On cataloging purchases

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When I first started this blog in 2011, it was an experiment on cataloging my consumption habits and a lame attempt I had at just talking about random things that inspired me. Somehow or other, Assembled Hazardly evolved into a "style blog" of some sort, even though it was never really my intention. People and fellow bloggers who have met me can attest to two things: I'm probably not the most fashionable person in the world, and I have more food-related/household junk than clothing.

I talk about clothes because I like clothes. But then again, I like clothing as much as I like ceramics and pottery and artisan fish sauce and alpaca rugs and handmade planters - what I buy somehow reflects my  pretentious tastes and personality. I like clothing as much as much as I like liquor and books and music and movies but nobody really wants to hear about that. No one really wants to read about me waxing lyrical about the newest Foxygen album or the greatness of the second season of 'The West Wing' or how incredibly dull Nicholas Sparks' books are (I've only ever read one book and it made my brains bleed through my ears). No one (at least none that read my blog) is interested in my concoctions of brain-cell killing mixed-drinks or microbrews or how I meticulously plan my dog's raw food menu.

The posts that have received the most comments and traction on this blog have been the ones where I talk about personal finances, shopping habits and occasionally, ones where I launch into an existentialist diatribe. I guess I post on average once every two months because I really have nothing to say about style or fashion that hasn't already been said. I don't have any constructive advice on how one should dress because at the end of the day, I can barely dress myself and I've realized that it's tremendously obtuse to tell someone where and how they should shop based on some idiotic notion that only certain brands or labels or aesthetics are good enough. I mean, my collection of severely overpriced clothing have obviously not survived the chopping block and/or lasted any longer than things that cost half the price, so why should I think I'm authority on getting dressed? If someone wants to looks like a 90s grunge version of Pippi Longstocking, they're probably going to be able to shop more responsibly than someone who is into the whole Yohji/Sander aesthetic, minimalist or not.

I feel there is some need, after all my hoity-toity spiel about consuming more responsibly, to be held accountable to the things I buy. Someone commented recently that "minimalist blogs" such as mine tend to sweep purchases under rug and that we really still buy as much as run of the mill bloggers, which I guess to some extent is true. That being said, I've been inspired by the handful of blogs I still read on occasion to catalog my purchases as a way to reflect on my shopping habits (and I swear this is not a passive-aggressive way to address the aforementioned comment).

January
- Johnstons Cashmere Sweater (sale)
February
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March
-
April
- Hope Stay Jeans
- Hope Has Tee in Black
- A.P.C. Wedge Sandals
- Wood Wood Germaine Pants
- Engineered Garments Field Jacket
- Rancourt & Co Chukkas
May
 Hope Has Tee in Black
- A.P.C. Black Sandals (on sale)
- Peter Jensen Pleat Front Shorts ( sale)
- Nike Free 5.0+ 
- Kletterwerks Backpack
- Shoes Like Pottery sneakers
June
- Hope Has Tee in navy (sale)
- Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses
- Bottega Veneta purse
July
- Hope Has Tee in beige (sale)
- Comme des Garcons black pouch
- A.P.C. black sandals (sale)
- Wood Wood Germain Pants (sale)
- Jil Sander bag (sale)

August


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September
- Arcteryx Beta LT Jacket
- Saucony running shoes
October
- Comme des Garcons sweatshirt
- The North Face running jacket

November
- Dries van Noten Sunglasses (on sale)


I seem to have purchased a great amount of things in April and May, but only because I was doing extensive traveling from April to July. I needed comfortable shoes, a large-ish backpack and some easily washable short-sleeve t-shirts. I'm trying to be much more responsible with the things I buy in that I want to make sure that (a) I'll use the heck out of them and (b) they're actually well-made enough to last a while. I wear those Hope t-shirts a lot because they wash and dry really well in hotel bathroom sinks and don't seem to unravel quite as fast as other cotton tees I've owned. I've tried hunting down organic, locally-made t-shirts to no avail - Archival Clothing and Organic by John Patrick makes some really good t-shirts but they don't come with the easy slouchiness that I desire.

I've also been slowly amassing a small collection of Arc'teryx and Engineered Garments clothing because the fit and construction is top notch. I know that the aesthetics of athletic workwear is not what many people who read blogs like mine aspire to, but as I've said before, I think I've finally come to a point where I really don't care anymore. I'd rather be warm and dry and comfortable enough to swallow two pints of beers than hobbling around in suede shoes that need babying.

