Tag Archives: shopping

March Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

march_shopping_summary

1. Bradamant Bodysuit (same) – won in a giveaway from Engineering in Style (seen here)

2. Madden Girl Hiighfiv Wedge Sandal via DSW (same) – $40 (currently on sale for less!)

3. Jessica Simpson Connie Flat via DSW (same) – $53 w/coupons

4. Bow print dress via Comfort Me Boutique – $197 (seen here)

5. J. Crew button-up shirt – $36

6. J. Crew Jackie Cardigan (same) – $27 (currently $65 w/25% off)

7. Clothing Swap Clothing Items – lace blazer, gray dress pants (seen here), floral ankle pants, black top (seen here)

8. Clothing Swap Accessory Items – silver ball necklace, gold leaf necklace

9. (not pictured) LOFT Windowpane pants via Poshmark (seen here) – $1.95 after Poshmark credits

10. (not pictured) Old Navy Boyfriend Cardigan in black (same) – $27

Total = $354.95

GULP! That is a large number for me. So, let’s see how that happened.

Well, the biggest chunk and probably the most expensive single item of clothing I own aside from wedding dress is the bow print dress from Comfort Me. That is WAY more than I usually spend on something but, admittedly, similar to my wedding dress, I put it on and never wanted to take it off. And, let’s be honest, it’s definitely more versatile than wedding dress, right?

So, if you subtract that splurge then I’m only about $30 over my monthly budget. And that extra little bit came from a last minute trip to Old Navy before my vacation. Not sure why, but I REALLY wanted a long black cardigan to wear on the plane.

Also, I wanted to note that items 2, 3, and 5 all replace something I had in my closet but decided to get rid of because they were too worn. Plus, I took an entire large suitcase full of clothes to the clothing swap I attended (seriously, it was a LOT of stuff) so my closet probably actually had a net loss for the month.

And I know I say this every month but I DO NOT NEED TO SHOP in April. Seriously, I don’t. Except maybe to use some of my Sole Society credit to get some red heels I can actually walk in. Which of these do you like better?

 

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Heel | Wedge

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers

  

February Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

february_2014_shopping_summary

1.  Denim Jacket via Langford Market – $45

2. Faux Leather Top via Amazon.com – $29 (same) (seen here)

3. J. Crew Factory Leopard Print Shirt via ebay – $20

4. TOMS Leopard Print Desert Wedge – $78 (same) (seen here)

5. Faux Fur Vest via Comfort Me Boutique – $56 (seen here)

Total – $228

Hey! Have you voted for your favorite outfit from February yet? No? Why not?? Just click that link and pick one. It’s fun and easy, I promise.

Now, onto this past month’s consumerism.

Here’s the deal: I may have already had a denim jacket but it’s literally from at LEAST high school and was too big. I wanted a more fitted, slightly cropped one. And, yes, I could have bought one via Poshmark or hunted down one at a thrift store, but I just wasn’t seeing anything that fit the bill. Until I found this one at Langford Market at 40% off. It’s super soft and has some stretch too it so it’s quite comfy. Now, if the weather would just cooperate so I could wear the thing!

Admittedly, the faux leather shirt was a total impulse purchase. But I’m planning to wear it again this week because it could easily become a one-trick pony and I don’t want that to happen.

As for the leopard shirt, well, I’ve been lusting after that puppy for at least a year. It sold out on J. Crew and J. Crew Factory and I finally decided to stalk one on ebay. Got it for $19.99 shipped and it fits perfectly. I’ve already worn it once (although not on the blog) and I’m looking forward to wearing it more.

Of course we have to talk about the wedges. After deciding I HAD to have a pair and not finding the ones I fell in love with in my size anywhere I found these. Are they the exact pair I wanted? No. But they are super comfortable, were the same price (on sale and with free shipping) and since they’re TOMS some of my money goes to a good cause. I think that’s a win-win.

Finally, the black faux fur vest. I bought this on clearance and had a $25 gift card. Comfort Me Boutique is a local Chicago business and it felt good to support them and get a piece that I can see myself wearing in several different ways. On one hand, I want spring to get here. On the other, I want to wear my faux fur a few more times!

