Megan

Develop Your Personal Style with These 3 Habits

Window Shopping

Window shopping is one of my favorite pastimes and an essential first step in surveying the world of retail. Window shopping online is an effective tool for browsing a large quantity of products efficiently. If you decide to visit a store in person, utilizing the company’s website to establish your interests in specific items in advance will add purpose to your visit. Whether you decide to browse online or in store, both means of window shopping will help you determine your clothing preferences. Don’t be afraid to look at items outside of your budget. You won’t be able to find a reasonably-priced version of the $3,000 Chanel skirt you discovered if you’re not aware that the Chanel skirt exists in the first place.

Keep track of your favorite outfits and items in a way that works for you; I use Pinterest. A visual reminder of your tastes will guide you through racks of endless merchandise. The term ‘window shopping’ implies that the customer is browsing without the intention of buying. Don’t allow overly-eager sales associates to upend your time of self-discovery. You’re allowed to say, “I’m just looking.”

Many brands roll out new pieces every month. In order to determine which items are worth trying on in the fitting room or ordering online, evaluate how each item on your list of favorites would complement your lifestyle. It doesn’t make sense to try on something that you can’t see yourself wearing on a regular basis (unless you’re doing it purely for fun or for a wedding).

Trying on Clothes

A visit to the fitting room enables you to try on multiple sizes and styles before making a purchase. If something doesn’t work for you, it is best to find out before you pay for it. Don’t overlook the importance of selecting the correct size if you opt for online ordering instead. It is a good idea to order multiple sizes at once if you are unsure about fit. It’s not wise to keep an incorrect size or an unflattering item because you don’t want to be bothered with returning it. Returns really aren’t that arduous if you are familiar with the process and policies of the retailer you’re dealing with. Companies will oftentimes offer free shipping with a spending minimum and flat-rate returns. This means that if you spend above the minimum, you won’t pay for shipping, and all of your returns can go back in one box at a flat rate (usually between $5.00 and $7.50). Once you’ve tried on enough clothes, you’ll eventually curate a mental list of your favorite retailers and learn what sizes fit you best within each brand.

Remaining True to Yourself

You’ll know that you’ve grown into your own style when you spot an item of clothing and think, Aah, I have to have this. Your wardrobe should be a labor of self-love, and you should feel good in your clothes. Never settle for something that doesn’t suit you. If it is worth the money and effort to have a piece of clothing modified or tailored for you, by all means, do it. However, if you don’t have any intention of taking an ill-fitting piece of clothing to the tailor, don’t buy it. Quality over quantity, my friend.

Works Sighted

J.Crew dress (sold out); Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille

Seersucker in Summer

Many fabrics have the ability to transcend different seasons, but seersucker is not one of these. It belongs in summer. You may begin to wear it in spring, but only after the low temperatures have disappeared from the forecast. If the meteorologist predicts snow, your seersucker pieces will have to wait a little while longer for their moment.

Nothing says summer like those blue and white stripes. Although you’ll see seersucker in solid hues and stripes of various colors, the fabric is traditionally worn in its signature scheme of blue and white. The shade of blue and the width of the stripes vary between garments but still maintain a general air of uniformity. The term ‘seersucker’ is derived from the Persian phrase ‘shir o shakka,’ which means milk and sugar, and the material has a texture that is simultaneously smooth (like milk) and bumpy (like sugar). The puckered fabric pulls the garment away from the body, sort of like wearable air conditioning; you’ll have to feel it to get the full effect.

When the warm weather becomes stable, you may wear as much seersucker as your heart desires (caution: during the day, never at night). However, before you run off to scower the web for potential additions, I must inform you that acquiring a selection of seersucker is a rather slow process. It’s not like amassing a selection of white tee shirts. I’ve found that seersucker pieces of quality are far and few between.

I’ve come across some products masquerading as seersucker that were made mainly of polyester. Repeat after me: “Seersucker is made of cotton.” While it is permissible to add elastane or similar fabric for a hint of stretch, the garment should be primarily made of cotton. Swimsuits are the exception to this rule. Bathing suit coverups are not.

Works Sighted

J.Crew Factory dress (sold out); Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille; Kate Spade sunglasses (old)

Further Reading

Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker dress; J.Crew sheath dress in stretch seersucker; Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker skirt; L.L.Bean Vacationland seersucker shirt; J.Crew Parke blazer in stretch seersucker; J.Crew Cameron slim crop pant in stretch seersucker; Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker jacket; Brooks Brothers striped stretch cotton seersucker pants; Polo Ralph Lauren cotton seersucker blazer; Polo Ralph Lauren cotton seersucker pant

Kayu Mini Behati Tassel Straw Tote

I’ve always considered the first day of August to be the beginning of the end of summer. Every year around this time, I reflect on my summer accomplishments and contemplate whether or not I’ve spent enough time outside. My reflections on the present season have led me to realize that I’ve spent too much time inside, and now I feel obligated to take full advantage of August. Step one of savoring the remainder of the summer: carrying a straw bag. I often daydream about being back in Paris. Recently, I’ve envisioned myself there carrying a variety of straw bags. I’m not doing anything particularly thrilling—being in Paris is enough. The straw tote symbolizes a carefreeness that many of us haven’t experienced in a long time.

Kayu’s mini Behati tassel straw tote was the first addition of its kind to my closet. I’ve been carrying it often, even on walks around the block. The brand produces bags made of real straw, not the synthetic, straw-like material commonly found in similar products on the market. Furthermore, the brand’s bags are woven by women in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia; the craftsmanship has been passed down through generations. The company’s social impact initiative and handmade approach to production make my purchase even more meaningful. Although I’ve only made one purchase from Kayu thus far, I’ve added a few more items to my dream list. I know I’ll have to stow the mini Behati away when fall arrives, but for now, I’ll enjoy the joie de vivre it stirs up within me.

Works Sighted

Kayu mini Behati tassel straw tote; Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille

The Tank Dress

I occasionally wake up and decide that I’m not getting dressed. This presents a predicament because I believe that part of getting ready for the day is dressing for it. I don’t want to eat breakfast in my pajamas. Let’s say that I wake up late and lunchtime is just around the corner. That’s when I reach for my tank dress. The easiest piece of summer clothing in my arsenal, it’s made of cotton and feels just like a tank top in dress form. I own three of them, all identical, and all in navy. Sometimes I throw on a linen button-up shirt over it. Lately, I’ve been leaving the shirt unbuttoned, but sometimes I feel like tying the two front, bottom ends together in a knot at the navel. A pair of Superga sneakers completes this look every time.

Works Sighted

Gap Factory dress (old); Kate Spade sunglasses (old); Superga 2750 Cotu Classic (white)

Further Reading

Everlane’s Party of One tank dress; Everlane’s long weekend tank dress; Everlane’s luxe cotton seamed tank dress; Everlane’s luxe cotton A-line tank dress; Madewell linen-blend v-neck tank dress; Vince tiered tank dress

Everything You Need to Know About the Superga 2790 Acotw

If you haven’t read the preceding post on the Superga 2750 Cotu Classic, have a look at it before diving into this one. Unless you’re a Spice Girl, I recommend getting acclimated to the Superga 2750 before acquiring the Superga 2790. In the preceding article, I discuss the comfort of the 2750’s 1-inch, vulcanized sole, which cushions the impact the wearer receives while walking. The sole of the 2790 is half an inch higher than that of the 2750, and, although you may not think a half inch would be significant, traversing the pavement in the 2790 is equivalent to walking on air. I am especially grateful for them when I am on my feet all day.

That being said, there’s one caveat. While the 2790 is exceptionally comfortable, I can’t wear them every day like the 2750. I tried wearing them every day for three weeks in 2018 whilst hopping around the U.K. My feet hurt after a week, and I had to buy a new pair of sneakers without a platform. However, let it be known that I was probably averaging 30,000 steps a day during this period—far more than usual. I’m still wearing my first pair of 2790s, which I purchase in September of 2018. The heels are a little worn down, but I haven’t replaced them yet. In contrast, I wear down several pairs of 2750s each year.

Originally, I ordered the 2790 in white, black, and navy. The white version looked like boats, and I decided against them. When it came down to choosing between the navy or the black, I gravitated towards the navy pair. I wondered if it made sense to own both the 2790 and the 2750 in the same color. Then, I came to my senses. You can never have too much navy.

Like the 2750, the 2790 is extremely versatile. I wear this style with skirts and dresses in lieu of heels. They also look amazing with skinny pants. I’ll now reiterate some points from my Superga 2750 post that also apply to this one. It is important to lace and tie these shoes during the fitting process. Your size in the 2790 and 2750 will probably be the same; this is true for me. They don’t have arch support, but the comfortable sole is fair compensation. You’ll have to break them in, but the process isn’t terrible. Don’t attempt to meet your 15,000-step Fitbit goal in these shoes during the break-in period. If you buy them in white, you may clean them in the manner descried in the preceding post. I wear Bombas socks with these too. Lastly, the 2790 is the most affordable platform sneaker of quality that I’ve found. I’m not paying $200 for a sneaker that can’t be resoled.

