Thursday, May 28, 2015

May Clothing Budget

I'm happy to report I am under my $200 self imposed clothing and accessories budget for the month. I only had one online shopping binge and bought these three things from Old Navy and Banana Republic.  They always have big time online sales and I had a $5 reward to use.

Banana Republic Chambray Tie-Front Wide Leg Pant - $47.27

Old Navy Lightweight Tank in Plum - $9.91

Old Navy Black and White Striped Sleeveless V-Neck Top - $9.91

I asked myself my 4 shopping questions before I pressed the order button.
  1. Do I love it?
  2. Is it my style?
  3. Can I wear it with other things I already have?
  4. Where would I wear this?
Honestly, I love the idea of the pants but whether or not I love them on me and how I style them is yet to be seen.  I thought these might be nice for Casual Friday at work this summer and/or out for dinner in the warmer weather. I thought the tops would be great for work and fill a need in my closet for tops to go with certain skirts I never wear because I don't know what to wear with them.  I like sleeveless tops that are a bit dressier to layer with a cardigan or jacket when I'm in the office.  I think I am going to return the striped top because the black in the stripe is very washed out looking, not quite gray, just like a really heathered black and I don't think I like it.  So I think it will be going back.  The other top in plum I think answers all of my questions to the affirmative but I'm unsure if it is too big, it is quite flowy.  So really, I might return all of these things!!  We will see if I can make the pants and the plum top work for me.

Linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

These Pants Again

Top:  H&M (old) - Pants:  JCrew New Campbell Capri - Shoes:  via DSW

I took another 9 things out of my closet over the Memorial Day weekend.  I know I've already written this, but this documentation of what I'm wearing is truly helping me to get rid of things, shop more thoughtfully and figure out what I like.  I don't want to be satisfied any more with these things that don't fit well and/or I don't love.  

I have had this navy henley for about 3 years now and it has survived many closet clean outs.  It is a little long and oversized but I still like it.  I think it would be a bit better with a better fitting cami underneath.  The one I have on in this picture is a big big so it only makes the henley look even bigger.  So with a different cami, I think I'd be ok with this outfit. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Structured Jacket and Some Color

Jacket:  Caslon from Nordstrom (last year -  this year's version) - Tee:  H&M (last year) - Jeans:  Target (2 years ago) - Shoes:  DSW (this winter)
A more fitted top like this is so much more flattering than my usual shapeless shirts.  I love this jacket because that it fits so well and that it is a knit material which makes it so comfortable.  I'm still unsure about the cut of these pants though, it isn't my favorite on me but I continue to wear them since they fit ok and I like the color.  I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair of Casual Friday work jeans.  I don't like the bunching at the knees and the boot cut on these.  I'd like more of a subtle wide leg I think, like a trouser style. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Back to Black (& Gray)

Sweater:  H&M (old) - Pants:  Apt. 9 from Kohl's (September 2014) Shoes:  Me Too via DSW
This is another example of how I buy and keep clothes even though don't fit exactly right (and I subsequently don't love them so then don't wear them).  Take this sweater for example. I like it but it is too big and too long for me.  My torso is long and my legs are short.  By this sweater hitting me where it does, it makes my legs look even shorter. Now when I'm shopping I ask myself my shopping questions and one of them is, if it fits.  That may explain why I have only bought a pair of pants so far this month when normally I'd have already reached my monthly shopping budget.  I'm happy to say I'm resisting bad impulse purchases since starting this exercise. 
A funny thing about this outfit is that when I put it on, I thought it reminded me of something.  It is similar to a picture I had pinned years ago and just deleted (I'm in a purging frenzy - even my Pinterest boards).  I found the picture again here.  So that's why I thought to put this sweater with these pants!  Her sweater is shorter.  See it works better with a shorter sweater!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gingham At Work

Shirt:  JCPenny (old) - Pants: JCrew New Campbell Capri Pant (here - Purchased in Feb. 2015) - Shoes:  Indigo by Clarks (old)

Here is another outfit that sounded good in my head but didn't look quite right in reality.  It would look better (and more professional) with the shirt tucked in but I still can't get used to the higher rise of these pants so felt odd with it tucked in.  Untucked, it makes my legs look even shorter.  Not good. I keep trying to love these pants but I'm just not sure yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Casual Business Casual

Sweater:  Victoria's Secret (old) - Tee:  H&M (old) - Skirt:  Calson/Nordstrom (last year) - Shoes:  Paolo Nuttini (last year)

This was a very comfortable outfit and I think it looked better in real life than this picture.  However, I still don't think it is exactly my style.  I would like to feel a little more polished and sophisticated.  The sweater is a keeper though, I wear it a lot.  It just might not be right for this skirt.  I think the sweater is too shapeless to go with the straight maxi skirt making the whole look a little frumpy.  Frumpy but comfortable and warm.  If only the office was a normal warm temperature I could get away with not wearing a sweater! 

(The colors are so bad in this pic - the skirt is actually a mossy green)

Friday, May 15, 2015


Top: TJ Maxx (super old) - Tank:  H&M (few years ago) - Pants:  Old Navy Pixie - Boots:  Bella Vita Raine
So this is what I wore on Thursday.  I almost didn't post it because I didn't like it at all.  As I was going through my closet (again) for things to get rid of, I paused at this top because I haven't worn it in at least a year.  It always survives my closet purges though.  I forced myself to wear it again since I always save it.  And guess what?  I didn't like it.  So off it goes.  I think I just really like the colors and its texture.  When I have it on it is way too shapeless, boxy and fussy (it doesn't stay on my shoulders).  Just goes to show you that you have to try things on and wear them to know if you should keep them or not.  I also don't like it with these pants and boots but that's another story.
Tee & Scarf:  Kohl's (last year?) - Jeans:  Target (2 years ago) - Wedges:  Aerosoles (2 years ago - similar or similar)
So here is my casual Friday outfit.  It's least the scarf adds a little something.   There isn't any gray and I don't hate it.  I think I'm figuring out that I prefer wide leg or straight leg pants on me.  I'm excited for the weekend!  Lounge clothes and work out gear, I am ready for you!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Couple of Weekend Looks

Tee:  LOFT - Jeans:  LOFT - Shoes:  DV by Dolce Vita (similar) - Bag:  Marc by Marc Jacobs (same)

Sweatshirt:  Piperlime - Scarf:  Old Navy - Jeans:  Current Elliot - Shoes:  DV by Dolce Vita (similar) - Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (same)
I focus primarily on evaluating my wardrobe for work but I do occasionally try and photograph what I'm wearing on my off time.  I don't have as many issues with clothes for the weekend.  I have a few favorites that I tend to wear over and over depending on the season and some of it crosses over from things I wear to work.   I don't know why I have an easier time with casual clothes.  The stuff that is overflowing in my closet is all dressier stuff.  It's something I need to think more about.  How can I translate my process for off duty dressing into my business casual wardrobe? 
Anyway, here are two looks I wore running errands earlier this spring.  I wear those DV slip ons All.The.Time (when I'm not at work).  I got mine last fall from DSW.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bad Picture, Bad Outfit

Cardigan:  Old Navy (old) - Top:  JCrew Factory (old) - Pants:  JCrew New Campbell Capri Pant (here - Purchased in Feb. 2015) - Shoes:  Indigo by Clarks (old)

Here is a bad picture of a bad outfit.  I guess it isn't horrible (well the picture is for sure) just isn't me.  I don't feel comfortable wearing this.  Part of it is probably because nothing is gray.  Gray clothing seems to be my safety blanket.  Also, it is tough getting used to mid rise pants again.  It's been low rise for so many years it feels strange to have a higher rise in pants. 

Can you believe that these are supposed to be capri pants?  My legs are super short I guess because I purchased them in a petite size too.  Capri length petite pants = ankle pants on me.

Especially after trying to find something to wear today, I love this story on The Becoming Minimalist blog about reducing the size of your wardrobe.  It cites 8 reasons to pare down your closet.  I especially identify with the before of #5.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Easy Like a Monday Morning

Sweater:  Old Navy (last month - same) - Dress:  Forever 21 (last year) - Shoes:  Clarks (old)
Basic tan and black for a Monday.  An easy and comfortable outfit.  Not the most flattering in the world since the cardigan does not have any shape so you can't see my waist line (the dress has a fitted top and fuller skirt).  It would be better with a fitted jacket or a belt...and different shoes...but it's Monday so we will call this good.
The necklaces on the floor beside me are just some of the things I am getting out of my closet for a yard sale we are having this weekend.  I have already purged a lot from my closet that I have either consigned, sold on eBay or donated but am finding even more to sell at the yard sale.  I can't wait until I get my closet down to a manageable size of things that I love! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Another Day, Another Pair of Black Pants

I usually decide what I'm going to wear for the day the night before and have it all set out.  Because I truly don't wake up until about 10:00 a.m., even though I get out of bed at 5:50 a.m., that works better for me.  I'm just no good in the morning.  However, I couldn't decide last night so I threw this on today:

It's supposed to be pretty warm so I went with my favorite short sleeve linen top from LOFT (similar), some black jeans (also from LOFT) and sandals from Target (same).  I thought this was a decent casual Friday outfit for work.  While driving to work I thought about what I wore yesterday...

It's sort of the same idea isn't it??!  A printed short sleeve top in neutral colors with black pants and black shoes!  Thursday's look was dressier; real dress pants (Pixie from Old Navy), a dressier top (from Anthropologie a few years ago) and wedge shoes (old Aerosoles) but still it is crazy similar!  I guess I do know what I like and stick to mostly the same formula.  I'm most comfortable in dark bottoms and a lighter top.  I usually gravitate towards black and gray.  Nothing wrong with sticking with favorites I guess.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It's Getting Warmer...

Dress:  LOFT - Shoes:  Clarks (Old - Here I am Wearing Them with Pants in 2011)

Here it is with the cardigan for the office.  The Cardigan is also from LOFT.

This old instagram pic is a better representation of the color.  

I purchased this dress in September 2014 and wore it a few times in the fall and winter with layers underneath, the cardigan, as well as boots and/or tights.  This is the first time I'm wearing it without the sweater and the other layers.  I really like this dress but feel it is a bit dowdy when I put the cardigan on.  Thanks to some unseasonably warm weather I can wear it outside without the sweater.  Too bad I work inside.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Back to Life, Back to Reality

It's back to reality today after an unbelievable trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora.  It is a place I have dreamed about since I was little and still can't believe I was lucky enough to have gone. 

Every time I come back from a trip I am completely refreshed and inspired.  That wonderful feeling usually lasts a week, give or take, and then I'm back to being overly anxious and unhappy.  I'm really trying to grasp the after vacation motivation this time!  I've made a first move to possibly change my work situation, I'm staying positive, I've cleaned even more out of my closet and I haven't bought any clothes, shoes or accessories since April 16.  I'm not on a shopping ban per se, but I'm continuing my focus on asking myself questions before making any thoughtful purchase.  No more impulse buys of things I do not need!  No more of being miserable in my job!  I'm going to make some changes! 

I'm still evaluating my closet and continuing to record what I wear, which leads me to what I don't wear and what I don't like to wear, so I can streamline my closet to a workable wardrobe of things I love and that work for me. 

So here is what I'm wearing for my first day back to work:

Sweater:  Forever 21 (old) -  Pants:  ChaChaVente (via Ebay last year) - Shoes:  Style & Co (Macy's this January on mega clearance)
Overall I like what I'm wearing today.  I wear this sweater often but it is the first time wearing the pants and the shoes.  The shoes are comfortable unless I walk.  The pants (culottes) are like wearing pajamas though so that is a win.  

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