Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Monthly Update – February 2017

My February budget updates always seem so premature, but I suppose that’s what happens when you only post two days a week during a short month. *shrug*

In keeping with the short month, it was actually pretty light on shopping as well. Only footwear! After having to return my green boots just after Christmas, you better believe I jumped at the opportunity to get into the Poppy Barley sample sale. I had my eye on a couple styles and colours before the sale, but I wanted to keep my mind open to proper samples and unique one offs. No such luck on the latter, but I did manage to snag a colour of boots that was sold out in the colour I wanted, and a pair of flats that was sold out in my size.

Poppy Barley Feminine Slipper in Taupe – $183.75 (reg $236.25)

After trying out the smoking slipper trend with a thrifted pair from Value Village, I knew this was a look I wanted to add more of to my closet. This taupe colour will pair nicely with the black/grey/white/blue shades in my wardrobe, and gives me a lighter neutral to work with during the warm weather.

The details are really what make these shoes. Most of my flats have nothing in terms of padding, but these ones have both heel and arch support. The tassels are a little different from the bows and embroidery I see on most slippers in this style, and how pretty is the tread on these shoes?

Love it.

Because of the lighter colour and leather sole, I’m holding off on wearing these outside until the ground dries up a little bit. It’s driving me nuts, but I really want these shoes to last.

Poppy Barley Heeled Chelsea Boot in Toffee – $236.25 (reg $367.50)

Next up is the most frequently worn item in my wardrobe this month! I’ve worn them almost every second day. These boots have a rubber sole on them already, and they’ve stood up nicely during inclement weather.

So, a slightly spendier month than usual, but most of it was offset by the green boots I had returned last month. I’m 100% okay with this.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $135.17 (Jan) – 420.00 (Feb) + $367.50 returns + $18.80 consignment = $581.13 remaining

I highly, HIGHLY, doubt that I will spend almost $600 next month given that I’m only allowing myself two clothing items. That’s not to say that I couldn’t, it’s just that the higher dollar value items I’m eyeing up likely won’t be going on sale next month, so I won’t be buying them just yet. I’m considering rolling over the remainder of the budget, but we’ll see how I feel about that next month.

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!

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Monthly Update – January 2017

I first heard about Amour Vert from Kimi over at Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair. It’s probably for the best that I’m restricting myself to one clothing item a month this year, because I could go hog wild in their stripes section. So good.

Amour Vert Harmony Sweater in Ivory – $135.17/$83.30USD (reg $296.78/$198USD)

I took a big risk on this sweater when I ordered it. The sweater was marked down half off, with an additional 15% off because it was a first time purchase. After adding the US/CDN exchange rate, GST, and DHL’s BS handling charges back in, the price moved back up quickly for this sweater. The shipping itself was free, but being an international order I would have been charged a $30 shipping and restocking fee if I had returned it. American friends, I hope reading this you realize how lucky you are down there with your free shipping and returns. So lucky.

The restocking fee was a bit of a moot point anyway – the sweater being on sale meant it was a final sale. It was going to be my sweater no matter how things panned out.

Back to the sweater itself! I ordered the small, which according to their sizing chart corresponds to a top size 4-6, a 35″ bust, and a 28″ waist. It’s a little wider than I expected based on the model being 5’11” and wearing the same size sweater in the photos. Having tried it on, I probably would have gone with an extra small if I could do it again. Extra small wasn’t an option at the time, though the size did pop back in and out of stock afterwards.

As planned, I only purchased one item this month. I have to say, not going to the mall was quite relaxing. I can see this self imposed restriction being a little more difficult in the summer when I have more wardrobe holes to fill, but for the time being it works for me.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $135.17 (Jan) + $367.50 returns + $18.80 consignment = $1001.13 remaining

It’s so strange seeing a larger value remaining than the initial starting budget. Between the refund of my green boots and a small amount of clothing consignment that leaves me with a larger budget for the next two months than I’ve ever given myself before. I am planning on picking up two pairs of shoes though, so we’ll see how that affects things. I’m contemplating whether or not I want to allow myself to roll over surplus between quarters, somewhat like how I took money out of my fourth quarter last year when I went over budget. Any thoughts?

After taking a month off from linking up, 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!

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

New Year New Strategy

Looking back on the last couple years has been a great teacher when it comes to budgeting for my wardrobe.

When I first started this blog, I allowed myself $250 a month. Part of that limit was to prevent overspending, but part of it was also to mentally allow myself the space to buy clothes. After a few years of minimal spending, my wardrobe was dilapidated and quite hodgepodge.

