Welcome to Shit I Bought, a column where we recap the life-changing beauty and fashion purchases of various staffers—and also just stuff we bought on a whim.
I’m well aware that it’s more financially responsible to make semi-regular purchases as needed rather than blowing your paycheck in a panicky online shopping binge every six months, but just because I know something does not mean I am disciplined enough to apply it to my actual life. I recently moved into a new apartment, so you are catching me mid-binge as I balance an urgent and primal need to “nest” with an equally urgent desire to invest in, for example, a good retinol cream.
I’ve been wanting nicer bedding for a while—my comforter is from IKEA circa 2012, and I’ve been sleeping in a stranger’s sheets ever since my wash & fold accidentally swapped mine, which I’m realizing, as I type this out, is psychotic. I decided to scrimp on this $30 set of white Mellanni microfiber bed sheets, since I’m going to eventually need to buy a whole bunch of other shit. They do not come with words like SUSTAINABLY SOURCED or ORGANIC COTTON and I have no idea what the Mellanni people do to make them feel so good at such a reasonable price, so be warned, I guess... but they’re a dream. So soft! I did splurge on this fancy quilted mattress pad cover, and guess what: another excellent decision by me. It is fluffy and poofy but my back feels great, and I never want to get out of bed.
Speaking of beds, I also just bought my first bed frame (I’d been stacking my mattress on a box spring), and for just 80 bucks, y’all! It’s very basic, but I’ve got a lot of stuff going on in my room so I’m into the minimal look here. Plus, there’s a ton of storage space underneath.
I already have one standing lamp, but my new room needs another lighting source, so after an agonizing search—why are all lamps this?—I settled on a copper table lamp from CB2. I’m getting into that phase of life where I’m less eager to buy throwaway stuff, and there’s something about this design that I find very personally satisfying. (It hasn’t been delivered yet, though, so we’ll see—same with the bed frame.)
As my colleagues have previously pointed out, clothes are bad right now and it’s hard to know precisely where to buy them; adding to this is the fact that no one ever looks up from their computer at my office, so there is not a ton of pressure to wear nice things or to look professional. I really genuinely try to not buy a substantial percentage of my clothing at Urban Outfitters, a company I do not love, but there’s one right by our office and it just keeps... happening.
Over the past few months, I’ve bought these black BDG Mom Jeans, a breezy peach twill striped button down, and a sassy little mustard ribbed slip dress, and my friends, I have received compliments on all three items. Mustard—who knew?
I also recently got a little drunk at dinner with a friend near St. Marks and decided, on a whim, to go across the street and get my 7th piercing like the very bad teen that I am. Since I have sensitive ears (or skin, or whatever), I have to get pierced with the good stuff, which is not something I really thought about beforehand but yeah, I spent an unexpected amount of money on a nice earring so my cartilage doesn’t turn purple and fall off (it looks like this, but you can get a way cheaper version if you don’t need a 14K situation). My ear is very cool now, in case you are wondering.
Lastly, after successfully testing out a vitamin A serum and watching one friend’s face begin glowing like the fucking Buddha overnight, I’ve decided that I absolutely must invest in a retinol cream, which has anti-aging properties but also targets acne, texture, and dark spots. After hunting for a bargain, I finally gave in and bought Dr. Brandt’s 2% Retinol Complex Serum, and I’m feeling pretty good about it; after just one use, my skin looked a little tighter and more even.
I really hate to brag—just truly can’t stand to brag—but I feel that I have really hit a home run with these purchases.
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd
I’ve been in a state of Trumpian capitalist malaise, simultaneously disgusted by American excess and a compulsive participant in it. This peaked today when I emerged from the subway at Union Square and noticed the new display in the store for Mac Cosmetics, which seemed to promote yet another mode of empty girl-power as what gains we’ve made for women’s rights hang precariously in the balance. And yet, despite all this, I bought a bunch of shit.
Earlier this summer I copped some Camper Koborahs, which turned out to be a great purchase despite the rather steep price ($150 on sale) because they are a stylish sandal that is also extraordinarily comfortable, like Crocs if someone cool designed them, or the Melissa x Zaha Hadid collaboration I wanted but couldn’t afford ten years ago.
They were so comfortable, in fact, that I decided every shoe I wear from June until it dips below 50 degrees should be some variation of rubber/jelly, so I went directly to Jeffrey Campbell and bought these slides in a nice lime green color and also their Petra mule in fuschia matte. Yes, I realize the latter is a third-gen Maryam Nassir Zadeh knockoff and therefore is a little bit of a basic-bitch flex but I have bigger things to worry about, such as the fact that my entire body is coated in a film of sweat for three months straight.
Even still, last month I decided it’s never too early to think about what I wanna wear in fall because it always arrives sooner than you want it to. Why not prepare in advance? Hence: this “Queen Cher” faux fur in red from Pink Plastic, a small and cool business run by two women of color (and they carry plus sizes!). I haven’t received it yet because they make these to order, and now that I’m revisiting it I’m regretting that I didn’t go for the Bubble Bella or the Princess Mia, but such are the hazards of ordering shit for November in July. I also bought this Hologram Bag because I am 12 and rave rave rave rave rave.
Speaking of made-to-order, my fall shoes have yet to arrive as well. I’ve been toying with getting all-white-and-silver custom-made Timberlands for about four years and never got around to it, and I also wanted Rihanna’s white Fenty sneaker boot but didn’t wanna spend four hundred bucks because, come on. I found a happy medium in Underground’s Evolution Jungle Boot in white leather, which I’m so psyched on. They are freaky, tough-as-shit and, nerd alert, “inspired by the experimentation with the digital visualisation of sound, where abstract patterns moving in accordance with the sound input from oscillators, has been converted to a graphic. This graphic output has inspired sole designs, the shaping of the upper and the design of trims.” It’s a WAV.FORM ON MY SHOE, YALL. As a companion piece, I also threw in a fucking sweatshirt that says “TECHNO” on it.
Finally, yesterday on a whim, I went for Pat McGrath’s LUST: MATTETRANCE TRIO triple-lipstick pack, because her cosmetics are the shit and the only shade Sephora had left happened to be in my colors. (“Vicious Venoms,” ooh la la.) It was like, a hundred bucks, which is disgusting, but I feel fairly ambivalent about reconciling any of my feelings at this present juncture.
This has been “Shit I Bought,” comprised of shit we actually bought. No company compelled us to write about it for any reason. We bought it all, for better and often for worse, with our own money and of our own free will.