Monday, 3 August 2015

Life lately via instagram: May, June and July 2015 edition

this, i think, is the best way to spend the weekend - a cup of coffee with someone you love. after a run, of course, but the run can be optional. i thought about what life was like before i started running regularly. i can't imagine life without running now, i am so glad that i decided to run that one fine day in October a couple of years back. i spent an extended period of time getting in and out of the same recurring injury, which was no fun at all, so i hope that i have gotten better in managing this. so many things in life are actually things we have to manage, not necessarily eliminate. i wish someone told me this when i was younger, i would've been more at peace with life with this perspective.  

baby cousin is soon off to her new adventures, and i am glad that she was in town for a bit. the nice thing about having baby cousin around is of course taking endless photos with her, and eating too much ice cream (in winter!). these green tea soft serves are my personal favourite and in my opinion taste that much better when eaten with someone else. for some reason, i can never say no to these green sugar-bombs. and oh, posing in front of a lane way like the above is an opportunity to simply be so Asian. we were somewhere near Chinatown, after all.

now on to that leather jacket. everyone loves this jacket. so much so that i keep hearing this 'request' of "i am having it if you are ever getting rid of it". ok guys. first come first serve. i'll let you know if and when that happens.

i bought the jacket a few years back. it was one of those things that i liked at first sight and it was like, yep, let's buy this and when it first arrived, it was perfect fit. then i started running and it became a looser fit (story of my wardrobe). at first it was frustrating, later on, i just layered it so that it looked less loose on me. this is one of those things that i would recommend as a wardrobe staple. i got mine in dark chocolate, because it was the only colour available in this style, and it worked fine with my wardrobe. but get any colour you want! even a contrasting colour would work fine, i reckon.

took baby cousin to a picnic in the park. this is one of those things that we probably should do in summer, but, but but. it would have been too hot to do so in summer. besides, if we were not wearing jackets/coats, then it could have passed as a summer's day. ha! it was a beautiful warm winter day, the sun was shining and it was not too cold. 

she was wearing the shoes that i got her. the story goes like this. she wanted a pair of boots. black ones. i had a pair of black boots that were absolutely ratty, so i decided to just buy her a pair. i obviously didn't manage to find a pair of black boots, but found these camel coloured ones that ended up working very well with her wardrobe! 

we decided to play tourist via brunching at one of my fave spots. the weather gods must have liked us because we got another sunny day! we ate a lot of bacon that day, but the only pic that i had is the one below, and there was no bacon in frame. it looked like i made a relatively healthy choice, but truth was that i ate bacon. a lot of it.

and you can't really tell from this pic, but i was actually really ill that day. i have been ill most of June and July, and no one can really tell just from looking at me. ha! it's not magic, it's just one of those things. now i know what it feels like to be one of those people who feel really ill but look and function fine.

don't let the absence of bacon in the pic fooled you. 

guess who has been cooking! the cooking bug has returned you guys! most of the time we are just too hungry to take a pic before we eat, and in the rare occasion that i have a phone near by, these are what i manage to capture. 

these sweet potato balls were so labour intensive. and so were the satays in the background. the story goes like this. we were at a grocery store and spotted some purple sweet potatoes. i must be one of the biggest noobs in this planet because i naively thought that these were actually purple on the inside, because of the name. imagine my disappointment upon finding out that they were white on the inside. colour shock aside, they were of a different texture to the orange sweet potatoes, and so i decided to improvise by making them into balls instead of pancakes.

satays again! despite being labour intensive, i reckon these are worth every bit of hard work put into them. there is something seriously addictive about meat on skewers. these are my take on the Indonesian style, although any South East Asian country would have its own version of satay, each one tastes slightly differently from the next. as you can tell from the photo, i did not have the patience to make small version that time, so maybe next time - and trust me, there would be plenty of next times to perfect this dish. 

i must say that i am growing to enjoy cooking a lot more these days. i would not call myself a capable cook, just a less reluctant one. i don't think my kitchen experiments are always successful, and you know what, i am okay with that. if i fail so miserably, we would just have to resort to eating instant noodles. or the Thai take out around the corner. always have a plan B, and you'll be right. 

