April 28, 2013

April Budget Recap

I'm linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers! Here's what I got this month:
1. Banana Republic Factory blouse - $25 (after 50% off discount)
2. Banana Republic Factory tweed pencil skirt - $17 (on clearance + 50% discount) (similar)
(P.S. - my shoes are from Ann Taylor last year and are some of the most comfortable heels I own. When I stopped by the Ann Taylor outlet I noticed they had the exact same shoes on sale for $49, which is a good deal considering these were originally about $148 or $178 on the AT website)
4. Last weekend I stopped by Plato's Closet to sell some clothes, and while I was there I picked up this French Connection dress with the tags still on for only $16 ($228 originally)! I have been really good about not buying random dresses when I don't need them, but this deal was too good to pass up. I already wore it out last weekend to an alumni event and even if I only wear it once or twice more I will have gotten my money's worth.

5. Also while at Plato's Closet, I stopped by the TJ Maxx in the same shopping center and found these Elie Tahari Theora pants in my size for $49 down from $178 originally. They need a few inches hemmed (and need to be ironed).
6. I FINALLY purchased a new iPhone case. I've always been a fan of the Otterbox cases because they keep your phone PRISTINE inside, but I was using an all black "man case" for the last 2 years (as my friends politely put it) so I had been meaning to buy a more "girly" one. I'm happy with this purple and white Commuter style that I found on Ebay for only $10.
7 - 10. I went to the Theory outlet to buy a suit. I tried on basically everything in the store and was considering also purchasing a seersucker suit jacket and matching dress, but I think I'll wait and see about that one, lol. I ended up getting a jacket, matching skirt, matching dress, and matching pants. The pants need to be hemmed and the dress needs to have the skirt slimmed. I needed another suit badly and I got a good deal (for Theory prices). Theory was also doing a scratch off card and I got an extra 20% off my entire order, so that saved me some money too. 
11. I also stopped into the Saks Off 5th outlet and found this Tahari dress in my size. I really liked the mixture of tweed and ponte material. I never thought I could fit into Tahari stuff, but with this dress and the recent pant purchase, I'm going to consider Tahari more often for my work clothes. I got the dress with an extra 30% off for $83.
12. I give myself $50 a month for "personal care" which includes makeup and toiletries. This month, Ulta had a 20% off everything sale so I decided to splurge a bit and pick up some things I had been wanting for a while. I got the Benefit Fake Up concealer, some foundation, 2 brushes (the crease brush for eyeshadow is life changing, by the way), some clear polish (I tried painting a thin coat over non-sterling silver earring posts - IT WORKS!), and the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs makeup. The Sally Hansen lotion might be holy grail material - I look soooo tan when I put it on, without the commitment that comes with self-tanner. It is truly makeup so it doesn't seep into your skin but sits on top of it. However, it is much harder to get off than regular makeup and you pretty much have to shower and exfoliate to get it to come off. Total for all these products was $90, so I went a bit over my $50 budget this month.

Total clothing (not including the suit) = $25 Banana top + $17 Banana skirt + $10 iPhone case + $50 Tahari pants + $83 Tahari dress = $201 - $60 (sold at Plato's closet) = $141
Total makeup = $90 ($40 over budget) oops..


  1. You got a lot of great pieces for work - I'm jealous. I'm still kind of scared to go looking for suit pants because I feel its such a commitment!

    I do really like your AT shoes. I'm hoping to try some on in the next few weeks to see if they'll be my black pumps :)

  2. Those dresses! So, so cute! Also, love how you did tweed with floral top. As a fellow Petite Person (and legal-type person, but not a lawyer...yet), I am terribly afraid of floral prints (or any larger/brighter print) because I think they make me look comically small, but you seem to pull it off consistently.

  3. Love the second dress! Thanks for the tip on the Sally Hansen lotion. How dark does the "light" tone get? thanks!

  4. that floral top is so gorgeous, as well as the purple dress. I can't believe you got it brand new from Platos! Such a great find.

    -Jenna Brianne

  5. Such nice purchases - even if you did go a little over budget! I really like the tweed skirt and the dress, lovely on you.

  6. Wow - you got some gorgeous pieces! And so many of them are professional items that you got for a good deal! I try to look for more high quality items for work, but I don't want to spend too much. It looks like I need to head to Plato's Closet!

  7. Great pieces. Loving your first top. Gorgeous.



  8. Definitely some good, productive shopping time. You and I are about the same size, but I am 20+ years older. When I was your age, I would have hemmed the slacks and called it all good. From this perspective, I have come to appreciate really good fit and the alterations that produce it. It looks like from the pictures that the tweed skirt and the overly long slacks, could both come in at the waist a bit. Also, I love the Tahari dress; and it isn't a bad length, but it would be even better a good half inch shorter. I've been a lawyer since women wore scarves tied around their necks in big, floppy bows with their male looking suits with horrible skirts; and much more off that dress would be too short, but a little would be more than acceptable.

