What I Wanted in April

I’ve discovered the secret of wanting and buying less: just have a newborn and get zero sleep so all that you want to do in your free time is sleep (and not browse shops online or swipe mindlessly through instagram). Unfortunately (or thankfully) it’s not a lasting solution to consumerism, but it did help me spend less money on my closet.

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The only thing I really thought about buying was a straw Janessa Leone hat. I used to have the Cuyana one (reviewed here) but it didn’t wear well and the straw started to fray. But in general I find that I like the idea of hats (it’ll keep the sun off my face and look chic!) but that I don’t really wear them that often. So it’s not really worth splurging on (though I occasionally look at the RealReal for one since I have some credit there).

I did however add the picnic linen top to my closet since I was asked by Everlane if I wanted anything to review (alas I couldn’t resist the temptation after so many months of no gifted items). I was also gifted the new wedge shoes but I found them too uncomfortable so I sent them back. And I was gifted the new sneakers (“Tread by Everlane”) but found them uncomfortable too (they run small so I really needed a size 9, not my usual Everlane size of 8. And in general they’re a heavy, clunky shoe—boo). Also I have to mention they don’t look that great to me (I called them nursing shoes though the online consensus seems to be orthopedic shoes). So I plan on returning these as well.

So with some luck (and thanks to my new daughter) I was able to keep to my April resolution of only one new addition to the closet!

P.S. Though I should mention I didn’t do a great job with not spending money overall (dang it the FIRE lifestyle is so hard). Along with the Willow pump I splurged on another Augustinus Bader Cream (reviewed here) after I ran out of it this month, but this time I got the regular instead of the Rich Cream (though I’m regretting not getting the Rich Cream because I think it works better for me than the regular—anyway I’ve updated the AB Cream review with all the deets).

Everlane Review: The Mini Form Bag

After I reviewed the regular Form Bag from Everlane (here), Everlane released the mini form bag as a special invitation only limited release. Something about them trying to make it exclusive turned me off though. So I made it a point not to give it a second glance. But when they came out with a general release of them in new colors this spring, the Mini Form Bag in Bone caught my eye. I don’t normally buy light colored leather bags because I’m careless with my purses (they’re meant to be used right?). But knowing how hardy the leather on the regular Form Bag is I decided to give it a shot. And I’m so glad that I did! This bag has turned out to be one of the best small crossbody bags I’ve ever bought.

Everlane Review Mini Form Bag
Everlane Review Mini Form Bag

{Wearing: Everlane Cotton Linen V-neck (reviewed here), Elizabeth Suzann Mara Jumpsuit (reviewed here), Martiniano Glove Shoes (reviewed here), Everlane Mini Form Bag}

So just like the regular Form bag, the mini has a magnetic closure at the top, which makes getting into and out of the bag super easy. When it’s open, I can see everything in there in just a glance. This works great when you have just the right amount of stuff or less. But if you overstuff it, then the magnetic closure doesn’t close (which can be kind of annoying because it gapes wide open and now strangers can easily see all that’s in there too). But for me, this just means I have to make sure I carry only the essentials (phone, wallet, keys, some lip balms, small hand cream, and my sunglasses). Also for the most part when I carry all that, I have to make sure they’re arranged in a relatively neat manner (I can’t just throw things in willy nilly). So if you like carrying a lot of stuff, this bag is definitely not for you. But in exchange for sticking with just the essentials, you get a small sleek bag that tucks easily under your arm. And this also means the load you’re carrying is always light!

Like the regular form bag the strap is made of canvas, which I know some of you don’t care for since it makes the bag look cheaper. But in terms of functionality it’s awesome since it makes carrying the bag across the body super comfortable. Plus you can adjust the strap to the exact length that you want.

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Inside, there’s one small flat pocket, which I thought was pretty useless when I first got the bag. But now I stash my coupons in there (because ya know, FIRE) and it’s great because everytime I open the bag I see them. So I haven’t forgotten to use a coupon since using this bag (I used to forget all the time since I’m not in the habit of clipping coupons).

Everlane Review Mini Form Bag

And like I mentioned up top, the Italian leather that these bags are made out of are super durable and scratch resistant. I don’t baby my bags at all so I very rarely buy a super expensive bag in a light color. But these Everlane form bags are made out of a smooth and thick leather. Also with light colored bags, you want to be careful of color transfer, but I’ve had no issues with that with this one.

Seriously, if you guys are looking for a great light colored bag for spring, this Everlane mini form bag should be a contender! I can’t wait to rock this bag with my all neutral #stickofbutter looks this spring (lol if you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to Andrea’s post here).

