the same but different

I’ve been blogging long enough now that I sometimes draw outfit inspiration from myself. Case in point: I wore an outfit very similar to this about two years ago, right after my son was born.

I remembered that outfit recently and decided to re-create it with newer items in my wardrobe. I traded out the wool skirt (which has since been donated–it wasn’t very practical for our mild winters) for a suede skirt in the same color; I also switched out the booties for some comfy mules. The end result was an outfit in which I felt comfortable and relatively put together. Unfortunately, campus was pretty deserted due to the holiday, so no one got to see my outfit…guess I’ll just have to wear it again next week!

striped boatneck tee: Merona, similar, similar // faux suede skirt: Sanctuary, similar, similar // black mule booties: dv by Dolce Vita, similar, similar // gold locket necklace: J.Crew, similar, similar // sunglasses: Warby Parker Banks, similar, similar

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november 2017 budget

As I’m sure you all have noticed, shopping season has begun! With so many great sales already going on, it’s tempting to buy EVERYTHING. I didn’t quite do that, but I did spend more this month than I think I have all year. Scroll through to see what came home with me in November!

the keepers

olive pants {Loft} $42 ($69.50 + 40% off promotion) These are in fact the same pants I bought last month, just in a different color. In case you haven’t noticed, I wear my olive pants all the time, so I figured it would be nice to have a slightly dressier version on hand. My rockstar mom also hemmed them for me already, so I have a few outfit ideas for them during the holiday season.

cognac booties {Dolce Vita via eBay} $7 (retailed for $140) This is another “multiples” purchase. I bought these exact mule/booties last month in taupe. I loved them so much that I tracked them down on eBay in this lovely cognac color (another hue I wear often). They were marked as “pre-owned,” but I think they must have been a store return, as they are in excellent condition. Seen here and here.

black sunglasses {Quay via NYGlass} $45 ($55 discounted to $49.99 + 10% off coupon) Admittedly, I am a bit of a sunglasses hoarder–I own several pairs now. Nonetheless, I have yet to find a pair of quality, all-purpose black sunglasses. I really liked the matte finish on these, and they’re over-sized but not costume-y.

camel cardigan {Gap Factory} $15 ($39.99 on sale for $18.99 + extra 20% off discount) I’ve been hunting for a long, camel cardigan all season long, but really haven’t found many options in the under $50 range. This one is definitely what I would consider a “layering” cardigan in that it is quite lightweight, which isn’t ideal. The color is just what I was looking for though, so it was a nice (inexpensive) compromise.

leopard crossbody bag {Margot via TJMaxx} $64 (retailed for $130) For most of my adult life, I’ve lugged around large totes as my “handbag,” but these days I’m appreciating the convenience of a crossbody. I love my tan and black ones! I thought a leopard print one might be a fun way to add a little more interest to my more neutral looks. I came across this one on the TJMaxx website a few weeks ago, and I liked that it would be big enough to fit my Hobo clutch wallet. Plus, it’s genuine leather. It was a bit more than I am usually willing to spend on a bag, but I bit the bullet when I got an e-mail indicating that there was low stock (which was true apparently, as it’s now sold out).

tile stripe dress {Loft} $11 ($79.50 marked down to $59.99 + 50% off promotion + $20 rewards) I tried this dress on several months ago and liked it, but I didn’t like it well enough to pay full price or even 40% off full price. $11 I can handle though! It’s a nice thick texture, and I think it will coordinate with a lot of other items in my closet.

ivory blouse {Lush via Nordstrom} $39 (full price) Ivory is a color I wear quite frequently, but I don’t seem to have much to choose from in terms of winter appropriate clothing; all my ivory tops are sleeveless or short sleeved. This blouse seems like a good option in that it’s simple enough to be versatile but not too boring. I’m actually wearing it now as I type this post! It’s a little sheer, so I do wear a camisole with it, but obviously that wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

black tonal stripe clutch {BP via Nordstrom} $12 ($25 + 50% off sale) I have had this clutch on my radar for over a year now. In fact, I had in my my Christmas list last year. When it was marked down to 50% off a few days ago (making it a very reasonable $12!), I decided to just gift it to myself. It has gotten great reviews, and I am in agreement. It’s a good size and seems well-made. It comes in a few other colors (ivory, silver, burgundy) if you’re interested!

the returns

After a few months of copious returns, this month didn’t have any! Perhaps that’s why my total spent is a bit higher than usual…

the extras

I have an extra $550 in my “allowance” now due to winning an award for my research and also selling a few items to ThredUp. I haven’t determined what exactly I’ll spend that cash on yet, but I’m thinking it will go toward replacing wardrobe staples that either don’t fit or are worn out. In particular, I need a new light chambray shirt and a pair of leopard pumps.

November total: $235

2017 total: $1775

Remaining budget: $225

I’m confident that most of this month’s purchases will end up being worn. I bought the booties at the beginning of the month, and I’ve already worn them 7 times! That’s already at $1 cost-per-wear! I’ll try to incorporate the other items into a few outfits in the coming weeks.

I’m trying not to shop too much in December, as I do have a double-whammy birthday and Christmas on 24th and 25th. That being said, I do have my eyes on several items, including this gorgeous coat, thisĀ  necklace, and these sneakers.

What did you buy in November?

the leopard blanket scarf

As I mentioned in the budget post when I bought this scarf, I’ve been stalking it for YEARS. So you better believe that once the temperature dipped low enough to merit wearing a blanket scarf, I pulled it out pretty darn quick.

I love how this scarf looks with burgundy, but I’m second-guessing my decision to wear the ivory vest–it might have looked more cohesive to wear a black “completer piece.” Still, I was pretty comfy and cozy. I’m publishing this post on Thanksgiving Day here in the US, and this outfit would be perfectly appropriate for a casual Turkey Day gathering.

Speaking of…Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you get a chance to count your blessings with a side of pumpkin pie!

chambray shirt: J.Crew, exact, similar // burgundy skinny jeans: exact, similar // tan mule booties: Dolce Vita, exact, similar // ivory quilted vest: J.Crew Factory, exact, similar // leopard blanket scarf: BP, similar, similar

just another tuesday

I’ll be honest and say that there isn’t anything terribly exciting about this outfit. How’s that for a hook? But I decided to take pictures just to get back in the habit after taking a brief hiatus following the Common Threads Challenge.

It’s hard to believe that there was once a time in my life when I was unwilling to wear black and brown together…EVER. Now, I do it on the daily; it’s kind of my thing. I think this outfit would have been a bit too boring if I had stuck with only black as the neutral. The cognac boots and bag seem to add a sense of “warmth” if that makes any sense. Stay tuned for more (interesting) outfit posts!

striped boatneck tee: Merona, similar, similar // plum cardigan: Gap Factory, exact, similar // black skinny jeans: Wit & Wisdom, exact, similar // gold locket necklace: J.Crew, similar, similar // tan mule booties: Dolce Vita, exact, similar // reversible tote: Nordstrom, exact, similar