Category Archives: Shopping

Fashion Shopping

{Guest Post} Father’s Day Gift Idea: Custom Shirts

The last time my husband wanted to do a guest post on my blog was…well, never. But he somehow developed a sudden and unexpected passion for custom shirts that he wants to evangelize unto the world, in time for Father’s Day. I guess I never realized the non-custom-shirt-misery in which he lived until now.

So here it is, folks. My husband’s detailed account of his foray into the world of custom shirts. May it bring you unbridled tailored joy.


 

“Hey – can I do a guest post on your blog?”

“Hm. What about?”

“Custom shirts.”

“Why? How many did you buy?”

“They are for my job. [Deploying her own tactics against her] I would have lost money if I didn’t buy them.”

“That is only relevant when there is a sale.”

“Wait … Here’s an Anthropologie gift card?”

“Fine … but you’re not as funny as I am so I’ll have to edit your post.”

When your wife is the type who understands the pricing dynamics multiple industries, it’s really hard to buy her presents (“Do you realize what the mark-up is on these roses?!”).

I am guessing some of you struggle with what to buy dads for Father’s day, so I wanted to share my experience buying tailored shirts online. It’s a little more involved than picking a gift off the shelf, but I highly recommend it as a special gift that keeps on giving. 

I hate wearing off the shelf long-sleeved shirts. For 4 reasons. 

Reason #1: because of “the Sail” (the shirt bellows when you lean forward)

The Sail

Reason #2: Because I always lose the “Arm-Hair Game”

(game rules: people secretly take a guess at how hairy someone’s arms are, then they find ways to get them to raise their arms. “Can you reach that for me?” … if the sleeve is too short, the shirt sleeve rides up, revealing the answer. At least that’s what I imagine people do)

Hairy! I knew it!

Reason #3: Because of “The Vent Game” (arm motion untucks shirt and exposes skin on side. A variation of the “Arm-Hair Game”)

The Vent

Reason #4: Because of “The Dress” (shirt is too wide around the belly, makes the shirt look like a dress just above the belt … closely related to “The Sail”)

The Dress

Last year, I gave buying online a try, primarily on eBay because they provide some measurements. So I measured my overdeveloped chest and other well sculpted body parts. I included NWT in the search bar (New With Tags). The shirts were a bit better (and cheaper), but I had to send some back, because of the loose definition of New.

NNWT (Not New, With Tags)

(I unfortunately no longer have the photo … it was gooood! Tag was completely shriveled up compared to the new one)

But I still couldn’t get rid of the problems. So, I decided to give tailored shirts a go.

I tried 4 sites, ranging from high end to value pricing:

  • J Hilburn (a person comes to a place of your location to measure … Shirts are $150+)
  • propercloth (the most aggressive marketer on Google … $95+, but most are $140)
  • ownonly (~$89+)
  • tailor4less (the value player … $60+)

After weeks of trial and error, HERE ARE THE RESULTS!

1ST PLACE (and where I bought 8 shirts): tailor4less

  • The shirts fit almost perfectly out of the box. The sleeves could be a bit shorter, but I think I am compensating for a lifetime of living with sleeves that are too short.
  • The quality is great (or at least, not noticeably different compared to J Hilburn, the premium player).
  • The selection is not huge (compared to J Hilburn), and some of the styles are questionable, but I found what I wanted.
  • Nothing fancy with the packaging … just good shirts.
  • The model and I have exactly the same, slim body types…right?

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.29.26 AMIMG_5577

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2ND PLACE: J Hilburn

  • High quality shirt (though I didn’t think it was 3 times better than the tailor4less shirt) …
  • … in a super fancy box …
  • …hand delivered by a knowledgeable stylist.
  • Premium pricing (mine ending up costing $180 … The stylist recommended some custom buttons, which added $20 I think. I went with her recommendation … the shirt turned out nice).
  • Tied with tailor4less on the quality of the fit.
  • Best selection of patterns.

