"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simply Navy

Chalk Stripe Overcoat
Black Fleece Clearance Sale
 If you were ever interested in having a look at Brooks Brothers Black Fleece now is the time.  They are having a massive sale and if I am correct it is the biggest of the year.
I've not shopped Black Fleece myself but my discerning friend xoxo recommends the brand.  She has a great eye for design, quality and wardrobe investments, so if she likes something I tend to sit up and pay attention.
I have a shopping list for the year which I am determined to stick to despite my silly tendencies to get carried away shopping sales or new arrivals.   I then end up returning foolish choices or items that don't fit into my current wardrobe.
I won't get into the details of my list quite yet as these are early days, and to be honest I'm not sure if I should be dismayed or delighted to notice that I've found nearly half of the items on my list of ten.  The thing is this: it's a great time of year to buy list-items as the sales are amazing.  We might be able to find classic, quality pieces that are otherwise not affordable, and case in point are these items from Black Fleece.
Too often sale-shopping ahead of the next season doesn't pan out so well because by the time the next season arrives, those items you purchased may not hold the same appeal: you might find something better or "more perfect".
Black Fleece Wool and Cashmere V Neck Dress
 I guess a solution might be to buy the most perfect sale pieces you can find: great fabrics, simple cuts and basic colours which fit into your seasonal wardrobes.
Brooks Brothers Loafer Pump
 Navy is a great colour choice, it couldn't be simpler to wear.  It fits into a spring wardrobe as well as fall and early winter, and if you live in a warmer climate you can make it the basic anchor of your year-round wardrobe.
Tartan Oxford Button-Down Shirt in Black and Navy
Black Fleece, Made in the USA
 Navy is the anchor of my spring and summer wardrobe and looking ahead to the new season, and keeping my list in mind, I am saving my money for a new navy handbag.
The navy version of my winter bag (which you can see in this post) is number one on my list.  Between setting aside some money weekly and an early summer birthday I'm planning to add in this classic navy handbag, it's the perfect size and weight for my everyday life.

I have to say that I am enjoying the planning and saving aspect of having a list for the year.  It is stopping me from shopping sales willy-nilly though it hasn't stopped me from picking up a couple of basic pieces.   As I cross things off the list I note the cost (each category has a budget) and it will be interesting to see the money saved by sale shopping when the list is complete.  So far I am over-budget on one category and under-budget on another.  It is strangely satisfying though also dismaying because it helps me see the bigger picture of not just my wardrobe but my shopping habits as well.

 I should note that because I have a couple of big items on the list it was essential to have the list organized for the year, this way the bigger expenses could be saved for.  This also allows me to see when costs run over, then the correction needs to happen in another category, much like budgeting for a household or business.

For more musings on the list concept please go see my friend WMM's post today.  She discusses her spring list and offers links to Fabulous Florida Mommy's most excellent tips on shopping a list per season.

Can you guess which items I might have picked up at the Black Fleece sale?
Have a great Saturday night.
xoxDani

50 comments:

  1. Navy just suits me so much better than black anytime of the year. I just remember my mother saying "you are too young for black, go for navy" when I was a teen. Now I just wish to find shorts, from the south they are a necessity, upon wearing I do not wish I was a teen. It always makes my list for the summer but I am never successful. Betting you bought the dress. Maybe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue Booby your mother was right as navy is so much less harsh though I still like a black dress for going out at night I have to say.

      Delete
  2. I think that wool and cashmere dress looks like you'd love it. I have a BB rewards card from replenishing Mr Lane's closet so I should check the sale out; I don't really need fall/winter things though so-- I hear you FFM--I should concentrate on making a spring list. Your bag in navy would be divine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lane it looks like something I'd put on in the morning and wear an apron over doesn't it! Really my look is: housemaid!
      I have visited the bag in navy and it is a real dark navy, it is the perfect size bag in every way. It's been so nice to have one bag for the winter, it has kept me much more organized, I'd like the same for spring and summer.

      Delete
  3. No list for me this year, I need to save up the rest of the money for a car, so it'll be autumn before I can even think of looking at fripperies and I've got a horrible suspicion that the heating is well and truly on its last legs too, it's conking out all the time. Hmm, I'm thinking the coat and the dress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tabs you're right coat and dress but also those navy loafers. They are perfect for wearing around the house and walking downtown, quite plain compared to my Chie's but some days that's what I feel like wearing.
      Do you have to save for a car, that's a big expense. If I had personal car expenses I wouldn't be adding in wardrobe items this year either, it's a frightful lot of money. And the heating too! We need to send around the plate, I had to buy a new furnace 7 years ago and it was big ticket.

      Delete
    2. Yes it's a massive daunting expense, urgh, And the heating oy! We are wearing dressing gowns all day just now on top of our clothes!

