What I Bought: March 2015

So … this was a spendy, splurgey, buy-all-the-things kind of month. Basically, a lot of things I’d been waiting to buy for ages just … turned up all at once. I just couldn’t pass them up, you guys. Alright, I have all kinds of excuses reasons, so let’s just get right to it. I bought 10 items for $420 (original retail approx. $1,231), and they are all awesome sauce.

J. Crew Beanstalk print blouse

J. Crew Beanstalk print blouse

I think my favourite consignment store is jacking up its prices on some brands, like J. Crew. I don’t know if their general clientele is finally getting more familiar with J. Crew (and, hence, willing to pay more for it), but me no likey. I probably overpaid for this blouse, but it was one I had lusted after when it was in stores, and missed on clearance, so – justifications, I haz them. Plus, I think it’s going to look cute for work.

I should add that this is the retail not outlet version of this print, and is therefore made out of silk, not polyester; I won’t buy another 100% polyester piece again if I can help it. I may consider rayon (the jersey-feeling kind), but that’s about it. Speaking of which, I bought a cute Pleione blouse on sale at Winners for $23, and it’s made out of rayon and I ain’t mad at it – it wears comfortably.

Amaryllis Pink Wool coat

Amaryllis Pink Wool blend coat

Also at Winners, I picked up this pink wool blend coat (70% wool, 30% polyester). Trust that it looks cuter in person; it actually reminds me a little bit of the pink Carven coats that were all the rage about a year ago. I first admired it when my kids’ godmom wore it to brunch. Now, it is a fact that she looks fantastic in pink, and I’m not quite sure that I pull off the colour as well, but … for $36 (down from $100), I’m willing to take a chance. Plus, the coat is made in Romania, and I feel like that’s some kind of sign.

Ivanka Trump Two Tone Floral Sheath Dress

Ivanka Trump Two Tone Floral Sheath Dress

I was looking through my IG feed at the beginning of the month (trying to figure out if I had worn a particular outfit before), and came across an old Winners changing room photo in which I was trying this Ivanka Trump dress. “Hmm, cute,” I thought to myself. The style is similar to my beloved Joe Fresh sack dress, and it’s a silhouette I like a lot these days, even though it’s not particularly figure-flattering. I decided to take “just a quick look” on eBay to see if the dress might still be found. Well … you know what happens when you take “just a quick look” on eBay – you end up buying something. Or is that just me? Ahem. Luckily, I managed to snag this dress for a good deal (even cheaper than the Winners sale price 4 months ago), and since I had a bit of a US$ balance on my Paypal, I didn’t even have to take the currency exchange hit. Score!

J. Crew Factory pants

J. Crew Factory pants

So, these J. Crew Factory pants look questionable, but hear me out: I really do think that they translate a little more “edgy” and a little less “I gave up on style” in real life. I’m not sure when I became a pants person, but I guess the proof is undeniable. I’ve bought a bazillion pairs of pants in the last 2 months, and I love wearing them. Never saw that coming, right?

Nathalie Lete Hamatreya Skirt

Nathalie Lete Hamatreya Skirt

I’ve been waiting for this skirt to pop up on eBay in my size for almost a year. No joke.

LOFT Tipped Utility Blouse

LOFT Tipped Utility Blouse

LOFT Marisa Windowpane Pants

LOFT Marisa Windowpane Pants

I’d held on to a LOFT gift card for 6 months (since my birthday!), and decided to finally pull the trigger. Part of the reason why I’d held on to the card for so long is that the only LOFT store in town is located in WEM – an inconvenient trek with the kids in tow (and they are almost always in tow). Another part of the reason was that I haven’t been inspired by anything LOFT has put out since the summer … until now. It’s as if they foresaw my current black and white obsession, and decided to send me a gift, or two. I’ve been hankering for a pair of windowpane print pants since last month, and while I had hoped to find a black-on-white colourway, LOFT’s version is nice too. The tipped utility blouse is just too cute to pass up – especially with the collar buttoned up – even if it is 100% polyester (sigh, that resolution lasted all of 2 paragraphs). Together, minus the gift card, these two pieces set me back about $34.

J. Crew Regent Blazer

J. Crew Regent Blazer

True story: I stalked this blazer online for months, waiting for a deep price cut to coincide with a generous discount code … and it never happened. I think I saw it once for around $120, but the only size left was 2. So I basically gave up on it. But then! When I was at WEM to visit the LOFT store, I also stopped in to J. Crew to check out their sales rack, vaguely hoping to find some cute jewelry for work. (Why, I don’t know. I wear, like, the same 2 pairs of earrings every week. Must be that magpie instinct). But I saw something better: this blazer. I knew, instinctively, that it was a store return (because it’s been out of stock for ages) and wasn’t optimistic about the likelihood of it being the right size. Except that it was! And it was marked way down, with an extra 40% off on top of that. As I was trying it on, and admiring its lovely reflection, my husband was, like, “don’t even pretend you’re not getting it.” Well, don’t mind if I do.

Zara Box Pleat Midi Skirt

Zara Box Pleat Midi Skirt (navy not black as pictured)

I know, you guys – I actually bought something for full retail price. I feel like this needs an extra long explanation, and here you go. For months now, one of the must-have items on my shopping list has been a navy skirt. Initially, I was looking for a pencil skirt, because that is the silhouette I used to wear all the time. But, while I still love the look of pencil skirts, the reality is that I don’t find them as comfortable as I used to (even after losing some weight). So when I spotted this fuller silhouette at Zara (in navy), I had to try it on. And I really liked it.