NOT FOR ME / DISQUALIFIED: proper cloth

  • The best web experience of them all (great website, and email tracking).
  • Didn’t like the fabric of the shirt (Sandi:“Is that a burlap?”) … I am sure they have others, but for the material to be that rough made me question the quality of the other shirts.
  • The fit was way off, not even close. 
  • Good customer service … issued a refund no questions asked.

DON’T TOUCH WITH A BARGEPOLE / DISQUALIFIED: ownonly.com

  • I am reserving the last portion of this post to recount my experience.
  • The shirt quality was ok.

So, how does it work? 

If you go with a provider that doesn’t have a stylist (e.g. tailor4less.com)

  • Go to their website.
  • Before you do anything else, check their return policy. Look for “returns accepted” … if you don’t see it, I recommend you don’t buy.
  • Take 8-10 measurements (I had Sandi do it … I didn’t think it was particularly hard … you’ll need a tape measure, and possibly a stool if your measurer is much smaller) … interestingly, each site measures slightly different things … because I sampled a few sites, I (well, Sandi) took ~20 measurements in total.
  • Make your shirt selection … there are all kinds of options on collars, fit etc… I found these pretty straightforward. There are helpful hints on what type of collar is better suited for what type of face, the benefit of shoulder pleats etc…
  • Pick your fabric / pattern … I tried getting samples mailed to me, but those weren’t available with the vendors I tried.
  • Wait ~2 weeks (the shirts I tried are made offshore. China, Philippines etc…).
  • Receive / Open package … It’s fun to see how each provider wants to be perceived here … Some had fancy boxes, others just came in a beat up DHL package. I am not the type that needs a box to feel good about my shirt.
  • Try on your shirt.
  • If it doesn’t fit, then adjust measurements / provide feedback, then send back, then wait two weeks. Check that your provider does alterations and shipping for free (most seem to).

If you go with a stylist (e.g. J Hilburn)

  • On their website, look for a stylist in your area.
  • If they have more than one, I would recommend you talk to a few. You are going to be spending a fair bit of time talking to them, so check for compatibility. Ask them lots of questions, like what’s the process like, what they offer, what happens if it doesn’t fit, pricing etc… Through the conversation, if you feel comfortable with them, then it’s likely a good match. I made the mistake of not doing this, and though the stylist was knowledgable about the product, we didn’t jell well. As I reflect on the experience, that had a pretty big impact on my decision not to move forward.
  • Make an appointment (mine would come anywhere I wanted).
  • The stylist makes a bunch of measurements. I didn’t think my stylist did a significantly better job than Sandi. The process takes about 45mins by the time you talk options etc…
  • Pick your fabric and style … the good thing here is that you can see samples.
  • Wait two weeks … the stylist comes back to your house for a fitting.
  • If it doesn’t work, then they take pictures of the current fit, perhaps a couple of measurements, and take the shirt back.
  • Wait two more weeks … the stylist comes back for hopefully the final fitting.
  • You can then decide to order more … good news is that you don’t need to do any more fitting!

So was it worth it?

Yes. Without a doubt.

I CAN’T WAIT to wear my custom shirts. I am giddy when they come back from the cleaners, because it means I get to wear them soon. I get excited during the day when I am wearing them. I might occasionally take a break from working just to wave my arms about (I get delight knowing that there will be no game winners out there).

And for $60! I was paying almost $40 for the NWTBANNWT eBay shirts (New With Tags But Actually Not New With Tags), so $20 more for something new that fits perfectly is awesome.

The final product

Rhymes with Chiselled

Nice shirt!

You seem familiar ... are you an online custom shirt model by any chance?

Limited "Sail"

So, to ownonly.com.

When the shirt arrived, I found that it was too narrow. It stretched across my perfectly formed upper body (Sandi: “nice boobs, sir”). The sleeves were also a tad too short.

There's no way around it ... those are tits, dude.

So I sent feedback, and got this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.35.45 AM

My first thought was “”Eligible”? uh oh … so it’s up Angie to decide?”

Angie asked me to go to a local tailor for an alteration (she said they would reimburse up to $79). I responded that the shirt was too small, that there is no extra material in the shirt, so wasn’t sure why I would go to a tailor. 

After that, it was all fun and games.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.38.55 AM

Ooooohhhh, so it was me that was wrong! Of course, the shirt is perfect! And they recognized my “developed” chest. Note that I picked slim fit from all the other providers. But I’m wrong anyway!

But there’s more…they did give me the opportunity of buying from them again…not sure why I deserved to, but hey! Free non-descript gift! 

I slowed things down, a trick I learned from my dad.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.43.03 AM

It took two follow-ups and 14 days for the Lords of Ownonly to grace me with a response. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.43.53 AM

For next time, when I decide not to buy from them, at least I’ll know how to buy from them.

But perhaps it’s me? Perhaps there is such a thing as a bad customer? “Bad customer! Shirt don’t fit you right! Bad measurer of body parts ! Bad evaluator of how shirt fit! Bad!” Perhaps we can find a reason to also blame the measurer! As an aside, I am open to your suggestions on what to do with responses such as these.

Anyway, did I mention that I LOVE MY SHIRTS?!?

I highly recommend getting a custom shirt for a father out there … he’s going to love it!

And thanks for reading Sandi’s rewrite of my review! :-)

Fashion Lifestyle Shopping

#seesummerbetter with Warby Parker

When the folks at Warby Parker invited me to try their sunglasses and share the way I experience summer, I squealed. Because:

1. I love glasses. I have terrible vision and in the animal universe I would be a mole. With glasses, I have overcome my genetic predisposition to be the one in the herd consumed by a lion.

2. I also happen to be covered in moles.

3. I love what Warby Parker does with their buy a pair, give a pair program.

4. It’s Warby Parker.

I tried 5 pairs of sunglasses:

Neville
Paley
Ames
Batten
Crossfield

and set about my summer business in them. I’ve been posting the pics to my Instagram account; here’s a roundup:

I spent an afternoon with my friend Alyson, where we had lunch at a new nearby eatery and then walked around the shops afterward. I can’t resist a pretty flower, so here I am helping myself:

Then we headed off to one of our favorite local gardens, where I wrestled the camera from her hands and took a shot of her wearing the Battens. After which I am just sitting.


My kids spend a lot of time at the ranch in the summer, so sometimes I help lead a horse to water (or other things that require neither skill nor grace).

No summer is complete of course without beach visits.

And sunsets.


And after all that running around, I love to just relax in my back yard with a good book.

How’s your summer shaping up? Feel free to share your own summer pics with #seesummerbetter!

Fashion Shopping Travel

{San Diego} Emme J Boutique

 

Every once in a while you come across an ethical dilemma. Let’s say you find out, through the kindness of a friend (who is obviously a lot more generous than I am — thanks Alice!), about a super secret but awesome source of brand name clothing where everything is 80%+ off. You go there and confirm, it’s true, this place is for real. This could be your secret source of inspired and interesting apparel at prices that rival those of Target…but then you meet the owner of the store who says she would love some publicity because she isn’t allowed to advertise. Do you keep this information to your self, continuing to mine it for a suspiciously evolving wardrobe? Or do you share it, introducing competition for the the inventory but bringing benefit to the business owner?

Sigh. I must really love you guys.

Emme J sells excess merchandise from the distribution centers of such major brands as Joe’s Jeans, Athleta, Free People, Anthropologie, Wilt and Urban Outfitters. Joni, the founder, came upon this business in a most tragic way: years ago, while she was working for Seven Jeans, her family was killed by a drunk driver in a highway accident. Joni, understandably, couldn’t stand to commute on the highway on a daily basis anymore. Her boss suggested that, as she was a veteran of the garment industry, she may be able to work out a way for her to set up a retail operation close to home — essentially leveraging her years of trunk show experience, while alleviating brands of their excess inventory. Though brands were initially concerned about cannibalization, she’s been able to prove that their brands and sales remain intact, while she’s able to provide for them a valuable service.

And what a valuable service it is! Especially for me (er, us). Joni gets 11,000 pieces of inventory a month (with a shipment of 5,000 bags from Nordstrom on the way!).

