I haven’t posted much this past week since I’ve been busy having multiple existential crises per day, but I’m here today to show that I was indeed wearing clothes the entire time, and some of them were pretty cute.
I didn’t manage to get a photo of my two favorite outfits of the week because work was really busy and I didn’t have time to sneak off into the ladies room to snap my usual pic, but given that I wear the same 10-ish outfits over and over again, I’m sure you’ll be seeing those soon.
Stick around to the end of the post to see my new jeans and how they relate to the brand that pitched me and then up and ghosted.
Wearing Everlane Oversized Blazer, Plaid ($175, wearing size 0, gifted), Everlane Charmeuse Silk Cami, French Blue (no longer available, similar here in white), VETTA Capsule Peg Pant (currently sold out, similar here ., H&M Pumps (old, similar here).
Ugh. I loved this outfit so much. I knew that this cami was going to look great with the oversized blazer and the high waisted pants, and I think it’s going to be even more versatile come summer when I don’t have to wear an additional layer over the top of it. The straps are adjustable, so I can bring the v-neck up to make it work appropriate, or lower it down a little for date night.
Wearing Madewell Silk Pocket Blouse (thrifted, similar here), Everlane High Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans, Black ($68, wearing size 26).
This outfit was actually from over a week ago, but it’s a favorite iteration of my personal uniform, so I wanted to share it. This is actually the second of this exact blouse that I’ve owned. I found the first one in a consignment shop in DC years ago, and wore and abused it so often that it literally fell apart. The second one, I found on Poshmark by searching “silk pocket blouse” and then refining the results by brand (Madewell), color (white), and size (S, XS). I found at least five of them, and picked the one that was in the best condition for the best price.
I do most of my shopping on Poshmark, and I’ve been really successful with this method of making my search specific enough to find the exact item that I’m looking for. This works well for big, mid-range brands like Madewell or J.Crew or Banana Republic that have popular styles with identifiable names. I’ve even had a good amount of luck using it to find specific Everlane items (see below re: pants).
If you’ve never used Poshmark before, you can get $5 by signing up with my invite code, RKALAN.
Wearing Loyale Studio Tee, Style No. 1, Black ($68, wearing size XS, gifted, ethically made in a worker-owned co-op in North Carolina), Everlane High Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans, Everlane Day Boots, Black ($225, wearing size 6, gifted).
Black on black is another uniform that I wear frequently. It’s simple, chic, and lends itself well to a small wardrobe. I find that when you wear all black all the time, people don’t really notice the individual items as much, and it’s easier to “get away with” wearing the same shirt or pants or dress (or heck, entire outfit) multiple times in one week. I put “get away with” in quotes because I’m really past that point of worrying that someone will notice or judge me for wearing the same item of clothing several times in a week. In fact, now that I’m a blogger, I kind of hope they will notice so that I have an excuse to launch into my little diatribe about why we should be washing our clothing less frequently – short version below, long version here.
I think that most of us are afflicted with this deep-seated fear that people will think we are dirty if we don’t put a significant stretch of time between one wear and the next, but in reality, most of us are not dirty enough to warrant needing to wash every single item of clothing after every single wear (underwear notwithstanding, obviously), and it’s much better for the environment, in terms of both water/energy usage and micro-plastic pollution, to get as many wears out of each item as possible before washing. I keep my clothes fresh in between washes by hanging them up right away, using a mini steamer, and keeping a lint roller on hand at all times (I have two animals so this is non-negotiable).
Wearing Tradlands Finch Flannel ($137, wearing size XS, gifted), Everlane High Rise Skinny Ankle Jeans, Mid Blue ($68, wearing size 26, thrifted).
Check out those fresh roots! It’s hard to believe it’s already been six weeks with my platinum hair, but here we are. My root appointment took 3 hours and was WAY more expensive than I thought it would be, by the way, so that’s something I’ll need to figure out how to handle better six weeks from now.
I’m wearing this outfit today to hang out around the house, write, and meal-prep (a new thing we are trying via Workweek Lunch after I had a food-related meltdown earlier this week). I pretty much always reach for my Tradlands Flannel on days I’m going to be doing stuff around the house, and now that I’m wearing blue again, I thought pairing it with my blue jeans would be a good look.