ok, last picture! this is one of my fave spots for Vivid Sydney this year - the lights were projected onto a tunnel and this was what we saw when we looked up. i am never a fan of peacocks or the colour green, yet this projection moved me - for reasons that i can't quite articulate. perhaps it was because it was late at night and it wasn't as cold as last year, and my baby cousin had her camera out, while i was just enjoying a rather isolated moment with my phone camera. i still struggle taking photos at night, probably should've gotten my camera out, and probably should've gotten a better lens, but hey - one nice pic is enough for me. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Life through Instagram: more birthday celebrations

there is a first time for everything that this was my first: planning a surprise party. i am not into surprises, the only time i ever wanted a surprise party was when i requested it so that i knew that there was a surprise waiting for me (which defeats the point of the surprise in the first place). but it so happens that there are people out there who actually like surprises, and one of these people i actually love, so surprise party it is. the idea originated from one of my close friends and i just tagged along for the ride.

we treated her to the degustation menu at Monopole. the experience is neatly summarised as great food, great service and impressive wine list. two thumbs up! this was followed by a three hour karaoke session at the Lantern by Wagaya. we agonised over which karaoke bar to book because well, you reach a certain age in your life whereby you don't really want to spend time at dirty, sticky karaoke bars (but for some reason, don't use the same standard when it comes to food - dont ask). the good thing about being the event organiser was that i got the final say on everything, so i picked Lantern because it had the nicest pictures out of the ones we considered. the gorgeous birthday girl, pictured above, was beyond happy! and yes, pink is her favourite colour.

this was another friend's birthday, this time we celebrated at Guillaumes. the food is a notch better than Monopole (and is also priced accordingly) and the dish pictured above is easily the best duck of my life.

my baby cousin had her birthday recently and we took her to her first Michelin starred restaurant (and coincidentally, the cheapest) that is Tim Ho Wan. we didn't book this place so not sure if they take bookings. and of course, there was a queue. and yes, we did join the queue. and no, it wasn't my idea. but we were lucky because it wasn't a one hour wait. their signature barbecue pork buns (pictured above) are literally to die for, and this is coming from someone who ordinarily declines to eat barbecue pork buns. we each ate three buns - if not more. yes, they were that good and seriously addictive. the rest of the menu - well, to my fussy-when-it-comes-to-asian-food tastebud, just fine. but will return for the barbecue pork buns.

my boss celebrated his 50th birthday recently, we naturally had to celebrate. he gave one of the most moving speeches i have ever heard my whole life, whereby he pointed out two things that remain mysteries to him. first, that his wife married him and second, that he has friends, as in true friends. in addition to getting me teary, this got me thinking of the same mysteries of my life. i don't quite understand why le husb decided that it was a good idea marrying me, but i spent a good lengthy period of time figuring out whether marriage in general was a good idea (it's not; marriage with him, at that point in time, was a good idea). so, safe to say that if he didn't ask me to marry him, then we wouldn't have been married (sorry, Dad). and then i think about my friends - these individuals that i regard as friends and also regard me as their friend. i dont have many of them but each and everyone of them i actually like, some i like more than others, and some i kind of love. when it comes to being lucky, i have been more than lucky. i am not deserving, but i am truly grateful.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

acquisition analysis: navy pleather sleeves coat

Image from

I purchased this coat in November 2013. I have learned a lot of things since spending one winter literally living in this coat.

I liked this coat at first glance because a friend got a coat with leather sleeves and she looked stunning in them. Her coat was a classic shape, yet edgy at the same time. It had the I am nice but can be naughty sort of vibe, and such a contradiction in a coat are something that I find endlessly intriguing. had several colour options available, and I picked the navy (as pictured), that looked like black. As you can tell, I wanted the coat to be as monochromatic as possible. And yes, just like the other coat I purchased recently, I bought this coat in the middle of (Australian) summer, when it was smelting hot.

I lacked a lot of insights when I purchased this coat, one of which being the lack of shape. This coat was cut like a boyfriend coat, straight up and down and thus erred on the side of edgy and trendy rather than edgy and classic. Somewhat thankfully, I purchased the correct size (can be a hit and miss with online shopping), so the shoulders fit me well, and the sleeves were perfect length, and so was the coat itself. The only issue is the lack of shape on the back, which isn't really an issue for me because I could pull it off, but inconvenient because all the images I had at the back of my mind do not match the reality of this coat.

Needless to say, I struggled with this. I could find combinations that worked, after a lot of trial and errors and even so, my options were limited. But I was determined to wear this coat during winter because I did not want to purchase another coat, so I alternated between this coat, the red coat I used to own (and have retired since) and another coat that I bought during the winter of 2012.

