Monday, July 31, 2017

July Shopping Reflections

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So this was a high-volume shopping and totally bad at minimalism month, though many of my purchases were secondhand, at least. I started window shopping over July Fourth weekend and suddenly found that I'd ordered a completely ridiculous quantity, including an APC half-moon bag (discounted to $380 USD at Ssense, but now sold out). Then I sent most of it back because very little of it worked. Womp womp. The half-moon bag was a bit too big for my height and build, and too stiff for my tastes. My battered and much-beloved Coach City fills the same niche more comfortably (used at Etsy here and here, or more affordably on Ebay including here). Other things, like a Madewell Central shirt, just didn't flatter on me. I still ended up keeping quite a few things, mostly unseasonal items.

This month was my first time shopping at ThredUp. I had a good experience, with their reasonable prices and a 40% off your first order discount. I did make a few mistakes, but those are on me. It's expected that their return policy wouldn't be as forgiving as a retail store's (returns within 14 days to original method of purchase). I, er, misinterpreted their policy initially, and assumed all returns were store credit only, so I ended up keeping (and paying for) a few sweaters I wasn't sure about and haven't listed. Those will be gifted to my younger sister, W, as they'll suit her much better!

As for my yearly budget for 2017 ($150 x 12 = $1800), it's not looking fantastic in terms of my staying under, though I technically made a tiny bit of progress this month. I'm now $162.98 over budget for the year, rather than last month's $168.18 (($150 x 7) - $555.98 - $154.21 - $94.79 - $35.93 - $128.80 - $98.47 - $144.80 = $162.98).

I buried this detail in another post last week, but I may be taking a new job that will change some of my work wardrobe needs, and could result in not getting back on track for this year's original clothing budget. It's very exciting, and I'm so happy with it, but I definitely couldn't have predicted it!

Fashion - (TOTAL: $144.80)
  • Uniqlo Womens Volume Skirt - $29.90 - I've been wanting a navy blue midi skirt (inspired by Adina!) for more than a year, but was never able to find one I wanted to try on. I ended up experimenting with a striped J.Crew Factory skirt (similar in limited sizes here and here) last year, but that was pretty far from the design I had in mind. This year, Uniqlo had two skirts that were close, this one almost exactly. These skirts are actually not super-practical for me. They're cotton-poly blends, and not terribly comfortable in high summer heat and humidity, because of the volume of fabric. They go a little past mid-calf on me (maybe an inch past how it looks on the models.) Both have very elastic waists, to the point where I'm not sure exact sizing... matters terribly much, there's so much fabric, and the waist so stretchy. I picked a size M in both. Wearing these to work is outside my comfort zone, so it remains to be seen how much actual use I get out of these.
  • Uniqlo Women High-Waist Belted Flare Midi Skirt - $29.90 - I like the belted waist design here, though this design is less like the simpler look I had in mind for a midi skirt. I originally intended to keep only one, because I definitely don't need two midi skirts that I'm generally not inclined to wear to work, but I ended up not being able to pick. This was a bad-at-minimalism month for sure. Even with the downsides of these, I just find them really fun to twirl around in, even if only indoors, and I couldn't resist.
  • ThredUp - ~$85.00 (after typical 40% off first order, for discount of up to $50, coupon)
    • Club Monaco Open Cashmere Cardigan - This drapey open cardigan is essentially identical to an item that's still in stock at Club Monaco, which I've linked. It seems to be a design they redo frequently. I got this in M/L, which has a very generously sized shawl collar that is nice and cozy, but is otherwise not too oversized on me. 
    • J.Crew Linen Sweater - Not sure how old this is, but it's 100% linen and very boxy. I love this, despite the dull color and boxy-ness. It feels like a very Eileen Fisher-like look when I wear it with my Grana silk ankle pants (use my referral link for 10% off your first order, and I'll get $20 store credit if you make a purchase, thank you for your support!). I can't find anything similar in linen at J.Crew or other mall stores, though this Loft sweater in cotton-nylon blend has a very similar look and feel in brighter colors and this Lou and Grey all-cotton sweater is similar in spirit and color, but much slouchier. 
    • Madewell Patterned Sweater - I think Madewell does a sweater like this almost every year in recent memory. I have a slouchy patterned sweater from H&M and before I started monthly budget posts that's a favorite, though one that's not held up terribly well to regular wash and wear. Thus, I'm generally partial to wearing a loose-fit patterned sweater (that requires a black camisole underneath, I like these from H&M and they last for years) over dark skinny jeans in winter. 

Have you shopped at ThredUp before? Were you able to find any gems? 

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