Balenciaga envelope bag 2018

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Black Tee Review (1 of 3)-min.jpg

October 19, 2018

Black tees have always been a staple in my closet, as I’m sure it is for a lot of you guys. There’s nothing easier than throwing on a nice-looking black tee with jeans for a casual yet put-together look. But for something so simple, it’s been pretty hard finding the “perfect” one, especially in the ethical fashion space. So I thought I would do a quick review of the various black tees I have and how they’ve held up through the wears.

The picture up top is my current collection of black tees and from left to right and going from oldest to newest they are: Organic by John Patrick (organic cotton), James Perse (made in the USA), Everlane (responsibly made in LA), Grana (responsibly made in China), PACT (Fair Trade GOTS organic cotton).

So here’s the TL;DR version of this review: my favorite one out of those top 5 is the Organic by John Patrick. It’s is by far the oldest (at over 10 years old) and most worn out of all of them but has held up beautifully. Yes the brand and sizing tag fell off and I got a couple holes in the front from snagging it on something (but the holes haven’t grown even after another 5 years worth of washings). But this is one of those beautiful tees that just get better with age. It’s soft and feels vintagey and the black hasn’t faded too much considering its age. The neckline is still in good shape and there’s no envelope fraying at the seams. Not coincidentally this is also the most expensive of the bunch. If you were to, you’re looking to spend about (for one tee!). That’s a lot for a tee. I purchased this one one sale at Barneys for around I think. If I were to purchase another one, I would probably stalk for one (currently they have for and for ).

My second favorite tee and also second oldest is the James Perse tee. All their tees are made in the US (so if they are following US law, should be made under fair working conditions). James Perse has been a crowd favorite when it comes to casual upscale tees for awhile now. But they produce several different kinds of black tees and not all are equally good IMHO. I think the James Perse tees with a thinner collar at the neckline hold up better than those made with a thicker band (which tends to wrinkle). The ones I like best are I think the relaxed casual tees with a larger neckline (they run a tad small for me, especially since I like my black tees to be on the more relaxed side). The one in the picture up top is actually one I purchased second hand for quite cheap and it’s lasted me at least 8 years so far! And no holes yet in this one and the color hasn’t faded at all. I would also suggest buying these tees used because brand new they go from - (and I find them pretty often at my local Crossroads thrift store).

As much as I love Everlane, I don’t love most of their tees (which is too bad since that’s what they started their whole biz on). As you can see in the picture below, the collar of Everlane tees tend to get folded, wrinkled and generally mangled-looking. Also if you happen to get a small hole in your tee, you might as well throw it out because that hole will just grow and grow. Overall, the Everlane ones reads a bit like a cheap tee, especially since it also picks up a lot of lint. I’m slightly allergic to dog hair and so don’t like wearing a tee covered in the stuff (I know I have long-haired dogs so I should be okay with this, but I prefer the dog hair to come out with the lint in the dryer and not stay on my shirt). The one great thing about Everlane black tees though is that they keep their color and don’t fade. Also I will say that keep the collar shape and are one of my favorite tees (though I like them in other colors since the other colors don’t seem to have the same lint problem as the black one does). I have several cotton crews and are a great choice when you want to cover up your chest to prevent sun damage.

Black Tee Review (2 of 3)-min.jpg

So when it comes to comfort over looks, Grana is my go-to. These pima cotton shirts are super comfortable and are made of a nice smooth thick cotton knit. The collar stays nice and flat and these would be my go-to all the time if it wasn’t for the fading of the color. It does not look great after so many washes and wears. My heather gray tees in the same style though are still looking great and are my go to tees when I want to wear gray. These black ones have now been relegated to PJs.

This is my newest black tee and also my least favorite, and that’s because it is basically the lint catcher in the dryer. If I thought the Everlane black tee picked up too much lint and dog hair, this PACT one is ten times worse. The picture below is of the shirt fresh out of the dryer and there was zero lint on it when it went in. For me to be able to wear this, I would need to use a lint roller every time I clean it, which is just too much of a hassle. So that’s also why the collar still looks pristine. Sorry but I can’t speak to how it wear because I just won’t wear it.

