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?

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Strategy Revisit

This year I wanted to change everything about the way I shopped.

My strategy post back in January talked about the immense quantity of clothing that flowed through my closet, and my desire to rein that in. While I mentioned that I wanted to be more thoughtful in my purchases, I didn’t really get into what that entailed. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I really understood what it entailed. I had a romanticized vision of it.

I didn’t want synthetic fibres. I didn’t want to support companies that manufacture their clothes with questionable ethics. I wanted to purchase styles that filled holes in my wardrobe. I only wanted to purchase items if they fit me perfectly. I wanted to do all of it on a budget, only buying one item per month, all while toting a baby along with me…

What was I thinking?

Purchasing clothes that fit perfectly generally means trying a bunch of clothes on. The last time I had purchased a clothing item in store (aside from shoes) was the beginning of November. NOVEMBER! Nap schedule conflicts and change room meltdowns have pushed my clothes shopping online. Living in Canada means paying for shipping (budget conflict), or buying from a company that manufactures overseas (frequently an ethics conflict). The holes I want to fill in my wardrobe rarely seem to be made out of natural fibres, and when they are the shape doesn’t work for my body. My shopping largely screeched to a grinding halt. It sucked the enjoyment out of fashion because I felt like I couldn’t partake.

Do I think it’s possible to only buy ethically manufactured garments made out of natural fibres on a budget? Absolutely. Do I think it’s reasonable for myself to also achieve perfect fit while doing that? No. I have a hard enough time finding clothes that fit me off the rack, how was I supposed to do it with a bunch of restrictions imposed on top?

Another issue I’ve noticed, which isn’t a result of the restrictions though certainly has been amplified by them, is that I’ve become much more aspirational in my clothing search. The price point on the clothing I was looking at ticked higher, while it’s arguable whether or not the clothes themselves would be making my wardrobe more functional. Case in point would be my original planned purchased for April. I had originally planned on rolling over my unspent budget from last quarter and purchasing a Smythe Duchess Blazer in camel. Would it be a fantastic addition to my wardrobe? Undoubtably, yes. Is it solving the most pressing issue in my wardrobe at the moment, making it infinitely easier to get dressed in the morning? No. I do see it making its way into my wardrobe eventually, but it doesn’t need to be there at the moment.

Last October I started a couple posts working through the exercises laid out in the Curated Closet (if you haven’t read them, you can find them here and here). Everything I wrote in those two posts is still completely spot on. I’ve decided going to finish working through those exercises and posting my findings on here. For the life of me I can’t remember why I stopped in the first place.

I’m removing my self imposed restrictions for the rest of the year, save for my budget. When I get my wardrobe to a comfortably functional place I’ll look at revisiting this strategy again.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Monthly Update – March 2017

I’m going to preface this post – Asian Pear, you were right. I’m restricting myself too much.

This little epiphany came as a result of a barbecue stain on a white t-shirt (by all means, sing along). I had two white t-shirts, which for me is sufficient. I stained one of them recently, and less than a day later nearly stained the other one with some peanut butter. Realizing I could potentially be entering summer with no white t-shirts, I had an internal meltdown.

I have several thoughts on this subject, but at the risk of turning my budget post into a TL:DR type affair, I’m going to hold on to those thoughts until Thursday. I’ll just say that I’m revisiting my shopping strategy for this year.

Until then, March purchases!

Wilfred Free Daria Ankle Pant – $141.75 (reg $141.75)

I’ve hemmed and hawed over Aritzia’s vegan leather leggings for years and never taken the plunge. That is of course until they came out with their ankle pant. If you’re a shorty like me, you know that “ankle pant” is code for “doesn’t require hemming”. That is a rare beast indeed!

These have been a nice non-yoga alternative to jeans. Throw them on with a long sweater and I’m out the door. I’ve worn them 4 or 5 times since buying them halfway through the month.

Babaton Bringham Dress – $78.74 (reg $194.25)

DVF style without the DVF price. What’s not to love? A plain black wrap dress has been on my wish list for years, but I could never justify pulling the pin on the designer version. This is a near perfect dupe of the New Jeanne wrap dress for less than a seventh the price.

This is intended to be a work dress for when I go back in June, but it certainly works for date night as well.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $135.17 (Jan) – 420.00 (Feb) – $220.49 (Mar) + $367.50 returns + $18.80 consignment = $360.64 remaining

It’s almost like I was right on budget and never received a refund for those boots back in January.

After mulling it over, I plan to roll this money over into next quarter’s budget. I originally had a specific purchase in mind, but I’ve since decided to hit pause on it. No, it’s not a white t-shirt. I’m definitely picking another one of those up 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!

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.