Evolving needs

I haven’t really talked much about shopping lately because there isn’t much that I desperately need. 2015 has been relatively quiet on the shopping front; so far all I’ve accumulated is the following:

As seen on Instagram:



Nine West Foodie monkstrap shoes 
Black Crane Pleats Dress in gray


Gap true straight and tailored crop work pants

The following are non-urgent ideas, but would be nice to have to supplement the evolving wardrobe:

1. A pair of dressy/casual flat sandals.

I bought these super dorky (yassss!) gold Easy Spirit sandals last year and they’re not that great. The strap is loose around my ankle and the foot bed while cushy, is not entirely supportive at the arch. I am not sure whether to donate these or to see if I can get the strap shortened. I’d like something that straddles dressy-casual, so probably something in non-distressed leather. 1/2 inch heels okay.

2. A wide-brimmed (straw?) hat for walking

I walk during my breaks at work. The straw hat I use is falling apart. I’d like one that I can tie under my chin in case it is windy. I like straw hats because it makes me feel like I’m from Little House on the Prairie, but I could also go for a more outdoorsy/sporty sun-fabric hat for practicality’s sake. I like the idea of a straw hat; I personally like the idea of being that dorky Asian lady with a visor (not yet! maybe in 20 more years!) While I love that Southern California gets a ton of sun, my skin will probably appreciate some protection.

3. A new fitted button-down shirt (dressy)

My old button-down work shirts are much too large on me. I’d like a fitted white or navy dress shirt to have on hand for interviews or “formal” work occasions. The sloppy fit of my older shirts are ok for casual days, but there are times when I need a prim and proper option.

4. Running socks

Of all the things on this list I’ll probably buy these first, along with the hat. My current socks abrade my skin after long runs–I think because of the way the inside of the sock is manufactured. Going to try these Hidden Comfort socks by Balega on the next pay cycle.

What I don’t really need but kind of want anyway:

– straight (not skinny) jeans in a light wash. not sure if I want distressing or whiskering yet, but Sue of Susie So So sure makes it look good. (look at her jeans 1, 2, 3, 4 not fair! so many options!)

– another dark plum lipstick (I own Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Pencil in Bramble) but Mac’s Sin (Matte) lipstick makes me look like one of those Tumblr girls (actually, that’s model Taylor Hill.) The dark lip + bold brow combo satisfies the 90’s craving I have without necessarily dipping back into plastic tribal tattoos (which I wouldn’t mind trying again for the hell of it.)

– I don’t need perfume, but I enjoy it and I’m running low on my main scents. Not a high-priority purchase, but one I can probably save for a birthday or special occasion.


It’s interesting to move from filling closet gaps to refining needs/desires. I notice that the things I want above are replacements or refinements of items I currently own. In some cases, what I own fails to fulfill its purpose (gold sandals) and at other times I’m buying because I ran out (perfume.) In general, I’m glad that I’m better at identifying WHY I want to buy something new–knowing the reason and purpose behind it helps me evaluate and prioritize future purchases. And spending that time to deliberate weeds out a lot of impulses and leads to a more optimized acquisition.

That’s it for me on the shopping front–quite boring, really, but it’s just where life is going nowadays. What’s on your shopping list lately? What’s your best buy of the year so far?


18 thoughts on “Evolving needs

  1. Ah that’s interesting, I’ve been pondering this topic as well these days – you know, a sort of post shopping fast round-up of shopping habits. And like you, this “I desperately need this” seems to have quite vanished from my life of late. Where I used to need to stop myself from going to a shopping trip in order to be more mindful about my purchasing habits, I now need to convince myself to *go* shopping. I’ve cracked not one, but two old pairs of jeans last week and I still haven’t made myself go look for a replacement. Same for the perfume, I got this lovely birthday card from my Jo Malone store and I still didn’t manage to convince myself to spare time to go there. Other things to do (play the violin, write things, meet with friends…) That’s… very interesting!

    To answer your question, my best purchase of 2015 (because I still did go shopping, for winter sales!) is a khaki green V neck knitted sweater I got from the organic brand called Ekyog. I think I finally nailed the sweater cut I like most, and I’ve been making myself put it in the laundry basket after a few wears, otherwise I think I’d have spent the whole beginning of the year wearing it 🙂 It feels good to find an item that feels just right, isn’t it?

