September Budget Follow-Up & October Wish List

It's the end of September, so it's time to assess my expenditures and September Wish List purchases. 

Here's what I got in September:

The Limited Bow Ring
The Limited Circle Encrusted Earrings
The Limited Exact Stretch Skinny Tuxedo Pants
Express crocodile embossed satchel
The Limited lattice tights
The Limited houndstooth tights

New York & Co. Faux Leather Jacket
New York & Co. green blazer

*The Limited purchases:  Paid $29.25 total ($25 off $50 Virtual dollars; $30 credit card rewards; Free pants with BOGO suiting event (jacket returned; free pants alterations with Limited credit card)) (Retail Value:  $160.50 plus tax)
**Express purchase:  Paid $48.46 (30% off plus $25 off $75 - purchased with earrings (returned)) (Retail Value:  $79.90 plus tax
***New York & Company purchases:  Paid $89.16 (BOGO 1/2 off & $60 off $120 coupon) (Retail Value:  $169.90 plus tax)

I went over my budget for this month by $16 so this month.  Not too bad for my first month, especially considering I was able to get over $400 of merchandise!

In October, I need to get some items altered (jacket purchases from last month), so that will likely eat up about half of my budget.

With the other portion of my budget, I am still wanting a faux leather skirt and a piece or two in a traditional fall shade of camel, rust, or mustard.
Forenza by The Limited faux leather skirt
The Limited camel pants
Forever 21+ Surplus Jacket
If I can get a great deal, I am also considering a dress from the Kirna Zabete line for Target.  These two are my favorites:
Kirna Zabete for Target blue and black maxi dress
Kirna Zabete for Target gray ponte knit dress
When you're a recovering shopaholic like me, staying on a budget can be difficult.  Something that has helped me is "windows" shopping.  I do a lot of internet browsing to see what's out there, compare prices, and to avoid impulse buying.

Any other recovering shopaholics out there?
   How have you adapted your shopping habits?

What's on your fashion radar this October?


Cat Scratch Fever

Happy Friday, everyone!!!

Today, I was feeling less than inspired in the fashion department.  

Knowing only that I wanted to wear jeans on this casual Friday at work, I scrambled through my closet and came up with this fall denim look.  
Cardigan:  The Limited (Similar here)
Top:  The Limited (Similar here)
Jeans:  The Limited (Similar here)
 My favorite kitty print top paired with on-trend burgundy!
Purse:  Express (Available here)
Heels:  Target (Available here)
Dangly earrings:  The Limited
Studs:  New York & Company (Available in stores)


Croc N' Roll

Feeling inspired by bright colors this week, I decided to wear my green pencil skirt.  
Skirt:  The Limited (Similar here)
Tank:  Old Navy Petites
Jacket:  The Limited (styled differently here)
The last time I wore this skirt, I didn't get the proportions correct (see here).  

Today, the shorter jacket and loose, but not too long, top complement the shape of the pencil skirt.
Boots:  Payless
I added a little bit of a rock n' roll vibe to my work look by adding ankle booties rather than pumps.

I love adding a quirky, fun touch to my work clothes, and today, I added this rhinestone alligator ring.
Ring:  Target (Available in stores)
Bracelets (l to r):  Jodi Arnold for The Limited; ? unknown - old; Claire's; The Limited; The Limited
The ring feels a little tongue-in-cheek when paired with the faux crocodile bag
Purse:  Express (Available here)
Do you like to add a fun touch to your work looks?


In the Navy

I haven't always been a fan of navy.   I often find navy looks to be too preppy and conservative for my taste, but I really like the deep navy of this suit.  