Works Sighted

Superga 2790 Acotw (Navy)

Everything You Need to Know About the Superga 2750 Cotu Classic

I bought my first pair of Superga sneakers six years ago in Firenze. We were walking by the Palazzo Pitti when I noticed a Superga sale sign in front of a shop by the name of Sportando. I’d tried on a pair in the past but had decided then that I was in between a size 39 and a size 40. Since the canvas sneaker didn’t come in a 39.5, I’d resolved that it wasn’t meant for me. Superga was born in Italy, and the opportunity to acquire a pair whilst in Firenze was too appealing to pass up. I left Sportando with a pair of the 2750 Cotu Classics in navy, and I’ve been wearing that style constantly for the last six years. Although I’ve owned them in black and white, I always have a navy (or blue graphite) pair on hand.

I’m not sure what happened the first time I tried them on, but I discovered that a size 39 fit me perfectly at my second fitting. According to the size chart, a 39 in European sizes is equivalent to a U.S. women’s size 8. I wear a U.S. 8.5 or 9 in shoes depending on the brand/type. To ensure the best fit, I highly recommend trying on two sizes. This may sound like a hassle if you are ordering online rather than trying on in store, but these shoes are worth the effort. I order most of my shoes from Zappos because shipping and returns are fast and free. When you are trying on your Supergas, you’ll want to lace them up properly and tie them too. The vulcanized rubber sole is heavy, and the shoes will not stay on your feet if you skip this step.

If you have any doubts as to whether this sneaker is for you after trying them on, I’d like to encourage you to sleep on it. Try them on again the next day. Walk around in your house a bit. The thick, vulcanized sole is the best part of the shoe. Vulcanization is the process by which the rubber is hardened. Thanks to this process, the 1-inch sole acts as a cushion and absorbs the impact from the pavement. I don’t think this information appears in any official writing; I know from experience. The 2750 Cotu Classic withstands a beating on old Italian streets like no other sneaker. I never leave the country without a pair. In fact, the one time I swapped this style for the 2790 Acotw, I regretted my decision not to bring both styles. The 2750 Cotu Classic is essential.

If I buy a pair right before a trip, I spend about a week breaking them in prior to taking off. You will need to break them in, but the process isn’t terrible. However, I don’t recommend trying to meet your 15,000-step Fitbit goal in these shoes during the break-in period. I know it is time to replace my sneakers when the heel has been run over with wear. I replace my navy pair approximately every 2-3 months. After they’ve expired, they become very uncomfortable to wear.

If you are wondering if these sneakers provide arch support, they don’t, but I find that the shock-absorbing sole is fair compensation. I don’t require a high level of arch support in general, so I wouldn’t be able to predict how comfortable these would be for someone who does. Also, I suspect that there wouldn’t be enough room to place an insole inside. They are cut a bit low on the ankle, and I couldn’t imagine wearing an insole on top of the already-cushioned sole anyway.

Now to cover the topic of cleaning. I don’t usually clean my Supergas. I might rub the sides of the cream-colored sole with a disinfecting wipe if I’ve worn them in the rain. However, the white pair is a different story. I don’t recommend submerging your sneakers in water and neither does Superga. The following are the official cleaning instructions to follow if you choose to use a washing machine: While we do not recommend washing your Superga shoes, you may be able to wash our Cotu styles. The best way to wash our Cotu shoes is in a pillow case, cool wash and powder detergent (not liquid), leave laces on so you don’t lose the shape of the shoe and hang to dry naturally, not on a radiator.

You won’t find me putting my sneakers in the washer; I clean mine with a firm toothbrush and a small cup of Tide (in liquid form) over the bathroom sink. I wet the toothbrush, dip it in Tide, and scrub the outer surface of the shoe. I rinse the brush clean and swipe it in a downward motion on the canvas to remove the detergent. Being careful not to get the inside of the sneaker soaking wet, I also hold the shoe upside down under the faucet to aid in the rinsing process. Placing washcloths inside the sneaker may be helpful, as is holding it with your hand inside for stabilization purposes. If you choose to wash your sneakers in my preferred manner, remove the laces before you begin. Wash them by hand in the bathroom sink and hang to dry.

It goes without saying that Superga sneakers are extremely versatile if you purchase a versatile color. I’ve even worn the navy pair with dresses to holiday parties. More often than not, I wear them with Bombas no-show socks (no other socks will do). Sometimes I wear them without socks, but I try not to make it a habit. I often wear them with tights in cooler weather. Supergas are truly a year-round staple.

Works Sighted

Superga 2750 Cotu Classic White; Boden skirt (old)