Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016 Purchases

I did the majority of my November shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Most of those purchases have arrived and are included in this budget post, but there are still a few stragglers that I'll include for December if they work out. Clothing aside, I also ordered a bunch of stuff for my active hobbies (mostly from Backcountry and REI), but that'll be the subject of a different post in the future.

November 2016 Purchases

LOFT stained glass lace dress (black 00) - This dress is gorgeous in real life and looks much more expensive than it actually is. I love the eyelash lace, and surprisingly the dress fits like a glove. I usually find size 00/XXS at LOFT to still be too boxy, but it was perfect in this case. I wouldn't recommend this dress to anyone much taller than me though, because it already comes up above my knee, and I'm only 5'4". The weight of the dress is quite light, more suitable for spring/summer than fall/winter. Overall, it's one of my favorite pieces from LOFT this year. Originally $98. Paid $98 + 40% off + 4% off ebates = $56.45.

J.Crew tuxedo-inspired long-sleeve t-shirt (navy XXS) - This tuxedo tee received mixed reviews on J.Crew's website, but I really like the way it looks. Maybe that's because I love tuxedo shirts in general. Anyway, I like how the pleated bib and tuxedo cuffs add some visual interest to what is otherwise a simple navy long-sleeve tee. I found the fit to be a little tight in the upper arms and slightly slouchy in the torso. Originally $59.50. Paid $59.50 + 40% off = $35.70.

J.Crew Margot top in silk foulard (blue multi 00) - I'm always on the lookout for pretty tops that can be dressed up or down. I think this one would look great under a solid colored blazer or cardigan. There's a hook-and-eye closure at the neck, but I prefer to wear it closed. The body is a little boxy, but that can't be helped since there's no stretch in the silk. Originally $78. Paid $59.99 + 40% off + 1.5% off ebates = $35.45.

Uniqlo women's heattech extra warm leggings (black XS) - I've heard rave reviews about the Uniqlo Heattech line, so I thought I would finally try it out for myself. These leggings seem like they're decent quality (and opaque!), but they're a little large and not as substantial as my favorite Zella leggings. Most likely I would wear them as long underwear on extra cold days. Originally $19.90. Paid $14.90.

LOFT long sleeve lace top (lilac shadow 00) - This top is made of the same lace as the dress I got but in a different color. Even though it's more boho/sweet than my usual style, I thought it was quite pretty and would pair well with both pants and skirts. Be warned though: it's pretty boxy. Originally $59.50. Paid $59.50 + 40% off + 4% off ebates = $34.27.

Uniqlo women's heattech extra warm turtleneck t-shirt (black XS) - I actually really like this turtleneck! It makes me feel like I'm channeling my inner Steve Jobs. I'm not sure that it's that much warmer than a normal turtleneck, but it's certainly very slimming. Originally $19.90. Paid $14.90.

The total for November comes to...
RETAIL: $334.80
SPENT: $191.67 (57.2% of MSRP)

My goal for the year is to spend no more than $2400, which equates to $200 per month. Right now I'm at $2400 - $447.87 for 2016Q1 - $569.98 for 2016Q2 - $363.17 for 2016Q3 - $237.47 for October - $191.67 for November = $589.84 for December.

How did you do on your budget this month? As always, I'm linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers!

Monday, November 28, 2016

My Cyber Monday Recommendations

I'm a little late with this post, but there are some amazing Cyber Monday deals that I just have to share. Most of my recommendations are pieces that I either own or have tried on.

