Month: September 2013

What I Bought: August

August was quite the fun month, and not only because it was my birthday month. In the words of Britney, oops … I did it again. I got all spendy, that is. First of all, with the J. Crew again. I honestly don’t know how it happened … I didn’t intentionally set out to buy so many J. Crew items; although I do tend to like their aesthetic a lot, I hate having an entire wardrobe from any one store or brand (especially since this one still manufactures most of its clothes in China). But somehow, here we are. I also bought quite a few things retail, though on sale, so this month’s shopping was a bit of a “fail” on several levels. On the plus side, I had one major (consignment) score. Just wait till you see what I’m talking about!

As per my initial warning: this was another very expensive month (9 items, $530). Looking on the bright side, my purchases would have been over $1,500 at retail, so it could have been worse. I did make $93 from selling a bunch of stuff on consignment, another $60 from a garage sale, plus a bit more from freelance work. My “out-of-pocket” cost was actually minimal, but I know I’m going to have to start setting a stricter budget once I’m on mat leave. Sigh! I guess I better enjoy my last few weeks of unfettered consumerism while they last.

On to the clothes!

J. Crew Tippi yellow crew-neck sweater ($26, J. Crew)

what i bought
J. Crew Tippi sweater (made in China), originally $94

As my dream shopping list attests, crew-neck sweaters have been on my radar for a while now. This version is similar to the black sweater I found at the Factory Store, and went for about the same price. The colour leans towards neon, which will take some adjustment on my part, but I think it will work for my style if paired with more somber neutrals. It will be a great pick-me-up colour in the middle of winter, for one.

J. Crew bracelet ($38, J. Crew)

what i bought
J. Crew bracelet (made in China)

Still obsessed with bracelets! In retrospect, I overpaid for this one; I should have waited for a sale, or looked for something similar at a lower price point. You could say that I was blinded by the bling.

J. Crew Tippi butterfly sweater ($45 including shipping, eBay)

what i bought
J. Crew Tippi sweater (made in China), originally $98

I initially saw this sweater in the store, but it was still around $60 on sale. I loved its whimsicality, though, so when I saw it listed for cheaper on eBay (new with tags), I caved in to the impulse and bought it. It’s a little bit preppy, and a little bit twee, so of course, it’s right up my alley!

Diane von Furstenberg Kye wrap dress ($68, Vespucci – consignment)

what i bought
Diane von Furstenberg Kye wrap dress (made in China), originally $335

I can never resist a DvF dress when it’s on sale for under $100. I don’t have another dress in this particular style (only slong-sleeved ones), and the print is really cool – two additional reasons to pick up this beauty. I can’t wait to wear it, post-baby.

what i bought
Kye wrap dress, “Racing Leaf” print

Kate Spade Irving Place Little Nadine bag ($170 including taxes & shipping, eBay)

what i bought
Kate Spade Irving Place Little Nadine bag (made in China), originally $398

Remember my dream shopping list? Consider another item scratched off – I found my green bag! This was a bit of serendipity at play; I happened to see a banner ad on eBay for a Kate Spade New York flash sale, and ended up finding this bag listed for $149 (over 60% off). Individual sellers had it listed for far more, so this looked like a pretty good deal on a new bag that’s still currently in stores. The downside: Kate Spade no longer seems to ship to Canada. I managed to get around the problem by asking a (US-based) family member for help; she was very sweet and agreed, and the bag was on its way to me in no time. I know others get around this type of problem by having an American credit card and PO box address (from which they can re-route packages to their Canadian addresses); those closer to the border have it even easier, of course. Any other suggestions?

[Edited: Kate Spade is now shipping to Canada … again. On the bright side, this bag is no longer available, so all the hoops I had to jump through to get it were sort of worth it after all.]

Gold-toned ring ($12, Red Pony – consignment)

what i bought
Gold wreath ring (top)

I love, love, love this ring – it’s perfect for stacking, and the design looks classic but modern at the same time. There are no markings on it, so I’m sure it’s not gold-plated, which makes me worry about its likely longevity. Time will tell … but for the price, the risk is worth it.

Cameo brooch/pendant ($6, thrift)

what i bought
Cameo brooch (provenance unknown)

This was too cute to pass up, even with a missing rhinestone (easy fix). I love cameos and have been looking for a blue version for a while. The Value Village price beats anything on Etsy, even after accounting for repairs.