Most of the other items listed seem to have been purchases that were warranted. I bought a tiny Bottega wallet to replace a larger CdG one that I just didn't need, the Jil Sander bag was purchased because I I'm need a small-ish sling bag and the running gear... well, I needed them because I'm trying to get back into exercising. The items bought on whim are the A.P.C. sandals and the Dries van Noten sunglasses which I just bought yesterday after a bout of online browsing. I really need to stop filling my boredom and anxiety with dicking around on the online shops - they nearly always end in some regrettable impulse buy.

Obviously, if you follow me on Instagram, you'll realize that I do buy more than just clothes - I'm thinking about cataloging monthly purchases that include A.P.C. quilts, books and random home purchases as well (like Maja and Kali). You can read here about my budget from about two years ago and it's remained pretty much the same except now I spend more on skincare and flowers. I think a good way to keep this blog going is to keep myself continuously liable and have readers tell me off if I'm being a moron or a hypocrite (hopefully very politely). It's a good way to keep me in line with being a responsible consumer.

P/S: I've started food blogging again, so hopefully that will take some edge away from spending all my time browsing the Internet!

40 comments :

  1. Actually I would love to hear about good workout wear -- especially if it's reasonably priced. Home stuff too!

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    1. I get my workout wear from Target (C9), Zella from Nordstrom and Lululemon!

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  2. well you know me, i love your honest and conscientious approach to blogging / consuming. but this is your creative outlet and space to write about what you enjoy, so i hope in all of this you're able to keep that intact. sometimes anonymous judgmental commenters are just that. anonymous and judgmental.

    bravo on the food blog - looking forward to more posts :)

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    1. Thanks, Miss Sophie. I can always count on you to be a loyal reader. I don't think anyone has been a judgmental commenter on this blog (thankfully) and I really do enjoy all the interesting discussions that sometimes dissenting opinions can bring.

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  3. Discussing responsible consumption doesn't obligate you to shop in a certain way or make you liable for every purchase. While it is obviously nice to "walk the walk," having a thoughtful discussion with yourself and your readers is worthwhile in and of itself! Even if some of your purchases don't line up exactly with your intentions, just thinking carefully about what you buy puts you miles ahead of the average consumer.

    And if you are referring to the discussion on a certain blog (major lurker here), take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of commenters had very nice things to say and some who weren't familiar sounded interested in the general "minimalist" idea.

    That said- I love seeing how real people spend their money, so keep up the lists :) (I like the Billfold "How Other People Do Money" series for this, btw)

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    1. Thanks for the Billfold recommendation - I'm hooked now! I'm assuming you're referring to the forum, and in my experience, most people there often really do offer constructive criticism (unless you're a crazy person, which in that case, they would be rightly nasty). I'm actually rather glad they brought up so many good points about what drives the whole minimalist aesthetic and it has given me so much fodder for the blog.

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  4. That's a very interesting point you mention here, as I have been feeling the exact same way as you. I opened the French "la nife" as a space to humbly share my creations, and translated it in English to share a lot of thoughts about a lot of things - including minimalism, books, music, travel photos...

    But I started to get more readers based on the style part of my blog, which was only one side of things, meant to record my journey towards self discovery, through defining an external image and style I'd feel at ease in. I ended up being catalogued as a "fashion blog" which is quite ironic knowing I don't know the first thing about fashion (and honestly don't care much about clothes) and my approach to style is precisely to ignore fashion and follow one's own taste.

    Like you, I have realized that the posts that have the most views and comments are the ones related to style, wardrobe editing etc. whereas other posts I equally (if not even more) like, for example sharing my musical finds and latest reads, or wider musings about happiness, consumerism etc. seemed to be much less popular.

    At first, I tended to react as you do above: since no-one is interested in what I read or listen to, maybe I should stop posting about it. I even considered stopping my blog altogether because I didn't want to be a "fashion blogger".

    But now, yes, my blog is listed as a "minimalist fashion blog", it isn't really what I aspired to when I started blogging, but it is OK because it seems readers find value in what I post and sometimes get inspired to minimize their closet and think about their purchasing habits, which is great, because this is the kind of difference I want to make by sharing my views on the consumerist society on my blog.

