What I bought & Wardrobe diaries: June 2019

I didn’t buy anything in May, but June ended up being shopping-busy, and one big order is yet to completely arrive!

New in

Bared Brolga shoes (black leather, 38) – For the last few years, I’ve pretty much only worn Ziera shoes. I was recommended this brand by a colleague as it is also a shoe brand with supportive shoes for wide feet (with orthotic-friendly styles, though I don’t use orthotics). I picked the Brolga in black leather because I wanted a leather (not suede) black work shoe for winter as a sort-of replacement for my Ziera Oahu shoes. I may do a comparison/review in future, but I can say for certain that Bared may be more stylish but the shoes are nowhere near as comfortable as Ziera, so I much prefer Ziera because they are both at the same price point. I am still happy with the Brolga because it is a polished-looking shoe in the style I prefer to wear for winter (I am often told I am crazy but I don’t like to wear boots unless I have to in winter) and works in most occasions. It took a few days to wear-in. The leather is really stiff and made me bleed on the first few days. Along with the stiff leather, the foot-bed is also solid and stiff, so while they’re not painful for a workday, they’re not comfortable shoes I can walk all day in. They still fill a wardrobe hole and I’ve worn them almost every workday since I got them (after I stopped bleeding in them), but I would jump ship in a heartbeat if I found a more comfortable shoe. $229

Viktoria & Woods Prescott skirt (black, size 0) – I have quietly admired this skirt for a few months since I saw a Youtuber wearing it. This piece feels expensive to me and I think I made a rash decision in the store, especially since I’ve discovered I can’t get the belt to not loosen while I’m wearing it. It’s so annoying. Compared to another Viktoria & Woods piece I have in the exact same fabrication, this bamboo and polyester fabric feels just divine and was probably what won me over. I’ve really been into Australian designers lately and I think that manifested itself in this purchase… $270 reduced to $199

Reiss Margot checked tapered trousers (navy, UK 8) – What I am actually hunting for these last few months are work pants. Work is very casual but I’m actually a bit sick of wearing jeans. I don’t own any trousers and just a couple of pairs of culottes so I felt like there was definitely a hole in that department of my wardrobe. I didn’t see this pair on the Reiss website (and still can’t find it there except when I Google the name of the pants), but I saw this one lone pair in David Jones and it fit pretty well and was comfortable. The subtle navy throughout is quite nice. I wear it cuffed and I’ve been loving it. The polyester blend feels very nice, doesn’t really wrinkle and washes very well! Since owning it, I have worn it most workdays and it’s starting to get embarrassing, haha. Unfortunately I notice it is more discounted on the Reiss website now ($75). $340 (on tag) or $195 (on website?!) reduced to $95 but paid on a 10% reduced gift card for $85.50

June 2019 total: $513.50

Considered or tried

Country Road flannel pegged pants (AU 6 and 8) – The fabric was a scratchy wool-blend. The cut looked terrible on me (made my butt area look huge) and it was unlined in the bottom half so it was super itchy.

Country Road mock neck basic knit (XS and S) – I really wanted to like this because it’s so hard for me to find basic knitwear when my skin is so fussy. The fabric feels soft to the touch of the hand, but as soon as I put it on it was too itchy for me! I would have picked the oatmeal colour, which seems to be immensely popular.

Sportscraft Yarra knit top (french navy, S) – I don’t look at Sportscraft often but their knitwear is really excellent quality (their merino wool is fabulous). I noticed they had some cotton-cashmere (3-5% cashmere) knitwear, which is my preferred knitwear blend. The Yarra knit is on sale (it was ~$69 when I tried it on over the weekend but now it’s only $49!) but I ended up passing because I would have had to order the navy online (and fill up on other items to reach the free shipping threshold) and it’s only 3/4 sleeve. Also, the stitching means the underside is not actually that smooth. Sportscraft sizing runs very large, but I liked the size S I tried on because the arms were a bit loose and the torso length not short on me. I have my eye on the Lorri floral knit in wine and Lorri spot knit in navy and can’t decide which I like better – they are both SO ME! They were both 20% off full price over the weekend (~$120) but I’m sure they’ll be reduced eventually so I’m hoping to wait until then.

Fendi Peekaboo Essentially – I visited several stores with my Mum trying to find a bag for her and also looked at some things I’ve been considering myself for a while. I won’t mention them all but the longest I spent was in the Fendi store where I unintentionally ended up looking at an array of Peekaboos. I didn’t know there was a size called “Essentially”, which is the size up from mini. I gravitate towards smaller bags (like the mini) but the sales assistant and my Mum convinced me this was the better size. I’ve always liked the shape of the Peekaboo though I’ve never considered purchasing one new/pre-loved. It’s a pricey line because the leather is substantial, but it also means the weight would never actually be practical to me. The strap is also very comfortable.

Other updates

I have decided to part ways with my very old Esprit white sleeveless shirt, which my Mum keeps commenting that I should get rid of. I don’t think it’s too old, but the polyester is just so unpleasant in summer. Since I picked up the Uniqlo sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts last summer, I stopped reaching for this and don’t see myself reaching for it next summer.

