Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Clothing Budget

I bought more than I intended in June.  I think it was because I didn't do much shopping in May and missed my favorite past time as well as the frustration I have been feeling with the things remaining in my closet.  How easy is it to think that I'll just go out and get all new wonderful things and then I will be happy with my wardrobe!  (Yes, I know it isn't that easy!)

I'll break down my purchases in sections.  Here is what I got that I have already worn several times:

Old Navy Stripe Infinity Scarf -- $8.30
Target Mossimo Mid Rise Jean Short (here) -- $12.70

I have no problem finding things I like for my weekend wear.  It's the stuff for work that is more difficult.  These shorts are great because they are more of a jean short so you don't see through them like some other white shorts.  They fit well and I like the length (3 1/2'). 

I really like but haven't worn yet:

Old Navy Pleated Wide Leg Trousers (Navy) here -- $22.95
Kohl's Apt. 9 Printed Faux Wrap Dress -- $16.47

I like both of these things and they both fit well.  I haven't figured out what I'm going to wear with the pants yet.  I will have to wear a sweater or jacket with the dress if I wear it to work since it is so cold in the office. 

What I might return:

H&M Striped Henley -- $12.80 

I like it but I don't need another casual knit top... however this one is a bit different with the lace along the neckline...I love a navy stripe...I thought this might look good with my new chambray wide legs...but I don't know about the cap sleeves...I just can't decide!!

What I've ordered but haven't received:

eShakti Stretch Jersey Twill Wideleg -- free with credit
eShakti Draped Cotton Knit Top -- $17.40 after rest of credit
Under Armour Printed Scoop Neck -- 33.99
Under Armour Fly-By-Night Long Sleeve -- 29.99

I am hoping these pants from eShakti will replace the Old Navy black pants that I wear all the time despite them not fitting well.  We will see.  I'm hoping the navy top goes with a navy printed midi skirt I've had in the closet forever but never wear because I don't know what to wear with it.

I don't usually include workout wear in my budget, but since these may overlap into weekend wear, I thought I would include them.

Not Pictured:

Soma Nightgown -- $24.60

I've worn this a lot already.  I needed some new PJs.

$179.20 total spent - I'm still under my $200 budget but not happy about bringing so much back into my closet and not being absolutely sure about each piece.  I don't want to overfill it again with stuff I won't wear.  I need to continue to be thoughtful about my purchases. 

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What's my style?

Top:  Old Navy (old) - Jeans:  Old Navy (old) - Shoes:  Aerosoles (last year?)
This post from Into Mind is so interesting.  It helps you figure out why you look into an overflowing closet and feel like you have nothing to wear.  For me, the chart has diagnosed that I don't have a clear sense of my style and I would agree.  There are a few common themes in my closet (lots of multiples of the same thing but that is another issue) but also many things that don't go with anything else in there.  For example, I will see someone in head to toe Anthropologie, think she looks amazing and totally want to emulate the look.  But on me, it isn't quite right because it isn't me.  But I buy into how good it looks on someone else and make some (bad) impulse purchases.  My bad habit of impulse shopping has led me to buy many items that I just liked but didn't answer yes to any of my other shopping questions which means they just hang in my closest unworn. 
So how can I figure out my style?  I think doing this project of evaluating my outfits is a good way to start.  I am really noticing which looks I love, which I don't and why.  I'm going over what I already have pinned to my style Pinterest board and looking for common themes.  So far I see neutral colors, clean lines, textures, knit fabrics and looser silhouettes.  And scarves, lots of scarves.  I want my style to be chic, comfortable and sophisticated.  It also needs to be casual since I don't have many dress up opportunities in my life right now. 
What I wore last casual Friday (above) is a good example of what I like, a simple top with a little detail, neutral colors, pants with a wider leg (not skinny) and wedge sandals.  My only complaint about this look is how long the top is.  I would like it better if it were above hip length and not so sheer. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Investment Pieces

Top:  Apt.9 via Kohl's (old, similar) - Skirt:  Banana Republic (super old) - Shoes:  Aerosoles
Did you know that the Gap Brands (Banana Republic, Gap & Old Navy) put the season and year on the tag of their clothes?  That is how I know for sure that this skirt is from Spring 2001.  I'm pretty sure this is the oldest item of clothing in my closet that I still wear on the regular. 
This 14 year old skirt is really a skort!  I think that is the reason I have kept it so long.  I usually wear some sort of Spanx under skirts and dresses because I hate thigh rub.  But this skirt has loose fitting shorts underneath that are soooo comfortable and you don't see the shorts part so it still looks like a skirt.  The fabric is substantial and falls perfectly.  I've never found anything else like it.  It says dry clean only but I have always either put it in the dryer with a dryel cloth or hand washed it and it has held up well (plus those few years I couldn't wear it when it didn't fit kept it in good condition!).
14 years ago I was only one year into my first job out of college and I had zero money.  I'm glad I did spend what little I did on clothes on an investment piece like this. I don't remember buying this skirt but I'm grateful that I didn't do what I have been doing the past few years and buying all the cheap things with no thought of how it worked in my wardrobe or how long it would last.  Now that I am buying more thoughtfully, I hope to buy more things that are classic and will hold up for 14 or more years!  Quality not quantity!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Super Casual Business Casual

Top:  Liz Claiborne via JCPenny (old) - Pants:  Old Navy (old - similar) - Shoes:  Paulo Nuttini (last year)
I wouldn't say this outfit meets a business casual dress code, but since our office doesn't seem to enforce or adhere to said dress code, I can easily get away with this look.  I'm continuing to clean out my closet and examine anything I haven't worn yet.  This top has been in my drawer still with the tags attached for well over a year.  It has survived many closet clean outs though because I love the slight print and the longer short sleeves. I think just not being sure what to wear it with that has prevented me from wearing it.   I went the basic route and paired it with white pants today.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fit Is Everything

Dress:  Merona via Target (old) - Sweater:  Merona via Target (March 2015) - Shoes:  Steve Madden (old) (Straps unbuckled in second picture)
Many of my clothes don't fit well because I have lost weight in the past year due to some minor health annoyances.   It's tough because I don't want to buy all new things because I don't know how long I'll stay here before I go back to my normal weight.  This dress is supposed to be a shift dress but now it fits more like an oversized sack.  Then I put an oversized, non-structured cardigan over it to make things look even bigger and shapeless.  (The second layer is necessary for the freezing office.) This dress is on the chopping block.  I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it.  

I wore this dress almost exactly a year ago today and it fit much better.

I'm not sure why I never blogged these pictures last year.  I wore this on June 19, 2014.  Same dress and shoes as well as ten+ more pounds.  Plus the belt and cardigan make it so much better.  I don't have that belt anymore because it went with another dress that I sold so I need to get another one like it.  That might make the dress work again.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Chambray Wide Legs

Top:  LOFT (old) - Pants:  Banana Republic (May 2015 here) - Shoes:  White Mountain via DSW (this winter)

This is what I wore to work on casual Friday.  I have had this shirt for three years and suprisingly wear it quite a bit off duty but have never worn it to work.  I say it is suprising because I don't normally wear color at all, let alone bright like this.  On the weekends I usually wear this top with dark denim or navy blue shorts. 

I think the pants look odd in the first picture.  I don't think they look like that in real life though.  I bought these in petite but I have to wear my highest heeled shoes with them because they are so long.  They could still benefit from some hemming even with my tall shoes on.  I wish petite clothes were really petite or maybe my legs are even shorter than petite!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Side Zippers and Thoughtful Purchases

Top:  Banana Republic (old) - Pants:  NY&Co (old) - Shoes:  White Mountain via DSW (this winter)
I really like this top (last worn here) but rarely tuck it in because if I do, the zipper on the side bunches.  I'm trying to hide it with my hand in the picture above.  I am trying to pay attention to things like this before I buy anything now.  Just another example of how I impulse buy and still wear things that just aren't quite right.  Other than that though, I don't mind this outfit. 
I took these pictures in the dressing room at H&M.  Why do dressing rooms have the worst lighting?  I tried on nine things and only bought one top.  I'm even thinking about returning the one top.  This being more thoughtful about what I buy sure is good on the old bank account.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It Just Doesn't Go

Top:  Gap (old) - Pants:  Old Navy Pixie (last year) - Shoes:  Hush Puppies

I changed probably five times before ending up with this very basic look with these pants I wear all the time that don't fit that well.  I've got to get some better pants.  Anyway, something about this is just off...the necklace and the belt maybe?  Or the less stylish comfortable shoes?  It just doesn't all go, you know?  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Old Favorites

Top: Nordstrom Rack (last year) - Pants:  Old Navy (last year) - Shoes:  Crown Vintage via DSW (March 2015)

Top:  H&M (last year) - Pants:  Alfani via Macy's (last year) - Shoes:  Aerosoles (super old)
Here is what I wore the past few days to work.  These are both favorite outfits from last summer that I hadn't worn yet this year.  The bad thing is that I don't do well at remixing any of these items and end up wearing these same things together every time.  My goal is to try and remix the teal top and the wide leg bottoms with other pieces from my closet.
I'm still struggling with having too many tops and bottoms that I don't know what to wear with or that I love but don't wear.  I'm getting better at the impulse purchases but need to continue to work on getting the closet paired down and workable.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Same But Different

Jacket:  Caslon via Nordstrom (last summer, similar) - Dress:  Merona via Target (March 2015, similar) - Shoes:  Aerosoles (old)

Black and tan for the second time this week.  Of course, these are different black and tan things but still the same color palate.  I thought I'd show you what I wear while I'm in the office and then after work, when I run errands, I switch out my shoes and take off the jacket.  A simple switch to make the dress less dressier.  I usually only do this when my shoes are not the most comfortable for running around the grocery store before I go home.  But this more casual look makes the dress work for the weekend too (maybe with nicer flat sandals and not flip flops!).

In this journey of outfit documentation, I'm continuing to notice how many different versions I have of things.  I have several black dresses, several black skirts, many black pants... all just slightly different and none that are perfect.  Same with tops in tan - I have shown 3 different (but strikingly similar) tan sweaters/jackets on the blog just in the last month (but oh I have more!).  Do I really need all these versions of the basically the same thing?  Wouldn't it make more sense to just have one perfect version? 

Take today's outfit for example and compare it to one I wore just a few weeks ago:

 Seriously?!  I like today's look better than the other.  It fits better. But why do I keep on buying virtually the same things?  How many black dresses and tan sweaters can one person own (I have even more than these examples)?  I'm glad I'm starting to ask myself questions before I buy anything and curbing my impulse buys because this is crazy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Products at eShakti!

There have been some changes at eShakti since the last time I checked out their site.  They have new product lines and now custom pants, shorts and even jumpsuits!  I got an amazing dress from them last year and love how you can customize everything to your own measurements and style.  This short legged girl is super excited about getting pants in the length I need!

Surplice Jersey Knit Jumpsuits, Polyester Rayon Knit Ponte Jumpsuits , back zip jumpsuits, black jumpsuits, crepe knit jumpsuits, cut-away shoulder jumpsuits, empire waist jumpsuits, machine wash jumpsuits, mid-calf length jumpsuits, mid-weight jumpsuits, pocket jumpsuits, Polyester/rayon/spandex jumpsuits, princess seamed jumpsuits, sleeveless jumpsuits, surplice jumpsuits, v-neck jumpsuits
Can we talk about how amazing this jumpsuit is?  It's on my want list!

eShakti has graciously provided a code for you to get $35 off your order.  Just enter ALLTHECHICTHINGS35 in the gift coupon box when you check out. 

Relaxed Resort
Custom Pants

Valid till 06/21/2015
Enter this code in the 'Gift Coupon / Referral Code' box at checkout
Only one gift coupon can be used in an order
Not valid on previous purchases / purchase of gift cards.
This gift coupon cannot be transferred, re-issued or exchanged for cash.
Minimum order value $30.

eShakti offered me a credit for their site in exchange for this post, however, all opinions are my own.


remembered to put on some jewelry

Sweater:  Merona via Target (old) - Top:  Kenneth Cole Reaction (super old) - Pants:  NY&Co (old) - Shoes:  White Mountain via DSW (this winter)
This top is one of my favorites and I've had it for probably about 10 years.  It is starting to show it's age but I can't get rid of it.  I like this look but struggle with if it is really me. This works for my current work environment but I don't love, love it.   I'm afraid I'm wanting to wear things that aren't made for my lifestyle right now or things that I would wear on vacation.  Maybe I just wish I were still on vacation! 
This is what I wish I were wearing today:
Skirted Gauze Wide-Legs - anthropologie.com #anthrofave

Monday, June 8, 2015

Black and Tan

Sweater:  Victoria's Secret (old) - Tee:  H&M (old) - Pants:  Old Navy Pixie (last year, similar) - Shoes:  Croft & Barrow from Kohl's (old)
I always reach for these skinny black pants despite the fact that I don't love how they look on me.  I hate the dreaded knee bunching but I still wear them at least once a week. Imagine if I had a pair that actually fit well!  I'm actually dreaming about a pair of black wide leg pants I saw at LOFT... maybe if I retired these I could get the wide legs?  I'll have to over think it. 
I get a lot of use out of this sweater now which is funny because I hardly wore it for the first year or so that I had it. 
Side Note:  I love the color combo of Black and Tan but not the drink.  Other Side Note:  We toured the Guiness factory in Dublin but didn't drink any Guiness because we don't like beer.  Such a shame right?!  Oh well, we had enough Irish Coffees to make up for it.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Non Work Look

Tee:  Old Navy (old - similar) - Jeans:  LOFT (January 2015 - similar) - Shoes:  Target

I won't be in the office for the last part of this week so I'll leave you with a weekend running errands outfit from a few weeks ago.  As I've mentioned before, I don't have as much of an issue with my off duty clothes as I do with my business casual wardrobe.  Typically my outside of work looks are very basic like this one with a tee and jeans or a tee and shorts.  And yes, the tee is usually gray.  I have a lot of gray tops.

I try to elevate my very basic look just a little by wearing a more dressy tee with some sort of detail like the slubbing on this one.  Also, I try not to wear basic flip flops with a basic look like this one, I wear a dressier pair of sandals.  It makes me feel a little fancier but still really casual, comfortable and like me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Uniform Dressing

Shirt:  Apt. 9 via Kohl's - Pants:  Old Navy - Shoes:  Croft & Borrow via Kohl's

I almost feel like I'm wearing a uniform in this outfit with the white button down and black pants.  I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing a uniform.  There are many advocates of wearing the same thing every day (Steve Jobs anyone?).  It's an interesting thought that taking the guess work out of what to wear every day can open up your mind to other things. Studies show that having fewer choices may lead to greater happiness.  However, I think your clothes say a lot about you and it can be fun to put together looks and play with fashion.  I think my efforts to create a more curated wardrobe will help to eliminate the too many choices in my closet.  Once I really hone in on my style I think it will be similar to having a uniform with fewer pieces in my closet that all work together.  I just don't think I could wear the exact same thing every day.  Similar things...but not the exact same thing.  I enjoy clothes and shoes way too much for that.  What do you think?  Could you wear the same thing every day?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Business Dressy

Dress:  Merona via Target (last year) - Jacket:  LC Lauren Conrad via Kohl's (last year) - Shoes:  Vince Camuto via Nordstrom Rack (last year)
I had to speak at a training I put on for work so I dressed up a little more than usual.  This dress is just so close to fitting well.  The skirt is just a little too a-line (I think it would be better if it were straighter) but it isn't horrible I guess.  Also, the jacket could be more fitted.  Both of these things were purchased last summer when I wasn't thinking through my purchases and buying just to buy.  They could be worse for impulse purchases but they could be better if I had taken more time to find things that fit me better.  Lessons learned.

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