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!