Posts Categorized: this week i love

This Week I Love …


… Grechen’s series titled The Minimal Closet.

We’re living in a polarized world, friends. Congress is the most visible example, but it seems like people are glomming on to extremes everywhere and in relation to issues both big and small. It’s been utterly fascinating to see polarization creep into the fashion blogging world: In terms of readership and definitely in the Instagram world, excess is celebrated. People love to see the pretty, the glamorous, the Louboutins on a white table next to some peonies and macarons. But in terms of discussion, minimalism is the buzzy topic. From Un-fancy to Into Mind, we’re all fascinated by downsizing and capsules.

But my absolute favorite minimalism-related read is The Minimal Closet series over on Grechen’s Closet. While other sources are urging you to discard absolutely everything that doesn’t “spark joy” or pare down until you have exactly 15 gorgeous items that will hang, perfectly spaced, on a single closet bar, Grechen is exploring the contradictions and challenges involved in moving toward minimalism. Buy what you love? But what if you only buy things you love and still end up with too much stuff? Is it really possible to populate your wardrobe with “perfect” items? She is a stylish woman who loves fashion and shopping and makes her living writing about those topics. She is also someone who came to the realization that she just owned way too much stuff and needed to make a change. She is not moving toward minimalism because it’s trendy, she’s doing it because she craves simplicity. But she’s refreshingly honest about her journey, and talks openly about how hard she has to work to make this change possible.

And perhaps more importantly, she doesn’t put parameters around minimalism – hers or anyone else’s. She doesn’t proclaim that she now has three pairs of jeans and will not buy jeans again until those three pairs are threadbare to the point of indecency. She still shops, and talks about shopping as being both risky and a natural part of her process. She has tinkered with capsules, but doesn’t limit herself to a set number of items. She says, and truly believes, that there’s no one right way to do minimalism.

Which is so refreshing for someone like me who ALSO loves fashion and shopping and makes her living writing about those topics. And who ALSO felt like she was drowning in choices but feared the systems and maxims handed down by self-proclaimed minimalists. Grechen has great insights, helpful tips, and a completely judgment-free tone. If you’re interested in an earthy, honest take on moving away from the collector mentality and toward simplicity, take a peek at The Minimal Closet.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

… distressed leather bags.

Earlier this year, I was on a mission to find a leather bag that looked like it had been left in the rain, run over by a semi, and buried in the yard for a few months. I’ve written about my affection for distressed leather boots before, but have generally gravitated toward sleeker bags. Until I shifted my style toward the casual and edgy, at which point a beat-up-looking bag felt like just the thing.

Here are some of the options I considered, and a few I’ve been ogling lately:

stick dog leather

Stick Dog Leather Crossbody Bag – $155

I own one of Bret’s gorgeous bags (seen here and here) and can tell you from personal experience that the leather is thick but not stiff, and truly lovely in person. As distressed leathers go, this one is on the subtle side, but it has a distinct marl to it that lends personality and edge. Plus, get a load of that cool hardware.

frye cameron tote

FRYE Cameron Tote Handbag – $281.47 with code BAGS20OFF

If you thought Frye boots were spendy, take a look at their bags. This little lover clocks in at nearly $700 full price, so it’s quite a bargain. Well, relatively speaking. I’ve actually ordered a few bags from the Cameron line and sent them all back for one reason or another, but I was impressed by how beautifully distressed the leathers were. For an even more beat-up look, peek at the Deborah bags.

rough and tumble leather bags

Rough and Tumble Waxed Canvas and Leather Tote – $178

I bought one of Natasha’s sling bags on super sale a couple of months ago, and it is exquisitely made. You can mix and match materials for most of her designs, and she incorporates some gorgeous waxed canvases for a few bags like this better-than-basic tote. That vintage brown leather base has such a perfectly distressed look to it.

free people distressed leather

Free People Asher Vegan Tote – $98

Yep, even vegan leather can be distressed! Love the two-tone design of this one, the edgy black hardware, and the fact that it’s nice and roomy at 17.5″ x 11.75″4 x 5.25″.

liebeskind bag

Liebeskind Berlin Vanessa Double Dye Bag – $177.03 with code BAGS20OFF

I first saw this brand at Anthropologie a few years back, and have been smitten ever since. Their designs tend to be simple, but with thoughtful details and this roomy dual-strap bag is no exception. I love this distressed brick red, but it also comes in two beautifully mottled brown leathers.

faux leather crossbody

T-Shirt & Jeans Washed Crossbody Bag – $28

“Washed” is another term used to describe leathers both real and faux that have an aged or well-loved look to them. This bag is small and faux leather, so it’s quite a bargain. But still large enough for wallet, phone, and keys and would look perfect with a printed sundress and gladiator sandals.

distressed satchel

Leather Handbag Satchel – $145

I bought a bright red leather backpack from Beckie many years ago, and it is both durable and beautifully constructed. She’s started to work with vintage-finish leathers, and I’m drooling over virtually all of them. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this rolled-handle satchel with a nice, long shoulder strap is definitely in the running.

Anyone else a fan of distressed leather? Got your eye on any bags for the coming season?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

Freebird by Steven.

So Steve Madden, right? I remember the 90s and how having a pair of his shoes was a BIG DEAL back then. (At least to teenagers such as myself.) And then the brand shifted out of favor for a while, and now it’s just a mainstream, accessible, solid brand. (My most worn pair of shoes is by Steve Madden.)

But Freebird by Steven – a newish offshoot of the parent brand – is a different story. For one thing, it’s WAY more expensive, so always poke around Amazon and eBay before pulling the trigger. But for another, the designs are edgy and tough, made from gorgeously distressed leathers, and adorned with subtle details and creative hardware. I am so very smitten with this brand.

Here are a few pairs you can nab right now:


Bolo, $275

I used some magical combination of coupons and got these from Amazon for around half off a month or so ago. (They’re cheaper there now, too, and 6pm has a few pairs at half off.) They are even more gorgeous in person, though that 3″ wood block heel isn’t exactly the comfiest. Still can’t wait to pair them with dresses or tees and jeans for summer. Also love the similar Hustle style.

freebird dakota boot

Dakota, $166.21 – $231.90

Love the detailing on this boot, from the wrapped strap to the x-stitched front panel to the back zipper. These also come in black or tan, but this dusty gray will be fantastic for spring and summer wear.

freebird sandals

Wing, $195

Some of the sandal styles are a little too clunky for my taste, but this strappy heel is stunning. More on the casual end of the spectrum so perhaps not ideal for dressy nights out, but perfect for edgy warm-weather looks. More sizes and black version at Bloomingdale’s.


Boulder, $285

I’ve sworn off mid-calf engineer boots, but the combination of medium height and chunky heel on this boot intrigues me. This rich tan is another versatile spring/summer shade for boots, but the Boulder also comes in stone, a dark red-brown, and weathered black.

freebird by steven coal

Coal, $350

So much money, but SO AMAZING. This pair is quite tall at 17″, but would be equally amazing with Boho and rocker chic looks. Fold over the top of the boot shaft to mix it up. This burnished cognac is breathtaking, but these also come in black.

freebird phoenix

Phoenix Low, $275

I know the crusty, weathered, post-apocalyptic look isn’t for everyone, but it gets me every time. And that distressed finish has just a hint of metallic sparkle to it. SWOON. The tan and gray suede versions of this low boot have smoother finishes.

Other sources to check include Nordstrom Rack,, Nordstrom, Shopbop,, Onlineshoes, and Zappos some of which carry exclusive or past-season styles.

Anyone else tracking Freebird by Steven? Thoughts on the styles?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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