      Delete
  4. I like your choices Dani - no list for me yet - will probably start thinking of mine in late February. I do know that I really don't need anything for summer clothes-wise - I treated myself too well last year! What I could use is a nice structured bag - my lovely leather bag is too big and very hobo-esque - I would like a smaller bag for sure. Other than that, not really sure! I am going to go visit the site however, you have me curious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi WMM, bags are so important, shoes too. I definitely appreciate the streamlined approach to bags now that I have my brown LV, to just use one all the time makes me much less crazy.

      Delete
  5. I think you picked up the pretty v neck dress and the loafers. At least that's what I would have done. I didn't know Brooks Bros had another brand, I'll check it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue yes I did but that coat as well, I've loved it since I laid eyes on it. I just donated a bunch of my coats to charity so I have loads of room in my coat closet.
      Yes this is the line designed by Thom Browne who dressed Michelle Obama for the Inauguration!

      Delete
  6. Can you explain the Black Fleece sizing? I looked for a size chart on the site, but must have overlooked it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, unfortunately the sizing guide doesn't consistently show up on each item but if you click on THIS ITEM you should see the link for it right above where you select the size. HTH

      Delete
    2. Susan xoxo is spot on and I had a heck of a time finding the size charts when I was first looking as well. It is not on the page for each item and then when it is you can barely see it, looks like xoxo gave you a link to it though, thanks xoxo!

      Delete
  7. Nice choices, Dani. I really got into navy in 2012 and have that same coat in my cart along with quite a few things, more than $3,000 of things eeks, for about a week now. I can't of course but it's awfully tempting. I've tried BB shoes and bags and they are beautiful. Black Fleece pieces are classic with excellent quality fabrics and construction. Funny, that's how I used to feel about J.Crew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tiffany Rose, yes even with this massive sale I went over-budget on this category due to the prices, but not by too much so I can make it up somewhere else. I love the look of the navy outfit, coat dress and shoes and I think I'll wear it loads. Well it sounds like you'll have to edit your cart but what do you think you'll end up with?
      Good to know about the BB shoes, thanks!

      Delete
  8. Dani, I hope you picked up the sweater dress because it is really nice. I was so tempted to buy it when I was in the U.S. because it is really soft but I wasn't sure I could do it with my wool-sensitive skin. I am still wearing a layer under cashmere and my eczema is the worst it has ever been so my skin is very uncomfortable these days. Anyway, it is a beautiful dress that I think it will be perfect for you. It also came in a charcoal color but the navy is prettier IMO.

    Now is the time when Black Fleece, and regular Brooks Brothers for that matter, begins consistent discounts on FW items. The best I've seen is 70% off Black Fleece but that is only select items and sizes go fast so I think this is as good as it gets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My son has had eczema and we've tried many different creams over the years. Finally we found a cream that worked. It's called Atrac-Tain Cream and is manufactured by Coloplast. Hope this helps.

      Delete
    2. xoxo - cashmere bothers me too, I have to wear t shirts under any kind of wool.

      Delete
    3. xoxo thanks for letting me know about the dress, I am looking forward to seeing it! As you know wool and cashmere don't bother me at all, I need to wear things like that but I can understand skin problems, I break out in hives if I don't wear fabrics that breathe. Eczema is so painful and I hope yours resolves soon. Have you tried the cream that Marsha recommends?

      Delete
    4. Marsha, thank you for the recommendation. I've never tried that cream and I'm going to look for it now.

      Delete
    5. It came as a sample to my husband's office and then we also purchased it at Rexall's. Finally a cream that works. If you can't find it I can send one to you.

      Delete
    6. I happened to be near Shopper's Drug Mart today and they had it so I picked up a tube. I started using it right away, it does feel different. Thank you again for telling me about it for your incredibly kind offer to send me a tube, that is very sweet. Now, I sure hope it works!

      Delete
  9. No list for me. I do find if I shop too early for the season, I regret it, and feel tired of it hanging in my closet months ahead of time. I really don't think I need much for this Spring/Summer at all. I have a feeling you picked the dress with coat? Everything is very nice, but that's my guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy good guess though I also added in the loafers, at $70 if they are good ones they will be an affordable shoe for wearing during the day. I wonder if I'll regret it, I like to organize everything ahead of time but then sometimes I am less than pleased when the time rolls around. I'm trying to buy fewer things this year and just make them quite basic and really wearable, well we'll see if it works out.

      Delete
  10. Nothing on my list yet...it will be retirement wardrobing so I think it may be minimalist!
    Shoes and bags are always on my radar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hostess, with a good bag and shoes every outfit looks so much better. Yes you'll be adjusting your wardrobe and I know you excel at minimalist!