After some contemplation, while $250 was certainly a lot of money, it didn’t always allow me the flexibility to invest in some of the higher quality items I would have liked, such as thick jackets and good leather boots. Modifying my budget to $750 a quarter allowed me the flexibility to spend more on a quality item some months while saving in other months. This has been a very successful strategy for me, and it has allowed me the flexibility to purchase items such as my high rise skinny jeans, which have been worn 29 times in the last two and a half months.

Looking back on my budget posts though, I can see that it has also allowed a significant amount of mistake spending. Spur of the moment items that I wouldn’t buy again if given the chance. As great as sale racks are, they are also where I make the bulk of my mistakes.

This year I won’t be reining in my budget, but I will be reining in the volume. I purchased 57 items in 2016. I’m having difficulty comprehending that quantity, but I just went back through my posts and tallied the individual items. Now granted, 30 of those items were purchased due to size fluctuations as a result of being pregnant, but it’s still a lot.

My husband has commented recently on the amount of turnover in my closet. He’s right, I have donated a lot of clothing in the last couple years, some of it more recently purchased than I care to admit. That turnover needs to slow down, and that will only happen if the items coming in to my wardrobe are actually good enough to stay there.

For 2017, I intend to purchase no more than three clothing items a quarter. This does not include underthings such as bras/underwear/slips/socks/etc… It also does not include accessories such as shoes and purses, which I will be covering in a second. The intention here is to spend a lot more time thinking about how individual pieces of clothing will work within the larger framework of my wardrobe. I need pieces that offer ease and flexibility, allowing me to mix and match what I have more easily than what I currently can.

In terms of accessories, I will be purchasing no more than one accessory per quarter, with a small exception:

The boots I purchased recently turned out to have a defective zipper, and I am returning them to the manufacturer for a full refund. With this in mind, I will be putting that money back into footwear, and allowing myself to purchase two accessories in the first quarter of the year.

All going well, that will result in no more than 17 purchased items entering my wardrobe this year. Gifts and swapped items will not be included in this total. I hope that this year will be as much of a learning experience as the last couple years have been.

How do you plan on approaching your wardrobe spending this year? Will you be changing your your spending quantity in terms of money or volume of clothing?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Monthly Update – December 2016

Would you believe I technically didn’t purchase anything this month? Not even on Boxing Day! Everything in this recap was purchased on Black Friday and delivered during the month of December.

Sloan Fit Solid Pant in Beret Red – $57.75 (reg $115.50)

These pants have been surprisingly versatile, and I’ve already worn them six times this month. The cut was significantly looser than my thrifted Sloans, so I took a chance and shrunk them in the dryer. It worked. They hug the knee and calf much closer now, and are a touch more cropped than shown in this picture.

Logan Fit Black Lightweight Pants (short inseam) – $70.35 (reg $140.70)

Another purchase I’m pretty content with. I’ve only worn them twice this month, but I’m not too bothered by it since these were meant to be work pants and I’m not actually back to work yet. The short length was perfect with 3″ heels on me, and so far they don’t appear to be completely brutal when it comes to being hair magnets. Funny how having a pet can change your priorities.

Italian Cashmere Blend Vee Neck Pullover in Emerald Green – $44.63 (reg $89.25)

I felt better about this sweater before wearing it than I did afterwards, but that’s a separate post of its own. For what it is I felt the price was reasonable, and I’ve already worn it five times. I love the emerald green colour. It’s more of an accent colour than a core colour for me, but I like what it adds to my wardrobe.

Three items is more than my current two a month allotment, but since the last two months involved only single item purchases it all balances out. Additionally, the reduced quarterly budget after my spendy September doesn’t appear to have hurt me in the least:

Quarterly Budget: $650 – $299.25 (Oct) – $44.63 (Nov) – $172.73 (Dec)= $133.39 under budget

Still more than $100 under budget! Which also means I’m under budget for the year as well. I’m finding my current budget allotment to be quite workable, and I think I will continue maintaining this level of spending in the new year, albeit with a few twists (more on that soon).

How did you do this month? Did you do any boxing day shopping? Did you come under budget or did you blow it all out in preparation for the new year? Any good deals?

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Monthly Update – November 2016

Depending on how you look at it, it was either a very spendy month, or not a very spendy month at all.

Technically I purchased four items on Black Friday, but I purchased them online and they won’t arrive for little while. Two of the items haven’t even shipped yet. Since I don’t have the items in hand yet, and I don’t know which of the items I’ll be keeping, they’ll be included in December’s total.

