You guys, I’m sorry it’s been so long! August was extremely busy – I got involved in a big project at work, then took some exciting vacation time! I spent a few day at home in Chicago visiting with my family and friends still in the area, and even managed to catch a Cubs game with my dad.

Image of the scoreboard at Wrigley Field
That’s the “W” flag going up!

After that, T and I went to West Virginia for my cousin’s wedding. A good time was had by all, I believe, but I’m still recovering from the sunburn I got while whitewater rafting. (WORTH. IT.) Plus, we had views like this to enjoy:

Sunset image from Pipestem Resort State Park

All in all, I can’t really complain about August, except that it seemed to disappear. September is in full force now, even if the humidity makes it feel like it’s still summer. Now that fall is coming and I’ve been in my current job for a full year, I’m feeling more settled in.

A few weeks ago, I had a strange dream where ghosts of favored clothing past reappeared in my wardrobe. It was a weird but kind of good dream. A few days later, I got an email from my local public library letting me know that a book I requested, Overdressed, had arrived (link is to my Goodreads review). And, man, this book was difficult to read. It made me feel extremely ooky. Even more ooky than Fast Food Nation, so you know I’m not messing around.* The author wasn’t fantastic, frankly, and most of what she’s said has been researched and written about better elsewhere. I guess it was another one of those “right book/right time” situations, where I’m juggling professional and casual wardrobes, and everything seems to be falling apart at once.**

If you were curious, which you probably weren’t, there are two things that stand out in my mind as best and worst purchases, and this book got me thinking about them.

Worst would be this sailor’s top from L.L. Bean, a retailer I normally like. I’d coveted a “sailor stripe” type shirt for a long time, and finally indulged. I almost immediately regretted it – the fabric was much heavier than I thought it would be, and it stretched incredibly. I ended up with sleeves well past my wrist and a dumpy-looking torso. I was so in love with the idea of the shirt that I continued to wear it for a while, but eventually gave it away. Best would be a pair of Levi’s mid-rise boot-cut jeans, from back when they had an Eco line. I loved those jeans, and wore them into tatters. I still think about these jeans, and compare every subsequent jeans purchase to them. Which is unfortunate, because they’re no longer made, and I haven’t yet found anything as good.

I found the resolution to Overdressed pretty frustrating. Not that I expected Cline to tell me how to shop, necessarily, but the suggestions she made seemed insufficient. As appealing as the idea of being able to sew my own clothes is, frankly, I’m just not motivated enough to spend the upfront money on the machine, fabric, patterns, not to mention space in my apartment and taking time away from things I actually enjoy. Now I find myself stuck in-between; reluctant to buy from many of my usual sources, but in need of a few new items. Where do you guys love to shop when you’re looking for longevity?

* Ooky is a highly technical term, folks, not for amateurs.

** Does this ever happen to you? Where one day a button falls off a cardigan, the next the sole of your sandal tears, and then you notice holes or torn seams in something else? I feel like my clothing collaborates to all fall apart simultaneously.