The suit fits well, and navy is a more flattering neutral for many skin tones, including my own, than black.
Blazer:  The Limited (Out of Stock online - may be available in stores)
Pants:  The Limited (Available here)
Purse:  The Limited
I love Indian clothing and jewelry, and today, that was my fashion influence.
2009 Indian runway looks - Metro.co.uk
Though my outfit looks nothing like the looks above, I was inspired by the bright fuchsia and gold.
Blouse:  The Limited (Similar here)
Shoes:  Target
Bracelets:  Old - Brands Unknown
A dark navy suit is a classic and traditional choice for business interviews.  Adding a bright top, such as this one, will get you noticed without being over-the-top.
Earrings:  New York & Company (5+ years old)


Flower Power

Yesterday I was feeling bad again, so it was back to sweatpants.  :-(

I still felt kind of crummy today, but it was back to work for me.

Blazer:  The Limited (Similar  here) (Worn also here)
Blouse:  Outback Red by The Limited
Today, I reached for something comfy, but bright and cheerful, to get me through the sick blahs.
Pants:  The Limited (Similar here)
Purse:  The Limited
I love the romantic, but not overly frilly, feeling of this floral top and red blazer.  The mix of pinks and reds makes me feel happy.
Earrings:  The Limited (Close-up here) (Similar here)
Necklace:  Target (old)
The polkadot lining of the blazer adds a subtle pop of a second pattern and ups the smile quotient for me.

I added simple flower studs and an etched locket to maintain the romantic feel.
While this look isn't groundbreaking fashion, j'adore the subtle Parisian vibe.  :-)

What do you reach for in your closet when you need a fashion pick-me-up?


Day to Night Fashion - Weekend Edition

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a lovely weekend.  Sorry that I haven't posted in a few days.  I was feeling under the weather, and I figured no one wanted to see me in my sweatpants and ratty t-shirts.  :-)

Today, I bring you the last installment of this week's series on day to night fashion.

Today,  I attended a kid's birthday party and ran some errands.  This is what I wore:
Tote:  The Limited
Shoes:  Target (Available here)
Bracelet:  The Limited (Available here)
Zodiac Rings:  H&M
(Available in stores)
I kept the jewelry more simple with some silver rings, stud earrings, and a thin bracelet.  Ballet flats and a tote were functional for running errands.

For a casual Sunday night date night, I added some heels, bolder jewelry, and a clutch. 
Coated denim jeans:  Target (Available here) (Styled differently here)
Blouse:  The Limited
Cardigan:  Target Petites (Available here)
Earrings:  Target
Cuff:  New York & Company (Similar here)
Clutch:  The Limited
Shoes:  Target (old)
Hope you enjoyed my series on day to night fashion!

How do you transition your wardrobe from day to night?


Sweet and Salty

Happy Thursday!

I'm obsessed with faux leather this fall.  These pants are my first September wish list purchase.
Pants:  The Limited (Available here)
Top:  Torrid
Tote:  The Limited
The leather tuxedo stripe is cool, and I like that the pants are slim fit but not super skinny.

I paired these pants with a comfy crochet and sequin tank from summer and my pale pink blazer.

To bring the look together, I added a skull scarf.  The scarf is a total knock-off of Alexander McQueen's famous skull print scarf; however, unlike the hefty price tag of the McQueen scarf, I acquired this scarf for next to nothing.  

While I love a fabulous accessory and will occasionally splurge for a piece I love, I prefer inexpensive accessories to vary and update my wardrobe each season.
Zodiac rings:  H&M
Bracelet:  The Limited
I love how the faux leather and skulls add a salty touch to the sweet crochet of the top and pink of the blazer.
Blazer:  New York & Company (Available in black online here)
Scarf:  eBay (Available here)
To keep the look more professional at work, I used the scarf as a purse accessory rather than as a focal piece of the outfit.  

For evening, I could easily throw on the scarf to toughen (and warm) up the look.
Clutch:  Target (old)
Shoes:  Target (old)
The faux leather details and slim fit of the pants make these an easy day-to-night piece.  Switching out the work tote for a clutch and rocking the scarf, I'd wear this outfit to dinner, for drinks, or even a first date (if I were single, of course). 