That leaves me with one item this month:



Banana Republic Merino Sweater Vee – $44.63 (reg $89.25)

One thing I noticed over the last couple months is that I wear my long sleeved t-shirts a lot. They’re easy to just throw on and go, and I don’t have to think too hard about them. The sweaters I have in my closet are either quite heavy, or I had to fuss with them and wear another shirt to make them work. There was no throw on and go sweaters. With the temperatures dropping a bit, the long sleeved t-shirts were becoming insufficient. This thin merino wool knit struck a nice balance between t-shirt weight and sweater weight. If I want to wear a tank under it for additional warmth, there is room to do so. The caramel colour mixes and matches easily with my existing bottoms, and works in multiple seasons. It’s been a solid addition so far, and I’ve worn it a couple times already.

That’s two months in a row now I’ve gone with only a single purchase. I credit my son for that. He is more than happy to sit quietly in the stroller while I browse, but the moment I enter the change room it’s meltdown time. Hence the larger online purchase on Black Friday. We’ll see what actually fits and looks good when it arrives.

Quarterly Budget: $650 – $299.25 (Oct) – $44.63 (Nov)= $306.12 remaining

$306.12 left for the month of December! That more than covers my entire order even if everything miraculously fits and looks good. It would be more than my two item December allotment, but it still leaves me with an average of two items a month over the quarter.

How did you do this month? A quick glance at my blog reader this morning is suggesting there were more than a couple small spenders this month. Anyone strike gold at the sales last Friday?

I’m linking up 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!

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Monthly Update – October 2016

Okay, so I know I said I was going to restrict my item inflow to two items a month, but apparently that just was’t working for me.

Instead I bought one.

I wanted to buy two items, I really did. I wanted to pick up a couple sweaters for layering to help combat the cooler weather we have coming. Do you think I could find a single sweater I was willing to add to my closet? Nope.

There were lots of “not quite the right colour”, “could potentially work”, and “kinda what I’m looking for” sweaters, but nothing that actually fit the bill for me. It’s amazing how when you set your bar higher how quickly your consumption goes down.

After posting my outfit fail earlier in the month, I spent some time thinking about why it didn’t work for me. The wrinkly shirt on top and the clunky pant to boot transition at the bottom were obvious issues, but the most problematic one for me you can’t really see in the pictures. Muffin top. Brutal mommy tummy muffin top. The bane of my curves’ existence, and one of the reasons why I don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror.

Jeans have been the cornerstone of my wardrobe for as long as I can remember, and years ago I learned the transformative power of a taking the time to find a good pair. It’s up there with a good bra for me – it’s worth spending the money to get it right rather than half-assing it and being unhappy. Instead of fighting it and trying to find sweaters, I switched gears and sought out a pair of jeans that would make me feel like me again.


7 For All Mankind High Waist Skinny Jeans – $299.25 (reg $299.25)

Granted I didn’t intend on spending quite that much.

My first pair of perfect fit jeans was a pair of Diesel Ronhar bootcut jeans. They lasted nearly 5 years of being worn a few days a week before finally kicking the bucket. At ~$200 new they were pricy, but my cost per wear was well under 50 cents by the time I was done with them. Joe’s Jeans and Paige Premium Denim both fit and look nice, but the fabric doesn’t last long enough on me to justify them. For the last five years (minus the pregnancy), I’ve been living in 7 For All Mankind jeans. They fit nicely and the fabric seems to be able to keep up with the beating I put them through.

That change in exchange rate since the last time I bought them though? That was a bitch. Wow. It was about $70 more than I expected to spend. I went through the sale rack, and there was a ton of fantastic mid-rise jeans on sale that any other time I would have been perfectly happy with. The ankle length meant I wouldn’t need to hem them either! I almost caved and went with the “almost perfect” sale jeans. However, I knew that if I had gone with a mid-rise pair I would have had the same muffin top problem as I’d been having with my other mid-rise jeans. High rise it was, sales be damned.

They’ve already risen to the top of my StyleBook App as my most worn clothing item this month. I bought them on the 18th, and today will be the 7th time I’ve worn them. Worth every penny nickel.

Quarterly Budget: $650 – $299.25 (Oct) = $350.75 remaining

That leaves me with a hair over $350 left until the end of the year. I’d worry about being tempted by Black Friday and Boxing Day sales, but that will only be an issue if I magically happen upon a ton of sweaters that fit me perfectly. I’m going to keep setting that bar high, so the odds of that happening are pretty slim.

I’m linking up 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!


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.