Tuesday tulle

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I hope you guys are cool with all of the outfit posts. I have a bunch I’m trying to wear before fall sets in, so prepare yourselves for a few more of them! ;)

Anyway, tulle. Is it not as popular anymore, or is that just me? Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s fall and tulle is more of a spring/summer thing. Who knows. Either way, I still love it, and my navy tulle skirt is the perfect color for any season. I dressed it down for this outfit by wearing it with one of my many striped tees (though chose the one with jewels to avoid wearing a necklace) and my black sandals. Because black and navy go together, of course. (Is it just me, or does the collar of the tee look navy? I have always thought that it wasn’t black, but way back when this was on the website, it looked black, so I thought it was just me…) I wore this out to dinner with friends. We were also going to go grocery shopping but decided we could last another day or two without going. Now I’m wishing I had things to snack on… :)

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J.Crew top (last seen here) / ModCloth skirt (last seen here) / Ananias sandals (custom) / Halogen bag / Zoya nail polish

Sporty floral

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Happy Sunday! I hope you guys are having a nice weekend whether it be relaxing, exciting, or a little bit of both. ;) The outfit I’m sharing with you today is one I wore last week. The weather has been amazing here lately; the highs have maxed out around the low-mid 80s, which is perfect for this time of year. We did have a couple of days with highs in the low-mid 70s, so we got just a little taste of fall. For one of the warmer days, I pulled out this floral H&M dress. I purchased it last year for a mere $13, but I don’t wear it that often because of the sporty racer straps; I have to wear it with a sticky bra because straps of regular bras show. Despite that, it’s super comfortable and stretchy! I layered my chambray shirt over it for my cool office, and I tied it around my waist when out in the heat. I also wore it with my navy Salt Water sandals and sapphire earrings because I love matching.

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H&M dress (old) / Old Navy shirt (similar from J.Crew Factory) / Salt Water sandals (exact; also available from ModCloth) / earrings from my mom / ModCloth sunglasses

Cobalt + cognac

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This is one of my favorite dresses. It’s blue (my favorite color!), it has a fit-and-flare silhouette (my favorite), and it is super simple, so it can be worn lots of different ways. I love simple pieces that can be mixed and matched and paired with different colors, but sometimes, I find that it can also be hindering. It’s like there are SO many options that I just stick with one that works, or I don’t mix it up enough to feel like it’s a different look, if that makes sense at all. I get overwhelmed! I’ve been wanting to wear this dress in a “new” way to share on here, but I couldn’t think of anything that exciting (not saying this look is particularly exciting, haha). Thank goodness for Fran! She posted this look with her own cobalt dress, and I was inspired to pair mine with cognac. It feels rich, despite the fact that cobalt is more of a summery color–perfect for the summer-to-fall transition. (Keep an eye out; I will definitely be remixing it again in the winter months!)

P.S. My apologies for the super washed out photos. I’m not sure what happened! Still trying to figure out my camera almost a year later… :)

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J.Crew Factory dress (last seen here) / Madewell sandals (on sale!) / ModCloth tote / BaubleBar necklace (on promo!)

Proportion play

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Something about this outfit didn’t sit right with me as I was looking through the photos. I went the whole day thinking I looked different than I actually did; does that ever happen to you? It happens to me a lot because I often don’t have time to look over my entire outfit in the mirror before dashing out to catch the bus. Then, later, I come home and gasp when I see how I actually looked. Haha. Anyway, I realized with this outfit that my shirt is much longer on me than I thought it was considering it is called the “crop tee” (short waists for the loss!), and the billowing skirt from under it kind of gives off a pregnancy vibe (yikes!). I did consider tying the tee but that wasn’t part of my original plan with this outfit, so I went without. I definitely need a tie to give me a waist, I think… I could have not shared this outfit, but why not share it? Sometimes outfit don’t work out as planned and I’m using this as a learning opportunity. Plus, sometimes it’s fun to play around with proportion a bit, even if it was unexpected!