And that’s it! I spent a bit more than I had planned but I think I got some quality items. Plus, I’m going to a clothing swap in a few weeks where I’m planning to take quite a few items and hopefully bring home less than I brought to the swap. Closet clean out time, for sure.

Linking up with Franish and her Budgeting Bloggers series

  

January Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

january_2014_shopping_summary

1. The Limited Freehand Layering Shell (same) – Original price: $49.95; My price: $21.05

2. Express Nude Fishnet Tights (same) – Original price: $16.90; My price: $7.54

3. The Limited Sequin Overlay Tank (same) – Original price: $19.99; My price: $7.32

4. DSW Audrey Brooke Mariah Suede Pump (same) – Original price: $59.95; My price – $33.45 (seen here)

5. The Limited Cardigan – Original price: $24.99; My price – $7.32

6. Express Pearl and Metal Bauble Necklace (same) – Original price: $34.90; My price – $10.81 (seen here and here)

Total =  $87.49

(Not included: nude seamless camisole and a new pair of running shoes)

Thanks to a combination of sales, coupons, reward programs and birthday discounts I have to say that even though I didn’t plan to buy much of anything this month I’m really happy with what I ended up with. The hilarious thing? I bought all of these items on the same day. I very rarely spend an entire day shopping but that’s what happened!

I’ve also done really well with just deleting sales emails from stores this month. If I don’t browse then I don’t buy. It’s as simple as that.

Although, if these shoes ever show up in my inbox I will be pouncing on them. I’m still waiting for one of you to find them in a size 8 and buy them for me. I’ll pay you back!!

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Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers

  

What coat do I wear in Chicago?

•• Shopping

Growing up in the Midwest I’m used to having multiple coats for all seasons. But for years I lived in areas where I could get away with just a wool peacoat for winter. After moving to Chicago, though, and commuting to work via public transit I knew I had to get a “from here” coat for winter. Meaning a coat that you buy in the place you live.

North Face Down Coat The quintessential Chicago coat – the down North Face parka

I, however, didn’t want the traditional coat. Nope. I went for a fun silver Eddie Bauer version several years ago and I still think Eddie Bauer has the best options for warm but fun coats for when it’s below freezing.

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The wool peacoat is still a great option for when it’s between 32 and 45 degrees (or more if you are still acclimating to Chicago’s version of cold). Mine is from Macy’s but for years I had one from Old Navy.

  peacoat_collage

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Finally, the trench coat. This is perfect for fall and spring in Chicago when it’s rainy and cool but not cold. Mine is from Target and I’ve worn it on the blog here and here. Unfortunately, right now is not the time to buy a trench coat so there aren’t many to choose from. But if you’re currently experiencing a super cold snap like we are in Chicago, there are deals to be had on down and wool coats. So, get shopping and stay warm!

P.S. Linking up with Trend Spin Tuesday

  

December Shopping (and gift) Summary

•• Shopping

december_shopping_summary_1

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1. The Limited Black Collection Blazer  – gift

2. The Limited necklace – gift

3. Langford Market Embellished Shoulder Sweatshirt/Sweater – $25

4. The Limited Sleek Pencil Pants – $40

5. LOFT Marisa Pants – $30

6. Franco Sarto Delancey Purse – gift

7. Banana Republic Scarf – gift

8. Jones New York Pencil Skirt – $37

9. Banana Republic Sweater – gift

Total out of pocket = $132

Have you voted for your favorite outfit of December yet?

In the interest of full disclosure, I also spent $60 on boots from Sole Society but even after trying two different sizes I decided they didn’t fit right. So, I returned them. But they don’t do refunds so instead I have store credit to use at some point.

Otherwise all of my out-of-pocket purchases were to fill holes in my wardrobe or replace items that no longer fit. My original red ankle pants have gotten too tight for me to feel comfortable wearing them to the office (but they’re for sale on Poshmark if you’re interested) so I replaced them with these from The Limited. Same with my pink skirt. And while I do have burgundy pants they are definitely more of a flare leg that I can’t wear with flats. I thought about getting them tailored but at $30 these ones from LOFT were too good of a deal to pass up.

