Elizabeth Suzann Silk Florence pants (gift to review) | Size large, short – OLD SIZING
Ilana Kohn Phoebe top (purchased w/credits from Garmentory) | small, bone
No6 clogs (link goes to similar, mine are sold out)
Transience Swing Bag (gift to review from the designer)
(sorry for the creepy smile! I can’t open my mouth very wide…)
I’ll post a full recovery update tomorrow, but basically I feel great, normal even, except for all this shit in my mouth!
I did wash my hair yesterday finally, and went out to the post office and Whole Foods, and am going out again today – to treat myself to a manicure. I’ve basically worn my Florence pants most days for the last week or so. I think I washed them when we came back from our road trip, but they’re not dirty, so I haven’t washed them again. I said in reply to val on Instagram that I think these are miracle pants (I guess it’s the silk); they don’t seem to get dirty or show anything at all. I’m not particularly careful when I wear them, but then again, I won’t wear them if I’m cooking or working outside…
I ordered the Ilana Kohn shirt a while ago to have a light, short, boxy top to wear with these pants, and other pants/bottoms that need a shorter top. I love it, and am very pleased by the quality, fit, and style. It’s my first real Ilana Kohn piece (I’ve had some come through slowre) and I like it a lot. It’ll be in the 70’s today and sunny (thank goodness!) so I’m excited to wear it.
I’ll have a full review of the bag for you next year, along with a nice deal, and the clogs – I haven’t worn them out of the house yet, it’s generally been cold here and I don’t default to clogs like I used to, I default to sneakers, so it’s rare I choose to wear these. I don’t know why I got them, honestly. I mean, I do, I LOVE THEM, but I’m not sure I’ll keep them long term. I’ve had a lot of No6 clogs over the years, and I wore the hell out of most of my pairs, but in the last several years they’re just not my thing anymore.
It makes me really happy that every piece of my outfit is by a small, independent female designer. Honestly, one of the things I set out to do with Grechen’s Closet in the very beginning was showcase small designers, and I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to do that.
(what I wore yesterday, before I washed my hair and the sun came out)
Elizabeth Suzann Silk florence pants
Elizabeth Suzann wool harper sweater (gift to review) | no longer available
AllBirds wool loungers
I don’t normally do the wide over wide silhouette, but tried it with this outfit and think it works – it doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would! I’ll take another shot of this outfit the next time I wear it, not in front of a dirty mirror and with more light 🙂
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Everlane post yesterday, and what I said about the “cult” of Everlane. It might have been a rather unfair characterization. I felt like I was sort of in a cult, the way I was treating the brand, and honestly I see that many others treat it the same way, but I also acknowledge that it really works for a lot of you, and I appreciate that.
The moment I wrote that though, the “cult” thing, in my head I thought, “well, what about Elizabeth Suzann? She has a somewhat manic following too.” And it’s true, I was stunned that the grab bags sold out so fast, and I know that many of the pieces will end up for sale because of the huge resale market. Not a bad thing, just interesting.
I was SO TEMPTED by the grab bag, I’ll admit. I thought it would be a great way to “treat” myself to a fun surprise after all this, and was really thinking about ordering the dresses/jumpsuits one, but talked myself out of it. I have my eyes on quite a few ES pieces for next year (I’m budgeting to add one piece a quarter – more on that later) and I’d much rather use the money for the grab bag on that – on one piece I know I want – rather than three that may or may not work out.
Anyway, I’d like to discuss this later, in another post all its own, but it’s true that fashion items, brands, and designers very often appeal to our inherent tribal nature and we end up segmenting ourselves into said tribes. I don’t think that’s a bad thing (it’s natural to do that), but it is interesting to think about why we do it. Definitely some of us are more prone than other to it LOL – I’ve belonged to the tribe of James Perse for more than a decade! It’s hard won, though, because I pretty much know that any JP item I buy will work for me and be in my wardrobe long term. Which is also true of Elizabeth Suzann. For me.
