my extremely belated january 2016 budget

I know February’s more than halfway done and I’m just now getting to my January budget post. Y’all, it’s been crazy the past month. I started my new job (btw it is still crazy) which I love. Unfortunately mom has been ill and we just found out this week that her breast cancer is back. This has been quite the blow for my family, as my mom and I are very close.

Anyway, I don’t think you’d be surprised to hear that I just haven’t had the time or energy (or been in the mood) to blog. And I wasn’t even in the mood to take pictures of my purchases this month. This is a LAZY budget post.

But I just wanted to post my budget post to keep this habit going (one that I’ve kept up since 2013). Also, holy crap, I did a lot of thrifting last month:

Comptoir de cotonniers jacket 4.59
Yoana Barachi jacket 4.59
41hawthorn blouse 3.59
Banana Republic striped cardigan 4.59
Theory thermal top 3.59
French Connection green and white dress 4.59
Talbots lemon skirt 3.59
Timbuk2 bag 2.99
Boden shorts (2 pair) 4
Durham bulls tee 1.50
J crew button-down tunic 4
Brooks Brothers button down 2
Karen Kane maxi dress 3.50
Li’l Bub tee 2.25
Sympli dress 4.59
BCBG floral print dress 6
Oh my gauze top 3
Rough and Tumble small tote 5
St John skirt 3.79
Danskin bottoms 3.79
Llbean cropped sweatpants 2.79
Loft leggings 2.79
L.L.Bean denim blazer 4.59
J. Crew pink skirt 3.59
Michael Stars brown tee 3.59
Karen Kane black lace dress 4.59
St. John jacket $80 (consignment)
J. Crew factory pink cardigan $3.59
Kate spade polka dot wallet $13
Vionic Minna flats $70 – used $ from selling Frye boots
Madewell bag – used gift card at Clothes Mentor
Ted baker dress – used gift card at Clothes Mentor
Lands end dress – used gift card at Clothes Mentor
Lands end green cardigan $4.59
Karen Kane top 3.59
Kate Spade tank top 3.59
Eddie Bauer coat $13
Milly blouse $5
Socks $10 – used $ from selling boots
Express pineapple print portofino top $14 (Poshmark)
Adriano Goldschmied jeans $0 consignment credit
Longchamp wallet black $4
Longchamp wallet $4
Piazza Sempione dress $14
Caslon blazer $2
Mogo bracelet $2

Alright y’all don’t judge me…it was my birthday month

TOTAL: $263.84 … eeeeeeeeeeeeek

Y’all I went a bit overboard last month. But I got so many nice new work clothes so there, I’m justifying it!

first day of work {pineapples for workwear wednesday}

Today was day 3 at my new job at Red Hat in downtown Raleigh! It’s such an amazing, crazy, wonderful place. I’m completely overwhelmed of course–it’s my first time working in a corporate environment for such a large organization. Also, it’s my first time with such a long commute (and I’ve taken the bus for 2 days already, so that might start playing into my WWW outfit posts).

I know it’s Workwear Wednesday, but I wore this outfit for my first day of work on Monday! I love this pineapple print and wanted to add a bit of quirk to my first outfit.

express portofino pineapple shirt, lands end green cardigan, ralph lauren navy slacks, cole haan shoes

express portofino pineapple shirt, lands end green cardigan, ralph lauren navy slacks, cole haan shoes

express portofino pineapple shirt, lands end green cardigan, ralph lauren navy slacks, cole haan shoes

I hope you’re having a good week so far, friends!



Outfit Details:
Top: Express Portofino shirt in pinehapple print, Poshmark for $8+shipping
Pants: Ralph Lauren navy cotton slacks, thrifted
Shoes: Cole Haan wedges, thrifted
Cardigan: Lands End, thrifted
Necklace: Tiffany & co., gift

last day of work workwear wednesday

Today was a bittersweet day. It was my last day at my current job. And starting Monday, I’ll be starting a new job. It was sad to say goodbye to so many good friends, but I’m excited about what this new journey brings.

And of course, I had to wear a cat print top as my outfit in these send-off photos with my friends Annabel and Aviva.

cat print peter pan collar top + misook pants OOTD cat print peter pan collar top + misook pants OOTD

Here’s to embracing challenges but never forgetting good friends! And don’t they look fabulous? 🙂

wear a wrap dress 2 ways {workwear wednesday}

I had a fashion epiphany last week when I wanted to wear my newly thrifted DVF wrap dress but it felt it was a bit too formal for my office. Instead, I wore it with a sweater/sweatshirt on top to make it look more like a skirt! I’m sure people out there (and bloggers) have been doing this for ages but I just discovered this trick and I really like it, especially during the cooler months.

