Spring budget

Spring 2018 wardrobe additions — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Madewell flannel ex-boyfriend shirt (via Poshmark; seen here): $30 (retailed for $82)
Madewell Palisade button-front midi skirt (seen here): $78 (originally $98)
Amour Vert Kim dress (seen here): $110.50 (originally $138)
Amour Vert Salome top (seen here): $78.50 (originally $98)
Everlane kick crop jeans (review here; seen here, here, and here): $78
Everlane slim classic French terry crew (review here): $40
Everlane linen scoopneck tee: $35
Grana pima lindis wool wrap cardigan: $89
Grana French linen A-line dress: $79
Earth Ibiza perforated sandals (c/o; seen here and here)
Earth Tierra sandals (c/o; seen here)

Spring 2018 Total = $418 ($618 - $32 Everlane credit - $168 Grana credit)

$500 (quarterly budget) - $418 ($383 March + $0 April + $35 May) = $82 left over

After shopping lightly in the winter months, I purchased quite a few new items during the spring (and summer is already off to a spendy start thanks to Memorial Day sales, which you can read more about at the bottom of this post!). I managed to not go over my quarterly budget thanks to store credit at Everlane and Grana. I decided not to roll over the amount that I left unspent at the end of winter, and I don't think I will roll over what's left from spring, either. I'm glad I can stay under my self-imposed budget! I still have a ton of money earned from Poshmark sales that I can dip into if needed.

These past few months, I tended to buy things in multiples of two...can you tell? I got two things from Madewell, two from Amour Vert, two from Grana... I bought four items from Everlane but only kept three. Kinda weird how that worked out! Read on for the details on what I ended up keeping, what I tried and returned, what I recently received but am still deciding on, and what I recently ordered. It's a long one!

What I kept: 

  • Madewell flannel classic ex-boyfriend shirt in Akiva plaid (via Poshmark): I snagged this shirt in a size small when the seller put it on sale at the end of February. It's so dreamy! Madewell's thick flannel shirts are the best. I highly recommend this one if you find it secondhand (it's from a few seasons ago and no longer available).
  • Madewell Palisade button-front midi skirt (available at Nordstrom): I ordered this during a promo for Madewell Insiders back in March. I debated a while between this rust color and the indigo (chambray-like) color. I decided to be daring (for me, lol) and order the rust in my usual size 0. I surprisingly don't mind the length on me! It's slightly longer than my other midi skirt. The waist fits a bit tight when I tuck in tops, but it's not unbearable.
  • Amour Vert Kim dress (on sale!): I really only bought this dress because of the name, but I was also intrigued by the wrap and tie in front. I purchased the anthracite color in size small just so it wasn't too tight, and wow—it's basically my new favorite dress! It's so soft, and the wrap/tie in front is so flattering and camouflages my belly pooch. Highly recommend this, especially now that it's on sale!
  • Amour Vert Salome top: I mainly placed an order at Amour Vert for this top in particular, but the dress above ended up being my favorite from the order! I also got this top in anthracite but opted for a size XS, which is my usual size. It fits well, almost a little big. The fabric is soft and substantial (same fabric as the dress), so it's more weighted and less floaty over the body.
  • Everlane kick crop jeans: I was excited to see Everlane offer a new denim silhouette! I ordered the kick crop jeans in bone in my skinny jean size (25). At first they fit snug, but now they almost fit big, especially in the front around the zipper. I'm not a fan of the extra fabric. Mine also unravel a considerable amount every time they're washed, which is kind of a bummer, but I'm probably going to end up cutting them an inch anyway! You can read more in my review.
  • Everlane slim classic French terry crew: I'm slowly trying to upgrade my loungewear, and this basic sweatshirt from Everlane is a great starting place. I love the bone color; it's not harsh at all against my skin. I ordered it in a size small for a little extra arm length in case of shrinkage but I love the cozy feel of the larger size, too. I've worn this a ton on the weekends and even once to work when I wanted to feel particularly comfortable.
  • Everlane linen scoopneck tee: I love the heather grey scoopneck linen tee I purchased last year, so when Everlane released new colors I jumped on them! I'm really into the green trend going on right now, so I bought it in the surplus color in size XS. I wore it the day after I got it, so yep, it's another winner! :)
  • Grana pima lindis wool wrap cardigan: I used some of my Grana credit to pick up this cozy wrap cardigan. I picked the heather grey color in size XS. I plan to wear it over tees and tanks on cooler summer days (the arms are loose and breezy so I won't be too warm). I think it will also be worn a lot in the cooler months under long-sleeved tees.
  • Grana French linen A-line dress: What can I say? It's a linen dress! And it's green! This purchase was relatively impractical since I can't wear it to work, but I used credit so I don't feel so bad about it. ;) It's not my favorite cut (it doesn't cover bra straps at all pretty much), but I decided to own it and wear it with a black bra since it peeks out. The shape is perfect for when I do a lot of eating, and I love the length; it balances the A-line shape nicely. The major downside, of course, is that it's linen and wrinkles very easily. I don't let it bother me. I also got this dress in a size XS.
  • Earth Ibiza perforated sandals (c/o): I worked on a couple of outfit posts in collaboration with Earth again this spring and picked two pairs of sandals. The amber-colored Ibiza slide sandals were a surprising favorite! They're extremely comfortable and go with everything. I got them in my usual size 7, but I think a size 6.5 would have worked, too (they can sometimes feel loose when I'm walking).
  • Earth Tierra sandals (c/o): The multicolored Tierra sandals were my other sandal choice. These lean on the dressy side compared to the Ibiza sandals but are, of course, super comfortable and easy to wear. I also got these in size 7.

What I tried and returned: 

  • Amadi flared skirt (via Amour Vert): I ordered this skirt in navy along with the dress and top seen above, but I didn't keep it because it ran very small! I purchased an XS (my usual size in Amour Vert garments) but could barely breathe once I had it on. I decided not to exchange for a larger size because the tag said dry clean only and I'm trying to avoid dry clean only items right now.
  • Everlane linen scoopneck tee in black: I ordered this with the surplus linen tee above, and the black is surprisingly see-through. I think the surplus and heather grey colors I have (the latter purchased last year) are close enough to my skin color that my bra isn't noticeable, but it's super noticeable when I wear black. I don't want to wear a tank or other top under the tee, so back it goes... Wah-wah.

What I'm still deciding on:

  • J.Crew Factory striped cotton-linen midi skirt: I'm trying to beef up my midi skirt collection as we head into summer, so I ordered this skirt in both colors (red stripes and blue stripes) to figure out which one I liked the most. I sized down to XXS due to reviews, and they fit well but I think my usual XS may have worked, too. I have a feeling that it's going to be hard for me to pick one and that this is going to turn into an Instagram stories poll...HA.
  • J.Crew Factory tie-waist midi skirt in gingham: This was definitely an impulse purchase. I'm a fan of gingham in the spring/summer, black gingham is a classic, and it's a midi skirt I could wear to work. I'm just not sure I'll get a whole lot of wear out of it because it is such a statement piece. The tie in front isn't removable, which limits its versatility. I ordered it in my usual size 0 and it fits just right without anything tucked in (yikes, I need to workout!).
  • J.Crew Factory chambray tie-waist pant: Cotton-linen pants are the best in the warmer months (if you have to wear pants to work, of course), and since wide leg pants are trending, I decided to order a pair to try. I'm not 100% sold on them; I think I would need to have them hemmed for them to look right on me. I'm also not used to seeing myself in any pant leg silhouette wider than boyfriend jeans, haha. I ordered these in my usual size 0 and they fit just right.

What is currently en route:

  • Hunter original gloss chelsea boots: I've been holding onto a coupon for a couple of months now, debating between ordering the packable tour boots in green (I have them in yellow and WILL buy them in green someday) or a pair of short chelsea boots for the warmer months. After what was probably my most-answered (and closest) Instagram stories poll thus far, I finally decided on the glossy chelsea boots in navy, though I went back and forth between the glossy and matte versions for way longer than I'd like to admit! I ordered them in size 7, which is my normal shoe size and the size I have in my yellow boots. The yellow boots are a bit roomy so I hope these fit more true to size. We've been having such a rainy/stormy spring and it will be nice to have a pair of short boots, but you know that the rain and storms will stop as soon as my boots arrive haha!
  • J.Crew Factory open-front sweater blazer: I'm always looking for work-appropriate layers, and this sweater blazer got rave reviews. I ordered the heather oatmeal color in my usual XS, and then I realized that I already have a beige blazer (the linen blazer I purchased last year from J.Crew Factory), but I think they are different enough that it won't matter if I end up loving this one.
  • J.Crew new lightweight sweater blazer: Can you tell I'm all about the sweater blazers? It doesn't seem right considering we're going into the hottest months of the year, but the A/C at my work is fierce and these will be very appreciated! J.Crew's most recent version is made of a cotton blend, so it's lighter than their fall/winter version. I ordered it in heather grey, size XXS after studying the reviews. Really hoping it fits!
  • J.Crew linen wrapped cardigan sweater: I'm kinda into the wrap silhouette right now, so I ordered this cardigan in "ridge khaki", size XS. (Though I think the "dark seaweed" color is gorgeous!) I think it will make a perfect summer-weight cardigan over tank tops and pair especially well with midi skirts, high-rise jeans, and even dresses. I'm kind of worried that it will stretch out with wear like most linen tends to do, which is why I stuck with my usual size. Fingers crossed! :)