Composition of this coat:
Body: 52% Wool, 38% Polyester, 5% Viscose, 4% Acrylic, 1% Nylon
Lining: 100% Polyester
Sleeve: 84% Polyester, 14% Viscose, 2% Elastane.

The composition is okay for the price that I paid (it wasn't full price), and that said, I don't think I would have paid full price for this coat. Sydney winter is often mild at best, so this coat is sufficient for that purpose. It is probably more of an autumn/spring coat for those in colder climates. As a general rule, I try to maximise the wool content of the coats that I consider purchasing. The higher the wool content, the higher I expect the price to be. If the wool content is less than 50%, it would be an autumn/spring coat for me.

You know what they all said about 'investing' in your coats? I hate to say that they were right. The red coat, as much as I loved it, disintegrated after 2 winters, because it was, well, el-cheapo. The issue with el-cheapo stuff is that they often represent good value per wear, but do not stand the test of time. They disintegrate, or start showing their age, within the first two seasons :( which brings home the point of quality first.

This navy coat is yet to disintegrate on me - because I've only worn it for one autumn and one winter. The colour, unfortunately, is a tad too dark for spring, so I have not worn it since last winter. At best, I estimate that this coat would last me another 2 years before it starts showing its age. To be completely honest, I am not sure that I would hang on to this for that long - I plan to retire this at some point post winter 2015.

The most important lesson is to buy quality coats - this is so important because the two times that I've done this so far (they were both Karen Millen coats), these two coats have lasted for more than 2 years and they seem to be holding up well. One of these coats is a compliments magnet, year after year, despite being a classic colour (not black, but not a bright colour either).

Will I consider another navy coat? Yes, of course. Navy is a friendly colour in my closet, it rivals black in its versatility and reliability.

Will I consider altering this coat to give it a more 'feminine' shape? Errr... probably not. I don't love it that much to spend more money to alter it. This sounds really bad, I know, but it is also the truth. I bought it thinking that I didn't need alterations at all, so I wasn't mentally (and financially) prepared for forking out further sum for alterations. That said, if the coat is of a better quality, then I would have considered altering it for a better fit, rather than trying to making it work in its current form.

Will I buy it again? Knowing what I know now, no. I learn a lot of lessons on online shopping and buying coats from this incident, so all in all, it has served its purpose well. I try not to dwell so much on the opportunities that were supposedly lost from this one endeavour, largely because the cost per wear is low enough for me to consider it an okay purchase (plus it got my creative muscles working again). However, if the coat is a better quality, with higher wool content, less synthetic mix and genuine leather sleeves, then yes, I would consider purchasing it again.

All in all, this purchase highlights the importance of buying quality for me - and this also marks the end of me purchasing random, low quality stuff (because I regard their prices as low enough to warrant further consideration). Graduating from the idea that a low price gives me a free purchasing pass is a very long, painful process, and I am glad that I have been actively trying to overcome it. A purchase is a purchase, the item will end up as part of my closet, and I'd like it to earn its spot through quality and versatility.

acquisition analysis is a series of entries that centres on the practical side of how to maximise your marginal utility when spending your money. it is not primarily directed at the financial side of things, rather, on refining my buying skills, specifically on how an item would fit into my life. after all, if it is true that i get to design my life, then it follows that i need to be more critical in both adding and subtracting what's in it. furthermore, i personally believe that in order to maximise one's resources, acquisitions (or purchases) have to be of a strategic nature, instead of a mere time-filler. i admit that at this stage, i am yet to formalise an acquisition process, so one of the goals would be to come up with my acquisition process after i analyse a few of my past purchases. this should make for an interesting exercise because i note that some of my acquisitions do not necessarily stand the test of time. some items that i purchased turn out to be of a terrible quality, despite meticulously taking care of them. lots of lessons to be had!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

How I buy (thought process of wardrobe development)

Some reflections on wardrobe development I started questioning my wardrobe intensively approximately three years ago, or to be precise, in Feb 2011. We were at a dinner with a dear friend who just told us of his engagement to one of the most loveliest person I’ve ever met in my life, and we got talking about clothing, wardrobe and the like. I wanted to take my style up notch, that’s what I said.

That was an inaccurate statement on my part. What I really wanted was and still is, to be able to dress with more ease. You know when people say it has to look effortless? I actually want it to be effortless, not just appear to be so.

