James Perse dress (mine is very old) | link goes to different color, newer version
Rag & Bone cardigan (small)
Women by Common Projects sneakers
What a fucking weekend. I’ll spare you a few of the details. I will say that so many things have “happened” recently with regard to my body/health that I started spiraling down the deep end on Friday.
The trigger though, was that I had an eye dr. appointment Friday around lunch time which was supposed to be fairly routine. It wasn’t. Turns out the blood vessels in the back of my eyes are “tortuous.” And she said my blood pressure was borderline high – it was 130/70 (my blood pressure is literally always 120/70). I would need to see a retina specialist and talk to my primary care doctor about my blood pressure. WTF.
I let panic take over. I might have had thoughts like “well, now I’m just going to drop dead” going on in my head. No, I really did have that exact thought. I felt terrible the rest of the day Friday and quite light-headed; I was afraid I was going to pass out again like I did in December when I fractured my jaw. I went to the doctor on Saturday and long story short had some ultrasounds done. All I know for sure now is that I have a complex ovarian cyst that needs to be re-evaluated in 8 weeks.
The weekend was actually great though, in spite of all the goings on. Leo is a trooper when I need his help and feel bad, so he was incredibly supportive. He went with me to one of my favorite restaurants, Flower Child, on Sunday for lunch and LIKED IT. LOL. And we watched a couple of good things together: the documentary on Andre the Giant on HBO (loved it) and Battle of the Sexes (the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs match). I also started watching Wild Wild Country which is RIVETING and so fascinating.
I feel great now – just trying to stay steady. It is what it is…no more, no less.
But shall we talk about clothes now for a minute??
Specifically Elizabeth Suzann?
I sent back my ES/Alabama Chanin order, but I’d love to hear from any of you guys who have received yours. What do you think? I think I’d really love the black dress in a size smaller, or even that plum color, but I didn’t love the ochre.
I had a chance to try the clyde culottes in a size 6 over the weekend, and I cannot believe I didn’t trade my size 8’s out for a smaller size earlier. Oh, and also, they were the tall length and CLAY. The clay color is amazing, and I am now leaning towards getting the culottes in size 6, regular length, in clay for fall. The fit in the size 6 was a million times better.
I also got a pair of navy linen clyde pants in size 6, tall for slowre. Of course I tried them on, and I love the linen clydes!! I would probably get the size 4, regular in those though.
BUT, if you haven’t heard, the lead time is now 6-8 weeks. And there are more than a few complaints going around about quality issues when orders are received lately. I don’t know….those are not total deal-breakers for me, but they’re definitely making me seek out alternatives. Of course, I wanted the Black Crane linen carpenter pants to be my “linen florence pants” alternative, and they weren’t. So…
Hope you had a good weekend 😉
Grechen, I am so so sorry. We all joke about our health and eyesight deteriorating as we age but to hear it like that must be like a punch in the gut. I’ve been following you for so long it feels like we are almost friends. And what you wrote scared me like it would if I heard it from a good friend. So please please take care of yourself, dear Grechen.
To follow on your lead and talking of Elizabeth Suzann, I just received the ivory silk Parabola top and for the first time, i knew immediately I would be sending it back. The size was fine but the way the ends were sticking out caught me off-guard. It really didn’t look like that on the website. I waited close on 6 weeks for it to dispatch and another week to deliver so it was quite disappointing. Now just waiting for CS to get back to me about return request.
Have a good week and I hope everything goes well.
So sorry to hear about the health issues, but glad there is an explanation!
I love my linen clydes, i have size 6-tall, but if I got a second pair (and I entertain the idea of this, probably in black) I might get the 4-tall. The sixes are perfect right out of the laundry but loosen up over the day.
The longer ES wait time is a bummer, but with their explosion in popularity I feel like something’s gotta give. If a long lead time turns off a potential customer… maybe that’s good? I don’t know, ES has a lot on their plate right now, and the only other option to try and balance the supply/demand equation would be to charge more for the product. So a longer lead time seems like the lesser of two evils in this tradeoff where their popularity is so high. Isn’t the whole idea of slow fashion that we need to slow down anyway?
Grechen Reiter says
oh, nice to hear about the linen loosening up. the size 6 is even a little big on me in the belly area (not waist) as-is, i would hate for them to be even looser…but then again, i worry about the elastic being tight on the size 4. again. ugh. the wait time is really not that much of an issue for me; i understand it. i just think if i have to wait that long, i want whatever i get to be perfect – fit perfectly, etc. right off. not have to worry so much about it not fitting and sending it back.
yes, agree on slow fashion, etc., but it’s still a little frustrating LOL
Grechen Reiter says
thanks edie !
we are friends 🙂 all of us!!
sorry about your parabola top! I was very interested in the dress version, but the more i looked at it, the more i really didn’t like it for me.
It was an eye doctor who found my mom’s atheriosclerosis. Its the kind of thing you want to find early so you can treat it so I would ask for a Doppler of the carotid arteries.
Good luck-nothing stops you in your tracks like a medical issue, esp. one that catches you by surprise.
I dunno. I know I’ve said in the past I don’t mind the wait times for ES but maybe what I meant was I don’t mind the wait if it was always the same? And if I’m being honest it bugs me a little that there was a big whoop whoop pat on the back when the wait times were down to 2-3 weeks but they have crept back up on the site to 6-8 and there has been no communication to customers? I don’t know what I expect but that’s a big fluctuation. Maybe there is the assumption that at some point the wait will get so long it will turn people away and sort of self regulate? I’ve not ever had an issue with quality so I have no concerns with ordering from that regard but 8 weeks is 8 weeks… Plus, I used to get my items three days from my shipping notification. Now it’s like they sit in the warehouse for days before they actually ship out so you can expect at least another week. If that’s their shipping process, it’s fine, but it’s something else to consider when you’re already facing an 8 week lead time.
Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says
I hope things stay stable and you can avoid health scares going forward! That’s a lot, and I’m glad you have good support and good food!
I want to try ES, but at those prices, it needs to feel really special and work really well. I’m not biting any time soon, I guess.
Totally agree, it’s frustrating after you’ve waited and waited and then have to send something back. I think they ought to have some sort of line-jumping system where an exchange gets fast-tracked. But what do I know!
I’m so sorry about your health issues. The “hurry up and wait” prescription is so frustrating.
I would love that ES dress in the plum color (or the top). I think I’m holding out on that instead of ordering the Mara jumpsuit. I haven’t run into any quality issues but I have to be careful on fit. I need to be more careful about checking the measurements before choosing a size.
I’ve also noticed that not perfect linen just doesn’t take orders 7 days a week when they hit a busy time. Of course they aren’t the same business and I have no idea how their volume compares but it seems to keep them consistently at a 2-3 week turnaround.
Re” the only other option to try and balance the supply/demand equation would be to charge more for the product.” Not totally convinced this is so. I think delays have more to do with ES’s policy of only making product when an order is received. This certainly would lower risk/cost if one is changing styles often, as is the case for most companies, or if one is trying out something new that may or may not work for customers, but when styles are long term, there isn’t really a style risk element (and you still have to pre-order fabric.) ES has done phenomenally well, and really deserves congratulations for doing so in this highly competitive industry and with such an ethical, women-friendly line. So I’m pretty sure they don’t need my advice on anything, or that I am particularly qualified to give any! But I do know what would get ME to buy more from them:
1. Shorter lead times. In my experience, the lead times in practice are always longer than stated on the site. And it takes another month to ship to my just-across-the-border Canadian town. This is weird because this is the only company where shipping takes so long (comparing with multiple stores in New Zealand, Europe and US.)
2. Better quality silk. I know, I know, everyone LOVES ES silk, but I find it too thin and transparent. The silk I love more than anything is the silk that Everlane (sorry Grechen) uses for it’s sleep sets. Hangs properly, is completely, utterly opaque, and still flows. I separate the pieces and wear them outside with other tops and bottoms.
3. More attention to seasons. Layering ES doesn’t help above a certain latitude line about a third to half-way up the continental US, depending on how near the coast one is. Even the so-called “heavy” cotton. Where I live, and where I travel, people layer wool on wool in cooler weather. I know ES is doing fine with its current customer base, but for me, with the exception of occasional sweater collabs with Mandy Kordal, there is nothing to offer other than for high summer. I would genuinely like to see some of her styles in wool crepe or similar. I think they would be beautiful.
4. An annual neutral “colour.” I was so so happy to see plum after nothing but black, white, navy and various shades of brown for years. But then I am the sort of person who thinks yellow is a neutral (well, in naturally shaded saffron, not in brights. Don’t give up on me Grechen 😉 )
5. Less kooky marketing. Just turns me off. Off-message re: sustainable purchasing.
So very sorry to hear of your health challenges. Whenever something happens to me (also more and more often) I think of the old Bette Davis quote: “aging is not for sissies” and add: “but it’s better than the alternative” 😉
Glad you were able to enjoy your time with Leo, nonetheless.
Oh man, quality control in slow fashion… I feel like this is a huge can of worms. I had a quality issue with a brand new Only Child garment recently. It was my first “real” slow fashion purchase (ie made and sold by the designer), and while Haley was really gracious and generous about letting me return it, it has given me cold feet about slow fashion for the time being. I’m sure I’ll try ES at some point, but it is just so much time and money to have tied up in a garment when you don’t even know if it’ll work out… ugh. And I can so easily walk into someplace like Uniqlo and find something for $20 that feels like me and which I will wear a hundred times over the course of a few years (Uniqlo’s linen-cotton pants have a button fly, just sayin’), whereas when I drop $$$ on anything I know I’ll be inclined to baby it, which of course is not the point of slow fashion at all…
I’m so happy the 6’s worked out for you! I’m pretty patient with clothing orders as many of the lines I follow take some time but I’d say one month is the breaking point before I start to feel resentful. It’s been a month now for my Harper jacket and the Harper midi dress and I’m beginning to feel annoyed even though I knew they said four to six weeks. I noticed that some other made to order lines don’t say everything is available all at once so I routinely check if I have my eye on something. Sometimes, the item I want that wasn’t available shows as available later so I’m assuming they are managing the quantity ordered based on what their production can handle. But these lines are much smaller of course so it’s not quite the same. Perhaps ES needs to hire a few additional employees? If they allowed straight returns, not merchandise credits I’d mind less (Jaime + The Jones for example allows returns). But the thought of having hundreds of dollars tied up with ES for months is frustrating. I believe I’m sitting on close to $700 of pending orders currently (the jacket, the dress & a pair of shorts), which seems completely absurd now that I’ve said it out loud :-0
I’m so sorry to hear about the health issues, I’ve had a weird six months too and am shocked at how much I’ve had to go to the doctor recently including two visits to the ER (urgent care would have been sufficient but in my area Kaiser only has weekday office hours and the ER, no other options). But I’m grateful that I’m basically ok to put things in perspective (nothing that has prevented me from living my life). I have cysts too and had to go through the checks to ensure benign and everything turned out ok. Prayers and hugs to you too G! I know you try to take good care of yourself.
If it makes you feel any better, I also had a complex ovarian cyst (which they only found after I landed in the ER when a cyst ruptured) and it just went away on its own. (Well, I was also taking some cinnamon twig poria tea pills from my accupuncturist/herbalist but without further intervention). I also have a fibroid which is technically size for surgical options but instead I’ve been doing stuff to limit the symptoms. (Unless you have a hysterectomy that stuff is hormonal and usually comes back anyway. All this stuff runs in my family and this isn’t as bad as others have had.) Re eyes – I also now need transition lenses and have “floaters” because the eye materials are more viscous. Oh well. I mean, it’s a body. It’s not acute and nowhere near as bad as I had it when I had to take a leave from work for months due to gastroparesis. So, you’re not alone and I hope everything is okay in the long run! I know it’s hard but try not to worry!
Grechen Reiter says
so much better 🙂
thank you !!
i have floaters too, but she didn’t seem “worried” about that. she did admonish me that i don’t wear sunglasses as often as i should…so i’m trying to wear them every time i go outside now, but it’s hard…
Oh, Grechen, sorry to hear about the health issues! I totally understand how they can send your emotions spiraling out of control. Hope everything settles down soon,
I’ve also seen the growing comments about quality issues from ES. I had hoped they were just isolated issues, or maybe that, because they’re serving more people and people tend to be more vocal when there’s an issue, it was just normal human error. But it does seem to be a themeon the selltradees Q&A posts lately. I hope it gets under control soon! It’s hard to be so popular and in-demand that customers get frustrated!
I’ve always had amazing experiences shopping at ES (in fact, I just wrote up a review post), but I haven’t ordered since last year, so haven’t had an opportunity to experience any recent changes.
Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts, Grechen. I don’t always comment, but I’m read almost all of your posts 🙂
I’m sorry about the unpleasant surprise at the eye doctor.
Though I personally hate not perfect linens approach to shut down every weekend. I don’t have time during the week to parse through the sizing info, so when I sit down to do it during the weekend, I’m frustrated when I encounter the closed shop. And given the lead time, and the limited window of time when I wear the clothing, I didn’t ever wind up placing an order last year. Really, I should add a note to place an order to my calendar for next March.
I agree with all of this, 100%.
I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. I had some minor issues a couple of weeks ago and had to await test results for the first time, and I was surprised by how stressful it was. Especially given that it was a minor issue that logically, I knew wasn’t that big a deal.
As for the ES, I wonder if their proud announcement on getting wait times down triggered a flood of new orders. Or maybe they’re dealing with staffing issues, if someone’s quality wasn’t up to par. I truly don’t mind waiting for my order – my last order took 10 weeks. But there are so many other issues that has translated into infrequent orders – having my money tied up during the wait, only being able to return for store credit, frustration if stuff doesn’t work out (though I suspect that’s less of an issue with clear sizing info). The idiosyncrasies of the business model add up to negatives just as much as positives. That’s just being honest.
Kathryn, I’m super curious by what you mean by “less kooky marketing”?
There was a string on this recently on this blog, which of course I am too lazy to search out!!!!! Off the top of my head I recall the grab bags being mentioned (you don’t even get to see what’s in the bags, so how can you know if you even need the stuff), the ES version of 10 by 10 (personally didn’t even read this on ES site, but some GC readers didn’t like), the planned shorting the market. For me, I hate the time-limited previews and explanations designed to make sure you are on the site constantly. Some of us have jobs where we can’t be checking our instagrams on cue, and anyway, smacks of hype and desperation which ES definitely doesn’t even need. You’re better than this ES! To be fair, I know there are ES customers who find this all good fun, and there are things about ES marketing that I do very much appreciate: limiting sales, providing fabric swatches on request, capacity to contact Liz in person, customer support which, if slow, does really really attempt to answer questions and be helpful.
So much this particularly #3. I like my Georgia dress but the flippy sleeves make it very hard to layer in northern winters with a sweater because sorry a linen or canvas jacket just isn’t gonna cut it.
And with the long lead times it’s also very hard to purchase something seasonally (like linen, for summer, which is HERE suddenly!)