Finally, the sweatshirt/sweater was an impulse buy when I was picking up a gift for my mom. Turns out it was a great purchase because I’ve already worn it several times. I don’t have a lot of cute clothes that I would consider to be both comfy and casual and this totally fit the bill for me.

Then there are the Christmas gifts! My mom picked all of them out for me (okay, I picked out the blazer and the necklace). She’s got good taste, right? I’ve also already worn the sweater and the scarf twice.

So, yeah. December was about filling holes and getting a few new fun items. As for January? I’m still looking for a replacement pair of black riding boots. Let the hunt begin!

P.S. I also received this necklace and these shoes for free from fibi & clo. I’ve already worn the necklace here and will do a review of the shoes soon.

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers

  

November Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

november_shopping

Clockwise from top left

1. The Limited Red Blazer – $42

2. Langford Market Plaid Tunic – $28

3. Anne Klein Patent Red Heels – $25 (same)

4. Vince Camuto Faux Leather & Ponte Pants – $40 (same)

5. Target Sequined Shoulder Cardigan – $21 (same) (seen here and here)

6. Target Striped Tee – $2

7. Express Faux Leather Trim Chambray Shirt – $25 (free with Poshmark Credit) (same)

8. Gap Gingham Shirt – $29 (same)

Total – $187

Note: I also ordered a skirt, a pair of pants, and these boots but none of them has come yet. If I decide to keep them you’ll see them in December’s shopping summary.

Would you believe I bought all these things on sale before Black Friday? See, you don’t have to go shopping on just one day of the year to get good deals! And the Target prices were courtesy of coupons and Cartwheel. I mean, the striped shirt was already on super clearance but with coupons it was only $2! It’s going to be a great layering piece this winter.

And, of course, after my Stitch Fix shipment I couldn’t let go of the idea of a navy gingham shirt. Gap to the rescue with a 40% off sale! Then there was the disaster of the faux leather pants I ordered with Poshmark credit. They were WAY too small for me (if you wear a six in Forever 21, let me know) but thankfully I found this Vince Camuto ones at Macy’s for 50% off and I want to wear them every day. I will find a way to make them work for the office, just so you know.

This time last year I had a huge Christmas and Birthday wish list full of clothes. This year? Not so much. I think I’ve finally filled all the holes in my closet!

Do you have clothes on your wish list?

 

Linking up with Franish and her Budgeting Bloggers

  

Sole Society Review: Maddy Riding Boots

•• Shopping

Sole Society Maddy Riding Boots

A few weeks ago I asked for your opinions on Facebook about which riding boots I should order from Sole Society.  The almost unanimous opinion was that I should order these, the Maddy riding boots.

So, I did.

Review of Sole Society Maddy Riding Boots

Here’s what you should  know about the Maddy riding boots:

  • They are made of real leather. Since I don’t have any qualms with wearing real leather I prefer, when possible, to buy riding boots made from it because I feel that they last longer.
  • The entire back of the boot is stretchy material which is great for those of us with athletic calves
  • Based on a size 6 the calf circumference is 14”. I ordered a size 8 so the calf circumference was closer to 15.25”.
  • They come in all full and half sizes between size 5 and 10 and then only full in 10 and 11.
  • They don’t have a full inside zipper. It’s only up half the inside which I was a bit concerned about it but it didn’t end up making a difference.

When I first put them on I thought they were too bulky around the ankle. But that was on bare legs. When I put them on with my jeans they looked much better. And considering I mostly wear my riding boots with jeans I think they’d be fine. Plus, it can be difficult for me with my 15” calves to find riding boots that fit comfortably over my jeans and these did that just fine.

Sole Society Review Maddy Riding Boots

I also tend to shy away from boots that have straps around the ankle but with these the strap sits lower on the front of the shoe making it less likely to cut off your leg, visually, which I liked.

However, I ended up returning them. Why? Because the size 8 I ordered was too big in the heel.

