Tag Archives: shopping

The Hunt for the White Blazer

•• Shopping

I’m going to be honest. I’m on my fourth white blazer and I haven’t loved any of them.

My first two were from Forever 21. The first one just always felt too boxy and too tight across the shoulders. The second one felt too short for what I wanted.

white-blazer-collage

I mean, looking at the photos they don’t look bad. But when I wore them I didn’t feel good. And if you don’t feel good when you’re wearing something then it’s time for it to move on to another home.

I sold the first white blazer on Poshmark. The second one is currently still hanging in my closet but hasn’t been worn in over a year.

So, I went on the hunt for a white blazer I would LOVE and feel good wearing.

First try, the Target Boyfriend Blazer I mentioned in my July shopping summary.  I had high hopes for it. But, unfortunately, it not only looked like I borrowed it from my boyfriend, it looked like I’d borrowed it from my basketball playing boyfriend.target-white-boyfriend-blazer-review

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Um, yeah. That will teach me to buy a blazer online that doesn’t list the length! Thankfully I have a Target Red Card so shipping was free and I was able to return it at the store a block from my apartment. Also, in case you’re curious, it’s more of a really, really light tan than a pure white.

Next up? The beautiful Club Monoco Gala Blazer. Definitely out of my normal price range but I had a c/o Shopbop gift card that would cover it.  I liked that the back was a little more fun but that it would also make it longer without being too long.

club-monoco-blazer-review

It fits great in the arm length and hits me at a decent spot on my hips, but I wasn’t loving it. It was too wide in the waist and too big around. Yet, the arm holes felt really tight on my arm pits. Plus, the split back didn’t look as good on me as on the 5’9” model who apparently doesn’t have hips or a butt. And it is 32% linen which I’m pretty sure would drive me crazy with the wrinkling. Again, thankfully Shopbop shipping and returns are free.

So, back to the drawing board. At this point, though, I feel like I’ll have to wait until next spring as all the stores have started carrying their fall items. It’s not a total loss, though! Now I know that I prefer blazers that are 24-25 inches long. That’s a key stat to know when doing online shopping for sure.

  

July Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

Life may be crazy but I honestly haven’t done a lot of retail therapy. Okay, maybe a bit! But it’s only because Target sucks me in every time. Oh, and I worked at a half marathon expo and I am incapable of being surrounded by running goodies and not purchase something.

july-shopping-summary1. Apera Bags Active Pack Gym Backpack – $86 w/expo discount (same)

2. Sole Society Celia Silver Loafers – $59.95* (same)

3. Sperry Top Sider Chandler Pewter Boat Shoes via ebay – $15 w/gift card from Influenster (same)

4. Target Merona Pink Tori Sandals – $19 (same)

5. Target Merona Boyfriend Blazer – $35 (same)

6. Be Good Tees – $15 total w/credit from Earndit (same)

7. Target Merona Vintage Tees – $16 total on sale (same)

8. Tortoise Resin Link Necklace – $8

*This money has been sitting in my Sole Society account since January. Do I count it or not since it was already spent once? I’m going with not counting it again.

Total: $194

Plain tees are my new favorite thing to wear this summer and they work well for my office, too, so I’ve been slowly stocking up on them. I actually like the Target ones better than the Be Good ones although, if you’re into sustainable enviro-friendly manufacturing then go with the Be Good ones. They’re still nice tees, just a little shorter and boxier then I would like.

I’d had my eye on the Sperry’s for months and finally found a pair in my size on ebay. Combined with the fact that I earned a $25 ebay gift card from Influenster for writing three shopping guides, I went ahead and ordered these to replace my silver Nine West boat shoes that are about to fall apart.

And the silver loafers? Well, as I said when I wore them, these are instead of buying a pair of silver heels which had also been on my wish list for months.

The necklace was the only item I brought home and kept from a clothing swap I went to last weekend. I paid $8 to attend so I figure the necklace cost me $8. Still a good deal if you ask me.

I saw the pink sandals at Target when I was there this weekend running errands but they didn’t have my size. Enter my Target Red Card and free shipping. I hardly have any brightly colored shoes (other than my pink heels) and I thought these would be a fun addition. They should arrive on Friday so hopefully they work out! The white blazer should arrive on Friday, too, and I’m REALLY hoping that works out. I’ve been wanting a white boyfriend blazer for at least a year and haven’t yet found one that I didn’t think resembled a lab coat or didn’t cost hundreds of dollars. Fingers crossed this one works out.

Finally, my new gym bag. My old one was a freebie I got for running a half marathon in 2010 and it was being held together by safety pins at this point. I wanted another gym backpack, not a shoulder or duffel bag and when I saw this one at the Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon expo I knew I had to have it. It’s totally amazing and for every three bags that Apera sells they donate one to the Special Olympics.

So, overall, I think I did pretty well in July. Now that my office isn’t basically next to Express, Target, Nordstrom Rack, H&M, Forever 21 and DSW I have a feeling I’ll be doing a tad less shopping. Oh, it also helps that I’m less likely to online shop at work, too!

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers

  

May Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

Even though Memorial Day weekend is full of sales, I actually did zero shopping this weekend. Other than buying flowers for our balcony. I also bought some habanero pepper plants, some herbs, and one tomato plant. Fingers crossed they all survive!

Earlier this month, though, I did some damage during a sale at The Limited and cashed in a $20 coupon to Bucketfeet that I earned through EarndIt (which, if you have a Fitbit, Garmin, Nike+, Jawbone, Foursquare, etc and aren’t using EarndIt, why not?). I also took advantage of the Cleveland Marathon Expo and a Swirlgear sale to get some fun running gear.

may_shopping_summary

running-gear

1. The Limited White Pencil Skirt – $29 (on sale)

2. The Limited Textured White Tee – $25 (on sale)

3. The Limited Ashton Blouse – $32 (on sale)

4. Bucketfeet Fat Sugar – $53 (w/$20 coupon)

5. One More Mile Tech Tank – $15 (expo price)

6. Swirlgear Hoodie – $32 (ambassador discount)

7. Swirlgear Long Sleeved Tech Shirt – $32 (still on sale for $22.40 + tax and shipping!)

Total – $218

The white skirt and pink blouse followed the one in, one out line of thinking as I now have a white skirt and a pink blouse for sale on Poshmark (or Threadflip, if you prefer).

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect white shell and this one from the Limited is okay. It’s a bit more of a t-shirt than I would like, although it’s not see-thru at all, which I appreciate. It also runs quite big. I bought the XS and dried it the dryer hoping it will shrink a bit.

However, if you’re on the hunt for cute, comfy canvas shoes I definitely recommend Bucketfeet! I know they sell them in stores but I ordered mine online. They don’t come in half sizes which worried me at first since I’m typically a 7.5 but the 7 fit me perfectly. I wore them basically all day Saturday and Sunday and my feet had zero complaints.

And the running gear? What I can say. I’m a sucker for fun stuff. The hoodie is more loungewear then running gear for me, but I’m excited to wear the tank during at least one of my Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay legs next month. It kind of sums up our team. And, I love my Swirlgear short-sleeved tops so much that this winter I was sad that I didn’t own any of the long-sleeved ones. Problem sorted!

  

April Shopping Summary

•• Shopping

Chicago style blogger, shopping in april, what I bought in april

Clockwise from top left

Note: prices listed are what I paid, not necessarily what the item is currently retailing at

1. Express Portofino Blouse – $29.94  (same)

2. Express flat sandals – $29.94  (same)

3. Express Pleated Keyhole Top – $29.94  (same) (seen here)

4. Sole Society Heels – $46 (sold out)

Not pictured: Express camisole – $11.94   | Express tights – $10.14  (same)

Total = $157.90 – $25 Express gift card = $132.90

All items from Express were purchased during their 40% off sale plus I had a $25 gift card. The Sole Society shoes technically cost me 0 additional dollars because I STILL have store credit from when I bought the Maddy riding boots and didn’t love them.

But you know what? I actually shopped a lot more in April, but I ended up returning most of it. My list of what I purchased and returned is just as long as what I purchased and kept. The tops I mentioned ordering from Ann Taylor here came and were ivory in color, not white. So those got returned. I also ordered a navy and white striped sweater from Gap that was way too short on me. And I don’t even have that long of a torso!

The one thing I didn’t buy but should have? A white sleeveless blazer from Express. I didn’t think I needed it but now I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s sold out! Ah, first world problem for sure.

Anyway, the reasons I bought and kept the pieces listed above are 1. I needed a replacement red blouse since I’m hulking out of my other one; 2. I don’t own any solid navy shirts; 3. my current heeled nude sandals are falling apart; and 4. I don’t own any nude flat sandals.

So, basically, almost a one-in-one-out kind of month. Almost.

Linking up with Franish’s Budgeting Bloggers

  

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?

 

sole_society_heel_or_wedge

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

1/2/3

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

br_sweater_2

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