Alright! It’s time for another round of how I spent my paycheck. Although, to be honest, I was really lucky this month and got to try some great things for the whopping amount of zero dollars. So, let’s get to it. 1. Victoria’s Secret Sports Bra c/o Influenster (same in other colors)
I was initially a little shocked by the sports bra because A. it’s orange and B. it has a zipper. In the front. Turns out it was great for my fitness class at the gym, especially since I’ve been having some collarbone issue that makes getting a regular sports bra on and off kind of painful. I haven’t run in it yet but it seems to hold everything in place. And, you know, it keeps you from having uniboob if that’s something you’re concerned about. Funny story: when my husband and I were first dating we went rollerblading together and I was so worried about my sports bra smooshing my boobs that I wore a regular push-up bra underneath it. No worries about that with this bra!
Although, I’ll be honest, I might actually like the cropped pants just a teeny bit more.
I ended up spending most of my money at Rent the Runway but that’s fine by me. Some people say that if they’re spending that much money they want to keep the dress. But, really, how many times do I need to wear a dress like that? And I couldn’t afford to buy one that nice every time so I think it’s perfect. I’m definitely a convert!
And, yes, I bought shorts. In September. Whatever. I’ll wear them next summer.
First, before we get to what I spent my hard earned money on in August (because I know you’re all dying to know) I need to tell you a little story about how this giveaway came about.
Earn $25 eBay gift card from Influenster.
Debate what to spend it on.
Go to put your silver circle Fossil watch on and realize it’s missing. Believe it fell off while riding a Divvy bike home from work (stupid Chicago potholes).
Find the same watch (which you bought over 7 years ago, by the way) on eBay and decide to use your gift card toward the $40 cost.
Receive watch in the mail. It’s perfect….and I’m sure you can see where this is going.
Find your original watch in a random reusable grocery bag when you get home from the grocery store the next day.
So, yes, now I have two of the same watch. And, because I know that some of you out there have coveted it for years, I’m giving away the duplicate! It needs a battery but is in otherwise perfect condition.
Which means if you want to follow my awesome watch lead, read to the bottom of this post to find out how to win it!
And now, how I spent way too much money in August.
Also, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may recall that I asked if I should order this sweater or these shoes. Well, the shoes won by a narrow margin so I ordered them. And they were HUGE! And they didn’t have a size down. So, sadly, they were returned and now the sweater is on its way to me. As are the shorts and skirt from American Eagle and the sweater from J. Crew Factory. Hopefully those items will all fit!
Okay, now that you’ve endured that rambling, how about that whole watch giveaway, huh?
Well, here you go! Use the Rafflecopter thingy below to enter! I’ll pick a winner on Friday, September 12th.
After several years of trying to sell clothes I no longer want via Poshmark I decided that I wanted to try another online service: thredUP. I figured now is the perfect time to start getting my closet ready for fall (and, let’s be honest, hopefully make some money to buy some new fall clothes pay off my credit card).
I requested a free bag from thredUP in which I placed the clothing I wanted to sell and then loaded it up with the following items:
4 dresses (Gap, Maggy London, Ann Taylor)
3 pairs of shoes (Steve Madden, Anne Klein, and Eric Michael)
1 vest (CAbi)
2 skirts (The Limited)
5 tops (J. Crew Factory, The Limited, Express, C&C California, NY Collection)
1 blazer (Eyelash Couture)
Total items: 16
ThredUP is different from Poshmark in that instead of you selling the items on your own using someone else’s platform, you send your items to thredUP for evaluation and immediate pay-out. For the items they accept they pay between 10 and 40% commission and in most cases you don’t have to wait for your items to sell to get your money.
However, if your items are evaluated and thredUP determines they don’t think they can re-sell them, you don’t get your items back unless you pay $12.95 up front to have them shipped back to you.
Of the 16 items I sent here’s how it broke down:
Gap Casual Dress
Anne Klein Heels/Pumps
The Limited Casual Skirt
Steve Madden Flats
C&C California Short Sleeve Blouse
NY Collection Long Sleeve Blouse
Express Long Sleeve Button Down
Maggy London Silk Dress
Ann Taylor Summer Dress
J. Crew Factory Store Long Sleeve Button Down
Ann Taylor Summer Dress
Eric Michael Flats
The Limited Skirt
Eyelash Couture Blazer
The Limited Sleeveless Blouse
The total payout for the 10 accepted items? $54.52 or an average of $5.45 per item. ThredUP shows you the list of items they’ve accepted with a link to each of them in their store so you can see what they’ve priced them at. Doing the addition myself I found that my payout is 32% of the total of what they are charging for all 10 items. So, it definitely falls into the 10-40% range.
I admit I was surprised that they also didn’t list the items they didn’t accept and why until I emailed them to ask. And even then the only information I got about why they weren’t accepted was that they were either “Un-clean/stained” or “Off-Trend Item”. The un-clean/stained one makes me curious since I take really good care of my clothes and looked over everything I sent. One of the items they marked with that was a pair of $100+ shoes that I only wore three times!
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the fact that you have to decide in advance if you want to pay the $12.95 to get your unaccepted items back. If your bag didn’t even end up being worth that much you could easily lose money on sending items to thredUP! And what do they do with the items they don’t accept? According to their FAQ: “garments that are not purchased by thredUP are distributed to various organizations and a portion of the proceeds are donated to Teach for America and other charities or partners.” And, no, you cannot claim them as donations on your own tax return.
So, what are the main differences between Poshmark and thredUP?
Currently no cost to send items to thredUP
Can send both women’s and kid’s clothes
thredUP takes care of listing, selling, and shipping
No waiting for an item to sell before you get your money (for the most part)
Must wait 14 days to cash out
Have to pay $12.95 to get unaccepted items returned
Payout amount varies by item (mine averaged to $5.45 per item accepted or 32% of the total of what they want to sell the items for.)
Women’s clothes only (although people list kid’s clothes they’re not supposed to)
You control the price and you know in advance what you’ll get if it sells at that price
You can decide if you no longer want to sell something since it never leaves your own closet
Requires you to take photos, list and manage your items
Requires some community interaction and marketing of your items to get them to sell quickly
Some items languish in your Poshmark closet without ever selling
Items under $15 Poshmark takes a flat $2.95 fee. Above $15 they charge 20% of the sale price
Poshmark provides shipping label but you’re in charge of shipping the item once it sells
So, would I use thredUP again? Honestly, I’d probably use it as a second step between going to a brick and mortar consignment or resale store. I’d take my clothes to the brick and mortar store, see what I got for them, and whatever wasn’t accepted there I’d send to thredUP since I was probably going to donate it anyway. Yes, I’d probably make more money trying to sell items on Poshmark and yes, I could keep it local and get a tax write-off (although I’ve yet to have enough donations of any kind in one year to be more than the standard deduction). But, if I’m really busy and want the convenience of putting items in the mail and getting a check thredUP is out there.
What do you do with clothes you no longer want? Have you used thredUP or Poshmark?
So, yes, this post is sponsored. But, I mean, if you’re a woman and you’re reading this you probably wear a bra, right? And if someone offered you $50 to write about something you wear every day you’d probably say yes, right? So, if you hate sponsored posts or you hate bras (or both!) feel free to skip. Otherwise, read on for bra buying tips from Aerie.
For years I only wore bras from that place that claims they’re someone’s secret. You know who I mean. Yet, I never felt like I was getting the best fit and the underwires tended to poke out after awhile.
Then I moved on to buying bras at stores like Kohl’s and Target but there are SO MANY OPTIONS and, really, who likes trying on bras? But, try them on you must. And that’s why Aerie came up with some infographics to help you figure out what kind of bra you need. The full infographic discusses the different types of bras and their purposes, facts about the life span of a bra (it’s shorter than you think!) and how to tell if your bra fits you correctly. In fact, it’s this last bit of information I’m sharing with you.
This infographic told me that those bras from VS did NOT fit as there was always a gap in the cup! I personally have not tried the bras from Aerie but I’m planning on it after this post. They also have a pretty cool campaign where they try to show real women wearing their products instead of just models all the time. In fact, if you’re brave enough you can take a photo of yourself on Twitter or Instagram in an Aerie product and tag it with #AerieReal you might appear on their website! Am I brave enough to try it? Well, assuming I follow the above guide and pick out a cute bra that actually fits, I just might!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
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