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Weekend Vibes: On Expectations.

By: Jen Shoop

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**I took the above photo at Storm King Art Center a few years ago. If you live in NYC, you must plan a visit in fall!

My Latest Snags: Tuckernuck Dress + Doen Blouse.

This week, I picked up this denim Tuckernuck dress (so versatile — love the clean lines) and this Doen top (influenced by you — this was a bestseller last week and I loved the idea of tucking it into dark wash denim). I also ordered a bunch of items for my daughter, including this Zara dress, these Zara Mary Janes, this Little English dress, and these Birkenstock-inspired slides.

This Week’s Bestsellers.

01. SEA PATTERNED TOP // 02. OXO COCKTAIL JIGGER // 03. QUINCE CASHMERE FISHERMAN SWEATER // 04. FEETURES NO-SHOW SOCKS // 05. JOE’S MIA JEANS (MORE SIZES HERE) // 06. MADEWELL BUCKET BAG // 07. TARGET BURL WOOD TRAY // 08. ALEX MILL BETTY TURTLENECK // 09. APC GRACE BAG // 10. CITIZENS GAUCHO JEANS // 11. LOEFFLER RANDALL CLOG (ON SALE!) // 12. TUCKERNUCK DRESS // 13. ROZ FOUNDATIONS SHAMPOO* 14. ZARA KIDS AIRPLANE SWEATSHIRT // 15. GAP KIDS SHERPA CLOGS // 16. ZARA STRIPED TURTLENECK

*15% off with code MAGPIE15.

Weekend Musing: Expectations Are the Enemy.

I can’t stop thinking about an Instagram overlay I heard this week: an older woman’s voice says she’s reached the end of her “I can’t wait until–” years, and that she regretted all the time she spent postponing happiness, or straining to get to the next phase. I have gotten much better about this from a parenting standpoint since my son was born. I remember laying in my postpartum bed, in our first (matchbox-sized) apartment in New York, and witnessing a kind of haze settle in around my baby and I. “Stay a little longer,” I told myself. “Soak everything up.” And I did, for what felt like weeks on end. I deferred little chores, put down my phone, leaned on the kindness of my husband to bring me breakfast and coffee — and instead absorbed everything about that tiny boy. I have no regrets.

But I think it’s the finer points — the smaller activities, the quotidian repetitions — that give me trouble. It was easier, I think, to say: “His newborn days are fleeting; let me sit still with him.” So, too, with planned special days for my children, in which I arrive with an intention to focus on them. It is much harder for me to stay present and open during the humdrum: standing on the sidelines at soccer, or watching my four-year-old boy swing at the park, or making my way through dinner. I find myself thinking about the other things I can or should do, fast-forwarding to next steps. It is not that I am wishing the time away, exactly, or saying “I can’t wait until –” but more that I am not adequately paying attention to the here-and-now. It’s as though time is slipping right through my fingers. At heart, I know I’m talking about mindfulness. And I know I need to better exercise that muscle. Last weekend, for example, my husband and I took our son to a playground for an hour, a rare just-the-three-of-us excursion. I will never forget my son’s glee, the way he basked in our attention, the way his affection poured out, honey-like. But sitting on that bench at around the twenty or thirty minute mark, I admitted to my husband that I was having trouble sitting still. I ticked through all the reasons why my fidgetiness was absurd: the weather was glorious; we had no one whining or out of sorts; we were offering our boy some much-needed quality time; we were together; our time was absent of external demands. And yet. I felt myself itching to be productive, to check my phone, to rifle through plans for the evening or following day. Saying it all out loud made me feel better, more centered, more capable of bending my mind to the present moment, especially when my husband shared something interesting about mindfulness and the use of time:

“Expectations — good or bad — are the enemy.” He explained that if you go into an experience with high expectations, even if they are met, you’re constantly expending energy in yardsticking. If you enter into an experience with low expectations, you’re approaching from a place of negativity.

I’ve been trying this on for size this week. I’ve been self-aware when I find myself grimacing or over-enthusing about a particular event or chore or activity. It’s like putting myself into neutral. I trust taht this practice is how the truly even-keeled folks make their way through life: open to surprise, unflustered by the happenstance. They open the door and accept.

Post-Scripts.

+A few of you had asked for the peppier dinner party playlist I used recently — I saved it to a public Spotify playlist in case you’d like to listen! I also have a “Magpie Dishwashing Music” playlist that is perfect for chores at home on a rainy Saturday.

+Intrigued by this tiny steamer for travel. I have a small Rowenta one but I almost never bring it with me because it’s too bulky — and their travel one doesn’t look that small? (In general, I’m inclined to trust Rowenta, though. Their iron is incredible. Have I yapped about it enough this year? If you don’t have a Rowenta, strongly advise upgrading. Will make your clothes look so much better!)

+A perfect corduroy kick flare. I actually pulled out my trusty Gap kick flares (I think I’ve led about 2/3 of the women in my life to order these, and all rave about them as much as I do!) this week and was reminded of how much I love this flattering fit.

+Julia Amory’s caftan in black is such a great transitional dress. I actually thought of Halloween when I saw it! And of course I adore her shirtdresses.

+Remember the tartan trousers I was going wild over earlier this week? If you like the look but not the price tag, Sezane has a cute pair in a great wool tartan out now. So good for the holidays!

+Sezane has a lot of really chic, well-priced pieces out right now! I think I’m going to try these cropped forest green trousers (!) and this striped cardigan, which reminds me of La Ligne, but about half the price.

+Losing my mind over this Stine Goya dress. I do not have an occasion lined up to wear it but…!!!! So good for holiday…

+Cute rugby stripe sweater for a little boy.

+Love everything about this $60 lamp.

+How chic are these frayed-edged ballet flats?

+In response to my post about girls’ dresses for fall this week, a Magpie pointed me in the direction of this spectacular fall toile from new-to-me brand Lallie London. Wow!

+Fab pleated leather skirt.

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes: On Expectations.

  1. Love this reflection on expectations. I have a post-it note on my desk with a Tim Ferris quote that reads: Happiness is reality minus expectations.

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