Today I am all about my fall “haul,” my friends. I’ve recently taken delivery of two tops which I ordered on-line. And these two pieces plus the belt I bought on my shopping day with Liz constitute my entire fall haul, thus far. A small fall haul this year. But, let’s be realistic, since I’ve retired, I haven’t needed as many clothes as when I was working. I have more free time to shop around for the perfect item so the pieces are chosen more carefully, and spread out over time. No need to shop for a big haul all at once. Plus, I am consciously trying to limit my shopping for new clothes by shopping my closet instead. So as a result, these last few years, I have come to understand the joys of a small fall haul, rather than a big fall haul.
Back in the day, I used to be big on big fall “hauls,” as the fashionistas seem to want to call the multiple purchases we lug home after a day of shopping. Not that I called them hauls, back then. Not that I consider myself a fashionista either. Ha. I use the term to refer to myself only in jest. But back in the day before I retired, during what I call my “indulgent years,” I did have a fall shopping routine that consisted of one big shopping day early in the season. A day when I sallied forth with my list, and made numerous purchases to do me for the season. Now the sight of a gleeful shopper returning home with bags upon bags seems so old school to me. And in slightly poor taste, considering the current climate of less is more.
I’m very pleased with my new cashmere sweater from Everlane. As you can tell above. The collar and open neck are a nice change from a crew neck or a turtleneck which are my usual default styles. The cashmere in the sweater is soft and light. And the dropped shoulder and loose style are just what I needed to wear with these Aritzia cargo pants. I ordered the size large, so the sleeves are nice and long too. This is how I’d intended to wear it, with a white cami underneath. But it looks great over a white tank top or a short sleeve tee as well. I tucked in the front a bit and bloused it over the waist of my pants, then let it fall loose in the back. When it’s untucked it falls to my hips or just below.
I love the soft green colour. Everlane calls this shade “kalamata.” It’s not quite olive and not quite sage. The sun was in and out of the clouds on Friday, making it look a slightly different shade in every shot. Anyway, whatever colour it is, I like it with my cream cargo pants, as I said. And with my Stan Smith sneakers. And with this old gold Michael Kors tote bag which has been stuffed in my cupboard all summer. I actually think that the shade of this sweater is one that I shouldn’t wear. It’s a bit too “warm” for me. But with a bright white tee or cami under it, I love it. Besides, a good friend once told me I paid too much attention to the “shoulds” in life. So I’m following her advice, ignoring the “shoulds”, and wearing what I please. Or what pleases me.
It also pleased me on Friday to change up the cream cargoes for my high-waisted, straight-leg Frame jeans, my Paul Green burgundy loafers, and my favourite travel piece, this Uniqlo burgundy, ultra-light down vest. Funny how the burgundy and the green look good together, don’t you think? I tried this colour combination back in 2018, with the vest, a burgundy sweater, and olive green jeans. I loved it then too. Paul Green has been making styles similar to my chunky-soled loafers for a few years now. Here’s the latest iteration. And here’s the link to the Uniqlo vest which has been such a boon to my travel wardrobe and, to be honest, to my stay-at-home wardrobe as well.
As a matter of fact, now that I see the two outfits together, I prefer the second one. I like the first look, but I think that it’s too summery with the cream pants and white sneakers. Too washed-out looking, perhaps, for a good fall outfit. Maybe if I had chunky, caramel-brown loafers, but I don’t, so we won’t even go there. I am NOT shoe shopping this fall, people. I still have boots to buy. And maybe a coat.
I still have one more fall purchase to show you. The other 50% of my fall haul. But I’ll save that for another day. Actually I think my small haul is too small to even qualify as a “haul.”
I mean, doesn’t the very word “haul” imply that it must be big? Doesn’t a haul usually consist of a variety of purchases to give the reader or viewer a sense of a whole line offered by a brand? Hence the “Zara Hauls” or “H&M Hauls” which were so ubiquitous a couple of years ago. If you read the hashtags or disclaimers carefully on these “haul” posts, you’ll more often than not see these are not purchases at all, but items gifted to “influencers” by big brands who want their approval. And of course the approval of their multitudes of followers. And sometimes I do wonder if “content creators” feel as strongly about their gifted items as they rhapsodize.
That whole paragraph sounds a bit waspish, doesn’t it? Kind of snarky. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being given items as gifts in exchange for an honest review or a photo of the influencer wearing or using the item on their IG account. I’m not even sure that “hauls” are as much of a thing as they once were. Hauls have become, as I said earlier, kind of reprehensible, representing as they do the worst side of fast fashion. But gifted items in return for posts are definitely still a thing.
Some professional bloggers like Catherine Summers at Not Dressed as Lamb have been campaigning to persuade bloggers and vloggers to value their services more highly than the odd gifted item. Catherine explains that by accepting a couple of dresses or a pair of shoes for a post, bloggers are providing to the brand a service that is worth so much more than that dress or pair of shoes. And as such a brand should pay a reasonable remittance to the bloggers for their time and talent. She says she sometimes says to brands that shoes and dresses don’t pay her mortgage. And I support her in that. I’ve learned so much from Catherine over the years. She is a professional blogger who makes her living from her blog and does it with professionalism and panache.
been offered gifts in exchange for posts, but usually the gift is not something I want, need, or would consider wearing. I always politely refuse thanks. Or if I will consider posting on my blog, for a fee, articles written by someone else. Ah… nope. I like writing my blog. That’s why I have a blog. And lately, I’ve been asked if I am interested in “joining” this or that company which promises to find brands that want to “work with me.” “No. I don’t think so,” I always reply.
On the other hand, I am NOT a professional blogger. I don’t live on my blog earnings. I could quit blogging tomorrow and still be able to pay the mortgage. If we had a mortgage. I make a commission from some (not all) of the product links I provide in my posts, that’s if a reader clicks the link and then makes a purchase. That commission pays my hosting and tech support fees. And ironically, gifted items would not help with that at all. Of course if Vince or Max Mara ever comes calling, offering me that fall coat or sweater I want, or if Stuart Weitzman or Paul Green says they’ll pay me to say the things I’m probably saying already about their products I may reconsider. But I don’t see that happening, do you?
I And it’s the writing that I would want to be paid for. That’s what has value for me. Not product placement.
But I have digressed very far away from the concept of “hauls” and what I bought for fall 2021. For that I apologize. That’s if you’re still reading and haven’t fallen asleep, or gone back to your book. Ha.
I’ve been enjoying finding ways to wear my small fall haul. The joy of a small haul is that one cherishes each piece more than if one has too many new things to play with. At some point this fall, I may add to my haul. (I must stop calling it a haul.) I’m still shopping for a pair of black boots to wear with my knit dresses. And I’m considering purchasing a black down or quilted coat of some sort. I want it to be longish, not a jacket, loose-fitting, and with no collar. I have a very clear idea of the shape and proportions I want. Maybe too clear an idea. That often bodes ill for my finding what I want.
Maybe I should be more open about what I’m looking for. But as I said above, I’m trying to not pay too much attention to the “shoulds” in life. My friend Mary Hall advised me long ago to stop worrying so much about “shoulds.” I met Mary when I first started teaching; she was sixteen years older than me, and she was a hoot. I loved that woman. I learned a lot from her. And you know, she learned a lot from me, mostly about clothes. Now why doesn’t that surprise you? Mary passed away a few years ago, and I’ve been thinking about her lately. Partly because of the “shoulds.”
But also because an IG friend and fellow blogger MK suggested I write a post about a trip I took back in the eighties with my friend Mary. My first ever trip abroad. To say that Mary and I were babes in the woods on that trip would NOT be exaggerating. But I won’t go on. You’ll have to wait to hear the stories. Thanks for the idea MK. By the way, you can find MK’s blog here.
Now I really must go and finish packing. Hubby and I are camping for the next six days. So I won’t publish a post on Tuesday. But, I’ll be back next Saturday.
And it’s your turn now, my friends. What’s on your fall shopping list? Any helpful suggestions for the perfectly proportioned black down coat? Any thoughts at all … we’re all ears.
P.S. Most of my clothing links are affiliate links. Except the Uniqlo one. If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission.