Tuesday 21st November 2017
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It started innocently enough

splendid shop

It always does. Just a quick trip to the sunglass shop on Spring Street for a small repair, then straight back home to work. But then there was the Splendid store just steps away. And even though I have walked past the Splendid store dozens of times and never been the least bit tempted to go in, lately, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been surprised—because I always thought their stuff was kind of junior—to learn that a top I’ve admired is theirs. They’re not the cheapest t-shirts out there, but they’re also not crazy pricey, and I have a crazy pricey t-shirt habit I’m trying to break. A visit felt like the fiscally responsible thing to do.

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I wasn’t in the door a minute before I fell for this vintage circle whisper tee: the shape—blousy in both the front and back—is A-1 perfect junk-camouflage material, and looks like it could have come from Helmut Lang or somewhere else where it would have cost a good 30 percent more. In general I’m a fan of all of the tees in Splendid’s Vintage Whisper line: most really soft t-shirts these days turn out to have some sort of synthetic in them, but these are 100% cotton, super-thin, and so nice next to your skin.

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Right next store stood Sam Edelman. Much like Splendid, a store that has tempted me never. But they actually make some pretty cute shoes at really good prices, and recently I’ve been curious to see if the quality is there and they might be worth covering. If I can rationalize anything in the name of this blog, it’s pretty much a go, so I popped in.  It was summer sandal central inside, and I was drawn to these cork flip flops, dead ringers for this pair from French brand K-Jacques but way, way, way cheaper. I had actually coveted the K-Jacques versions, but had wondered if a flip flop wouldn’t be horribly uncomfortable when executed on a big old cork heel. Happily, I discovered, it is not.  They’re cheap enough to buy in multiple shades—and come in quite a few—but I stuck with just the gold.

madewell store

And now it really was time to get on home. Just a quick little foray to Saturdays Surf for my first iced cappuccino of the season and out. But in order to get there, I had to pass Madewell on Broome Street and Broadway, and even though I don’t inevitably buy something every time I visit Madewell, I can always find something to want. I gave myself a pass and went in. By now I knew I was getting a post out of this, and editorially speaking, three is always better than two.

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Madewell’s got a partnership going with Austin retailer JM Drygoods; they sell the best Mexican embroidered clothes, and have a—and I hate using this word, but it really applies here—small and quite thoughtfully curated selection of other items, from chairs to soaps to candles, and you kind of want one of everything. At Madewell they’ve focused mostly on Mexican tops and dresses, and after a good deal of obsessing, I finally settled on this Oxaca Caftan. I am quite sure it shall get stained—dramatically and soon, and likely by my own hand. But for now it is perfect. As was that iced cappuccino.

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Posted on May 7th, 2014 31 Comments

31 Responses

  1. Tammy says:

    I love Splendid T-shirts. Never tried the Vintage Whisper line, but have a couple other tees, and they’re fantastic.

  2. Heather says:

    Curate this!

  3. Samantha says:

    This post made me giggle! I love it 🙂
    Also – after your tube skirt inspiration from the other day, I ended up buying one from…Splendid! Its perfect.

  4. tamara says:

    my days all start innocently enough…and then i read your blog. and then i start clicking. and then all hell breaks loose.

  5. c.w. says:

    I bought a Splendid t-shirt a couple of years ago and after one wash (hang to dry) the side seams were all catawhumpers in a big, big way making it impossible to wear again. Very disappointing and a waste of money. The t-shirt you show doesn’t look like that will happen to it, but I’m just relating my own experience with the brand.

    • Suz says:

      I had the same experience. Its the thinness of the fabric; they just go south very quickly after a wash or two. A waste of money.

      I miss substantial t shirts with a modern cut.

      • Mamavalveeta03 says:

        I’ve heard this about some of their tees, but I have several and it’s never happened to mine. I always wash inside-out on gentle and lay on a drying rack.

  6. Heather says:

    I do like Splendid tshirts – they’re soft – but I get them at Nordstrom Rack or 6pm.com.

    • AmyM says:

      Don’t you love 6pm.com?!

      • Heather says:

        I do! Admittedly I send back about 75% of what I buy there (I wish they had user reviews but maybe that’s the point), but when I do get a keeper, it’s a real keeper. I think they’re connected with Zappos?

        • Mamavalveeta03 says:

          I find some great things there, too. And yes, they’re kind of like Zappo’s outlet site.

  7. Kate says:

    Great selections! I wish the shoes didn’t have that logo on the strap, though — why do they always do that?

  8. Nada says:

    Those cork flip flops are an unpardonable sin. Terrible! So dated. Why?

  9. Kristin says:

    How is the sizing on the Splendid tees? According to the chart they post, I would be an XL or an XXL (broad shoulders) and the tee pictured doesn’t come that large.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says:

      Kristin, I find that their sizing chart generally runs pretty true. I take a size XL in their tees and I wear a 14. I wouldn’t go with this tee since it is sized M/L. But you can sort your parameters on their website, even size, and their are a couple of “vintage whisper” tees that come in XL. Nordstrom also carries their plus-size line, so you may want to check that out.

  10. Viajera says:

    I too find the word “curated” a tad pretentious but it doesn’t bother me.

    Whereas, “bespoke” is beyond irritating (look, if you’re a real Brit, everyone knows already, though in that case I’ll give you a pass for using it, and if you’re not, why are you using that word? We say “custom made” here …), I’m sick of the phrases “pop(s) of color” (please everyone stop …) and “switch out” (um, why not just say, you changed whatever it was?) Ditto “sussing.” Sussing *ought* to mean talking smack about someone behind their back.

    Okay, sorry, I feel better now. Keep on sussin’… (if you must!)

    Re the clothes. Do cork beds get squishy? I’m not wild about how they look, but the squish factor is what stops me. I pronate, y’all. Also I don’t like thong shoes but they don’t bother me on other people.

  11. Liz says:

    I love Madewell, but I think it’s funny that everything I’ve ever bought from them has ripped within a few wearings. I don’t have that problem with clothes in general, so I don’t know what the deal is with their stuff.

  12. Love that tee. Great side detail at the bottom of the shirt. Thanks for sharing.

  13. AmyM says:

    Oooh Kim did you see these? They seem right up your alley.

  14. 13bees says:

    sort of randomly, I love the sunwashed tee’s from loft. on sale, they’re fifteen or so bucks and wash/wear way better than any expensive shirts I’ve ever owned (which all somehow inevitably end up with little holes and sideways seams after a single season). lots of pretty colors, too.


    • Suz says:

      This is good to know! Loft used to be great for solid basics.

      I hate the little holes. Turns out its the top of your jeans/button area that rubs and because of the thinness = holes.

      • edie says:

        Or when you catch it in your zipper by mistake. All my little holes are in that same spot. Front and center. Ugh.

    • edie says:

      They’re on sale online for $11.70 each. How can you lose?

  15. Mary says:

    I just was want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. You do a wonderful job and I look forward to reading it so much! Thank you!

  16. haapi says:

    I, too, share your dislike of the word “curate.” So flipping precious.
    But I am getting more and more prickly whenever I hear the word “obsessed” in any way, shape or form, unless it is used correctly.
    As you did.

  17. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    Please add “bad-ass” to over-used fashion lingo.

  18. Meg says:

    t-shirts! thank you

  19. Meg says:

    and by the way, they have some very solid sandals going at madewell: https://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/SHOESANDSANDALS.jsp