Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Shopping Reflections

Most of my time these days is spent on studying, which at least allows for some procrastination (and online shopping). I'll be done by this time next month, which is good, but there is also some trepidation about passing the exam.

The biggest "purchase" this month was that pair of L.L. Bean boots I ordered in March. With that factored in, I'm well over my $250 fashion budget for June. Once I put everything together, though, I'm also under the $1500 budget for the first six months of the year. In a few days, I'll post a separate "progress report" with the calculations and some thoughts about my larger approach to budgeting and shopping, which I'm excited about.

Because I don't intend to worry too much about the month to month budget as long as I'm under the numbers for the year, I'm pretty happy with the amount of shopping I'm doing. I cannot, in good faith, say that I have adhered to the "shopping fast" rules that I set for myself in January, which was probably foreshadowed by my budget post that very first month. Still, I am a much more thoughtful shopper now than I was this time last year, which is a good thing.

It seems that I like pretty things (mostly dresses) too much to be particularly minimalist in how I approach shopping for clothes. I promise that I haven't fully lost touch with the minimalist-ish notions that initially inspired me to start blogging here. I just have to retool my approach, and think a little bit more about "wants" versus "needs." More on that in a few days!

Fashion - (TOTAL: $373.86)
  • Madewell Silk Overlay Cami Dress - $54.36* - It was final sale, which was a risk. The shape looks like something that wouldn't for a more busty figure because of the overlay detail at the chest, but I actually like this. Because the skirt also hangs fairly loose, my figure still looks balanced. It mimics a shift dress shape with surprisingly little of the awkward boob-tent effect that can happen with those. The lining is polyester though, which is not ideal for summer.
  • Ann Taylor Floral Eyelet Dress - $56.55* - I posted about this dress a while ago and snagged it during a particularly good additional percent off sale promotion this month. The regular 6 ended up being the best size for me as the 4 was a bit snug and the fabric doesn't really stretch. 
  • Panache Underwire Sports Bra - $73.95* - I ordered similar items from Wacoal and DKNY and liked this best. It is very expensive for activewear, I know, but I don't think it'd be possible to go that much cheaper and still get something that is both available in my size and prevents unwanted movement during high-impact type cardio. 
  • L.L. Bean Boots with Thinsulate and Goretex - $189.00 - I've been waiting for these for a while, and I'm excited to finally have them even if winter is still months away. They don't run as large as expected, though that might just be my wide feet. 

Beauty - (TOTAL: $11.00)
  • Biore Aqua Rich Sunscreen - $11.00* - Although I quite like the Elta MD one I reviewed recently,  I've also been interested in trying this one because of recommendations that I've seen online. 
*Indicates that price includes estimated California state sales tax. I normally do my shopping in New York, where I'm generally not charged a sales tax because many items are exempt

Linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers again this month! I always have fun seeing how everyone else approached their shopping. 


  1. I have the brown bean boots too! But I got the unlined ones, and they double as my rainboots in the spring/summer here. They're a little tough to break in, but I think one more winter, they'll be suuuper comfortable.

  2. I love the shape of that Madewell dress too! It looks like it would be perfect for those peak-heat weeks during the summer.

    I don't think I was following you in January when you made both of your initial rules/budgeting posts, so I went back and took a look and I really like the approach you took to both. I always keep a private tally of these sorts of things, but posting them publicly seems like it would really help to keep accountable. Have you found that to be true? Maybe after the summer I'll copy you a bit and try out something similar for myself haha :)

  3. They definitely are a little stiffer than I expected them to be! They're probably my first pair of more heavy-duty winter boots. I am excited about how warm and dry my feet will be this winter.

  4. I think that writing things out publicly is helpful, to an extent. When it comes to my budget goals especially, I'm pretty confident that I will stick to it and that writing it out on the blog is helpful. I sometimes think about what my end of month budget post will look like when shopping, though if I really want something, I will probably still get it even if I'm having a spendy month. I have a lot of reasons to keep a careful eye on my budget (including the monthly budget posts), and I'm hoping that I'll achieve my goal of being under for the year.

    Alas, writing out my more minimalist-type shopping goals didn't end up being as helpful because I might need a stronger motivation (the environment? ethical production?). Because my primary goal for looking into minimalism was controlling my budget (and a desire for sometimes expensive things), a budgeting-centric approach is probably more helpful for me. I wonder if there is at least a bit of potential incompatibility between being an extremely budget-conscious person and a minimalist who is trying to pay serious attention to the environment and ethically produced items.

    Regardless, I like to read about other people's approaches to these things on their blogs.

  5. Interesting comment about ethical minimalism vs budget - that incompatibility is something I'm starting to see discussed more often and everyone's approach to dealing with it seems to vary quite a bit with no universal solutions haha! Based on what I've read from you so far, you seem to have a pretty balanced approach to meeting both your wardrobe and budgeting needs though. I have a lot of confidence that's you'll end up under for the year and pleased with the purchases you made.

    I love reading about other people's shopping and budgeting habits too, although I think I'm just at the 'info-gathering' rather than 'blog-post' stage at the moment. It's really interesting to see the different goals and motivations people have for their wardrobes and how long-term life goals can factor in (or not!) to their spending. It gives me a lot of think about, hence why I've been enjoying your blog so much!

  6. Bean boots are such a must have. It's better that you bought them in the summer. When I tried to purchase a pair in the fall, they were already on backorder until April.

  7. How large would you say the LL Bean boots run (half size, quarter size, etc.)? I'm really interested in getting a pair, but I have size 5.5/6 normal width feet, and their smallest size is 6. They're kind of an investment, but I've heard that they last forever. Also do the thinsulate and goretex feel warm enough?

  8. Upon trying it out a bit more (I'm a 7.5 with wide-ish feet, though not enough to get wide sizes in most shoes), I think the ones with Thinsulate and Goretex run large by about a full size, but are a little more narrow than expected. I have the 7 and if I wear really thick socks, the sides of my foot will sometimes feel a bit constricted, but there'd still be a bit of room at the front and back of the shoe.

    Going off your description, I suspect that the 6 in the Thinsulate and Goretex might end up being a bit big for you. If I remember right from reading the reviews on the website, the shearling-lined ones might run the smallest due to having the thickest lining. Browsing the reviews again, I feel like there's a chance the 6 would work, but that design's a bit more expensive.

    I think the Thinsulate boots feel like they'll be pretty warm. These are my first real "winter" boots so I don't have much to compare them too, but it feels like they're warm enough that they'd be uncomfortable to wear in spring or fall. I think the Goretex is intended for water-proofing, and it sounds like it might be overkill for New York because most puddles aren't deep enough to get past the rubber parts of the boot.

  9. Thanks! I'm glad to hear that you've been enjoying my blog :].

  10. Thanks for the super detailed review! I'll look into the shearling ones. It's also possible I might have to look for duck boots from another brand (sad, because LL Bean's quality is the best). Hope you get lots of wear out of your boots this winter!


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