Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Wish You Were Here

 Happy 1st Day of Fall!!! This "Wish You Were Here" wall is another "bright spot", and it is painted by the same artist who painted the "Have A Nice Day" wall that I featured last week. This maxi dress is from the Scoop line at Walmart (from last year) and I remember posting about it earlier this year (February maybe?). I remember that day was so cold and nasty, so it was hard to get a good photo. But today could not be a more perfect Fall day! Blue skies, sunny, a bit of crispness to the air! Maybe now that it is Fall my hair will stay curled all day? All Summer long it was a complete flop. Cheers to Tuesday!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Have A Nice Day!

The third and final Bright Walls mural festival in Jackson has been postponed until 2021. That didn't stop them though from having a few "Bright Spots" done last week. There were 3 artists in town spread out appropriately for social distancing to give us something pretty and hopeful in 2020. This "have a nice day" is located on the library! 
Today, I am wearing an embroidered peplum top from Anthropologie. THESE are the kind of tops that I love from them and I own so many variations. I appreciate that they take a universally flattering silhouette, and add unique prints/details. This one has the cutest colorful embroidered design, and some button accents. It is a bit sheer, so I wore a white tee under so the colors would really pop! Paired with jeans (high rise Rockstar from Old Navy), slip on footwear (Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle), and my designer dupe bracelets (No Boundaries from Walmart). I cannot find this top on the Anthro website right now, but it is on sale (with an extra 40% off). My store in Ann Arbor had a ton of them.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Two Ways to Wear Graphic Gemstones

Graphic tees seem to be here to stay, and to avoid a burnout of them I am only purchasing ones that "speak" to me (think: peacocks, 90's grunge bands, etc....). Being a long time jewelry maker, even if I've taken a short hiatus from it, one thing is true...... I LOVE gemstones and incorporating them into my work. So when I saw this oversized option pop up in an ad, I was quick to order it. The image is very muted, but I love how it gives the meaning of each stone under its name. I wore it two ways here..... first with jeans, a half tuck to show some definition, and a chunky gemstone necklace. Brown accessories (sandals and sunnies) fit this casual look. I then tucked it into my gemstone printed skirt I got a few years ago, and that called for black sandals and sunnies pairing. I like the contrast of the shirt showing "rough" gems, and the skirt showing "cut" gems! As I mentioned before, it is an oversized shirt (and super soft) so I went down a size and it is still roomy! It is long enough to wear with leggings/bike shorts. I'm sure I will continue to come up with outfit ideas. You can get your own AEO Oversized Gemstone Graphic T-Shirt here!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

"That's cute Mom.... is it from Anthro?"

 While visiting my parents this past holiday weekend, my Mom had this shirt on so of course I had to compliment her and ask if she got it from Anthropologie. She did, so off I went to order one for myself (on sale + 40% off). These sleeveless flowy tops in fun prints have long been staples of mine from Anthro because they are so easy to wear on their own or layered! And the colors make for endless mixing and matching!

Gap Jean Jacket - consignment shop
Necklace - Express (old)


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Self Portrait Kimono

 A few posts ago, I talked about how shopping trends were changing. Here's a good example of a retailer changing their style. Dress Barn, which has typically sold a more conservative look, has started to get into boho. I LOVE this new option from them, but I'm sure their loyal shoppers might not be thrilled about it. It looks like they are still offering a lot of what they are known for, but who knows if that will last? I believe all of their brick & mortar stores closed last year so online is the only option. I've noticed they have great sales too - for instance right now the entire site is 30% off! I saw this kimono in a pop up ad and was intrigued. I love unique prints, and the artsy feminine faces are really fun. I've seen doodle face prints like this before and always liked them. So easy to layer over black jeans and a tank, but it would be fun over a black dress too. I used the waist tie to as a head wrap!

Sonoma Shell - Kohl's (old)
Simply Vera Sunglasses - Kohl's
Necklace - Anthropologie

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

How Shopping is Changing

Our society is changing by the day. Many changes were already in the works, but the pandemic has accelerated that, especially when it comes to shopping. The amount of businesses - large and small - that have gone bankrupt in the last few years is astounding. The push for online is high, and personally, I do not like it. I know some people only shop online and love it. For me though, the act of going shopping is a form of therapy - even if I don't buy anything. Also, the hassle of not knowing if something will fit, the quality, having to send it back, etc.... is not worth it to me. Being an avid reader, I have read 2 books (The Warehouse and Qualityland) where the future is a dystopian world where an Amazon like corporation is the only place to work/live/shop. That's a big "nope" for me, but I fear that is where we are headed.

My personal preference to shop in person is nothing though compared to the loss of retail jobs and vacant, dilapidated buildings I drive by daily (since no one wants to reuse them - we always have to have new, new new!). 

Just getting some of my thoughts out there as I have seen the following interesting trends recently:

Subscription boxes have been popular for years now, but you get to KEEP what is in them. How do you feel about clothing rental boxes? Since I shop second hand anyway, I don't mind it, but what happens to the clothes when they get too "used"? Nuuly is a newer rental company that has peaked my interest because is specializes in the brands I like such as Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, etc.... Did you know that if you go to Anthropologie's website right now, and type "nuuly" into the search bar, you will find used clothes that Nuuly is no longer renting out for purchase? This might be a good way to get a piece you missed out on, in addition to the resources of eBay, Poshmark, Thred Up, buy/sell/trade boards. I'm also seeing more brands offer rental right on their site, like Loft and Banana Republic. Again, I question how this can be profitable for them? Based on my own purchases from those stores, how could an item hold up to multiple rentals? If you watch sales, you can purchase something about the same or cheaper than renting it. At what price point is rental worth it - for both the consumer and seller?