Retailer: J.Crew
Promo: 40% off your purchase with code MONDAY plus free shipping on all orders. 
This is a great time to pick up a classic coat (or two!) and other pieces that rarely go on sale. Don't forget to use Ebates for an additional 10% off!
Coat picks: 
Nordic parka (I have last year's version in navy, see my review here)
stadium-cloth cocoon coat (own an older version, one of my favorite coats)
icon trench coat (own, runs small)
denim jacket in Tyler wash (own, one of my most worn pieces!) 
Other picks:

Retailer: Nordstrom
Promo: Extra 20% off selected sale items.
Plenty of goodies to be found here, but it'll take some digging. Don't forget to use Ebates for an additional 6% off!
My picks:
- Sam Edelman Petty chelsea boot (own in black and putty suede, ordered in saddle)
- Nike Pro Indy Dri-FIT sports bra (my favorite sports bra but don't recommend for bigger than C cup)

Retailer: L.L.Bean
Promo: 20% off when you spend $50.
Perfect time to pick up some Bean boots or a thick flannel shirt. Don't forget to use Ebates for an additional 4% off!
My picks:
- Kids' Bean boots, 8" Thinsulate (own, good for ladies with small feet)
- Women's Scotch plaid shirt, relaxed (own, very warm but boxy, size down)

Retailer: Cole Haan
Promo: 40% off everything plus free shipping on all orders.
I'm tempted to pick up another pair of my favorite flats. Don't forget to use Ebates for an additional 5% off!
My picks:
- Tali bow ballet flat (own, runs small)

Retailer: LOFT
Promo: 50% off plus free shipping on all orders with CYBERMONDAY.
I'm a sucker for pretty lace, even though LOFT usually doesn't fit my body type very well.
My picks:
- long sleeve lace top (ordered)

Happy shopping! Let me know if you find any other sales worth sharing.

Friday, November 4, 2016


If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you splurge on? Let's assume all of the responsible stuff was taken care of already: paying off debts/loans, putting aside money for retirement/kids, buying a new house, car, etc. I was thinking about this question the other day and realized that I have quite a few items that I really admire but can't afford. Even though they're out of my price range right now, they could eventually be within my reach if I put aside a portion of my clothing budget every year. In the long run, I'll probably be better off saving for these reach items instead of buying disposable fashion on a whim.

Most of the items on my wishlist are high value and high wear: shoes, coats (my major weakness), and bags. In order from least expensive to most expensive, here are my top 5 most lusted after pieces:

1. Ferragamo Vara Pump - Retail: $550

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know that I never wear heels. I like the way they look, but they're just too uncomfortable for my day-to-day life. That's why I really like the Ferragamo Vara pump. It has a small block heel, so it adds some height while still being comfortable. I have a vintage navy pair that I bought on eBay, but I would love to own a black pair (which I could also wear for interviews) and a nude pair (visually elongating). If anyone is interested, Target is currently selling a faux-leather dupe for only $30.

2. Canada Goose Trillium Parka - Retail: $900

I would buy this down coat in a heartbeat if I lived in a place with harsh winters. It really is the gold standard for cold-weather outerwear. I tried it on in-store last year, and it's one of the lightest/warmest coats out there. If the Trillium is out of your price range, the J.Crew Nordic parka is a good alternative (see my review from last year). I own it in navy, and it's held up well so far.

3. Valentino Rockstud Cage Flats - Retail: $995

These flats are not the most practical, but my, they are gorgeous. I'm sure they would need a significant break-in period since they have such pointed toes. I'm not sure what color I want. Black looks the coolest, but I also like the contrast of a softer color with the edginess of the studs.

4. Burberry Wool Duffle Coat - Retail: $1,195

Of course Burberry is famous for their trench coats, which are undeniably beautiful. However, I find that I almost never wear trench coats, so adding a designer one wouldn't be practical (even in dreamland). What I really admire is their wool coats, in particular the classic duffle. The tailoring of this one plus its attention to detail really differentiates it from other coats.

5. Chanel Boy Bag - Retail: ~$5,000

I'm not sure I could ever pull the trigger on a designer bag without guilt (they're just so expensive!), but if I did, it would be definitely be the Chanel boy. I love how structured it looks and the versatility of being able to wear the strap multiple ways. I think it's classic while still being a little edgy at the same time. Everyone knows Chanel prices are ridiculous (they seem to grow every year), so I'm not sure if I will ever be able to get one. In the meantime, a reasonable dupe is the Rebecca Minkoff Love bag, which I own/like and costs about 1/20th of the price.
What designer pieces would you buy if you won the lottery?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

September and October 2016 Purchases

Sorry about the continued radio silence on the blog. As I mentioned in my last post, there's a lot of stuff going on right now with school and in my personal life, so I don't really have any free time. I wish I could get into more detail about what's going on, but it will have to wait. In the meantime, check out what I've added to my wardrobe lately.

October 2016 Budget

J.Crew perfect shirt in navy stewart plaid (navy 00) - The moment I saw this button-down in J.Crew's fall rollout, I knew I had to have it. I love the fit of the perfect shirts (I went with my true size), and the colors in this plaid are so wearable. Originally $78. Paid $78 + 30% off = $54.60.

J.Crew Factory cotton-wool v-neck cardigan sweater (heather grey XXS) - I've been trying to replace this old heather grey cardigan I got from Old Navy years ago but haven't had good luck in finding the one. This cardigan is surprisingly thick for J.Crew Factory, but I'm concerned it might pill with more wear. Also the sleeves sort of stretch out with wear, which is annoying. Originally $69.50. Paid $34.50.

Blank Denim vegan pull on leggings (daddy soda 26) via Shopbop - For some reason, I decided that I need a pair of leather leggings in my life. The price tag of real leather leggings is too high for me though, hence faux leather. I am very pleasantly surprised by the quality of these Blank Denim leggings from Shopbop. They look and feel like actual leather. Also they're a little stretchy, so they're comfortable and don't bag out at the knees. I really can't say enough good things about them. Originally $98. Paid $98 + 25% off = $73.50.

Everlane cotton v (muted black, true black, navy XS) - Not much to say here. Some of the older Everlane tees I have developed tiny holes, so I got these as a replacement. Originally $15 x 3. Paid $15 x 3 = $45.

Everlane cotton tank (black XXS) - I already own this tank and wanted a duplicate. Originally $15. Paid $15.

Madewell silk inset cami (faded begonia 00) - I bought this tank on a whim. The silk feels almost sueded, and it's fairly opaque. If you wear a black bra underneath, you can just barely see it. The fit is flowy without being boxy. Originally $69.50. Paid $24.99 + 30% off + 15% off student discount in store = $14.87.

The total for October comes to...
RETAIL: $375.00
SPENT: $237.47 (63.3% of MSRP)

September 2016 Budget

Everlane leather street shoe (black 6) - I keep eyeing Everlane's shoes, which seem reasonably priced for their quality. I thought this pair of sneakers looked sleek and modern, so I decided to give them a try. After reading a bunch of online reviews, I went with my true size. I feel like they're a little tight in the toe box, so I need to use my shoe stretcher first before I wear them for an extended period of time. The quality is quite excellent though. Originally $135. Paid $135.

Everlane cotton v (pale blue XS) - Originally $15. Paid $15.

The RealReal return shipping - Before I ordered the Blank Denim leggings, I ordered a pair of real leather leggings from The RealReal (an online consignment store), but they ended up being too small and too expensive. Unfortunately, return shipping is not free, so let that be a lesson to me in the future. Paid $11.95.

The total for September comes to...
RETAIL: $150.00
SPENT: $161.95 (107.9% of MSRP)

My goal for the year is to spend no more than $2400, which equates to $200 per month. Right now I'm at $2400 - $447.87 for 2016Q1 - $569.98 for 2016Q2 - $363.17 for 2016Q3 - $237.47 for October = $781.51 for the next 2 months, which is an average of $390.76 per month.

How did you do on your budget this month? As always, I'm linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers!

Monday, August 29, 2016

July and August 2016 Purchases

I've been super busy lately (both in terms of school and personal life), so both blogging and shopping have fallen by the wayside. I wish I could say things are less hectic now, but unfortunately that's not the case. One good thing about being extremely busy: my budget looks great! Here's a recap of all the stuff I bought over the last two months.

