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Sailor + Navigating the RealReal

The Real Real Review
Sweater | Rag & Bone (currently on clearance)
Skirt | Theory
Bag | Clare V
     I've bought quite a few pieces on The RealReal over the years, since I first started shopping there in 2015. A common question I get asked is how I shop on the site. While there are great deals to be had, the user experience design of the website is bad. Like really bad. It is sort of hard to navigate and can be overwhelming. However, I've scored enough pieces that I think it is a worthwhile place to shop, and so I wanted to share some tips. Also, if you have any of your own, or if you have ever consigned with them (I have not, I've only purchased) I'd love to hear about it. 
     Also, backing up a step, TRR is an online consignment store, whose claim is that they authenticate each and every piece that they receive before they put it on the site (also, authenticator seems like it would be a fun job). As such, they sell everything from t-shirts and shoes to Hermes bags and diamond rings. Also, when people consign with them, they ship the items to TRR so you only ever deal with TRR and not individual sellers, like you would on eBay or Poshmark. This sweater and bag are both from TRR.
The RealReal Review
1. Think about the shipping costs. Unlike many modern retailers, TRR does not offer free shipping. It doesn't matter if you are ordering $30 worth of clothing, or $300 (although they do sell some crazy expensive stuff so maybe you do get free shipping if you are spending like $3,000, but I've never seen any sort of free shipping offer). Not only that, but you also have to pay for return shipping, if you end up returning anything. I've found it to be about $11/12 each way (although might be more depending on where you live) so I am always very careful when ordering, and try not to order things on a whim, since the shipping costs are real (or realreal, if you will...).

2. Don't fear the timer. The website uses a timer system, so you only have 20 minutes from the time you add an item to your cart to check out before the item is taken out of your cart. I think this is supposed to pressure you to purchase quickly, but in my experience, I've never had something purchased out from under me in the time I was looking at it, so I just wait to add pieces to my cart until I'm ready to check out, or I "heart" them (all "hearted" items show up on a separate page) making it easy to track down the item and re-add it to my cart once it times out. I should say, however, that things do move quickly on the site, so while your item might not disappear in an hour, I've often found things to be gone within 24 hours. 
 
3. Use it as a price check. One of the most typical ways I use the site is as a price check if I've found a piece that I really love. For example, I saw this sweater at a Nordstrom Rack, and loved the chunky knit quality, and the blue sailor stripe that was only on one sleeve. However, they only had it in size Large. I checked TRR and they had it in XS, for a better price (and listed as pristine condition, which, since it is knitwear, and white, made me feel better about the quality) and so I ordered. This has happened to me multiple times, and I've used it enough that checking the site only takes me a few extra mintues. You can refine the search, so in this case I just searched in Rag & Bone + women + knitwear + size xs (which I know is my size) and boom, after scrolling through a page or two, there it was. 

Similarly, Clare V is a brand that I always check (but one where items sell out on TRR very quickly). The bag pictured above is the Sandrine, by Clare V, and I couldn't find it on sale anywhere. I looked and looked and waited and waited and then one day, saw the woven one pictured above, and I moved on it. It was 50% off the retail price and the condition is great. It always seems worth it to me to at least take a peak at TRR if you have a big purchase in mind. 

4. Browse by brand. The other most common way I use the site is to browse by a favorite designer. A recent example is Rebecca Taylor, whose pieces I love. I will just scroll through the Rebecca Taylor offerings, limited by sizing, and see what they have, even if I am not necessarily looking for a particular dress or jacket or whatever. I have found that TRR has the most diverse and best priced selection of Rebecca Taylor items. My favorite purchase so far is this coat, which I stumbled upon one day while browsing and worn every day this past winter.
      I think the site is much easier to use if you generally know your size in different brands, both because it narrows down the selection, and makes it less likely you will need to return due to a sizing issue, and thus pay shipping. In that way, I think the site is optimized for people who already like to shop and/or are looking for something in particular. I think if you come to this website just looking for "women's dresses" for example, with no narrowing of brand/size/price, it will give you a headache. I have done enough shopping IRL that I feel comfortable making guesses about sizing based on brand/item type.
The RealReal Review
Rag & Bone Greer Sweater
5. Check the condition. The last thing I would say is to always check the condition and look at the photos. TRR sells secondhand items, and while it seems like they only take items that are of pretty good quality, you should always read the description so you aren't surprised. I try to only buy pieces listed in Pristine condition, but have made purchases that are also listed as "Very Good" and have found them to be as described. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Veronica Beard + Weekend Reading

