Pants

wednesdaythursday

I think I have a pant addiction. It used to be running shoes, but since I won’t be running for a while my new thing is to obsess over the cut and style of pants. I just bought two more pairs before writing this post – both black (of course). I know a lot of people who just wear the same pants over and over and over with different tops. Maybe I’ll do the reverse where I wear one top constantly and change out the pants. That sounds very amusing to me, but I’ve also had a Scotch. Last minute meetings and coworkers blowing up at each other made for an interesting day at work.

What clothing addictions do you have? Any specific kind of item? Silk shirts? Cardigans? Shoes? Socks?

I also bought another pair of barefoot style shoes that look more professional than the ones in the top photo. I like the Lems (above) but something about them feels too casual. Maybe I just need to change out the shoe laces. I don’t really like them. Also, I already need to buff the EF shoes because I’m wearing them so much they are scuffing a lot faster than I realized. They are also really soft leather, which doesn’t help. I did get a compliment on them today though.

We are seeing Infinity War tonight with friends. It should be a lot of fun. I’m not a hardcore Marvel fan, but I like the movies because they are good action films and seeing them with a bunch of friends in a full theater makes it even more fun.

I like black

turtleneck

The weather was cooler today so I broke out the YY turtleneck again. I love this. I’m also really happy with the Gwen Slide from EF I bought. They’ve been getting milage and look a little worn in already. They are super easy to change in and out of my non-slip clogs at work.

Drinking wine as soon as I get home. It’s been that kind of day. Instead of whinging about work, I think I’ll post pretty things instead – pretty black things.

I’ve been browsing some sites lately and noticed I always look at the designers. Do you ever look at an item and think, “oh, that’s nice” and then look at the designer and change your mind and move on? Do you have designer bias? I think I do, so I went and looked at a few sites and only looked at the photos and noticed I gravitated towards black items. When an item was black, I didn’t have a designer bias as much, so maybe my bias is towards black?

During my lunch break, I read Talia’s post on her “neutral” color. Her neutral color is close to her skin tone and that makes sense. I get the idea of how a color similar to whatever skin tone one has can be considered a neutral. I’d never considered white a neutral color before, but I guess it does fall in that category. Something about white felt too stark and contrasting to me because unless one is extremely pale, white can be quite striking.

I think my neutral color has always been black. Not because it matches my skin tone (it doesn’t at all!) but because it goes with everything. It is a harsh neutral no doubt, but I feel it’s neutral because it is safe – at least to me it feels that way.

Anyway, here are some black items that have caught my attention. All are from YY’s various collections.

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It’s been so long since I’ve worn hats! I used to always wear a hat in high school. I was that weird girl who wore a velvet maroon hat with a vintage German military jacket. You know the type – style is everywhere and nowhere at once.

green

I took a photo of this plant because I am really proud of myself for keeping it alive. This plant might be my regular update plant where I need to take photos to remind myself I can take care of plants and my green thumb isn’t dead.

Freak outs and being human

outfitbad shoe dayfridaymonday

Last week I made a bad shoe decision and freaked myself out big time about my ankle. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster again because of it. I’m so completely and stupidly stubborn.

Thursday and Friday of last week were actually kinda slow for me. The earthquake that was the huge ordeal with one of my clients was over and now we are dealing with a few remaining tremors – getting product out on time. I left work early on Friday and instead of exercising I went straight to bed and slept.

I did remember a few funny things that happened last week. There’s been a firearms safety session going on because management freaked out about something. I was offered to join in the “lunch training” meeting, which meant we sat around eating food and not really training at all.

Coworker (jokingly): So, welcome to the training session for firearms. Do you know how to handle a firearm?
Me: Yeah keep the safety on and point the gun downwards at all times.
Coworker: Wrong, you wear gloves… to hide finger prints.

We all had a laugh and ate lunch.