August 2016 Budget

August was a boring month for shopping. I literally had zero time, so I only bought necessities.

Everlane women's cotton v (white XS) - I bought two more of these tees to replace ones that were developing little holes. Still my favorite white tee. Originally $15. Paid $15 x 2 = $30.

The total for August comes to...
SPENT: $30 (100% of MSRP)

July 2016 Budget

J.Crew perfect shirt in striped cotton-linen (brilliant peri 0) - I really like wearing linen in the summer, so I just had to pick up this shirt. It runs a little small, so I sized up from my usual 00. The stripe colors are so classic and easy to pair. Originally $69.50. Paid $49.99 + 50% off sale = $24.99.

J.Crew Factory linen sweater-tank top (iced sky XXS) - I loved this heavy linen sweater tank, but unfortunately it got snagged when I wore my Kendra Scott tassel necklace. :( Originally $59.50. Paid $59 + 50% off + additional 15% off = $25.08.

BLANKNYC easy rider faux leather moto jacket (black XS) via Nordstrom - This black moto jacket was a surprise love from the Nordstrom anniversary sale last month. The pleather is surprisingly nice quality and feels quite heavy/substantial. The jacket fits me well in the body and shoulders, but the sleeves are a little too long. For the price, I think it's a great deal. Originally $98. Paid $64.90 + 6% off ebates + $10 Nordstrom rewards = $51.01.

Madewell whisper cotton v-neck pocket tee (warm tulip XXS) - I have a ton of these Madewell tees now. I love how they're slouchy and surprisingly opaque. Originally $25. Paid $17.99 + 40% off + 1.5% off ebates = $10.63.

Madewell whisper cotton v-neck pocket tee (thunder grey XXS) - Originally $25. Paid $22.50 + 40% off + 1.5% off ebates = $13.30.

Last month I placed an order with Thredup for the first time. In the past I have sold my gently used items to them, but this was my first time as a buyer. I had a code for 50% off J.Crew pieces, so I figured I didn't have anything to lose. Overall I was very impressed by the condition of the pieces, and the prices were quite reasonable after using the discount code.

J.Crew Collection leather-front merino sweater (navy XXS) via Thredup - I like the way the leather panels look on this cardigan, but unfortunately it always has to be worn open. As it turns out, leather just doesn't conform well to the body. Originally $228. Paid $9.50

J.Crew Factory fair isle sweater (pewter navy mist XXS) via Thredup - This fair isle sweater looks brand new. I missed out on it the first time around, so I was happy to pick it up at this price. Originally $88. Paid $3.

J.Crew gondola stripe top (red navy 00) via Thredup - This top was all over the blogosphere a few years ago. I can see why. It's very lightweight and pairs well with shorts. Originally $98. Paid $0.47 + $5.99 shipping = $6.46.

J.Crew Liberty 5" chino shorts in june's meadow floral (june's meadow 0) via Thredup - This is my favorite purchase from the Thredup order. I am obsessed with the Liberty june's meadow print and have been on the hunt for all the pieces I missed out on from the first time around. I found the blazer back in April, and now that I have the matching shorts, I wouldn't mind picking up the button-down too... Originally $72.50. Paid $19.50.

(not pictured) J.Crew elephant parade t-shirt (navy XXS) - This tee was a bit of a disappointment. I bought the original when it was first released, but wore it so much it developed holes (sigh, J.Crew quality control). I hoped this new one would be a replacement, but it also has a tiny hole. Originally $42.50. Paid $7.75.

The total for July comes to...
RETAIL: $806.00
SPENT: $171.22 (21.2% of MSRP)

My goal for the year is to spend no more than $2400, which equates to $200 per month. Right now I'm at $2400 - $447.87 for 2016Q1 - $569.98 for 2016Q2 - $171.22 for July - $30 for August = $1180.93 for the next 4 months, which is an average of $295.23 per month.

How did you do on your budget this month? As always, I'm linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers!