january 2018 budget

It’s been a while since my last post! 2018 is turning out to be a busy year thus far, so I haven’t had much time to dedicate to this blog. Nonetheless, I did want to pop in and share this month’s purchases.

the keepers

black + tan monogrammed pullover {Marley Lilly} $40 ($60 on sale for $39.99) I bought a monogrammed pullover from ML last spring, and it’s seriously one of my most favorite weekend items. I decided that it couldn’t hurt to have another one for my collection, so I bought this version (with elbow patches!).

tortoise phone case {Marley Lilly} $15 ($35 on sale for $14.99) I don’t think I’ve included phone cases as an accessory before, but this one was purchased not out of need but just because I wanted it. So, I feel like I should include it in the budget as a “just for fun” purchase. I haven’t started using it yet, but I really love the circle monogram I chose!

buffalo check shirt {Old Navy} $12 ($32.99 on clearance for $14.97 + extra 20% off) I bought a buffalo plaid shirt about two years ago, and it has shrunk in the wash such that I no longer wanted to wear it. This ON replacement is great because it’s got plenty of length, and it’s also very soft.

v-neck pleat hem short sleeve top in white and black {The Limited} $14 each ($69 on clearance for $13.80 each) This was definitely an unplanned purchase. I happened to see another blogger wearing it, clicked her link to shop it, and found out it was 80% off with free shipping. You know I love a basic top with a little interesting detail, so I went ahead and bought it in two colors. The white is ever so slightly sheer, so I will probably wear a layer underneath it, but overall I am impressed with The Limited’s “comeback” offerings.

v-neck pleat hem long sleeve top in green {The Limited} $35 ($69 on clearance for $34.50) Obviously, this is the exact same top as above, but in a long sleeved version. I just loved the particular shade of green so much that I was willing to spend a bit more for it. I happen to be wearing this top now as I type up this post, and it’s pretty dang comfy. A good purchase!

the returns

No returns this month!

the extras

I still have quite a few gift cards from Christmas, and I’m as shocked as anyone that I haven’t spent them all yet. I used a small portion of my J.Crew gift card to buy this top and this fun necklace during their MLK weekend promotion. I think the total came to $20, which I think is a crazy good bargain!

January total: $129

2018 total: $129

Remaining budget: $1871

I’m pretty pleased with this month’s purchases. The pullover and some of the tops have already been added into my winter wardrobe rotation, and once spring arrives, I’m pretty confident the short sleeved tops will become favorites too.

As for next month’s budget, I did order a pair of duck boots recently, but I’m waiting for them to arrive. They won’t be the most stylish item in my closet, but all this crazy winter weather has convinced me that they would nice to have! Anyway, I’ll be sure to add those to February’s tally, assuming I keep them.

I honestly don’t have much on my shopping radar right now. I have a big milestone happening in mid-February (I’m defending my dissertation proposal), so I haven’t been thinking too much about clothes lately. Hopefully I’ll have more time to devote to this space soon!

What did you buy in January?


birthday outfit

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a pleasant holiday season. Before we move on to 2018, I wanted to be sure to post one last outfit from a few weeks ago–my birthday outfit!

My family got together at my parents’ house for dinner (and dessert, of course) to celebrate my special day, and I opted to wear an outfit that’s been lingering on my Pinterest board for a year now. I traded the flats for heels and skipped the necklace, but otherwise I’d say my rendition was pretty close to the original. Had I been going somewhere fancier, I might have added my gold clutch to make a little more special.

Looking forward to the adventures 2018 may hold!

black lace top: J.Crew, similar, similar // green ankle pants: Banana Republic, similar, similar // leopard heels: INC, exact, similar

2017 favorites

I was much more consistent with my posting schedule this year, so I have a few more blog posts to choose from in selecting my favorites of 2017. In case you missed it, I completed TWO style challenges: Take One, Pass It On and the Common Threads Challenge.

Here are my favorite looks of the year:

1 / 2 /

4 / 5 / 6

7 / 8 / 9

As you can see, my love for neutrals continues to grow, but I also make good use of the occasional pop of red or burgundy.

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year to all!

2017 budget in review

With 2018 upon us, I thought I would continue my tradition of reflecting upon the past year’s clothing purchases. As a reminder I set a $2000 annual budget for clothing, shoes, and accessories. Here’s how that amount was spent on a month-by-month basis:

2017 total: $1966 ($34 under budget)

As you can see, my spending certainly fluctuated much more this year than in past years. Unsurprisingly, these patterns tend to reflect which months were the busiest for my family and me (and thus left little time for shopping). Fall seems to be my favorite time to shop, so I need to remember to plan accordingly with my budget.

This year, I’ve tracked every single outfit I’ve worn using the StyleBook app, which provides some good data for telling you what the best and worst buys of the year were. First up, the losers…

The worst buys of 2017:

  • nude scalloped flats: I obsessed about these flats for a while (I had really wanted the leather version but settled for the synthetic)…and then I just didn’t wear them. They weren’t as comfortable as the leather version, so I ended up selling them on Poshmark at some point. Not a good purchase at all.
  • scalloped tank in rose: Hmm, maybe I don’t like scallops anymore? I was so excited to find a blush pink top that wasn’t too sheer that I went against my better judgment and paid more for a simple tank than I would normally. Again, it just sat in my closet. I consigned it not long ago.
  • striped sassafras sunglasses: I thought for sure that these sunglasses would be a winner because I have the exact same style in a different color and LOVE them. For whatever reason, these didn’t fit the same, and were just not as versatile. I think I would have preferred a more classic tortoise pair. See them here.
  • black pom pom shift dress: Somehow I seem to have found a little black dress that is NOT versatile. As I mentioned when I bought the dress, the sleeves are a bit too much for me, and I think that deters me from wearing it at all, but particularly in a professional setting. I’m keeping it for now to use as a beach cover-up. See it here.
  • tan sandal clogs: I really wanted to like these clogs. I wore them a few times here on the blog, but they are just not the right shape for my feet. It’s a shame considering how expensive they were. I’m thinking of passing them on to my sister. See them here.

The best buys of 2017:

  • ankle skinny jeans: I bought these jeans out of necessity when I was in between sizes last January. I bought them for just $10, and I’ve worn them 42 times! They’re seriously the comfiest jeans I’ve ever owned.  See them here.
  • tan suede mule booties: I bought these on eBay for $7 just last month, and I’ve already worn them 16 times! They’re the perfect color, extremely comfortable, and easy to slip on. Love them.
  • two tone wedge sandals: These were another super cheap purchase at just $10, but I wore them constantly in the summer and well into the fall–27 times to be exact! See them here.
  • gold locket necklace: I don’t wear much jewelry, but when I find something I like, I wear it over and over again. Such is the case with this necklace. I wore it 26 times this year, and I expect that number to keep on increasing. See it here.

So, I tend to make the same shopping mistakes every year–settling for something that’s almost perfect, buying final sale items, and not focusing enough on fit. These are pretty common mistakes, and ones that I’ll continue to try to correct in 2018.