I almost just made a slideshow of back to school sweatpants. But in NYC our numbers have stayed low (fingers crossed) so it seems as if our kids will be starting school in some very modified form next month. So I figured I would put together my annual shopping list. If you’re new here, I have a skillset/disease where I look and look for the the most perfect items. It’s sometimes exhausting to live in my brain but the result is lots of curated items I can share.
My general shopping strategy tends to be affordable basics and neutral color palettes for clothes. Then we do more colorful items for accessories and shoes and backpacks. I splurge on good quality outerwear.
A. Colorful beanies are a staple in our house. They really make the outfit. (I also love the Uniqlo cashmere beanies but they aren’t out for the season yet.) B. My boys have been dressing in this brown on brown tonal look. It looks so good! I’ve been buying pretty much everything I can get my hands on in this color. C. I’m really picky about stripes and this one is solid. D. Accidentally happened upon this colorful calendar and fell in love. E. Fjallraven backpacks, overpriced but we still keep buying them. F. I look for the slim fit chinos and but several. (My kids don’t wear many jeans.) G. I love Vejas. It’s like the French version of the Converse.
A. Dennis the Menace vibez. B. My kids have figured out whenever they wear these spinny hats people give them candy. C. Darts! They seem safe, what could go wrong? D. Cute lighting graphic tee! E. This long sleeve shirt is great for layering and faded to perfection. F. Shorts while the warm weather lasts. G. I bought this hilarious nose pencil sharpener for my kids and they’re obsessed. H. My oldest kids are old enough to easily tie their shoes but I swear its sometimes nice to be able just have some slip ons for crazy mornings where you got to get out of the house quick.
A. Chambray shirt! B. We usually give our kids a pencil case with personalized pencils (see the next item) at breakfast on their first day of school. C. Personalized Pencils are my favorite tradition. Here is my favorite source. (The website is annoying but they ship very quick!) D. I discovered this tiffin brand while traveling in Thailand and bought one for each kid for lunch boxes. They’re really great and stack easy and come in a ton of colors. E. Quilted backpacks! These are so cool. F. My kids have been super into chess so I bought this set and it is GORGEOUS! On sale! G. I buy these slim fit pants in bulk. H. My favorite alarm clock! I. Classic high tops. They look so good with pretty much every outfit.
A. Their friend Marlowe always shows up wearing this cool neon hat. B. Remember before when I said I keep buying clothes in this color! C. Hang Loose – I love a simple tee. D. I like my backpacks colorful to distract from all the homework. E. Our favorite water bottles. F. I love how these pants hang–I got the kids a few pairs. G. More tie-dye. More problems. H. Birks! while the weather lasts.
A. It’s a SIGN! B. I love shirts like this that are *slightly* fancier than a t shirt. C. This backpack is a cutie. D. Record Player – My kids have been collecting records. It’s fun to go to the store to pick out a new one. E. I love the cut of these plaid pants. F. My kids JUST discovered Hamilton and this has been on repeat all summer. G. Stan Smith Adidas are so cute. Love the velcro version for my youngest.
I love buying art books. It sounds funny, but I’m a big believer in it. When I was in my 20’s and was eating Top Ramen as a budgeting tactic I made a goal to buy one a month. Quickly I had a really beautiful collection. Design-wise they add a layer in a living room that makes people happy to be there. I love when people come over to my house and thumb through the books we have on the coffee table, it sparks conversations. I even make my kids do “book reports” on them when they try to tell me they are bored. I thought I would start a feature here with some of my favorite books.
This book was recommended to me by my friend Eric Heywood (he always has the best book recommendations.) It is a compilation of lists from the Smithsonian archives of different artists. I’m a hardcore list maker, so I find this book so fascination. I love being able to see how someone’s thought process works.
This book shows the stunning hand-painted charts and graphs by the brilliant W.E.B. Du Bois showcasing the numbers Black Lives in America in 1900 (less than 40 years after Emancipation Proclamation.) They were originally on display at the Paris Exposition. This book is as beautiful as it is educational, it’s hard to convey how detailed and gorgeous each of the charts are.
Dorthea Lange is a Bay Area photographer. I love looking through all the old images. She was known for photographing poor or disenfranchised people. I loved this image taken at a San Francisco school just weeks before the US sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps.
We are trying new things here at Oh Happy Day. I would love to hear if you find this interesting (or not) or if you have a favorite art book to recommend.