    1. I am firmly in the same camp as you–if it weren’t for the fact that it would be somewhat embarrassing (and unhygienic) to wear the same thing for 2 weeks straight I would have worn the same outfit day in day out–black turtleneck, Ecco boots, long black open cardigan. But California weather does not support turtlenecks year round :/

      Your jeans cracking cracked me up–that means you have mighty limbs! I hope one day my butt gets so mighty I burst out of my clothes spontaneously. But I’m probably one of the few who wishes that 🙂

      Re: shopping habits I think reading your blog, Maja’s, and Lin’s is definitely an influence. I see that you ladies still enjoy clothes and shopping but you also talk about your hobbies more. Maja has Kanutten, you have le Chat. Lin takes underwater photos and shows us around Singapore (?) and Asia. I think it’s just growing into our lives/responsibilities where image becomes less of an issue and our actions and output become more significant. I can only speak for myself, but I definitely have been writing less to focus on achieving some career and personal goals this year. I haven’t gone on as many downtown LA jaunts as last year but I’ve had some pretty fulfilling weekends of food and photography closer to home. Hence that is what I post on IG, etc. etc.

      It IS very interesting, I definitely agree!

  2. I never knew my blue jeans were so interesting 🙂 I like all my blue jeans to have a little “wear” in their finish – I don’t like them too pristine. I never realised this until a couple of years ago when an observant friend pointed out that all my jeans were a little distressed looking and I then realised that she had a point. I know that you have a pair of lighter wash jeans in your possession – do you not feel as comfortable in them or do you find them a little more difficult to work with your style? I would describe it as being quite pared back which I am to a degree except I am rather prone to flights of fancy such as fuchsia coats and disco sandals. I will see if I can collate a post together of my blue jeans at some point – I think you did quite a good job there yourself pointing out my different ones!

    And as for a wide brimmed straw hat. I bagged one today when I saw one. A big floppy brimmed one. Purely for practical reasons so that when I garden, I am shielded from the sun and also for when I have to sit in the playground watching over the young one (tis rather mind numbing). Last year, I took a brolly with me to sit in the park and looked like one of those mad oriental tourists – you know the ones ;o)

    1. Asian tourist is EXACTLY what I’m aiming for. I’m still a bit daunted by full-plastic visors but we’re getting there. I’m already at big straw hats! Sky’s the limit. My grandmother owns those thin white arm sleeves/protectors–I’m not quite there yet.

      I do have my one pair of light wash jeans–excellent memory! I’ve been wearing them a bit more this year and I do like them, which is why I’d like to experiment with another pair for the weekends/after work. I like how you wear them, and I think with the right footwear and tops I could even make it casual-Friday appropriate as long as the jeans aren’t too distressed. I’m not entirely sure if I can pull off rips and tears. Am thinking of digging around thrift shops and/or (and this takes way more time and $$$) fading my own raw denim. If I climb enough in them then the damage will be authentic, ne?

  3. please don’t get a hat with the straps under the chin lol! Try 7 For All Mankind Kimmie jeans. I finally found slim straight white jeans that don’t make me hate myself. And for the non-wrinkle shirts try good ole Brooks, if you go to the outlets you’ll save money…they are the exact same shirts.
    My best buy this year so far has been my black flats. After 9 yrs, I finally found a ballet flat I like since my trusty ones are already on their umpteenth repair.

    1. But it’s windy in the parking lot behind my work! I think the woven straw is breaking because the brim flips up when the wind hits. 😀

      Brooks outlet–ach, I should have bit on a shirt from there. There was a black watch plaid dress shirt in their petites outlet section that made me feel all sorts of #menswear, but I was being lame. Time to plan a trip to the outlets!

  4. The only thing that I have really needed and bought this year was a pair of black skinny jeans. (True story: my last pair tore in the seat as I was bending over to pick up my suitcase. Fortunately not at the airport, but just as I was leaving for the airport.) I splurged on a pair of jeans by Frame, and have been very satisfied for the past month.

    After moving last year, I realized how much stuff I really have and how little of it I actually use, so I’ve been actively trying not to accumulate too many things. I have a gift card to Elizabeth Suzann that I’ve been itching to use, and have my eye on her bags, but have yet to take the plunge. And, I’ve been seriously inspired by your Black Crane dress to look for something sweeping, drapey, and comfortable. I can’t get over how beautiful it is.

    I am a huge fan of Balega’s running socks. I’ve been wearing them for the past couple years now, and have yet to experience holes. How would you feel about button-down shirts in silk? I’ve found them to be very versatile for dressy and casual environments.

    1. Ooh, I’ve seen Elizabeth Suzann stuff on my Tumblr feeds, and it looks lovely. Hope you end up picking something nice!

      I just got Balega and Feetures socks over the weekend, and ran in the Feetures. I didn’t do more than 3 miles so they feel ok so far, but I don’t know how they’ll do for longer distances. I got the Balega Enduro and Hidden Comfort styles to try and they seem pretty cushy. I’m stoked.

      Do you have any silk button down recs? I’ve only looked at Uniqlo’s and some of them seem a little too sheer (and I’m not much of a camisole-layering person.)

      1. I have the Balega Hidden Comfort socks, and have run up to 18 miles without any problems. I get blisters, but they seem to be inevitable, regardless of what sock I’m wearing.

        Everlane’s silk button downs are great. They’re not heavy by any means, but have a nice weight to them that reminds me of the much pricier Equipment silks (worth the price given how long mine have lasted and how often I wear them, but definitely a splurge). I don’t have any Everlane silk shirts in their lighter colors so I can’t speak to the sheerness of those, but I wear the ones I do own to work, and for going out.

        I have also liked J. Crew’s silk button downs, but the cut of J. Crew’s shirts in general have never really fit me quite right. I’ve usually waited for a sale, and then put what I saved towards tailoring.

  5. Your pleats dress is amazing!!! Still loving your monk straps. This year has been all about evolving needs for me as well, I’m mostly in the mindset of buying things that will make my existing casual-ish wardrobe a bit smarter, like a nice pair of oxfords or black pants. That being said though, I have been buying quite a few want-not-need things lately…

    1. Thanks Jane! How are your internships/school placements going? Sometimes I find it easier to shop for the fun stuff and neglect necessaries like pants or basic bras. Right now I’m daydreaming of black sneakers… 😀

  6. Hi! Long time (quiet) reader here–and I love your blog. I’m moving to Orange County this June and wanted to get in touch but couldn’t find a contact e-mail for you. Was hoping to ask your thoughts about neighborhoods and fun places to live.

    1. Welcome Joy! I can be reached at uniformlydressedkipi at gmail dot com. It’s also on my About page, but I’ll see if I can add a widget or button on here somewhere. 🙂

      I’m biased for OC because this is my home area, haha! I like that it’s centrally located and close enough to many major Southern California attractions. Drop me a line and let me know how I can assist your planning!

  7. I’m dying to get a new straw hat and have been crushing on Lack of Color’s Spencer boater hat. They’re a little aussie outfit that’s been making some nice hats over here – think they ship intl too… however summer’s over now and I’ve been sitting on it for too long. Maybe next year. My current straw hat is about falling to pieces as well, I think I’ve had it for 5+ years now.

    Have you checked out Everlane’s silk button down offerings? They’re pretty neat.

    Probably the best thing I’ve got so far are those culottes in my latest post. They’re great + crease resistant and tempted to buy it in the other available colour option (brown). Shopping on this front has been a bit quiet too – settling into a new role at work and it’s been so busy I think I’ve totally slacked on the blog front!

    1. I will probably look at Everlane’s tanks first; silk blouses are nice, but I’m worried about snagging them.

      Aren’t straw hats great? I’m late to the game, but I really appreciate them. They make me feel quite proper, and they’re protecting my skin too!

      Congratulations on your new position at work! I can empathize with that. I’m learning a lot of new responsibilities at my job and it’s left me pretty exhausted after work to write.

  8. I’ve been trying to cut back on normal clothes (I have enough i have enough i have enough) and focus instead on slowly acquiring the bigger ticket items that will hopefully last me a long time. I find I’ll often spend my money on a few small things at sales and keep putting of the pricier items I’ve wanted for a long time. Quality aviators, a Hartmann suitcase, a nice raincoat (just acquired!), an ONA camera bag, etc.

    1. I am curious to know about the ONA camera bag quality. I think that one is full leather, right? I bought a Billingham camera bag which is a heavy cotton/twill? type of material and I ended up barely using it–I prefer my dinky black LowePro bag or if I have my Nikon Coolpix A I just put it in my purse. There are a lot of handsome bags on the market though that I wish I had the patience for.

      I am with you on that mantra (i have enough x infinity) but man, sometimes that retail therapy bug gets to you hard.

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