Tuesday, March 31, 2015

olive pants, finally

For over two years now, I've had olive pants on my wishlist. During this time, I've heard great things about Old Navy's Pixie pants. I was skeptical that they would work for me. When I came across this pair online, I was tempted to order a pair to try, but I had no clue what size to order, so I didn't bother. A couple of weeks ago I was in Old Navy and decided to try the pants on. I'm so glad I did because they were great. Not perfect, but great.

I'm usually in the camp that you shouldn't buy something unless it's a perfect fit, but I think there's an exception to the rule: if you've wanted that thing for a really long time and you know that you'll get a justifiable amount of wear from it. Here I am anticipating that I will get a good amount of wear from it. Only time will tell how well I can see into the future.

Scarf: The Limited | last worn
Sweater: Lou & Grey via LOFT | option
Pixie Chinos: Old Navy | exact
Flats: Steve Madden via DSW | same style

Monday, March 30, 2015

Make it Work: lavender cardigan

On Wednesday I managed to wear two neglected items by pairing them together. Today I'm showing you how I made another neglected item work - my lavender cardigan. How did I do that? By keeping it simple. I was really surprised looking back to find out I've never worn this cardigan with solid black pants. I was also pleasantly surprised by how great I felt all day in this outfit. (Note to self: keep it simple more often! Instant confidence with minimal effort.)

It's a funny thing how items can get neglected for so long. I remember loving this cardigan so much that I splurged on it, and yet, end up only reaching for it once a year. But then as soon as I put it back on, I love it again. I mean, just look at this color! So pretty and so perfect for spring! 

Cardigan: J. Crew | almost exact
Lace top: The Limited | similar
Necklace: via Groopdealz | same style
Exact Stretch Pants: The Limited | exact
Flats: Christian Siriano via Payless | option

Side note: I accidentally put this cardigan in the dryer. It came out almost half the size, but I was able to almost fully restore it with water and hair conditioner. One bucket of water + one big squeeze of hair conditioner = one almost original sized cardigan. I could have (should have?) stretched it out more while I laid it out to dry (which I did by laying a towel flat in the bathtub, and laying the cardigan on the towel). At least it's good to have this in mind just in case I accidentally shrink another merino sweater or cardigan down the road.

[linking up with Molly and Laura]

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Budget Rewind: March 2013

  • Kohl's white jeans:$17 - As mentioned in a recent post, these jeans are my best sale purchase ever. Enough said. 
  • Target denim jacket: $30 - This is one of the few full price purchases I have ever made, and I don't regret it. If and when I retire this one, I will opt for a longer style next time.
  • Kohl's glitter belts: $3? - These came in a two-pack, and I didn't keep track of how much these cost - I probably had store credit, but I remember that they were really inexpensive. I don't wear the silver one much, but the glitter one has got enough use to qualify as a good purchase. 
  • The Limited sunglasses: $12 - These have gotten so much wear over the past two years. The frame actually just cracked last week, but I had my husband hot glue them back together. So far, so good. (But this is why I can't have nice things.)
  • The Limited black elastic belt: $0? - I didn't keep track of how much I paid for it, but I think I had a rewards card that let me walk away with it for next to nothing. 

  • Old Navy purple sweater: $9 - While it's made it to the blog 5 times, I would consider these a medium purchase because it's too short and the neckline is too open. This one might end up going to consignment next year.
  • LOFT parrot top: $18 - I saw this one on the clearance rack, immediately fell in love, and then got my heart broke when I found out it was the last one left and it was a petite. I'm not a petite. But I bought it anyway. I really shouldn't have, especially because I've only managed to wear it 4 times. But it's still such a great print! 

  • Chinese Laundry black heels: $14 - While they were a great deal and I loved them standing in front of the mirror in the store, they are not meant for walking, and they are definitely not meant for teaching, either. I always feel like a baby giraffe when I wear them. I was going to take them to the consignment shop, but there's mud I need to clean off the soles.