When you walk in, you’re greeted with racks and racks labeled $15, $25, $30 and $40. Joni also told me that most items would probably fit me well, since I was pretty much the size of the fit models they use for the brands she carries — at which point I loved her immediately, since no one has every accused me of being a fit model.

It was here that I discovered the joys of Wilt clothing, delightfully clever and slouchy awesomewear with uneven hems and clean lines.

Emme J also offers event services, such as birthday parties, girl’s night out, fashion shows and fundraisers. Tell ’em Sandi sent you!

Emme J
6840 Embarcadero Ln (directly across from the Carlsbad Coaster station)
Carlsbad, California
(619) 208-7639

Open Tuesdays / Thursdays 9 AM – 6 PM and on select Saturdays

Fashion Shopping Uncategorized

Why Shopping for a Handbag is Like Looking for the Right Guy

I haven’t been cooking much this week because I’ve had the flu. And I have to make this quick because the Ny-Quil is kicking in.

Anyway, when you have the flu there isn’t much you can do but lie in bed and hope you pass out for the first couple of days, and then lie around being too sick to do anything active but too alert to think about nothing for the next couple of days (plus watch Downton Abbey). So I reverted to my innate competency and started shopping around for a handbag.

I got the feeling that it should be yellow. A bright, bold, cheerful yellow — not marigold, not celadon — there should be no mistaking this fresh, lemony yellow.

I felt I should decree that shouldst such bag be bold in hue, said bag shalt be structured and not unstructured. Thine form shalt hold its shape regardless of surrounding environs, and shalt not shift its shape in case of changing environs. Thou shalt be at least 10 cubits (ok, I’ll take inches) in width and 5 cubits (or inches) in depth.

It should be leather. The leather needs to smell like leather, which means it cannot be patent leather.

It must be a satchel.

And after hours of groggily surfing the web, I identified a few candidates but was wary about transacting a big(-ish) ticket purchase sight unseen. What if the bag is bigger than I thought? Clumsier? It’s leather not the right texture?

If only there were  a handbag goddess to whom I could submit my criteria, and my supplications would be answered in the form of a beautifully packaged box, wrapped in paper without tape the way they do it in Japan, with an incredibly cute dustbag that you might mistake for an adorable shopping tote.

When I was single and bored and would think, “I wish there was some new guy for me to like.”

I always had a framework: he has to be smart, but not crazy; funny, but still laugh at my jokes;  attractive but not prettier than me.

I wished there was a guy goddess to which I could just submit my criteria and have it fulfilled. The accompanying adorable shopping tote would have been nice too.

I did eventually find the right guy, though he did not come with an adorable tote and is prettier than me. Which is why now I must shop.

Anyway, I submit now to the internet goddess and hope that something comes of it. I suspect that nothing will, given that I am posting this on a food blog, but the internet is a wondrous thing. If you’ve seen this Most Beautiful Bag in the World please send me a link.

Hair Travel

{Tokyo} Insolite Salon

This is a travel post about hair. If you don’t care about hair, I’d suggest drooling over pictures of Jiro’s sushi or cooking up a simple frittata. Back to food soon enough, but I just had to share a little more about my visit to Japan!

This is a picture of me in a crowded Tokyo toy store surrounded by Furbys a day before getting my hair done, standing next to someone who is clearly not Japanese.

As the owner of a head of Asian hair, one of the things I looked most forward to on my trip to Japan was getting my hair done. Tokyo is full of beautiful people with amazing hair and incredible wardrobes, so I’ve spent the first couple of days here forgetting that most Asians have naturally black hair and starting to think I need to add false eyelashes with feathers on them to my daily routine. I also now think it barbaric to have to sit on unheated toilet seats that don’t include noisemakers, air fresheners or adjustable bidet jets.

The last time I got my hair cut with a new stylist at a trendy beachside salon back home, I asked the stylist what she would do if there was anything she could do to my hair. She said, “The Rachel. Your hair is perfect for that.” which, 1) I know to be untrue, 2) the Rachel should not be suggested in 2012 and 3) should have sent me running immediately. But I was feeling adventurous and said, “Not the Rachel, but do what you think would look best.” What I know now is that if you’re Asian and you say that, you will get a local news anchor haircut, not like Connie Chung circa 1985.

I went home, cut some choppy layers into my hair and have been cutting my own hair ever since.

Sandra made me an appointment with Hiroshi Noda, or “Noda-san” at Insolite Salon in Hiroo. I decided to try color, since I had just cut my own hair two days before and figured that since I don’t speak Japanese, it would be easier not to have to try to mime “texturize” and “more volume here.” I’m not sure why I thought acting out color would be easier though.

Sandra, or San-do-ra, on the left, made my reservations for Insolite and Jiro’s sushi place. I am standing like a superhero.

The Salon is beautiful and everyone who works there has amazing hair. I felt an unfamiliar feeling…of hope.

The upfront communication was the hardest. A color swatch book came out, and without a clear outcome in mind, and through the English-speaking shampoo girl, I asked for a recommendation. I basically wanted to do something non-committal, since I knew I’d be poor at maintenance, like highlights that would grow out ok if neglected. After a game of charades we narrowed agreed to mix a couple of colors. Then:

“Cut-o?”

Sandra and I shook our heads. “Color.”

Some Japanese and then, with a mimed snipping motion, “Cut-0?”

Exaggerated head shaking: “Color.”

Noda-san pulled out pieces of my hair. He asked about the last time I had a cut – a year ago? Clearly my hair indicated that I had spent the past year in a cave.

I giggled maniacally and confessed that I had just cut my hair two days ago. I think they were laughing at my hair.

I agreed to a cut.

The appropriately unflattering “before” picture. Noda-san is on the left, laughing at me. Noda-san’s hair is cool in real life but looks shocked in this picture.

I was given an arm rest that goes around your torso and across your lap, which I can only describe as a luxurious version of a Boppy pillow, and which was wonderful. I may start to bring one with me for any situation that requires me to be in a chair…because why should my arms be allowed to fall ever.

Noda-san wore a holster, which held more scissors than a preschool classroom. He fluffed my hair out and pointed to the longer straggly ends and said, “Jellyfish.” I was impressed with the vocabulary he possessed for mockery. He was quick, precise and, I was glad to see, employed a different technique from my own. His scissors were so sharp that I rarely saw him bring the blades together – the hair just fell on contact with a blade.

I wanted to say, “Can you rough it up a little? I want the layers to be a little more edgy” but instead I nodded and said “Domo arigato.” It was fine. People are always giving me conservative, age-appropriate haircuts (I blame my round face), and I’m always trying to get them to rough it up a little more. But I really liked the way he volumized the top of my hair, and his technique was very good. Plus, knowing an addict when he saw one, he gave me tips for the next time I cut my own hair.

Next, a crew put little plastic shower caps on my ears. I laughed because I’m immature. I asked Sandra if she had gotten those too and she said no, since she had highlights and I was getting allover color. Which is when I learned that that’s what we had agreed to. Which was fine; it’s only hair.

I was brought to a rinsing station and experienced the longest and most wonderful hair washing experience of my life. My face was tented with an aromatherapeutic gauze of my choice, followed by an amazing shampoo experience and a loooooong scalp massage. I was then brought back to my chair and given a second head and shoulder massage. Which is when I decided that I really needed to move to Japan.

Noda-san came back and dried and styled my hair. The color is great – it’s subtle enough to grow out without too much trauma, but visible enough that it warmed up my complexion a bit.

“After” – me and Noda-san. I know, you can’t tell from the picture that much happened but I got two massages and aromatherapy out of it!

In writing this post I discovered that Noda-san has a blog! Which features a bunch of models and shows and conspicuously (and wisely) excludes me and my shower-cap-covered ears from it.

So if you’re in Tokyo and looking for a pampering hair experience, I’d recommend Insolite. If you’re looking for the exact haircut you want, I’d recommend going to Insolite and speaking Japanese.

Insolite Salon

Green Core 1F 5-16-13 Hiroo Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 
TEL 03-3280-1062 FAX 03-3280-6040


Fashion Money-Saving Tips

Shoe-Stretching Tutorial

Ok, this next post isn’t about food, but, staying focused on what’s important here, chances are that sooner or later you may have to wear shoes to get to some food. I always thought I was destined to a lifetime of painful modern-day foot-binding in the name of cute shoes, but no more! I tried this out on a pair of nubuck ballet flats last night and now have two more pairs in the freezer; I’m repeating on one more pair that I want stretched out some more.

So if you have shoes that are too tight in the toe box, give this a try, and enjoy your food and your cute shoes next time you’re out. Thanks, Michelle Phan!

Shop and Do Good: 31BITS

 

Photo credit: 31BITSAll photos in this post courtesy of 31BITS

I’ve been squealing a lot lately, which I realize is unprofessional unless you’re a pig, but I did it again when I discovered 31BITS. This post isn’t about food, but it’s about helping people get food. That’s important.

I had the privilege of meeting Jessie and Alli from the gorgeous 31BITS jewelry line at a recent event, and these young women have a noble mission: to give women in Northern Uganda who were displaced by war an opportunity to overcome poverty by providing income, education and holistic care.  You can read more about the company’s story here, and watch the video below to see how this amazing company works.

To top it off, the jewelry is stunning. And versatile. And made of 100% recycled paper beads.

It’s for a good cause, I said, grabbing a handful of necklaces and bracelets.

The first handful was for me, because I’m like that. The second bunch: Mother’s Day, teachers’ gifts, upcoming birthdays.

You can get a bracelet for as as low as $10. Today I’m wearing the Starboard bracelet and I can’t stop looking at my wrist. When I wear the Camellia necklace in Mint Green, people are blinded by its glory (It’s a figure of speech. Nobody went blind from it. Still, it’s beautiful.) .

So go on, share this, spread the word and mouse on over to 31BITS to help make the world a lovelier place.

 

 

Beauty Money-Saving Tips Shopping

Cleansing Oil

I’m currently on track to be the first octagenarian to still have breakouts. When I was younger, my skin was so oily that my brother suggested I offer myself to the U.S. government as an energy resource. I was experienced in all types of powders, blotting tissues and oil-decimating cleansers. I cried while watching the ProActiv infomercial. I was a blinding image in flash photos.

One of the benefits of getting older, for me at least, is that my oil production has slowed down. But what I should have done is applied some of what I learned in all those years of college chemistry courses and realized simply that using oils can be an effective way of loosening oils that are clogging pores — without stripping the skin. You see, I believed the media hype that feeling “clean” meant that your skin was as tight as a SoCal facelift.

Enter Nude Skincare Cleansing Facial Oil. I’ve waited 3 months to post about this  because I wanted to be sure. Yes, it’s great for dry and normal skin — but it also works miracles on oilier skins. My skin, while still prone to the occasional hormonal breakout, has never been clearer. And the cleanser has a nice, light jasmine scent too so you think less “french fries” and more “exotic essential oil”.

But then I thought, “If it’s just oil, can’t I make this myself?” The answer is yes. When I ran out of the Nude cleansing oil, I read this article and made my own. I actually put it right back into the Nude bottle that I got, so it retained a mild jasmine scent (I’m sure you could infuse your own oils with essential oils, but definitely test for allergies before you do that). So for a couple of bucks, I’ve got a great cleansing oil. I’ve tried both olive and safflower oil as bases and prefer safflower, and I go with 30% castor oil since I’m on the oilier side.

Happy cleansing!

Fashion Shopping

Finding the Right Yoga Pants

I bet in heaven you’re allowed to wear sweatpants and eat cake pops and bacon every day.

My new fascination with baking requires me to invest in a new wardrobe — specifically, one that maximizes opportunities to wear knit pants with an elastic waistband.  This blog isn’t rated for mature audiences so I won’t post a close-up of my belly here, but you can trust that I have tested and maybe had a third helping of everything I’ve posted here.

All this to say that in the past few weeks I’ve become a bit of an expert in lounge wear. I’ve been known to wear exceptionally hideous clothing when no one’s looking, but 1) my expanding waistline demands more elastic waistband time, in public even, and 2) I live in California so I have to consider earthquake risk: that there could be a day where I might be stuck for some time in a single outfit.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1) Stick with black. I’ve been tempted by the occasional charcoal gray, and my biggest mistake was a heather gray which can only really be described as inappropriate — kind of like giving people a peep show of what your lower half might look like in black and white TV. Black masks a lot of detail, and you have a lower risk of the dreaded camel toe if you stick with black.

2) Heavier fabrics are more forgiving. Knits notoriously show off every little detail. Think fondant versus regular frosting — you’re  more likely to get even coverage, and again, reduce the probability of camel toe. I prefer fabric blends that contain some percentage of elastane.

3) Vertical seaming is very, very good. Any vertical details elongate the leg and are generally slimming. One pair I have has a really subtle extra vertical line of stitching about three inches behind the normal side seam, and it makes a huge difference.

4) Other butt detailing is generally bad. I tried on a pair that claimed to be “butt-lifting” and had concentric semicircles of black stitching on the rear like a padded bike short would. While someone from very far away might think I had a very lifted, rounded butt, anyone within 30 feet of me would wonder why I was wearing a very large black diaper.

5) Cut matters. I find that the most flattering pairs skim your thighs just enough to accentuate the shape without being tight. I generally prefer a straight leg, or one that flares very subtly at the bottom.

6) Know your inseam. When stand up and look in the mirror, with shoes on the back of your pant leg should be about 1/2 inch off the floor. Too long and the leg will start bunching up in the front, making you look chunkier and once again risking camel toe; too short and it will look like you didn’t bother updating your wardrobe after puberty.

7) Get a bargain. You don’t have to do this — they’ll still look good of course if you pay full retail, but I always think it’s fun to get a $45 pair of yoga pants for less than $20 — like I’m actually making money. I’ve found really good Adidas, Puma and New Balance pairs at Costco (wear a skirt so you can just try them on right then and there and spare yourself the returns line) and discounters like Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack.

I would love to be able to branch out into other colors, actually….does anyone have tips on how to find a decent pair? If so, and if you have any other tips to add, please share! Stay comfy, everyone!

 

 

Books Travel

Happy New Year!

I’m sure this is the subject line of everyone’s blog post around the world today, but I never claimed to be original. I have a good feeling about 2012, despite the fact that in the last remaining hours of 2011 we ran over a dead skunk (I say “we” because I am being gracious and not pointing out who the actual driver was, (my husband)) with our car, with the result that our car needs to be parked outside for the next month, or that I somehow managed to skirt mortality during our ski trip (you can comfortably conclude that I’m not the world’s best skier — at this writing I rank at approximately 7,000,000,001st worldwide, and yes, that would be behind some newborn babies) but received a large, painful rug burn from an actual rug by slipping down the stairs in the rental house. My hair’s a little messed up today but aside from that, it seems to be a pretty good start to the year.

I could do a list of New Year’s resolutions but they’re not ready yet so I’m just going to show some pictures. Below, the view from our rental house in Big Bear Lake, CA. It was so hot up there that I skied in short sleeves and was still too hot. It was actually not that much fun, skiing in the heat, but then again, I also find walking slightly more pleasurable than skiing.

Big Bear Lake

This is what the same scene looks like at sunset:

Big Bear Sunset

Like Mindy Kaling says in her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), “There is no sunrise so beuatiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.” I know this because this past year I’ve had a job where I get up before the sunrise, so I see a lot of sunrises, and the sunset is just as good if not better, and you’ll feel a lot more normal all day if you see a sunset. Also, you’re probably going to hear me talk about Mindy a lot like she’s a friend of mine because I just read her book and I kind of want to be her.

I would share other pictures too but despite being on a ski trip, all my photos are of kids in the hot tub or people eating fatty foods.

Happy 2012! It’s also my dad’s birthday, so happy birthday Dad! Now to get dressed.