September 2016 Budget

It’s been a whirlwind month! I haven’t had much time to devote to this space because…we’re moving! Yep, we sold our current house and bought a new one all within the span of a week, so we’ve been dealing with all the “fun” that comes with those transactions. I managed to spend quite a bit during the first few weeks of September though, so I can’t say that all those distractions really had an impact on my monthly clothing budget. Here’s a look at the goodies:


the keepers

girlfriend jeans {Banana Republic Factory} $29 (originally $79.99, on sale for $48.99 + 40% off coupon) This was a wishlist item that I’m glad I found for a decent price. Hopefully this insane heat calms down eventually so I can actually wear them!

suede skirt {Zara via eBay} $68 (retailed for $79.90) I can’t decide if this was a stupid purchase or not. I think I was lured in by the fact that this skirt is genuine suede, but it’s pretty stiff and not lined. I hope I’ll end up wearing it enough to justify the price tag, but part of me thinks I might have been better off finding a good quality faux suede skirt instead. This was also something on my wishlist.

burgundy wedges {Coach via eBay} $25 (retailed for $198) These shoes were another wishlist item, but unlike the suede skirt, I am quite certain that they were a wise purchase. I found them on eBay with the description “new with defects”–the defect being a bit of sticker residue on the inside of the sole from where a price tag had been. I figured that was a pretty minor defect (that no one sees!), so I took a chance on them. They’re quite beautiful in person in terms of color and toe shape. I can’t wait to wear them this fall!

pink cardigan {J.Crew Factory} $27 ($54.50 + 50% off promo) I’ve been loving soft pink lately, particularly when combined autumn colors, so when I saw this cardigan on Erin a while back, I had to try it for myself. It’s a bit sheer, but it looks fine with light colors layered underneath. It’s all part of my plan to own the Clare cardigan in every color of the rainbow🙂

nude flats {BCBGeneration via Nordstrom Rack} $40 (retailed for $69)  In light of our upcoming move, I recently did a shoe clean-out, and one of the pairs banished from my collection was my cheapie nude flats. I decided to invest in something a bit higher in quality and with a pointed (well, pointier) toe. This pair is about as neutral as it gets–they’re a little lighter than most “nude” shoes, but then again, so is my skin tone!

the returns

At the same time I ordered the burgundy wedges pictured above, I tried this faux suede pair of pumps from Old Navy. They arrived the same day, and while these were surprisingly comfy and decent quality, I decided that the Coach pair would be more versatile and last longer.

the extras

I used some blog income to buy a pair of black Vince Camuto booties via Poshmark. I really like the inset in the front, as it makes them a bit more flattering on my short legs. They were like new and cost me about a third of the retail price–a good deal in my book!

September total: $190

2016 total: $1504

Remaining budget: $496

This month was a mixed bag in terms of wise buys. I wish I had been able to get a better price on the suede skirt–I think I would be a lot more agreeable to its aforementioned downsides if it had cost me, say, $30, instead of almost $70. However, all the other items fit well into my recent style aesthetic and didn’t break the bank. One of these days fall will actually arrive down south so that I can wear them.

I don’t have much on my radar for next month, mostly because I’ve been too busy to browse (either in store or online). There’s also the fact that we will be spending quite a bit on house-related items in the coming months (a refrigerator, a new sofa, a fence for the backyard…), so my desire for shopping is noticeably diminished. Perhaps I’ll end up saving a bit of money in October to put toward Black Friday purchases instead…

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.

shopping list–september 2016

It seems that fall may be my favorite season to shop for–I’ve got several items I want to add to my closet for the next few months. Here’s what I have in mind:

sept wishlist

suede skirt I really liked the suede skirts that started showing up last year, but alas, being pregnant prevented me from trying one out for myself. It seems that they’re back this fall, so I’m hoping I can find one in a pretty shade of camel or tan. This one is along the lines of what I had in mind but a little pricey. My only concern is how remixable a skirt like this would be…any outfit ideas out there?