    But, just because la Nife is currently labeled "minimalist fashion blog" doesn't mean I should stop posting about other things. On the contrary, I want to keep tailoring my blog to my taste, no matter what label it has. Because if I don't, I won't be happy with my blog and what it becomes. I think if I am happy with what I share, that's up to readers to pick and choose what they prefer.

    It is a bit like in life, you have your personality, and you have the pressure of people who want you to behave this or that way. I believe the most important is to define who you want to be, what image you want to project, and work towards that no matter what people think. It is the same for blogging, if you'd like to share more musical or book finds, why stop yourself from doing it? Maybe you'll get less views and comments on these posts, so what? It is your blog.

    And who knows, ultimately, you may even attract new readers. After all, it isn't mutually exclusive, the current readers who follow your blog for the style part of it won't stop reading your blog altogether just because you start posting book reviews or interior decoration stuff or whatever this is that inspires you. On the other hand, if you only post things about style, you will never get new readers interested in other parts of your personality.

    For example, I have noticed I attracted new readers of late, who are interested in the simplicity/minimalist movement in general, or in photography, even though the non-style posts still get less views and comments. In the end, I post about everything I like and my blog brings me joy. Maybe you could try too, maybe you shouldn't stop yourself from posting what inspires you just because "readers won't be interested".

    I'm sorry, this is a very long comment, and I really don't want to sound like I know everything and give lessons. It is just that what you seem to feel from your post is very similar to what I felt when I first discovered my blog was labeled "fashion blog" and when I noticed non style posts had half the readers and almost no comments. So I thought it might be worth sharing my view on the subject, I hope this comment will be helpful for you...

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    1. Thank you for sharing and always offering such constructive advice, Kali. I feel that I've done you disservice by not commenting more - let it be known that I'm a lurker. That being said, I haven't felt the urge to post about things unrelated to "style" because I have that outlet elsewhere. I can talk to multiple people in real life about things that matter like books and movies, but somehow, no one I know is really that interested in buying less clothing or shopping more responsibly (and only because they just don't shop at all!).

      I always like a good discussion because I feel that I learn so much from people who see things differently - if my lifestyle posts don't gain traction then I don't really want to post about it because I would rather spend my time in a thoughtful post that is interesting than something banal which I can talk about with my spouse in five minutes.

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  5. First things first - how are the Sauconys? I've been wearing Asics but they discontinued my favourite model and my new ones are a tad too narrow - I now have a bruised toe nail.

    Moving on - It has always interest me how clothing-related posts generate the most interest and comments; and I think it goes to show how difficult it is to move past all the crap people have been bombarded with all their lives about shopping and dressing, "ideal" bodies, personal identities, status etc. I personally find blogging to be good exercise in working out some of these issues, and I also enjoy reading blogs about these personal journeys (yours being one of them) because it's nice to know I'm not the only one. Some people might find it navel-gazing, or "overthinking", but I believe thinking about your choices as a consumer can only be a good thing!

    I think the tricky bit is when people read some of this stuff as "gospel", or they assume they you're dictating some of this stuff like they are gospel - whether it's about where you shop or about a style you've adopted - when you completely didn't mean it that way at all. I think many of us are journeymen rather than someone who's got it all figured out, and I think this is often missed in a hasty reading.

    In any case, I think logging purchases is a great exercise! After doing it for a couple of years, I want to revisit some of my old lists and check off which items I'm still wearing regularly or find to be of value in my closet. I considered adding in non-clothing purchases (like books, skincare) on the list as well, but I can confidently say I buy neither on the same scale as I buy clothing so I'm skipping that for now.

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    1. I got the Saucony Kinvara 4 and so far it's okay. I used to wear Asics too (I think the Gel Cumulus?) and the Sauconys are definitely lighter with less support. Not too sure about the fit - I bought my usual size and it was a tad too small (just a tad) and the half size up seem a little big. So I guess I'm still on the fence about it.

      I thin my main problem is that I tend to write REALLY LONG posts, so it's totally understandable if people misconstrue or misinterpret meanings because really, who has time to go through such lengthy posts anyway?

      I'm actually scared of logging purchases because it's made me realize how much money I actually spend buying crap - not just clothes but every other little thing that I feel I somehow deserve. It's really an eye-opener albeit a very depressing one. I

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  6. Good morning, I found your blog recently; I am not (due to an overwhelming lifestyle) a frequent commenter. That said, I just want to throw an observation out there. I think blogging can be difficult because you (a well-rounded person) are choosing to share just one facet of who you are. It would be nice, if we as (hopefully) well-rounded readers could accept those other aspects and comment just as much on those posts as those which revolve around fashion. Sort of like real people who are having an actual discussion.
    You can risk sharing other parts of yourself, and possibly attract different readers to join in the discussion. Some readers will like your posts about alpaca rugs, others will like the ones about beer and others-your home cooking. Some may not. Don't worry about it. No one likes everything we do. Personally, the blogs I have read long term are more "lifestyle" than fashion-oriented and feature people with many interests. They evolve. You may lose a few (one-topic-focused) readers in the short term, but you may also attract some of the like-minded individuals who will help you actually build a community (if that is your interest).
    Personally, I am not a good cook and hate the taste of beer-but if you write about those topics the same way you write about clothing-I would love to read it. I may even comment, if my opinion was solicited. Yet I (of the ultra blunt opinions) rarely venture out in this way in the blogosphere because (enter cynicism: here) not all bloggers are interested in a dissenting opinion about a subject they are sensitive and passionate about....
    In the end, I say write about what you are passionate about, ultimately, you will (probably) find it much more rewarding.
    -Missone

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I solicit opinions of all kinds, blunt or otherwise, mostly because I think it makes for a better person! I think my problem started when I realize I didn't have time to document all the tiny things that encompass a lifestyle and whatever little time I had to blog, I wanted it to be something that would be interesting, that I was completely passionate about and would solicit a good discussion. Glad to know if I did an over-the-top, arduous post about microbrews I would have a reader.

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  7. I'm a relatively new follower so perhaps my opinion doesn't have as much weight as long-time followers ... but for what it's worth I would LOVE to read about all the things in the first paragraph.

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    1. Hi there, point taken and opinion much appreciated. Seems like there really is an interest in alpaca rugs and handmade ceramics which may actually be easier for me to talk about than anything else. Thank you for reading and I hope you eventually become a long-time follower.

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  8. Hi Amanda,
    I'd have to agree that for all my efforts of trying to attain a more "minimalist" wardrobe, I still buy far more things than I would like to...sometimes it's because of a lapse in judgment (blame it on decision fatigue), but sometimes it's that I get caught up on what all of the blogs that I read are raving about at the moment. Remember when I bought the Dieppa Restrepos from you? I was very happy with them objectively as shoes, but they just didn't work as well with my wardrobe as shoes I already had, and I ended up not wearing them very much and reselling them. Even after selling them, though, I would still stalk blogs and sales for DRs. Why? I'm not sure. On the one hand, it seems silly that I would buy a pair of their oxfords again after knowing that they didn't work for me. But on the other hand, it seems that the lesson wasn't enough to completely curb me of my wants. So I think keeping a list of purchases is good for that--holding myself accountable. Unfortunately, I'm still in the (slightly self-denying) bad habit of only putting the things that I end up keeping on my purchases list. Otherwise, I'm slightly embarrassed by how many things I end up returning or reselling.

    That aside, I'm looking forward to trying out your chicken tagine recipe! I've been craving it ever since I left Paris and can't go to the Moroccan stand at Les Marche des Enfants Rouge anymore.

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    1. Ming, I think it's because you're constantly bombarded by pictures and posts about other people whose aesthetics you admire, wearing DP Calis. I know (FACT) that APC parkas will never EVER work for me, yet every season I pay an insane amount in shipping fees just to try it on. Why? I'm not sure either. I too only list purchases that I end up keeping, mostly out of shame that if someone knew the amount of crap I bought, they would be disgusted. So you and I are in the same boat, comrade in fad shopping!

      Please try the tagine recipe and let me know how it compares! I've never shared the recipe before so you can be my taste tester!

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  9. Amanda, I enjoy reading your blog because you have such an open, heart-felt sense of self-introspection with a healthy dose of self-deprecation ;) It's enjoyable to read something that feels genuinely human, with vagaries and contradictions, and not just another perfect image. And, on top of that, incredibly well-written! I can't believe you're an engineer;) The reason I tire of reading blogs, is that everyone's life seems so damn perfect, whereas yours is one of the few that lets people see more than the facade. It's so refreshing.