My one and only attempt at buying trousers a few years ago resulted in a pair of Dorothy Perkins black straight leg trousers online (I bought several to try and ended up on this one) and I am now parting with it. I never liked it and never wear it. I kept it around just in case but now that I have the Reiss trousers and many orders coming through to try, I can “safely” get rid of this.

Money Diary (Japan travel edition): #4 What we spent during 9 days in Japan (Tokyo and Tohoku region)

We spent about 9 full days in Japan (plus the morning of our flight out). This trip was significantly more in peak season that I am used to, as it coincided with the Tohoku region’s cherry blossom forecast. As always, we buy too many souvenirs from Japan.

We exchanged some cash beforehand at AU$1 : ¥78.5139. We withdrew cash in Japan to top up, from 7 Eleven ATMs, which were the second ATM I tried with our Citibank debit card (one of the two most popular debit cards in Australia for overseas ATMs). Mizuho Bank ATM quoted me ~8% worse value than 7 Eleven, which came out ~1% within the global market rate so I just relied on 7 Eleven ATMs from thereon, since they’re everywhere anyway.

All costs in ¥ or the exact AU$ charged (or both), for TWO PEOPLE.

Pre-trip

Airfares – Royal Brunei Airlines: 2 x $739.31 = $1478.62
JR Tohoku pass (choose 5 days): (¥19,000 when purchased outside Japan, but realistically the travel agents will set the price themselves). 2 x $244 = $488
Data SIM for 30 days: 2 x $39 = $78
Hotel – The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku (3 nights): $545.41
Hotel – Hotel Vista Sendai (2 nights): $208.49
Hotel – Montein Hotel Kitakami (2 nights): ¥16,600 = $214.78
Hotel – Art Hotel Hirosaki City (1 night): ¥38,880
Hotel – Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo (1 night): ¥23,000 = $294.23
(Total cashback for four hotels except Hirosaki = $46.36)
Tickets for Teamlab Borderless: 2 x ¥3,200 = ¥6,400 = $80.73

The hotel and price in Sendai is more typical of what I am used to in terms of excellent location, compact yet clean rooms and price. The Shinjuku hotel was excellent but a bit far from the station. I would trade the size of the room for better location in an instant, but April is peak season so I had to make do and pay a bit more than I am used to for Tokyo and slightly worse location. It wasn’t bad though, and I’d prefer this location in Shinjuku than to not be near Shinjuku. The Hirosaki hotel was right next to the station but absurdly expensive. Welcome to the sakura festival in one of the top sakura locations in Japan! It was the most stressful finding a hotel in Hirosaki. The city is not that big and populous. The hotels there are on the old side and not too tourist-friendly (difficult to find smoke-free hotels). I would not have considered this hotel given its ratings if it wasn’t the only non-smoking option left in the city. The price was still ouch though.

Some transport prices may not be exact as I noticed sometimes IC cards gave ¥1-5 discounts on actual actual fares. All fares were retrospectively calculated. I’ve tried to categorise souvenirs clearly as things we bought to bring back for ourselves or other people (although this gets muddy because we did bring lots of snacks from convenience stores back home for ourselves/others). We are used to doubling or tripling our luggage with shopping because we buy so much in Japan! I think our luggage weight at least doubled.

Day 1 (Tokyo and Takao-san) *JR Tohoku pass*
Narita Express to Shinjuku: covered with JR pass
Lunch (tempura soba and tendon at Tenya Tendon): ¥1,440
Vending machine (drink): ¥150
Train to Takao-san: covered with JR pass except one stop, 2 x ¥130 = ¥260
Cablecar roundtrip: 2 x ¥930 = ¥1860
Tickets for Monkey Park: 2 x ¥420 = ¥840
Goshuin: ¥300
Vending machine (drink): ¥170
Train to Shinjuku: covered with JR pass except one stop, 2 x ¥130 = ¥260
Dinner (skewers izakaya at Kushiyaki Bistro Fukumimi): ¥6,778
Drugstore (lip balm): ¥306
Convenience store (salad, fruit, snacks): ¥678
Total: ¥13,042

We started our time in Japan around midday by the time we’d got into the city from the airport and dropped off our luggage at the hotel. We had a quick lunch at a chain restaurant before heading off to Takaosan. I got my first goshuin of the trip and had to pick up a lip balm from the drugstore back in Shinjuku because I lost mine on the flight. Every night we go on a conbini crawl as I try to stock up on vegetables/fruit and T tries to eat as much ice cream and junk food as possible (not that I don’t also join the junk food party). Typically a non-snacker, he turns into a different person in Japan! The other category that I spend a lot in is goshuin (also here), which I will categorise separately.