Happy Thursday 🙂
I think the difference between championing a particular designer and belonging to the cult is that the cult-iness comes from a blind devotion and absence of criticism. When you like something you like something! But I try to step back and also evaluate the larger picture and whether I’m into the IDEA of a brand or what the brand actually does.
I hear you on the grab bag thoughts, re: would rather pick one thing I know I’ll like. Maybe that’s what it is, the grab bag for grab bag’s sake starts to fall into the obsessive category to me — and I don’t want to shame anyone who went for it, let me be clear — it’s just that, while I like a lot of the ES styles, I know that I don’t like them ALL, and I certainly don’t like them all as much as I like some. So I don’t want to spend money on a thing where I MIGHT get things I like. Would rather choose the one thing and be intentional about it.
I’ve also been thinking about budgeting for the next year and am interested to hear what you are planning. Right now I’m considering identifying the exact wardrobe pieces I want, giving each a healthy budget, and then letting myself do the shopping through the year but sticking to purchasing for only what I planned on. Not on the list, as much as I wish it were: summer dress. I have so many! This way maybe I’ll be less tempted to just willy-nilly make up my wardrobe holes as I go.
So all that aside, I want to also gush that I’m excited about the pair of Florences I have coming in the mail this week! I sent back my first pair for a longer length, and I’m really looking forward to living in them!
ES Grab Bags – I was tempted but had decided I wasn’t going to partake on that. The pieces I have are amazing (like those Florence pants!) but I’ve also returned a fair share of ES pieces as well (Harper tunic, rust colored Ella tank). I checked the sale 14 minutes after it went live and it was sold out. Amazing!
I really want to limit my spending next year. I’ve already decided I’ll buy no new clothes (or anything else other than food) in January. Not sure where I’ll go after that but will do so with purpose I hope.
Grechen Reiter says
oh! tell me about the rust color IRL, i saw it on instagram and thought it looked a little too red for my taste? i am very tempted by a rust silk piece, maybe a dress…
Funny because it wasn’t enough red for me! A little too orange-y and washed for my complexion. I look better in cooler colors. That’s probably why all my ES pieces are black, gray, and white (except for the navy artist smock and olive Clyde trousers). The cut on that top was also more cropped than I wanted for such a flowy piece.
I don’t think you went too far, nor were you mean in stating your opinion. (Are you EVER???) The term “cult following” fits if you use this definition: * a person or thing that is popular or fashionable, especially among a particular section of society.
True, right? And let’s face it, we can all get excited when something new hits the scene – sometimes it stands the test of time (ES), and sometimes it doesn’t quite as well (Everlane). I think we all were pretty much in agreement that they’d do better perfecting fewer items, and with perhaps less exploitation of the term “transparency.”
I really like wide over wide when I’m in the mood, so the bottom outfit speaks to me (as well as those pants!). I feel for you, not being able to open your mouth. It looks like it would be painful if someone told a funny joke….”When does it hurt?” “Only when I laugh.”
I really admire your budgeting/wardrobe plan. I want to stick to a plan next year.
I think the cult following of a designer or brand actually comes from strategic marketing that presents a beautiful and unattainable aesthetic. I’ve read a lot about this, especially regarding Lululemon (a store employee actually murdered her co-worker in a store) and Eileen Fisher, and it’s definitely there. Some brands, including Lululemon, actually require their employees to attend cult-like trainings that utilize forms of brain washing. I swear I’m not making this up! It’s not that different from the hero worship of tech CEOs.
Catalogs are less of a thing now that so much shopping is online, but I definitely remember being swayed by them and their portrayal of women wearing the brand’s clothes. Now, a lot of small brands will profile women with interesting jobs and lives wearing their clothing, so their customers will want to do things like make pots in a cabin in Maine wearing only white linen caftans. 😛 It’s psychological.
Now, I try to be very deliberate in my shopping. But I do sometimes get a catalog, like from Amour Vert, and think, “I want all the things.” In reality, I’m not shopping at open air markets with baguettes in my straw bag, so I try to remind myself that I only need the necessities.
Grechen Reiter says
Lol. That your statements made me laugh! I love it. So true about catalogs and “lifestyle” posts/photo shoots. So unattainable and frankly ridiculous
You look polished and comfy at the same time here!! Love that top on you.
I did not even try to do the ES Grab Bag sale. I am too picky about the length on bottoms, and I have the tops and dresses that I would like. The only item I would LOVE to have more of is the discontinued Artist Smock. I ordered one in Moss at the last minute before it was gone from their website…OMGosh it is a fabulous, silky, classy and unique top…why did I wait so long to try it!!!
As for other female slow fashion people, I have an item from ES that are the Sevilla Smith Mules…fabulous with a non skid sole added. I have one Jamie + The Jones top…wonderful.
Thanks for all you do Grechen…I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season…cheryl
As a kid, I was strongly cautioned out of brand loyalty because my parents a. didn’t want me to obsess over expensive name brands the couldn’t afford and b. perhaps their Protestantism made them wary of trusting institutions in general. So as an adult, I like to be able to exercise some brand loyalty because it makes my life so much easier, and it’s fun! I was lucky enough to get a pants grab bag from Elizabeth Suzann. I’ve never purchased her stuff because it’s very expensive for my income level, but I’m looking forward to being able to try some things.
Catherine! That is hilarious!!! (And true…every word.) 🙂
I can’t wait for the review on the bag! It looks sooooooo nice 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
oh leah!! i’m so excited you got a grab bag, i can’t wait to read about your thoughts.
We were very brand loyal as kids – or my mom was at least, so that rubbed off. she was fiercely loyal to liz claiborne petites LOL because they worked for work and home and they just fit her perfectly. we would scour sale racks and tj maxx for the brand. my father too, was the same way with ralph lauren.
i definitely see the value in that now, i love having a couple of “default” brands…
I think you’re right, Grechen. ES does have a cult following, and Ace and Jig comes to mind, too. I see it especially when a new collection is about to be released and suddenly everyone wants to sell or trade past season items so they can afford what’s coming out. Everlane has a different feel to it to me and I’m not sure why? Maybe because I’ve always felt they’ve been misrepresenting themselves somewhat?
There were more things in the ES grab bags I didn’t want than did, so I sat it out, but I can’t wait to see what people get.
This could be a great way to get into ES! Try three for the price of one 🙂
Grechen Reiter says
i think that the ES & Ace & Jig “cult” followings (I don’t like that word much though) are different because they’re well-earned? and deserved? when i was part of the everlane cult it was more out of feeling obligated to stick with the brand, even through disappointment. i did believe in the brand, and wanted it to be “better,” but was consistently disappointed. now, as a member of the ES “cult” it is because i am truly delighted to wear the pieces and support the company
ace & jig is very interesting also, and i’ll admit i don’t “get” it, but i do know that for that community it is very much about the textiles, the weaving, and colors. the pieces are unique, and the textiles very interesting, which is the appeal i think. the fabrics are very substantial, and wear well from what i know.
Love you!!! Happy New Year
I also was very tempted by the ES grab bags and actually felt it was a little against what ES is all about so was surprised they decided to post the items in the grab bag manner… my thought was also in the spirit of slow fashion, why get 3 things that are not on my wish list with the possibility of getting 1 that works and 2-3 items that I have to sell, vs get 1 item at full price that I truly love.
Similarly why I have really tried not to buy items on sale. I feel that I should truly love something and be willing to pay the full price, of course if I catch it on sale by happenstance and it’s been on my wish list for several months I will go ahead and get it, but generally sales are a way for companies (even ES) to clear their inventory, not for us as the consumer to purchase things we really love.
Also second the thoughts on “cult” following being once the company projects an image of perfection. Lululemon, Eileen Fisher, Ace & Jig for sure. Doen also becoming more popular and bothers me with its boho hippie beauties. ES I have always felt less cult-y about because of how personal the brand has always been and how she maintains an independent voice in her online presence, and how less it is about perfection than liveability.