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Madewell tee / ModCloth dress (similar; last seen here) / J.Crew flats / unknown necklace (old)

Blush // red

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A lot of bloggers I follow have posted awesome outfits made up of pink and red (usually around Valentine’s Day as you can guess, but I don’t like restricting colors or color combinations to specific times of year). It’s a combination I’ve been wary of myself, but when I saw my pink gingham shirt and my bright red skirt next to each other, I decided to go for it. I’m kind of obsessed with it, to be honest! I wish I had more pink tops to pair with this skirt and my red pants. Of course, I finished the outfit with my trusty Madewell sandals (which are now on sale!) and my ‘K’ necklace. :)

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J.Crew Factory shirt (last seen here) / Madewell skirt (last seen here) and sandals (on sale!) / Kate Spade necklace via Nordstrom / ModCloth sunglasses

Caturday: Melody’s 7th birthday!

Our smallest cat, Melody (full name Melody Pond), is also the oldest; today is her seventh birthday! Chris adopted her a couple of years ago, and the humane society he got her from didn’t have an exact birth date set for her, so he made it his birthday. Such is the life of cats in the shelter system. It works, right? Haha.

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I first met Melody when I visited Chris/New England for the first time two Octobers ago. She was so sweet! I love lap cats; they’re my favorite. She is eager to sit on anyone and everyone’s lap or chest. You sit on the couch and she is right there waiting to lay on you. It’s very cute. The only downside is when she wants to sit on someone allergic to cats. It becomes quite an ordeal keeping her from them!

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Melody will leave the apartment if the door is ever ajar. There have been times where I forget something so I run back inside to grab it and keep the door cracked, only to find her outside looking around. She’s so naughty! There were people painting our door one afternoon, and she kept trying to open it/peek out. The girls aren’t allowed outside without their harness and leash on. She really enjoys going on walks once she realizes she’s free to move around wherever (it always takes a couple minutes of her laying on the ground confused), but she doesn’t wander around as much as the other two.

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Melody’s favorite things include cat nip (I just got them a new cat nip cigar and she can’t get enough of it; the Yeowww! stuff is the best), soft blankets, open windows/sitting by the window, and people. She loves people! She also enjoys being a terror by running around the house with Sybil like crazies, by knocking things off of the counter, and by scratching on things she’s not supposed to (the couch, the stairs…). She only likes using carpet/twine to scratch on. She does not scratch on the cardboard scratchers! It was so irritating trying to get her to scratch on a cardboard one Chris had picked up, but the moment we put down one of the standing twine ones, she was at it. The only problem is sometimes she’ll pick the stairs over the scratcher even though they are next to each other. Gahhhh! She is so bad sometimes but it is so hard to stay mad at her.

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Isn’t she just the cutest? It was so hard to pick photos for this post because she is quite photogenic and I have lots of photos of her. (I post a lot on my Instagram if you want to see more of my Mels Bells!)

It’s not fall!

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Since when has Labor Day meant the end of summer? Newsflash, bloggers: It’s still summer if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, and especially if you live in the contiguous United States! (Unless you’re a climatologist; then technically fall started on September 1st.) Just because it might be 70 degrees for one day out of a few days doesn’t mean it’s fall just yet. Almost every corner of the country has still been seeing temps at or above 80. I’ve noticed a lot of fashion/style bloggers within the past week wearing fall outfits–full-on layers, long pants, boots, etc. (Some of these bloggers live near me and I have no idea when they could have possibly worn that outfit in the past week and not melted in the heat.)

Anyway. Because it’s still summer and I’ve been soaking up as much warmth as possible, I decided it was time to pull out my fun, short shift dress. It’s way too short to wear to school without leggings underneath so I have to reserve it for weekends, and I don’t wear it as often because of that. This dress was actually my very first Stylish Surprise from ModCloth. The package was almost lost (USPS marked it as delivered when it wasn’t and I had to go to the office to track it down), but I’m so glad it wasn’t! I kept this look simple (as usual) with black accessories (including my new sandals!) and my triangle necklace.