The midi length is trendy right now, but I’m confident that it’s a classic. The material is a cotton-poly blend, which is acceptable; although it has a subtle pattern, and I would have preferred it plain, I can live with it. I still hesitated, a lot, over this purchase – and not even because of the price (I had just received my annual bonus for last year, and was feeling celebratory). Zara is the definition of fast fashion, and I have been trying to move away from that in my purchases for the last few years. It’s probably an arbitrary line in the sand, because I still shop at places like J. Crew and Joe Fresh (who source their wares from many of the same places, I’m sure), but I feel like I need to have it drawn somewhere, you know? Well, I guess I crossed it anyway, this time. The skirt is made in Portugal, which made it seem a little better.

What’s your stance on fast fashion? As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers.

Reconsidering the Wrap Dress

DVF wrap dress

Dress, DVF (via consignment); shoes, Calvin Klein; bag, Tory Burch

Like 99% of the fashion industry, I have sung the praises of the wrap dress – and, in particular, the iconic DVF wrap dress – more times than I can count on this blog. Let’s take a minute and recognize the best thing about wrap dresses, as embodied in this particular number: they are ever so accommodating. My mom and I have traded this dress back and forth for the last 5 or 6 years, and I have worn it while pregnant – twice. All told, it’s probably covered a swing of at least 2-3 sizes, looking none the worse for it.

But here comes the disclaimer: I’m less enthusiastic about wrap dresses than I used to be. I think it’s because I’m getting older. No, listen, hear me out. The older I get, the less patience I have for any fussiness in my clothes. And wrap dresses have a wee tendency to be fussy. If you want to wear them to the office (and I don’t have anywhere else to wear them), you need either a camisole, or double-sided tape. These days, I refuse to bother with camisoles under dresses (or dresses that require camisoles) because I hate having to worry about keeping them in place, and seam lines, etc. Just no. Double-sided tape is a fine invention and, clearly, I am not above using it, as these pictures attest. But … eh. Apart from the ouch factor at the end of the day, it’s just one more thing I have to remember, and fiddle with, and I just got no time for that. So, the wrap dress: maybe not a must-have after all.

DVF wrap dress

the bag (I’ve decided to keep it)

DVF wrap dress

the necklace (Swarovski)

Of course, I’m not rushing out to get rid of my DVFs just yet. A good silk jersey dress is still … a good silk jersey dress. Like, at least a few steps above a potato sack, and pretty flattering to boot, you know?

So, yada yada yada, I also wore a bunch of other things, but you’ve seen them all before. Talk about my hair instead? I’ve been obsessed with Taylor Swift’s new(ish) song, Style. It’s all moody (well, TSwizzle moody) and atmospheric and 80s-reminiscent, and I adore it. The guy in the video reminds me of my new(is) crush, that kid who plays the Winter Soldier in the Avengers movie. (Don’t ask. I don’t know. I think I’ve seen that movie too many times.) It’s this weird convergence, you know? Anyway, I ended up buying Taylor’s whole damn album in the end, because I guess I’m a sucker for 80s riffs, and one of her other songs (Wildest Dreams) reminded me of Lana Del Ray. So then I went and downloaded Summertime Sadness, which is my favourite LdR track for a variety of reasons, starting with the title. [I totally think that “summertime sadness” is a thing; I get it at the end of August every year. Which has nothing to do with anything, but now you know.] On the track, Lana talks (sings? drawls? sing-drawls?) about “big hair, beauty-queen style” and, you guys, that is totally what we have here. 70s-style big waves (actually, third day hair, if we want to get technical) to go with a 70s style icon.

Convergences, man.

DVF wrap dress

let’s wrap this up (ha-ha!)

Spring Blush

LOFT eyelet lace top

Top, LOFT (swap); cardigan, J. Crew (via consignment); pants, American Eagle; shoes, J. Crew Factory

This was one of those unassuming outfits that turns out better than expected. I mean, I’m not breaking any style ground here (what’s new?) but this is cute and comfortable, and it just works. No over-thinking required. Also, how lovely is this LOFT top? I think it’s a subtle way to wear lace at the office (always a dicey proposition), so I’m looking forward to remixing it in some work outfits. The armholes do gape a little oddly, but it’s not noticeable at all under a topper – minor quibble. Thanks again, R., for the swap find!

LOFT eyelet lace top

springtime … in March … say whaaaa

Can we talk about the weather for a second? I know it’s a hella boring subject, but I need to take a moment and marvel at the fact that we have been (almost) snow-free for a few weeks now … in March! We have a spring this year, ladies and gentlemen. At least, I’m calling it spring, officially, before Mother Nature can change her mind. And I’m putting my boots away, to show her I mean it. Here’s hoping my bluff works. [Edited to add: LOL. Nope. We got snow on the first official day of spring.]

LOFT eyelet lace top

necklaces, Tiffany & J. Crew

I’ve done this necklace layering thing before, but I figured you’d want to see it again. You’re welcome. I’ve also done the side ponytail before (a few times), and I guess you could say that I’m unrepentant about it; I don’t care if the consensus on these things is “yea” or “eww”, they’re helping me avoid “tiny insect head” syndrome when I pull my hair back, and if that involves looking like a middle-schooler, well, I ain’t above it. #adultingfail

LOFT eyelet lace top

basic but cute

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