I started reading into this a little bit more closely, starting with evaluating my shopping habits, and then my wardrobe. One of the lessons that I found is that realising the mistakes that I’ve made after a lifetime of somewhat mindless shopping can be disheartening.

Because this is how I used to buy: hey, item looks good, price looks good, buy. No consideration was given at this point in time in terms how I would wear it or whether it would integrate with the rest of my closet. There were items that I’ve bought that still have price tags on them (ugh, cringe).

One of my goals is to make less purchase errors over time. The beauty of a shopping ban is that when it’s in place, it means I make less error, so it’s a nice shortcut to achieve the goal. I can either put myself on a permanent shopping ban, or learn how to buy properly.

This is like one of those things in life that you don’t learn in school: how to buy, how to determine what you really need, how to curb your wants, how to determine a good deal, how to maximise your utility and the like. Life skills that are useful, but no one actually thinks about putting these into the curriculum because, well, it is so … personal.

[I get that parents are supposed to teach their children these skills, and this is not a criticism of my parents. It is merely an observation on my part that I have never reflected on these issues until recently, and that is all. On the grand scheme of things, all parents struggle with parenting related issues on a regular basis, so I’d say, cut them a bit of slack, okay. They cannot and will not teach their children everything they are supposed to know.]

How I buy 

These days, I follow this year's shopping guide and apply the wardrobe principles describe in, get inspired by the wardrobe choices displayed by and read the musings of the incredibly talented

I don’t have any gaps in my wardrobe that I’ve identified so far (which means I probably do have some, I am just not aware of them). So, if there is anything that I do choose to buy, that’s because (1) I am ‘upgrading’ or (2) I am exploring a new style/silhouette or (3) I am adding an accent colour. I sort of know what style works for me and what doesn’t, and I’ve chosen my colours and I make a point to stick to neutrals (this, I think, is a side effect of getting older). Most importantly, I try to stay true to my style as often I as I can, rather than being sucked into trends.

Once I’ve identified the items that I would like to buy, I give priority to quality of construction and material, and of course, price. It has to fit within my budget otherwise, well, it’s out. I purchased my very first 100% cashmere jumper this year and it is a dream (ok, late to the party). Since then, I am constantly on the look out for anything cashmere.

How do you buy?

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Life through instagram: birthdays

Happy long weekend guys!

weekend brunch with mr squishy cheeks is the best! 

This just happened yesterday - belated birthday celebration for yours truly! Mr squishy cheeks is getting bigger and bigger, but I haven't aged a day. He is currently the only baby in our crew, so we are, understandably, a tad obsessed. Thankfully, he likes cuddles. The jury is still in whether he looks like mom or dad. When he is not sticking his tongue out, he has this pensive look about him. And in the above pic, well, just caught him during a rather grumpy moment. And yes, don't we all wish we can just scream when we want something, and two adults would come into our service?

As it turns out, there are quite a few birthday celebrations in January, so it is fitting that an overdose of cake and dessert is imminent. Not that I mind, because, seriously, who can say no to sugar all the time? We do 'clean eating' or whatever you call it because we want to be able to eat dessert guilt-free, or at least relatively so. For the record, I did not have dessert because I was tipsy post a glass of wine, which I did not regret at all. I spent the rest of the day in a state of deliriousness. Happiness in a glass of wine - what more can you ask in life? Oh, of course, the best of company and the kindest of friends, the ones who simply 'get' you, no questions asked. I got very lucky in this life. Thanks for the love guys. Nado neo mani mani saranghae.

early birthday celebration for mi amore
hope all your wishes come true dear

I don't really care when I get to celebrate my birthday, really, and of course, if I can, I probably stretch the celebration all year long, because #yolo. But if I were to pick a preference, of course that would be an early celebration, because, maybe, just maybe, it indicates eagerness to celebrate. No, not really. I just wanted to take my friend out on a nice lunch and Contrabando was having an express lunch deal, with the sweetest cider I've ever tasted so far (not that I've tasted many).

And while we are at it, candles - they make everything doubly, triply special. Like you are glowing in the midst of darkness kind of thing. Or maybe, it's just an instagram filter.

