Friday, 31 October 2014

Year-long closet shopping list: October 2014

It's purchase year-long budget recap time again! As a quick refresher, this year I outlined my clothing budget to add closet basics to my wardrobe each month, putting together a list of items I need to help fill in the holes in my closet and assigning each item to a particular month of the year. I've capped each month's budget at $200 total. Here's what my calendar looks like:

Year-long Closet Budget

Here's what I added this month:

October 2014

October Purchases:

14th and Union cardigan (sold out, different pattern than pictured):
Price: $38 (originally $60)
Notes: I was on the hunt for a cozy wrap sweater, and Nordstrom Rack came through for me. I've been wearing it basically nonstop since I got it..$38 well spent ;)

Price: $20 (originally $58)
Notes: I was needing a flowy top and found this bright pink beauty!

Price: $69
Notes: I needed a skirt for an interview recently (more on that soon!) and this fit the bill. I love the leather waistband and the skirt is just stretchy enough to be super comfortable but not overly clingy.

October Budget Total:
$127 for $187 worth of items (32% savings)

Quick Design: Dining Rooms

Happy Halloween everyone! Here are a few dining rooms I'd love to live in:

Quick Design: Dining Rooms

Monday, 27 October 2014

Two-word style synopsis!

Heeeeeeyyyyy ladies and gents, long time no talk! I'm back in action after a month-long absence to share very important news: I've learned how to describe my interior design style in 2 words. 

Minimal. Bohemian.


Life-shattering, I know. As defined by Sycamore Street as "playful, not too matchy-matchy, and [with] some grown up elements mixed in;" Domaine Home describes the look as California eclectic, which is is "casual, laid-back, and mostly carefree...surprisingly sophisticated and always inviting." Bingo! Exactly how I envision my next home feeling. 

Since I'm planning on moving in the near future, I've been pulling together all sorts of secret 'new house inspiration' pin boards, and the Minimal Bohemian theme has come through strongly in my pins. Here are a few of my favorite examples: 

pin (original unknown)

EDIT 10/28/14: I might as well just add every. single. pic from this home by Amber Interior Design. Click through, it's goooooood.

So how does one achieve Minimal Bohemianism?
  • clean lines
  • white walls
  • lighter woods
  • mainly neutral tones or colors inspired by nature (greens, blues, shell pinks)
  • mixed ethnic textiles
  • lots of textures
  • nothing is too precious
  • everything has a home; limit clutter
Can you summarize your style in two words?

Monday, 1 September 2014

On Living with Less: Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

It's a funny thing, the relationship we develop with STUFF. Day-to-day, I don't feel like I have an inordinate amount of THINGS, but every time I go camping, I am struck by how little is really needed to exist and be happy in life. Give me a tent, some food, a change of clothing, and some beautiful scenery...and I'm generally happier than I am when I'm surrounded by a perfectly lovely home and stocked closet. I think that the more STUFF we have, the more of our lives must be dedicated to caring for, protecting, using, corralling, and keeping THINGS. In a strange way, the more we acquire, the more of our lives we owe to our possessions rather than our thoughts, feelings, emotions, or experiences.

Over time, as I've worked to simplify other areas of my life (decreasing clutter in my home, distancing myself from people who do not bring love to those around them, reducing the amount of processed foods I eat, etc), it has started to feel like my closet has become more of a burden than a source of joy or creativity.

To jumpstart that creative spirit while simultaneously cutting down on the STUFF in my life, I've finally decided to commit to a capsule wardrobe.

And here it is, ladies and gents. Without further ado, here's my 37-piece fall capsule wardrobe for 2014 (September-October-November):

Final fall 2014 capsule wardrobe

The breakdown:

