I have well and truly fallen off the wagon. Almost 3 years ago I wrote THIS post about selling all our worldly goods and since then have stuck to my minimalistic lifestyle. Well it all started to unravel (literally) when my one rock solid pair of jeans developed a concerning hole in a crucial area. Also, our sweet,old foster cat Berry had used my second hand Radley bag as her scratching post. Oh, and that $5 pair of sunnies I got from a New Orleans market was really hurting my eyesight. OK so I'll just replace a few things I bought on our last US trip 2 years ago.
Well, since I landed in NYC 2 weeks ago, I just went nuts. Like a fat kid who loves cake (which actually I had a lot of as well) - I just switched off that little inhibition switch and bought everything I wanted. Granted the British Pound is trudging along quite happily at the moment so most of the things I got were either on sale or were cheaper anyways with the conversion. Well that's what I told myself as my backpack started to get tighter and tighter. I have no regrets. And luckily, I got a work bonus this month which means everything was practically free! Hah! Delusional I know. Anyways, here's my NYC shopping hitlist.
Warby Parker Sunglasses
Since Luxottica have a stronghold on the sunglasses industry and hence can charge whatever the hell they want, it was cool to find out about Warby Parker, an American brand who do some really nice, good quality pairs without the $300+ pricetag. I bought the 'Laurel' for US$103.44 and they even tightened it a little with their on site optometrist for no extra charge. Also, we had a field day with their in-store photobooth.
OK it's a European brand but I'd be paying the same in dollars as I would be in pounds so it makes sense to get it in the US. I really just wanted to get a durable bag I could carry my camera and a jumper around in. I don't love backpacks but I really need to look after my spine a bit better and as trends go, this one at least is socially acceptable amongst the East London crowd. I was a happy camper when I found the Kanken Mini in beige in the 40% pile making it US$42.47. Total score.
Kate Spade New York
I had all but given up on proper designer stuff. What's the point of spending all that money on something that you'd be too scared to use. Or worry it was going to get stolen. But since I was in NYC and this is a New York brand, I might as well pop in and have a look. Firstly, the sales people are so lovely, it was a good 40% discount that was my downfall. I bought this Large Monday in this cute turquoise (officially called Cedar Street) for $151.34. My one, slightly not practical purchase but remember that bonus I was taking about?
I was in Barcelona a few weeks ago and forgot my well worn Primark peacoat in the airport. This was the exact same coat but of much better quality. Women's blended wool peacoat bought for $129 which is on par with what would have paid in the UK but I've already made good use of it. Also I bought some snazzy heattech print trousers for $40 and superwarm leggings for $20. Boring purchases but necessary staples.
I just needed a good crossover bag that was classic in style and a good size that could fit a cardigan, phone and wallet but wasn't too bulky. It's much nicer in real life than in the photos and the quality of the leather is amazing. It just does everything I need it to. The mini transport crossbody in 'English saddle' for $161.14.
I found these shoes in DNA in Williamsburg and they are just ridiculously comfy. Really soft leather and I like the extra touch with getting both black and cream laces. Also, they're an Australian brand. Extra points. It has a really nice treaded speckly coloured outsole for extra traction. Good thinking. London can be pretty slippery. Rollie Derby Black Distressed $100.
American Eagle Outfitters
So my perfect pair of jeans is the Hi Rise Jegging in short and black and my last pair I wore til it fell apart. It's last adventure was hiking up Breakneck Ridge so it went out with a bang at least. I bought two pairs as they were having a buy one get the 2nd 50% off - $67.42.
Another item I could have got in the UK but I needed something floral for a Frida Khalo outfit I was working on for Halloween. And considering costumes are generally a one time thing, at least I'll get more wears out of this pretty printed dress. It's really comfy and I'm thinking I could dress it up for a wedding or down for a brunch. $69.90.
OK so I don't really wear a lot of make up but since retiring from the backpacker lifestyle and living in London for the past two years, I've found the desire to look presentable when I step outside my door. I quite like that they have these little packs with a bunch of stuff in it. So you don't have to overthink the situation. I bought a eyeliner pack, lip and cheek pack, nail polish pack and face mask pack. Half of those things I grabbed on a whimsy whilst waiting in line to pay. Total sucker. $107.79 in total.
I also bought socks/undies/wallet from Century 21, art supplies from Blicks and gloves/jewellery from Aldo but these were all under $30. The grand total was probably about $1000 but I'll be covered for the next few years. Don't forget we're talking about a former shopaholic here, that budget would have lasted me about a season. And at the end of the day, it's just a nice treat as I've been working ridiculously hard here in London and it feels good to reward yourself every now and then.