Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Curated, Small-Batch, Only Slightly Pretentious Gift List


I don't know about you guys, but if I have to sit through one more celebrity-endorsed, hand-picked, small-batch, curated edit of a website stocked with overpriced, annoyingly "normcore" versions of things the rest of us have been finding all by ourselves for like, ever...well, I'm starting to feel a bit stabby.  

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a bit of high-end tat from time to time. My fridge is full of soy and almond milks, and I even make my own nut butters with the special nut butter attachment on my macerating juicer. So believe me when I tell you that I am the target demographic for this kind of over-hyped flotsam and jetsam. However, there is a limit to what the thinking person is willing to tolerate. These attempts to re-sell us things that we have been finding all on our own, re-branded as somehow more special because a celebrity has "found" them...well. Pthhht. I'm so over it that basically from now on, anyone using the word curated in front of me had better work in a museum. 

Take the hot cocoa mix on the left in the above photo. Who in the blue blazes pays $30 for hot cocoa mix!? That's the latest offering from Blake Lively's curated web venture, Preserve (this exact same product also happens to be available on Etsy, for those of us who have already been shopping for overpriced bespoke cocoa for years, but I digress). Sure, it boasts the word "organic" in front of its three ingredients (that's $10 per ingredient by my counting), yet the one on the right boasts seven ingredients that promise a more interesting (albeit less organic) ride. It also includes Himalayan pink sea salt, in case you're worried about it not being pretentious enough for you. And it's five bucks on Etsy. That's more like it.

So if like me, you enjoy a potentially-pretentious, artisan-crafted, small-batch product but can't bear the thought of enduring a celebrity-endorsed, handlebar-moustached, over-inflated price tag, this list is for you, and it's all under $100. Well under. Many thanks to the many artists and crafters of Etsy whose skill and dedication make it possible. 

The Highland Fashionista's Small-Batch, Only Slightly Pretentious Gift List. 
The following list has not been curated in any way. 

For Him


For Her


For the Wee Ones


Around the House


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Americans!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Camel Hair Blazer


Some of the best clothes I own are the secondhand finds, and this Ralph Lauren Black Label camel hair blazer is very much in that category. I found it on eBay, and while it wasn't cheap, it was a great price; under $100 and nary a scratch on it. While I was puttering about on the internet, I found a more recent permutation of it online, and the price of nearly gave me a coronary. It's a really well made garment, and it fits perfectly; so soft and luxurious that it sort of defies explanation, but I'll try. It's kind of like the smooth feeling of a baby's bum crossed with that velvety part of a horse's nose, with a silk lining that feels like...well...silk. This is such a luxurious and elegant piece, I felt that it just didn't need a whole lot of accessorising, as it can speak for itself just fine, thanks very much.

I've spent most of my adult life avoiding camel clothing, thinking it was a colour that I couldn't wear because it was so close to my skin colour, and that it would wash me out. Add to that everything you read about women with silver hair avoiding browns and beiges...well, I fell for it. I avoided camel, as much as I love the simple elegance of it. In retrospect, that was so stupid. Camel goes with just about everything, and while admittedly it is by no means the best shade for my skin tone, you can easily temper that by pairing it with black (as I have done here), burgundy, blue chambray, nautical stripes....the list goes on and on.

So basically I'm making up for lost time. I anticipate a lot of camel posts coming your way. Prepare yourselves.






Make it happen.