Day-to-night Dress Up

Hi everyone,

Hope your weather is as lovely as ours has been here in the Midwest.  Today was gorgeous, and I celebrated this Wednesday with my favorite black dress made special with this awesome web necklace.
Dress:  Target (see styled here also)
Necklace:  The Limited (Available here)
Purse:  Express (Available here)
I love the artisan feel of this necklace and how well it works with the v-neck line of the dress.
Jacket:  The Limited (Available here)
Shoes:  Target (Available here)
The blue jacket and navy pumps don't "match" but I like the color range mix from the medium blue jacket to the black of the dress.  Mixing blues and blacks is popular for fall, but I have been semi-obsessed with this color combination since late spring.

An LBD is a no-brainer for day-to-evening work wear.  A black sheath is completely appropriate for the workplace, and the fitted shape with cool jewelry make it perfect for a night out.
Clutch:  Jason Wu for Target (Similar here)
Ring on right hand:  H&M (close-up here)
Earrings:  The Limited (Available here)
To make the look more evening, I added some sexier shoes and a clutch.  I took my hair down from its topknot, and voila - I was ready for an evening out in less than a minute!

I think this look would be perfect for a work-related dinner as it still looks professional, just more relaxed.
Shoes:  Target (old)


Getting the Right Fit

Finding clothes that fit off the rack is nearly impossible for the curvy petite woman.

Most of my clothes are altered, especially suit jackets.

Blazer:  The Limited (Available here)
Pants:  The Limited (Available here)
I love blazers for their structure and versatility, but without a good fit, they can look very sloppy.

When I bought this suit, the jacket's sleeves were too long, the arm holes too large,  and the shoulders too wide.  The pants were "short" fit, but they were also a bit too long.

While it's difficult to get a perfect fit without having an item made especially for you, a good tailor can get you close.

When purchasing a blazer, you should buy to fit the largest part of you.  Letting a jacket out is usually not as an option as manufacturers do not leave a lot of excess room in women's clothing.  Even if there's enough extra fabric, letting a jacket out may lead to unsightly holes depending on the color and fabric.
Bracelets:  The Limited (Available: here and here)
Ideally, if you can wear petites, do so as a petite jacket will be better proportioned all around, making the need for alterations fewer (and usually leading to a better fit after alterations).   

Now, my suit flatters my body and doesn't make me look like a kid playing dress up. :-)
Shirt:  The Limited
Extensive tailoring doesn't come cheap, so it's important to weigh the use value of the clothing item against the cost of getting it tailored.

A grey suit is classic, is functional for a conservative work place like mine, and is perfect for job interviews, so in my opinion (and for my life), it's worth it to invest in the tailoring.

Today, I paired my grey suit with a purple floral knit top that has a surprise back.
Lose the jacket, add some dangly earrings and a clutch, and you have a suitable (pun totally intended ;-D) look for an after-work dinner out.


Shift into Fall

Shift dresses were all over Fall runways as were color blocked black and white looks. 
Dress:  New York & Company (Similar here)
Today, I combined the trends in this great 60s-inspired mod shift dress.  This ponte knit dress is surprisingly substantial, which means that it will transition well to cooler temps with opaque black tights and boots.
Necklace:  Target (See here)
Shoes:  Target
Purse:  The Limited
Since the weather is still mild, I paired my dress today with my Grecian/bondage heels and one of my favorite necklaces.

For more on the black and white trend, see here.

Cuff:  New York & Company (close-up here)
Dresses are easy to transition a look from day to night.  For after-work happy hour, I would simply trade my tote for a bright clutch.

Do you like shift dresses?  Do you like the black and white trend for fall?


Saturday Soccer Mom

Today, I had errands to run and my son's soccer game to attend, so I needed a look that was comfy and casual.
Dress:  Target
Boots:  Target (Similar here)
Not being much of a jeans and t-shirt gal, I opted for the always comfy maxi dress and paired it with my moto cardigan and motorcycle boots. 

The look is super comfortable, and I love transitioning my summer maxi dresses for fall.
Cardigan:  Converse One Star for Target (Available here)
Purse:  The Limited
I kept the look super low-key with no jewelry and no make-up.
What do you like to wear for weekend errands and kids' sporting events?