Tops: 15
  • Thin, layerable chambray (Francesca's, not online, similar here)
  • Maroon layerable sweater (new, here)
  • Dolman sleeve cardigan (will purchase in October, options here, here, here, here, here)
  • Black and white striped long sleeve (old, similar here, in grey, in navy, short sleeve)
  • Plain black tank (here)
  • Plain white tank (here)
  • Thicker, longer chambray (for covering the bum when wearing leggings! ;) (old, similar here)
  • Black and white striped tank (THE best layering tops! here)
  • Blue dolman sleeve crop sweater (old, similar here, here)
  • Grey graphic tee (here)
  • Sleeveless floral cowl neck tank (old, similar here, here)
  • Purple silky tee (old, the one pictured is here but crazy expensive, similar)
  • Blue crossover long-sleeve top (old, similar here)
  • Black plaid buttonup (old, similar here, popover, here)
  • Grey waterfall vest (old, similar here, here)
Dresses/skirts: 9
Pants: 3
  • Black skinny pants (thrifted but here)
  • Dark skinny jeans (old, similar here, here)
  • Grey work pants (old, similar here)
Jackets: 5
Shoes: 5
Total: 37 items (8 new, 9 within last year, 20 more than a year old)

The Process:
  1. I know I spend most of my time at work or at casual events with my friends/boyfriend. So I picked outfits from my Pinterest boards (Work and Play) that would suit those activities, outfits that I want to recreate during the three months of this fall capsule. I picked 30 outfits, because this capsule is for about 90 days and I don't mind rewearing exact outfits 3 times within 90 days :)
  2. Then, I simply wrote down all the items worn in my inspirational outfits ("black skinny jeans, striped long-sleeve shirt, black blazer, black booties, infinity scarf"). After a while, repeating elements emerged (skinny black pants, jean jacket, stripe top, etc). 
  3. Then I wrote out all the items in a list and paired them with items that I have in my closet currently. Example: "bright colored skater skirt: green pleather skirt". 
  4. Items for which I had no counterpart in my closet became my shopping list, like so: 

Want to know the craziest part? Here are the 30 inspiration outfits I pulled, all of which I can create from my capsule wardrobe...and this only accounts for 23 items of the 37 I'm allowing myself! To finish out the capsule, I added items (in italics above) that I already own which will mix and match well with the other 20 pieces.

One last thing: because I made a plan to budget closet staples over the course of the year, I don't actually have all of the items in the capsule wardrobe yet. In October I plan to add in a chunky, cozy knit cardigan and an infinity scarf.

What do you think of my capsule? Think I can stick to it for 90 days??

If you'd like to see many more outfits that can be created from this capsule, check out my Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe board on Pinterest.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Year-long Closet Shopping List: August and September Purchases

It's purchase year-long budget recap time again! As a quick refresher, this year I outlined my clothing budget to add closet basics to my wardrobe each month, putting together a list of items I need to help fill in the holes in my closet and assigning each item to a particular month of the year. I've capped each month's budget at $200 total. Here's what my calendar looks like:

Year-long Closet Budget

Typically I post these recaps at the end of each month, but I'm doing it a bit different this time. One, did you catch my updated July budget? I ended up returning a couple pairs of shoes and replacing them with black pants and a chambray top...check it out here!

And two, I've finally decided to commit to a capsule wardrobe for fall 2014 (Sept/Oct/Nov)! More to come on that topic, but in order to pull together the capsule, I needed to buy my allotted items for September at the beginning of the month rather than throughout the month, so I decided to show you everything all in one post! Here goes:

August Purchases:

August 2014

Price: free with gift card ($61 MSRP)
Notes: I've been hoarding a Lulu's gift card since Christmas (#willpower) and when I saw this simple but pretty dress with fun zippers, I pounced. I think ideally the person wearing it would be a bit taller than me (I'm 5'4" and it hits me right under the kneecap, not right above it like on the model) because it's a tough length to pull off--I'll always have to wear heels--but it's really comfortable and can be dressed up or down. 

Price: $45 $22 (originally $45)
Notes: Thank God for Pinterest, because otherwise I would never have found this cute sweater (or the patterned maxi dress I wore to weddings all summer)! This is from American Eagle, which I typically walk by at the mall but never enter because I'm not 14 with itty bitty hips. I'm glad I made an exception, because it's super soft, comfortable, flattering, and runs big (I got an extra-small and I don't think I've EVER worn an extra-small in that store--even when I was in their target age demographic!).

