Month: October 2013

What I Bought: October

This is my first monthly shopping recap since setting myself a monthly clothing-budget of $175 (I thought about doing a post about it, but decided it would have been too boring to write, much less read); so how did I do? Well, better than in previous months, that’s for sure. In absolute numbers, I went over budget (7 items, $267). However, after accounting for a consignment sale haul of $110 this month, my “out of pocket” cost was actually $157. I’m counting that as a win!

Technically, I could roll the unspent money from this month into next month’s budget, but I would rather add it to my personal “slush fund” instead. With Christmas coming up (not to mention January sales around the corner), I have a feeling there will be some expensive months ahead, and I want to be prepared. As it currently stands, I have about $1,900 in the slush fund, which should prove to be a nice cushion (not that I plan to blow it all, people!).

Here are this month’s purchases:

Kate Spade Gold Coast Elizabeth bag ($80, Kijiji)

what i bought
Kate Spade Gold Coast Elizabeth bag, originally $475

For those keeping track, this makes for the 3rd 4th bag bought in as many months. I want to make note of the fact that I have also sold 3 bags during that time, which means that my collection hasn’t really grown, just changed. I ended up picking this bag for a variety of reasons. As I mentioned in a previous Weekend Shortlist, I’m loving the quilted style right now, which reminds me of my Chanel flap without being a slavish copy. I haven’t been able to find the larger Kate Spade quilted totes for a good price, so when this bag popped up on Kijiji, I took it as a sign. Plus, I was intrigued by the colour; although I already have a purple bag in my collection, I don’t wear it frequently because of the more delicate material (embossed suede), and this Kate Spade seemed more durable and “sensible”. And, of course, I liked the price. The bag is in impeccable condition, but cost me only 20% of the retail price. That’s the kind of “investment” I like.

Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Coloured Denim Skinny Pants ($40, consignment)

what i bought
NYDJ pants (made in U.S.A.), originally $150+

Guys, I am super excited about this purchase! So much so that I am devoting a whole post to it. Stay tuned!

Z Spoke Twist Handle bag ($36, consignment)

what i bought
Z Spoke Twist Handle bag (made in China), originally $475

So, um, apparently, I was not done buying bags just yet. I actually hemmed and hawed over this purchase more than my usual amount. I liked a lot of the design features, and the colour was right up my alley – I’ve been slowly adding more pink accents to my wardrobe. On the other hand, I wasn’t sold on the dangly, floppy leather bits – and it didn’t help that my mother called them “bunny ears”. Ultimately, the bargain-collector in me won: under $40 for a leather bag? I just couldn’t not … know what I mean?

Elie Tahari Print Top ($23, consignment)

what i bought
Elie Tahari silk top (made in China), originally $175+

One of the categories that has seen a lot of turn-over, as part of my closet de-cluttering project, is tops/blouses. Since I tend to gravitate towards prints and patterns over solid colours in this category, tops tend to be things I tire of more easily. Most of my existing tops are at least 2-4 years old, and quite a few are starting to seem “tired” and “dated” to me. I’ve been working on replacing purged tops with more solid colour ones, but the occasional print still makes the cut – like this one. I like that it’s a slightly less literal take on my perennial obsession (florals), and feels a bit more “grown-up”. Plus, it can be easily dressed up (paired with a pencil skirt, for example) or down (paired with jeans). The fact that it’s 95% silk is a nice bonus, from a wearability perspective.

Coach Stackable Ring ($58)

what i bought
Coach Stone Stacking ring (made in China?)

Stackable “Love” Ring ($4, Simons)

what i bought
Simons stackable ring (made in China), originally $6

Impulse buy time! I have no excuses – it was just too cute.

J. Crew Factory Necklace ($27, J. Crew Factory)

what i bought
J. Crew Factory necklace (made in China), originally $57

I went to the J. Crew Factory store during one of their 50% off events, looking for something else – natch – and this somehow followed me to the till. I am innocent, I tell you!

How did you do this month?

Manicure of the Week: Chanel Cosmic

For Fashion’s Night Out 2013, Chanel again released a couple of limited edition polishes: Cosmic and Magic. Thanks to my awesome Chanel sales associate at Holt Renfrew, I was able to get my hands on both, even though they were only available in Toronto. As a Chanel polish collector, I’m glad I did. As polish fan … I’m a little more “meh”.

First of all, Magic is very, very similar to Chanel Blue Rebel, released in conjunction with FNO 2011. I’m very disappointed that Chanel would, essentially, copy itself – especially a colour that is still available in Canada. I’m still trying to decide whether I want to keep Magic or not. Moving on, Cosmic seemed a lot more promising in the bottle: an inky black creme sparkling with silver micro-glitter.

Chanel Cosmic
Chanel Cosmic

It turns out that Cosmic is actually more of a creme-jelly hybrid and, on the nail, the glitter is far less apparent than in the bottle. This is a complaint I have with a lot of similar dark polishes – the glitter seems to “sink” and disappear once applied on the nail.

Chanel Cosmic
Chanel Cosmic – sunlight

Application is fine; two coats offer good coverage. I’m not sure if three coats would up the sparkliness, but it may be worth a try. Since I don’t own another Chanel black polish (like Black Satin or Noir Ceramic), I’m happy that I got to add Cosmic to my collection. With that said, I wouldn’t call it a “must have” for non-collectors. If you’re in the market for a good black creme polish (no glitter), I highly recommend A England Camelot or Gosh Nero.

For my inspired outfit, I decided to go the literal route: all black with a hint of sparkle.

Chanel Cosmic
Skirt, Zara (thrifted); tank, Winners; jacket, Theory (consignment); shoes, Jimmy Choo (thrifted); bag, Chanel (consignment)

As much as I’m still getting used to my post-baby body, showing off a bit of leg is an easy way to feel more confident.

Chanel Cosmic

With a knee-length hemline, this would be a great outfit for an after-hours work function. The sequin tank adds a little bit of glam without being over-the-top. Since it’s ever so slightly sheer, I would add a black tank top underneath if I were to wear it in a work-related setting.

Chanel Cosmic

Chanel Cosmic

Chanel Cosmic
Necklaces – Tiffany

What do you think of Chanel Cosmic?

The Weekend Shortlist

Happy Friday, everyone! Here are my picks for this week’s shortlist.

Dooney & Bourke Florentine Satchel

weekend shortlist
Dooney & Bourke satchel

As a confirmed bag-lover, there is rarely a week that goes by when I don’t come across a new bag to lust after. So while it’s hardly surprising that I’m including yet another bag in one of my shortlists, this one is actually quite a bit different from my usual style. I’m not a particular Dooney & Bourke fan, but something about this bag immediately caught my eye – perhaps a combination of the plain, slightly masculine design and gorgeous tan leather. It’s quite preppy, isn’t it? I want to pair it with something plaid and thick, coloured-wool tights. I won’t, because the bag costs $400+ and that’s just not in my budget right now … but I will definitely keep an eye out for it and perhaps luck into a good bargain.

J. Crew Punk Floral Blouse

weekend shortlist
J. Crew Punk Floral Blouse

I’m really conflicted about this blouse. When it originally came out, and all the fashionistas went nuts over it, I was, like, “Nope, not jumping on this bandwagon”. I didn’t want to be another style blogger cliche, know what I mean? But the truth is … I still kind of like it. The print speaks to my floral-loving heart (all the better because it’s a bit abstract), and the colour is very tempting for a redhead. So: do I get it, or not? Cliche or not, I do really, really want it. There, I’ve said it. It’s re-selling on eBay right now for between $70 and $100+, which means this one will have to be another “wait (for a better price) and see”.

Baublebar Open Heart Midi Ring

weekend shortlist
Baublebar Heart Midi Ring

I know I’m, like, a million years behind but I have finally discovered Baublebar. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking for affordably-priced costume jewelry. While I love perusing their selection of cute, trendy accessories, I haven’t pulled the trigger yet – mostly because I like being able to see costume jewelry up close and in person before I commit. With that said, this midi ring is tempting me a great deal. I’m still on the fence about the whole “midi ring” (also known as a “knuckle ring” because it sits above the knuckle) trend, but it’s growing on me. What do you think: is this a flash-in-the-pan trend best left to twenty-something hipsters, or worth the investment by a thirty-something “square”?

J. Crew Factory Sylvia Wedges

weekend shortlist
J. Crew Factory Sylvia Wedges

As a I mentioned in a previous week’s post, I’m currently loving the colour burgundy. I want to buy e.v.er.r.y.t.h.i.n.g burgundy, including these patent leather wedges. Think of them paired with burgundy tights – love! During a recent sale, they were marked down to $70 on the J. Crew Factory website (couldn’t find them in the store), which was not a bad price. Still, I cheaped out. I don’t need need them, and I do need other things (like a pair of sturdy winter boots), so I did the responsible thing and decided to wait and see if I could – just maybe – find them cheaper. I’m probably going to regret this decision.

Carven Pink Wool Coat

weekend shortlist
edit

OK, clearly we have arrived at the “fantasy” portion of this shortlist. I know this Carven wool coat looks a little bit like a bathrobe (a gorgeous, most luxurious bathrobe), but I can’t help being smitten by it. It’s a coat embodiment of the jolie laide ideal – so wrong it’s totally right. It probably costs a million bucks (I’m approximating), and would garner me strange looks at the grocery store but I would wear it absolutely everywhere anyway.

I also like this drool-worthy skirt suit version:

weekend shortlist
Carven Wool Suit

Have a great weekend!