Vintage Coach Compact Pouch bag ($40, Kijiji)

what i bought
Vintage Coach – Compact Pouch style (made in USA)

Impulse buy time. Here’s my justification: I love the look and quality of vintage Coach bags. For the price, it wasn’t the worst impulse I’ve heeded. I’ve also been looking to add a red bag to my collection, and although this one is slightly too small for everyday wear (at least when I’m working), it will be a nice stop-gap. Bonus points for being a cross-body bag, which will be very handy when I have my hands full with the baby.

Ferragamo Flavia Slingback Pumps ($125, consignment)

what i bought
Ferragamo Flavia slingback pumps (made in Italy), originally $500

I saved the best for last. Consignment shopping is so unpredictable. I tend to visit the same store regularly – at least once a month. I probably buy something every second visit, but the true finds are fewer and farther between. But, oh boy – are they ever worth the extra trips in between! As soon as I clapped eyes on this pair of lipstick-red Ferragamo Flavia pumps, my heart skipped a beat. The consignment gods smiled on me, and they turned out to be the right size. [This made up for the fact that not one but two gorgeous pairs of Stuart Weitzman shoes – including one on the clearance rack at $13 – were not my size.] Judging by the sole, they were probably worn once, or at most twice. I got them for more than 75% off retail – and they are still selling in stores.

what i bought
Ferragamo Flavia pumps

You guys know my love of red shoes, and these ones have become my pride and joy. I can now replace my slightly-too-small Liz Claiborne round-toe red slingbacks with a newer, better (made in Italy) version. Happy birthday to me, indeed!


Remix Challenge: week 50

Wherein I bid adieu to the Remix Challenge…

It’s been a fun ride, hasn’t it?

I probably should have ended the Remix Challenge last week, but I like round numbers. I also decided it would be fun to do exactly what I “threatened” a while back: have an entire week of outfits based on the same piece of clothing – to wit, my grey maxi dress. Hey, it still fits at least!

Sunday, August 25, 2013: baby shower

remix challenge
Dress, Winners; top, Nougat (consignment)

A couple of my dear friends threw me a baby shower on Sunday, where I got to enjoy some much-needed “girl time”, not to mention delicious goodies from Duchess Bakery and Crave Cupcakes. Baby names (of the celebrity and non variety) were a hot topic, but I managed to resist the urge to spill the beans on baby J’s future moniker. Only 2 more weeks to keep a secret …

Monday, August 26, 2013: thrifting

remix challenge
Dress, Winners; jacket, Joe Fresh (consignment); shoes, Taryn Rose; necklace, Tiffany

My first day of official holidays (before the actual maternity leave kicks in next week) was a rainy one … of course. So I threw on a jacket to go a-thrifting with my mom and Luka. Value Village happened to have a “50% off everything” sale, which meant the crowds were crazy – even at 9 in the morning. Naturally, as luck would have it, I found absolutely nothing. Ditto at Goodwill, which also seems to have jacked up its prices on certain things. Hmmm…

remix challenge
Manicure: Chanel Bel Argus

Tuesday, August 27, 2013: errands

remix challenge
Dress, Winners; jacket, Tommy Hilfiger Factory; scarf, Winners; shoes, Ferragamo

A simple dress + scarf combo, livened up by a purple/aqua colour scheme.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013: more errands

remix challenge
Dress, Winners; shirt, consignment; necklace, Tiffany; shoes, Gossip; bag, Coach (vintage)

This was my lame attempt at looking somewhat stylish at this late stage of pregnancy. A pop of red always helps, right?

Thursday, August 29, 2013: doctor’s appointment & shopping

remix challenge
Dress, Winners; cardigan, J. Crew (consignment); necklace, Banana Republic; shoes, Stuart Weitzman

Are you bored yet?

remix challenge
Manicure: Miami Peach

Seriously though, a simple, plain, solid colour dress in a neutral of your choice (I’m personally partial to black or grey) will always serve you well. A friend of mine is planning to wear a black dress (the same one) for a month straight – with different accessories each day – and see if people notice. Whether they do or not, I am convinced that she will be able to easily come up with 30 different outfits – and then some.

And that’s a wrap, folks! Have you enjoyed the Remix Challenge? I hope it has inspired you to look at your own wardrobes with a fresh perspective, and have fun dressing every day. Life’s too short to wear the same outfits all the time – even if you do wear the same things time and time again. They’re called “classics” for a reason, after all.