Birkenstock Arizona Sandals… They’re Back (My Review)

May 27, 2014 in Birkenstock Arizona

Birkenstock Sandals. They’ve always been around, I suppose. I remember them from when I was a kid… I saw them everywhere in the summer (I remember my nanny had a pair she wore constantly!!). And then something happened, and they vanished (only to be seen on the down-to-earth, chic, I-don’t-care-what’s-in ladies). But now they’re back. J. Crew’s advertising them hard… maybe somebody owns stock or something. Something like 4/10 of their lookbook outfits feature them! That’s quite a few.

JCrew and Birkis sandals
So, I’m admittedly in need of some new sandals. My Abercrombie Kids sandals have a hole in the bottom now (despite their young age of 4 years), and my Adidas sandals are well over 10 years old and show it. Who wouldn’t want a classic (albeit slightly clunky looking) pair of comfy blister-free walking sandals? I wear my Birkenstock clogs to work nearly every day I wear scrubs and find them crazy comfy, so I decided to give the popular Arizona sandal a go. These things come in all colors and leathers, making it almost impossible to pick a pair. J. Crew focuses on white, navy, silver or a neutral brown in a patent leather. None of these were overly appealing to me. If you really want options, head over to Zappos or Nordstrom for orange, pink, purple, green… or any combination of leather and neutral (browns, tans or blacks) that you could ever want. I ended up grabbing a beige pair in regular leather. Here are my thoughts:

  • Sizing: Make sure you get the right size and don’t get them too small! I’m a tts 6 and have to get a 37 for the proper fit.
  • Fit: These come in different widths. The regular version is pretty wide and could accommodate a wider foot. On me they look slightly bulkier than I’d prefer. If you’re narrow or regular width, go with narrow.
  • Comfort: To be honest, I thought I’d find these more comfortable. The buckle area closer to my toes starts to rub on the outside top of my foot after only a short time. I don’t know if they need to be broken in? Maybe I just have really sensitive feet post-winter.
  • Price: Gah, are these expensive! $130 for a pair of sandals is a lot to ask. I suppose if they last for years like my other Birkenstocks they would make up for that.
  • Look: These look ok. They’re not sleek and beautiful by any means, but they’re functional for every day wear, and work with my dressed-down look that I do too often now-a-days. Sincerely Jules is quite adorable in hers…

sj birkenstock sandals
Overall, I’d recommend giving these a go if you like their nature-chic look. Most people find these crazy comfy and don’t have any issues (like I’m having with the rubbing). Get them from a place that has a nice return policy if you have sensitive feet like I do!

Re-sale Trends

May 25, 2014 in Ebay Selling Tips, Ebay Tips, LOOKBOOK

I used to sell on eBay all the time during college and med school. Money was always tight. If something was sitting in my closet unworn, it was quickly sold off to fund the next purchase. But then residency started and I 1) had a livable income, and 2) didn’t have a lot of free time. So eBay selling was put on an indefinite hold. And the items built up (in my studio, cluttering my tiny space…). Just this week I finally gave in and spent a valuable off-day listing everything on eBay. I listed about 40 items in total. Since I really just want everything gone, I listed my items for cheap so they had the best chance of selling quickly. Success. So far I’ve sold over half of my items, and have made over 1k.

Trends I’ve noticed selling this year:

  • Best selling items: Lululemon! Wow, these all sold in hours! Some items literally sold in seconds. I definitely could have listed them for more. This encourages me to buy more… ;)
  • Worst selling items: Pretty much all casual wear. I’ve hardly sold any J. Crew, even at ridiculously low prices. Jeans – even $200+ AG jeans – not selling. Elizabeth & James, Inhabit, Paige, Rag & Bone… all not selling well.
  • Overall sales: Down. Its well known that selling in the summer is slow. It typically picks back up in the fall. But, as more and more re-sale sites are popping up, I wouldn’t be surprised if sales continue to be slower than in past years.

Re-sale trends 2014
 Given these trends, I’m even more encouraged to do these things: First, I’ll continue to spend money on workout gear. I wear that stuff all the time (under scrubs, as casual wear and to my daily yoga). I love buying from Athleta because of their great customer service and “give it a workout guarantee.” I haven’t needed to sell anything from them because of this, which is really nice. I have a few items from them that I adore, like the Ahimsa top and Scoop neck cocoon sweater (both able to be dressed up and worn to work on casual days). But for the majority of my workout gear I still rely on Lululemon (and their awful return policy). Their items really are hit or miss for me. Some stuff is amazing, like the power-y tank (I wear one of these nearly every day now… because I’m too lazy to wear and wash regular bras now-a-days). But other stuff just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. Its reassuring to have the option to sell it for a good price if its just not cutting it after a few wears.

What to buy
And the other takeaway from this would be to stop buying so much junk. I’ve talked about this over and over again. I’ve actually been doing really well at curbing my impulse buys, more likely due to decreased free time than increased self control (there are admittedly a few buys and returns, too). I’m thinking about my purchases for longer now before buying, and only really buying (and keeping) pretty basic pieces that are comfortable and fit well. My only recent purchases have been J. Crew’s sleeveless drapey top in pesto, their stretch suiting tank in white (its rare to find an opaque white tank), and almost.. it could still happen… the gorgeous falsetto cross-stitch pump. I haven’t seen a pump that stunning in quite some time.  I also grabbed a few Ann Taylor basics this weekend at 40% + 25% off (with ANNWELCOME6). I’ll try them, but most will likely make it back to the store (Mixed media tank, White pants #1 and #2, Silk cotton cardi and Evie leather pumps). Given these shopping strategies, don’t expect to see any exciting outfits on this blog!! :)

Hope your Memorial Day weekend is nice and relaxing (if you’re lucky enough to have off)!

Favorite Swimwear – Summer 2014

May 23, 2014 in swimwear 2014

I started looking at swimwear back in February after my Costa Rica trip (when I noticed how awful my old bikinis fit…). Shopping for swimming stuff is the worst! I couldn’t decide on anything, so I put that mission aside for a while and just recently readdressed it. I looked through so many suits, its ridiculous. I browsed Victorias Secret swim collection first. They do have some cute bikinis, like this ruffle halter/ hipster suit or this white lace bikini set. But looking at their models modeling swimwear made me slightly uncomfortable. Plus there were no sales at the time. And I refuse to buy from VS when I have to pay full price plus their ridiculous shipping costs. I next scrutinized every suit from Athleta, because I’d heard really positive reviews. If you’re looking for a sporty, good-coverage suit, definitely check them out (they’re actually having one of their rare tiered sales right now with code SUMMER). As funny as it sounds, their suits have just a bit too much coverage for me! So I kept searching.

Um, by the way, the contrast between VS models’ vibes and Athleta models’ vibes is crazy (as demonstrated below…).

And so I came back to Shopbop and their 2000 pieces of swimwear. Its overwhelming. After much deliberation I picked out two suits, hoping at least one would work out. Well, I love them both. Hate when that happens. The first suit was a black/ orange/ white stripe bikini by Vix. I sized up to a small given my past experiences and the model’s size and dimensions (love that Shopbop gives that!). I didn’t want to love this one, but I did. It just fit well! The top was flattering and comfortable and the bottoms have decent coverage and allow for moderate amounts of activity. The other suit I picked out was this ruffly black bikini by Luli Fama (never heard of them before). I wanted to try bottoms with small ruffles in the back to camouflage the indent that happens where the bottom swimsuit edge cut into my butt (if that makes sense). Well, these bottoms do that and more. They actually don’t even really have an elastic seam at the edge, but they stay in place due to the ruffles and ruching. They have really light coverage (much lighter than I’m used to), but they’re crazy flattering! This suit is more for very easy outdoors stuff like paddle-boarding or sitting by the beach. If I ever look decent again I’ll consider taking some pictures (it definitely helps to see swimwear on non-models!!). Until then, professional pics it is. I have to say, I love the neutrality of Shopbop pictures.

my swimwear picks
What have your go-to shops been for swimwear?