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ModCloth dress (old), necklace, and sunglasses / Ananias sandals (custom) / Halogen bag

Closet inventory + digital organization

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I’ve been overhauling my wardrobe for about the past year, but I haven’t really been aware of how much I owned until now. I figured it was time to do a closet inventory to figure out where I’m at after a year of purging and buying items that fit better and that better fit my personal style. I’ve been slowly but steadily selling and donating things that no longer work for me, but I thought I was doing a pretty good job at ridding of things and not buying as much in order to decrease the size of my wardrobe, but I’m not sure if that has actually been happening…

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Here’s where I’m at right now!

TOPS: 81
Sleeveless: 5
Short-sleeved tees: 10
Long-sleeved tees: 12
Blouses: 9
Collared shirts: 6
Cardigans: 17
Sweaters: 18
Sweatshirts: 4

BOTTOMS: 32
Shorts: 6
Skirts: 13
Pants: 6
Jeans: 7

DRESSES: 30

OUTERWEAR: 13
Vests: 1
Blazers: 1
Jackets: 4
Coats: 7

SHOES: 34
Sandals: 6
Sneakers: 2
Flats: 12
Heels: 6
Boots: 8

These numbers don’t include a bunch of shirts and shorts I have around for sleeping and working out, leggings, tights, pajama pants, and a lot of old shirts I have on probation and will probably be donating in the near future. I also have a basket of older shoes that weren’t counted because I don’t really wear them, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of them just yet (they’re on probation too…or just not currently in style!). A good number of items in my closet I count as “utility” items–necessary because of just typical day-to-day life: snow boots, running sneakers, my down coat, etc.–and were not counted in the total.

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In all, I have 190 items that I wear regularly. That’s more than what I was expecting, but it’s not too bad considering how much I’ve gotten rid of the past year. I’m pretty happy with everything I have right now; there’s only a few things I’m hoping to add before we dive head-on into fall and winter (though I have to try and hold off on buying anything until next month!).

The photos don’t show everything I own. My stuff is split between the bedroom closet, which I share with Chris, and a dresser. My jackets and coats live in a closet by the front door, and my shoes are scattered between the bedroom closet, the spare bedroom closet, and the closet downstairs. (I also have a bad habit of kicking my shoes off and leaving them in the living room, so you can pretty much find shoes everywhere…) I’ve been trying to better organize my things. The things I wear regularly are in the bedroom closet, and they are organized first by type and then by color. I keep the things I’ve worn but that aren’t yet dirty in the front of the closet separate from the clean clothes. I don’t have good organization for my shoes, though the shoes I baby more (my leather shoes) are in the bedroom and spare bedroom closets so they are away from the cats and getting banged up by other shoes.

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Speaking of organization, I’m kind of a freak about it. I have three different ways of organizing my closet (besides actually organizing it): I am building an Excel spreadsheet with details about everything I own including whether the item is a core piece, spring/summer piece, or fall/winter piece; I have secret Pinterest boards with the actual items in my closet (and links to them if applicable); and I recently downloaded the StyleBook app on my phone, because I’ve been wanting a way to digitize my closet and keep track of what I’m actually wearing.

After using StyleBook for just over a month, I can say I’m really pleased with how it’s been working for me so far!

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With StyleBook, you add the individual pieces of your wardrobe, and then with those you can create looks. My favorite part is keeping track of what I’m wearing every day by adding looks to the calendar. Once looks (or individual pieces) are added to your calendar, it keeps track of how often you wear the pieces as well as calculate the cost-per-wear of each item (you can input the price of each item when you view it). I love that feature because I’ve been wanting to know cost-per-wear, but I didn’t want to calculate it myself. It’s much more fun (and much easier!) to create looks and add  them to the calendar–then all the hard work is done for you!

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I LOVE seeing how often I’m wearing pieces. Since I just started keeping track of my outfits on August 1st, it doesn’t look like I’ve worn my clothes that much, but I know in a year it will really be telling. If I get sick of an item before I get a lot of wears in (which is subjective because it depends on cost-per-wear), I’ll know it wasn’t a good buy and I need to be more mindful in the future. The app also shows you your 25 Least Worn items. (Note that I wore the shorts six times in August but they have been worn seven times according to this list. That’s because I wore them today!)

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Here’s what my best cost-per-wears look like after August (and two days of September). Of course, my cheaper pieces, even if only worn once, have the best cost-per-wears right now. See my tan sandals, though? I’ve worn those so much in just the past month (six times) that my cost-per-wear is looking quite good! I generally aim for a cost-per-wear of $1, but it would be fabulous to have cost-per-wears that are below $1. That is what I’m hoping for with the (hopefully) better quality pieces I’ve been picking up recently. StyleBook also keeps a list of the 25 Worst Value.

I’m planning on doing another closet inventory and StyleBook update in about a year. I’m excited to see what my most/least worn pieces are and all the various looks I can come up with. I’m also hoping to reduce the size of my closet a bit more–think I can do it?! ;)

August budget

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  1. Ananias Sandals (via Etsy): $48
  2. Madewell Jacket: $48 (originally $98)
  3. Chelsea28 Sweater (via Nordstrom): $63 (originally $88)
  4. Halogen Bag (via Nordstrom; seen here): $84 (originally $118)
  5. BaubleBar Necklace (seen here): $10 (originally $28)
  6. Gap Dress: $51 (originally $80)
  7. Joie Sweater (via TJ Maxx): $56 (originally $278; used $50 gift card on $106)

August Budget = $170 (plus $190 in PayPal funds from Ebay sales)

$500 (quarterly budget) – $249 (June) – $216 (July) – $170 (August) = -$135

*cough* I know… I feel gross looking at how much I overspent this month. Thank goodness I was able to sell so much on Ebay or else I would be way more in the hole. I’ll be starting at $365 for my new quarterly budget instead of $500 because of it. I do have a couple of orders I just received and am still deciding about. Next month is going to be a little bit wonky because of my birthday. I’m on a self-imposed “no buy” because I have to pay tuition, and I want to save money for a little trip Chris and I are taking after my defense. However, because of my birthday, I’m allowing myself to buy things if I receive gift cards and only if I spend it on things on my “need” list. I sent Chris my list and told him to keep me accountable!

I’m pretty upset with myself because I shopped during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and both the sweater and the bag are now even more on sale than they were during the Anniversary Sale. What a joke! I’m definitely going to be avoiding that sale next year and just keeping an eye on potential purchases to see if they go even more on sale later.

My other purchases include a little black dress (woo!), my custom sandals from Greece, a super simple necklace (BaubleBar also sent another simple necklace for free as a little gift), a military jacket perfect for fall, and a lovely sweater I found at TJ Maxx. I’m getting excited for fall, you guys! My sweater collection is looking very happy.

Fingers crossed I can get my butt into gear next month!

Linking up with Franish & my fellow budgeting bloggers

Comfy casual

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Like I mentioned in my previous post, it’s still summer. However, it has been so mild here lately, and while a break in temps is quite welcome (today was the perfect temperature!), I’m not ready to let go of summer. ATMOSPHERE, STAHP. A couple of days ago, it was chilly, and then outflow winds from distant thunderstorms came a-blowin’ and it was SO cold!

Here’s what I wore for an unseasonably cool day: a super comfy sweatshirt-like striped top, boyfriend jeans, and my Red Tour Keds. I do have to admit, though–my shoes were killing me by the end of the day. They normally don’t, but I did walk around campus more than usual so I’m assuming that contributed. Now I’m rocking a couple of Hello Kitty bandages and giving my heels a well-deserved break!

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Madewell top (last seen here) / Gap Factory jeans / Keds sneakers (similar; last seen here) / ModCloth sunglasses