It seems that with every budget rewind I do, I come up with at least one item that I'm determined to wear and make work again. This time, it's the LOFT parrot top. With the warmer weather coming it, I'm sure it won't be hard to do. (Although I'm always open to outfit suggestions!)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Budget Rewind: March 2014

I like easy rewinds. 

  • Old Navy pants: $12 - blogged 5 times, and I know I've worn them off the blog, too. I would say I have gotten my money's worth. Even if they're not my favorite pants ever, they are great to have as an alternative to jeans.

Honorable mentions:
  • J. Crew Factory white blouse: $25 - I regret returning this one. I was worried at the time that I wouldn't wear it that much, and that if I really regretted returning it, I'd be able to find something similar without much trouble. Well, one year later, I have wanted to wear a blouse like this countless times, and I haven't found anything comparable -- and not even close to this price. Lesson learned.
  • J. Crew Factory Peter Pan tee: $32 - I'm happy I returned this one. I really wanted it to work, but had I kept it, I would have been forcing it to work for me. It wasn't a good fit. I don't regret returning this one (especially at the price!). 

While it was a good month spending wise, I am still beating myself up over returning that blouse. I am, however, still hopeful that I will find something similar one day.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Budget

1. Old Navy sleeveless top: (in pink) $15
2. Old Navy Pixie chinos: on promotion, $25
3. Gap striped tee: [no longer available online] $8
4. Kate Spade crossbody handbag: gift
5. Target crossbody handbag: on promotion $22 - $5 gift card = $17

= $65 - $21 clothes sold = $44

Olive pants have been on my wishlist for nearly two years, so I'm beyond happy with the purchase.
- I brought the sleeveless top with me to the dressing room and I ended up loving it. While I rarely pay full price for anything, I'm okay with this one since I can see myself wearing it a lot this summer, and it's not even available online in pink to buy for a cheaper price.
- The Gap tee was a "qualify for free shipping" addition, but it was my favorite part of the order -- and the only part I kept. (The other items I returned are no longer available online.)
- I probably don't need the Target bag. I thought it was a keeper, but now I'm on the fence. Go figure.

A lot of shopping took place this month that didn't make it to the official March Budget either because those items are in the mail or because they were returned. I reported some of those purchases last week. At the time I wrote the post, I planned on keeping this chunky cardigan and this print scarf, but I've since returned them because I just didn't love them.

Items in the mail...
  • Years ago, I found the best shorts at Old Navy. A respectable inseam length, not too tight, great colors, and affordable. The only problem is that those are now uncomfortably tight on my thighs, so I ordered a few pairs (black, white, pink) in my new size.
  • I've also found that boyfriend fits are 'regular' fits for me. I generally have a problem with denim shorts suctioning to my thighs, so I'm hoping these boyfriend shorts avoid that problem.
  • While I've been wanting a white blazer to replace my safari jacket, I decided that a sleeveless blazer may make more sense given the weather. So I ordered this one and this one from Forever 21. Hey, when you have store credit and free shipping, why not?

Items returned:
  • Neither the navy heels nor the black heels I ordered worked out. The navy pair kept slipping off my feet, and I really couldn't justify one more pair of shoes I only saw myself wearing for teaching. 
  • I've had my eye on these black booties for moooonths, finally ordered them, and they dug into the front of my shins, so they went back, too. 
  • I'll be traveling a bit this summer and want some comfortable shoes for walking that are not as big and clunky as my Asics. I tried this pair of Nikes (in white), but my husband said they looked like orthopedic shoes. While he was joking, I was afraid he had a point. I'm considering trying this pair of Converse in white. I feel like they would work better under a maxi skirt than the Nikes. Plus, I can vouch for them as I used to wear them when I worked at summer camp. But I haven't ordered them yet, and I'm not sure what my hesitations are. (Is it because I really just wish I could romp around in these all day, every day?)

So... yeah.... a heavy shopping month, but somehow not that much damage done... at least not yet. How did you do this month?

[Linking up with Fran for Budgeting Bloggers]
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