shopping spree

I dated my sister for a girlie outing last Friday and accidentally burned a medium-sized hole in my wallet. What started out as a “chill-out, no agenda, let’s spend the day catching-up, doing girlie things” ended with us feeling totally exhausted. We even had to cab home home because we simply can’t manage the amount of shopping bags on the train.

So… the damage for me includes:

  • 2 pairs of boyfriend shorts, in coral red and white, from Gap. Well I have to justify myself…. the discounts offered was 2 pairs of shorts for $115. If I had just gotten 1 pair, I would have to pay $79 which wasn’t worthwhile.

  • 1 pair of cargo mini skirt… also from Gap. I got mine in khaki colour and this was almost a “love at first sight” piece. In fact, I picked it out within minutes of entering the store 🙂

  • 1 tunic top from Warehouse… sorry I can’t find the picture from Warehouse’s website. All I can say is that the top is in dusty pink! Woohoo!

Obviously my sister did way better than me at burning holes. Maybe someday I’ll invite her to do a guest entry 😛

JCrew for Work

I passed the Desert Hills Premium Outlets today  en route to a shoot,  so we stopped on a whim to check out the shops. I tried on this JCrew “Suiting” series dress with a “folded ruffles” neck line. Fully-lined, and in some sort of lightweight wool blend.

At 40% off, it came up to $82 after tax. Not bad for a flattering dress that fits like a glove!

Fugly Shoe Contest

As our travel plans progress, The Husband recommended that I get a pair of Keens, so that I may preserve my ten toes and not suffer any awful injury during semi-aquatic adventuring endeavors (such as caving/spelunking/exploring and the like) on the world’s second largest archipelago.

I had ordered the black pair online, awaiting delivery, when I chanced upon a relatively sleeker design (blue) on clearance today. Notice the difference in chunkiness of the toe caps:

While these are definitely rank as some of the most unglamorous, fugly shoes I’ve ever seen, much less owned, I can’t deny their comfort and functionality. Better yet when on clearance (50% off their regular price and $10 cheaper than the black pair I had ordered online).

God bless America for liberal return policies!

$7 Gap Scarf

We were at The Gap today making a return (ordered this dress in blue as a possibility for our anniversary shoot but it didn’t work) when The Husband found a scarf and bought it for me. “You can never have too many scarves,” he said, much to my astonishment.

Granted, I only have 1 ‘summer scarf’, and this was an additional 70% off. Not bad for $7. Seven has been my lucky number lately, at least when it comes to shopping.

I wore it immediately since my $2 Target clearance t-shirt is rather plain. Seen here with my Calvin Klein camera bag ($109) – gear unloaded, but I hadn’t transferred the personal belongings to my regular purse.

Cheap & Chic

Today is July 3rd, which means tomorrow marks another year of marriage for the Hubs and I. Keeping with our tradition of having a photo session done every year, we have been thinking of themes/ideas for a shoot, and of course, that means having to decide on outfits too. Groaaaaan… What to wear, what to wear?

We’re planning on 1 dressy and 1 casual outfit, and today I happened to pass a Forever 21, so I figured I should check it out. I haven’t had much luck with clothing purchases there, save for the $2 basic camisoles, so I was surprised I actually bought this long dress ($27.90):

Wearing a hat + ponytail because I was having a really bad hair day.
Shoes by Steve Madden Luxe. Purchased for about $19 last year, marked down from $150.

Back view.

I’m undecided about shoes, and need to figure out some accessories.

On a separate note, when I ducked into H&M with the Husband to try and find a chambray shirt for him, I realized that the summery dress I had tried on a couple of weeks ago is now on sale! Unfortunately there weren’t any blue ones left, so, despite my initial reservations, I purchased one in black.

On a whim, I tried them with my summery yellow shoes, and they actually look pretty good!

$7 for a dress makes me happy! 🙂

Now, all I need to do is find a second casual outfit for our anniversary shoot!


Yours truly has had two rather awful days in a row. So today, while some awfulness was being rectified (iMac being serviced at the Genius Bar), I sought a diversion, something frivolous that would try and dispel some of the “I-want-to-kill-something-NOW-with-my-bare-hands” energy.

So I decided to window shop instead. First stop: Anthropologie. Aaaaah…. and indeed, it soothed the savage beast.

For those not familiar with this store, Anthropologie presents itself as eclectic – almost as if it’s a bohemian-esque thrift store. It makes you think it’s artisan and Fair Trade, even though it’s not. The whole store has a high-end shabby chic look, from the faux distressed floorboards, to the elaborate store displays made out of vintage books.

Anthropologie also focuses on great service. While I was browsing the clearance section with a few items draped on my arm, a staff member asked if I wanted to have a fitting room started for me. I accepted, so she got my name and took the items from me. After I was sated from browsing, I headed to the fitting rooms and found my name written in a pretty script on the mirrored plaque on the door. The entire area was subtly-lit, glowing warmly, with generous sheer drapes adding an ethereal quality to an otherwise utilitarian space. Brilliant retail psychology tactic, lulling you with the luxe treatment so that you may part with your pretty penny.

Along with the outfits I picked out, I found an addition piece of clothing with a tag on it saying “We thought you might like this too.” Smart move, trying to slip in something that they felt fit my ‘style profile’. Though there were a few things I really liked in the store, I didn’t try them on because, well, I obviously have no intention to purchase a $259 dress. So all the following items are from the clearance section.

First up: A twist-front teal top with a braided strap, $29. Usual price $69.
I quite liked this top, and could envision cinching it with a woven belt on a breezy summer day. However, the Size S (above) gaped too much at the armholes. XS was apparently was in-stock at the Beverly Hills outlet and could have it shipped to me for free, but I wasn’t that interested, so I passed.

Next: STRIPES! I am definitely partial to stripey-ness, so I was already hoping this blue/grey off-shoulder combination would work for me. At $19, I was ready to purchase too, so I did. It’s less drab in person, and also fits better than this picture shows.

Of course, the model wears it like this on their website:

I clearly should pick up some posing tips and start practicing my spaced-out look.

Yes. More stripes. This photographs better than in real life. I wasn’t a big fan of the green – reminded me too much of Singapore’s trash cans.

When poking around the stationery section, I saw these “Apparel Tags”. Seems like one would have issues if you have that much clothing that you can’t remember them. Could be useful for a wardrobe assistant on set I guess.

At this point, a quick check at the Apple store showed that the iMac was still in severe triage mode, so I descended from the frou-frou of Anthropologie, to fast & cheap H&M. Literally half the store was on sale, with racks full of $5 dresses, $3 tees, $7 pants, $10 jackets etc.

I quickly perused the super-sale stuff – nothing – and then picked out a few other things to try. No pretty lighting here. Just a harsh halogen beam from above.

Black & White polka-dotted top – $17.
It looks really cool in real life, looks very much like dots made with a Chinese calligraphy brush. I loved the fit, so I bought this, and its counterpart in black too. Yes, yes, I know….

Next: Assymetrial hi-lo maxi-dress. $29.
I’ve been wanting a maxi-dress so bad, but somehow they’re no more to be found?! This one has a high/low hem-line, which really wasn’t flattering for me as it drew attention to my chubby knees and chunky calves.

Blue summer dress with crochet detail. $17.95 I think?
This worked well for my upper body, but where it hits again emphasizes my chubby knees. I never thought I’d hate my knees, but nowadays I do.

I don’t think she would hate her knees.

Lavender/Grey “tulip” dress. $32.95.
My favorite dress of the day. It is such a flattering dress – save for the chubby knees – which can be rectified by wearing suitable high heels. Well, this was too pretty for working in (I wear black dresses every weekend for work), much less for running around in heels with. So… lovely as it was, back to the rack it went.

I picked this out for fun, the dress version of the first top. It’s the same “tulip” cut as the lavender/grey dress above. Shows off the curves nicely while hiding the unflattering bits.

At the end of the day, I acquired 3 tops – which happen to be monochromatic – for under $60. Did not intend to make these purchases, but the what the heck, at least I didn’t kill anyone.