      Delete
  11. I've looked at the site and drooled as I always like what XOXO shares with us. The Black Fleece line is beautiful and might I add expensive. Can't believe the sale section. I also liked the navy and grey patch pocket blazer.
    I haven't started a list but I did an order from Brora last week. The lace jumper in camel,lace scarf and hat.
    I say you ordered it all!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marsha, well not quite all of it. Ah the Brora sale is another good one! I love that lace jumper!

      Delete
  12. I can see all of these on you. Beautiful and elegant :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gigi. Hopefully the fit will work out and I won't have to return everything.

      Delete
  13. I think it's bad because you will make another list soon ;-).
    The dress and loafers would suit you perfectly but if I have to chose one I say the dress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ema you know me well! We'll see how it goes! Well you know I like to "outfit-shop" especially a coat dress combination, I get lots of wear out of those.

      Delete
  14. I forgot to say that I don't know if it is a cery good idea to have the same bag in two colors, especially a Vuitton? I know you love but dark brown and navy aren't THAT different and maybe you will tire of it? But I understand the attraction of a navy bag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ema I know what you mean about the same bag-two colours. It's just such a perfect bag, the size, weight, interior, the leather is so sturdy and the straps are perfect. I have 5 summer bags I'm thinking of selling off as well (including my Tillary totes, which compared to my LV bag are SO HEAVY).
      The navy of the LV is a perfect dark navy too without royal blue undertones. I will keep this in mind however and as you know I always appreciate your 2cents!

      Delete
    2. Dani,
      I was thinking the same thing as Ema was. The navy bag is beautiful, but I don't think of it as Spring/Summer, at least in Los Angeles. I know your climate is different, so perhaps it will work?

      Delete
    3. Kathy good point. I think in the spring that navy bag would be gorgeous here, it is often cold outside when I want to start wearing colours that don't read "winter" so navy fits in well (which is why I wanted some warmer navy pieces like the BB Black Fleece stuff). But I wonder if the bag would be too dark in summer, it is quite dark navy in person too.
      I'll think about it, it's definitely a major purchase and I'll kick myself if I don't get the use out of it!

      Delete
    4. Hi Dani, I was thinking the same thing regarding both colour (too dark for summer?) and style. That said, maybe you have figured out the perfect formula for yourself! I always waver between two is better vs just because I like one doesn't mean I'll like the second! You often shop in multiples, it seems (e.g. Brora), so maybe this is a good strategy for you.

      You seem to be quite content when you hit upon the right thing, and until then you are "searching." This is related to the conversation below about perfectionism, knowing when effort is worthwhile and that you'll hit a point of satisfaction vs when it is chasing discontentment, etc.

      All that said, I think you might find that navy a little dark for the Ontario summers. But perhaps you'll find yourself using a straw bag (you have some nice ones, right?) for the peak of summer. I don't know about you, but I find that I naturally tend toward bags in lighter, more casual, materials (straw, canvas) in those peak summer months.

      One more thing regarding shopping, lists, etc. I really recommend the blog, zerowastehome. The author, Béa, is an interesting person, I think. What she's done with her home is extreme and admirable, and I think many of us could take a page from her book. Most interesting to me, perhaps, is that she gets by on an extremely minimal wardrobe, and always looks really great. She likes fashion, she has fun with it, but she doesn't shop much. I think it's good food for thought, in terms of finding that "enough" point and still getting all those good benefits of caring about dress (looking appropriate, clothes that fit, etc.). I don't want to go as minimal as her, but I do think there is a lot to be inspired by there.

      Whew, that was an unintentionally long comment!

      Delete
    5. Thanks Abby, I'm late to read your comment but it is appreciated. I will definitely be checking out Bea, she sounds interesting!
      This post caused me pause. I ended up cancelling the entire Black Fleece order and taking the navy LV bag off of the list. It is too dark for summer, and I realized I was buying these items shown in the post to match the bag I had put on the list which I didn't yet even have. Silly.
      I also realized that I really need a good black handbag for going out in the evening. I wanted something structured and a decent size for the types of events we go to (it couldn't be a clutch, too small and hard to hold). The black bag was on my list but with a lower budget, by taking the LV off I was able to frre up the funds to buy an investment black handbag, more on that in an upcoming post!

      Delete
  15. LISTED Dani, no-go on the fooler button-down, I believe you have given those up, more or less. Regarding the purse, I think it depends on lifestyle, the kind of places you go and what you do with it. As you know, in addition to a good bag, between May and August I need something that can go to the islands, festivals, cottaging etc. and I would not be able to do that in comfort with an LV. Maybe keep one of the totes you have for very informal or wet days etc. But that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GF, and doesn't Kathy make a good point about the LV not being very summer. This is why I like bringing these things up in this forum, I always re-think things I had thought I was set on. They are silly things but I want to make the right decisions.
      I have a straw bag that's a good one for summer, and truth be told I don't want to spend the $$$ on a bag that will get used ONE short season (spring). Might have to revisit that list.

