Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Monthly Update – September 2017

So apparently I batch shop.

It makes sense when I think about it. Where I used to be able to casually browse and linger while making decisions, my life has become much more about efficiency. These days I browse the offerings online, save the ones I like to a Pinterest board, and then ask a sales associate to direct me to those items when I go into the store. Sure, I could order the items online, but I still prefer to try before I buy. Why tie up my money on maybes if I don’t have to?

Banana Republic Silk Cashmere Crewneck – $66.15 (reg $110.25)
Banana Republic Sloan Fit Utility Pants – $69.30 (reg $115.50)

Both of these items have been favourites for me this month. I find olive a really easy colour to work with, so the pants have been worn 7 times already! The sweater was a bit of a test. After my disastrous BR sweater experience last winter, I passed over the thicker knits and wool blends, and instead opted for the thin silk cashmere blend. After 5 wears it doesn’t seem to be pilling to the extent that my green sweater did, and the shape held up to hand washing far better than the camel merino sweater did last year.

Banana Republic Long Sleeve Soft Jersey Cardigan – $39.06 (reg $65.10)

This cardigan hasn’t been worn as frequently as the pullover, but that will likely change as we move further into autumn. I’ve still worn it 3 times so far this month.

I don’t have photos of the last blouse just yet. I’ve only worn it once so far, because I have the urge to pair it with dress pants and I don’t wear those as often as jeans. I really should wear it with jeans though, there’s nothing wrong with that pairing.

Banana Republic Cross Front Draped Shell – $31.50 (reg $52.50)

On the other end of the spectrum, there was also a notable exit from my closet this month. I sold my Smythe blazer. It was tailored absolutely perfectly for me – but I never wore it. I literally wore it once, and that was it. I couldn’t justify having something that beautiful, or that expensive, just hanging in my closet unworn. I’m thankful I purchased it, because having it sit there prompted a lot of self reflection and really drove forward my understanding of what styles I wear and why.

The blazer went to another blogger whose style it pairs with better than my own. I’m seriously excited to see how she wears it. It was a decent garment, it just wasn’t meant for me.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $64.12 (carryover) – $0.00 (Jul) – $207.90 (Aug) – $206.01 (Sep) + $350 (blazer) = $621.97

Tons of money left over! To be honest though, I’m not going to carry it over to next season. My closet is not so lacking in volume or variety than I could justify spending almost $1400 by the end of the year. Maybe I would consider it if I had purse or jacket purchase in mind that I had been mulling over and researching for an extended period already, but there’s nothing like that going on right now. A pair of jeans, a pair of boots and some sweaters? For sure. But not $1400 worth.

On the subject of wardrobe, this Saturday marks the end of my first year of wardrobe tracking! It has been utterly enlightening, and I’m looking forward to recapping what I’ve learned with you.

What did you purchase this month? Anything exciting?



Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Monthly Update – August 2017

I’ve come to the conclusion that summer clothes do nothing for me. Literally nothing. In retrospect it makes sense, because I find myself consistently being more analytical than swipe happy towards the end of summer. I promise I’ll work on getting that onto the blog.

From a shopping standpoint, it was a slightly less uneventful month than July. One item.

Poppy Barley opened their flagship store in Southgate this month and, well, I felt the need to partake.

Poppy Barley The Soft Oxford – $207.90 (reg $207.90)

Shopping there is a fine line between supporting local businesses and indulging in an expensive shoe habit. Okay, it’s less fine line and more overlap. No regrets for the time being though. Other than specialty shoes like runners, I’m not looking elsewhere for shoes at the moment.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $64.12 (carryover) – $0.00 (Jul) – $207.90 (Aug) = $477.98

Lots leftover for the month of September, which is a good thing. It may or may not get used up, but I do plan on doing some shopping next month. That and getting this blog back on track, because I miss this.

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Monthly Update – July 2017

Summer clothes!

Nordstrom Sale!

Back to school is coming up!

Yeah, I didn’t buy anything.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I haven’t set foot in a clothing store since I started work again at the beginning of June. Ditto for online shopping. I find at the end of the day my brain is just toast.

I’m guessing this is common among moms that go back to work (Right? Right? Please tell me I’m right.)

Mica at Away From The Blue recently finished up a 6 month shopping ban and recapped her learnings. I’m not going to lie, the idea of a 6 month shopping ban feels incredibly appealing at the moment. Not so much because I’m a shopaholic in need of a reset, but because I’ve come to realize that I have sufficient volume of clothing in my closet. It may not be the exact item I want to wear at a given moment, but push come to shove I can dress myself.

If anything, I find myself craving less. I have the urge to remove items from my wardrobe rather than adding to it. I crave brainless simplicity because I don’t have a ton of mental capacity to spare.

Do I think I’ll actually go 6 months without shopping? No. I don’t feel that I’ve filled the sweater holes in my wardrobe for fall/winter, so I’ll be trying to do that again this year. Also, Poppy Barley is opening up their flagship store in Southgate, so there’s that as well…

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $64.12 (carryover) – $0.00 (Jul) = $685.88

Boring recap! True story.


Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Monthly Update – June 2017

Okay, so with finds on both the consignment and retail sides of the spectrum, I was a wee bit spendier this month than last…

To be honest I thought the bottom line damage was going to be worse than it actually ended up being, but let’s not kid ourselves. There was damage.

Kismet Top – $16.80 (reg $35.00 est)

I actually thought this was an Anthro brand when I first spotted it, as the pattern was strikingly similar to an item I was eyeing up while I was pregnant. So far it’s actually looking to be from Bootlegger, a store I recall being enamoured with as a teenager. It doesn’t strictly fall within my colour scheme (it pairs with most of my closet, but not all) so time will tell if it was a good idea or not. It’s quite comfy, and I like the neckline, so I may love it for a few seasons and then donate it back again.

James Perse Top – $21.00 (reg $258.30 est.)

Another top that’s not strictly in my colour scheme, but again, matches most of my wardrobe. I realize the “close but not quite” is a slippery slope back into a crammed wardrobe and difficulties getting dressed, so this is another top that may be loved and donated back depending on how hard it is to match with my existing clothes. For now I’m enjoying it.

Community Howley Blouse – $81.90 (reg $81.90)

Little bit of an experiment here. I went in looking for a standard white blouse, and ended up trying this short sleeved one on. Given my penchant for rolling the sleeves on my blouses, having a short sleeved blouse that is styled to be pre-rolled really just takes one step out of getting dressed in the morning. I was in a tossup between sizes, and opted to size up for a more relaxed summer silhouette.

Max Mara Wool Crepe Trousers – $110.25 (reg $367.50)

On a whim I decided to stop by Blu’s women’s wear in Southgate. They carry brands that overlap somewhat with what you would find at Holt Renfrew, so it’s usually outside of my comfortable price zone. They happened to be having a sale when I went in, so happy accident! I found these on a sale rack, and then an additional 30% was taken off the sale price.  Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of these yet because they were being hemmed, but these trousers fit like a dream. If they had a pair of these pants in olive as well I would have snapped up both.

Smythe Duchess Blazer – $374.85 (reg $624.75)

And the big ticket item. The same day they were offering 30% off sale items, they were also offering 40% off select regular price items. The full price items were marked with a sticker if they were excluded from the sale. I thought for sure the Smythe blazers would be excluded, but they weren’t!! They were marked down even more than the Shopbop sales while the dollar was at par! Given that I’m back at work now my odds of stumbling on a sale like this again is pretty low, so I snapped up the navy blazer they had in my size. It’s the only blazer I’ve ever found that fit me perfectly without tailoring, and it’s made in Canada to boot.

So, it was a bit of a financially whirlwind season, but it closed out just $64 over budget. I’m fine with this. I’m just going to take the overage out of next season’s budget.

Quarterly Budget: $750 + $360.64 (carryover) – $569.96 (Apr) – $0 (May) – $604.80 (June) = -$64.12

How did your month pan out? Did you add anything to your wardrobe? Did you find any good sales? I’d love to hear about it.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Monthly Update – May 2017

If not for my husband buying two pairs of hiking bottoms for me, nothing new would have entered my wardrobe this month.

Indulge me if you will as I slide into sounding like a crotchety old person. And by sounding like a crotchety old person I mean saying what I’m thinking without giving a crap if anyone agrees with me or not.

There is a lot of shit in stores right now. A lot.

Who on earth decided it was a good idea to resurrect pleats and put them on the front of shorts? Some styles died for a reason. Doing something no one else is doing doesn’t automatically make it new and fashion forward. Sometimes no one is doing it because it’s a shitty idea.

Why would you take the time to embellish a shirt that’s transparent? Because the embellishment is supposed to distract you from the fact that the shirt is a piece of crap destined for the garbage pile. Full stop.

