What I Bought: Black Friday 2020

Clothing & Accessories

Sevilla Smith Liz Mules + Shearling Insert | Purchased for $225 + $24 (20% off)

I admit – this was an impulse purchase. I love my Sevilla Smith Sandy’s, and wasn’t necessarily looking for another pair. But the sale was so tempting, I couldn’t resist. Ever since learning about the different leathers, I’ve been keen to try out the thicker Oregon leather used here. If these fit (I ordered a size down since my Sandys are slightly loose), I may turn them into my indoor WFH work shoes.

Faye still has some styles available in the sale, such these very cool brushed Sandys and these Liz Mules in a pretty lighter leather.

J Brand Maria Skinny Jeans from Bloomingdales | Purchased for $94 (50% off) + 10% cash back

I already have a pair, but they are over 5 years old and have faded over time. I love these because they fit most easy into over-the-knee boots like my 5050s, so I felt it was due time for a fresh pair. Of course, I will still wear my old ones!

With Rakuten, I also got an additional 10% cash back (today it’s 15%), so these jeans were ~55% off. I am a big fan of stacking Rakuten cashback bonuses with holiday sales – more on that here. If you’re new to Rakuten, you can use my referral link to earn an additional $40 cashback on your first purchase (note, I’ll also earn $40 – thank you in advance if you use my link!)

Mansur Gavriel Mini Protea Bag from Neiman Marcus | Purchased for $595, receiving $125 gift card + 20% cash back (~40% off)

I have been eyeing this bag since my roundup on luxe inspired bags. On Rakuten, Neiman Marcus is offering a generous 20% cash back on many categories, including handbags. Combined with their gift card promo (spend $X and get a $Y gift card), this was a pretty good deal. 

Note: I made sure that the gift card could be used on items I would need to buy in December / January, otherwise it would not be a deal if it just made me spend more. I’m almost out of facial moisturizer, so I’ll likely be using it on that.

Home & Other Goods

LL Bean Ultraplush Primaloft Blanket | Purchased for 15% off

This is a gift for my dad – he gets cold easily in the winter, so this looked like the perfect toasty blanket. Thank you to Xin for the Cozy Blanket recommendation, which led me down this path.

2021 Watercolor Calendar from Etsy | Purchased for 15% off

A gift for my mom – she always meticulously tracks important dates & appointments in a physical calendar. I buy her a new calendar each year!

Santa Sloth Slippers from AE | Purchased for $15 (50% off)

My old Totoro slippers are looking… rough these days. These were too cute to pass up.

Ring Spotlight Cam & Small Solar Panel | Purchased for $149 + $49 (25% off the Spotlight Cam)

We’ve been needing a camera for our side entrance, and I like that this light & camera combo doesn’t need hardwiring if used with the solar panel. 

Philips LED Penguin & Baby Penguin from Target| Purchased for $67.50 total (25% off)

I mean… how cute are these?!

Sewing & Stuff

Hughes Dress Pattern from Friday Pattern Co | Purchased for $12 (25% off)

Up North Quilt Pattern from Pen + Paper Patterns | Purchased for $6.50 (35% off)

My 2019 Purchases & Their Statuses

These past few Black Fridays, I try my best to stick with purchases that have been on my ‘list’ for some time, and have a good chance at a high utilization rate. So, let’s see how well I did with last year’s purchases:

Saint Laurent Small Vicky Bag in Black Lambskin from Nordstrom (similar) | Purchased for $1,400 (30% off $1,990)

This bag was beautiful – soft, supple lambskin leather with a lovely structure. Which, ultimately, was terrifying to me. I ended up returning this bag because I was worried about the delicate leather, as gorgeous as it was.

Demellier Vancouver Bag in Black Leather from 24S.com | Purchased for $368 (20% off $460)

I reviewed this bag here, and have used it a moderate amount of times. Less so during summer and well, shelter-in-place, but I’ll be wearing it more now that we’re heading into winter.

Bryr Clogs Miranda Spanish Toe in Clay | Purchased for $266 (not on sale, but part of their limited no-lead-time special sale)

My in-store try-on review here. Sadly, I have not worn these as much as I’ve liked – I’m tempted to clean the soles and ‘turn’ them into indoor shoes to get more wear out of them. These were going to be my go-to spring / summer shoes, but… 2020. I’ll give them another year, but may have to re-home if they still don’t get use!

Nisolo Dari Boot in Wheat | Purchased for $140 (40% off $238)

I wore these a lot earlier this year as my commute / work shoes in the winter. They’re very solid ankle boots, and I’m glad I have them in my collection. Currently a similar sale price!

Elizabeth Suzann x Alabama Chanin Eva Long-Sleeve Top | Purchased for $84 (30% off $124)

Love this and wear it quite a bit – it’s back in my rotation now that the weather has cooled down. It’s a nice, mid/heavyweight cotton with an elegant neckline. 

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Holiday Sales Part Two-sday: Makers & Explorers

Above: Photo from S O C I A L . C U T via Unsplash.

I present to you part two of the Black Friday & holiday round-up, focused on sales (and gifts!) for makers and outdoor enthusiasts. Part one can be found here, with deals on clothing, shoes & accessories.

Shortcut links to each section:

Last Updated: Saturday, Nov 28th at 8:30am

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Monday Musings: Let the Holiday Sales Begin

Above: Photo from @visuals on Unsplash

Last Updated: Saturday, Nov 28 at 8:30am PST

While many brands have had more sales than usual this year, it is now officially Black Friday holiday sale season. I’ll keep this list updated over time as best I can with some of my favorite brands and individual items across several categories.

To help with navigation, here’s a quick table of contents:

I originally had various makers & craft-related sales in this list, but I realized it would grow out of hand quickly. So, I’ll be sharing those in a separate post!

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Luxe Inspired: Gucci Mules Alternatives

Gucci Horsebit Mules Alternatives & Dupes

With the weather now cooling down, I find myself looking at fall staples like elegant loafers and mules. I am late to the Gucci Princetown horsebit mule train – but what better time than now to wear some glamorous flats at home? However, this shoe is pricey at over $700 retail and is a fairly ubiquitous style. So I decided to browse and see if I could find a comparable ‘dupe’ or alternative at a more affordable price point.

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Luxe Inspired ‘Dupes’: Chloe, Céline, Bottega Veneta & More


Above: Photo from @handinfire

With the everything going on in the world, like many, I haven’t been at all interested in shopping these past several months. You could probably tell from my flurry of sewing-related posts :) However, I find my mind occasionally drifting nowadays…

In the hardest of times, it is important to still dream.

Daniel Lee (Bottega Veneta) for Vogue

We have somehow, officially entered fall in the blink of an eye. Autumn is my favorite season, albeit with some lingering anxiety of California fire season. When it comes to buying clothing, I usually hold off in anticipation of this time of year for excellent deals and sales. But I’ve also always enjoyed hunting for alternate, more affordable (but good quality) options of luxury classics and It Bags.

I use the term ‘dupe’ lightly and in jest here – as many of these ‘dupe’ brands have unique designs and styles in their own right. Of course, there are certainly direct replicas on the cheap on Amazon and Taobao, but those aren’t the focus here. I hope you find this list helpful and fun, at the very least!

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