Considering I started off 2019 with a shopping ban, I ended up purchasing a lot of items when I broke the ban and let the flood gates open to buying whatever the hell I wanted. Granted, I did have very specific things in mind and ironically those things ended up only being “meh” for the most part. What surprised me were the items I randomly bought that have ended up being staples and complete wardrobe game changers for me.
I’ll start with the most mind blowing purchases first…
Silk underwear by Cocoona Skinwear. The silk reminds me of some Eileen Fisher silk shirts I’ve seen where the fabric is durable but still almost sheer and has a bit of give to it. It is not a size inclusive company by any means because… Japan. Their sizes are literally small and smaller according to US standards, but in Japan these come in “medium” and “large”. I purchased the larger size of all the underwear and while I could’ve gotten away with the medium, I’m perfectly happy with the extra give on the large. The colors are neutral and gorgeous. The material is incredibly soft and feels like it could rip easily in my hands. That being said, this underwear has held up really well. It’s expensive – on par with Victoria’s Secret when not on sale, but after I bought two pairs of bottoms I was immediately hooked and made more purchases of it over a few months to replace all of my old nylon underwear I’d worn for at least 6 years.
I agonized over the purchases because they were pricey, but also because I kept telling myself I can find something like this in the US. There has to be a company that can make this sort of awesomeness here, right? I waited a few months even before purchasing the first items, doing extensive research online. I scoured Etsy and tried looking at all independent and sustainable companies I could find. While doing so I realized something that I greatly dislike about western advertising: it’s all about showing off women. The advertising for the Cocoona items was so simple and straight forward and even prudish it made me feel more comfortable purchasing it – for as odd as that sounds. In the end, I couldn’t find anything even close to Cocoona here or anywhere. To view the pages for the bras and underwear go here and here. There used to be an English translation of the pages on the site, but they’ve since taken it down so I don’t know if they are still selling outside of Japan.
The fit is “granny style” and even bags a tiny bit. However, that’s not a negative. In fact, it made me wonder if I’d been wearing the wrong size underwear for a long time. With some items of clothing there is VPL, but due to how much coverage I get with these, it’s hardly an issue and I’ve given up on trying to hide any VPL anymore. I just want to be comfortable and this underwear is the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. The bras are more like bralettes because due to the fabric. There are no wires and the padding is removable. This is by no means at all a one-fit-for-everyone kind of underwear, but it is perfect for me and I’m glad I found it.
Now that I’ve posted far more than necessary on underwear, here are some other really good purchases I’ve made this year….
Cotton silk sweater from Muji. I bought this over the summer on sale and it’s become one of my go-to sweaters.
Cotton waffle sweater from Muji – bought the same day as the above sweater during the summer and on sale. I had no intention of buying either of these, but I love them both. The waffle sweater I wear at least twice a week now that the temps have dipped below 40F. Next to my forest green lambswool sweater, this waffle one is the warmest sweater I have and very easy to style.
The beige Uniqlo pant in the above photo is also new and another amazing-but-not-planned purchase. Uniqlo has upped the styling on their e-z ankle pant. I have a navy pair of the older edition and can wear them year round. The beige ones are definitely a step up in styling and will become an easy year-round staple as well.
Merino wool turtleneck sweater from COS. I fell in love with the color and bought it. It’s not my favorite out of all of these, but I find myself reaching for it more often than not because it’s easy to wear. The long ribbed cuffs are a bit awkward feeling when I first put the sweater on, but I get used to it throughout the day. In general, I’m glad to see more true forest green colors instead the usual army-ish olive-like color that most companies pass off as green.
BTW, the blue pant above are the older Uniqlo e-z pant I’ve had for years.
Wool turtleneck sweater from Pas de Calais. I bought this on a massive sale and it’s by far the softest sweater I own. It feels softer than the cashmere sweater my mom bought me a couple years ago. The size is very loose and the wool is so thin it’s a bit sheer so I have to wear a nude bra underneath. Despite being so gauze-like it is extremely warm.
The cardigan over it is the cotton one from Everlane. I generally don’t tie up the sash on it and am thinking of just taking it off entirely. This has also been a good layering piece when the temperature got cooler.
And now for the not so great purchases…
The Chimala wide-leg jeans that are not advertised as being wide-leg anywhere at all. In fact, from any listings I’ve seen of these jeans, they don’t have any indicator of “straight” or “wide” or anything. If I’d known, I probably would not have bought them. They are much tighter in the waist than I thought and I’m realizing I’m not a fan at all of high-waist jeans. I don’t think they look good on me and have a hard time styling them. The verdict is out on what I plan to do with this rather expensive blunder item.
Pink-ish Moma shoes. I was having a weird moment where I was very tempted by pastels for a while. The shoes weren’t all that expensive since I got them on a major sale, but I’m wondering how much mileage I’ll really get out of them. Maybe I’ll crave them more in the spring? They deliberately look a bit beaten up by design.
The linen items I bought that were the initial reason for breaking my shopping ban this year are still in rotation. The heavy linen pant get worn a lot on the weekends. They are warm and easy to throw on for when I want to go out and not look too lazy. The dress is waiting for warmer weather and so is the button-down green shirt. It’s amusing to me that those were the things I looked forward to the most and now they are just… there.
While this doesn’t cover all the things I bought, this highlights what helped me understand what I want in my own styling a lot better. I’m definitely a uniform type of person for winter wear. Other seasons tend to be a mixed bag of mood swings though…
I don’t have any planned purchases. The last purchase I made was over the weekend for a new pair of running shoes. I’ve been a bit more vigilant in exercising regularly – until I got food poisoning a few days ago…. Anyway, I’ve been much better about writing down what exercise goals I have and keeping to them. They are very simple:
- Run 1 mile
- Dumbbell squats
- Overhead press
- Monster walk (this is done using a tied theraband around my ankles)
- Dumbbell balance (a single leg balance exercise made more difficult with weight)
While that’s not all that I do, that’s just a sample and I only do 4 when I exercise with the mile run always being one of them. I’m not worried about reps or weight amounts right now. I’m just trying to get a regular routine in place first. I put a Bosu ball on my wishlist because I really do need to work on balancing more. The last two trips I took had a Bosu ball I used in the gyms and realized it’s quite handy. I have terrible balance in general and I’m stubborn enough to keep at it if I have something to work with so an exercise device for that is best for me.
Reading: First Principles by Herbert Spencer. It’s been a long time since I read an older book so putting my Ye-Olde-Speaketh-Much-More-Than-Seemingly-Necessary-to-Reach-Thine-Theoretical-Point-Supposedly hat on reminded me of how rusty I’ve gotten. 18th and 19th century classics were my jam many many years ago, but since I’ve switched to manga I feel as though I’m trying to learn how to breath again. I forgot how amazingly long some sentences can get in these old tomes. Ten years ago Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, William Makepeace Thackeray, Dostoevsky, and Strachey were read religiously. Now – not so much, but it’s made me all the more aware of how we’ve collectively inherited ADD. We’ll see how well I get through this book.
So I guess this is my end-of-year update of sorts. I hope all who read this – especially this far – have very Happy Holidays.