Edit 9/3/14: Sometimes it pays (literally) to keep an eye on prices of items you've just bought. This sweater (and everything else at American Eagle) is 40% off right now, plus I had a 15% off coupon. AEO granted me a price match, saving me $23 :)

Aldo Allie black leather booties
Price: $120
Notes: I've been hunting for the perfect leather booties for over a year now. I finally settled on these simple but chic leather ones from Aldo. I love that the heel is not super tall and that the boot is cut low in the front--boots that are cut mid-ankle are suuuuuper unflattering to me. To be 100% honest, these are not as comfortable as I was hoping--I first wore them to a party where I was standing for several hours, and my feet were sore by the end--but I'm hoping that if I add a foot liner, they'll wear more comfortably.

Other purchases: Madewell Staccato Studs
Price: $8 (originally $18)
Notes: I needed a really simple pair of everyday earrings to wear constantly and never take off, so this pretty Madewell pair fit the bill. They're tinier than I would have expected but so simple and easy!

August Budget Total:
$165 for $165 worth of items (freebie gifted dress doesn't really count ;) (0% savings)
Over/under for August budget: -$35
Over/under for year since March: -$734
Total spent since March: $486
Edit 9/3/14:
$142 for $165 worth of items (14% savings)
Over/under for August budget: -$58
Over/under for year since March:-$711
Total spent since March: $463

September Purchases

September 2014

Price: $90
Notes: So I know that these look a bit strange in the pic, because of the blocky heel....but that's also exactly why I love them. They are super comfortable and stable and not high at all, which is now an increasingly important factor for me post-hip surgery (old person problems...). Anyway, I've been looking for cute, comfortable leopard print shoes to wear to work for a while now, so I splurged a bit :) the hell do you say the name of that shoe?

Edit 8/31/14: Kelly & Katie Dorotha Leopard Pump
Price: $50 (regularly $69)
Notes:  Ok so I lied, I didn't end up getting the Aldo pumps, because I wandered into DSW a few days later and found these cute, comfortable pumps for almost half the price. These pumps come in lots of colors and had great reviews as long as you don't have wide feet.

Price: $38
Notes: I stumbled on this Etsy shop and think you should all check it out too. Cute scarves, boot cuffs, leg warmers, etc. Take a look!

September Budget Total: 
$128 for $128 worth of items (0% savings)
Over/under for September budget: -$72
Over/under for year since March: $806
Total spent since March: $614

September Budget Total:
$88 for $107 worth of items (18% savings)
Over/under for September budget: -$112
Over/under for year since March: -$622
Total spent since March: $574

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lovely home tour you need to see

Hey friends, remember that time that I talked about how I'm obsessed with Gaby Burger's fashion sense? And in fact designed a capsule wardrobe around said fashion inspiration? Well it was my lucky day today, because I learned that Gaby's interior design skills are equally inspiring, as her home was featured on Glitter Guide yesterday.

Here are a few of my favorite bits:
She DIY'd that spotted wall!

Love the mix of textures (capiz, wood, wool, fur) within a largely neutral palette

I want her outfit and all those pillows.

Lovely pattern mixing. I'm now on the hunt for small spotted pillows.

How pretty is her vanity in matching acrylic boxes? The Container Store is a great source for those, btw.

I spot my favorite Bauble Bar necklace (top left) plus sooo many other pretties!

It's always interesting to see how personal style translates into a person's home decor. For example, her home's palette, much like her wardrobe, is largely neutral with carefully selected bursts of color. She mixes patterns equally well in home and closet and tops everything off with a bit of sparkle, whether that's with a rhinestone necklace or a gorgeous capiz chandelier. 

To get a similar look yourself, try a little something like this: 

Get the Look: Glitter Guide
(Click the image to go to product links)

For the source of all of these photos, and more where that came from, please go check out the rest of the tour!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Quick Design: Bedrooms

TGIF! This week I'm looking forward to ladies' night tonight, dinner with a friend tomorrow, doing some shopping, and getting a good run in with my puppy. At the end of the day, I wouldn't mind snuggling up in one of these bedrooms!

Quick Design: Bedrooms

Isn't that wallpaper to die for?!! (second from the left on the bottom two rooms). Hope you have a great weekend ya'll!