Friday, May 27, 2016

May Shopping Reflections

This has been a whirlwind month! I spent the first half of May on vacation, which was delightful. K and I spent most of the first week in Taiwan, and then we went to Manila, Boracay, and Singapore before returning to Taiwan for a quick stop before home. As soon as I returned to the office, though, I had to hit the ground sprinting on several projects. That was significantly less pleasant, especially when combined with jetlag and a cold. I've recovered now, and things at work will hopefully ease up soon. I have a career (and budget) related life update too, but I'll save that for another time. On to the shopping!

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All of my clothing purchases this month were already ordered when I wrote my last monthly budget post. The silk tees at Grana (referral link: you get 10% off your first order and I get $20 in store credit if you make a purchase) were backordered a few weeks ago, but seem to generally be in stock now. Someone was kind enough to sign up with my referral link after my last monthly budget post - thank you so much!

Next month will likely also involve a few clothing purchases. I own an old linen cardigan from Loft that's one of my only summer-weight cover-ups for the dresses or sleeveless shell and pencil skirt outfits I wear to work in summer, and I'm looking for a few more to mix things up (I'm considering this Lou and Grey one as well as a cotton blend pointelle one). The quality on my old linen cardigan is admittedly not great, though I love it anyway because it is light. I had trouble finding similar items elsewhere for my desired price point. I'd also love to acquire a navy midi skirt (like Adina's), but haven't really found anything that fits the bill except maybe this one from White House Black Market, but they don't do petite sizing, which I'd likely need to get the right length.

I might also make an "off-budget" purchase next month: a pair of basic black shoes for work, likely the Cole Haan Catalina Wedge. (Note: it runs a half-size large, I tried on my usual size and it was too big!) I'm also considering the Via Spiga Parmina, but a 3'' heel is a little high for me, even in a wedge. I was really supposed to save that "off-budget" shoe purchase for something that would also work for interviews (where I'd prefer a basic black non-patent leather pump rather than something in patent leather, out of an interest in being ultra-conservative), but, well, I absolutely loathe wearing pumps. If I did buy a pair of pumps, they'd only ever be worn between the building lobby and the office(s) of whomever I'm interviewing with.

Fashion - (TOTAL: $127.00)

  • Grana Silk Raglan Tee, Mulberry - $39.00 - I had heard on r/femalefashionadvice that Grana silk tops run smaller than Everlane (where I am typically a S, except for the cami and tanks), so I ordered a M here despite the size chart. I can report that the size chart actually appears to be accurate for both the Raglan Tee and the Collarless Shirt, so my tees are a little big. The one potential sizing-related sticking point that could affect interpretation of the size chart is that Grana silk tops in general all seem to be a little shorter than the ones from Everlane or most mall retailers. M is potentially the best size for me on that basis, as my chest is substantial enough to make tops look even shorter than they are. I'm quite happy with the quality and value for money so far, keep an eye out for a more detailed review later! The sleeves are a little roomy, so there is an almost dolman sleeve-like effect to this design that might not be for everyone, especially since I sized up. 
  • Grana Silk Raglan Tee, Off White - $39.00 - Because this color is lighter than the Mulberry, I find that, while it is not sheer, it is right on the edge of it. The seams at the shoulders are also more noticeable because they're more opaque/darker-looking than the surrounding fabric. I still like this, but those details are a little odd and took a little getting used to. 
  • Grana Silk Collarless Shirt, Mulberry - $49.00 - I'm very fond of the Mulberry color, clearly. I also found this top to be a little shorter than, say, similar Everlane tops, but not as noticeably as the raglan tee. When making a comparison between the quality of Grana's silk and that of the Everlane Short Sleeve Silk Dress I bought last month (my only Everlane silk item), I think Grana is either equal or nearly equal. Most r/femalefashionadvice readers do rate Grana's silk as slightly less nice than Everlane though, and consider Grana's main selling point to be the better value for money brought about by their lower prices. Note, however, that Grana does not, to my knowledge, try to be an ethical clothing brand. 

No skincare or beauty purchases this month. I did purchase some sheet masks (including from My Beauty Diary and My Scheming) as well as several bottles of my holy grail Biore Perfect Milk Sunscreen while I was traveling, but those came out of my travel budget rather than my shopping budget. As usual, I'm linking to Franish and the Budgeting Bloggers. Please do go and check out what everyone else bought this month!

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