Speaking of Thred Up, did you know you can search for and purchase Thred Up items on Walmart's website? Seeing the rental option and second hand items for sale on these sites is telling me that retailers are doing anything and everything to try new ways to make money. We will continue to see more and more of this.

I've been a fan of LuLaRoe since it began (mostly their dresses), and if you are a fan too you know that consultants will do live videos on social media to sell the items. What I have noticed though, is some of the top sellers have now gone off on their own and sort of made their own "home shopping network" channel where you can buy just about anything??? So they've basically made a career out of warehousing a bunch of stuff - clothes, home goods, food items, etc..... - and selling it on social media via videos. Good for them, but this is odd to me.

A few weeks ago, Steinmart announced their closure. This is probably my Mom's favorite store, and you know I've found some pretty amazing things there too! Anyway, since this blog is mostly about shopping I wanted to share what has been in my head. What are your thoughts about online versus in person shopping? Do you buy used clothing or try rentals? Has there been a store closure you've been particularly bummed about?

Monday, August 31, 2020

August Reads

I read 6 books in August, and still REALLY heavy on the light, fun reads (a.k.a. Elin!) in this time of chaos. We took a last minute trip to Mackinac Island, MI which I fell in love with! It was my first time there, and I imagined Nantucket (where most all of Elin's books take place) would give very similar feelings.

The Chiffon Trenches, by: Andre Leon Talley
Having always loved Mr. Talley, and watching his documentary a few years ago, I rented his latest memoir from the library. I loved reading about his lifelong fashion career at magazines like Interview, Woman's Wear Daily, and of course, Vogue. Learning about his relationships with the likes of Andy Warhol, Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and too many other designers to list was interesting. But you don't have to love fashion to enjoy this book....... Andre talks about his struggles being a black man in the industry, his childhood abuse which prevented him from ever finding love, and an eating disorder to cope with that trauma. He is the definition of classy.

The Summer Affair, by: Elin Hilderbrand
I purchased this bargain reprint at Target. Claire is a mother of 4 who gave up her glass blowing career in favor of raising her family. But when the opportunity to help plan the biggest gala on Nantucket AND create a one of a kind glass piece to auction off presents itself, she can't help but say yes. As she gets further involved in the project, she can't deny the sparks between her and the head of the gala organization - billionaire Lock Dixon. They soon begin an affair, and Claire remembers how much she missed doing her art and making her needs a priority. I won't give any spoilers, but I will say the more I read Elin, the more I feel how well she writes for women and what our gender goes through. Raising 3 kids of her own, going through divorce, and surviving breast cancer, you can see her heart in her writing!

Silver Girl, by: Elin Hilderbrand
This was another bargain reprint from Target. Estranged best friends reunite on Nantucket for a whirlwind Summer! Meredith, who is still grieving her husband's death and excommunication from their daughter, receives a call from Connie. Connie's husband has recently been jailed for fraud, losing millions of dollars for his clients. Having no idea of his actions, or if she will be charged too, Connie has no where to go. Meredith invites her to her Summer home where they spend time healing and reconnecting. For the first time in years, Meredith considers a love interest. Also, her brother Toby appears - he was Meredith's high school sweetheart - to throw a bit more drama into the picture.

Malorie, by: Josh Malerman
Could. not. wait. for this follow up to Bird Box! I read this library rental in two days! Having the setting in Michigan makes Josh's books even more intriguing because you know and can pictures the places he is talking about. I really loved getting into this world again, and felt satisfied with how the book ended.
Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. One glimpse of the creatures that stalk the world will drive a person to unspeakable violence. There remains no explanation. No solution. All Malorie can do is survive—and impart her fierce will to do so on her children. Don’t get lazy, she tells them. Don’t take off your blindfold. AND DON’T LOOK. But then comes what feels like impossible news. And with it, the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope. Someone very dear to her, someone she believed dead, may be alive. Malorie has already lost so much: her sister, a house full of people who meant everything, and any chance at an ordinary life. But getting her life back means returning to a world full of unknowable horrors—and risking the lives of her children again. Because the creatures are not the only thing Malorie fears: There are the people who claim to have caught and experimented on the creatures. Murmerings of monstrous inventions and dangerous new ideas. And rumors that the creatures themselves have changed into something even more frightening. Malorie has a harrowing choice to make: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for hope once more.

The Love Season, by: Elin Hilderbrand
I found this paperback at Kroger! This story takes place in 24 hours, but does flash back in time to places like Paris, New York and Morocco. Margo meets Porter in Paris and they start a long term relationship. Porter encourages Margo to open a restaurant on Nantucket where she lives year round, but he only Summers there. Her food - a fixed menu every night - becomes wildly popular, and she starts a close friendship with Porter's sister - Candace. As the years go by, Candace eventually marries and has a daughter - and then meets her untimely death in a tragic accident on Nantucket. Margo, consumed with guilt and grief, closes her restaurant and becomes a shut in on the island. Now, 14 years later, Candace's daughter is on the island with her fiance's family. Against her father's wishes, she connects with Margo to find out the truth about her Mom's life.... and death.

The Perfect Couple, by: Elin Hilderbrand
I bought this book at the local bookstore where we rent a cabin every Summer.
The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom's wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate. But it's going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom's famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect.
It was fun to have reoccurring characters in this book, and lots of secrets.... the maid of honor was having an affair with the father of the groom. The brother of the groom was having an affair with a family friend. And the bride was in love with the groom's best friend! The crime twist was a fun element of this Elin book.