easy

Long-sleeve shift dress, Everlane; pumps, By Malene Birger.

I am not a fan of Everlane. About a year after they launched, I figured out that their designs and quality were just too inconsistent, particularly when ordering from countries to/from which refunds are inconvenient and expensive. As of late, I’ve also noticed the enthusiasm for Everlane tapering off in certain places online and those criticisms—about the product, the onslaught of new products, the hypocrisy in its marketing vs practices—all ring true.

Still, I pay attention to their new launches. It’s certainly interesting to see what they think is on trend, but ‘classic’ enough to become a product. Often, it’s more miss than hit for me. However I was looking for a plain winter dress for work and this seemed to be the best option for my requirements (long sleeves, machine-washable, crew neck, neither formless nor form-fitting). Its being in the choose-what-you-pay sale, and the relatively extensive review section with height and weight, were obviously helpful incentives.

This doesn’t restore my faith in Everlane, but I’m very satisfied!  It might be just a touch shorter than what I would otherwise choose to wear to work. It balances nicely with the exaggerated sleeves though, which are a detail I have never really favoured on anything else. Here, I think they work with the simplicity of this dress and the weight of its fabric.

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in the trenches

Trench, Theory*; turtleneck, Cos; jeans, Levis*; sneakers, Spring Court.

Work and a quick jaunt to Sydney have made the past few weeks ridiculously busy, which is to say that this weekend is the first time in a while that I’ve had the chance/light to take any photos.

I pulled out this trench with the intention of trying it one more time before selling it, and remembered why I so enjoyed it in the first place. The exaggerated lapels are just enough of a juxtaposition with an otherwise classic cut and style. To no one’s surprise, it’s staying. I think I wanted to let this go in the first place because it feels difficult to style a trench on myself—almost costume-y—and then I put it on and, of course, it looks fine. Or more than fine! I ended up really liking the lines and proportions of this, even if it’s pretty boring.

Rather, I mustered any remaining effort to finally go check out Cos’ winter sale. Between a shirt there, a Uniqlo cashmere cardigan, and one in wool-silk at Muji, I’m fairly satisfied with the bones of my work wardrobe. Ultimately that still depends on where I settle career-wise, which I’ll find out in a few weeks or months.

(Also: listening to Mitski’s deeply excellent new song.)

new in

Coat, Uniqlo; turtleneck, Uniqlo; pants, Kloke; boots, RM Williams*; sneakers, Spring Court.

The past week has marked my return to full(-ish) time corporate employment. It has unfortunately been a real struggle to dress for it, both in terms of formality and practicality. I’m in a litigation team, which is much more formal than my previous one; although I’m not obliged to be in a full suit, I have to be prepared to blend in and/or run into a court or court-like setting. We have also entered full-on Melbourne winter, which means that we had several days of torrential downpour last week and I am perpetually cold, save for the fifteen minutes of my daily cycle commute where I start getting overheated. It’s a heap of fun.

I’m hoping these two new Uniqlo purchases will address a few of those problems. The coat is a light acrylic knit, which I would normally avoid; however I have two old Zara scarves in this kind of fabric that I always found to be the lightest and warmest things that I could batter around in cold, foul weather (after a few merino knits recently shrank in the wash, for the time being I just can’t stomach reinvesting in that or a nice cashmere layer). Layered up, it faces the cold just fine and I like the exaggerated cocoon shape. More importantly, it’s both lighter and more breathable than my long wool coat. I’m also very happy with the turtleneck, which is in (new to me) Extra HeatTech—I swore off original HeatTech a while back because it is definitely an undergarment that needs to be layered. This fabric has just enough thickness and opacity to be decent on its own. Since I’m not sure how appropriate my jumpers are, I’ve been opting for this with trousers or underneath sleeveless shift dresses.

Dress, Rachel Comey*; boots, RM Williams*. Dress, vintage; wedges, APC.

To my surprise, I also brought home these dresses over this weekend. I found the Comey in the consignment boutique where I usually sell pieces, and picked it up with some credit. It’s a size or two up from what I would ideally wear, but also really well-constructed and kind of witchy/schoolmarm-ish in a way that I am really terrible at resisting. The details are really interesting too—pictured below, there’s a lace panel over the chest that you can conceal with another panel. I might get it taken in for work or wear it casually, but I’m pretty happy to take that gamble for $40.

The other dress is a vintage Japanese silk piece on which I inexplicably zeroed in, despite the fact that it has not one, but two patterns and is a bright, bright red—things that I logically want to avoid. Something about the colours in the skirt is so pleasing though, in a very primitive way! I’ve also been worrying about what to wear for an important wedding later this year that asked for “colourful cocktail”. It’s dress codes like those that wreak havoc on all those tips to have one nice black dress and wear it to everything (I do not abide by this anyway and have several nice black dresses). I really hadn’t wanted to resort to one of the Finders Keepers/Keepsake/Cameo Collective formal dresses—I know these are available everywhere, but I find they also feed a uniquely Australian phenomenon of dressing up for the races and such. They’re actually decent quality, but the overt-trendiness of the styles just encourages too much consumption for me. What a relief to have found an unexpected, but environment- and wallet-friendly option.

Your girl can’t resist a collar. 

Do any of you have experience or advice for corporate winter dressing? And how do you juggle that with (buying and) dressing for your own pleasure?

hmm

 

Babaton Thanos blazer; Babaton Abdu pant. Top, Topshop; heels, By Malene Birger.

Oh boy, I so badly wanted this “suit” to work out. I’d been desperate for a new black suit for ages and finally pulled the trigger during Aritzia’s recent (minor) sale. It’s not traditional suiting, either in terms of fabric or cut, but at 155 cm it is deeply difficult to find something off the rack that fits, especially in Australia. Aritzia’s cuts tend to work well on me, which is enough to stomach the steep pricing.

(My two other pantsuits are Banana Republic petite with cigarette pants, bought in anticipation of law school. The black ponte is beginning to look shabby, particularly because the fabrics were different in the first place; the navy seersucker has been worn less, but is also too large for me now.)

That said, I think this is might skew… matronly? If there was a bit more crop at the ankles, wrists and hips, the volume might look more intentional as it does on the model. As it is, I’m unsure about keeping the whole thing (and experience dictates that if that’s the case now, this is going to end up hanging in the closet as an expensive mistake). The pants, I do like—they’re certainly not the most flattering, but they go with nearly all tops.

Thoughts? Opinions? Something to cut through my delusions?

good news

Cardigan, vintage; t-shirt, American Apparel*; jeans, Handsom*; boots, RM Williams*.

A rare burst of colour for the first day of Australian winter, as well as confirmation that the law firm where I clerked is rehiring me as a paralegal! Not entirely indicative of a grad job, of course, but it’s a nice reassurance that I’m still on their radar.

This t-shirt is from pre-zombie American Apparel, when they were going out of business. I was wandering around and thought: what the hell, for $7. Normally it’s everything that I would avoid: form-fitting, cap-esque sleeves, orange? Not to mention, I rarely wear t-shirts due to some long-standing issues with fit (particularly at the bust, also raised by Xin). They’re an obvious basic, but not at all for me! The colour and almost-ribbed fabric of this one have kept it in my closet

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about work clothes—I have no winter work wardrobe and knew this opportunity and a few others were brewing. I’ve ordered a suit from Aritzia (which is more of a long-term purchase) and am considering these Uniqlo pants with a merino turtleneck, maybe?

 

by other means

Most of the time, I think that law school really isn’t that tough. The rest of it, it’s kicking my ass and I’m trying to recover in time for the next round. In no particular order, the things that have kept me going:

Dining In by Alison Roman. Or, cooking in general. This is the hero when decision fatigue sets in though. The woman knows her way around a vegetable, which suits us.  We’ve made a lot of dishes and bits from throughout the book: mostly the savoury stuff beyond the chocolate shortbread, actually (I also discovered that I’ve been repeat-baking her cakes for years, which are superior imo). Her recipes occupy a really solid niche for me where she takes a few basic ingredients, say, a step or two beyond what I would normally do and the pay-off is well worth it, e.g. this roasted broccolini and this tomato anchovy bucatini. Pictured above: pasta with brown butter mushrooms, cooked after…

Running. There’s nothing I can say about it that hasn’t been said already. I think Molly Young put it best: ” I think running really forces you to be aware of your body. I guess people do run mindlessly, but I find it’s so painful and uncomfortable that I’m viscerally aware of my body in motion. […] I don’t use my body to work. I’m just profoundly alienated from it. So running is kind of a period of enforced reckoning with my physical shell.” Practically, I would add that it’s—not cheap, because good gear isn’t (I only recently bought a second pair of tights, the lack of which was actively impeding my routine). But you’re not spending additional money on, and travel time to, a gym or studio. The latter, in addition to the mental aspect, is the determinative factor for me. Which leads me to…

Therapy. Again, nothing original to add. It’s the less unpleasant, emotional version of running (see: enforced reckoning). I am extraordinarily lucky that public healthcare in Victoria covers ten sessions a year, which suits my needs well.

And of course, I have been procrastinating reading. Too much news, but here’s the rest. The NYMag Anna Delvey/Sorokin piece. Amani Bin Shikhan with Arabelle Sicardi about beauty and terror (I am really happy with my skincare now and Sicardi’s recommendations have informed like, 90% of it minimum). Anne Helen Peterson’s newsletter in general, and her most recent one specifically. The Guardian’s Q&A with Isabelle Huppert. Fancy Pasta Bitch. Caity Weaver on/at The Wedding, you know the one: the only thing you need to read about it.

 

 

Jacket, Club Monaco; jumper, Uniqlo; jeans, Handsom*; boots, RM Williams*.

Running on 1.5 hours of sleep after another take-home exam. This one was brutal, so: today, the easiest of outfits.