Sometimes I think about how much food is such a driving force for interaction in our world. We base a lot of our schedule around eating and actually watching other people eat can be a gruesome experience, depending on the person. But we still do it because we need to and sometimes I feel mechanical about how we must refuel so many times a day. It’s funny to think of myself as being robotic in how I need to refuel. If I were a game character I’d need a green energy bar (food) and a battery energy bar (sleep).

During lunch we talked about foods we like and which ones “don’t like us” so to speak. For the record, I don’t like bananas and I’m allergic to fresh figs and goat milk and mussels.

Around half hour after lunch I watched another coworker go towards the bathrooms. She opened one door and barely had a foot inside it before she came stumbling out, shaking her head. She saw me watching from down the hall and we both burst into laughter. She had been at the lunch meeting as well and we knew: someone bombed out the bathroom. She went into the other bathroom and I remembered I’d heard some rather…unpleasant noises coming from the bathrooms earlier. I wondered if the coworker who said he can’t handle onions had onions in his sandwich.

backpacklunch

 

plum blossom

This weekend was really nice outside. We drove to a park on Saturday and the trail was so uneven Z gave me a piggy back ride so I wouldn’t hurt my ankle.

On Sunday the weather was warmer so we packed up a picnic and went to another park. A family friend gave us a fancy picnic backpack – like a picnic basket. It’s been 3 years since we’ve been married and this was the first time we used it. We stopped at the store to buy cheese, crackers and fruit. I was drinking jasmine tea in the silly plastic wine glass. The backpack does have a wine bottle opener and insulated areas for cold foods.

It was really nice to see the trees blossoms at the park and smell freshly mowed grass. It does feel like spring is finally here.

Red black, blue black, black black

Monday

Monday: New (to me, but really used) Yohji Yamamoto short sleeve top and Issey Miyake pants. This outfit was super comfortable. The top is cotton and felt like a fancy button down collared tee shirt. The pants reminded me of some EF items I’d seen at the mall as part of The System. They are a mix of cotton, polyester and elastic. Although this outfit attracts ALL THE LINT, it was extremely comfortable. The pants are straight leg and kinda flowy at the bottom when I walked due to the material. I noticed how the two blacks were the teensiest bit hued in blue (top) and red (pants). It was pouring rain most of the day so I wore closed shoes. They didn’t bother my ankle too much because these are the barefoot style shoes, but man do they ever bring down the look the outfit. I look like I should be busing tables. Tuesday

Today: Again new (to me but used) YY turtleneck and YY pants. I knew it would be much colder today so out came the turtleneck as planned. Again, I was super comfortable in this outfit. I ironed the pants the night before and they looked perfect this morning, but they do wrinkle easily so the nice, clean lined look I was going for was gone by the time I got to the office. Oh well. I love this turtleneck. It fits perfectly. I really wish I’d found it earlier this winter. Today’s outfit was more true black than yesterday’s. The pants give off a little sheen so they may look the slightest bit lighter.

It sucks I came home late to crap lighting. I had to go to the dealership after work and renew my loaner agreement. I may not get my car back until July now because they are so backlogged on engines for the Elantra problem. The dealership agreed to give me loaners the whole time. I have to renew it once a month now.

Tomorrow will be warmer and I don’t have any solid black outfits planned. That being said, these outfits felt right on me and I didn’t think about them at all throughout the day. I also really dig the difference in silhouettes for them.

On buying Japanese designer clothes

I wasn’t going to post today, but I got my clothes! So, you know…

yohji isseyhyacinth

Don’t mind the brown socks. I was wearing them to keep my feet warm and then my clothes came and I was just trying stuff on. I didn’t actually wear this today because it’s very warm out. The bottom photo is me making fun of myself wearing a turtleneck when it was already 75F outside. Z took the photos and told me to hold the hyacinth flower I cut the night before from our yard. He said he wanted a contrast color (other than my socks).

Z: You know you can’t touch any surface in this house with that outfit on. You need to just hover.
Me: Hover? I need to learn how to levitate?
Z: Yes, hover, and always hold the lint roller in your hand because otherwise you’ll be covered in Yuki hair. You probably already are.

saturday

This is the outfit I wore today and I only wore the blue shirt for when we went to a restaurant with my parents for lunch. I’m always cold in restaurants. Right now I’m just in the linen tee and my linen pants and my feet are swollen and hot because it’s hot outside. I’m about to turn on the AC. WTF weather!?

Ok, so the point of this post is to relate where I bought the above black outfit and other pieces I have from Japanese designers.

The top is Yohji Yamamoto and the pants are Issey Miyake. I got one other black top from YY I’ll wear later this week.

I buy from the following specific shops:

Rosen – Owned and run by Gracia Ventus. Her pricing is great and she’s very easy to contact and communicate with. I’ve bought 4 items from her (YY pants, YY shirt, YY skirt/pants and Sacai Luck pants) and each time she’s sent me a really nice note. I think she knows my preference now for YY based on the last note she sent me. I’ve contacted her before about sizing and she was very honest with it and even sent me photos of the garments to show me how the size could be adjusted. The clothes come in a cute rice bag (I have three of these now) and a message. This is from the latest order, which was in December ’17:

rosen

She does have a return policy where customers incur a restocking fee and must pay for shipping costs. This is a small establishment that’s run abroad so I’m not surprised by it. The last item I ordered is a little too small (a shirt) and I didn’t return it because there is a chance I may be able to wear it yet. Plus it’s gorgeous and I’m stubborn and this is a whole other story, so moving on….

I do recommend contacting her if you have any doubts at all about how the clothing might fit. She also has her own line of clothing, Rosen, she runs with a guy named Daniel (I forget his last name) and they make unisex clothing. I’ve not tried any of it yet, but from what I’ve seen it’s all gorgeous if you like that kind of thing, which I do. They make the clothes from Japanese dead stock so once the stock is out, that run for the item is done. Her blog is really awesome as well.

PLAYFUL – at Rakuten. Rakuten is a ginormous online shopping place. They have tons and tons of shops and sellers. It’s like if Amazon and Ebay had a baby – in Japanese. I wouldn’t be surprised if one runs the risk of finding fakes there, but I don’t think I’ve run into that problem. This is where I bought the above outfit and the other shirt I got today. Z also bought my Limi Feu sweater from there. While there are hundreds of sellers who have designer clothes on Rakuten, PLAYFUL has the most that I’ve seen of the Japanese designers I like. They also pride themselves on authentic items. Most of it is second hand/used with a grade system. They are exact in what defects the clothing has and even circle it and tell you what it is. It is a bit precarious to shop from the Rakuten site because the English is not so great, but if you pay attention enough you can understand it. Also, paying is a weird email two-step process. You “order” the clothes from the site and they send you an email. Then they send you another one once they’ve figured out your shipping fee and give you a link to pay with. They send another email asking you to reply with “authorized” written in the reply. If one didn’t want to buy from a site with so much Japanese text and a really weird payment system then the PLAYFUL shop does have an alternative: an eBay store called dc-playful. It’s the exact same inventory. The seller does not accept returns – so I don’t think they do at the Rakuten site either, but you are covered under the ebay return policy if the item is not as described in the listing. The difference between the Rakuten and eBay stores is the pricing. Rakuten pricing is a little lower, but you do pay a shipping fee. Ebay prices are higher because the shipping fees are included in the pricing – and then they say “free shipping!” on them. I opted for the lower priced Rakuten store and bought multiple items, which combined the shipping cost so instead of paying a built-in shipping fee for each item, I paid for each item and only one shipping fee. Shipping fees in general are $20, which is also what it is for Rosen, but it may be different depending on where you live. I do believe the prices are a little higher than they should be for the items and other sellers on Rakuten, but they do occasionally have sales.

I have also bought from the eBay shops artwearjapan and tsano2012. I’ve gotten a YY shirt and all my 45rpm clothes from those shops. Both allow returns with the customer paying for shipping. Both are good and communicative and there’s no language barrier issues that I could foresee. When I bought multiple items I was issued a refund on shipping because they combined the shipping fees into one instead of charging me a fee per item.

