more wallet-friendly way first.

An acquaintance recently commented that I seemed to have a lot of clothes, to which I responded: "I do!" She laughed, telling me she hadn't expected me to agree, but she was glad I seemed to enjoy clothing as a hobby.

The competitive aspect of shopping has been on my mind lately, as I'd once or twice swayed too closely to the "collector" mentality trap, where I feel like I need to possess something, even though realistically I won't wear it much. The acquaintance's comment was a  reminder of small pleasures, and how dressing myself is one of the things in my life that isn't achievement-oriented. It should stay that way.


Anonymous said…
oh so many great outfits. i love the look of the jean shorts and the patterned pants. The navy dress looks very classic. And the pair of jeans in the bottom right picture look amazing.
I'm definitely a victim of the collector's mentality. just witness the museum of skirts in my closet to bare proof. My occasion wardrobe gets so much attention which is extremely odd, considering I'm an homebody who tends to wear jeans when I do venture out.
Pret a Porter P said…
Impeccable style as always. I like how your jeans have a tailored/trouser look to them. Also it’s nice to see medium wash jeans without holes/rips/and all the other trendy elements going on with them nowadays. Love the patterned trousers, an excellent choice.

I also look to the 2nd market for a mix of grails and everyday items.

“dressing myself is one of the things in my life that isn't achievement-oriented. It should stay that way.” Wise words
I definitely envy your closet. All those blue dresses !! ( Some day, would you be interested in a clothing swap ? I will send you a blue dress of mine. You send me one of yours. Loaned out for a summer and sent back. Maybe a blog post recording how we wear the same garment ? Think about it. ) I am a collector too but I don't find many things that meet my threshold unfortunately. Or maybe I don't look enough.

Second hand market is evolving and using different interfaces to make the process more pleasant. We no longer have to dumpster dive to find the gems. Someone else will do it and price is accordingly. I do mourn about RealReal getting more expensive. They were priced like a fast fashion store circa 2014.

Lin, keep the OOTDs coming. I love them !
justeileen said…
Thanks for still bothering to post:)
Never tired of seeing your OTDs and reading your thoughts on style, clothes, shopping..
MC Bontemps said…
On experimenting with secondhand clothes, I find the democratic grab-bag aspect of my favourite shops oddly liberating. The shop is invariably stuffed, the goods are presented without the seductive distraction of great merchandising or marketing, the brands may not be familiar, a person is challenged to assess design and quality by rubbing fabric, peering at seams and occasionally wondering whether the odd fit is intentional or if folks were just built differently back in the day. All off-line, obviously, and maybe a tad dumpster dive-y for some :)

Some of my most successful buys include things which I am unlikely to have encountered new - a sharp-shouldered wasp-waisted black blazer which I loved and wore until its lapels were shiny, a pearl-grey ankle-length silk-jersey dress whose flowing exterior is secured to an internal bodysuit which eliminates the need for underwear; Vivienne Westwood and Versace respectively, both brands whose typical aesthetic I don't find appealing and whose boutiques I don't look out for.
lin said…
Anon: Thanks! Skirts are too, my downfall. I don't have that many but I'm often tempted to! I try to stick to really unique pieces that a pair of trousers can't replicate...

Pret a Porter P: Thanks! What you said about jeans...I'm just realising it too how trendy jeans have taken over the world. I do have rips in my jeans, but only ones resulting from natural wear and tear.

Archana: Great idea, keep me posted.

The digital secondhand market growing beyond ebay has been good for someone like me who doesn't live in proximity to any good thrift stores. Asians aren't big on secondhand clothing, it seems. The IG shops I follow are a little pricey but they're well edited and I have a degree of faith about the authenticity, and I appreciate having that filter.

justeileen: you're welcome, thanks for following still :)

MC Bontemps: I would love thrift shopping for clothing if it were more prevalent where I live. Sadly they're getting far and few in between and I only had ebay until the newer online players came along. Agree that we lose a bit of the treasure hunting thrill when everything is nicely merchandised, but ah well, sometimes we can't have it all. Your finds sound amazing! I love that with offline shopping, you get a much better sense of quality.

Anonymous said…
Hi there! I first came across your blog because of a photo of you with the Celine Sangle Seau sometime back. I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned it previously but did you get yours in calfskin or goatskin?

Thank you :)

lin said…
Olive: Hi, didn't see this comment till recently, sorry! My bag is calfskin!

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