I’m in a weird gray zone between a size 7.5 and an 8. The front of my foot is an 8 but my heel is a 7.5.

Sole Society doesn’t currently do exchanges so I’ll just have to hope that after they process my return they still have a 7.5 in stock that I can order to try. Otherwise I’ll be using my store credit to try another pair.

Yeah, that’s the other thing about Sole Society. They charged a $7.95 restocking fee if you ask for a refund instead of store credit.

Still, I really liked the elastic back and the leather was nice and smooth. I do worry that they might start to get slouchy around the ankles but hopefully the elastic on the back would help with that.

So, there’s my review of the Sole Society Maddy Riding Boots. Hopefully the 7.5 will work better for me because otherwise I really liked them!

  

Black Friday: To Shop or Not to Shop?

•• Shopping

Admittedly, I have never done the whole Black Friday thing. I really, really like sleep so the idea of getting up at 3:00 AM to go shopping just kills me. Yes, I like sleep more than I like shopping but it’s a lot more difficult to have a blog devoted to sleeping than a blog devoted to personal style.

Anyway! My friend Kelsey wrote a blog post last year about how Black Friday is probably her favorite day of the year.

Now when I say I love Black Friday, I mean I really love Black Friday.  As far as I’m concerned, Thanksgiving is just Black Friday Eve.

I asked her if I could share her tips with you and she very nicely said yes.  So, here’s what Kelsey has to say about Black Friday shopping.

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Part One: Getting ready to shop

  • I put money aside from each paycheck into a separate bank account labeled BLACK FRIDAY (starting in January) so I have lots to spend when the day finally arrives.
  • I literally do all my Christmas shopping on this glorious day- I do not come home until I’ve completely gotten everything I set out for.
  • Whatever money I don’t spend on Christmas presents (once I’ve bought everything I intended to) I spend on myself.
  • I go to bed super early on Thanksgiving so I can be up, alert and ready to go around 3:30 AM.

 

Part Two: The actual shopping

For those of you not as crazy as myself- here are the stores you definitely NEED to check out on BF because they have such awesome deals:

  • Kohl’s- This is the only day I ever go to this store.  Kohl’s basically gives stuff away on BF.
  • Macy’s- Always my first stop because I do 75% of my Christmas shopping here.  Great deals and amazing coupons.
  • Old Navy- They basically give stuff away too.

Stores to skip?

  • Nordstrom Rack- Last year their big thing was a coupon for 40% off one item-um hello that’s not BF worthy.
  • TJ Maxx/ Marshall’s- They never have BF deals because everything is already on sale.  The lines are always crazy crowded so I typically skip these stores all together on BF.
  • Banana Republic- I still don’t get how Old Navy has such awesome deals and Banana Republic will have something like 20% off full priced items. Again, not BF worthy.

So, tell me, do you go shopping on Black Friday or do you avoid it like the plague?

  

Stitch Fix #6

•• Shopping

In case you need to get caught up on my history with Stitch Fix or aren’t sure what it is, why not read through my previous shipment reviews and outfit posts?

Now that you’ve done that, let’s move on to my latest Stitch Fix shipment.  I had a $25 credit (thank you to whoever used my referral link!) and thought, hey, I haven’t gotten a Stitch Fix order in over a year. Why not get one now? So, I placed my order.

Since the last time I got a “Fix” they’ve added the ability to link to your blog if you have one or a Pinterest page so they can get a better idea of items or outfits you find yourself drawn to. Which means that in this latest Fix I actually loved the look of all of the items!

Review of items from Stitch Fix order November 2013

Well, you already know I kept the sweater since I wore it on Monday. But what did I think about the rest of the items?

1. Katherine Barclay Tobias Crew Neck Knit Sweater – $98

Pros

Loved the color, super soft, fit perfectly

Cons

Price is more than I would pay for a sweater but with the $25 credit it brings it down closer to Banana Republic pricing and this sweater is very reminiscent of another sweater I have from there that I’ve worn to death

Verdict? Keep

2. Tart Jackman Plaid Cinched Back Cotton Flannel – $58

Pros

LOVED the style, fabric and print and the great details on the back

Cons

WAY too small. I couldn’t even get it buttoned. This made me very sad as I would have bought this in a heartbeat if it fit.