A note on instagraming or facebooking or twitting someone else's picture (i.e. someone who happens to be in same frame as yours) - maybe ask them if it's okay before you actually upload the pic? It's only polite that way. I will not dream of writing Social Media 101 ever, but it bugs me when someone deliberately posts an unflattering photo of anyone. Like seriously? If you are ever in doubt, just be kind as often as you possibly kind (read: don't be a moron).

my friend baked yest and took the cake to the office today.
i know i shouldn't, but i took a bite and i now want to eat the whole thing.

My friend baked one of the most delicious chocolate cakes that I've ever tasted my whole life. I am not a big fan of cakes, just that I've been exposed to a lot of cakes in the recent years. Her cake was so moist and tasty that I had a bite and it was nicely summarised by the above picture.

It dawned on me that growing up, the reason why I never liked cakes was because they were mostly terrible to eat. I mean, seriously, they were bland for the most part. It is very possible that the baker were trying to skimp on sugar, but I would rather attribute this to a lack of skill. Then again, I didn't have a high expectation of cakes back then, so I took it as all cakes tasted horrible. It pained me that I had to eat them because I felt somewhat obligated to like them - because they were like, errr, expensive. I can think of a few other 'delicacies' that I never quite liked growing up, but felt obligated to consume and enjoy just because they were expensive. Abalone, for an instance, is severely overrated in our household. And so is lobster, in my opinion; and any other exotic seafood, all of which used to give me the worst allergic reaction ever (some still do). These last few sentences do make me sound like a spoilt, ungrateful little brat, and in all likelihood, I probably was (and still am). I am today thankful that I don't find these things appetising as I have found the true love of my life that is fried chicken, which unfortunately, is a pretty bad thing to consume on a regular basis. It does, however, make one bad-ass birthday wish.

birthday wishes done right (minus the grammatical error)
And after all these feasting, I feel like I am fat. Like really, really fat. 

Have a great long weekend guys! 

Friday, 23 January 2015

acquisition analysis: vintage coach court bag

I purchased my very first vintage bag: the Coach Court bag in burgundy.

this is the image of the bag that was posted in the ebay listing - pretty good for a vintage bag circa 1980s, yes?

Initial thoughts (why vintage)

I was never into vintage other than the things that my mom passed down to me. I mean, old things generally do not appeal to my younger self, who was more into contemporary designs. And then, I got older and started appreciating timeless designs and this was when vintage bags begin to appear more attractive.

I think this is a good entry point for a vintage virgin. The bag was made circa 1980s, the era that I was born, so it was fitting that it is the first in my collection. I have been sticking to more classic bags lately because I’d like it to withstand the test of time. This bag has withstood the test of time for about 20-25 years and counting, and I am excited to carry it for the next 20-30 years or so.

Why this bag

I first saw this bag on approximately a couple of years ago. I toyed between the Court and the Willis (and for a brief period of time, the Station) before finally choosing the Court for its design. When comparing bags from the same design house, with similar designs like these, I go for the one that I love at first sight, which was the Court. The Willis has been alluring, and is still alluring so if and when I see the Willis in the colour that I want (navy), then I will definitely jump at the opportunity.

I wanted the Court in black, but got the one in burgundy. I like a burgundy-coloured bag because it is my one of my classic colours. When a bag is available for sale in the style that I want, in the colour that I want, within the price range I am willing to pay for its quality, the rest, as they say, is history. So colour, I suppose, is the one element that is flexible for me. If the style is right and the colour is 'one of my colours', then it's a good candidate for purchase.

The purchase

I saw this bag on within its first few hours of listing. I did not have an alert set up for this bag because there were just too many listings available on ebay, but the condition of these bags are generally appalling (but they are cheap, so really, can’t complain). So, I resigned to fate: if it’s a meant to be, it’s a meant to be. Meanwhile, I happily leave this bag on my lust list. I am a lot more relaxed with my lust list these days, a lot of items came off this list within a few months, so I try not to purchase unless the item has been there for at least 3 months. This is some serious waiting, and I find that I make more successful purchases this way. This bag in particular has been on the lust list for nearly 2 years.

Upon seeing the bag, I added it to my watch list and then continued browsing other things. The great thing about this time of the year is that I have plenty of time to browse and evaluate my watch list. I add things and subtract things from it on a very regular basis. This bag survived a few rounds of editing, which made it a serious contender for purchase.