Day 2 (Tokyo and Kamakura)
Vending machine (drink): ¥140
Train to Kamakura: 2 x ¥920 = ¥1840
Convenience store (onigiri): ¥120
Bakery (2 breads): ¥480 (?)
Taxi: ¥1000
Tickets for Hokokuji: 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Goshuin: ¥300
New goshuin-chou + goshuin = ¥2200
Tickets for Hokai-ji: 2 x ¥200 = ¥400
Goshuin (3): 3 x ¥300 = ¥900
Sakura mochi: ¥200
Lunch (soba at Fukuyu Soba Bar): ¥1836
Tickets for Hase-dera: 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Goshuin: ¥300
Tickets for Kotoku-in: 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Goshuin: ¥300
Souvenirs (2 small face towels): ¥1200
Goshuin: ¥300
Vending machine (drink): ¥130
Train to Shinjuku: 2 x ¥920 = ¥1840
Reserving Narita Express for airport: 2 x ¥3210: ¥6440
Dinner (skewers izakaya at Yakitori Nanbantei): ¥7123
Souvenir (2 alcohols from Bic Camera): ¥2364
Drink (alcohol from Bic Camera): 2 x ¥110 = ¥220
Souvenir (T-shirt from Uniqlo): ¥1065
Souvenir (insulated Tiger drink mug from Bic Camera): ¥1998
Convenience store (snacks): ¥588
Convenience store (ice cream): ¥500 (?)
Total: ¥35,584

We started our day an hour later than I had hoped, so I decided we would take a taxi to the first site in Kamakura instead of walking to help make up some time. It is such a temple and shrine town that we had to not visit many temples and shrines (and not get goshuin) so we could actually complete the itinerary. We like walking everywhere and visiting ALL THE TEMPLES AND SHRINES so this one day ended up not being enough time for us, since shrines and temples can start closing around 4pm. We will need to revisit. For lunch we had Yamagata soba, which T loved but I didn’t. I got my second goshuin-chou (book) at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu because the book was so pretty and I only had a few pages left in my old book, so I bit the bullet. I later realised the book is slightly bigger and in retrospect I would have preferred all my books to be the same size. Goshuin at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu also cost a premium – ¥500. Back in Tokyo, we picked up some alcohol to bring back. I also picked up the Tiger mug that was on my shopping list (half the price of what it would cost me in Australia/online). I think we both discovered the Haagen Dazs crispy ice cream sandwiches that night – they’re amazing.

Day 3 (Tokyo)
Vending machine (drink): ¥140
Goshuin: ¥300
Lunch (okonomiyaki at Kotegaeshi Okonomiyaki): ¥2764
Goshuin: ¥300
Metro: 2 x ¥200 = ¥400
Souvenirs (2 plush toys and 1 toilet cover (LOL) from Pokemon Centre DX): ¥6900 (tax-free)
Metro and train: 2 x ¥500 = ¥1000
Dinner (tonkatsu at Tonkatsu Wako): ¥3150
Tickets for teamlab Borderless: pre-purchased
Train and metro: 2 x ¥580 = ¥1160
Convenience store (cake, ice cream, chips, drink): ¥667
Convenience store (Kit Kat, purin): ¥313
Convenience store (sweets): ¥103
Total: ¥17,197

We just wondered around for most of the day. I checked out like ten consignment stores and then we spontaneously decided to go to the Pokemon Centre DX in Nihonbashi before heading to Odaiba for an early dinner. I heard Borderless is least busy around dinnertime so I was aiming for 6pm. When we returned to our hotel, we went on a conbini crawl for snacks for that night and to eat on the shinkansen the next day.

Day 4 (Sendai) *JR Tohoku pass*
Convenience store (breads and onigiri): ¥386
Shinkansen to Sendai: covered with JR pass
Lunch (gyutan at Rikyu): ¥3564
Goshuin (2): 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Souvenirs (mug and tumbler from Starbucks): ¥4104
Dinner (izakaya at Aburiyajubey): ¥6166
Snack (?): ¥432
Snack (Hyotan-age): ¥250
Snack (shu-pie at Papa Beard): ¥170
Snack (mochi): ¥200
Snack (Hokkaido milk cake): ¥290
Coin laundry (wash then dry): ¥300 + ¥300 = ¥600
Convenience store (2 ice creams and bananas): ¥1002
Total: ¥17,764

We had the afternoon to wander around Sendai after checking in and trying gyutan (ox tongue) at the famous Sendai chain, Rikyu. I didn’t really like thick cut gyutan the way it’s done in Sendai, so we didn’t eat any more during our stay. I picked up the Sendai Starbucks mug in the new design (I absolutely prefer the old design for regional tumblers – the new series is kind of awful, but I’ve never been to Sendai so I can’t get the old ones anymore…) and the new Starbucks “Japan” mug because it’s so pretty. After dinner (our only bad meal for the whole trip), we ate a bunch of cool food in the train station and went back to do laundry at the hotel (with ice cream, of course).

