Saturday, March 22, 2014

getting out of the clothing rut

For the last few months, I've been pretty bored with shopping and getting dressed as a whole. Winter was really starting to wear me down, school was giving me enough anxiety as it is, and the thought of having to figure out a new way to wear something I've worn a hundred times already was just not appealing. I didn't spend a lot of money last month because I just didn't go shopping, and wasn't interested in it. I was a little bored with the stores I shop at a lot, and felt like I was being overly picky about the items I wanted.

Something has changed a bit here in March. The weather is slowly starting to be a bit nicer (although we all know we are going to have at least one more large snow storm!), school has a bit more structure to it (a day in the life post coming soon), and the new clothing selections + sales have left me a bit more motivated to not only find a few new cute pieces to buy, but also to find new ways to mix and match the pieces I already own and love. 

I started the month with a huge Zara order. I saw Dotty's post about this blazer she got last month (see it on her here), and because I always think she just looks so cool and put together, I felt that I may as well give it a try. And then give this blazer a try...and this shirt...and this top...and a bunch of other pieces. I ended up putting in a $400 order! I knew since they offer free returns, I really could just order anything that looked interesting and be able to return it without any consequences. I was trying to step a little outside of my narrow picky boundaries, and although I ended up returning everything, it was a fun experience to try out styles that I wouldn't usually.

j.crew schoolboy blazer black

Around that same time, Caroline told me that the J.Crew schoolboy blazer, which I own and loooooooove in navy, was on major sale in black. As Kimmie pointed out, I do already own a dark blazer, so maybe owning a very similar one in a slightly different color doesn't make much sense. I would usually agree, as Kimmie and I have pretty similar views on our own closets and purchases, but I knew that this would be a purchase I would wear for years and years to come, both in my professional and personal life. I can dress it up with black pants to make a suit, with colored pants or skirt for school, or with jeans on the weekend. I really appreciate that the J.Crew blazers come in tall sizes, as they are a bit broader in the shoulder and have longer sleeves, which makes all the difference for me. I ended up getting it for just $100, which is almost 50% off the asking retail price. While very similar to something I already own, I know that this is one purchase that will still be in my closet in 10+ years from now. So while I may not have stepped outside my boundaries, and it may well be a pretty "boring" purchase, it's one that I was still really excited about.

le tote

I've wanted to try a "box" service for a while now, and while I was waiting to test out StitchFix, le tote reached out to see if I wanted to try their service. The jist is that for $50 a month, you can get unlimited amount of "totes" of their clothes. You get~ 5 pieces per tote from items that you said you like, and then you get to keep them as long as you want. So you can get a tote, decide you like none of it, and have a new tote on your front step with 5 new pieces in around 4 days (they offer free 2 day return shipping and free 2 day shipping back to you). If you decide you love something, you can wear it for a bit and then return the tote, or you can buy any of the pieces for a discounted rate. In my first tote, I received a dress (that unfortunately is a bit tight on me), 2 tops, a necklace, and a ring. I think I'm going to wear both the tops for a test run, and possibly end up buying the necklace. I will be test driving this service for the next 6 months, and will be sure to do a more thorough review once I have a few more months experience. I'm excited to try out types of clothing from brand I wouldn't usually, as I think it'll introduce me to shapes and styles I wouldn't usually try off the rack. If you are interested, you can sign up here through my referral link (I would earn a $25 credit) or here without it!

I was tempted by a bit of late night shopping last night, and ordered a few pieces from J.Crew Factory to try on. I was initially tempted to order anything because of this dress. I like that it has sleeves that appear to be real t-shirt sleeves (instead of the stupid cap sleeves), the pattern is adorable, and I like that it could be a simple "throw on and go" kind of dress, but can also be worn with a variety of my cardigans and blazers. Gigi highly recommended it in her review here, so with a 30% sale going on (still is for all new arrivals!), I decided I wanted to at least try it on. I also added this top to my order as I've been searching for a white simple blouse for a while - I think it's going to be very versatile for school clothes on it's own and under other pieces. Although there were not specific codes mentioned on the website, I checked out the retail me not coupons just to see if any of them would work. There was a 25% off $125+ orders, so I added this cardigan that I had been eyeing up to my cart to see if it would work, and it did! It ended up making the cardigan "free", so I was really excited that it worked!

the limited dot pencil skirt

While I tried to stay away from mall shopping for a while, The Limited was having a sale today (until 2PM if you want to put in a quick order!) where everything full priced was 50% off, and all sale items were 40% off. My girlfriend Caitlin, who has a very similar build to my own (perfect for when we want to borrow each others clothes!), has wanted to try my favorite pants for a while, so we went on an early morning shopping trip. She ended up loving the pants, and bought them in both black and tan. I also ended up purchasing them in black. I grab for my black pencil pants all the time, so having a second pair to switch it up with will be great (especially when I don't have enough time to do laundry.....shh, don't tell anyone). I also fell in love with this skirt - I really believe that The Limited's strength is in their pants and skirts, and this skirt proves that. It's thick enough so no lumps show through, its long enough to be professional, and comes in a fun yet still appropriate pattern. I can't wait for all of the snow to be officially gone so I can wear it.

So in the end, I didn't stray too far away from what I know I love and will wear, but I do feel a bit more excited about everything. A few pieces that will be long-time staples, with a few more fun pieces mixed in to keep it exciting. I'm really glad that I have a seasonal budget because it means that some months I go with buying very little, but then can splurge a bit more during the times I find items I really want.