For me, July was a fantastic wardrobe month – knocked three items off a long-withstanding “classics” wishlist after much research and patient waiting. A few readers have asked what my monthly wardrobe budget is, and I have to say I don’t have one. I keep an annual wardrobe spending target as a percentage of after-tax income, determined as a limit up to which I can shop without affecting any savings goals (and there are so many). I much prefer this over keeping stringent monthly budgets, because my spending fluctuates greatly. Although my overall spending hasn’t changed much over the years, I have noticed that I now spend increasingly more time planning and evaluating purchases than before.
1. Camel tote bag: For nearly 6 months I had been seeking a classic neutral satchel, and my search quickly closed in on the durable Prada “saffiano” line. I pushed the purchase off until after my June exam, in order to sufficiently explore the pre-owned market and do as much research as possible. The moment I opened the box last week from NM, I couldn’t stop grinning and knew that it was the perfect choice. There’s something to be said about well-made, classic and functional items that pair effortlessly with all sorts of outfits…I haven’t felt so strongly about a wardrobe purchase since buying a Chanel caviar flap. I hope to record a video this weekend comparing bags from this line, and discussing the features available plus any options to save a little.
2. Little red bag: I had also been itching for a small, richly-colored purse to add interest to neutral outfits. True red -whether on lipstick, nails, or clothes- is just so classic with a touch of sultriness. I had bid on several via eBay over the course of a year, before my shopping fairy Elle alerted me that this J.Crew bag was on major sale in-store. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any left at a clearance price (I used storefinder and ordered one of the last ones in the US), but it’s a bag that J.Crew makes every season and I suspect it will go on sale again..
3. Red ankle trousers: Starting tomorrow, Ann Taylor is having their friends & family sale – use code FRIENDSFB to get 30% off everything online, or print out this coupon to use in-store. Continuing with the red kick, I pulled the trigger on these adjustable waist-tab pants during an online BOGO sale. I cannot wait to start fulfilling my classic red pairing dreams. These run a little smaller in the waist and slimmer in the legs than AT’s other pants, and the 00P fit me wonderfully throughout:
These red pants are not perfect, but they met most of my requirements (fit, don’t wrinkle, price point) and were a quickly-decided “keep” compared to so many other ones I’ve tried on. The color is red with a twinge of orange, which I didn’t notice at all the first time I tried them on. I would prefer a more true red, but the boyfriend convinced me this shade was just fine. And if I had to nitpick, there are two front pockets that are almost vertically-placed slits, and I prefer angled side pockets. On the plus side, the back pockets are classic horizontal-style and there are chic ankle cuffs at the bottom openings.
Measurements of 00P pants: 13.75″ across waist, 14.2″ across hips, 24″ inseam on the petite length, 5.75″ leg opening.
Also in my order was this ponte pencil skirt in “avocado” color. This color is refreshing yet not too bright, and reminds me of a cross between chartreuse and a muted lime green. This skirt runs about a size smaller than AT’s other items and fit me perfectly in the waist and hips, but the length was then too short for me as a work skirt. As mentioned previously, if you can wear regular sizing, I’d suggest ordering a size down but in regular length. Or, you can let out about 1″ of the hem.
I have purchased a ponte skirt from AT during previous seasons, and it was around the same price point but was completely unlined. The full lining makes a world of a difference both in the feel of the quality, as well as how the skirt moves while you walk.
I really liked the look, fit, and quality of this skirt and seriously contemplated keeping and letting the hem down. In any other month, I think it would have been a keep. But last month, there were just so many other classic items which I felt more strongly about, and thus this was returned.
Lastly, I ordered these shoes using a gift card (with an extra 40% off sale items) as replacements for my overly-worn Target sandals. They run on the smaller side and look nice on, but I do miss the stable, chunkier heel of the Target ones. Overall, these are comfy, great quality, and I appreciate the warm brown color that goes with ev
erything, plus the leather-covered heel (vs wood!). I am still debating whether or not to keep them at this price point, but I am overdue for a replacement pair of neutral sandals.
Readers – What are (or were) the top items on your wardrobe wishlist this year?