I’m writing to you from the tail end of a truly perfect long weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like I had a real rest. My day job leaves me with so little time to do things on the weekdays that I feel guilty if I’m not hyper-productive on the weekends. I have two days each week to fit in all the cleaning, cooking, blogging, photographing, and studying that I can, plus I try to get in as many relaxing activities as possible, like hiking or long walks with our dog, reading novels, visiting museums, going out to eat, etc. It’s a lot of pressure trying to balance productivity and relaxation.
So I decided to turn this weekend into a miniature vacation for myself. Since Monday (today) is a holiday I took Friday off of work to give myself a four day weekend. Then I just did whatever I felt like.
Friday, I took myself out to breakfast at my favorite restaurant in our old neighborhood in DC, and then I went to the National Zoo by myself for a few hours to walk around in the sun and visit my favorite animals. After that I met up with my husband to go bird watching at this cool spot I read about in the Washington Post – we didn’t see very many birds, but we’ll go back again when the weather is warmer. On Saturday, I was home alone all day, which pretty much never happens, and I just watched romantic comedies and ate snacks literally the entire day. Yesterday I did some studying, writing, and cleaning, and watched a million episodes of The Circle on Netflix with my family. Thanks to a relaxing few days, I’m actually motivated to blog this morning and take a GRE practice test later this afternoon.
Today’s post is just a chatty one. I got some new things recently that I wanted to show you and didn’t feel like writing standalone reviews of. Are conversational type reviews okay with you guys? Okay, let’s start with some pants.
Earlier this month Everlane sent me a pair of the Staight Leg Crop pants to try out. I had them on my list for a long time (especially because they are a favorite of one of my favorites, Rebecca of PhD in Clothes) and Everlane sometimes lets affiliates pick gifted items from the “best seller” category instead of the new releases. I can see why these are best sellers. I like how thick the fabric is, and in fact I officially swapped these in for my Wide Leg Chinos as the white pants in my winter closet (I looooooooove my Wide Leg Chinos, but the fabric is just too thin to be practical for winter).
These are actually a lot more cropped than I thought they would be. I’m 5’2″ and I opted for a size 2, short. These hit well above my ankle. I think that the regular crop length would have been preferable for winter, but I see myself wearing these regularly in the spring and summer, so I’m good with the 24.5″ inseam. This color is called Sandstone, which is relatively new and is a little warmer than Bone.
Also, I got new glasses! I don’t wear my glasses much in my blog photos, but I actually do need them for working at a computer and reading, so I wear them at the office or when I’m reading or blogging at home. I’ve been experiencing a lot of eye fatigue lately, especially in my weaker eye, which has been twitching a ton in a way that feels slightly alarming. My eye doctor updated my prescription and I got a pair of glasses that I am trying to wear more often, not just when I’m at work or doing work at home. The twitching has mostly subsided, thankfully. These are from Warby Parker and the style is called Whalen.
Another outfit I wore recently with the Straight Leg Crop:
In addition to a light-colored pair of pants, I really wanted a denim jacket this spring. I think now that my work wardrobe is really solid, I can play around with making my casual wardrobe more fun. I don’t like to invest too much in the more casual side of my wardrobe because I honestly don’t go very many places besides the office and home, and it seems silly to have so many clothes that are too casual for the office and thus hardly get worn. But jackets and bags are particular weaknesses of mine, and they do so much for an outfit that a denim jacket seemed like a reasonable investment.
I posted a series of Instagram stories with all the options I was considering and got a ton of great feedback from my followers. The most common feedback? Don’t buy new. There is so much high-quality vintage and used denim out there that costs next to nothing. I eventually ended up buying a vintage Gap jacket from Poshmark for $18. It arrived last week – check it out!
I knew that I wanted a denim jacket that looked like I literally stole it from a man, so this one was perfect. It’s a beautiful true blue that I think is going to age and break in so nicely. It was also important to me to find a jacket that was 100% cotton, so this fit the bill on that front as well. This is the outfit I’m actually wearing today, by the way.
My last new acquisition for February is the Everlane Soft Cotton Crew, which was quietly released in some new spring colors a week or so ago. This sweater was gifted to me by Everlane. It’s honestly not what I would typically request from the affiliate gifting program, but I was just really drawn to this sea-foam green color, and I’ve also come to realize how much of a wardrobe workhorse a simple crew neck sweater can be. I have two of the cashmere crew neck sweaters from Everlane, and I thought a cotton one would be perfect for the transitional weather that is hopefully right around the corner. This sweater is 100% cotton, which is really important to me as I try to transition my wardrobe to mostly natural fibers. At $50, it’s also half the cost of the popular cashmere crew.
The fit and feel of the Soft Cotton Crew is very similar to that of the Cashmere Crew. I’m wearing an XS, which I requested because I like my crew neck sweaters to fit very close to the body (it’s more insulating and better for layering). I really love the detail in the stitching around the shoulders.
I also just want to take a little space in this post to shout out the amazing reader who sent me all the beautiful Elizabeth Suzann pieces I’m wearing in this post and in lots of my recent IG photos. ES is a brand that I have been talking about since the very beginning of this blog, and these items bolstered my wardrobe and upped the overall quality of my outfits in such a dramatic way. I mean, wow. I never knew pants as wonderful as the Andy Trousers existed before I had my very own pair. Thanks again for the life-changing gift, D. I am going to be wearing these pieces forever.
That’s it for new stuff. I hope you’re all faring well in these grueling middle weeks of winter. This is always the hardest time of year for me. I’m happy at least for the lengthening days and the occasional warm afternoon. It can be hard to enjoy the beautiful, spring-like days when you know that it’s a reflection of the overall warming of the planet, but I try as hard as I can to leave room for both feelings. I can lift my face to the sun and feel grateful for the mid-winter warmth while also knowing that I have work to do to battle climate change.
Not sure when my next blog post will be. I’m taking the GRE on March 1st, which means I only have one more weekend to study, so I may need to set the blog on the back-burner for a bit until that’s over. Maybe the next time you see me I’ll be dressing for Spring! (I probably will still be posting semi-regularly on IG, which is a lot less of a time commitment, so please feel free to follow me at @reneekalan if you want to keep up with my daily outfits)
This post contains affiliate links and gifted items. All opinions expressed are my own.