Verdict? Return

Items from Stitch Fix shipment3. Leota Fiore Box Pleated Skirt – $98

Pros

Definitely fits with my desire to expand beyond pencil skirts. Comfortable fabric with pull-on waistband design.

Cons

This skirt definitely accentuated my hips! I think it would look adorable on someone taller with a less-curvy figure but on me it just made my bottom half look really, really wide.

Verdict? Return

4. Katherine Barclay Julian Zipper Detail Ponte Skirt – $98

Pros

Someone was listening when I said I needed a new black pencil skirt! The zipper and pocket detail on the back are a nice touch. thick elastic waistband and fun front seam details also give it a unique quality

Cons

I don’t know if I would necessarily call this “ponte” as it’s a lot more like a stretchy, heavier cotton. Regardless, ponte skirts and I don’t always get along and that was the case here. Too form-fitting for my personal tastes. Also, the price point was too high. I can get something similar and better fitting from The Limited.

Verdict? Return

5. 41Hawthorn Tear Gems Fringe Bib Necklace – $38

Pros

A necklace style I don’t have yet at a decent price point.

Cons

I think I’ve learned why I don’t have a necklace like this! Even getting it to lay nicely in the box was driving me crazy! I just knew I would spend all day fiddling with getting the gems to lay flat. Also, the gold parts of the necklace felt kind of cheap and I was worried about its durability.

Verdict?  Return

In the end, I only kept the sweater. But this shipment definitely has me wanting to look for a blue gingham shirt now! And I was pleasantly surprised that every single item in the box was something I could have loved if it had fit me better. But, of course, that’s a difficult thing to do when you’re sending items to someone you’ve never met, you know? Although, the element of surprise is what makes Stitch Fix kind of like getting a present every time you place an order!

  

October Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

october_shopping_summary

1.Langford Market Pearl Necklace – gift carded (seen here)

2. Langford Market Skater Skirt – $45 (seen here)

3. The Limited Faux Leather Paneled Skirt – $70 (same)

4. J. Crew Factory Emery Bow Flats – $45 (same) (seen here)

5. J. Crew Factory Merino Wool Sweater – $35 (same)

6. J. Crew Factory Cotton Cobalt Blue Pencil Skirt – $35 (same)

7. Target Striped Baseball Tee – $9 (same)

8. Groopdealz Watch – $19

9. The Limited Black Pleated Skirt – $35 (same) (seen here)

10. The Limited Black Pencil Skirt – $30 (same)

Plus a cardigan, bracelet, and dress that I got from a clothing swap that will be revealed in a later post.

Total = $323

 

Gulp. This month’s total was WAY MORE than I usually spend. And, in fact, now that I look at it I’m thinking I might return the cobalt blue skirt to J. Crew Factory. It’s way too long on me and while I could get it hemmed I don’t think I need it that badly.

What I did need, though, was a new black pencil skirt. That’s not a sexy purchase but my current one is  just a tad bit too small. So, instead of continuing to pour my hips into it I decided to size up. So, if you need a Banana Republic black pencil skirt in a size 4 please let me know!

Also, I’d been on the hunt for a plain black crewneck sweater for almost a year and the deal on this one was too good to pass up.

The baseball tee from Target? It’s so soft and I so rarely buy items that I can’t repurpose for work. But sometimes you just need something comfy to wear around the house. Plus, it was on clearance for less than $9.

And the watch? I owned two watches that work and both are silver. I wanted something with gold but didn’t want it to be too bland or cheap looking. This one seems to fit the bill. I was originally going to look for one at the JF&A Show but I was unable to attend the October event. Hence the Groopdealz order.

As for the three flared skirts? Well, I suppose October was the month of the skirt. I have no excuses for why I bought these other than I wanted something other than just pencil skirts in my wardrobe.

Oh, I’m also leaving out my latest Halloween costume. I actually purchased it for a 10K race I was running but it’s totally getting repurposed. Wonder Woman is the best!

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers