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Review: American Giant

      American Giant is an American-made brand I first heard about a few years ago, when Slate boldly declared that their hoodie was the greatest hoodie ever made. That was back in 2012, before online shopping was quite as ubiquitous as it was today, especially for ethically/sustainable clothing (Everlane, for example, launched in 2011). Flash forward 5 years, and thanks to a well-timed after Christmas sale (I believe the website said it was their first ever sale) I've finally investigated the claims, plus some of their other products, for myself.
The Varsity Jacket - Size XS
     First up, their varsity jacket. I won't spend too much time on this piece, because it isn't available on their website anymore, but will throw in my two cents just in case it ever pops back up. I ordered it because I love the look of a varsity jacket, and because it is Warriors' colors (go Dubs - and as I type this I am watching them just crush the Clippers).
        I absolutely love the construction and quality of this jacket. It feels very sturdy, but yet it isn't stiff. I also get the feeling that it will continue to break-in over time, like a great pair of shoes. I think my biggest takeaway from both this jacket, and their hoodie (review below) is that I am impressed with the fabric. I'm not sure what type of cotton they are using, but it is thick and so substantial feeling. This company clearly prides itself on these items being made in USA, and if this is going to be an example of our workmanship and quality then I am just fine with that. This jacket is way more expensive than the hoodie I got at Target, but I have much higher hopes for it's longevity. 
Bag | Mansur Gavriel Mini-Bucket
Shoes | Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66
I have to say, however, that the yellow turned out to be a little more yellow than I expected. My first thought was that this looks like a Cal Bears or UCLA Bruin's jacket, and I did not attend either of those institutions. I'm currently on the fence about keeping this or sending it back - if it was grey or black I'd never take it off.  
American Giant Review
 The Pant - Size 00
Next up, their product that is called "The Pant". Here is a link to an interesting look by Refinery 29 at the various iterations of the product before they settled on the final version.  This, as far as I can tell, is not supposed to be a yoga or an exercise pant. It is basically a more substantial tights-as-pants situation (which is something I have personally rallied against for years and yet here we are). They are not as compressing as exercise pants, and made from a different fabric - sort-of like if ponte and spandex had a love child. I have worn these to wander around on the weekend, and to the driving range (which seemed like an appropriate sporty but not exercise-y place to wear them).
American Giant The Pant Review
 They have one pocket on the front, and otherwise are pocket-less. I love the fit of the waistband - my biggest complaint about most tights is that the waistband is too tight - but they are a little bit big in the thighs on me, and a little long - you can see bunching on the ankle in the shot below. Ultimately, I like them and am keeping them, but think that with a few minor improvements these could really knock it out of the park. 
American Giant The Pant Review
Proof of pocket.
American Giant The Pant Review
American Giant The Pant Review
 Classic Full Zip Hoodie - Size XS
 Last, but not least, is their hoodie, which I got in the very versatile, forest green, and which I will cut to the chase and say that I really like. It is a cotton hoodie, that has a fleece-lining inside. It is really comfortable but durable, and has small thoughtful design details, such as reinforced elbows (as you can see below) pockets that fit an iPhone (!), AND they put the fleece lining that is inside the jacket in the pockets too! It is, due to the thick cotton and the fleecy-ness, a warmer hoodie, and while it isn't stiff, it is a bit bulky so it might be hard to layer under other jackets or coats. 
 Overall, I'm impressed by American Giant, and appreciate their obsession with just making a few things, and making those things well. Have you ever tried them out? If so, what did you think?

Glitter Tweed

Blazer | Rebecca Taylor Lurex Tweed  (size 00)
Top | Vanessa Bruno Athe
Pants | Citizens of Humanity
Just a little sparkle and shine today. Although sadly the sale has ended, for a brief while Rebecca Taylor was having an additional 40% off all of their sale items, so I pounced and added this blazer to my wardrobe. I love the colors, the subtle sparkle and the peplum, and while sparkle and peplum might sound like words that would limit a blazer's versatility, I think that this one will go nicely with everything from jeans, to sheath dresses, to pencil skirts. The rest of this outfit is pretty streamlined (since the blazer should get the focus) and from consignment stores.
Also, the purchase of this blazer crystallized that I am really into Rebecca Taylor right now. Recently-ish, I purchased this, a peplum top, a dress, and coat that are all Rebecca Taylor! Prior to these purchases, I only had two Rebecca Taylor items - a white denim skirt and the world's coolest moto jacket. My first thought is, I wonder why all her items suddenly really speak to me, but, a close second - can I wear that peplum top under this peplum blazer - or is that just a bridge too far? We tackle the big questions of the universe here at Style Dtour.
Close up of the sparkle, and my Gabriela Artigas ring.
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A Cost Breakdown

Talbots Reversible Belt
I was very pleased with this outfit because I think it is a nice example of items I have found that fit my personal style, but that aren't necessarily new, trendy or expensive. Also, it isn't like I purchased each of these thinking about a future outfit, each was just something I was drawn to, is versatile, and is a good team player in many outfits. 
  • Jeans: These jeans are from a DL1961 Sample Sale that I went to back when I lived in NY. I went to a lot of sample sales while I lived there and it was one experience that really helped me learn a lot about style, fit, and what I liked. You got a discount if you bought two pairs of jeans (which looking back I should have done) but instead, I brought cash (the number one rule of sample sales....actually, the number one rule is wear underwear) and combined purchases with another woman who was only buying one thing, so we both got the extra discount and then I just paid her in cash. They are a dark wash, boot cut jean and have continued to be featured in heavy rotation in my wardrobe since. 
  • Belt: This is the Novelty Buckle Reversible Belt from Talbots in the"Black/Kendall Grey" combo. I actually first saw it on Jean of Extra Petite, (link to her review here) and was intrigued by the versatility and simple design. I had never purchased anything from Talbots before, but I'm pleased with the quality. It retails for $50, but I just waited until they were offering a 30% off coupon around the holidays, and jumped on it. 

  • Sweater: This sweater is J. Crew (by way of Goodwill), purchased during an after-Christmas mark-down. I wear it all the time (proof and more proof). It is the perfect length to wear with skirts or jeans and very soft. 
  • Cardigan: Last but not least, is this cardigan, which I scored at a recent clothing swap. I love the color, and even though the original owner didn't want it anymore, I was more than happy to take it off her hands. 
Add it all together, and it equals one very affordable work outfit. 
Talbots Novelty Buckle Reversible Belt
Where do you look for bargains, or is that not a main driver of your shopping? 

Weekend Reading + Viewing

1. I found myself re-watching this video last night, it is Chimamanda Ngozi's Ted talk, entitled "We Should All Be Feminists". I've included the video below, if you've never heard it, or even if you have. 

In other, more regularly scheduled programming, I'm just clearing out some lobby photos from the past week or so, and have a few other more lighthearted links. 

 2. BCBG Is Closing Stores! I don't shop there now, but I have such strong memories of their stores in the mall when I was in high school (Racked).

3. Do you have Allbirds sneakers? I swear they just popped up on everyone's feet recently, male and female, from my under-30 friends to my over-fifty (probably...I'm terrible at telling age) co-workers. (Racked)

4. From the NYT: Maybe Louis Vuitton Should Have Stayed Enemies with Supreme

5. And lastly...the always great coverage by Go Fug Yourself of the covers of various international Vogues (GoFugYourself)

I just have two quick sets of photos today, the first of which is a coat that I know will end up in about 100 of my photos, so I hope you don't get sick of seeing it. It is Rebecca Taylor, and I got it on the RealReal. It was really love at first sight, and the leather sleeves are what sold me. They are also, as you can sort of make out in the photo below, removable, and zip off, so you can wear just the wool part of the jacket as a winter vest. It also has very functional double pockets, so you can unzip the zippers right above the flaps for a secured pocket, but there are also side pockets (below the flaps and which run vertically) which are more practical for putting your hands in when it is cold. If only it had interior pockets, it really would be perfect. I also used it to dress up two casual Friday work outfits. 

Coat | Rebecca Taylor
Jeans | Citizens of Humanity
Bag | Cuyana
Shoes | Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 
Same as above, except:
Jean | DL1961
Shoes | Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole
This is actual the outfit under the jacket in the first photo above. This blazer doesn't have a button, and is a little big, so I rarely wear it. I ended up using a brooch as a button instead, and I think it worked out just fine. 
Sweater | J. Crew
Blazer | Thrift Store (no tag)
Ring | Gabriela Artigas
Brooch | Vintage
Jeans | Citizens of Humanity
Shoes | Cole Haan Sabrina Loafer 
Apologies for the bathroom selfie.

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Posing Needs Work

Cardigan - 8telier
Dress - Theory Nutria Crepe Blouse
Shoes - Cole Haan 
I know this pose is a little strange, but I was trying to show the color-contrast of the lining of this cardigan/jacket. Instead, it looks like I should have a bunch of watches hanging from the inside that I am going to try to sell to you.

Photo from Lyst
True story: this dress is actually a tunic top that I had tailored. 
It is a few sizes too large and looked like a dress on me, since, as you can see, it sort of was more mini-dress than tunic-top on the model. (As an aside, the tunic/formal-board-shorts pairing in the stock photo seems like it has a very high degree of difficultly to pull off.) Normally, I wouldn't bother buying something like this that needs immediate tailoring, but it swayed me for a few reasons. I loved the neckline, and as it was heavily discounted and had a pretty simple construction (i.e, just side seams), I took a chance and took it to a tailor. She was able to bring it in on the sides pretty easily, and the end result - a lovely work dress.
The ribbons can be draped, like so, or tied in a bow.
Do you ever take a chance on tailoring? Does it ever work out, or usually end in heartbreak? 

Fog Schmog

Happy MLK Day - everyone knows the powerful, 'I Have a Dream' speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, but I wanted to start with a link to some of his other great speeches, for your reading/listening pleasure: Washington Post
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Hoodie | American Giant
Jeans | Citizens of Humanity
Bag | Sophie Hulme
It was surprisingly foggy the day I took these photos. Normally the fog layer burns off in the morning, but this weekend, it just lingered and lingered. 

I went out in my new American Giant hoodie and a chunky-knit beanie. Speaking of American Giant, I ordered some items from them for the first time recently and plan on doing a larger review a little later. 

Look at those awesome elbow patches.

It sometimes feels cliche to me to live in the Bay Area and walk around in a hoodie and jeans, which is the typical tech-worker/SF-bro uniform, but I also find the outfit to be incredibly practical and comfortable. This also doesn't have (i) any stains or holes or (ii) the name of an employer. If that isn't enough, I am also carrying a bag with a green suede interior - so you know, that feels like it should count for something. The bag, by the way is sort of an oversized envelope clutch, but with a strap. I really like the color and construction, but find that it is a little awkward if you are trying to carry anything that isn't flat (like the DSLR I took those fog photos with).
Purchased on The Real Real.
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Lemaire + la pluie

Jacket | BlankNYC Suede Moto
Sweater | Uniqlo Lemaire
Skirt | Caslon

Shoes | Coclico
The rain continues, so I continue to layer. One morning it was only overcast, so I got a little cocky and went bare ankles, which I ended up regretting. I paired this cool, midi-length pencil skirt with a sweater from Uniqlo's collaboration in 2015 with Lemaire. Lemaire is the eponymous label of designer Christophe Lemaire, who left Hermes to open his own line, and then later accepted a job as the artistic director of Uniqlo. Maybe the collab was a trial-run? The internet seems to suggest he is still in that position, although it is a little unclear.
I focused on textures when pairing these pieces (the woven printed skirt, the chunky knit top, and the soft suede jacket), and the cold weather made me gravitate toward richer, deeper and more brooding colors. This sweater is amazingly soft, and I like the swingy silhouette - it makes me feel like I should tie a scarf around my neck and swing my arms around in a dramatic fashion. I do wish the sleeves were either full length, or shorter, but it is possible that on a taller model they were closer to 3/4 sleeves.  The way it is now, my wrists are just a little colder than I'd like them to be. I guess my real take-away from this post is that someone needs to bring back ankle warmers and make wrist warmers a thing as well. Is that too much to ask blogasphere? 

Wrangling the length.
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Lost & Found

Sweater | Target
Jeans | DL1961
Boots | Coclico Arya
Bracelet | Miansai Screw Cuff in Rose Gold

I'm in the middle of cleaning my apartment as part of a new year organization and cleaning spree, and under the bed I found a bin that I did not remember that we had put there. In it, were several items of clothing that, at one point over the last year and a half I had been like, "whatever happened to my __". Turns out they were all in this bin that was under the middle of the bed and which I had totally forgotten about. Most of the clothes went immediately into the Goodwill pile, since if I hadn't noticed they were gone, it was a good indicator that I didn't really need them. Some of the items, however, were like this black sweater, which was in there and which I missed so much - I'll never lose you again sweater!
It is a pretty basic sweater - from Target, but it is so soft and I love the way it fits. It is also the perfect length to wear tucked into jeans, or, as a mini dress with over-the-knee boots (that one, obviously not worn to work). 

I usually get dressed shoes last (metaphorically - although also literally) as I know some people start with shoes and work upward when planning an outfit. I took a chance that these tan booties would go with this look, and was pleasantly surprised. I also then put on some rose gold jewelry, to help bring other warm pink/yellows into the outfit. The shoes are Coclico, a brand I've talked about a few times (here and here), and were my first purchase from the brand, which I stumbled upon on Amazon back in 2014 (they are currently on sale, in suede, on the Coclico website - I am a size 7 and usually wear their 37, but these, per their website, run a half size small so I sized up).  They are an ankle boot (I neglected to take a photo showing just the shoe) and have a cool cut out look on the shaft. 
Arya Bootie Coclico
Hello shoes.
Do you ever feel like you just cannot find that one piece of clothing that you know is somewhere in your closet?

Instagram + Weekend Reading

Well, I've given in and finally joined Instagram. Initially I wasn't interested, and then I liked being a female in their target demographic who was avoiding their product, and now it just seems like not a big deal either way. We'll see if it lasts, but for now, should you have any inclination, you can follow me at @styledtour, where I have posted such gems such as:
1. The outfit I wore to SF MOMA on Near Year's Day. It felt appropriate to start the year off with art, culture, beauty...and elbow patches. True story - I bought this sweater at a sample sale in NY, and it was so cheap that I assumed the patches were not real leather. I didn't realize until after I ran it through the washing machine that they are, in fact, lambskin. My bad. At least I caught it before I ran it through the dryer. 
Sweater | Elizabeth and James
Shirt | Equipment
Pants | Citizens of Humanity
Bag | Mansur Gavriel 
2. A shirt I found the last time I was home, and I brought back with me as a lounging-around top. I really want to go back to the Grand Canyon (I went when I was in elementary school) and this helps fuel that fire. 
3. Lastly, a close up of my new suede jacket, as well as a great Eileen Fisher sweater. I remember thinking that their clothing was so "mature" looking when I was younger, but recently I have been gravitating toward all of their dresses and sweaters whenever I see them. I wonder if that makes Eileen Fisher like the broccoli of clothing, and all I had to do was grow up to appreciate it a little bit more.
Jacket | BlankNYC Suede Moto
Sweater | Eileen Fisher
Tank | Lanston
Sunglasses | Ray-Ban
And now, for your weekend perusal:
1. For anyone who hasn't been following the drama between Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, let the NYT lay it down for you.

2. Amazon is going to start making their own in-house line of athletic wear - I guess they are banking on us not having reached peak athleasure (Recode

3. NYE might be over, but Fashionista has a helpful look at how to clean feathers, sequins and fur; and finally

4. A look back at the Golden Globes fashion of 2007 - some of these have aged well, and some, not so much (GoFugYourself).

Happy weekend!

The Onion

Jacket | J. Crew
Dress | Tibi
Collared Shirt | J. Crew
 Ogres (and bloggers sometimes) are like onions: they have layers. Never more so than when winter weather rears its head. It is going to be dark and rainy all week, so I might as well hunker down and get ready for some layering. 
 My outer layer is this great J. Crew coat that I bought at a Crossroads Trading Co. for $25, back when I lived in New York. I had been wearing the same uninspired sleeping-bag coat with a fake fur hood for months and months in the rain, the wind, and the snow and I finally snapped. I walked to Crossroads and bought two new jackets, both of which I brought with me to a warmer climate and which still serve me well.  
 Peel back the coat, and I have my oft-featured cardigan - which ended up being a necessary layer, along with the tights. Take that away, and I started with a crisp button down, layered under my dress to make it more corporate. In looking at these photos, I could use a colorful silk scarf, or some statement earrings to break up the otherwise black and white look. 
How do you layer when it gets cold?