chambray dress I’m having a bit of a love affair with chambray these days (love my new peplum top!). I already own a chambray shirtdress, but I’d love to one with a simpler neckline. I like this cute fit & flare version and this wrap dress. Both would be great options for pairing with boots this fall!

boyfriend jeans I mentioned in my most recent budget post that my boyfriend jeans are too big right now, which makes me pretty sad. It’s just such a comfy and versatile style! I like this “girlfriend” style that is slightly more fitted; I’m also digging the darker wash for those times when Caleb uses me as a human Kleenex.

delicate gold necklace I would love to find an “everyday” necklace that would go with pretty much anything. This classic initial pendant is cute (and also comes in rose gold and silver!), but I’m also intrigued by this druzy stone necklace. Etsy might also be a good place to search for something like this…

burgundy shoes I have a pair of cheapie burgundy pumps that I got on clearance at Target a few years ago, but they’re pretty uncomfortable…period. But, I love burgundy as an accent color, so I’d love to find a comfortable pair of flats or wedges in this color. I like these trendy tassel flats, but I might want something a bit simpler.

What’s on your fall wishlist?

Take One, Pass It On: Final Recap

Well, I made it through my first “style challenge.” By completing the Take One, Pass It On challenge, I remixed 30 different items in my closet over the course of August. Here’s the list, in case you missed them:

TOPIOWeek1 resized

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From this experience, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

Outfit planning is such a time-saver. Back in the days of my dietetic internship, I used to spend every Sunday evening planning my outfits for the week so that I could get dressed in a hurry before jetting off to the hospital. When I entered the world of research, I returned to my old habits such that every morning, I sat in front of my closet, totally stumped as to what to wear. This challenge forced me to plan my outfits again, and I think it’s a new way of life for me. Now, whenever Caleb goes down for a Sunday afternoon nap, I take that time to look at my schedule and jot down a few outfit ideas. It makes weekday mornings go a bit more smoothly and makes me feel like I have at least one aspect of my life under control!

Having a starting point is everything. I hate to admit this, but I have a sufficiently large wardrobe that sometimes choosing something to wear is overwhelming. In this challenge, I had a starting point for each day’s outfit, which made the sartorial creativity flow a bit more freely. Sure, there were still days on which I felt “trapped” by the rules of the challenge, plus a professional dress code, not to mention the blazing heat. But, overall, having that one piece as the anchor certainly helped me plan and helped me brainstorm new ideas. In the future, I think I’ll try to have an “inspiration” piece to get into the same mindset.

My style has evolved. As you can see from the pictures above, I’m pretty consistent with the colors and prints I choose–apparently, I’m a big fan of navy blue and stripes, with the occasional pop of red or pink. The older I get, the less I care about having bright, cheery colors on my person every day; these days, I much prefer a versatile and slightly more neutral style of dressing.

Taking photos of every outfit is not sustainable. This challenge required me to take photos of every.single.outfit for a whole month, and I’m worn out! Finding the time to take photos and avoiding repeat outfits proved to be quite an endeavor. Obviously, I don’t see myself continuing this pattern long-term.

I had fun this month! I might do something similar in the future, and I’m also contemplating a month-long capsule wardrobe for October. Thanks for reading!

Take One, Pass It On: Day 31


It’s the last day of this challenge! It’s been rough taking pictures of my outfit every day for 31 days, but I’m glad I did it. As I mentioned before, I will post a more thoughtful summary in the next few days.


For now though, let’s focus on the final look. Unfortunately, I’m finishing out this challenge with an outfit I’m not all that excited about–it’s not exactly flattering, mostly due to poor fit. I loved this peplum top when I first bought it last spring, but it’s a bit too big right now, which means I really need to belt it to adequately define my waist.  I was far too lazy for such things when I wore this outfit, so the end result is slightly frumpy. Oh well–lesson learned!


black peplum top: Ann Taylor, similar, similar // striped pencil skirt: Loft, similar, similar // red flats: J.Crew, exact, similar // gray tortoise sunglasses: Warby Parker, exact, similar

striped pencil skirt