I was really pleased with what I bought in the States, and more than a month after touching down in NZ again I'm STILL really pleased. I went with a fairly generous budget, but there are just so many shops there, filled with so many good things, that it would have been really easy to go a bit mad. I think my spending freeze in autumn helped me a lot with that – it seemed to act as a sort of reset for me. I thought long and hard before buying most things and it's really paid off. I also discovered a couple of new-to-me shops that have become firm favourites. Online is great but there's nothing like being there!
Madewell – jeans x 2, striped tank top
I have shopped at Madewell before – one of my very favourite pairs of shoes is from there, as well as a very simple but well-cut black dress, both of which I have worn approximately one million times. I knew I needed new jeans and had been waiting patiently to try some on at Madewell that I had bookmarked online. Turns out their jeans fit me like a dream also! I bought a black pair of skinnies and a slightly distressed blue pair of skinnies with a raw edge hem (pictured below). The tank top (no longer available, but a similar style to this) was an impulse buy but it's paid off. You know I love my stripes, and the one I bought was very similar to one I had already seen in Zara and considered for ages before deciding it wasn't well-made enough. No such issues with the Madewell one!
Cuyana – black floaty dress
An ethical clothing company that I've been following on Instagram for ages. They had a pop-up store on Abbot Kinney Boulevard and I was so excited to check it out! This sheer dress is designed to be a cover-up for the beach or similar, but I intend to combine it with a slip to enable wearing it pretty much everywhere. I just loved the simple, slightly architectural cut and, of course, the well-made ethical component. I think it would also look great over dark skinny jeans and a singlet. This is one for spring and summer – bring it on!
Everlane – linen v-neck t-shirts x 2, black trousers, silk top
Another brand I've followed online for a while, another pop-up store (in New York this time). Lucky me! Everlane call their model radical transparency. It's so nice having a clothing company just give you all the information you need upfront, particularly around their ethics. Everlane extend that transparency to how they price things also, which I find really interesting. Their pricing seems incredibly good to me so I guess that works? It worked on me anyway – I could easily have bought more than I did, but I restricted myself. The linen t-shirt is the sort of thing I wear all summer long, so I bought two, and the black silk top I'd been eying up for some time. I didn't like the look of these wide-leg trousers when I first saw them, but then I saw a few other people wearing this style and I started softening towards them, and then I tried them on myself and now I LOVE them. So much so that I'm seriously considering buying another pair in white. They did warrant a panicked message to my girlfriends the first day I wore them, when I realised I had paired them with a striped top and I was suddenly very afraid I resembled nothing more than a sailor, but the reassurance from my friends came thick and fast and I relaxed. It's still a bit odd wearing them – years of skinny jeans have left their mark on me – but it's also nice feeling slightly out of my comfort zone.
J. Crew – navy/white Breton top
J. Crew used to be one of my absolute favourites but they seem to have lost their way in recent years. Lured in one day by 25% off everything, I ended up rejecting everything but this striped Breton top – which was a collaboration with famous French striped top makers St. James, and therefore not eligible for the discount. Sigh. BUT I do love this top and have worn it so many times already. Quality is worth it, right?!
Aldo - black slides
I tried to buy two pairs of shoes in the States. I really wanted another pair of D'Orsay flats to replace my Madewell ones which have been falling to pieces for years now. I've worn them into the ground, and I keep gluing them up, but I've been aware for a good couple of years now that I really need a new pair. I found some Sam Edelman ones I liked, and made a trip into Midtown specially to buy them, but when I got there they didn't have my size in the black. I got them to order them in, then decided maybe the tan would be better. Another trip to Midtown to confirm I wanted the black, then another one again when they arrived – and they were scratched. Irreparably scratched. It was a valuable reminder that some things just aren't meant to be, and if it means a trip to midtown, it's probably not worth it.
The slides, though, I bought and love. Very much looking forward to wearing these with everything in summer. I got them from Aldo on the Upper West Side after a yoga class one day. No midtown, no worries.
(I see they are on crazy discount right now and if they're in your size, I highly recommend them).
Sephora - blusher, mascara, Fresh tinted lip balm
Aaaah Sephora, I love you. Is there anything more to be said? One day you'll live here too, not just online. Isn't it a wonderful world we live in, where we have specialist makeup stores and teenagers are no longer restricted to the Maybelline stand in their nearest pharmacy?
Makeup's pretty personal, and the blusher and mascara are tried-and-true faves I just needed to restock (Nars Orgasm, Benefit BadGal Lash) but the Fresh Sugar lip treatment is all-new to me and a revelation. I got coral and it's the perfect amount of colour – bright but easy-to-wear and not drying. I now want all the colours.
Le Labo - Neroli 36 perfume
As detailed here. It is delicious. It's definitely a considered purchase but it just makes me so happy.