Day 5 (Sendai and Matsushima)
Train to Matsushima: 2 x ¥410 = ¥820
Snack (curry bread at Pensee): ¥300
Matushima Bay ferry (with upgrade to green car): 2 x (1500 + 600) = ¥4200
Lunch (Seafood at Nanbuya): ¥5700
Tickets to Zuigan-ji: 2 x ¥700 = ¥1400
Goshuin: ¥300
Tickets to Entsu-in: 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Goshuin: ¥300
Snack (fishpaste skewer): ¥200
Souvenir (grilled garlic): ¥540
Snack (regional sakuranbo Hi-CHEW): ¥150
Toll for crossing to Fukuua Island: 2 x ¥200 = ¥400
Train to Sendai: 2 x ¥410 = ¥820
Dinner (ramen at Misoichi): ¥2100
Souvenir (regional gyutan Pretz): ¥600
Souvenirs (amazake dango, 2 umeshu): ¥1016
Snack (sakura doughnut at Mister Donut): ¥129
Souvenir (lightning cable from Tokyu Hands): ¥1836
Souvenirs (stainless steel Tiger drink mug and soup/food mug from Yodobashi Camera): ¥4670
Convenience store (ice creams and fruit liqueur): ¥1030
Vending machine (drink): ¥110
Total: ¥27,221

I was informed by the Internet that upgrading to green/first class on the ferry of Matsushima Bay would be worth it as you are able to go outside on the deck. I found a Hi-CHEW I’d never seen before and T managed to sneak in a packet of grilled garlic because he is a garlic monster (the verdict is he wishes he brought back ten more packs…). Back in Sendai, we started getting serious about souvenir shopping. T says he got the lightning cable despite it being expensive because he has for years been particular about a certain cable length and will try any that he stumbles on in a quest to find a good quality one. I picked up a second Tiger mug and also a soup/food thermos even though I don’t need one (I prefer this one and have been using it though).

Day 6 (Sendai, Yamadera, Kitakami) *JR Tohoku pass*
Convenient store (2 breads and 2 onigiri): ¥493
Train to Yamadera: covered with JR pass
Goshuin (3): 3 x ¥300 = ¥900
Tickets for Yamadera: 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Goshuin (8): 8 x ¥300 = ¥2400
Lunch (soba at Enzou): ¥2780
Souvenir (wooden plate): ¥700
Train to Sendai: covered with JR pass
Souvenirs (2 boxes of seafood senbei): ¥2376
Souvenir (lotion toner from Matsumoto Kiyoshi): ¥799
Souvenir (tamagoyaki pan from Tokyu Hands): ¥4622
Souvenir (T-shirt from Comme des Garcons): ¥7344
Dinner (tonkatsu at Saboten): ¥3881
Convenience store (drink): ¥129
Shinkansen to Kitakami: covered with JR pass
Shuttle bus to hotel: complementary
Convenience store (ice cream, purin, bananas, Starbucks coffee, onigiri, bananas): ¥1023
Total: ¥28,047

We got an absolute tonne of goshuin at Yamadera!!! I picked up a cute leaf-shaped wooden tray/plate made in Takaoka to hold trinkets in. We returned to Sendai for a few hours of speed shopping because we still hadn’t really made a dent in our souvenir shopping. We picked up these impressive seafood senbei for family and I finally decided on a tamagoyaki pan, which was on my shopping list. After arriving at our hotel in Kitakami, we immediately set out to find the nearest conbini!

Day 7 (Kitakami)
Laundry (wash then dry): ¥500
Goshuin (2): 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Lunch (takoyaki and yakisoba): ¥1070
Dinner (shabu shabu at Porco Blu): ¥6480
Convenience store (bread and drink): ¥491
Convenience store (onigiri, ice cream, drink, warabimochi): ¥558
Total: ¥9,699

We had a late start and also did laundry since it was raining heavily. The town was smaller and quieter than I expected and there was almost no option for lunch so we had a quick lunch in a tiny cafe that seated four people and the store-lady literally made one serve of food ready for customers. She actually couldn’t give me what I ordered because she didn’t have enough takoyaki, haha. We were able to enjoy one of the top cherry blossom spots in Tohoku all afternoon. After some difficulty finding somewhere for dinner, we ended up at a shabu shabu restaurant. It was super fancy and we had a huge private booth to ourselves. The food was great and we were stuffed! THat doesn’t mean we didn’t do a conbini crawl for more snacks and stuff to eat during transport the next morning.

Day 8 (Hirosaki) *JR Tohoku pass*
Shinkansen and train to Hirosaki: covered with JR pass
Bus: 2 x ¥100 = ¥200
Chicken skewers: ¥500
Squid skewer and pork skewer: ¥1100
Sanshoku dango: ¥200
Goshuin: ¥300
Tickets for Hirosaki castle: 2 x ¥310 = ¥620
Souvenir (Hirosaki castle postcards): ¥424
Bus: 2 x ¥100 = ¥200
Dinner (izakaya at Izakaya Tsugaru’s Liquor Worm Watami): ¥5108
Souvenirs (face cleansers, oil cleansers, face masks, mascara, lotion toner from a supermarket/drugstore): ¥19965
Convenience store (pickles, drink, ice cream, Hi-CHEW): ¥571
Total: ¥29,188

Hirosaki was crazy busy! We headed straight for the park and ate some overpriced (and not very good) skewers from the food stalls, and a not-quite-defrosted dango (I was terribly sad by this). We went into the Hirosaki Castle keep, which was priced unusually. I don’t think I’ve ever paid for a temple, shrine, castle, garden etc that wasn’t a denominator of 100 in Japan. We had a fantastic dinner at an izakaya, trying a bunch of local (Aomori) specialty cuisines. We definitely over-ordered and it was still so cheap! Since it was still early, I convinced T to go to Mega, which I saw was a huge drugstore/supermarket. I went to town on face masks (for myself and my Mum) and stocked up on longtime favourites that I usually pay two or three times more for. I only bought three or four of each item but I bought out the stock for each product! To end the night, I wanted pickles and T wanted ice cream, and while I was at it I also found a Hi-CHEW I’ve never seen before.

Day 9 (Hirosaki, Tokyo) *JR Tohoku pass*
Tickets for Saisho-in: 2 x ¥300 = ¥600
Goshuin: ¥300
Souvenir (2 alcohols): ¥1080
Bus: 2 x ¥100 = ¥200
Convenience store (2 breads): ¥273
Snack (hanami dango): ¥140
Convenience store (onigiri): ¥140
Lunch (2 ekiben): ¥1810
Vending machine (2 drinks): ¥320
Train and shinkansen to Tokyo: covered with JR pass
Souvenir (stovetop grill toaster from Tokyu Hands): ¥2462
Souvenirs (3 different packs of Tokyo Bananas): ¥2541
Souvenirs (6 different packs from Kit Kat Chocolatory): ¥4266
Dinner (Beer Hall): ¥3596
Convenience store (sweets): ¥103
Convenience store (lollies, chocolates, ice cream): ¥625
Total: ¥18,456

We walked around the city and visited over 20 or 30 temples. Sadly I was only able to get a goshuin at one major one. By the time it was midday, we were near Hirosaki Park again. We went to the visitor centre to use the bathroom but also left with two bottles of ringo-shu/apple liqueur (Aomori is famous for its apples). Back at the station, I found hanami dango that I was really craving after the terrible one from the previous day (it was divine!). We’d decided to have a late lunch on the shinkansen so we picked up two ekiben to share. Back in Tokyo at 6pm, we checked into our hotel and started a night of frantic shopping by 6:30pm. We had a lot of stores we needed to visit before they closed in a few hours. I found a stovetop grill toaster (on my shopping list) and T decided to pick up a box of Tokyo Banana to share at work and we got two small packs in different flavours for ourselves. We also visited the Kit Kat Chocolatory since T is serious about collecting his Japanese Kit Kats. The Chocolatory is incredibly premium these days. You can pay some $20 for small box of containing three small sticks of single origin volcanic something-or-another chocolates. That’s so different to a few years ago when the Chocolatory first started! He got some Kit Kats to share at work, and picked up three things that he didn’t already have. After a late dinner, we tried to run down our IC cards on snacks and ice cream so the balance would be closer to 0. I’ve kept my IC cards for many years (for subsequent trip) but I prefer to keep a minimal balance on them in case I lose them or they become nonfunctional.

Day 10 (airport day)
Convenience store (drink, bread, banana): ¥378
Convenience store (2 onigiri, Kit Kats): ¥400 (?)
Narita Express to airport: reserved and purchased on day 2
Souvenirs (2 tumblers from Starbucks): ¥3596
Souvenirs (2 eyeliners and 2 stockings from Matsumoto Kiyoshi): ¥3500 (tax-free)
Souvenirs (3 different packs of Kit kats): ¥3680 (tax-free)
Total: ¥11,556

We had a late morning flight and got up super early. On arriving at the airport, I popped into the Starbucks and found an airport exclusive tumbler, and the new series Hiroshima tumbler, which is incredibly beautiful and I couldn’t not have it! Once through customs, I finally found one of my favourite eyeliners at Matsukiyo. I saw the brand of stockings I’ve been buying on every Japan trip but they had different lines. I grabbed two to try as I figured they must not make my exact one anymore. Unfortunately we found more Kit Kats T didn’t have at another souvenir store and had to buy them (including the premium Tokyo Banana with Feuilletine Kit Kats!).


*JPY estimates are based on 1 AUD : 78.5 JPY for simplicity

Sightseeing is relatively cheap in Japan for exploring nature and temples/shrines. The majority of the sightseeing costs we had were the Matsushima ferry and Teamlab tickets. Once again, food was the real winner. Despite eating all the food and drinking every night, eating out and snacking only cost ~¥4500 or ~AU$58 per person per day. The real cost would probably be lower as we really didn’t need to eat that much convenience store junk food, and some of it might technically be “souvenirs” as I brought them home. Unsurprisingly, we spent a lot on goshuin and shopping/souvenirs – 18%! Here’s everything we hauled back… *hides*

What I bought & Wardrobe diaries: April 2019

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 (black and white, US 7.5) – I wrote previously about shopping for leather sneakers after a terrible pair of Nikes. I actually had kept this exact pair of runners in size 7 around that time because they have a lot more support and a thicker sole, and I did still need a pair of runners in my life. After wearing it a couple of times, it became evident that these ran narrower than my previous pair of Nikes, and they made the sides of my foot numb. It didn’t bother me too much unless I wore them for many hours. However coming into my Japan holiday of April, I decided to repurchase these runners and size up to avoid the discomfort during long days of walking in Japan. While I regret not realising the problem with my previous pair, I don’t regret this second purchase. I had no issues in Japan and it was totally worth the comfort. $179.99 minus $45.00 discount = $134.99 minus $1.84 cashback = $133.15

Uniqlo HEATTECH crew neck long-sleeve T-shirt (navy, M) and Uniqlo HEATTECH turtle neck long-sleeve T-shirt (black, M; navy, M and S) – These were predominantly purchases for the Japan trip as there was one fairly northern city we were visiting that could potentially be very cold. I originally purchased two turtlenecks (S and M) to try on for size. I slightly preferred the larger size because my (short) neck felt claustrophobic in the smaller size. So then I purchased another one in medium and another crew neck in medium but a darker colour than previously. The sizing difference it not really noticeable so it doesn’t particularly matter either way though the arms may be a bit longer (and I have longer arms). I did end up bringing one turtleneck and one crew neck to Japan (despite the weather report suggesting it would be warm) and did need both in the final city as a cold spell arrived and I was a bit under-dressed. (Didn’t have time to order online for cashback) $74.60

Uniqlo OKASHI T-shirt (black Morinaga Hi-CHEW, M) – I walked passed the purple Hi-CHEW T-shirt in Japan and almost passed out because it was so cute and so me (I’m a huge fan of Hi-CHEW). The design with the pocket is just so adorable, but I chose the black T-shirt (not as cute) because I didn’t really like the purple colour. I didn’t bother to try it on because I love these kind of T-shirts oversized and tend to just buy M (or L if sold out) in Uniqlo for these T-shirts. They’re super comfortable for wearing around at home. ¥1,065 = (based on the rate I exchanged cash) ~$13.56

Comme des Garcons PLAY double heart T-shirt (black, M) – This was also purchased in Japan (T affectionately refers to it as my “Komee T-shirt” since it became a joke after various attempts at spelling the store to him while having him to plot the shop on Google Maps). The range and sizes were pretty depleted in store and you’re not even allowed to try on long/short-sleeve T-shirts! I was deciding between two long-sleeve tees (because I didn’t see any short-sleeved ones) until the store assistant pulled out this T-shirt and I fell in love. I know they run small but gosh they run really small! I might have even preferred an L! The fit is really lovely though. ¥7,334 = $93.95

April 2019 total: AU$315.26

No other purchases and returns, or wardrobe updates.

What I bought & Wardrobe diaries: March 2019

New in

Equipment Slim Signature silk shirt (cactus print; XS): I mentioned in the previous month’s post that I found this shirt and print on eBay, which led me to finding it on Order of Style (last one remaining!). I only bid up to around $80 (including shipping) on eBay and lost so I immediately went online to purchase this. It’s so adorable that I can’t bear to wear it. I’m honestly not sure if I will or if I’m going to keep it like a collectable, haha! Please don’t judge my cactus obsession. $162

Celine Soft Cube bag (burgundy with navy handles; pre-owned via eBay): Oops. I saw this bag for the first time on Temporary-House Wifey’s blog in February/March and instantly fell in love with it. I think Phoebe Philo released it in mid-2017 so it was only made for a few seasons. I found the shape of the bag gorgeous and it looked so practical, but I didn’t really see any colour combinations that I liked. I would have gone for navy since that’s one of the colours I’m looking to add to my collection, but I only saw pictures of it in silver hardware, and I wouldn’t compromise on my gold hardware preference for such expensive bags. So I quietly admired it but actually I was hunting other (not as rare) Celine bags. By chance I saw this pre-owned bag in burgundy pop up on Vestiaire during my morning check (ack, I check four sites every morning and night) in new near condition. With import taxes, it came to AU~2000+ which was more or less what it would have cost when brand new. I was so conflicted all day and very nearly purchased it that night but decided to just sleep on it… it wasn’t meant to be if someone else got it. In photos, the bag also comes up a bit brown and I really dislike brown. T insisted it looked brown. I looked up as many pictures as I could of this bag in this leather and it did seem to look more brown- or more red-burgundy in different lights. Overall I still really liked the colour, but it was so hard to find information about this bag except for that one blog post and a Youtube video in a language I can’t understand! Then I decided to make a last ditch effort and checked eBay. Lo and behold I found the same Austrian seller had listed the bag for much cheaper, but it was in German so it was just some luck that I found it! I asked for more pictures and even inquired about the receipt and she did actually have one! After getting an authenticator’s opinion from The Purse Forum, I committed and made my maximum bid (850 euro) on Saturday night and went to sleep. The auction ended around 6am and someone had been bidding against me in the last ten minutes but I still won it for 805 euro + 42 euro shipping. I found a 10% eBay coupon and it came down to 766.50 euro! I had been educating myself on filling out the import forms, expecting to pay taxes (never had to before but I factored it in) but it just arrived at my parcel locker without any issues! My initial impression of the bag was it was smaller than expected since I’d never seen it in person. It fits a lot and is the lightest bag I own, which is no small fete considering it beats many smaller bags. The leather is divine and the colour is a rich, deep burgundy. T still calls it brown but I actually absolutely love the colour and I just ignore him. It might be my favourite bag in terms of looks and practicality. I told myself that my collection was getting out of hand and I would sell up to three of my least used three bags, and then my work bag which would be replaced by this Celine. However, then T started going on about how his favourite bag was one I was going to sell, and then I realised I wouldn’t want to carry the Celine in the pouring rain… so I still haven’t decided to sell any yet! I will have to reassess after returning from holiday…!! I have zero regrets about this bag and have worn it every day for the last three weeks. While I haven’t exactly completed my Celine wishlist yet, I’d be pretty happy if this was my last old Celine bag. One small unfortunate thing was I had cancelled my 28 Degrees Mastercard that week so I didn’t get a good exchange rate on the purchase as I had to use a normal credit card (probably wasted about $50-60); $1282.12

March 2019 total: AU$1444.12

Other updates

Those Frame denim jeans from last month have now been hemmed so they’re an ankle jean on me. They are super comfortable but stretch out so, so, so badly! Within a few minutes they ride down and I have a baggy crotch. It’s a terrible look so I’ve only been wearing it (because so comfy!) with longer tops. This cannot compare at all to AG Jeans, which are stretchy but hold their shape without fail from morning to night. Perhaps I could size down to my usual size if I were to give their jeans another go, but I’m not skeptical whether that would explain most of the waist and crotch bagginess. I can take the jeans on and off without undoing the zip or button, for goodness sake!

I sold an old Sportsgirl plaid shirt and a Honey & Beau silk maxi dress (new with tags) on eBay. There was this occasion-wear dress store, Swish Clothing, that used to do three for $99 sale dresses during sale periods. I don’t know if they still do or if the stores still exist as I no longer live near one. I remember the one and only time I went in, I picked up three amazing full length dresses for $99 – two of them were silk. I’ve worn two to weddings but the last one looks like a bridesmaid dress (my Mum insisted up and down it didn’t when we were in store). I’ve been trying to sell it for one or two years now and someone finally made a bid and I accepted. I didn’t lose that much and still consider the other two dresses bargains. Minus shipping and fees for both: +$27.88

What I bought & Wardrobe diaries: February 2019

New in

Celine Trotteur bag (black, compact, pre-owned via eBay): I’ve loved the Trotteur bag for a long time but the small size (the size order is small, compact, medium), which I think looks the best, simply wouldn’t fit enough for me, and I don’t like the medium size nearly as much. I didn’t actually know about the compact size until recently. I jumped when I saw this from an Australian seller in near-new condition (sticker still on the back of the chevron plate), and got it authenticated before purchasing. The price is generally cheaper than what this bag typically goes for on the pre-owned market. From the receipt, the bag was purchased for $2550 in 2017. The compact size doesn’t look quite as cute the small, but I can almost fit my bare essentials, haha. The issue with the scaling of the size is not so much the dimensions from the front, but the depth is similar to the small size, and it’s really shallow so you can only really fit things on top of each other. Technically black was not one of the two colours I had always dreamed of owning the Trotteur in but I really couldn’t pass this item up considering the pre-owned market for Celine these days. The Trotteur was one of two bags at the top of my wishlist but Celine discontinued it during Phoebe’s run before I could go ahead and purchase it. I had a bit of a saga with this bag after purchasing it as it started travelling to the wrong destination during postage. Thankfully she arrived safe and sound! (I did offer $1700 but the seller declined) $1800 – $75 promotion + $14.55 shipping = 1739.55

Frame Denim Le High Skinny Triangle Jean (“Sulham” mid-wash blue, 26): I wanted some high-waisted jeans and was quite interested to try Frame Denim. I went to David Jones the other weekend to try on AG’s high-waisted “Farrah” skinnies and Frame Denim’s high-waisted skinnies. Frame Denim seems about half a size smaller (than AG) so the 26 worked better than my usual AG size 25 (last year I purged all my jeans after discovering and purchasing AG “The Legging” jeans in three colours – they’ve changed my life as I always hated jeans until then). This particular pair I purchased is not the particular style I tried, but I found these on sale from this website I’ve never used before. I noticed Frame Denim was still going for around $100 on the pre-owned market and there were very few pairs floating around. Notably, the material has a lower percentage of cotton compared to the one I tried on in store – similar to AG’s “The Legging” in cotton percentage, but the material is noticeably softer and feels more like a jegging, whereas AG “The Legging” feels really sturdy and “denim-y” (they’re so awesome!). This pair does retail for less than most of the Le High Skinny range so maybe I should have figured that out. I’m pretty happy with them though and they are really really comfortable. I would love to pick up a darker wash or black in the higher cotton content if I find I good deal. Since I have pretty short legs, I will be re-hemming these jeans straight, because I am not a raw hem or triangle hem kind of person. However I enjoyed horrifying T with them and letting him think I was going to wear them like that. $135

Equipment Shiloh silk shirt (black and white vertical pinstripe, XS): To be honest I found Order of Style because I was originally looking at the Equipment Slim Signature silk shirt IN CACTUS PRINT. I saw it pre-owned on eBay and definitely hyperventilated. If I don’t win the auction in a few days, I’ll be buying it new (hopefully the last one doesn’t sell). I did see this Shiloh shirt in a decent price and quite liked the stripes. After trying this on, I much prefer the Signature shirts. I could immediately tell I liked the cut of the Signature shirts more because they are longer. I can’t put my finger on it but they just look nicer. I probably didn’t need this shirt, especially as I will hopefully get the cactus print one, but it’s not really worth sending back especially as silk shirts are such a workhorse in my wardrobe. $108.80

February 2019 total: AU$1983.35 (!!)

Other purchases and returns

I made a significant order from The Outnet when they had their Chinese New Year 15% promotion. Their 15% off sale comes around every few months and I was waiting to make this order just in case they would have a site-wide sale for Chinese New Year. Thankfully it happened as I would have made this order on the same day if they didn’t run the promotion (although it wouldn’t have mattered since I returned everything).

Proenza Schouler Wool-blend twill coat (black, 0): This coat grew on me after I passed it on the site a few times. I wanted size 2 because I thought there was no way I would be a size 0, especially as I would want to fit chunky winter clothes underneath. I tried to find more pictures online and thought mayyybe size 0 could work since it looks oversized. I contacted The Outnet for measurements and they could not help me. I decided to just try size 0. It completely swamped me. It was not cool and slightly oversized on me. I just looked like a teepee. I think it’s because I have sloping shoulders so can’t pull off a dropped shoulder garment. Also I think it weighed about 2kg. I was quite disappointed because I had looked at it several times a day for few weeks and was going to buy it without the 15% off promotion. The fact that I had to find ways to convince myself it was nice and I spent an hour trying on winter clothes in the middle of summer to try and make it work was a clear indication that it was not for me. It had to go back (and my first experience of the returns process for The Outnet, which is completely free, was positive). Reduced from $2210 to $884, minus 15% off = $751.40

Joseph cotton-terry sweatshirt (grey, S): This looks sooo cute on the website. I sized up because XS was sold out. Unfortunately when the bow was tied up, the neckline sat uncomfortably high. I also thought the jumper itself was a bit longer but it was a bit cropped. Also why didn’t I realise earlier that of course I would not be able to tie it myself (I’m horrible at tying things). There was no question about returning this. Reduced from $185 to $86, minus 15% off = $71.30

I also made a huge order from Jigsaw, which is a brand I’ve been liking for their quality but their fit and sizing tends to run a bit large (especially for tailored items). I ordered everything in two sizes to try on in case I wanted a looser fit. I ordered the polo neck top in two sizes for me and two sizes for my Mum. I sent everything back except one polo neck for my Mum.

Jigsaw Cotton Cashmere Stripe Jumper (“Eucalyptus”, XS and S): This is 85% cotton and 15% cashmere so definitely the kind of material I love for jumpers. It felt beautiful. There was a hole on one of them at the stitching which I think was poor design on where to join the fabric. I would have kept the XS (the S one has the hole and it was too boxy anyway) except I had mistakenly thought it was a dark navy or black, but the stripes are a really dark green and I didn’t like the colour. $89

Jigsaw Silk Cotton Polo Neck Jumper (grey, XS and S for me, S and M for my Mum). This is 80% silk and 20% cotton. I found it a bit itchy actually, but my neck is extremely and annoyingly sensitive to fabrics (I call my neck the ultimate fabric snob). My Mum doesn’t find it itchy at all. Boy this runs slim though. I would have chosen S or M. Due to the material, this was a “no” from me, but my Mum liked the one in S so I bought it for her. $89

Jigsaw V-Neck Silk Mix Top (white, XS and S): I wanted a simple white sleeveless blouse to replace my polyester one that my Mum keeps telling me is too old and I should get rid of it. I don’t agree but I do dislike the quality and fabric. I can’t remember which size I tried on in this top. This was an immediate “no” because the back was a really see-through kind of jersey material that made it look so cheap (and inappropriate for work). $64

Other updates

I gave that Saba silk dress from last month to my Mum. It looks much better on her and she loves the colour. She added some darts in the back. I’m glad this piece went to a better home because the material is really lovely. But it remains in my shopping tally since I purchased it for myself.

I also gave my Mum my Equipment silk shirt dress in a pink abstract print (purchased pre-owned). This was the first piece I picked up from Equipment, in size S. It is big on me so that’s how I learnt my sizing for Equipment, haha. I brought this and an XS shirt to my Mum to see her sizing for Equipment (also XS), but she fell in love with this shirt dress so I gave it to her.

A pair of Hush Puppies heeled sandals I decided many months ago to part with (brand new) sold via eBay. I don’t know why I thought it would be practical to own black high heel sandals “just in case”. It’s doesn’t work for my problematic feet. Minus eBay and Paypal fees, +$24.48

I also decided to cull a white Cue shirt. It was purchased pre-owned and is honestly such an uncomfortable polyester material. I would never wear it on its own except becauses there is so much static. I was wearing it under jumpers but the material is really uncomfortable and stuffy. It didn’t look like it was in great condition so I didn’t put it up for sale.