Black Tee Review (3 of 3)-min.jpg

I also added Amour Vert in parenthesis in the title because I also wanted to quickly touch upon their quality of black shirts as well. I no longer have the black tees from them because I found that I never wore them so I ended up selling them. The Amour Vert black tee was a black version of their Liv tee () which is made of 93% modal and 7% spandex. The quality of the tee was very stretchy and spring which did give it a nice draping quality (but in a way a synthetic blend tee does, not a good vintagey cotton tee drape). But I personally didn’t like the stretchiness and prefer my tees to be 100% cotton.

Anyway I hope you found this little comparison guide helpful though it does seem to be a bit useless in telling you you need to spend more money for a good simple black tee. But I guess in this case you do get what you pay for. As for me I’m good with my collection of black tees for now though if you guys have any recommendations for a 100% cotton ethical black tee I’m open to suggestions!

Bridge and Burn Review

October 17, 2018

I purchased this back at the end of summer when I wanted to use up some Bridge and Burn credit I had laying around from my return (I also purchased the Karmen dress which I reviewed ). But it was too hot to really wear the sweater so I wasn’t able to give a full review just then. But now with some trips to Tahoe under my belt with temperatures in the upper 50s I’ve had a chance to try it out. And this is a great cotton sweatshirt!

First a note on sizing, I usually wear a 4 or a small on top, but purchased this sweater in a medium and find that it fits perfectly. So I would say this sweatshirt runs a tad small. It’s pretty snug in the shoulder so I can’t layer anything other than a tee underneath. But even though it’s a medium, I find the length to be just right and not too long or cropped (for reference I’m 5’4”).

Lol, please excuse the Tahoe parking lot pictures but decided to take some shots of it “in the wild” so to speak. Also if you’re ever in South Lake Tahoe, one of my favorite brunch places is the Getaway Cafe!

Bridge and Burn ReviewBridge and Burn Review

{Wearing:, Elizabeth Suzann Mara jumpsuit (review coming soon), (review ), and Celine Soft Cube bag (similar, reviewed )}

What I like most about this sweatshirt, which is hard to tell from these pictures, is that there’s a terry cloth-like texture to it. So it’s better than a regular ‘ole striped sweatshirt. I love mixing textures when wearing otherwise quite plain clothing.

Anyway if you’re in the market for a cotton sweatshirt with some texture I can’t recommend this one enough. However, if you have enough cotton sweatshirts, just go and enjoy an oldie but goodie :)

Celine Soft Cube Bag Review (2 of 3)-min.jpg

October 15, 2018

Hi guys and it’s finally here, the Céline Soft Cube bag review I’ve been promising for the last couple of weeks (months?). I purchased this bag through my favorite secondhand bag retailer,, using mostly credit from a bag I sold to them (read about how that all works ). And I’m so thrilled that I was able to “trade-in” my rarely used Valentino glam lock bag for this Céline soft cube bag that I’ve been using almost daily since I got it! I had my eye on this bag for awhile now but I couldn’t justify purchasing it since I also purchased my Celine Nano Belt Bag (reviewed ) this year. But I love my Soft Cube bag and it has quickly become a workhorse in my closet.

 Lol posting this awkward photo since it captures the bag best

Lol posting this awkward photo since it captures the bag best

{Wearing: (review coming soon), (), Celine Soft Cube bag ()}

The bag measures 8.66 x 9.45 x 4.33 " so it’s not quite a cube, but of course it’s better this way (a real cube would be so awkward to carry lol). The shoulder strap is about a 21” drop and sadly it’s not adjustable. The inside has a flat pocket with two slots that are pretty small. They can hold credit cards/business cards and sometimes I stash receipts in them but I can’t fit my iPhoneX in it. I also sometimes but my keys in the pocket though it stretches it out.

Inside the bag feels pretty big and can easily fit my essentials (wallet, keys, phones, sunglasses) along with my reusable bags and other odds and ends. Because it’s just one large compartment, things sometimes do get lost on the bottom and it can feel like a bottomless pit. Luckily, the bag is small enough so that you’re not searching endlessly for stuff.