As is the case with buying on eBay, you can never be certain of its authenticity, so you have no choice but to be really good at educating yourself on this. It is not rocket science these days, thanks to the number of people who write articles on how to authenticate anything (plus a Google search). And as a non-negotiable rule on buying anything on eBay: if the photos are not up to scratch, chance is that the seller is not up to scratch. Stay away from people who put a half-assed attempt of selling things on eBay store. These people give me the impression that their goods are not well maintained, because they are seemingly lazy in general. I don’t wish to encourage this sloppy behavior, so I just don’t purchase anything from them.

I took my cue from extrapetite's experience on buying a Coach Court bag. My bag is a good decade older than hers, but there are parallels to our experience. I won’t repeat the steps here, and instead encourage you to read extrapetite’s posting on how to buy a Coach bag.

Despite being a fraction of the price of my black bag, the usual acquisition criteria applied for this bag: good material and construction: leather, durable and affordable for its quality. I want this bag to be reliable and dependable as a polishing touch to my outfits, and again, to be something that I take care and maintained, not babied.

On the brand

Coach has been around for a very long time – for as long as I can remember. I used to have this infatuation with Coach products, which materialized itself in 2008 during my brief stint in the US of A. My taste has changed significantly since then, and I have since sold and/or gifted whatever I bought back then. Coach re-released their classic collection a couple of years ago, which was when I developed this fondness for the brand, and of course, the post from extrapetite on vintage Coach bags.

Other random observations

We walked into Coach at the QVB building the day before Christmas. One of my oldest friends (we had the privilege of growing up together) bought me a purse – he said, I wanted to get you something, and it was on sale. He was open to the idea of me exchanging it for something I wanted if I didn’t like it. I liked his choice because well, he picked it. But we were in front of Coach and it wasn’t too crazy and there was this bag I liked (which was bought my someone else – ugh), so there we were. I entertained myself with the new collection (wasn’t on sale), which I happened to like a lot, and would have bought had it not for the fact that I already have a similar styled bag. When we finally made it to the sale section, I found the zip top clutch that I have been wanting for a year now, in a different color, but I’ve been wanting an orange bag as of late, so… we exchanged the clutch he picked for the orange one, and picked the same styled clutch in pink for his sister.

This means two Coach bags within a week. Santa has been very kind this year.

acquisition analysis is a series of entries that centres on the practical side of how to maximise your marginal utility when spending your money. it is not primarily directed at the financial side of things, rather, on refining my buying skills, specifically on how an item would fit into my life. after all, if it is true that i get to design my life, then it follows that i need to be more critical in both adding and subtracting what's in it. furthermore, i personally believe that in order to maximise one's resources, acquisitions (or purchases) have to be of a strategic nature, instead of a mere time-filler. i admit that at this stage, i am yet to formalise an acquisition process, so one of the goals would be to come up with my acquisition process after i analyse a few of my past purchases. this should make for an interesting exercise because i note that some of my acquisitions do not necessarily stand the test of time. some items that i purchased turn out to be of a terrible quality, despite meticulously taking care of them. lots of lessons to be had!

Friday, 16 January 2015

acquisition analysis: yellow coat (JCrew Lady Day in Golden Sun)

I must have been in another planet when I ordered this coat, right smack in the middle of summer, when the night was hot, and I was literally sweating. Then again, it might as well have been the limited free shipping offer that J Crew had that was clouding my judgment.

This is the Lady Day coat that is hailed as the classic, most feminine-shaped coat from the J Crew line. It beats all the rest of the other coats: Stadium, Metro, etc - at least in my books. Full disclosure: this is a brand that I got familiar with by following a few bloggers, one of which is Jean from, who has been teaching me (from afar) how to build a cohesive wardrobe collection.

Outerwear, be it a coat like this, or a jacket, or a trench, is very, very important. I have been lucky to be able to build a collection that has been inspiring for me so far, which is probably why I find it easier to dress in the colder weather (despite not liking the temperature).

Colour: It is impossible not to notice the colour: bright yellow aka golden sun is not as bright in real life as it is in the pictures. I think a bright coloured coat literally brightens up a winter's day, and also has the added benefit of elevating your mood (winter's blues no more!). Note that this colour is not the warm chartreuse that's currently still retailing at full price at JCrew (at the time of writing). The warm chartreuse is, as the name indicates, more of a warm tone than the bright yellow (which errs on the cooler side of yellow). With the exception of my orange dress, I tend to stick to the cooler version of colours. This is a personal preference. I am a neutral, so I can wear either warm or cool colours, but personally prefer the cooler tones.

