Month: December 2014

14 Favourite Things of 2014

I love symmetry, so the title was a given but, as you know, I bought All The Things this year, which meant that I had to cheat in writing this post. There is no way in hell I could pick just 14 favourite things, and there is no way in hell you’d read a post about 42087 the many things I bought and loved this year. So, I decided to try a different take on “favourite” by looking at some of the most practical (read: most worn) things I bought, as well as some of the best deals of the year. And, of course, I also decided to throw in some statistics.

Get a drink, get comfortable, and let’s re-visit some of the highlights of my year in shopping. Minimalists, avert your eyes.

7 Most Practical Things I Bought This Year

1)      Skinny Jeans

favourite things of 2014
Rachel Roy jeans

Clearly, jeans are about as practical as a clothes purchase can get. I still haven’t found a good pair of straight cut jeans that I can wear with flats and boots, so my skinny jeans are my denim default.

Cost-per-Wear (after approx. 1 year): $0.50

 2)      Camel Wool Coat

favourite things of 2014
MaxMara Camel Coat

I agonized so long over buying my MaxMara camel wool coat, and all I can say now is: LOL. I wear it to work almost every day. I got lucky with the weather this winter being milder than usual, but it is actually a surprisingly warm coat, especially layered over a work blazer. I love it, and it makes me feel like less of a schlub on my commute.

 Cost-per-Wear (after approx. 3 months): $6.26

 3)      Black Cigarette Pants

favourite things of 2014
Banana Republic Sloan Pants

I wear these at least once a week, every week. I’ve tried just about every iteration of black, ankle-cropped slim cut pants out there, and the BR Sloan version works the best for me, hands down. I am looking to add a navy (and maybe grey and olive) pair to my wardrobe this year. I may even – gasp! – pay retail price for it.

Cost-per-Wear (after 4 months): $2.27

 4)      Cognac Sandals

favourite things of 2014
Old Navy Sandals

I actually paid full retail price for my Old Navy cognac sandals because they looked exactly like my ideal pair of Jesus sandals. We’re talking $20 and change, and je ne regrette rien. They were (and will be) a great summer staple.

Cost-per-Wear (after 10 months): $1.00

 5)      Moto Boots

favourite things of 2014
Joseph Seibel Boots

I still covet the Frye Jenna boots, but my Joseph Seibel lookalikes have proven to be a great alternative for a fraction of the price. I wear these all the time, almost as often as my regular knee-high boots.

Cost-per-Wear (after 9 months): $2.67

6)      Converse Sneakers

favourite things of 2014

I’m not much a casual shoe gal, but I’m a Chucks convert. These were my go-tos in the spring and summer as a SAHM.

 Cost-per-Wear (after 8 months): $1.86

 7)      Art Deco Earrings

favourite things of 2014
J. Crew Deco Earrings

I didn’t expect much from these earrings; they cost a whopping $9 (on clearance) after all. But they quickly became my favourite work jewelry piece. They go with everything. Every. Thing. Trust me.

 Cost-per-Wear (after approx. 5 months): $0.38

And 7 Best Deals of the Year

 1)     Manolo Blahnik Pumps

favourite things of 2014
Manolo Blahnik Pumps

White pumps don’t scream “classic wardrobe staple” to me, but these have proven surprisingly versatile; I love pairing them with neutral (read: black) outfits.

Deal-o-meter: 9.9/10 (paid: $14/saved: approx. $736)

2)      Mulberry Fitzrovia Bag

Mulberry Fitzrovia bag

I’ve had decent luck finding good deals on eBay, but this was by far the best one: I paid around 20% of the retail price on a good-as-new designer bag made in England; the quality is evident in its “bones”, no logos required.

Deal-o-meter: 8/10 (paid: $313; saved: approx. $1,187)

3)      Valentino pumps

favourite things of 2014
Valentino Half Bow Pumps

Sometimes, a woman wants to feel like a princess … for under $50. If you shop consignment (and you should!), this is entirely possible.

Deal-o-meter: 9/10 (paid: $57; saved: approx. $643)

4)      Moschino Dress

favourite things of 2014
Moschino Dress

This dress makes me ridiculously happy every time I wear it. The print is just … me. And I found it on the Winners clearance rack, which has been a magical thing this year.

Deal-o-meter: 9/10 (paid: $60; saved: approx. $440)

5)   Yoana Baraschi Blazer

favourite things of 2014
Yoana Baraschi Blazer

Speaking of magical Winners finds, this blazer is as good as they get. I’ve gotten tons of compliments on it at work, and it makes me feel like I look professional without being a snooze fest.

Deal-o-meter: 9/10 (paid: $27; saved: approx. $423)

6)      Anthropologie Deletta Top/Edme & Essylte Skirt

favourite things of 2014
Anthro/Edme & Essylte skirt
favourite things of 2014
Anthropologie/Deletta Top

Ok, I know: I’m cheating. But I found both of these pieces at Value Village, and paid less than $15 in total. Let’s call it a tie. I love these both so, so much.

Deal-o-meter: 9/10 (paid: $14; saved: approx. $201)

7) Frye Melissa Boots

favourite things of 2014
Frye Melissa Boots

Late entry on the list, but so worth the wait. The distressed finish is a little kooky, but fits with my everything-goes (with a side-of-boho) weekend style.

Deal-o-meter: 8.5/10 (paid: $55; saved: approx. $395)

And there you have it: 14(ish) of my favourite things in 2014. If you’re still awake, tell me yours!

2014 Favourite OOTDs

There are some things about the end of the year that I don’t like. New Year’s Eve. New Year’s resolutions. Dreading January. But there are some things I do like. For one thing, it’s the perfect time to make lists. I love making lists. I hope you guys enjoy reading them, because this week, BCRL is all lists, all the time. (And, if not, I hope you’ll be back in 2015!)

First up: favourite OOTDs of 2014. This is aims to be a style blog after all.

2014 favourite outfits
coats ‘n layers

So, I guess I did a lot of layering this year. It’s fun. Cute coats are also fun. This was news to no one but yours truly.

2014 was also The Year I Started Wearing Shorts. Again. (It’s been a couple of decades.) All thanks go to J. Crew 5-inch shorts, which gave me the courage to bare a few (but psychologically potent) inches of upper leg.

(Also: it was a real fun summer. Miss you, boo.)

2014 favourite outfits
shorts stories

Describing my style is always a struggle, because the rhyme and reason of it largely elude me. It’s a little bit (OK, a lot) girly …

2014 favourite outfits
florals, florals, everywhere

… a little bit luxe-boho …

2014 favourite outfits
summer / fall

… a little bit can’t-make-up-my-mind eclectic …

2014 favourite outfits
everything and the kitchen sink

… and it involves lots and lots of dresses. And a billionty rainbows’ worth of colour.

2014 favourite outfits
the pretties

But don’t let those outfits fool you; I also stepped up my casual game this year:

2014 favourite outfits
sweaters + blazers

And, most unexpectedly of all, discovered a minimalist streak:

minimalist ootd; 2014 ootd
the potato sack of glory & my fave cords
minimalist ootd; 2014 ootd
minimalism at work (and play)

To old readers and new: thanks for reading along this year, and see you in 2015!

What I Bought: December

It honestly didn’t feel like I did much shopping in December … though you wouldn’t be able to tell from this post. Let’s get right down to the details (like pulling a band-aid, y’all): 8 items for a total of $256 (original retail $1,345).

vintage leaf pendant
Vintage pendant

I bought this darling pendant at Young Janes in Ottawa on Black Friday. It was $8, and totally worth it.

Odille Rose & Iris Blouse
Odille Rose & Iris Blouse

Quasi-impulse buy time. I was eyeing this blouse on eBay for a few months, and you guys don’t need three guesses to figure out why. I love the print. Unfortunately, by the time it came in the mail, I was in the midst of my style crisis, and this blouse is a good example of something that doesn’t fit in with the look I’m moving toward. I’m sure I’ll still get some wear out of it next summer, but I won’t lie: I do wish I’d held off on buying it.

J. Crew Melody Tassel Necklace
J. Crew Melody Tassel Necklace

I adore this necklace (worn here and here). I have the burgundy colorway, and it’s fantastic.

Theory Dioni Wool Cardigan (in ecru/cream)
Theory Dioni Wool Cardigan (in ecru/cream)

That’s is a terrible photo of this cardigan, but you get the general idea. It’s a slightly more sophisticated take on my Joe Fresh cream cardigan, which I love but which is not wearing that well. So this was a proactive measure, because a cream, open cardigan has become a staple of my wardrobe (go figure). This version was on mega sale at Winners which, considering the price, is ridiculous. It better not disintegrate on me in 6 months.

J. Crew Boy Shirt (Snowcat)
J. Crew Boy Shirt (Snowcat)

I know, I know: kooky animal print. But! It’s black and white, and sort of abstract, which can be sophisticated. Right? Right.

Elie Tahari Linda Blazer
Elie Tahari Linda Blazer

Again, not a great stock photo. This looks less “mall-bought business attire” in person. It’s a relaxed fit, not quite boyfriend but close. It’s got side vents and a leather collar, which give it just a little bit of edge without (hopefully!) going too far. Winners has had a ton of great mid-range designer pieces (think Theory, Elie Tahari, Joie, See by Chloe, etc.) on sale recently, so stop by if you’re in the market for something of that nature. My favourite Winners in Edmonton is the one on Gateway Boulevard.

Silence & Noise Boyfriend Blazer
Silence & Noise Boyfriend Blazer

This is definitely not a work blazer, but it’s so soft and cute, and for $6 I just couldn’t pass it up. I actually ended up buying this at Value Village during the BCRL brunch ‘n shop, which was a blast. (Thanks again to the lovely ladies who came, and made it such a fun afternoon. I’m thinking we might need to start a new tradition.) The same trip also yielded a Theory shift dress for $18 at Red Pony, for which I can’t find a photo online but trust that it’s super cute (and it will turn up on the blog in no time, I’m sure).

Frye Melissa boots
Frye Melissa boots

All I can say is: dreams do come true. I’ve been lusting after Frye boots (the Jenna moto boot, but also the Melissa) all year, but couldn’t bring myself to pay the retail price. When I saw these distressed Melissas at Winners, I couldn’t believe my luck. You’re going to get very sick of them come January, because I’ve been wearing them non-stop.

Linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers as always. Tell me, how was your December shopping?