Over Analysis: REI Trailsmith pants

Welcome to the Over Analysis.  In this series, I go over an item in great detail – positives and negatives. Sometimes I spend way too much time going over small ridiculous details about clothes, skincare, makeup, anything else most people consider shallow. This series can be about as deep as a puddle, so enjoy!

This past winter I became increasingly interested in functional, durable work apparel. I was diving deep into the hipster horticulturalist/potter/shop girl look and was quickly getting obsessed. So for Christmas, I asked B to get me a pair of Carhartt overalls. He laughed at me and said “For what? What kind of work do you think you do?” I wanted them for working in the garden, but to be honest I really wanted them for the aesthetics. B and I are always out working in the garden, especially in summer. We grow heaps of vegetables, maintain a few fruit trees, and we just like to keep our garden neat and clean with beautiful perennials and annuals. I wanted something rugged I could wear everyday and not worry about scraping up my knees kneeling in the mulch. Most importantly though, I wanted something that would keep my butt crack in check when I’m bending over weeding – overalls!

Ever since I got my overalls, I started noticing how cute work pants were for everyday. I did a bunch of browsing through Carhartt’s website, but wanted something a bit more everyday and less cowboy. I picked up a pair of Topo Design’s Chore pants when I found them sale at a local shop, but they fit terribly on my curvy body. Then I spied these pants at REI when they first released their spring items in March. The Trailsmith pants were exactly what I was looking for so I snatched them up the moment they had a $20 off for members coupon come through. I’ve been wearing these pants regularly since then and I can honestly say I have no regrets. If they made them in other colors, I’d get a second pair.

From the REI site: “Like your favorite work jeans but better, the women’s REI Co-op Trailsmith pants have added stretch, durability and mobility so you can build a deck, boulder or shoot pool in comfort.

I really like the look of these pants. The brown color is reminiscent of Carhartt brown, sticking with the work pants vibe. The thighs are double layered to below the knees, again giving them the work pants/duck pants look. The fabric is thick, warm, and rugged without being too scratchy and stiff. The front pockets are deep enough to fit my whole hand ensuring my lip balm will have a hard time falling out. The back packets are large enough to fit my phone in them without worry that the phone will hook on something. The length is long enough so the can be worn as pants, but can be cuffed to flash some ankle while still looking proportional. The waist is fairly high which I absolutely love to help balance out my long torso. I wanted something specifically with a high waist, helping bridge the aesthetic gap between real work pants and everyday fashion-y pants.

The downsides: the fabric doesn’t really stretch even though REI claims you can boulder in them. They also shrunk a bit in the dryer – or maybe I’ve gained a few pounds since purchasing them – but they have softened up a bit. The fabric is durable, but after only about 10 wears and 3 washes, there are faded (patina?) areas at the zipper fly and along the seams.

All in all, I love these pants and it seems like many others do too according to the reviews on REI’s site (though there are mixed feelings about the high waist). I chuckled a bit reading through the reviews and what people wear them for…”I’m a petite archeologist!” and “I work outdoors in swamps and mud”. I’m busy wearing them to work inside a classroom, and to the brewery!

sweater: uniqlo – shirt: mont bell – pants: rei – shoes: vans

Last Fridays

There are only 2 (two) more Fridays left in the school year. Final exams start tomorrow, and end by this Friday. I’m giving up on wearing anything more than jeans and t shirts from here on out. This is what I wore to school last Friday, because it snowed that day, and I was still cold. Harrumph.

THLT Patagonia snap t

THLT upper playground hunters point

THLT Patagonia pullover

pullover: patagonia – tshirt: upper playground – jeans: mother denim – shoes: vans – watch: fitbit blaze – belt: urban outfitters

Take It Easy

I have a new Friday sweatshirt and motto:  Take it easy. The kids loved it – “I see you miss” while giving me a head nod, the kind where your chin leads the rest of the head upward knowingly. All day I had that Eagles song stuck in my head and I was constantly humming the tune to myself.

This phrase reminds of my dad.  It was his automatic goodbye phrase when guests left. Our house in San Francisco is on a huge hill and there are three flights of steep stairs that lead up to the front door. People would always grip the hand rail in fear of those stairs while my sister and I would go up and down regularly in roller skates. We would all say just “bye” or something in Chinese and my dad would always just jump in with “takeiteasy”,so fast and all as one word. As a kid I was so confused by it, and it didn’t even click in my mind what he was saying until I was about 10. English was not my first language, and American idioms were not common at home. Now I know – take it easy!

This sweatshirt is actually supposed to be a dress. A dress for whom, I’m not sure. Granted, most dresses on me are automatically too short. But this doesn’t even come close. Forever 21 mini-dresses = shirts (with pockets!) on me.

take it easy2

take it easy4

take it easy3

take it easy

glasses: warby parker – sweatshirt (dress) and jeans: f21 – shoes: vans – necklace: my mom’s – watch: pebble

Grid-Walking Part 2

Today we walked Quadrant 2 of our grid-walking plan: Union St/6th Ave to 7th St/Prospect Park West.  Fall is definitely settling in, and I couldn’t be happier with the cooler temperatures.  I wouldn’t call it cold by any means, but it’s cool enough for a holey sweater and a very thin puffy in a fall plaid.  I’m not even quite done with the plaid yet, but this Uniqlo puffy is a recent addition to my fall arsenal.

Oh, and I dyed my hair last weekend.  There was a sale on hair dye at CVS and I had a coupon for an extra $2 off.  $4.50 later, I have black hair.  Something new for cheap.

puffer: uniqlo (bought during a $10 off special)- sweater: anthro, evening chill pullover (old)- belt: h&m – coated twill pants: urban outfitters (I bought mine on sale for $30 in-store, online they’re full price still)- shoes: vans (super old) – bag: freitag

Dekalb Market

B and I rode our bikes over to Dekalb Market today.  The weather has cooled a bit and I’m getting used to riding my single-speed (no more jello legs).  I know I need to stop comparing NY to SF, but the Dekalb market is a larger version of the Proxy Project in Hayes Valley.  It’s pretty cool and I love the design sensibilities of a “mall” out of old shipping containers.  Salvaged materials, an urban farm, artisanal foods, an Etsy pop-up with a vintage tool shop and you’ve got yourself a thriving hipster mecca.  We overheard some dude with an epic beard lamenting the presence of a jump-house and screaming kids–> “there should be an adults only hour or something if they’re going to make this cool”.  Like B says, at least they’re in a cage.  I really wanted to buy a bike basket/Bambi holder from this shop (seriously cute stuff), but alas, the weight limit is 12lbs.  Bambi is a fatty.

I have been on the search for a great pair of denim shorts for a while.  Granted, I need another pair of shorts like I need a hole in my head, but I want a good fit with a high waist to offset my freakish long torso/short appendages proportions.  These fit the bill, and they’re not ridiculously expensive.  Normally BDG stuff is made for stick-like teenage girls and aren’t made to fit my birthing hips.  Surprisingly enough though, these do.

sunnies: f21 – tank: madewell (on super sale last weekend, similar here) – shorts: BDG from UO – shoes: vans – bag: freitag – nails: revlon scandalous

brunch with aly

Brunch with Aly!  We went to Savor, over on 24th street.  Easy, fast, yummy and won’t break the bank too hard.  Aly is my friend Marisa and her hubby Al’s kid.  Aly is almost 3 and a squirmy little kid, as expected.  She’s so cute!

big kid clothes– sunnies and cords: f21 – shirt: levis – t shirt: target – belt: old gap – shoes: vans – tote: marc by marc jacobs – that thing that looks like a pager but it actually a glorified pedometer: fitbit