Fit/shape/style/comfort/quality/etc: This coat is made of 'double-cloth wool, which takes colour beautifully and is made exclusively for [JCrew] by Italy's Manifattura di Carmignano mill (known the world over for its exceptional woolen fabrics.' It is a single breasted, feminine, tailored fit, with length that falls around my knees (which is okay for me, but is designed to fall around mid-thigh, a sign that I probably should've ventured off to the petite collection). I wear a regular size 2 and it fits me well in the shoulder, with a suitable sleeve length (erring on the long side, which is how I like my coats). JCrew has a comprehensive review section whereby the purchasers of this coat give their feedback on the coat, including how it fits them. In fact, it is the feedback of one reviewer that sealed the deal for me:

"The tailoring gives you a really streamlined look, perfect for professional, formal, and casual occasions. The Thinsulate does the trick during the cold New England winters! This coat also wears really well, it doesn't really wrinkle with wear. I really like the fabric used for this coat as well. My cheaper coats pilled, collected lint, and look dingy after one season, but my Lady Day Coat always looks pristine! This coat is worth the investment!"

A lot of the reviewers mention that this coat run small, and I don't find it true based on my experience. They also mention that the sleeves run small, and this, I find to be true, although admittedly, they actually fit me well. I know I sound rather contradictory, and this is because most of my jackets/coats currently have sleeves that are too big, which I'd like to alter, but don't really want to fork out $50++ for each jacket for alterations (another contradiction). So, we'll see how this coat works out for me.  I am yet to wear this coat on a full day, so I can't quite speak for the comfort, particularly on the sleeves.

Price: this retails at approx AUD610 (at the time of writing) but I purchased this for less than that, thanks to the promotion that J Crew had at the time of purchase. JCrew has a different set of pricing for their Australian customers that is higher than their US customers (even after exchange rate conversions), and why this is the case is absolutely beyond me. I have bought a few things from JCrew at the end of last year because I have been intrigued for so long and I must say they did not disappoint. The different pricing does bug me, so I am going to lay off buying from JCrew for a while. I get that this different pricing schemes also exist for other retailers, including, so really, following my logic, I should just not engage in online shopping at all.

Concerns: I do admit to one concern and that is the lightness of the colour, which translates to how easily visible dirt would be on this coat. Granted that a dark coloured coat can be dirty without showing any signs of dirt, so this isn't about not washing them, but more about the light-coloured coats being more high maintenance.

Personal feelings: (need to find a better label for this) I have been eyeing this style of coat for the longest time. I wanted (actually, still want) a replacement red coat for the one that I donated at the end of last winter, and I stumbled upon this colour, fell in love and hit purchase. I have said previously that I wanted my purchases to inspire me, and this coat does because I could think up a dozen different ways to wear it even before I actually wear it (it's not winter yet).

So, in a way, this coat is a quasi mindful/impulsive purchase, enabled by a sale sign and free shipping offer. Jean from maintains a curated, well-edited coat collection, so I trust her judgment on this coat (from memory, she entertained buying a third colour but decided not to because it was, in her words, 'overkill').

Side note: while we are on the subject of coats, I entertained the idea of owning a peacoat by JCrew, in the same colour (golden sun) when it went on a deep discount (AUD178, from AUD420 - about 60% off - woot!). I almost purchased this because recently a blogger (forgot who, sorry, but it was not one of the blogs that I frequent regularly) wrote about it and said it was a staple, and I was sufficiently intrigued. This is a really good price, in a possibly versatile style, which I ended up not buying because ... I haven't thought much about it. I am glad I didn't purchase this because a week later I got the lady day in the same colour. Patience, guys, patience.

acquisition analysis is a series of entries that centres on the practical side of how to maximise your marginal utility when spending your money. it is not primarily directed at the financial side of things, rather, on refining my buying skills, specifically on how an item would fit into my life. after all, if it is true that i get to design my life, then it follows that i need to be more critical in both adding and subtracting what's in it. furthermore, i personally believe that in order to maximise one's resources, acquisitions (or purchases) have to be of a strategic nature, instead of a mere time-filler. i admit that at this stage, i am yet to formalise an acquisition process, so one of the goals would be to come up with my acquisition process after i analyse a few of my past purchases. this should make for an interesting exercise because i note that some of my acquisitions do not necessarily stand the test of time. some items that i purchased turn out to be of a terrible quality, despite meticulously taking care of them. lots of lessons to be had!