Jacket | Veronica Beard
Top | Banana Republic
Pants | DvF Gennifer 2 Pants
    I've seen this Veronica Beard jacket a few times over the last year, and the design always catches my eye. However, this jacket, although it has a cool lace applique, is an unlined, $700, utility jacket, so obviously I was not going to pay retail. It started to get marked down during the summer sales, but often my size was sold out, or the price was still sort of high. I toyed with the idea of doing a DIY version.
     Then, low and behold, I was at a Nordstrom Rack, and not only were they selling it, in my size, but it was marked down and in the clearance section! It is sold out on Nordstrom's own website, but still currently for sale on the Veronica Beard website (affiliate link above), and yet, there it was, on clearance! I grabbed it in the calmest way that someone can grab something off a clothing rack, and proceeded to the checkout immediately. For a minute, I thought about reselling it online, but the urge to wear it proved too strong. It fits TTS, although the sleeves seem unusually long. I suspect this isn't the last you'll be seeing it in my outfit photos.    

For your weekend perusal:
1. Did anyone in the Bay Area make it to the Color Factory? It looks like it could be cool, or just an Instagram fever dream (or both) but sadly all tickets are currently sold out!

1. A look at the manufacturing resurgence in the Carolinas (Glossy)

2. A chat with the stylist for the upcoming movie, Ingrid Goes West, on how Instagram influenced the character's wardrobes. (the trailer for this really stood out to me and I generally like Aubrey Plaza) (Racked)

3. Also, "How to Organize Your Closet Like a Costume Designer"

4. Lastly, this is old news, but for anyone who hasn't seen the video Celine Dion made for Vogue, this will start your weekend off right: Vogue 

Eureka

Tunic | Tory Burch
Dress | Derek Lam 10 Crosby
Shoes | Paul Green
     I am in the middle of a few months of almost back to back wedding weekends, which has been amazing and lovely as I am so excited to celebrate all of these unions, but it is also secretly great because I get to dress up more than I usually do. I plan to do a comprehensive post of all of the outfits and how I game-planned them once I attend the last wedding in October. 
     For a recent wedding, I was really struggling with what to wear. It was outdoors, would most likely be quite warm, and it was important to me that I was colorfully and joyfully dressed. That was of particular importance because this absolutely resplendent lady was the bride:
     She wanted something bright and joyful to wear on her wedding day, and I think she nailed it. It fits her perfectly, and the color really popped against the wooded backdrop. I actually helped find the dress, and I was so happy I could help her achieve her vision. When she asked for my input, I took the job very seriously, haha - it is one thing to dress yourself, but quite another to help dress another person, especially for such an important event.  The actual shopping was pretty painless though, and it only took us one mall, two and a half hours and one Wetzel's Pretzel to find it, although I did do hours of heavy scouring of the interwebs before then.  
     In regards to my own outfit - bright and early, in the middle of a stressful work morning, it hit me. I have this insane Tory Burch embellished linen tunic that I purchased at a heavy discount late last year, and have been very much wanting to wear, but that I was unsure of how/when to wear it. It is a more casual fabric (linen) but heavily beaded, and also it isn't quite a top but also isn't a dress by any means. I always pictured it paired with black cigarette pants, and high stiletto heels, but up until now, I have been unable to find the ideal pants. Also, for this wedding, as you can see from the photos, I couldn't really wear stilettos, unless I was trying to aerate the grounds.  

     What finally dawned on me, that morning, was to layer the tunic over a dress! I wanted a dress that had a little more volume in the skirt, but that was otherwise pretty simple, since this top has a lot happening. After trying it on with a few different dresses, I remembered the one I ended up wearing, which is actually the slip of this dress. I loved the color pairing and thought the pleats fit in well. Not only that, but since the slip had a low v-neck, I ended up flipping the tunic front to back, and wearing it backward! You can see what was supposed to be the front, in one of the images below. I also had to remove the tag, as it otherwise kept sticking out and gave away my secret. I was pretty pleased with myself, and am glad my subconscious was working on this issue while my conscious was hard at work. I also received some valuable input at the wedding on how else I can wear this top.
     If you are curious as to what the embellishment looks like up close - be curious no more:
This is the front. 