I’m not particularly careful with my bags and I find that the leather is quite durable. No scratches or marks on it. It’s more durable than the smooth leather of my Sangle or the Trio I had before that. Also on a new Soft Cube bag, the handles tend to stand up but with wear I’ve noticed that they fall to the sides when wearing the bag crossbody (which I prefer).

Celine Soft Cube Bag Review (3 of 3)-min.jpg

Overall, I feel like this is a great simple, no-fuss bag from (old) Céline (read all about my ode to them ). If you’re looking for a classic daily bag that can fit all your essentials and then some, I highly recommend looking into getting this bag! I’m not sure how much longer Celine stores will be carrying the old stuff, but you can sometimes find the Soft Cube bag on Fashionphile or on The RealReal.

Hook and Stem Review

October 14, 2018

I recently ordered this from Etsy and I loved how it came out (the pot itself is from Ikea)., which by the way has a ton of cute stuff, is a husband and wife team making hand-made wood objects out of their home in Canada. And when I asked them a question about what size plant stand to get they kindly offered to do a custom order for no additional cost. I guess that’s the nice thing about buying things made-to-order from a small business (plus there’s no excess waste of over-producing). All of their wood objects are made with no additional dyes and stains. Talk about looks good and feels good! I might get another shorter one to have two staggered plants. Also please notice how a new big leaf will be unfurling soon! My Home Depot plant is one it’s way to becoming a one, lol.

And I know this is a heavy note to leave on, but I think is too important not to share. One of my favorite and most respected blogger I’ve been reading for years shared her sexual assault story and it breaks my heart. But I think it’s so important to hear these stories because it’s more common than we think. I’m so extremely lucky that I’ve had friends who’ve watched out for me when I’ve been black out drunk and so I’ve never had to face such an ordeal. But this could have easily been my story because it can happen to any woman who was ever “foolish” enough to drink one drink too many.

Lauren Manoogian Review

October 12, 2018

This past post-summer sale season I got sucked into buying two things (which I was happy about for being quite minimal for me but also not happy about because I was trying to buy zero items), one of which was this skirt (the other was the linen Alta top from Only Child). Here I was feeling all superior not partaking in the sale season frenzy and saying things like, don’t plan for Fall and instead live in the moment. But then after seeing Grechen’s notification post of things for sale at the and specifically about this skirt, I succumbed to temptation >.<. I was especially tempted after seeing Grechen rock her version of this skirt. This skirt was just made for Autumn!

I’ve been hearing about Lauren Manoogian around on the ethical blogosphere, and she’s known for her awesome knit pieces. She believes in sustainability and thus works with Peruvian artisans to knit pieces from consciously-sourced materials. The number of items she makes every season is limited, but you know they’re made well and made to last. You can read more about her ethics.

Lauren Manoogian ReviewLauren Manoogian Review

{Wearing: (), Lauren Manoogian Skirt (similar ), (), Hermes Lindy 30 (, )}

You can no longer find for sale anywhere on the internet (it’s last year’s release) but you might be lucky enough to score it on eBay or some other secondhand site. And if you do, I highly hiiiighly recommend you snatching it up if you’re even a tiny bit interested. Because this skirt is so awesome. It’s a blend of pima cotton and merino wool, which means it’s slightly warm but not at all itchy. There’s also quite a bit of stretch, which is perfect for my pregnant belly. Also, that means it’s not that hard to walk in either.

Lauren Manoogian ReviewLauren Manoogian Review

I’m wearing a size 2 here, which is their medium. I also like that I can hike the skirt up to work with my cropped tops and show some ankle.

The one thing I don’t like about the skirt though is that you can see my panty lines with it, which is surprising considering it’s a knit. But since the tube skirt is so form-fitting, you can get some VPL if you’re not wearing the right underwear.

But despite that, I really enjoy wearing this sweater skirt! It’s the perfect comfy, stretchy piece to pair with my sweaters. Also the quality is top notch, and rest assured when you’re getting something from Lauren Manoogian, you’re getting a well-made item made to last!

Anyone else have something from Lauren Manoogian and what do you think?

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