So. These jeans. I bought them used on Poshmark last week (via the method described above) because my old Gap pair from forever ago are just about ready for death. Not only are they basically threadbare, especially between the legs where my thighs rub together, they’re also starting to do that thing where the stretched out elastic is visible all over. Not a good look, and one of the reasons I will never buy stretchy jeans again.
Knowing that they, my only pair of blue jeans, are basically no longer wearable, I was elated to have received a pitch from a brand that asked if I’d like to review a pair of their jeans for my followers. I hadn’t heard of them before, so I did a little research and decided that a. I liked their jeans, and b. they were fairly transparent about their ethics. A few other bloggers I admire had also written about this brand, so I felt pretty good about agreeing to the review.
I said yes, requested a specific product, asked a few clarifying questions about sustainability practices and worker compensation in their factories, and waited. And waited some more. After a week and a half, I sent a follow-up email, checking in. Crickets.
I’d had a gnawing feeling from the beginning that this brand didn’t realize that I deleted my Instagram account. Despite the fact that they sent their email to me over two weeks after I deleted it, I still had this fear that they would discover I was no longer on Instagram and ghost me. Normally, these anxieties are totally unfounded and they never play out in the worst-case-scenario way that I imagine them in my head. But this time, that’s exactly what happened. This brand asked me to work with them, decided against it for one reason or another, and instead of writing me back to let me know, they just ignored me, presumably for forever.
This isn’t the first time that a brand has ghosted me – I’ve had several brands reach out to me and then stop responding to my emails after I asked clarifying questions or let them know that I was going to photograph the product in my own style as opposed to following their extremely rigid blogger guidelines. I let those roll off my back and moved on, but this one felt different. It was embarrassing. It reinforced my fear that I can’t be a successful fashion blogger if I’m not on Instagram, and that this brand partnership drought is only going to get worse. Even though my page views are up and my sales are higher than ever, if I’m not on social, I’m basically worthless.
All that is to say, this has been kind of a weird transition. I don’t think that this brand is terrible just because their marketing manager ghosted me (and I’d probably buy the jeans I picked out anyway, if I had the cash), but I do think that the era of constantly-flowing free stuff is probably over. That’s fine. In fact, it’s probably really good for me. The intent of this blog is to demonstrate how you can do more with less, and free stuff all the time doesn’t exactly vibe with that message. I think that my longstanding brand partnerships will remain mostly unchanged, so there will be some gifted stuff appearing here occasionally, but probably you’re in for a lot of outfit repeating and Poshmark finds. Hope that’s okay with you guys.
WHAT I’M READING
I’m not sure if anyone actually cares what I’m reading, but posting about it here helps keep me accountable for my 52-book reading goal for 2019. I’m still working through Rosewater by Tade Thompson, which I have as an audio book, and I’m also reading Swing Time by Zadie Smith, which was finally available as an e-book through my local library (sometimes you have so wait SO LONG for new and new-ish fiction). Zadie Smith has such a pleasant cadence to her writing – it’s easy to just sit with her books for hours and hours. I think she also has a new collection of essays out that I’m going to add to my Goodreads list.
Lastly, like to recommend two works of short fiction I read this week that are both available online for free. The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees, by E. Lily Yu, and Day of the Builders, by Kristine Ong Muslim. These are two science fiction short stories that are weird and wonderful and written by women of color. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
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19 thoughts on “Outfit Roundup, New Jeans, and the Brand That Ghosted Me”
Sigh, I know all too well that feeling of “do I even matter if I’m not on Instagram?” but, like you, I can normally talk myself down. Blogging in the traditional sense is much less stressful for me because I’m so long winded and always have a lot to say. Instagram just isn’t good for that. Still, I know with certainty I’ve lost opportunities because now I’m a nobody on the gram. It’s also weird to have comparatively less chatter. Have you noticed that, too? I had gotten so used to lots of comments and conversations rolling in all day and now it’s much quieter. I guess that’s a good thing, but it’s a hard adjustment.
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Yes, definitely! I’m also really, really bad at responding to blog comments, so even though people still “engage” with my work here, I don’t engage back as much.
I do think you have to be on the gram if you want constantly-flowing free stuff; however I respect you SO MUCH for deciding that’s not what you want. Please don’t be discouraged. I wish more bloggers would show outfit repeats and secondhand finds.
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Hi Renée, I have been really enjoying your longer form posts. I did follow you on Instagram as well but I think the nature of Instagram is that it’s a quick scroll, visual check in and I much prefer a deeper, more nuanced conversation than that. I’m also all for outfit repeats cos that’s real life!
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I love your new cami and the silk blouse. Both are stunning! Whenever I read your posts, I wish we had massive thrift stores or a Poshmark substitute here in the Netherlands. Oh well!
And I just wanted to add that after you deleted your Instagram, I had an epiphany of sorts and I disabled mine. Thank you for writing openly about your choices!
I loved White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Now I’ve to check out Swing Time.
Have a good week!
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I love some thrifted clothing so I’m thrilled about more Poshmark finds. I really like how your wardrobe is so cohesive!
Well if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been on IG for yeeeears and never achieved the flow of free stuff. So you accomplished a lot in a short amount of time! Props.
I feel like that is a CRIME honestly – you have always been one of my biggest sources of inspiration! You are so talented and authentic and I enjoy your account so much!
Ooh, I just finished Rosewater and loved it. What do you think so far??
Really enjoying it! The audio version is great! My husband is reading it too, so we’ve been having fun talking about it.
I love all of these outfits!
A question: you previously posted about getting out of debt and budgeting- how do you factor in your new platinum hair? I had (dyed) red hair for years, and recently stopped because the upkeep was just too much money. I switched to more natural brown with red undertones that requires much less upkeep and i can go longer between salon visits. I’d love an updated money post!
Hi Samantha! That’s a really great question, but I’m afraid I have a disappointing answer: my hair is really, really expensive, and there isn’t a good way to do platinum on a budget without wrecking your hair. I try to save money in other areas, like not really buying clothes or makeup, not going out for lunch or dinner and drinking at home instead of going to happy hour. I’ve also been trying to ramp up the income I make from this blog (thank you if you’ve ever bought anything from an affiliate link!) so I do have a little bit of extra money coming in now. It’s tough, and even though I wrote that post about wanting to get out a debt, I’m hardly perfect. My hair is something that’s become really important to me, so I want to figure out how to keep it up, however I have to do it. I hope to post more about finance stuff soon, but it’s a scary topic to tackle, so I appreciate your patience!
That’s great! I think a post about how to justify the expense by cutting back other places would be awesome! I definitely don’t think you should give up your hair if it’s something you love. People always say those are things you should cut out when trying to eliminate debt, but i don’t think we should deprive ourselves of things that bring us joy.
One thing that I’ve found that helped with budgeting on my hair is that I do a combo of babylights/balayage/ombre and I’ve gone as long as half a year before getting it done again with regular blue/purple shampoo. If you don’t mind the melted roots look I think it’s worth going for! 🙂
I’m really enjoying reading the longer posts on your blog! 😊
Thank you so much!
LOOKING GOOD! So glad you’re still rocking you black ballet tee 🙂
After Instagram and Facebook being down yesterday (on top of the larger issues the platform has been having with bloggers and engagement) I think it’s really fine to not hustle so hard on Instagram anymore. Figure out where your strengths are and focus your energy there!
“The intent of this blog is to demonstrate how you can do more with less, and free stuff all the time doesn’t exactly vibe with that message. I think that my longstanding brand partnerships will remain mostly unchanged, so there will be some gifted stuff appearing here occasionally, but probably you’re in for a lot of outfit repeating and Poshmark finds. Hope that’s okay with you guys.”
Oh my gosh, YES IT’S TOTALLY OK WITH ME. I just discovered your blog–I’m never on Instagram–and I’ll be back! (Picture Terminator thumbs up.)
Also, and I’m not trying to throw shade, I think it’s a good thing that you (and other bloggers) are stepping away from Instagram and the endless flow of free stuff. Because, to be honest, it’s not very relatable and it’s not even very inspiring. I mean, I’m not a blogger! I repeat outfits! I want to see how other people style things in new ways! It’s far more helpful for me to see tweaks to repeat outfits (aka this is how I style the same item I’ve had for ages to make it feel fun and exciting again) than to see a parade of new items. (I can’t be the only one who thinks this, right??) It’s irksome because I came into the ethical fashion space to consume LESS and better, and so much of what I see on the ‘gram just seems like a green-washed version of mainstream fashion’s “here’s the new thing I’m wearing, don’t you want it?”
Sorry this turned into kind of a rant! (I promise I’m not a hater.) In short, I’m loving your perspective and I look forward to reading more of your stuff!