Honestly, I was completely and utterly disengaged from shopping this month. I couldn’t even drag myself into a change room. I had originally planned for the Memorial Day weekend sales to be where I stocked up on all sorts of new back to work clothes, but I just couldn’t bring myself to be bothered.

Quarterly Budget: $750 + $360.64 (carryover) – $569.96 (Apr) – $0 (May) = $540.68

It feels a little odd linking up with the other budgeting bloggers this month, but I’m doing it anyway. I think it’s good to reflect on the months you don’t buy anything, and the reasons why, as much as the months you do. If anything, I think reflecting on the reasons why you don’t buy things is becoming increasingly important in this retail environment.

For those who are curious, my husband bought me the Columbia Silver Ridge Shorts in Cypress and the Columbia Saturday Trail II Convertible Pant in British Tan. Both will be awesome for getting out and about in the wilderness with the munchkin this summer.


Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Monthly Update – April 2017

I honestly don’t know if this month could have been more basic for me. Basic and expensive, with only a little piss off towards the end. We’ll get to that though.

Twik Organic Cotton V-neck Tee in white and navy – $10.49 ea (reg $10.49 ea)

First up, t-shirts! And in organic cotton no less. I was going to buy the t-shirts regardless since it’s a go-to that fits me decently, but the switch to organic cotton was a nice perk. I’ve already worn the white one three times and the navy one four times, so the cost per wear is dropping quickly.

Contemporaine Gold Buttons Nautical Sweater – $31.45 (reg $40.95)

I was originally eyeing up a striped top from Armor-Lux, but decided it was too risky to order a shirt online that barely looked like it fit the bust of their skinny model. I ended up picking up this looser cut top at Simons instead. It’s not one of those items that I’d run out and buy a half dozen of because it’s my end all be all, but it’s quite comfortable and I do find myself reaching for it in the closet. I’ve worn this top four times already, and if it’s anything like the other shirts I’ve purchased from there it should last me a few years.

Babaton Keith Jacket in Path – $204.75 (reg $204.75)

I hemmed and hawed over this blazer for the longest time. Long enough that when I went into the store to pick it up they had removed the colour I wanted from the stores! Fortunately it was still online, so I ordered it there. It’s more of a back to work item, so I haven’t worn it yet. Love the cut though.

Skagen Starry Nights Mother of Pearl – $136.39 (reg $246.75)

I had almost given up on this watch. After scouring every Winners location I could think of, sometimes repeatedly, and having nothing turn up on eBay, I resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen.

Then Adina found one Easter weekend!!!

It’s every bit as beautiful as I remember it being 😀

Nine West Martina Pumps in Taupe – $83.99 (reg $131.25)

I was in a toss up between the nude leather Jackpot pumps and the taupe leather Martina pumps in store. After polling some ladies privately on Instagram, I decided on the taupe pair. Too bad Nine West was sold out of everything even close to my size both in store and online! Ugh. I ended up walking through DSW the next week and found taupe patent leather pumps in my size! Given my line of work patent will likely end up being a wiser choice than leather in this shade. The box didn’t indicate which style they were, but they appear to be the Martina.

Tailoring – $92.40

This last bit is a bit of a sticking point for me. In theory I could do my own alterations, I know how they’re supposed to be done, I just never seem to get around to actually doing them. I rounded a bunch of pants up that needed some work, and took them to a tailor this month. They did a shit job. Yes, the items fit better than they did when I first took them in, but they took shortcuts instead of doing it properly. Honestly, I’m finding that locating a decent tailor in this town is like finding a high quality shirt in a fast fashion store. Most people don’t know what to look for in alterations anymore, so the “tailors” are getting away with it. I started a Yelp account specifically to review the place I went to. I’ll probably do a post on it later.

Calming down.

Quarterly Budget: $750 + $360.64 (carryover) – $569.96 (Apr) = $540.68

All together this month came to $569.96 for $737.08 worth of clothing and alterations. I’m glad I decided to carry over the budget excess from last quarter, and I’m happy with the items I bought. None of the items are trend focused, and all of the items mix and match with clothing I already own. The taupe pumps are actually an item I’ve been meaning to add to my wardrobe for two years now! I’m content, and to be honest I’ll be buying fewer items next month. Maybe a couple blouses and some light wash denim if I can find it marked down on a super sale.

I’m linking up again with the lovely ladies over at Franish again this month. If you want to see how other people spend their money and build their wardrobes, I’d suggest checking it out!

How did you spend your money this month?


I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.