Have you had a recent eureka fashion moment? Where or to whom do you turn to help you sort out fashion questions?

Ice Cold

I just got a haircut - can you spot any differences?
Top | Rebecca Taylor
Shorts | Anine Bing
Shoes | Paul Green
     This type of top is known as a cold-shoulder top - it tries to have its cake and eat it too, by evoking the cut of an off-the-shoulder top, while still allowing you to move your arms freely and wear a regular bra. These have been popping up all over stores and apparently, are a bit divisive (at least they are among my friend group, although thankfully not divisive enough that it stopped my friend Jess from stepping in as my photographer). 
     I also don't like many of them (in particular, when it is a cold-shoulder sweater, as that seems to defeat the purpose of a sweater), but I do love this one =). It is Rebecca Taylor, and was found at Saks Off Fifth. I like that there is a little tie on the sleeve (noticeable in the photo below) so you can cinch it all the way up, or let it fall, like I currently have it, and I like the little window detailing on the flutter sleeve. 

As I was venturing to a warmer climate, I paired them with a new pair of silk shorts, and tucked in the top, creating a faux romper effect. I spent quite a while looking for the perfect adult summer shorts. It is a bit hard because I wanted something that (i) wasn't denim, (ii) wasn't too long and not too short, (iii) didn't have an elastic waist, and (iv) had pockets. This pair is Anine Bing (a brand I had never heard of) and, per Google, looks like it is the eponymous line of a fashion blogger. They are a nice soft silk, and while I wouldn't pay full price for them (and didn't, thanks to the magic of Nordstrom Rack) I have high hopes for them, and this top, this summer. 
I'm still working on my "sitting" poses.
What say you on the cold-shoulder debate?

Fashion Week(end)

Johanna Ortiz Sizing
Dress| Johanna Ortiz Bluebell Silk Embellished Maxi Dress
Shoes | Paul Green
Jacket | Veda
     I recently attended the amazing wedding of some friends, for which I was lucky enough to borrow an outfit for one of the nights of their celebration. After seeing what I would be wearing that night, I decided to double down and just make it a fashion weekend. I love clothes (obviously) and I think that style and fashion should be fun, and sometimes, dramatic. 
     This is what I got to wear the first night:
I was only borrowing this shalwar kameez (and if you ever happen to read this blog, thank you S!) and thought it was amazing. It is three pieces, the heavily embroidered dress, a pair of pants (which in this case were a loose, palazzo pant), and a scarf. The dress is designed for maximum twirl-ability and the whole look is insanely comfortable. I loved wearing it, and as almost all of the other guests at the event were similarly dressed, it was a great way for clothing to help me feel even more connected to the festivities. 
The henna also helped as well, although as I am sometimes lacking in grace, I got it all over my other hand, and was narrowly stopped from getting it on my face, as well. 
 Knowing I was wearing that first outfit for night one, I decided to break out a Johanna Ortiz dress that I bought this year from UAL (I did a brief write-up on them here), in all of it's peplum-glory. As an FYI, I am wearing an XS, and while it zipped, I could have easily sized up. This dress is totally special, and I felt great while wearing it. I love the print, the little embellishment beads in the middle of some of the flowers, adding a fun 3D effect, and obviously the peplum. 
A peplum, for anyone who doesn't know is a "short, flared, gathered or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a women's jacket, dress or blouse to create a hanging frill or flounce" (and per Dictionary.com). I found out at this wedding that very few men know what a peplum is, so I took upon myself all night to get the word out (and if you don't know, now you know).
I felt like a very fashionable statue all night (I think due to the draping) which is good, because the open back (sadly no photos of this) and the tight waist basically demanded very good posture. I am thinking of having a tailor transform this into a separate peplum top and skirt, so that I can wear get more wear out of it. There is also an itty bitty pocket in the peplum (photo below), but it isn't really large enough for more than some dollar bills and a hair tie. When I found myself alone in the bathroom, some selfies were obviously a necessity:

Johanna Ortiz
Johanna Ortiz Review

Johanna Ortiz Dress

What is your favorite wedding outfit? 
Thanks for stopping by!