july 2017 budget

As is my habit during this time of year, I’ve been wanting to shop much more frequently. My shopping mojo has been a bit diminished thus far this year, but now it’s back with a vengeance. As you’ll see below, I ended up buying several less expensive items (with one exception). Scroll down for details!

the keepers

red button detail top {Loft} $27 ($44.50 + 40% off promotion) If you’ve been following along on this Take One, Pass It On challenge, you might have noticed that I wear quite a bit of red. It’s probably my favorite accent color these days, so having a nice blouse in this cheery shade of red seemed like a good idea.

tan sandal clogs {Lotta from Stockholm} $76 (full price) I’ve been lusting after a pair of clog sandals for a while, and I finally decided to try this brand; it seemed to balance quality with reasonable prices. I love the look, but I’ll admit, they’re not all that comfortable. I’m hoping the leather just needs to stretch a bit–perhaps I should try walking around the house in them with thick socks? I’ve worn them throughout the TOPIO challenge here, here, and here.

striped tee dress {H&M} $18 (full price) As I mentioned in my last budget post, my old striped t-shirt dress was not even fit to be donated–I had to trash that thing after pregnancy. This one is an awesome replacement–lightweight, not too short, and just the right width of stripes. I can’t decide if the stripes are black or just really dark navy. I figure it will read either way, depending on what accessories I pair with it. Two dresses in one! See how I wore it here.

embroidered top {Forever 21} $28 (full price) A classic, blue and white embroidered top has been on my wishlist since last summer. I really liked this one, but it never went on sale, and my size was never in stock. I spotted this one at Forever 21 of all places, and it was exactly what I was looking for, style-wise. The fit is quite, um, voluminous, and a smidge short. I think that’s intentional, and it makes it super breezy for hot summer days. It will look so cute with jean shorts and tan sandals!

olive dress {Amazon} $18 (full price) I ordered this after Audrey mentioned it a couple times. I draw a lot of inspiration from her style, and I trust her judgment when it comes to the quality of pieces, so I gave it a go. Olive is definitely one of my favorite neutrals, so I can imagine about a thousand different ways to wear it. I’ve already worn it twice in the TOPIO challenge, here and here.

denim shorts {Abercrombie & Fitch} $12 ($54 marked down to $16 + 25% off coupon) H&M, Forever 21, Abercrombie?! Who am I? I didn’t even shop at A&F in high school. As it turns out, they have some pretty decent prices on summer basics, including these lighter wash midi shorts. I wear my other pair of denim shorts constantly in the summertime, so I thought another wash might be nice to add into rotation.

gold paddle necklace {Target} $16 ($16.99 + 5% REDcard discount) This was another purchase inspired by Audrey. It’s a bit more of a statement than I typically make with the jewelry I wear, but I still like it. I think it would be such an easy way to dress up all the simple blouses I wear.

the returns


the extras

I ordered a few things from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that haven’t arrived yet. If I keep them, I’ll add them to next month’s budget post, although I’m contemplating making one of the items a special gift to myself for finishing up data collection for my dissertation 🙂

July 2017 total: $194

2017 total: $998

Remaining budget: $1002

I shopped at several places this month that are out of the norm for me. Unfortunately, most of them fall under the category of “fast fashion” and thus, I really don’t feel great about purchasing from them. Hopefully, the items I bought will last at least until next summer. I can already tell that I’ll wear the two dresses I bought several more times before this summer is done!

August is looking like it will be another spendy month, as I still have my eye on quite a few things. I recently did a closet purge and got rid of several items that were too worn to be professional anymore, including my beloved gray dress. So now I’m on the hunt for a new one. I would also like to find a black knit blazer (like this one), as my black blazer is wool and thus not very practical for any season except winter around here. Black jeans and a gray moto jacket are also on my wishlist (<–I should do another one of those posts again soon!).

What did you buy in July?

june 2017 budget

Another shopping month bites the dust. How did that happen? My spending in June ended up being pretty light…see the details below!

the keepers

magnolia print tank {Banana Republic Factory} $11 (on clearance for $29.99 + extra 60% off + 10% off for using my Banana Card) Remember this print from last summer? Banana’s retail stores sold several pieces in this print in 2016, and while I loved the print, the prices never got low enough for me to pull the trigger. Enter: Banana Republic Factory. Unbeknownst to me, the factory store also sold several pieces in this print this spring, but since I haven’t been shopping in forever, I had no idea. As luck would have it, I went shopping with my mom one weekend when Seth and Caleb were away visiting relatives, and I found this single top just begging for me to buy it from the clearance rack. I’m envisioning wearing it with white jeans or maybe my green pants (also from Banana…) that match exactly. Sidenote: the top I bought is slightly different from what’s pictured above. I couldn’t find a picture of the Factory version, which doesn’t have the shoulder detail, and it has a boatneck instead of a v-neck.

leopard sandals {Urban Outfitters} $29 ($44 on sale for $29) If you read this blog in the summer of 2015, you probably became familiar with these sandals–I wore them all the time! I still wear them and love them, but I wanted something a bit more casual and with a bit more black in the mix. I don’t normally shop at UO, but these sandals were exactly what I was looking for! They’re not all that comfortable, but I haven’t worn them out of the house yet…so maybe they just need some breaking in. They’re now marked down to less than $15 if you want a pair for yourself!

black pom-pom shift dress {Loft} $39 ($89.50 marked down to $64.88 + extra 40% off) It’s getting to be that time of the year when pants are just not an option–it’s so hot that only skirts and dresses are acceptable! The black dresses currently in my closet are of the dressier variety, so I thought this one had a more casual vibe that could be worn to work or on the weekend. I was a little nervous ordering it as a final sale item, but it seems to fit fine–a little roomy, but fine. Be forewarned that the sleeves are a bit, um, “aggressive” in their flutteriness (pretty sure I just made up that word). I still like it though because POM POMS.

the returns


the extras

I used some ThredUp earnings to buy some cheap and comfy sandals second-hand on eBay. My fave brand is b.o.c.

June 2017 total: $79

2017 total: $804

Remaining budget: $1196

I wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t spend much this month–I think this is the least I’ve spent on shopping in a month since I started this blog way back in 2013. I think I’m in a good place shopping-wise where I don’t feel the need to browse as often or buy as much. The magnolia print top was a fun “just because” purchase, but I think I can get the cost-per-wear down to a few bucks at least, particularly because it was so deeply discounted. The sandals and the dress will be good summer staples for the many months of hot weather we’ve got left in Alabama.

Now, all that being said, I think July might be a spendy month. I’ve got my eye on a lot, PLUS let’s not forget that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming up soon. First, I really want these sandals (sold out in my size) and these too once they go on sale (if ever). I also need to replace my striped t-shirt dress (which was really a maternity item for me and also falling apart). I’m also gunning for this embroidered top and gingham blouse to go on sale. Oh, and Loft just released a bunch of cute new arrivals. What was I saying about not wanting to shop as much? Ha!

What did you buy in June?

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.

may 2017 budget

May was kind of a weird shopping month for me. I didn’t really have anything specific in mind…so I didn’t shop. Totally out of character, I know. It got to be as late as last week, and my expenditures totaled ZERO. Then a few good sales happened, and well, here we are. Details below!

the keepers

embroidered top {Mindy Mae’s Market} $34 ($40 + 15% off coupon code) I’ve been lusting after this Madewell top for months, but it sells out frequently…and doesn’t seem to go on sale. I happened to catch an Instagram post from Mindy Mae’s announcing a 15% off coupon code and spotted this look-alike top. The fit isn’t perfect, but it’s acceptable for a trendy, casual top. Plus, there’s plenty of room so that I could wear it as a maternity top in the future. I wore it to my nephew’s birthday party with some jean shorts and sandals and received a few compliments 🙂

banks sunglasses in striped sassafras {Warby Parker} $95 (retail price) If you have a really good memory, you might recall that my husband gave me this exact style of sunglasses in the “sea smoke tortoise” color a long time ago. They’ve held up so well to constant use that I decided to invest in a brown-toned pair from WP (to wear with all the cognac in my shoe wardrobe!). I really like the shape of my Banks pair, so I just decided to go with that! Boring? Perhaps, but I knew I’d love them!

black shorts {J.Crew Factory} $5 ($34.50 on sale for $14.50 + $10 off with coupon) Nothing exciting here–just a pair of black shorts that actually fits me.

red striped skirt {J.Crew Factory} $25 ($79.50 on sale for $39.50 + $15 off with coupon) Another “multiple” purchase here–I bought the navy version last year and wore it all the time (see here!). It’s lightweight and a work-appropriate length, which makes it perfect for my summer wardrobe.

navy dot tee {J.Crew Factory} $0 ($39.50 on clearance for $24.99 + $25 gift card) I had been eyeing this tee for a while, and since I was already ordering the two items above, I added it to my cart to qualify for a promo. I was a little concerned it would be too small, as the only size left was XS, but it is surprisingly roomy. I have quite a collection of the, err, Collector tees now–there’s always a style or two to add some whimsy to my more casual outfits.

the returns

No returns!

the extras

Technically, I guess the dot tee pictured above is a freebie since I used a gift card to pay for it, but other than that, no extras.

