San Francisco: Shopping

Sorry for the wordy post! If it's too long for you, just skip on over to the products you're interested in. I'll get back to posting regular outfit posts with more pictures soon. : )

Since going to SF and Hawaii, I've been MIA across most of my social networking accounts and hope to get back into my regular posting routine soon. I never realized how homesick I was until I arrived in Toronto. I missed everything from my own pillows to my mom's cooking. I'm super happy to be back!

This is just a quick post showing you what I bought in SF. I'll tell you guys more about my trip in a separate post.

At around 8%, tax is considered high in SF, but compared to the 13% here in Ontario, it was really nothing. My boyfriend & I were still careful about what we bought, saving our bigger purchases for a lower-tax State in the future. I went to all the high end stores that Canada doesn't have, including Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney's, and Nordstrom (which is coming to Canada soon). Our hotel was downtown where the prime shopping area is so we walked past all of these stores everyday. It was especially convenient for us to be living so close to Westfield Mall, in case there were any last minute items we needed to buy (which we did).

My boyfriend & I didn't buy too much (we only had carry-on luggage), but we ended up being very happy with the few things we purchased. Here's what I bought:
 Note: Some of the links above do not lead to the actual store I purchased these things from.
(I also bought a red cardigan from Banana Republic, but can't find it online.)

Longchamp 'Planetes'
You'd be surprised at how much the Longchamp Le Pliage costs in Canada: over $200 after tax (and this was a few years ago). I purchased the 'Planetes' bag because my own Le Pliage is really old and deteriorating. The 'Planetes' is a bit smaller, all black, and more durable. I received a discount from Bloomie's because I was a visitor.

H&M leather belt
The belt was purchased using the smartphone discount that H&M offered at the time. I don't think I linked the exact belt I bought because I recall it being around $9.95 instead of $12.95. H&M currently has a few black & brown belts on the floor, so it's hard to say. Regardless, the same belt would've cost me a few bucks more + 13% tax here in Ontario.

Ann Taylor 'Perfect Pumps'
I have my perfect pair of nude pumps already and have been itching for a black pair. The 'Perfect Pumps' from Ann Taylor weren't on sale when I was in SF, but the manager was kind enough to give me a good discount after learning how badly I wanted them and that I was a visitor. The quality of these pumps shocked me. The leather was really thin - not what I'd expected. After reading the reviews online, I learned that these shoes are of much cheaper quality than their older versions. Why a retailer would lessen the quality but keep the shoes at the same price is beyond me. I wore the pumps at the wedding in Hawaii (my reason for visiting there) and was amazed at how comfortable they were. If Ann Taylor improves the quality of these pumps next season, I would definitely be coming back for more. UPDATE 09/20: I'm a size 6 in most shoes, but wear 5.5 for these pumps.

Levi's cut-off shorts
I've never found a pair of Levi's jeans that fit - the smallest size is usually a little baggy on me. I've always loved the Levi's brand and their story and I really wish they would make jeans for smaller frames. Fitted Levi's bottoms seemed impossible to find because I tend to always come across bigger sizes and/or the wrong washes at thrift stores. Urban Outfitters sells them for $44 USD (around $58 here) under the brand "Urban Renewal Vintage". This line mass-recycled used Levi's jeans and cuts them to resell at UO at a ridiculously high price. Every piece they sell is a different size, wash, and length so it's better to buy the shorts in person if you want them from UO. The pair I found was purchased from Industrie Denim, on sale for about ten bucks. They were the exact wash and fit I was looking for. The rise isn't too high and the waist was snug... what more could I ask for? The shorts were originally knee length, but a pair of scissors quickly fixed that issue. I have outfit pics with it that will be posted soon.
Although I didn't buy much, I did spend a lot of time perusing the high end stores on the hunt for a Balenciaga City, Celine Nano (above), and Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf. The prices for the two bags were just as expected, except I wasn't willing to shell out the money at 8% tax. I'll be saving these purchases for a different State or purchasing pre-owned versions.  The scarf was sold out everywhere and the stores offered to order for me, but I passed since I'd be gone by the time the scarf arrives.
Stylemint Arden Pullover | H&M leather pants | TOMS Classic slip-ons | Zara cargo jacket

The Nano is incredibly small and super adorable! I have way too many black bags and if I were to splurge on the Celine bag, I'd go for a red or blue. My boyfriend really liked the grey City on me, but I'm looking for a brighter colour. I may have to go the pre-owned route as most of the colours that I do like are from previous seasons.