      Delete
  16. Such pretty and classic items from BB. I have never seen the Black Fleece line in person, but it looks amazing. Most of it is beyond my lifestyle and budget, but sales can be tempting. I really like the navy dress-but I have a navy dress collection-about 4 of them that are rarely worn, adding another makes no sense.
    Your LV bag is gorgeous, but agree with Ema that you might tire of the shape and having 2 of the same bags over time. Perhaps there is another shape in the collection that is worth considering so you have some variety. I'm sure you'll make the perfect decision, and fortunately you have plenty of time to contemplate your options.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie it is definitely beyond my budget at full price. If these items work out I may be keeping my eyes open to their yearly sale.
      Yes I have lots of time don't I!

      Delete
  17. Hi Dani, this is my third try at commenting. I don't think it's your platform, I think it's our new computer!!! Aaargh!

    My comment will be less eloquent but boils down to this. Shopping (as conceived in our consumerist society) is predicated on unhappiness. I don't think it's a coincidence that our favorite blogs have been talking about the two subjects--shopping and happiness--in tandem.

    I've come to a point, I think, that I'm feeling a bit disgusted with incessant consumerism. I agree with Tabitha that shopping is a black hole for the soul. So for me: no lists. They just keep me wanting, seeking the next thing.

    I'd answer Ema's questions thusly: this year, I'm looking to be more like Janet. I do think she's on to something.

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy, I've been having trouble with blogger comments these last two weeks, I'm not getting any alerts that there are comments on my blog, I can't seem to fix it. So it may not be your computer!

      You make a good point about the list, I'm going to think on this while I scrub my kitchen down this afternoon.
      As you know I am a bit of a perfectionist which sometimes works for evil and not good. Always looking for the "more perfect thing" is definitely perfectionism working in evil ways. I thought the list would help me to contain that but maybe it will actually feed it?
      I think I do understand the good feeling of having less (like Janet), when I look in my closet now there isn't much in there, it's all of my Brora stuff I wear all winter, things that weren't cheap but are well made and comfortable. I don't want more things in that category as I feel I have the "right" things for me. Is that winter wardrobe (which I built up over 3 years and I see as complete) the perfectionist tendency which has done some good for my state of mind and just my everyday life?
      I agree that shopping can be a black soul-sucking hole, but I still think that thoughtfully buying the right things can improve life in small ways that bolster us to do the things which actually do matter: raising our families, our work, being with friends, taking care of aging parents etc.
      Definitely worth thinking about and thanks for your comment, I always find you eloquent!

      Delete
  18. Dani - Have you considered the Damier Azur pattern in LV? It's very Spring/Summer, but still has the shape you love, even lighter weight than the leather, and it's very classic - will last forever. Not sure it's your style, but I think it would go work well for you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Dani, I like your Black Fleece picks. I must say that your blog seems to be a big help to you - I can see that even in the course of this run of comments you are re-thinking some of your ideas etc. That's pretty important when you are thinking of spending this much money on quality items, even at sale prices!
    I'm not really spending at all right now, just enjoying the eye candy on all my favourite blogs!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Dani,
    Thanks for sharing your picks. I rarely think about Brooks Brothers but there are some great looking pieces at amazing prices. The Emerson Fry winter clearance sale just started. I haven't bought anything from them yet,but I like the line and have been following them for several seasons. The pieces tend to look very modern. There are a few nice looking winter coats and many other goodies.

    http://shop.emersonfry.com/Fall-2012-Season-End-Sale?utm_source=Monster+Sale+-+Early+Access&utm_campaign=d6152f406c-MonsterSale1.28.13.EA&utm_medium=email

    ReplyDelete
  21. I went to brunch and shopping with friends yesterday and was most pleased with my list. It helped a great deal. I did buy something, something that was on the list. I resisted many other things. I tried on a lot though, I don't shop in person much and having the opportunity to try a designer and get a feel for sizing is nice.

    I agree with the anon above that it could simply fuel the desire to buy more things if you have a list to conquer. I view it from the opposite perspective. I buy MUCH less when I have a list. I feel in better control of my closet and I don't purchase things I already have (a failing many of us have, easily confirmed by all the multiples in our closets). I'm going to buy things because I need them, they feel a hole in my wardrobe, they replace something that is worn or no longer fits/works for me. I love the list idea.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like your thoughts on navy, Dani - it might be the only way to wean myself off the black. I can imagine you lounging around in those pintuck shorts, drinking wine and saying "To hell with the housework!" KIDDING! Ha!

    ReplyDelete