    I'm also surprised that most people think of your blog as a fashion blog since I enjoy it's well-roundedness. For instance, as you know, I loved your post on skincare.

    I agree with some of the other commenters in that you shouldn't feel the pressure "to walk the walk." Sure that would be great, but we are all human and occasionally or frequently need to indulge ourselves in the occasional luxury. Don't feel guilty and keep on bloggin', sista.

    Ps I too have bought a new pair of running shoes to "inspire" me to run more. But really, they are kinda just cool-looking. I know.

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  10. I have terrible taste in both books and music and don't watch any movies because hiring a babysitter makes watching a movie a $100 event ... however, I would LOVE to read about all these things if you wrote about it! I'm already a fan of your new food blog and all the home goods porn on your instagram. Adding all these other dimensions would only make your blog more enjoyable to read, at least for me. Please do write about books ... there's perhaps a 1 in 10 chance I will read any of the books you post about, but I have a deep, unexplainable love of book reviews.

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  11. Hi there! Long time reader, embarrassingly seldom commenter here. One of my favorite things about the internet has been picking up a trick or two from people with aesthetics I admire, and you, my dear, are one of those people. For example, I can’t wait to try making almond milk again now that I know about nut bags because I cursed my way through an entire package of cheese cloth last time.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on a wider array of topics. Especially your brain-cell killing mixed-drinks! My current favorites are maple sours (2 oz. bourbon, 0.5 oz. lemon juice, 0.5 oz. maple syrup, and a basil leaf) and manhattans (high west’s premade manhattans with a splash of margerum amaro and a bit of lemon peel).

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    1. Hi Abby, glad you're back. I'm actually intrigued by the pre-made Manhattan and may have to pick one up at the liquor store this weekend. We're big fans of Perfect Manhattans too -- except that I usually make ours from scratch with orange bitters. I've been downing caipirinhas like a crazy person as well and lately, I'm drinking vieux carré as an after dinner dessert.

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    2. Oh, how funny, you do have two Abbys! I just noticed that you responded and wanted to talk more about manhattans - what do you do about the vermouth? I was about to splurge on a bottle of carpano antica, when the very nice man at my liquor store told me that it'd only last for 3 days or so. I couldn't commit to that level of drinking, so I sadly put the bottle back and went back to my trusty high west manhattans. Do you regularly buy vermouth or do you just keep using the same bottle for as long as you need? Also, I googled vieux carre and it sounds wonderful - sort of a twist on a sidecar.

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    3. I make a lot of martinis and cook with vermouth so we buy both the sweet and dry periodically and keep them in the fridge -- we do use the dry one more often though. I didn't know Caparno Antica only lasted three days! I've only had it in cocktail bars and never could really justify splurging on it. We just get Dolin vermouth and it's been working so far... maybe my palate isn't that refine? Vieux carre is more medicinal than citrusy (which I associate with a sidecar) and I feel it helps up my digestion after a heavy meal.

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  12. I would LOVE to read about the raw food diet of your dog, actually. We just gave some cured bones to our dogs, and it was a disaster, to say the least. Fortunately, they're both okay, but there were some TMI moments, which meant I googled and got sidetracked into the whole BARF diet for dogs.

    In any case, I think you can write a "style" blog without it focusing only on fashion, after all, there are different "styles" of food, home decor, anything - if you were to combine your food blog with this one, I don't think it'll take away from the conversation in the least (in fact, given the passage of Google Reader, it'll be easier to have fewer links to remember!).

    Ultimately, this is your space, and there should be no limits on what you choose to write about. While a range of topics may seem assembled haphazardly (sorry, I couldn't resist), isn't that what life is?

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    1. I've been tempted multiple times to just have a food/clothes/music/movies/books/home goods blog that's really assembled haphazardly - but I don't know. It seemed to cluttered. That being said, I might do a raw food post on the food blog e.g. what I feed myself and what I feed the four-legged child.

      Does your dog have allergies? Why are you thinking of switching to a raw diet? I think a raw diet is a big commitment and I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't working from home and had all the time/money in the world to do it. It gets mighty expensive - fast, although the happiness on his little face when I say, "Ok, BONE TIME" is payment enough.

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    2. No allergies, just twinges of guilt when thinking of what's really in dog food. Plus, post cured-bone incident, the vet told us to put the dogs on a chicken and rice diet for a week, and their systems seemed to flow much more smoothly during that week, if you know what I mean.

      That said, the chicken + rice making was exhausting enough (they go through it fast!), and neither of us work from home, so perhaps better to leave as a best efforts sort of thing, maybe one meal per day as raw rather than a complete switch. Would be curious to read about all that it entails, regardless!

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  13. Thanks for these periodical updates :) I appreciate them so much as they come. I have always loved Engineered Garment for a long time now (#menswear love yeah!) but I just don't have the means now to buy it as a student. i'm surprised at the amount of critique you seem to accrue, even though i feel you and a couple of others are so honest in that regard of NOT shoving the rhetoric of what to buy and what to buy down each other's throats. you're pretty point blank as they come. do people not take what they see on the internet with a grain of salt?

    just wanted to let you know that i love your new food blog and i'm so glad that i have instagram now so that i can keep in touch you (and other bloggers) that way.

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  14. I just read the forum discussion that you mentioned in your blog, and that is actually how I found myself on your blog. Some people have nothing better to do than to nitpick and criticize other people's lives, and I didn't much like how they singled out some blogs on the premise that they are hypocritical. On another note, I must say that I love your blog and have gone through a lot of older posts; your writing is very enjoyable to read, and you raise a lot of interesting points.

    http://svart-vit-stil.blogspot.com/

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    1. This is probably a very late reply, but thank you for you comment. I really appreciate it.

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  15. Hello,

    So, I'm anonymously coming clean. I'm the creep who started the GOMI minimalist fashion blog thread.

    I started that thread as a means to kind of grapple through some of my own fashion and style musings. I've since abandoned it after realizing that it wasn't necessarily the place to be working through existential fashion quandaries, even though I am happy I introduced so many ladies to your particular strain of blogging. Reflecting on what went down over the past few weeks, I feel like I spoke off the cuff and made some broad generalizations (e.g. it was definitely unfair for me to lump you in with others that I'd personally identified as minimalist fashion bloggers and sort of accuse you of hiding purchases, and for that I apologize).

    It was not my intention to lump all of you together, because ultimately blogging is a personal journey. I suppose where I was coming from was a place where I'd noticed a startling similarity between several blogs that I'd become hooked on and that have made a major impact on the way I think about self-fashioning and consumption, so thank you for that. However, it also aroused some concerns/thoughts about this whole blogging project--specifically about what happens when we find ourselves deferring to fashion blogs when we're bored at work or have some down time, and ultimately what that says about our consumption habits (especially when its about consuming niche brands that some have tended to frame as "timeless, " and, admittedly, I do take issue with that as a fashion scholar).

    Anyway, I was not brief on the GOMI forum, so you know my thoughts, but they were never meant to be an attack on you because I've very much enjoyed reading your journey.

    Either way, this was a fascinating read and thank you for your thoughtful responses. Just so you know, I'm very much on your team and consume in much the same way you do. That being said, I'm a PhD student and I've got a lot of down time, and unfortunately, that also means I tend to project a certain "scholarly arrogance" in spaces where it's perhaps not the most appropriate.

    Thanks again!

    stockhomeless

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    1. Hey, thanks so much for commenting. It was never my intention to single your comment out or to purposefully address them in a snarky way. It actually has made me look more introspectively and fine-tune the way I shop and live, in that I constantly question myself now if I'm being a hypocrite. Your comments on GOMI (along with all the other commenters) has actually provided me with tons of fodder for blog posts, if I only I can find the time.

      You are right, regarding the types of brands we (my very incestuous circle of blogging friends) seem to buy, and I actually already have a draft regarding the trap of the investment piece and whether or not timeless brands are actually just an illusion. Thanks again for commenting, and I hope you take my blog posts at face value because I really don't try to circumnavigate the truth.

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    2. @Amanda No problem :) I think it's cool that so many bloggers take the time to read and respond to comments

      @Stockhomeless I must say, reading that forum thread was enlightening to say the least, and it certainly got me thinking about my own consumption habits and what not. I guess that's the problem with the internet, because we cannot tell what tone people say things in, it is hard to distinguish between those who are genuinely antagonistic and those who merely want to play devil's advocate or discuss a somewhat opinion laden subject.

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  16. um, please DO write about foxygen and fish sauce! i love reading about fashion, but ultimately, i am more interested in the person wearing the clothes than the clothes themselves. also, have you ever checked out jungmaven tees? i think they are sustainably made, if you are interested in trying out sustainable tees.

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  17. I think you've taken words right out of my mouth. I'm like you. I'm an accidental fashion/style blogger though that wasn't my initial intention when I first started the blog. I think and plot my travels and food more so than clothes but these tend to bore most people. I go for walks and photograph every leaf, building, bird etc but putting all these photos on my blog wouldn't do either. I won't call myself a minimalist. More like a careful shopper who prefers quality but have a limited budget that I adhere to. BTW, who designed that beautiful header for your food blog?

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    1. Marlene, I made the header using a picture of the Mauviel fait tout pan and some online cartoon generator. Haha. The font was something I downloaded ages ago for my wedding invites.

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  18. ok, i think i'm going to love your blog,since the moment i read the header! documenting your purchases sounds like an amazing idea...maybe i'll try it in 2014. hmm...

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    1. Thanks for reading. Hope you'll stick around for my very sporadic posts.

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  19. Am finally getting around to commenting on this post. I read the GOMI thread too and found it quite interesting. I started reading the minimalist blogs before I started reading GOMI, and it was a weird world meld to have them converge on that thread!

    I enjoy your blog overall, and appreciate that you're more transparent about your thoughts and struggles as well as your privileges than most are. I always wonder, did you stick with your PhD?

    Whatever you post, I'll read. I do think you could put more themes into this one blog and it would work. Your blog name is already perfect for that.

    Oh, I thought of you and this post the other day - my husband is from the PNW, I'm not, and the other day I was walking around the house wearing a Patagonia dress with an Arc'teryx windstopper vest on top. He said "you look like you're from Seattle."

    I truly wish more stylish brands made clothing that is as well thought out and functional as the outdoorsy gear. But that's a whole other conversation!

    Cheers.

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    1. Are you different from the Abby above? I'm so amused if you are!

      Like someone else commented, that thread on GOMI is actually one of the more interesting and well-rounded ones. I love most of the hams on there, but man... it's always a bit of blow when your blog ends up being discussed on GOMI.

      Anyway, yes I stuck with my PhD and I'm hoping to finish next year. Not sure if it was a good idea but I found an amazing supervisor and a project I liked enough. Probably shouldn't have wasted so much time doing something I didn't really even like in the first place.

      It's funny how the "trend" this year has been pajamas and sweats - maybe Seattle will finally be viewed as a trendsetting city and Arc'teryx will be making its NYFW rounds with puffer jackets and pencil skirts.

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  20. I enjoy your blog immensely, have gleaned a great deal from your musings, and look forward to your posts. As I read your latest entry, I began to think about why I visit "minimalist" blogs and what I have taken away from them. One thing I have learned is that, ironically, minimalism has many facets and can be interpreted in different ways; a simple viewing of minimalist blogs attests to that fact. But at its core, I think that minimalism (fashion/ lifestyle) involves making intentional, well-reasoned choices regarding consumption. It does not mean enumerating the number of things one owns or adhering to a "magic number" of those things. I visited the GOMI thread and could care less how many striped shirts and dresses populate your closet versus that of another blogger. To the best of my knowledge, I cannot recall any blogger holding themself up as a model of "minimalist virtue." While I appreciate your self-deprecating/ flagellating candor, especially in reference to the inventory above, you do not owe anyone an account of your purchases and the (pragmatic) conditions under which they were acquired. If you had written that you bought a new Bottega wallet because you simply wanted one, so what? It is okay to want something new from time to time. We live in an consumer culture, and despite our best efforts, the allure of "new" can be powerful. There is a reason why your posts on personal finances, shopping habits, and existentialism receive more views than others: people are intensely curious about style and its "investment." Admittedly, I have a greater interest in style when I visit minimalist blogs because there are so few good posts about it (one downside about this genre of blogs is posts are few and far between), but I also enjoy food, music, books, and would like to read about those lifestyle elements, too. All this to say, I have learned so much from alternative "minimalist" blogs like yours and appreciate hearing voices outside the mainstream. With thanks and appreciation.

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