shopping reflections, may

I've done plenty of looking, but not much buying - having a shopping cap is working really well because having to weigh one potential buy against another just makes me give up. And I go back to the age-old shopping realisation: that I didn't really want it that badly in the first place.

I did spend a very long time looking for a new white t-shirt to rotate with my current one. I had my eye on the ones by Tradlands because the cuts were exactly what I wanted, but in the end I decided the fabric was just a shade too heavy for someone as sweaty as I am living in the tropics. Everlane and a few other similar brands had promising options but I didn't have any luck with sizing or affordable shipping.

In the end, I opted for an organic cotton one from Muji, feeling that at the very least, it was produced in a more environmentally sustainable way than other mass market chain options. It's the exact weight I'm looking for, without being too sheer or drapey.

Maybe what I should give up on white t-shirts since keeping it white and fresh is a bit high maintenance. But few things thrill me more than a freshly laundered white t-shirt. I can almost feel a fresh breeze when I pull one over my head, and they go with just about everything in my wardrobe.

Meanwhile, I'm very happy with the Elizabeth Suzann jumpsuit, which arrived last month. The cotton canvas is reminiscent of denim, but despite the sturdy fabric, the roomy cut allows for plenty for movement and air flow. The deep pockets are never not useful, I love the dipped back for staying cool in the heat, and and I'm really happy I got it in a light, fresh colour. The unusual cut and the colour makes quite the statement - people always comment when they are seeing it for the first time.


  • Polka dot cupro camisole from Everlane (secondhand)
  • Linen cami from NotPerfectLinen

The polka-dot cami from Everlane has been calling to me since they released it and it was pretty tempting when they slashed the prices down in their sale (still available). But it was more of a passing fancy than anything, and for such whims my goal is to buy secondhand as much as possible.

Happily, one did show up in my size at a reasonable price, so I'm diving in. I like the clean yet delicate feel, and it will look just as good with shorts or with a pair of dressy trousers. Fingers crossed that it will fit well.

The NPL linen cami had me at hello. It's the perfect replacement for a 14-year-old linen cami from H&M that I've slowly stopped wearing as it has begun fraying at hem (I yanked it too hard one day and my finger went right through). Fresh white is the obvious option for me, but there are so many gorgeous colours to choose from that I felt quite overwhelmed, so have yet to place an order. Shall see how the Everlane piece pans out before making up my mind.

This year I've found myself mostly eyeing up basics - t-shirts and lightweight summery tops without the frills to beat the heat.

Partly, it's beause of the relaxed style of my workplace, where I can wear just about anything and I need not worry about last-minute assignments that I'm inappropriately dressed for.

But also, after quitting my last job and finding 80 per cent of my wardrobe irrelevant/unnecessary, I became more conscious of buying stuff that would unlikely have a shelf life beyond my current lifestyle.

It took a while to come to this realisation. Last year, I was still buying pretty things I wouldn't cart with me the next time I head off for a extended travels. This year, I find myself looking at cute sandals and thinking, "But will I pack them into my backpack when I decide to spend a year on the African continent?" (my dream trip at the moment).

I'm not applying that as a strict standard, but it does help give me some perspective before I buy something, especially when it comes to "weak spot" items like dresses, which I love but rarely make regular rotation.

Shopping (as of May 3) -

  1. Uniqlo U jeans - S$59.90
  2. Elizabeth Suzann jumpsuit - ~ S$334 (US$247.50)
  3. Muji organic cotton T-shirt - S$13.90
  4. Everlane polka dot camisole - ~$54 (US$40, pending)


A lot of the things I like to browse or shop for now (a lot of things for work, anything with a more formal look such as a lot of wool-blend coats I like) might not be useful for my lifestyle anymore if I ever started living and working anywhere outside of NYC. Particularly if I ever go back to California, some of the clothes I wear now would be very out of place, and not just because of the weather patterns/temperature. People dress so much less formally there for both work and casual occasions that I'd feel strange wearing a lot of my NYC clothes. This idea hasn't affected my shopping yet, since I don't actually know if I'll ever move far enough to work outside of NYC, but I think about it sometimes.
Pret a Porter P said…
I like reading your process with shopping. the jsut looks like a perfect edition to your lifestyle and wardrobe.

also i like your process for not buying beyond your current lifestyle and I am in favor of your next bucket list adventure!

I imposed a cap on myself this year too. And youre right that when you have only x amount of spots it makes me more critical. Also i transitioned to a very casual workplace and with being in my 30s, (unmarried, no kids) when I reaccess my wardrobe I ask myself will I still want to be wearing this when im 40? it helped me cut down my business casual attire (which I no longer wear) and certain looks that im done with wearing.
lin said…
Xin - About 50% of my wardrobe doesn't get touched now - partly because I gained a bit of weight (2 years ago) so they still feel a tiny bit tight (though not tight enough for me to give up on them), and partly because my workplace is even more informal now, and so I never feel like wearing some of the nicer dresses or shirts. It's really put into perspective whether 1) there's any need to shop at all; 2) something will work across occasions/lifestyles.

Pret a Porter P: I feel very "done" with certain looks too, and I suppose it's a sign that I've really transitioned out of a certain stage of my life.

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