That's all I have to report shopping-wise! Feel free to ask me anything about the things above.

Thank you for reading this shopping post! I can't wait to share some photos from the rest of my stay in SF and Hawaii. I hope you all had a great summer!
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  1. Bet SF was full of fun. That little bag looks so cute. You will make great use out of it.

  2. I've been dying to get a pair of AN perfect pumps. I'm sad the leather is lower quality now, but at least they are still comfortable. I am definitely purchasing one at the new AT store at Eatons!

  3. Hi!

    I highly recommend all the bags that were looking at. The large Planetes is good for carrying everything you could possibly need. However, sometimes I feel that it's too big for my petite frame. Don't let the small size of the Celine nano fool you. It can actually hold quite a bit. Although some people will say that a black Balenciaga City is a must have, I personally like the colors of the bag. Sometimes people enjoy the larger hardware, so you might want to decide if that matters to you.

    As for the Alexander McQueen scarf, it is very nice, but you have to be very careful with it, so you don't snag it on something and break the beautiful design. Although you didn't ask for it, I hope some of this advice helps (and yes, I do own all these items, so I am speaking from experience). The most important part is to simply enjoy your purchases.

  4. Nice purchases! Great to hear you had a good time and got some good discounts for being from abroad :) Yes the tax sucks but 12% is even worse, yikes! Looking forward to the rest of your SF posts, did you end up figuring out your airport transport situation?

  5. Hope you enjoyed your trip, and those look like great purchases! Where did you end up eating / sightseeing? :)

    Love from SF,

  6. Cute Ann Taylor pumps. I have the same problem with levi's. =\ Cant wait to see your posts of hawaii!

  7. aaw the mini is so mini!

    i really like the balenciaga on you.

    man, i'm so wary of preowned. smthg about it...i need to get over it.

  8. nice purchases! i've been looking for a pair of perfect pumps everywhere! it's also crazy that UO takes used Levi's jeans and sells them again. i like a lot of their stuff, but they have a lot of super overpriced stuff that you can get elsewhere ):< if you ever come to NJ, there is absolutely no tax on clothes ;) (the law describes it as a necessity, so no tax, hooray!)

  9. @simplybeccablog
    I don't think I would've bought it if I didn't need it for the wedding. I purposely didn't bring shoes for that so I can buy these pumps! Hopefully, the prices wouldn't be heavily inflated when it comes to Canada (like the prices at J. Crew did).

    Thank you for all of this great information! The Planetes is a lot smaller than my Le Pliage, so I guess it's a big improvement in terms of size.

    I was actually quite shocked at how tiny the Nano was. I don't doubt that it can hold a lot, but now that I look at the pics, it kinda looks awkwardly small on me, doesn't it? =\

    Regardless of colour, I think the City is a must have. It looks like a great everyday bag and I love the variety of hardware options and colours they come in. I'm going for the regular hardware in a bright colour. : )

    Great advice on the scarf. I'm usually very careful with all of my scarves (cheap or not), so I know I'll be even more cautious with this one. I'm still debating on which black & white combination I want though.

  10. @Katherine
    Thanks Katherine! We got a ride from a family friend from the airport and used the hotel's shuttle service to the airport. : )

    @Shamelessly Overdressed
    I went to a lot of the places that all of you suggested and I can't wait to share that in a future post! Thank you SO much for all of your advice, S!

    Thank you, Aubs! Regarding the pre-owned thing, I used to be like that too until I saw how much some of the things I liked were. LOL

    @silly lilly
    That is TOO awesome. Thanks for the tip! ;D

  11. welcome to cali! i can't believe sales tax is so expensive in ontario! omigah i would never buy anything ... the celine bag is so petite! i would definitely reach for a larger tote size to throw my laptop in but i beat up all my bags so no designers for me :) your hair looks nice

    pandaphilia style

  12. I love your olive jacket and the way that City looks on you! Looking fwd to reading more about your trip! So cool that Bloomies and AT offered you a visitor discount - I had no idea they did that. Was it because you were visiting in general or because you were from Canada?

  13. i love my longchamp bag, it also doubles as my diaper bag. I've had it almost a year now so I hope it will last a while. the all black looks so sharp!


  14. I can't believe the mini is that small! I think the Balenciaga really suits you and is a great size:)

  15. @SewPetiteGal
    Thank you, S! Those retailers were very generous. : ) I told the Bloomie's people I was from Canada, but I don't remember what I told the AT people.