Month: June 2012

Manicure of the week: Coco Blue

The last polish in Chanel’s Les Jeans trio is Coco Blue. The lightest of all three, it is a delicate sky blue – a perfect colour for a sunny summer.
My favourite thing about this blue is that it isn’t chalky at all, a common pitfall for such light shades. Yet, at the same time, it is quite saturated. Here it is, backlit:
Application-wise, the formula was similar to the other polishes from Les Jeans collection – a solid two-coater. Despite the way it looks in the pictures, Coco Blue is actually not a creme; it has very fine almost pearlescent shimmer running through it, which adds depth. It’s a dreamy-looking polish, for sure.

For my inspired outfit, I simply had to go with my go-to outfit of this summer so far: my recently purchased DVF shirt dress. The brown colours of the dress and the belt really make Coco Blue pop.
This outfit wouldn’t be complete without my most-used accessory of the season, my Longchamp Le Pliage tote (a Mothers’ Day gift from my lovely husband, and perfect for busy moms on the go).
Happy long weekend and Canada Day everyone!!

Back-to-work shopping budget: June

I am heading back to the office … in a week! Where did a year go?? Wish me luck.

On with our shopping budget review. As I wrote in my May post, I was about $39 over my pre-set budget two months into my 3-month shopping period; that being said, I had all but one of the pieces that I had originally set down on my shopping list, plus a whole slew of extras. The only thing missing was a grey pair of dress pants … and the money to buy them.

Well, if that was the whole story, this would be a very short post. But you know it’s not! Back at the end of April, I took a huge bunch of clothes and accessories in to consignment, hoping to make some room in my closet and in my budget. The 6-week consignment period ended at the beginning of June, just in time for a much-needed boost to my shopping budget. An $80 boost, to be precise. I was back in business!!

After deducting the over-spent portion from the previous months, I still had $41 to play (or, rather, shop) with. So, what did I buy?

Most of it went to this BCBG dress ($39). A bit pricey, for sure, but I could not resist the colours – I love a good chartreuse, and it looks particularly nice next to cobalt blue. The fit is amazing as well; now, I just have to figure out where I’m going to wear it. A year ago, I would have said “date night” but, let’s be honest, the next time I’ll have the time to go on a date – much less the inclination to dress up for it – could well be a few years away. [I kid. Sort of.]
As I mentioned in my post on thrifting last month, I have my fave haunts in the city but I occasionally check on other thrift stores to see if I’m missing out. This month, I hit the Goodwill on 51st Ave, which is conveniently close to one of my favourite consignment stores. I didn’t find much, but I did go home with this DKNY blazer ($5.99).
I love the lace inserts! I have to say that I like the pricing at Goodwill much better than Value Village, though higher end brands are definitely harder to come by. I did notice a couple of real steals – a pristine Isaac Mizrahi blazer (not his diffusion line) and a gorgeous Trina Turk skirt – but they were both in too-large-for-me sizes. Hopefully, bargains for another lucky thrifter.

This month, I was also able to fulfill my original brief – I found another pair of dress pants. Rather the planned grey, this Theory pair was navy, which is an equally versatile choice; come to think of it, probably more versatile given the contents of my closet. Sadly, these are not lined, but they are good quality and cut, and hemmed perfectly for my height (for flats or low-heeled shoes which, realistically, is what I’ll be wearing most of the time now). The retail price of these pants would have been somewhere in the low $200s, but I paid $25.
I also brought home a Diane von Furstenberg tunic dress. Nice print, but looks a bit unprepossessing, right?
I first spotted this one back in April or May, priced at $49 on consignment. Not a bad price for a $325 dress, but it wasn’t my favourite DVF style (that would be the wrap dress, natch) and wasn’t super colourful, so I passed.  Later, I saw it marked down to $39 … and still, I passed. Finally, a few weeks later, I spotted it on the half-off, last-chance rack. I couldn’t hold out anymore; for less than $20, it came home with me. It’s silk, super comfortable, and great for running errands in the summer. Plus, if you add a belt – holy transformation!
After accounting for my consignment money, I still ended the month in the red by about $46 – but it was worth it, I think. I still have a number of items whose consignment term was renewed, which might bring in some money next month; plus, I got so many great pieces – 17 to be precise (five dresses, 3 pairs of jeans, 2 skirts, 3 pairs of pants, 2 tops, 1 jacket and 1 pair of shoes) – to refresh my wardrobe just in time for my return to the office … and all for a very modest amount ($166 out of pocket). And thus ends my big shopping budget adventure of Spring 2012.

Did you set a budget for yourself? How did you do?