Closet Creative: Heading Toward Disillusion?

Since moving into the new house about seven months ago, I’ve been so excited about my room – the closet room.

Here’s the thing. When I lived in my own house, I had four bedrooms and no one else to share them with. Naturally, my shoes and outfits moved into one of the rooms across the hall and got quite comfortable.

Five years later, I sold ol’ Gertie Palace (she was on the worst named street ever – Gertrude Ave) and moved in with my fiance. Lucky me, he was well aware of my perchance for closet hogging so he moved the guest bedroom into the finished basement so my stuff could spread out and enjoy the life it’s accustom to.

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After we got married, we started looking at moving into something with more room for when we have kids. My only caveat (ha! You KNOW I’m just kidding about that 😉 ) was that I would get my own room for my stuff – something I’ve had since I was out on my own and am now refusing to do without.

Since I married the best bro in the world, he had no issue with it – in fact, we would pick out which room would be mine in all of the houses we seriously considered. Then he saw how much stuff I had… and initiated a conversation with me about my “hoarding tendencies.”

Two rounds of purging (once while packing and another since I’m just now unpacking the moving tubs) and I think I’ve whittled my stuff down to where we actually have an accurate picture of what we’re working with. (Except bags – I come with a lot of baggage – it’s not emotional, just physical 🙂 )

So, now that you’re up to speed, I first looked into Ikea’s closet systems. I wanted something more built-in, but the husband didn’t want it to be that intense. He brought the idea of using industrial piping to the table – and I’ve since found some really beautiful stuff we can do.

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I’m loving the copper style even though he says it’s going to be too pricey for me. I’ll also be working with a chunky white accessories island, white shelving and hopefully a bag cabinet. Oh, and the chandelier from the old house will definitely be in there as well.

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We’ll see what he cooks up and how much this will cost me!

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Parting with a Sort-Of Friend: My Violet Fendi Peekaboo

Man, I’ve been majorly slacking on posting. I guess it was those spending freezes that could never quite take hold 😦

Since I last posted, I said goodbye to a fair-weather friend – my violet Fendi Peekaboo bag. I never loved this bag, but I did like it in theory. I won it in a contest a couple of years ago and wanted to keep it based on the price tag alone. Yet, after carrying it a few times, it was sort of a pain in the ass. Yes, the shape was classic, the leather beautiful and the logo placement not over-the-top – but the bag itself was heavy, didn’t work well with the shoulder strap and was sort of impractical thanks to a balancing issue with the two separate, turnlock latched sides.

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It was like going to lunch with that one friend who you like to spend no more than 90 minutes with. Linger too long and you’re left a heightened sense of annoyance. Here’s the last picture I took of her before I shipped her off.

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I contemplated selling on The RealReal or Yoogi’s Closet, or even taking it to a local place. But eBay Valet must have been reading my mind because, literally the day I decided to part with her, they sent me the information on their new consignment program that offers free two way shipping and 90% commission. If the bag doesn’t sell in 60 days, they ship it back to me at no cost. Sounds like a win-win to me – I’ll report back with how it goes.

How I Stalked, Plotted and Schemed to Get My First Chanel.

I’ve wanted a Chanel handbag since I was 18. And I remember telling myself one day, I’ll own one. True to my word, I got one when I turned 30.

Let me start by saying I was nowhere near born in the lap of luxury. Living in a “you live where?!” suburb of St. Louis, I can assure you, Fritos with ketchup isn’t as gross as it sounds, a bag of hand-me-down clothes still excites me more than getting one new shirt at the mall, and my parents’ place still doesn’t have central air. We’re talking pretty damn humble beginnings here.

I think it was the rise of shows like The Simple Life, The O.C., Gossip Girl and the dreaded KUWTK that lead to my sudden awareness of those two interlocking CCs and their importance in relation to serving as a status symbol. Yeah, I had seen some Louis Vuitton here and there. But for me, Chanel was the epitome of class – it was timeless, it was sleek and holy shit was it expensive.

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I’ve always been picky about my purses. Never one to carry something everyone else had, I passed hard on the Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Coach phases, option to see out something a little more unique when I searched for something to dangle off of – or in the crook of – my arm.

As turning 30 loomed in the distance, along with my April wedding, I decided it was time. I knew exactly what I wanted – something timeless and classic but attainable on my salary without looking like I had completely lost my mind financially. Scouring second hand websites and eBay became second nature; I soon received more “dings” notifying me of when an auction ended that my fiance kept asking who the hell was texting me.

The more I searched, the more I found out about what I didn’t want. Black leather seemed to be the immediate popular choice – but as one to never carry anything everyone else has – here’s looking at you, LV Neverfull – I both couldn’t afford it and didn’t feel like it was the one for me. When someone gets a Chanel bag, I feel like black leather is the default – because let’s face it, unless you’re making boucoup bucks, you’re probably only going to get one.

While stalking the Bag, Borrow or Steal sale section, I found it. It was still out of my price range, but that rang the starting bell to let the obsessive stalking begin. I watch the price drop a few hundred dollars, checking a few times everyday in hopes that no one snatched it up. I knew the site sent out 30% off coupons fairly regularly, so I had to wait until one popped up in my inbox. One day, right before turning the big 30, there it was. And the bag was still for sale.

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Immediately, I texted my husband. “You still into splitting a birthday present with me?” I want to buy this investment bag and I need to do it now,” I frantically text him. “Yep – I’ll shoot you some money.” With that response, in about 2 seconds flat, I was staring at a checkout screen. ‘But what if it doesn’t live up to your expectations’ my brain started spewing as I saw the final total. ‘That’s what the return policy is for – now shhh…’

A couple of days later – it showed up. And I couldn’t believe it’s mine. Happy birthday to me indeed. It’s still my favorite bag – partly because I feel like it was a good way to say goodbye to my crazy 20s, a sign of success so far in my career as a writer, and mostly because my husband indulged my very expensive tastes (even though he doesn’t really get it.) It’s the bag I turn to to feel extra special, the one I add when it’s time to dress to impress. And it’ll be the one I pass down to my daughter as long as she shares my intense bag appreciation.

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I cracked. But I cracked for a couple of worthy items.

So, let’s start this blog right off with the fact that I majorly failed at my spending freeze. I know, I know. It was only one month and I still couldn’t do it.

That’s why I’ll be trying it again on 8/7.

I did buy an awesome new set of luggage – at 60% off. 3a13b405db70df1b0e1466be3475f89b

And this vintage Christian Dior clutch for an absolute steal.

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And as a reward for my decent work review, the faux leather yellow jacket I blogged about earlier did live up to it’s hype. For only $23, how could I not.

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Alright, it’s on AGAIN. Let’s see how this goes – take 2.

Obsessed Much?: My Overabundance of Moto Jackets

After going through the upstairs closet where I stashed the coats while getting our main floor refinished, I noticed a common theme. Holy moto jacket hoard, Batman. I seem to have a major thing for these leather-looking staples. My habit of obsessively pinning all of my purchases once again came in handy – here’s a look at my collection.

I have my eye on this one next – after August 7th of course!

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Spending Freeze: Let’s See If I Crack

It’s been a while since my last post. I’m sorry – I’ve been slacking.

I have to say the Louis Vuitton Sac Promenade shaped up really well – the bag looks really, really good now that it’s gotten a little TLC. I used it on a recent trip to Chicago for the weekend and it was the perfect size for packing all my clothes. I also took a backpack for toiletries, makeup and my shoes – I was not about to put any leakables or dirty soles in this baby.

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Looking pretty sharp for a 27-year-old bag!

Last month, I’m ashamed to say, I did some pretty hefty damage to my credit card. By nature, I’m a saver and a huge stickler for paying it off each month – and this time after I did so, the amount left to dump into my savings was pretty paltry.

Not that I have any regrets about anything I got, but I think sometimes the sentiment of “I work hard – this is one of a kind – this won’t be here tomorrow – who knows when you’ll find one of these again” hits me pretty hard. And last month was apparently when the stars aligned to wreak havoc on my wallet.

In fact, when I think about how much I spend on extra stuff for myself each month, I’m not proud to say I do cringe inside.

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One of my downfalls for the month: The Tory Burch Fleur Macrame Heels I’ve wanted for practically ever magically landed on eBay in my size – of course I had to get them.

So that brings me to The Great Spending Freeze of 2017. I’ve tried to do something similar in the past and ended up saying “Efff this” about a week in each time. But if I survived the Whole30 back in January, this is worth a shot. I’m like really bad dieter but instead of sweet, salty, creamy and spicy, I crave flashy, clearance, vintage and limited quantity.

I’m hoping that throwing this out here will make me more accountable for anything extra I’m spending this month. The things I’m forbidden to drop money on are any clothes, jewelry, makeup, shoes, accessories, etc. Let’s give this a full 30 days so that makes the freeze up on August 7th.

What I think I’ll be the most interested in is how much money I can actually save when I’m not dropping a random $10 here on something I found on Amazon or an extra $20 for a good eBay find. Plus, when I get stressed, I notice I start looking. Looking leads to wanting, which leads to me pulling the trigger, which launches the “don’t feel guilty – you work hard mentality.”

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This one is mine – snagged from Thredup for under $20.
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This one is Michael Kors. I’m getting Chanel vibes from both. 

I know it’s possible for me to look without buying – come on, I have SOME impulse control 🙂 – but this will be really good chance to gauge how much I really WANT something. Is it enough to wait an entire month before it’s a possibility to land in my clutches? Also, since sales, eBay and clearance sections are my kryptonite, I’ll be browsing much less – leading to a possible increase in productivity? – or more surfing on Pinterest trying to find new ways to work in stuff I already have?

Stay tuned – I’ll report in on the results in a month!

First-Time Fixer Upper: Louis Vuitton Promenade XXL

So, while my husband slumbered beside me last night, I was trolling for vintage LV… again. For the 5th time this week, actually.

I’ve been tossing around the idea of buying another vintage Louis Vuitton for a while now, deciding that I want a bigger size piece for travel that had a zipper on the top – unlike the LV Neverfull. My current LV arsenal already consists of a vintage crossbody and a super lady-like Concorde.

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LV Concorde

I guess around midnight I just decided to go for it. Maybe that’s why I woke up in a cold sweat this morning, thinking “did I really buy that bag or was it just a really lucid dream?”

Here’s what I ended up snagging.

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It’s a made in France, year 2000 Promenade. It’s a biggie – I had my eye on a Keepall 55 for a bit, but I like that this is more of a shoulder bag than a duffle. It looks like it’s in really good shape for what I paid for it – I’ve seen ones in similar conditions go for 3x my price.

The one thing I’ve been second guessing a little bit is the size. You can bet your ass I’ve been scouring the internet ever since I clicked purchase to see how this bag measures up in real life.

I also read a super helpful blog on restoring it to give the bag a little face-lift once I get it. I bought some Cadillac Boot and Shoe Leather Lotion, some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and some Blue Magic 300 Metal Polish Cream off of Amazon to bring it closer to its former glory.

If this all goes well, it’ll be an awesome travel bag – and possibly diaper bag in the future. Hell no on the frumpy mom bag for me. I ain’t about that life.

 

 

 

The Power of Porcelain Prints.

I’m not sure whether it’s the rising heat, my perchance for dreaming of laying out by some cerulean water instead of working, or the classic combo of a cool blue paired with crisp white – right now all I want to buy are some pieces in cool porcelain-inspired prints. I’ve lusted after this cute Dolce and Gabbana bag for a while. And will continue to only lust with it’s hefty price tag.

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Image via Dolce and Gabbana

And have picked up a few of my own pieces in the classic print.

Now it seems my love of the print has moved into our remodel. Here’s the rug I picked up yesterday for the entry way. I’m hoping it pairs nicely with some gold pieces, the chunky table I’ll add some gel stain to and what we’ve done with the floors and the walls. Crossing my fingers it doesn’t come across as too carnival or kiddie. If it does, thank god for Home Depot’s return policy!

Oh yeah, and I’m obsessed with living vicariously through bloggers who are rich enough to snag a pair of these.

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Image via Saks
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Image via Google

Seriously YSL, what is this magic?!

Vintage Vibes for Fall?

The Gucci Cruise 2018 Runway show offered a blast from the past in terms of the famous Gucci print.

 

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Image via Vogue

And luckily, I picked up one of these bad boys while cruising consignment last fall. Looks like my vintage find is once again right in style.

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Image via My closet

Dior is also currently resurrecting their old ’90s logo print. Check out these recent snaps of Rihanna sporting a Dior saddle bag that isn’t vintage – but is straight off the Fall-Winter 2018 runway.

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Image via PurseBlog

Who else will be re-purposing a famous logo or print from the past this upcoming season? I’m betting on a return of the Fendi Zucca print.

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Image via FashionPhile

Pearls Are Having a Major Moment.

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Image via Purseblog

 

Just look at this beauty from Chanel’s New Metier d’Art 2017. It’s my dream bag if there ever was one. The staggering mic drop price tag? Oh you know, just a meager $14,200.

If you’re looking to get your pearl fix this season, Chanel’s not the only shop in town. Just check out what Gucci’s got going on right now to celebrate the tiny spherical diamonds of the sea.

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Image via Gucci
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Image via Gucci
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Image via Gucci

Fendi’s 2018 Resort Collection also is showing some pearls some love.

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Image via Purseblog
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Image via Purseblog

Cute, huh? As for me, I’ll be rocking the look for less – WAY less. I’ve added these to my own shoe collection which add just a touch of the pearl look on top of the already popular low block heel trend.

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Image via SheIn

Switching gears back to the Metier d’Art 2017, I found a lot of other interesting Chanel shapes in this collection. It looks like ol’ Karl may have finally deviated from the Boy shape and is venturing into more geometric territory. Serious swoon.

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Image via Purseblog
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Image via Purseblog
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Image via Purseblog