Black & White, Redux

Rachel Roy striped sweatshirt; Ferragamo Flavia pumps

Top, RACHEL Rachel Roy (via consignment); blazer, J. Crew; pants, American Eagle; shoes, Ferragamo (via consignment); necklace, House of Harlow

My last black and white outfit worked out really well, so I gave it another try on casual Friday. Except this time I added some red shoes, because my friend Jenni told me to. She liked my first effort fine, but felt it needed more colour. Sheesh, everyone’s a critic these days. [Just kidding, love ya, girl.]

Rachel Roy striped sweatshirt; Ferragamo Flavia pumps

casual Friday…

If I has dressed purely for the casual Friday aspect, I probably would not have bothered with the blazer; I had to pop in and out of client meetings all day, though, and the blazer seemed like a good idea. The beauty of a black and white outfit, I’m finding, is that it’s kinda hard to muck up, no matter how many extra pieces you pile on.

Rachel Roy striped sweatshirt; Ferragamo Flavia pumps

slightly less casual Friday …

What I Bought: February 2015

I didn’t think that January could be topped for sheer busy-ness, but I was wrong. Oh-so-wrong. February, I don’t even know where to begin with you, but the gist of it is this: you sucked. In every which way imaginable. The kids were sick almost continuously, work kicked my ass every day (and twice on Sundays), and I barely had any time to sleep (and then there was that time I got the stomach flu), much less celebrate any special moments (ahem, 7 year dating anniversary) with my husband. Honestly, I can barely muster the energy to write this post. But … habits, you know. So let’s get to it before I pass out entirely.

I bought 5 4 things and received one gift (from my husband), bringing the total to 6 5 items for an out-of-pocket cost of $201 $174. That’s a high-ish total, but the 3 things I paid for were all retail purchases bought out of necessity – so, while I did buy them on sale, I didn’t wait for a clearance sale. Anyway, I’m not really sweating it because all of the things I got this month are great pieces for my work wardrobe; considering how much time I spend at work, it’s money well spent.

First, let’s talk about this:

3.1 Philip Lim dress

3.1 Philip Lim dress

prettiness

prettiness

You already know the story of my never-thought-it-was-gonna-happen dress, but let’s revisit the financial details for the sake of this budgety post. It cost $157 (down from the never-gonna-happen $815), and I spent $0 out of pocket thanks to a gift card. This is the kind of budget math I could get used to. All that aside, I adore this dress, and I’m not the only one – it’s a compliment magnet. The colour IRL is closer to the second photo, a beautiful rich navy (see it here and here). A minor quibble: the dress is not lined, and the silk fabric is quite prone to static. Considering the original retail price, tsk tsk.

February was also the month of my Pants Situation. As in, I suddenly, desperately needed new pants.

Banana Republic Sloan ankle crop pants

Banana Republic Sloan ankle crop pants

I ended up buying three pairs, because once I took the plunge and paid retail for a pair of BR Sloan ankle crop pants, well … there was no turning back, apparently. I got them in black, grey, and a black-and-white check print. I also finally figured out that my preferred Sloan inseam length is Short; despite the fact that I’m 5’7, I must have extra short legs, because I always seem to prefer the way petite cut pants look on me. BR only stocks Short (petite?) sizes online, so this was also my first experience with ordering through their website. So far, so good. I appreciate that they offer free shipping for purchases over $50 (I’m looking at you, J. Crew and LOFT!).

Banana Republic Sloan Skirt

Banana Republic Sloan Skirt

I also ended up buying the Sloan pencil skirt when it was an extra 40% off. Can you believe this: I haven’t had a black pencil skirt in my closet in nearly 2 years. Talk about missing a closet staple!

[Edited to add: I've decided to return the skirt. When I got it and tried it on, I didn't like the fit or the material. I really want something more similar to my old Tahari pencil skirt: soft ponte fabric, with a good sturdy lining. Black pencil skirts are not that hard to find at places like Winners, so I decided it would be better to keep looking than keep a piece I wasn't crazy about. I've survived without a black pencil skirt for a while, I can make it a few more weeks or months.] 

Beige by eci dress (lookalike)

Beige by eci dress (lookalike)

This was an impulse buy at Winners, paid for by my husband, just because. (He’s a keeper, for sure. For anyone interested, it was on sale for $38 and there were lots of 10s and 12s still available.) It’s not exactly the same as in the stock photo, but close; I think the slit in my dress is not as high, and the red is more vibrant/prominent. (The stock photo is of a NY & Co. dress, and I find it odd that two companies would put out such similar dresses.) I was drawn to the abstract print, and the asymmetrical slit; the dress looks work-appropriate, but with a twist. The material is that thick scuba-esque fabric that was all the rage last year, which … is interesting. I mean, I’m interested to see how it holds up to wear, and how it looks with my office wardrobe staples. And, in case you’re wondering, this brings my total dress tally to approximately one bazillion.

Linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers, so get clicking you guys! Then come back and tell me how you did this month.

All in Good Fun

Pixelated floral shirt dress

Dress, Katherine Barclay; cardigan & belt, J. Crew Factory; coat, MaxMara; boots, Ecco; bag, Rebecca Minkoff

In case you haven’t heard me complain recently in the last 24 hours, let me tell you again: I haven’t had much fun lately. But that was not the case last weekend, when my husband and I (along with a couple of good friends) hit up Breakout. If you’ve never heard of Breakout, it’s basically a interactive, locked room puzzle game: you have up to 5 teammates, and 45 minutes, to figure out the code to “break out” of the theme room of your choice. It’s insanely fun, and I highly recommend it if you live in a city with a Breakout franchise.

What does that have to do with my outfit? Well, for my fun afternoon out, I wanted to wear a fun dress – and what screams “fun” louder than my pixelated rainbow floral sprinkles dress? Here’s a hint: nothing.

Pixelated floral shirt dress

Flash!

I usually pair this dress with cool tones (like teal), but I decided to switch things up and wear another one of my wardrobe palette-approved accent colours from the opposite side of the spectrum: burgundy. The final result may have been a tad too matchy matchy, but I love how the burgundy made the other colours in the dress pop.

Pixelated floral shirt dress

but first, let me #selfie

I also went for some major red lips, because when you’re wearing the rainbow, you might as well go for broke. But here’s the truth, guys: I think red lips are too high maintenance for me. I don’t have time to constantly check and/or re-apply my lipstick (especially when I’m having fun), and I hate leaving marks on everything that touches my lips. [I know I'm irrational; indulge me.]

Kind of ironic, considering my blog name, huh?

Pixelated floral shirt dress

see you next summer, pretty dress!

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