Thursday, August 29, 2019

August 2019 Shopping Reflections

Like I mentioned last month, my cases at work have been a bit of a roller coaster lately. It's just a normal part of life as a litigator. Because there's some amount of randomness involved (certain actions by the court or opposing counsel being outside of one's control), last year was far more quiet for me than 2019 has turned out to be. I'm learning a lot, though, and I work with a great team. Plus, it's kind of fun to be thrown a few curveballs once in a while. It's very intellectually stimulating, to say the least. I enjoy my job most when I'm dealing with a novel, new-to-me challenge. (Naturally, I'd prefer if said challenge was of a modest enough size that it could be dealt with without too, too many late nights at the office. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.)

And yes, just like I predicted, those impulses to shop and treat myself to something nice came roaring up with a vengeance this month. With August's purchases, I've also firmly established something I'd been slowly realizing, that jewelry is in a separate category all its own for me, budget-wise. When it comes to buying pieces from smaller, women-owned brands, such as Alighieri (a bit more well-known in the fashion-world) or Porcelain and Stone (a bit smaller and more local to places I've lived in the past), I feel almost like I'm collecting art. To use the parlance of KonMari method, all those pieces sparked joy for me when I chose them, and they've continued to do so every time I put them on. 

I feel like my maximum budget for jewelry veers disproportionately high - as seen most vividly from this month's big-ticket purchase - compared to my maximum numbers for clothing, shoes, or other accessories. My jewelry habit is, at the very least least, still kept in check by the outer limits of my overall budget, student loans and all. There's a definite ceiling to how much I can indulge, even though I'm not as strict about keeping this habit in check as others in my shoes might be. Particularly if they don't enjoy jewelry as much as I do.

Anyway, I'll continue to track my monthly shopping totals the same way I always have. (I think it would get too confusing if I separated out the cost of jewelry from everything else when I did these monthly round-ups.) And I'll still calculate my total spend, including jewelry, at the end of each year, or for whatever other multiple-month time period I choose to look back on and discuss. But when I do those more in-depth analysis posts, I'll also start putting more emphasis on the "total spend, minus jewelry" number going forward, like I did for one such post in July.

Fashion - (TOTAL: $871.11)
  • J.Hannah Duet Earrings, Yellow Gold - $688.00 - Speaking of Marie Kondo, she wore these earrings to an awards show once, and I think Alice Gao has a pair too. I had these on my "Thinking About" shopping list for quite some time. When J.Hannah was doing a 20% off sale recently, I decided to go ahead and get them because I didn't think another opportunity to do so with a discount would come again that quickly. Because this was my first ever purchase of solid gold jewelry for myself, the price of these earrings blew all previous jewelry purchases completely out of the water, even after the 20% discount. These are beautiful though, truly. 
  • Mejuri Blue Lace Agate Necklace - $96.02* - That day I dropped off my items at TheRealReal, the "consignment specialist" I met with was wearing one of these Mejuri "gem collection" necklaces - I think the black spinel - layered with the lariat slide necklace. It was a super-chic combination, and I pinned the discontinued lapis lazuli gem necklace to my "Wishful Thinking" shopping list shortly after. I looked unsuccessfully for the lapis version on Poshmark and eBay for a while, and also looked at other lapis lazuli pendants, before deciding I was open to getting this blue lace agate instead. From browsing around for other lapis lazuli pendants, the Mejuri gem necklaces did seem somewhat unique, a bit more modern-looking and daintier than most similar things on the market. (Heavy emphasis on dainty, by the way. As with some other Mejuri pieces, once I had it in hand, I found it smaller than I expected, even though I'd seen it in person before.) 
  • LinenFox "Summer" Dress, emerald green - $87.09 - This order hasn't arrived yet, and it might have another week or two before it's shipped from Lithuania. But I reported my previous LinenFox purchase the month I ordered it, rather than the month it arrived. (With my Elizabeth Suzann dress and belt, which had a similar time gap between order and arrival date, I did the opposite, so there hasn't been 100% consistency with when I report made-to-order purchases.) Ever since LinenFox debuted this teal-looking "emerald green" shade this summer, I've been obsessed with the color. I kept going back and forth about which dress design would suit me, and sort of surprised myself that I went with this more pinafore-looking "Summer" dress. Given how I often worry that more voluminous linen clothing - taking into account linen's natural texture and tendency towards wrinkles - might be too casual-feeling and maybe a bit too "rustic" for my personal tastes, I was surprised I ended up going with this style. There's a fair bit of extra volume and it's a very casual-leaning design. But, after mulling over some photos of other people on Instagram wearing this dress, I felt like I wanted to lean in more to the casual feel of linen with this dress purchase.
*Indicates that the price includes shipping charges. 

It's starting to cool down a bit here in NYC. While I'm always excited for the end of hot and humid summer weather, this does mean I probably won't have much of a chance to wear that LinenFox dress this year.

How was your shopping month? Are there any wardrobe or other spending categories that you splurge on in a way that feels slightly disproportionate to the rest of your budget? Outside of my closet (and my student loan payments, hah), the other main thing I spend disproportionately on is probably housing. K and I spend a little bit more than most of our similarly situated peers; there are definitely cheaper comparable apartments in our neighborhood, though many of them don't have in-unit laundry. While my food expenses are also rather dramatic and shocking to anyone who doesn't live in NYC, I actually think my number is not that unusual compared with other white-collar professionals with similarly long and unpredictable hours. 

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