I have my eye on some clothes at TheReaReal but haven’t bought anything so I can’t comment on that. The same goes for Poshmark. I did ask about a YY skirt I saw on PM but the seller took forever to get back to me and didn’t even complete my request for information and then the item was sold. So, just like with any reseller, it can be a crap shoot of whether or not the experience will be good or bad.

A note about sizing: It’s also a crap shoot if you just go by the vanity size. You really REALLY need to know your specs when you buy, especially if you don’t have someone to contact to be straight up with you about it. That’s why I like ordering from Gracia. For the Rakuten order, I spent 3 days agonizing over sizing. I have a fabric measuring tape so I went and measured and remeasured and measured again clothes that I have that are similar to what I want to buy, clothes from the same designer and even myself. For the above shops, sizing is in cm (with Gracia having both cm/in). Google is your friend for getting cm/in conversion. I always have the window open next to the shop window. For designer Japanese clothes, see the super rough size chart, but this is NOT AT ALL set in stone. In fact, I’d say the sizing runs a gamut of up to three US sizes.  I’m basing this information on sizing I’ve seen after looking through hundreds of items. Many of them I see the vanity size and the cm size and think: ok, that makes sense. Sometimes, I see the vanity vs cm size and have no fucking clue where they got the measurement from or if it’s right. I’m just using waist measurements because I have the most issue with those:

size 1  = XS (anywhere from 24″ to 28″ waist, US size 0ish to 4ish)
size 2 = S (anywhere from 26″ to 32″ waist, US 2ish to 6ish)
size 3 = M (anywhere from 28″ – 35″ waist, US 4ish to 8ish)

I think I’ve only seen a size 4 once, but have no recollection on what the specs were on that. Yes, feel free to say it: these sizes are biased towards skinny people and you’re absolutely right.

Take the above sizes with a huge grain of salt because I’ve seen size 2 pants with a 35″ waist – because they were low-rise pants that fit more at the hip. So while the clothing may truly fit a US size 4 person, the waist measurements may be due to the cut of the item. If the sizing seems really odd then it’s probably cut low or maybe the waist is meant to be loose, because you know, this is weird stuff we’re dealing with. The skirt/pants I have from YY can be worn in three different ways (skirt, pants with pocket up front OR back).

 

The majority of the clothes I have bought are listed as size 1 from all the tags I’ve looked at, but I do have a size “s” for small, a size 2 and the turtleneck above is a size 3. The material is a super stretchy cotton that almost feels like polyester, but the tags read 100% cotton. With clothes that are very form fitted, I feel I would definitely go up a size to be on the safe side, like I did with the turtleneck because it fits great. I based everything on the cm size for the turtleneck and didn’t rely at all on the vanity sizing. It all really depends on what end of the size scale (in centimeters)  the vanity sizing (the 1, 2, or 3) falls under. That’s how I ended up buying a too-small size 1 shirt. Simply put, know your size in centimeters backwards and forwards. Also take into consideration the material the item is made with.  I would caution when in doubt, size up because as a general rule lots of Japanese clothes are made to the smallish side. That being said, I’ve taken lots of gambles with these clothes. Some of my pants are snug in the waist, but not uncomfortably so. Should I have bought a size 2 instead of size 1 in some cases? Most likely. I felt as though I took a gamble with the Issey Miyake pants above because those are listed as a 74 cm/29″ waist (size 1). My waist is 28″ but these pants sit just below the natural waist line, so they are snug. I bought them anyway and they do fit great because the material has some stretch to it. The material is a mix of cotton, spanx and polyester I believe. It’s extremely lightweight, which is just what I wanted – a summer black pant for the office.

I can’t afford new designer clothes from the designers I enjoy the most, but it doesn’t stop me from taking risks in buying older items from them second-hand. I spend a lot of time going over them (days) before pulling the trigger to buy. Now that I’ve got some experience under my belt I have a better idea of where I fall in their sizing system, but there may always be a surprise if I’m not careful.