Month: March 2013

What I Bought This Month

This past January, I broke my New Year resolution routine … and actually made some resolutions for once. One of them was to only buy second-hand clothing, and accessories under $40 an item, in 2013. Maybe coincidentally (maybe not), my shopping has slowed down considerably since then. Just imagine – I bought nary a single piece of clothing on my trip to Vancouver last month. [Though I may have, ahem, splurged on some jewelry.] In fact, February was something of a milestone for me: I bought no clothes at all that month. Yep, none. Zero. Nada. Are you proud of me yet? At this rate, BCRL will be defunct again in no time. Just kidding.

I did have time this month to pick up a few things, and if you’re as curious as me about other people’s shopping habits (and bags), this post’s for you.

What I Bought This Month
Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress

This purchase officially marks the breaking of my NY resolution. It lasted a whopping 2.5 months. The dress was new, and over $40. [I fudged things in January, buying some new clothes but staying under the $40 mark.] In my defence, it was only slightly over – $46 after applying a gift card, and after a masive sale discount (it was originally $400, if you were curious), and it’s one of my favourite items of clothing. I have 3 DVF dresses, and I love them all to bits. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat myself (ad nauseam): you won’t find a comfier, more accommodating garment anywhere. Slip on a camisole if you’re worried about cleavage spillage, but do give the wrap dress a try.

What I Bought This Month
J. Crew Factory sweater

From one wardrobe classic to another: this J. Crew Factory crew-neck sweater ($24) is nothing special, but it’s great for layering over collared shirts (one of my favourite looks for winter spring 7 months out of the year in Alberta). The sleeves are bracelet-length, so there is no need to constantly push them up (a pet peeve). The material is light-weight, perfect for layering … or wait, I said that already.

What I Bought This Month
Vintage clip-on earrings

I have been getting back into antique-ing (and collecting china and vintage jewelry) hard-core lately. I like the variety and the novelty factor – I know I won’t be seeing the same pieces on half a dozen people downtown. [Those J. Crew bubble necklaces might be great, but after you’ve seen them in every colour of the rainbow, they start to lose their appeal.] I haven’t had much luck finding good vintage pieces in local thrift stores, so I’ve relied on the antique malls and shops around town, where the prices are higher. Still, at $16, these earrings were a pretty good deal.

What I Bought This Month
Vintage clip-on earrings, part deux

Speaking of vintage jewelry, I also fell for these sparklers ($20). I love the colour combo of the rhinestones, as well as the star-burst/flower design. They are a little bit too flashy for daytime use as earrings, so I pin them (with safety pins) as brooches. Dual purpose jewelry – love it.

March Update

Last week, I somewhat randomly ended up browsing the BCRL archives – something I haven’t had the heart to do for months. You know the tired trope about riding a bike? Yeah, I kinda felt the itch to try again. It was nice to revisit some of my past exploits – heck, not really “past” since the Remix Challenge, for one, is still going strong in its twenty-plus-lost-count week (with a few repeats here and there). So, it begged the question: can I take the “ick” factor out of blogging, while still keeping all the fun? It remains to be seen …

In the meantime, and speaking of the Remix Challenge, here are a few of my fave recent picks (featuring some of the past 3 months’ new closet additions).

Remix Challenge
Pants, J. Crew Factory; top, MICHAEL Michael Kors; blazer, Theory; shoes, Enzo Angiolini; necklace, Tiffany

I call these my “orchid pants”; I have the same style in a bright coral. They’re some kind of wool (?) blend, lined, and ever so slightly the wrong length. With heels, it’s not too obvious. They were a steal at $25 on sale at J. Crew Factory (the only outlet-type store I still frequent these days). They’re also a good match for this big floral print camisole; I used to always pair it with black pants/skirts, which was safe, but blah. Colour, especially in this winter-masquerading-as-summer season, is sooo much better.

Remix Challenge
Dress, Sweet Chemise; shoes, Nine West; brooch, Goodwill

Other than my Choos, this is probably my all-time favourite thrift store find: a $12 Sweet Chemise dress, with a gorgeous neckline. It’s made out of some sort of stretchy material that is uber-comfortable. Almost like pyjamas, and I am not exaggerating. Did I mention it has pockets? It must be made of “win”. My $3 Goodwill brooch complements it really well – there is a definite antique, old-world vibe to it. Considering the shoes were free (in a swap), this is also my cheapest outfit ever.

Remix Challenge
Shirt, Prada; sweater, J. Crew Factory; skirt, Valentino R.E.D. label; shoes, Stuart Weitzman; necklace, J. Crew Factory

From lo to hi. This is pretty much head-to-toe designer, but (as always) on a budget. The outfit, as a whole, clocks in at around $275 (with the shoes accounting for half). Frankly, I don’t really care about the labels all that much; this is a staple work outfit for me – unfussy but polished, classic and well-made. Couldn’t ask for more.

These are the first photos I’ve taken in a while, and I am happy to see that my hair has grown out of its Bierber-esque phase. We are in solid “bob territory” now. A sign of good things to come?