been a minute

and in that time i bought a bunch of shoes

So the end of baseball’s regular season was perhaps not, then, the right time to launch a newsletter unrelated to the sport. Even without travel, October was a blur of delirious exhaustion that renders my behavior unrecognizable in almost immediate retrospect as soon as I get a full night’s sleep. It’s not very interesting or sympathetic. 

Last year, my first time covering the postseason, I documented my outfits for each game and even when getting dressed felt burdensome it was a wonderful tactile talisman to the experience. I am loathe to look professional any more than I have to, but I relished the challenge of fitting my style to the circumstances (and variable temperatures).

Early in the pandemic, when we were all still marveling to one another about the different ways the weirdness manifested, I often mentioned how much I missed thinking about what to wear while taking a shower. Synthesizing the plans of the upcoming day or week and mentally riffling through my closet to suit them. What I really missed, of course, was having plans. But also the way that actually getting dressed cemented them in my memory in the way that handwriting their notes serves as a nemonic device for some people. Carefully assigning my smartest, coolest, classiest, warmest clothes to each postseason game last year kept the experience from blurring completely together.   

This year I wore almost exclusively my husband’s linen button downs. We are not remotely close enough in size for this to be reasonable, but I think that makes them all the more versatile. And by versatile I mean that — like some kind of overly on-the-nose reference to 2020 that you’d see in the montage of the movies they better not make about daily life during the pandemic — I wore full exercise outfits and then put the XL men’s button down over the whole thing for zoom press conferences. 

Here is a punchline to that setup that sounds fake not because it’s so funny but just because it is yet another zeitgeist-y cliche: Since we are both baseball writers working from home, Jake and I were often on simultaneous but separate zoom press conferences. During one such incident, my coworker, who was on the same Zoom press conference as Jake, slacked me to say that it appeared I was not wearing pants. 

Like some kind of blithe monster who is not obsessed with his own visage, Jake had not bothered to even glance at his own little Zoom square where, apparently, I was featured prominently in the background wearing a shirt that hid the pants I promise I was wearing.

We have fun here.

This is what happened after the baseball season ended with a Game 7 that was immediately overshadowed by encroachment of coronavirus: I cried uncontrollably for hours, got some but definitely not enough sleep, as a result hit my own head so hard with the car door that I had a giant visible lump by the time I got inside, sold some clothes, and bought a bunch of shoes.

(Sometime during the postseason, predictably, I bought the exact shirt I said “someone” should buy last time I wrote a newsletter.)

Let’s skip the tears to talk about shoes: First, I bought a couple of pairs of Nikes, one of which is not very exciting and one of which is baby’s first-ever Air Force 1’s. The realization that you can get a pair with custom colors for $110 was enough to overcome my concern that I am not nearly cool enough for iconic sneakers and the slightly more salient fact that I prefer a “chunkier” sole to something flat and and homogenous (for this reason I can’t abide Converse).

The color scheme I settled on was probably inspired by how Jake and I have been quoting Marc Maron’s turmeric bit to each other for…months now.

I’m prone to hyperbole and recency bias but fuck, these are so good. See them in action on an apple-picking excursion here.

The other two pairs of shoes (yes, ok, you got me. I bought four pairs of shoes in the span of like two weeks and the suffered real genuine dread about how insane that is, but there is so little opportunity for low-stakes recklessness — an entirely too much opportunity for high-stakes recklessness — lately) were both off Noihsaf Bazaar.

The Instagram account with nearly 40k followers on the main handle and nearly a dozen subsidiaries is the source of so much of my wardrobe that I worry I’m spoiling any sartorial magic by copping to that. It’s a resale marketplace that allows users to submit items and purchase directly from each other for a small ($3.80) sellers’ fee. Everything is discounted off the retail price, even when it’s new with tags or otherwise in perfect condition. Several times a year, I comb through my closet and sell anything I’m not wearing as an excuse to make new purchases. I bookmark everything I’m interested in for about a week and then go back and make offers on what’s still available. It’s the closest thing I have to a life hack and a huge part of how I shop sustainably.

This time it yielded chunky patent leather Doc Marten loafers that help to soothe the perpetual rage I feel towards the sheer existence of ballet flats (the worst shoe) and black Blundstone Chelsea boots that look a little too polished before being broken in and serve to remind me I’ll never escape being a horse girl at heart.

That’s all well and good for me but aren’t exactly actionable as recommendations. So here’s what I love that is (as of right now) still available on the account.

Someone should buy…

A post shared by bleeding your feed since 2013 (@noihsaf.bazaar)

…this crewneck NATURAL sweatshirt in the inverse colors that I have it in. Can vouch for how incredibly soft it is. The aesthetic is subtle vintage/collegiate and just the right amount obscure.

A post shared by bleeding your feed since 2013 (@noihsaf.bazaar)

…these ridiculous multi-metallic Ganni cowboy boots. They’re my size and my shit and so, given the aforementioned shoe-induced guilt, you’d be doing me a favor by taking them off the market.

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…these yellow and white gold hoops. I bought a pair of tiny-but-thicc gold hoops off Noihsaf at the start of the pandemic and I have not taken them off in months (like, literally, my ears might not be OK).

What about a crocodile belt by Valentio or a ring that says BOOBS?

I’m eyeing the entire internet in search of a casual, versatile, cool winter coat that I won’t hate and will make me not hate the cold. This is the only thing I actually need. It’s the only thing I should be allowed to purchase for myself for the remainder of 2020. I have a fantastic vintage fur bomber (seen in the loafer pic above) that I bought a vintage vendor expo a few years ago, and every winter since I’ve told myself I will supplement it with something a little more practical and every winter I simply bitch and moan about the weather while layering sweatshirts under my trusty leather jacket deep into December. This is a cry for help. Send me suggestions.

Or, come to think of it, maybe I’ll just stick to the current plan and purchase this Prospect Park hoodie from Only NY.

This was a lot of words and not a lot of intellectual points or purchase-ables. But with the holidays coming up, we’ll address the latter issue at least very soon. I have about a billion items I’m considering for various family members and since none of them are internet savvy enough to know this newsletter exists, I’ll share them all without the multi-month lag next time.