May 2017 total: $159

2017 total: $725

Remaining budget: $1275

In case the lack of posting here hasn’t clued you in, clothes haven’t been at the forefront of my mind lately. I’m OK with that. I have an adequate wardrobe to serve my current lifestyle well, and I don’t have as much free time to shop online (or in store–who has time for that?!). I think the sunglasses will be in constant rotation throughout the year, and the JCF purchases will be good summer staples. The embroidered top was more of a fun, “just because” purchase, but I’m willing to bet that I’ll end up wearing it often in the coming months.

I never got around to writing up my usual, bimonthly “wishlist” post this month. The only thing I really need right now are comfortable sandals that can be worn with shorts or dresses/skirts without looking too stodgy. I am tempted by these and these.

What did you buy in May?

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers.

April 2017 Budget

This month has been busy, so I haven’t been particularly good about tracking my shopping. So I’m pretty sure this is where the budget stands…better get back to using my spreadsheet to keep myself accountable! Anyway, here are a few things I added to my closet in April.

black leather flats {BCBGeneration via eBay} $42 (retailed for $69) After a few failed attempts, I finally found a pair of black leather flats, which have been on my wishlist for a while. I actually own these exact flats in two other colors: nude leather and black suede, so when they popped up in a desperate eBay search, I ordered them immediately. For those who are curious, they are called the “Nassau” flat, and I highly recommend them! Just be sure to order up a half size.

scalloped tank in rose {eri + ali via Anthropologie} $48 ($58 + $10 off promotion) I don’t typically shop at Anthropologie, but there’s a location near my house, so I wandered in there looking for housewares one day and happened upon this brand. The material is a thick jersey, so it’s not see-through at all–a rare find for pale pink items, it seems. I initially bought this top, but the “swing” shape was way too exaggerated such that it looked like a maternity top! I opted for this one instead. It’s a bit more limited in its versatility, but I think it will be nice to have throughout the spring and summer.

striped tulip sleeve striped tee in whisper white {Loft} $24 ($39.50 + 40% off sale) I’ll admit, this was something I admired on others’ Instagram feeds, then promptly bought it for myself as soon as a good sale came along. I never met a stripe I didn’t like, and the fun detail on the sleeves make this tee a little extra special. I’m seriously contemplating buying it in red as well…

striped pom-pom tee in smoke heather {Loft} $17 ($39.50 marked down to $35 + 50% off sale) Gray is increasingly becoming one of my favorite neutrals (in fact, I’m wearing a gray peplum top as I type this post). The pom-pom edge was just too cute to pass up when Loft had its 50% off + free shipping promotion over Easter weekend. I have a feeling this will become a weekend favorite.

studio tee in ivory/navy stripe {J.Crew Factory} $13 ($29.50 on sale for $12.95) Yes, I bought two blue striped tees in one month. To be fair, my current navy striped tee was a thrift find from four years ago and is starting to show its age.

the returns

This was yet another month with several returns. I returned the aforementioned Anthro top, as well as this top and these pants (in jungle green) from Gap. The top was way too big and the pants were way too form-fitting to be professional. Inconsistent sizing much? Oh, well.

the extras

I made some cash by sending in a few bags to ThredUp, so I am planning on use those extra funds to purchase this trench coat (yes, I’m still searching for the perfect one!). Here’s hoping this one is what I’m looking for, as I’m getting tired of this fruitless hunt.

April 2017 total: $144

2017 total: $566

Remaining budget: $1434

Despite not keeping very close track of my purchases, it wasn’t a very spendy month, evidently (unless I’ve forgotten something, of course). Tees with special details are my jam lately. For better or for worse, I’ve embraced academia’s casual dress code and let myself wear jeans on days I don’t have important meetings or participant testing visits. As a result, “fancy” tees are what works for my current lifestyle, and that’s what I’ve been buying. I’m SO happy to have found the black leather flats I so desperately needed. I think I’ve worn them ten times already.

As for next month, I’m due for another wishlist post. The only thing I can think of that’s lacking in my wardrobe right now is flat sandals. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not much of a heels girl anymore, so the wedge sandals I’ve relied on in summers past are not looking all that appealing. I might hit up Target one of these days to see what they have to offer, although I always prefer genuine leather when it comes to footwear.

What did you buy in April?