As you may or may not infer, shopping has really taken a back seat in my life as of late, and for the better. My focus has been elsewhere, mostly in coffee and food photography. I’m also back in my half-marathon training after an injury–I’m pretty happy about that, as a forced 1-month hiatus was tough on the mind and body. But here I am, and there are a few things I’d like to talk about. First, let’s look at the state of the wardrobe in the second quarter of 2015:
2015 Acquisitions (as seen on Instagram):
Brooks Ghost 7 running shoes
Balega Hidden Comfort socks
Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light No Show Tab socks
April was an expensive month for running. My previously well-loved Nike Lunarglides didn’t give enough arch support and my feet ended up taking the brunt of it as I progressed in my running. I also needed to learn a lesson about getting enough rest and stretching. This resulted in a hiatus of a month and a half where I had to be off my feet while I healed and the somewhat-necessary re-hauling of gear.
I ended up with the Brooks Ghost 7 running shoe and a pair of custom inserts (not the heat-formed ones from the running shops but orthotics from a medical manufacturer) and I feel a lot more supported and stable while running. Granted, I’m not a doctor or expert runner, so I don’t recommend or endorse any particular way for anyone’s foot problems, but the important part is with this rig I can keep running. If I don’t make it to 13.1 miles it won’t be for the lack of trying every known solution. If anyone cares to know more about that I’ll gladly expound on the topic. As for the socks I believe a few here mentioned Nike’s Dri-FIT and Balega; I am a recent convert to poly-blend running socks and I won’t look back. Hot spots (future blisters) at 5 miles is the last thing you want on your mind when you have to slog past 8 more. -eek-
Muji linen shirtdress
This linen shirtdress was somewhat of an impulse buy on Mothers’ Day. I spotted it while on a trip to Muji in Hollywood earlier this month and was enticed by the sea of blues and whites:
Muji’s sizing runs a bit on the small side. Thank goodness my mom was with me on this trip and suggested sizing up because 1. the small was a bit tight in the arms and chest; 2. linen shrinks. True to its nature, the dress shrunk 15% after the first wash–so that the Medium actually fits more like the Small on me now. The length is mostly unaffected but I notice that the shoulders and sleeve length is a bit shorter than before. Which works for me, but if you’re reading this and are new to linen, beware. Size up and go with an airier, loose fit because it will inevitably shrink. I don’t know how it would be affected if dry-cleaned; I hope someone who has dry-cleaned their linen will chime in the comments below. Another unforeseen (hah) complication: despite the dark color, this dress is a bit sheer. After scrambling around for a slip I make do with a Uniqlo Airism tee and an old cotton miniskirt from H&M (very thin) to cover the pertinent bits and to shield my skin from the somewhat-scratchy fabric. It’s not a perfect solution but it gets me through the day.
The last thing I want to touch on today is more a collection of observances re: shopping:
– I’ve replaced shopping expeditions with trips to coffee shops and going out to nicer lunches and dinners
– Shopping doesn’t leave me inspired or energized; often I am disappointed at the items on display, and I regret the trip out in the first place (why did I drive and stay out for two hours when I could have–gone climbing, taken a nap, write on the blog…)
– The best buying experience as of late was picking up my running shoes in a local business recommended by a fellow runner. I appreciated the personalized customer service of the attendant and her concern about finding the best pair for my orthotics and foot. She also worked hard to get the size and color shoe that I most desired.
A lot of the folks whose work I read (Kali, Maja, Fen, etc.) have all mentioned at some point going on a shopping fast or have self-imposed a type of restriction on certain activities/purchases. Though I myself am not on a shopping restriction, I’ve internalized the challenge somehow and I’ve been engaging in other pursuits to alleviate boredom. I window shop because I’m bored, or I feel down, and trying on clothes and looking at things gives me that newness, like something freshly bought will inspire/enrich my life. But nowadays even when I buy something completely necessary (better running shoes) or even when I indulge in optional buys (Black Crane dress, Muji dress) it doesn’t give me that same rush like before; I still appreciate having the option to wear said dress and present myself a certain way, but it’s no longer treated like a grail item. Is this herd mentality/online peer pressure, or maturity? Maybe a bit of both. I am noticing that the more satisfying, uplifting times are when I trade my dollar for an experience, such as food, drink, or an event rather than a physical, non-consumable good.
Drop me a line–are you on a shopping ban? Are you skirting the edges of the minimalist culture like I do, dipping unsure toes in talk of fasting, mindfulness, and the like? Leave me your thoughts and musings below 🙂