Wardrobe Reflections 2018: Acquisitions and Sartorial Shifts

Items from left to right: muji striped buttondown, grey cashmere/silk blend sweater, L’Oreal x Balmain , black silk camisole, madewell white tissue tee, madewell black tissue tee, Eram tennis shoes, Madewell packable Mesa Hat, Uniqlo jeggings in off-white and black., ‘monoprix’ earrings,  Armani blue sling-back flats, A.P.C leather skirt, L’Oreal , x Isabal Marant lipstick, Mellow Yellow gold heel, Lanvin low wedges with embossed python leather. 


I’ve decided to break down the acquisitions into a numerical format for future reference. This year, I’ve spent (outside of shoe repair and dry-cleaning) 300 euros on clothes.This expenditure only amounts to about 4% of my yearly revenue (based on 2017 estimates-which should be the same if not more this year ). And for full disclosure only 200 of that was actually my money (thanks BF and mom). I currently am under budget for my age demographic in France where the average spend is 359,4 euros annually

As you can see in the collage, I’ve bought around 14 items ( I’ve decided to not include skincare stuff because that is more of a need). I averaged 21 euros for each item, but if we divided my expenditures by month, it would increase to 24 euros. 

In terms of sustainability, half or seven of the items that I purchased were second-hand. Everything else was bought brand new at a discount – except for one lipstick. 

My overall thoughts about my spend amount this year? I’m surprised that I’ve spent as much as I did due to the fact that I moved in with my BF into an apartment ($$$).  I also think this year was still a very conservative spend year for me considering that most of purchases were to replace items in nature which makes me shudder on how much I used to spend where I felt more inclined to follow trends. However, this year was much more spendy in comparison to 2017 and 2016 – years where I can count on my hand the number of items I bought for my wardrobe. 

Sartorial Shifts:

In terms of sartorial shifts, it’s clear that I have assimilated the sartorial codes of a Parisienne wardrobe, i.e lots of neutrals. However, most of my purchases feature some whimsy or extra luxe detail. Most of my purchases feature all natural fibers. Also, some of the items shown in the collage are close approximations of items that I bought. The low wedges have python embossed leather in real life. The navy sling-backs that I have blue sequins at the front. However all the other items are near identical and I think my gold heels, black lacy cami and leather skirt add more ‘pop’ into my wardrobe.

These purchases also reflect somewhat of balancing act of my daily style: with working and now being back in school full time, there are days that my clothes need to be super casual and others when I can happily ramp up the formality factor so it’s imperative that I have items that can function for several occasions. 

How do you feel about your shopping progress this past year? Do you think that there could be improvement? 


Checking in: Fall 2018 edition

Meet Afrodita in our News of the Week

Source: Sézane (can we all please acknowlege that Sézane is killing it this season?!?! ugh) 

Winter is quickly approaching and I’m not really ready for it, mainly because finances (broke student life) are currently put towards living expenses but will be in the clear in a week or two to do some housekeeping such as:

  • Getting my Isabel Marant boots (finally) resoled , I will update the post with the costs but I’m estimating it’s going to be around 30-40 euros. Edit 14/12/2018: I ended up paying 15 euros because the heels only need to be replaced!
  • Re-adding my button to my winter coat. I attempted to do it but I think a rétoucherie (tailor) will be more competent for this task. Hoping this won’t be more than 10 euros.
  • Scouting for new jeans after my beloved black pair of Uniqlo jeggings ripped in the thigh…RIP. My army green version also are finally on their last legs too. Due to this point, find another bottom, such as a cognac leather skirt and jeans (ew, hate jean shopping) has become a priority. EDIT: Currently acquired camel leather skirt from A.P.C.

Besides these main house-keeping duties, I’ve finally received my Madewell tissue tees that seem to run large which is perfect because I was looking for  slightly over-sized tees. After re-arranging my wardrobe, I feel really content for the moment for tops and now it’s just refocus on bottoms.

What are your 2018 fall revelations?

Getting out a Style Rut: Ferragamos Edition

Source: Matches Fashion

Recently, I started wearing my ferragamo varas again due to weather changes and I don’t know it felt tired?Or possibly dated (more so for my patent pair than my regular leather version). I have had my two pairs  offerragamos for about 6 years or so and I’ve sunk too much money into maintaining them to think of getting rid of them based off of a sartorial slump. Thank goodness for google images because it garnered some outfit inspiration such as the picture above from matches fashion. What I love about this image is:

  • Pairing it with a unique blazer. I’m thinking of using my grey Isabel Marant blazer so I have a more of a relaxed feel
  • Making sure that my pants hit right at the ankle to make things look more current. I think I might roll up my pants to show off my ankle like Matches did. I’m a little bit too picky( and lazy) to start the hunt for the perfect jeans although it’s becoming more of a need as opposed to a want.
  • Wearing a basic tee to make things more casual.

What items have lainguishing in your closet until recently? Have you lately used pinterest or google to garner up some more inspiration? Do you sometimes feel that your classics in your wardrobe sometimes become dated or you outgrow what was previously a staple in your wardrobe?

Taking Direction

Quai D’Orsay, Journée du Patrimoine 2016

“No I don’t think about my audience when I write…When I teach writing to students, I tell them not to think about the people who are going to read, especially who they know, because you’re going to censor yourself….The self that writes is very different than the self that speaks…and so when I’m inhabiting that self that writes it’s also the self that dreams..it’s a very deeply closed place. When I’m creating and I wish this happened more often…it can feel like being transported-characters take on life. I don’t realize how much time has passed. So in writing fiction I really don’t think about who is going to read it…I hope that people will read it but I don’t think specifically of who I read it because if I did, I would censor myself. “  – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Quai D’Orsay, Paris during Nuit des Idées, January 2018.

Note: I drafted this post up months ago and while it will be published now in August and I still feel very much the same as I do now.

There are many parts of her talk that spoke to me. But this part is what stayed with me…writing for oneself.

Plenty of people have asked me to restart a blog. And admittedly I have lots of ideas about privilege, expat life, learning languages, minimalism, feminism, race relations, travel etc.

But I have hesitated on the direction of this blog because of all the things I want to talk about…I think first and foremost, I want this space to be somewhere where I can process my emotions.  I used to have a livejournal as a pre-teen and although that period of my life felt traumatic (middle school years anywhere is rough), I felt much more centered because I had a safe space to express my emotions.

In the rush of moving on to a competitive high school, a rigorous university and then just life post-undergrad, I somehow abandoned my habit to write. I started up again in South Korea but not to share my happy memories but to help process some very low points in my life. However, I reminiscence of my time there as a very happy  if not a transformative chapter in my life.

Then I transitioned back to France as a grad student which I felt like it’s been a battle ever since. My parents are always optimistic about my life path but as an empath, I’ve really come to understand and in some ways respect France’s affinity for pessimism . And it’s really hard to persevere when you hit expat depression and the favorite word in your adopted country is ‘non’.

Source: Cleverism

I was in the seriously anxiety induced like state for at least April 2016 to early 2017. And yet some of amazing things happened: I met my significant other, I got to spend my first summer in Paris, I somehow miraculously finished my first year of grad school so things weren’t all too bad.

However now, I feel like I’m somewhere between the experiment/decision scenario. I took a new turn in my path to finish my degree but putting a pause on it in order to pursue an internship. And I never felt happier about my decision.

I’ll be starting up another blog in September with a friend which will allow me to explore more serious topics and expat life. It’s why I had great difficulty starting up this one, because while I wanted to talk mainly about capsule wardrobe dressing and how it has evolved it’s been hard when I have all these other things I want to talk about. But with the new blog, I’ll have that space as well as a sounding board in my blog. So this leaves this blog to have a more analytic look about my vanity.;-)

Not to say that is blog won’t be somewhat serious, I do really want to explore the notion of identity and how it affects our choices about our appearances. I have lots of thoughts about that. But my current brainstorming includes at least 40 blog ideas so I’m hoping that I can keep my momentum.

So please stay tuned while I’ll finally do a REAL reboot of this blog. : -)

How Korea Made Me Feel Beautiful

When I read Jude’s of Fifty Shades of Snail Post, K-Beauty and Why It Matters To Me, I just had all of the feels. OMG, the feels. While Jude was addressing the normalizing of Asian-Americans in American media discourse, her story of feeling like ‘other’ is so universal that the response was overwhelming. And it was so heartwarming to see the response and it shows how inclusive the Korean beauty blogging community is. I did not really know how to adequately respond at first but I knew I had a lot to say. So much of how Jude felt is also something I can hugely relate to as another minority who felt “ other” and learning how to accept myself in spite of the socialization and internalization of standards imposed in American society.

Continue reading “How Korea Made Me Feel Beautiful”