    The purple dress is fabulous.

  9. Wrinkles don't necessarily have anything to do with quality. Consider the finest men's suits you have seen. The crease down the front of the legs is perfect and immovable. Dry cleaners has a bad day? No problem. That crease is going nowhere. That crease is nothing but a wrinkle. Granted, it is a wrinkle set while the fabric is moist and then pounded with a clapper (think funny looking wooden mallet); but it is still just a wrinkle. High quality, light-weight cottons, especially, will hold their wrinkles. Those are slacks you dry clean every time you wear them. OTOH, the fabric is smooth, cool and generally delightful. Go to a high dollar fabric store sometime. Look, touch, check the price and then grab an end in your hand and crumple it up. That will teach you a lot about fabrics and wrinkles. Some high quality fabrics shed their wrinkles well, some do not. One reason why worsted wool is used for high dollar mens suits is that it generally will shed wrinkles well, but that center seam is still going nowhere, because it has been set. What size are those slacks? I might buy them off of you.

    Oh, I definitely get the needing to have a skirt with a comfortable waist band. Every wardrobe needs such a thing -- at any age.

    Still, if you don't have a really, really good alterations lady (or man) -- find one. Ask the two best-dressed women you know who does their alterations. I don't care if they are tall, and look like a perfect size. Really well dressed women go to a good alterations person and follow their suggestions. Just like your clients should follow your advice, you should ask for and follow theirs. Once will make you a believer.

    So, endeth the sermon. Seriously, if those Tahari pants are a size 2. send me an address to send the check. :)

  10. Hi Elissa - I loved reading this as you're one of the few bloggers that shop business formal, and it's hard to find quality suiting and formal workwear on a budget. I've never tried on Tahari and your post has me considering it for sure - that off 5th dress looks awesome on you. I scrolled down eagerly to see what Theory suit outlet pricing was but see you excluded it from the total...is it because "investment" pieces are usually excluded from the monthly budgets? I haven't been reading this link up for that long so am just wondering out of curiosity. Also, I know AT outlet perfect pumps are cheaper b/c they are made of synthetic materials...but I wonder if they actually feel less comfy or don't last as long as the leather regular store versions! I'd be curious to find out the next time the factory store has a big sale : )

  11. Jean, thanks so much for reading. It is truly an honor that you stumbled on my blog!

    I excluded the suit price for a few reasons.. one was because I paid for it with a bonus I received at work, so I didn't feel I needed to include it in my regular monthly budget. I also didn't include price because I was a bit embarrassed to put how much it cost, but because you asked I will tell you. The Theory outlet near me has a lot of classic suit colors and styles, and those pieces are more pricy than their "fun" counterparts (example, they had a ton of blazers in color block and blue metallic tweed on the clearance rack for 99 dollars, plus 20% off). The Gabe B jacket (which is what I'm wearing above) were all $259 marked down from $370 regular price, plus an extra 20% off. I'm wearing the Joanie skirt above - they also had Golda skirts - both are regular $190 marked down to $133, plus extra 20% off. I was able to find the matching dress and matching pants on the clearance rack in the same fabric and color, and those were an extra 40% off, plus extra 20% off after that. The pants were $240 originally, marked down to $168, plus 40% off, plus 20% off, bringing them to about $80. The dress was $280 originally, marked down to $196, plus 40% off, plus 20% off bringing it to around $100. I did the math and the price I paid compared to the retail prices was about 50% off.

    Also, I didn't explain clearly about the shoes - I'm actually wearing the Kamela stamped wedges (although I have perfect pumps and love them). The Perfect pumps at the outlet were indeed synthetic leather, but the Kamela pumps felt like real leather, and looked more like overstock from Ann Taylor rather than the perfect pumps which are made especially for the outlets.

  12. Outlets for suit shopping. You are SO smart. I'm definitely going to have to do that next time I'm near the outlets - that one is SO cute and I love the idea of getting all the possible combinations for mixing and matching!

  13. You got some great pieces, both wardrobe staples and fun ones! The Theory suit is perfect (I love my navy suit and need to get another soon) Also, love the Tahari dress - the pattern and side stripe are great touches.


  14. i have one suit and it's from the theory outlet too! i found that they had the best selection and the best fits for me. anyway, it looks like a great month in shopping for you!

    dash dot dotty

  15. Love that first skirt. Gorgeous. Great pieces.



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