Judging by some of my more recent posts on shopping, you might be led to believe that I never shop retail. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m just very picky about what I buy at retail prices; generally speaking, the pricier an item, the more likely I am to try to find it second-hand because of the greater mark-up margin. But that is not to say that I avoid the mall. Au contraire.

When I am looking for something very specific, I always tour the usual suspects to see if they happen to offer just the thing. Lately, that “thing” has been a cream blouse. I found something that might fit the bill at Aritzia, but the prices (even on sale) are too ridiculous to contemplate. So I am still looking. In the meantime, though, I did not come away from my retail peregrinations baggage-free. Naturally. No one escapes the mall scot-free. Here’s a quick look at some of the pieces I’ve picked up.

First, at H&M (which I hadn’t visited in aaaages), I got this cute combo of floral patterned tank ($10) and red skinnies ($30).
Next up, at Old Navy I found a polka dot sweater that I will wear the heck out of come fall. It reminds me of a beautiful J Crew piece I saw the other week at the new WEM store (LOVE it!), but which at $300 was out of my budget. This version isn’t Italian cashmere, but it was only $20, and I can definitely live with that.
Also at Old Navy, I was finally able to find a new cardigan that (a) doesn’t have a stupidly tight band at the bottom (which creates a baggy effect flattering on exactly no one); (b) has a crew (round) neckline; and (c) is coral. You wouldn’t believe how difficult this task proved to be. But success – and for a reasonable $20. Below it’s paired with a J Crew silk blouse I picked up at consignment, also for $20. I know, I know – but I just couldn’t help myself! It’s so me, dontcha think? By the way, this is my “serious professional” look. Are the ruffles too much? Can you have too much ruffle? I think not. [Then again, I am convinced that I was a peacock in at least one former lifetime.]
This cardigan came in a few different colours, so if you’re in the market for a new one, I would recommend checking this out. Because of its length, it would work best on gals with long torsos (or anyone wanting to create the illusion of a longer torso) and a bit on the taller side; otherwise, the proportions might be off. The sleeves are full-length, but I would wear them pushed up to 3/4 length to avoid dowdy-overload.

Last, but not least, I found a comfy summer skirt at Winners ($24), that’s become my go-to piece for weekend errand-running. Below, it’s paired with a lovely lace-trimmed T-shirt, which I almost forgot I bought at H&M.
I love this kind of almost-illusion neckline! And the T-shirt was a steal at $13. [Experimenting with new poses, though, isn’t always a success. I’ve been spending too much time on Get Off My Internets.]

So there you have it – my last few weeks of shopping, almost all of it retail. How’s that for breaking the mold?

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