Winter budget

Winter 2018 wardrobe additions — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Everlane modern boyfriend jean (seen here and here): $68
Grana cashmere volume sweater (sold out; seen here, here, and here): $43 (originally $115)
Madewell 10" high-rise skinny jeans: tulip-hem edition (seen here): $103 (originally $128)

+ $8 to patch my Madewell legging jeans

Winter (January/February) Total = $11 ($222 - $68 Everlane credit - $43 Grana credit - $100 Madewell gift card)

$500 (quarterly budget) - $206.50 (December) - $11 (January/February) = $282.50 left over

In a bizarre twist of events, I didn't even spend half of the budget I allotted for myself the past three months. I would like to attribute that to the fact that I downloaded Mint and have been watching my spending like a hawk, but I haven't really been watching my spending, LOL. It feels good to realize that I don't need to be shopping nonstop. I'm not feeling terribly satisfied with my wardrobe right now since it's the end of winter and I'm tired of my clothes, but I'm also being pickier than usual about what I add, and that's really why I haven't bought a whole lot. I'm not mad about it! ;)

I'm not sure yet if I will roll that leftover amount to my spring budget, but I have three months to decide. I guess I'll have to see if I find over $700 worth of items to add in the next couple of months, haha. Doubtful, but never say never. I also made over $200 selling items on Poshmark since the end of December, so I have that to play with, too!

As you'll be able to tell in the detailed recap below, I've been shopping mostly at Everlane these days. Oops! I'm going to try to branch out more in the spring... :) I'm still holding firm to my wardrobe plan for the year and hoping I can cross some items off when more spring merchandise is released!

What I kept:

  • Everlane modern boyfriend jean: When I saw the light blue wash teased on their social media, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a pair! It was the perfect opportunity to try their modern boyfriend jeans, and I'm addicted. I love these jeans so much. They're extremely comfortable compared to my black skinny jeans. I ended up sizing down to 24, and while it's still a bit roomy in the waist, they don't fall off without a belt. The legs are also still loose but don't look sloppy. I'm very tempted to order these in another color...probably the medium wash. Highly recommend!
  • Grana cashmere volume sweater (sold out): I placed a big order with a ton of shirts for my boyfriend (they're his favorite) during Grana's No-Markup sale that started in mid-December and included this sweater for myself. It took forever for my order to arrive; it had been almost a month since I placed my order when it finally arrived. It was mostly due to the fact that it took them over a week to ship it. Gah! I'm probably not ever going to pick the slow shipping ever again, lol. Anyway, I adore my sweater, which is pretty obvious since I've already featured it here three times! It's black and attracts all the cat hair, as expected, but I still enjoy wearing it!
  • Madewell 10" high-rise skinny jeans: tulip-hem edition: I received a gift card to Madewell for Christmas and decided to use it on a new pair of jeans. At the time I ordered these, I was so over all of my jeans! These were backordered and delayed an extra week but I received them at the beginning of February. I actually was surprised when I got them because they seemed so different in person. They are definitely not as dark as they appear in the stock photo above. I decided to hang onto them because they're on the lighter end of the spectrum, and I don't really have any other washes like this one in my collection already. I love the hem detail, but I'm not super crazy about the whiskering. I must say that these jeans fit like a dream! I ordered my usual 25 (in the short inseam, which are now unavailable, unfortunately) and they fit perfectly. Their new "Magic Pockets" really suck me in!

What I tried and returned:

  • Everlane 'Day' heel in velvet (sold out): I ordered these in light grey in the Choose What You Pay sale that started at the end of December. I had such high hopes, but they were just slightly too large in my usual size 7. The back of the heel kept slipping off when I walked around my living room. I'd like to try them again some day in size 6.5. I also wasn't 100% sure about the light grey; I worried they wouldn't get worn that much.
  • Everlane cotton box-cut tee: I ordered this tee, which I already own in white (and love), in another color to get free shipping with the 'Day' heel. I ended up returning it because the color I received was "rhubarb" (muted red, almost pink) while the color shown in the product photos (and on my packing slip) was a true red. (I noticed that the link to the product says "rhubarb" but the product still has "red" listed...) Ah well. I didn't even try it on but I ordered it in my usual XS.

What is currently en route:

  • Everlane kick crop jean: Oops, I did it again. ;) I got really excited about these when I saw them because they're a different style but not super flared. I bought these in bone, so they will work perfectly in the spring and summer, and I don't think the frayed ends will be as obvious so I'm hoping they will be work-appropriate. I got size 25 since that's the size I took in the skinny jean and my fingers are crossed!
  • Everlane slim classic French terry crew: I've been planning to buy an ivory sweatshirt for a while now, so I took the plunge and finally ordered the famous French terry crew to get free shipping with the kick crop jean (can you tell I hate paying for shipping?). I debated a lot between the slim classic version and their newly-released lightweight version but opted for the slim classic after studying the product photos/videos and the garment measurements for each. (It seems like the lightweight version runs one size larger than the slim classic.) I decided to size up to a small after looking at the garment measurements. I hope it fits me the way I want! BUT, if it is slightly too large, I have some wiggle room to wash/dry it and hope for some shrinkage.

December budget & year in review

December 2017 wardrobe additions — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Abercrombie & Fitch packable down puffer (seen here): $62.50 (originally $120)
Elizabeth & Clarke "The Unstainable Laurent": $30 (originally $60)
Madewell pink flannel Sunday shirt: $66 (originally $88)
J.Crew Factory drapey velvet peplum tank top (seen here): $26.50 (originally $60)
J.Crew Factory plaid blanket scarf (seen here): $21 (originally $60)
Amour Vert mini druzy studs (seen here): $33.50 (originally $48)

December Total = $206.50 ($239.50 - $33 earned from Poshmark)

$500 (quarterly budget) - $206.50 (December) = $293.50 left for January and February

It's my last post of 2017...! And of course, it's a look at how much I spent on myself this month... Try as I might, December sales have historically been difficult for me to get through without buying new things for myself, haha. ;) At least I still have some of my budget left for January and February (though I have been toying with the idea of another shopping freeze...but I've already bought some things that I won't get until January, ha).

This time around, I've formatted this post with bullet points about each item instead of my usual paragraph style so you can read what you care about (or skip to the end). Though, each bullet point seemed to turn into a paragraph! Haha. I've also recapped my shopping for the past year and mentioned how I'm going to do these posts starting next year! :)

  • Abercrombie & Fitch packable down puffer: I purchased this the day before we flew to Mexico so I could have a warm layer when going from/back home without having a huge coat to lug around. It came with a bag to pack it in and that was super helpful when traveling. I went in store to try it on and ended up buying a size small to comfortably layer sweaters underneath. The fit is perfect—not too boxy, not too fitted. It's also pretty warm for how thin it is. I've been throwing it on a lot now that we're back home. I only wish the burgundy had been in stock at my store! (FYI: I know that the link doesn't go to the exact product. Hoping it is fixed soon!)
  • Elizabeth & Clarke "The Unstainable Laurent": AJ introduced me to this brand! She shared their Cyber Monday sale, and I was intrigued enough by their stain-resistant fabrics to give a couple of tops a try. I ordered this striped shirt on a whim but ended up loving it more than the other top I ordered ("The Unstainable Davis"). The Davis I ordered in a size 0 and it fit me kind of strangely; I almost needed a size down, but I wasn't sure how it would look/fit on my broad shoulders. I ordered the Laurent in a size 2, expecting it to fit big since the Davis was kind of big, and it fits me perfectly. My favorite feature (other than the fabric, which has yet to be put to the test) is the hidden snap buttons at the bust to keep the regular buttons from pulling. GENIUS!
  • Madewell pink flannel Sunday shirt (currently sold out but check for popbacks): Another flannel shirt, what can I say? ;) This one is thick and cozy! The website and reviews said it ran large, so I stuck with my usual size XS (instead of size small like I have been buying in their flannel shirts since they shrink a little bit). It does fit a bit oversized but I think I would have liked the extra room at the shoulders in the bigger size. Fingers crossed it doesn't shrink when washed! This shirt has hidden side pockets. Another amazing feature that I think all shirts should have! Also, I think the color is more pink and less coral in person.
  • J.Crew Factory drapey velvet peplum tank top: This was definitely an impulse purchase. For 60% off on Cyber Monday, it was hard to resist! I wanted to add some more velvet to my closet, and I love the red berry color of this top. (It seems more red than burgundy in person.) I got it in a size down from my usual (00 instead of 0) because there was only one review at the time I ordered it, but it's just slightly tight in the bust. I think size 0 would have been fine, just boxier in the torso.
  • J.Crew Factory plaid blanket scarf: This dark tartan scarf has been on my wishlist since I saw it a couple of months ago. I finally ordered it during an excellent sale and they sent me the wrong color. CS ordered a replacement for me, but it ended up being cancelled for being out of stock. A few days later, still moping about losing out on this scarf, I talked to J.Crew's CS on Twitter... and they found the scarf for me in a warehouse and overnighted it! Seriously, if you ever have an issue or a question, ask their CS on Twitter. I've never had a bad experience with them! Now I'm happy and warm in this giant—and gorgeous—blanket scarf.
  • Amour Vert mini druzy studs: I've had my eyes on these for a long time, and they sent me a coupon a couple of weeks ago that made it an easy purchase. I wear my simple Madewell studs so often that I was constantly wishing I had another pair to mix things up. These are perfect! I debated between the mini size (6 mm in diameter) and the regular size (8 mm), but I ended up with the mini size so they didn't look too big on my tiny earlobes. My only qualm is that the gold studs don't look like stone. They look like metal plating over the whole stud. Maybe it's supposed to look like that? Anyway, I'm still very much a fan of them!

I ordered a couple of items from Everlane, one of which was included in their recent Choose What You Pay sale. I also picked up something for myself (and lots of things for my boyfriend) in Grana's No-Markup Sale when it started over two weeks ago but still haven't received my package. Hopefully it will arrive soon... Those items will be added to the next budget post if they're keepers! And, of course, I'll probably do some more shopping next month. I have no planned purchases but that's never stopped me from picking up something new in the past. ;)

I've recently been going through my closet and picking out things to list on Poshmark. It's getting harder now that most of my closet is made up of pieces I loved... or loved at one point. It's difficult for me to part with the items I don't love or wear as much anymore because there's a part of my mind that believes the spark can be rekindled (or, you know, the typical "but what if the some future hypothetical moment/event calls for such an item?"). BUT, then I remember that I get money for the things I sell and I can spend that money on new things I love while simultaneously letting my preloved items go to a new home where they can be loved again. 

YEAR IN REVIEW

Since we're at the end of 2017, I thought it'd be interesting to look back at some trends I noticed in my purchases this year. It's mostly just a bunch of stats because I'm a nerd!

  • Total number of items added to my closet: 53 (down from 70 in 2016; see them all here)*
  • Total number of items sold on Poshmark or donated: 30 (27 sold on Poshmark)*
  • Added 2 new coats and 4 new jackets 
  • Quadrupled my number of blazers (from 1 to 4)
  • Added 3 sweaters (2 cashmere sweaters)
  • Added 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of pants
  • Added 3 bags (1 crossbody, 1 tote, 1 backpack)
  • Added 3 new pieces of jewelry (2 necklaces, 1 pair of earrings)
  • Added 2 pre-owned items from Poshmark
  • Added 4 ethically- and sustainably-made items from Amour Vert
  • Splurged on Frye boots, Ferragamo pumps, a Madewell leather tote, Marc Fisher chelsea boots, and an Everlane waffle knit cashmere sweater
  • Added 8 new items from Grana (3 thanks to a collaboration)
  • Added 4 new pairs of shoes thanks to my ongoing collaboration with Earth 
  • Shopping freeze: January 2017!

* These numbers do not include items like workwear, loungewear, undergarments, etc.

I am super happy I was able to stick with most of my style resolutions for 2017 (and beyond). I added 17 fewer items this year than last year—way better than I thought I would do, honestly! It'll be tough to beat this number next year. I also purchased a few new items from ethical/sustainable brands Amour Vert and Everlane when I could. I took another closet inventory this year and the number has remained around 200, so things are looking good! Here's to continuing those resolutions into 2018!

AN UPDATED SCHEDULE

Whew! We're at the end! Thanks for sticking with me through this very long post. I hope you've found it more informative than boring. ;)

There is one more thing: I have decided to change my budget post schedule going into the new year. Since I cut back on the number of posts per month, I've decided to do quarterly budget updates instead of monthly. I don't want to cut down on outfit posts but still want to share other things, and I'd like to save that extra post for something more exciting than a budget update. I also think this makes more sense since I have a quarterly budget instead of a monthly budget. That said, I might do a recap post like this at the end of December next year, but that is still to be determined. In the meantime, see you for the next update at the end of February!