So I guess you can say you can wear this dress 2 ways.

Way 1: “faux skirt”
Diane von Furstenberg leopard wrap dress - Athleta Sweatshirt - Scarf - Frye boots
Way 2: the normal way
Diane von Furstenberg leopard wrap dress - HUE tights - Frye boots Diane von Furstenberg leopard wrap dress - HUE tights - Frye boots

Do you like this look? How do you layer your dresses?

Don’t forget to check out what Justine is wearing today for Workwear Wednesday!

Outfit deets:
Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg modern leopard wrap mini dress, thrifted for $25
Undershirt: Nordstrom, from my mom
Necklace: Melinda Maria
Tights: Hue
Boots: Frye, Amazon on sale
Sweater/Sweatshirt: Athleta, thrifted
Scarf: gift from mom

my worst purchases of 2016

#1:  Brooks Brothers Supima cotton five-pocket jeans, $62 on sale (plus $15 for tailoring) – no longer avail.

I was really excited about these made in the USA jeans. When they arrived I tried them on immediately and they fit well. After wearing once, they got so loose, they almost fell off. Additionally, the indigo dye got over everything. It was super annoying (even though we expect at least a little bit of this). I took them into Brooks Brothers for tailoring, figuring out that they know their products best so they’d tailor them nicely. Well, they did a bad job tailoring (the tailor never even took measurements or made markings on the fabric and the actual sewing is SO messy, as if done my a small child), even though taking in the waist isn’t that difficult. So much so that when I picked up the jeans, the waist was sooo small.

Verdict: I’ve lost a few pounds so the waist fits well and I’m keeping them but I still regret spending $77 on the jeans. I will not be buying Brooks Brothers jeans or using their tailoring services again.

vintage Doncaster blazer, Halogen polka dot shirt, Brooks Brothers jeans, Frye Jackie Rivet short boots

#2: GAP denim jeggings, $13.57 from ThredUp

These pants were a hot mess from the get-go. They were loose and sloppy-looking even though they were new. I washed them over and over again but couldn’t stop the dye from getting all over EVERYTHING, including my hands, shoes, and tops. After wearing them for an hour or two, they became baggy and loose. I’m glad I only paid $13ish for these jeggings because if I had paid the full GAP price, I would have been mad. These pants made me really rethink buying GAP jeans because the quality was so bad.

Verdict: I ended up donating them.

GAP jeggings / image from ThredUp
Photo courtesy of ThredUp

#3: LOFT Dotted Plaid Utility Blouse, $46 – no longer avail.

I loved the print and look of this shirt but it never really fit me well. I was clearly between two sizes. Because of my slightly chubby arms, I had to size up even though my waist is a bit on the slimmer side. So that means it was super loose in the waist area and the sleeves were too long – it just looked not great. I can’t really believe I spent $46 on this shirt. It’s okay but it’s definitely not worth that much.

Verdict: Now that I’ve lost weight the shirt actually looks comically large on me. I plan on consigning it, because I only wore it maybe twice and it’s a nice shirt.

LOFT Dotted Plaid Utility Blouse
Photo courtesy of LOFT

#4: NYDJ Briella Roll-Cuff Jean Short, $28 (on sale at Amazon)

I had such high hopes for these shorts. When I first put them on, they felt really good and looked really good. However, after a few hours on, they got so loose. Then after wearing them once, the stitching on the pockets began to unravel. Everything about these shorts screams “meh” and the quality is not at all what I would expect from NYDJ. I needed them for a trip this summer so I just kept them and wore them all summer (saggy butt and all) but I doubt they still fit now. Also I was disappointed that they’re made in China and not in the US like many of NYDJ’s other products. Thumbs down.

Verdict: I’ll try them again in the spring and see if they’re worth fixing up (I still really like how high-waisted they are). Maybe for $15 I can get them hemmed and get the waist taken in. If not then they will be donated and I won’t be buying any more of the NYDJ not made in the USA stuff.

photo courtesy of Amazon


What do you think? Do you have any regrettable purchases from the last year? Tell us about them in the comments?