An Everlane Sweater For Every Kind Of Weather

If you’re a long time reader, you probably know that I have a lot of Everlane sweaters. One of my very first reviews of Everlane was of their cashmere sweater (back in 2015!), and I’ve pretty much tried every Everlane sweater under the sun since then. Just check out my sweaters section of my collected Everlane reviews post. And I have to say that Everlane’s sweater game has just been getting better with time. I’m really loving the styles and fibers they have on offer currently, so I decided to do a little post highlighting my favorite Everlane sweater for every kind of weather (also it was an excuse for me to talk about sweater weather and be able to use these two words repeatedly). Here are my choices from warmest to coldest weather:

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70+ degrees F weather: The Cotton Linen V-neck

Ok, so I know I just got and reviewed this sweater, but I loooove this sweater made for warm weather. Of course if it’s really hot, there’s no need for a sweater. But for a city like SF where there are micro-climates, layering is key and this sweater is the perfect little cover-up for mild days. This would also work for those who easily get cold in even slightly air conditioned rooms (though if you’re working in a cold office environment you’ll probably want the cotton sweater below). This sweater also works for those who want a bit of a cover-up from the summer sun but don’t want to slather on SPF.

Everlane cotton sweater review
Everlane cotton sweater review

65 degrees F weather: The Soft Cotton Square Crew

I reviewed this here and it’s my favorite 100% cotton sweater (especially for those who are on the petite side). This sweater is made from a good thick cotton knit that’ll keep you warm but not too warm. I liked this sweater so much I got two of them (one in ochre and one in navy) and I find I use them both a lot. They’re especially useful for me in air conditioned environments.

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60 degrees F weather: The Waffle-Knit Square Cashmere Crew

When the temperatures start to dip, I look forward to breaking out my cashmere sweaters. And my favorite cashmere sweater from Everlane is the waffle knit square crew (reviewed here). I have two of these as well: one in navy from 2017 and one in oatmeal from 2018. The cashmere of these sweaters feel more substantial and quality than those of the $100 cashmere sweaters and I think it’s definitely worth the $55 price difference between the two sweaters. Also the waffle knit texture just adds more interest to every outfit you wear it with. I also love the split side detail (for easy french tucking) and the split sleeve detail. If you prefer more of a 90’s sweater look, the cashmere rib round crew (reviewed here) is also a great textured cashmere sweater.

Everlane Review Alpaca Sweater
Everlane Review Alpaca Sweater

55 degrees F weather: The Oversized Alpaca Crew

Even though I disliked the mix of nylon with the alpaca in this sweater (which I talked about in my review of it here), I kind of get it because 1) 100% alpaca is darn expensive and 2) 100% alpaca is hot as heck. Having tried one from Lauren Manoogian, a thick 100% alpaca knit is too hot for California’s winters and probably too hot to wear indoors. So this makes the Everlane alpaca blend sweater the perfect one for cold weather (though I’m sure for really cold and or/windy weather you’re going to want to layer this with a coat or jacket) without being too hot.

Anyway as we head into spring and then summer, sweaters will probably not be on your mind. But I felt like since Everlane’s sweater selection is so good right now, I would be remiss not to take the opportunity to write a post like this. Anyone else have multiple Everlane sweaters? About 90% of all my sweaters are Everlane and it seems like they’re getting better and better every year!

Cuyana Review: Oversized Alpaca Sweater

After reviewing my experience with Lauren Manoogian’s 100% alpaca sweater (my first time trying anything 100% alpaca) a lot of readers recommended I try Cuyana’s 100% alpaca oversized sweater. Side note: if you want to learn all the benefits of alpaca over wool or cashmere, you can find it in my Everlane alpaca review (which was my first time trying anything made with alpaca though it’s not 100% alpaca). But since I had just declared my new year’s resolution that I would only add one item to my closet a month (and also because I was getting more and more pregnant) I decided not to buy this. Luckily I was able to arrange a clothing swap with a fellow ethical clothing enthusiast in my neighborhood. So I was able to try it without buying it (I also got to try out her Vetta sweater for a month which I loved! I reviewed that here).

The version of the Cuyana alpaca sweater that she had was a limited edition red one that also came in the petite size, which is what I’m wearing here. They weren’t joking about it being oversized. I’m 8+ months pregnant and the petite size was just right, so I can imagine how big the normal sizes are (and actually that’s one of the common comments about this alpaca sweater that I’ve heard from people who’ve bought it). There are only two size options XS/S and M/L and I think even the XS/S would be a bit too large for my 5’4” frame. The petite would work best for me, though unfortunately they don’t make that size anymore (though you can sometimes find it on the RealReal here).

Cuyana alpaca reivew
 

And how is the alpaca quality? The Cuyana alpaca sweater is much thinner than the alpaca sweater I tried from Lauren Manoogian. But that is actually a good thing, especially for California, since alpaca fibers are so warm to begin with. The Cuyana alpaca sweater will definitely keep you toasty even though it is short sleeved and looks more like a top than a sweater. Like the Lauren Manoogian sweater, there’s no itch to alpaca fibers and it’s super lightweight but keeps you extra warm.

I would consider this sweater if it came in the petite size in one of the neutral colors. But seeing as how big the XS/S size is, it’s not something I would buy right now (also since spring is right around the corner so I’m going to hold off on purchasing any cold weather clothing now). But if you’re on the tall side, live in a cold climate and are looking for a warm and high quality 100% alpaca sweater I would highly recommend considering adding this to your winter wardrobe.