September budget

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  1. J.Crew Factory Sweater: $40 (originally $74.50)
  2. J.Crew Factory Sweatshirt: $38 (originally $59.50)
  3. Zara Scarf (via Ebay): $13
  4. Uniqlo Shirt (seen here): $30
  5. J.Crew Factory Shirt: $12 (originally $59.50)
  6. Madewell Sweater: $51 (originally $79.50)
  7. Madewell Pants (seen here): $60 (originally $128)
  8. Nordstrom Loafers (via Goodwill): $8

September Total = $150 (plus $102 in PayPal funds from Ebay sales)

$365 ($500 quarterly budget – $135 overspent) – $150 (September) = $215 left for October and November

Soooo… remember how I said last month how I needed to do a no-buy this month? (I called it “No Shop September” in my head, haha.) Well, obviously that didn’t happen. However, I got pieces that were on my list (sweaters, white blouse, and burgundy pants), so there’s that. The loafers I actually purchased in August but forgot to add to my budget. I’m quite excited for those because they were such a great thrift store find! (They actually are Nordstrom brand–pretty cool!) I should have tried harder on my no-buy, though, because I had quite a few unexpected expenses this month that made my bank account really sad.

The J.Crew Factory order is one I wasn’t expecting to love, but I am so excited for every piece. I went into the store to do a price adjustment with my student discount, but it ended up being more trouble that it was worth. (I though they would take the discount off the price I paid online, but they processed it as a return and repurchased everything at the store price and then applied the discount; I ended up saving $10 instead of $25.) The sweatshirt is SO comfy, but it’s not the best quality, which I’m super bummed about. I wore it once and the back is pilling pretty bad. However, I can’t wait to wear the sweater! It’s such a pretty color and so soft. I hope it holds up better than the sweatshirt.

The scarf is one I purchased from an Ebay seller in Hong Kong. I heard about them on Instagram so I decided to give it a shot since it was only $13. My scarf actually has the Zara tag on it, so I think that means it’s real? I honestly don’t know, though, since I’ve never purchased any other Zara items. The only downside is mine came with a couple of runs. I’ll have to strategically hide those when I wear it.

I was on the fence when I first purchased the Uniqlo shirt because it isn’t true white, and it’s also a little bit on the large side. (There was also a really bad wrinkle in the collar that took forEVER to iron out.) After trying it on with a few of my tops and sweaters, though, I’m loving it. I hope you’re prepared to see more outfits with it! ;)

The Madewell purchases were first featured here after I tried them on in store. After watching the prices for a couple of weeks, they both went on promo, so I stopped in store to pick them up and stack the student discount with the promos. (The weekend I went, the student discount was 20% instead of the usual 15%.) The pants weren’t on sale in store, but if you don’t already know, Madewell (and J.Crew) will match the online price in store. The pants were on promo for $99.50, and they were eligible for 30% off that price–plus I got the 20% student discount on top of all of that, making it a killer deal! I’m quite excited to wear them through the fall, winter, and spring. I’m also glad I grabbed the sweater when I did because it’s sold out in that color online (though you can call and have them do a store search for you if you really want it!). They actually didn’t have my size in stock at the store, so they called customer service and I placed it with them (and they honored the student discount). Yeah, Madewell is the best. ;)

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It also was my birthday this month! My wonderful family and boyfriend gifted me Sam Edelman boots (upgrading from my current black boots), a cotton-cashmere Everlane sweater, and this Madewell necklace I’ve been eyeing. My boyfriend actually bought the necklace when we stopped in the store on opening day! I’m super excited for these pieces; I think they fit in perfectly with the vision I have for my wardrobe.

Regarding October, there’s actually not that much on my radar right now. I actually feel like it won’t be a spend-heavy month for me, which is something I haven’t felt in a while. I just hope I don’t get too stressed out with my giant school to-do list because that’s when I tend to browse websites and place orders!

Linking up with Franish & my fellow budgeting bloggers

First blogiversary!

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I have been blogging for exactly a year as of today! Isn’t that exciting?! It went so fast; it’s so hard to believe it has already been a year!

The original reason why I started this blog was primarily to share outfits. I also wanted to blog a bit about my cats, the weather, travel, and life in general, but I didn’t really envision this becoming a full-on lifestyle blog, and I feel like I’ve kept it that way. (Though I don’t blog about the weather as much as I used to/wanted to, mostly because my research is climate-related and I’m still learning things about the weather. I don’t really feel comfortable blabbing about certain atmospheric processes and trying to teach my readers–you!–if I don’t fully grasp them myself!)

To be honest, I was inspired by other bloggers and their personal style blogs. I feel like this blog has helped me dress so much better than I was dressing before. I actually put more effort into outfits now than I used to, and I’ve loved watching my own personal style evolve within the past year. (I don’t recommend looking at my first few months of outfits, but if you must, I hope you can see the progression as well!) I can’t wait to see where the next year takes my style! I hope to continue to grow and feel even more confident in the clothes I buy and wear.

I am so grateful for all of my followers! Over 100 of you from email, WordPress, and Bloglovin’ are subscribed and I can’t even believe that many people want to follow along. Thank you, thank you! I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

That being said, I have decided to put together a brief survey for you to complete in order for me to get a better idea of where you guys are coming from and what posts you like (or don’t like) to read! I would love to hear your feedback. I kept the survey short at only ten questions, and it should only take you a couple of minutes to complete. Please click here to take the survey! Thank you so much in advance for helping me make Twenty-Something Simple better. :)

original background photo via amy_buthod on Flickr

Late summer layers

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It may officially be fall as of two days ago, but the weather here has been decidedly August-like. I’m over it. By the end of September, I expect temps in the 70s to low 80s. Definitely not 90s. Nooo thank you. I keep telling myself not to complain too much because once snow comes around, I’ll be dreaming about the nice weather! But seriously, I’m ready to break out my ankle boots. I actually wore my black ankle boots on Sunday, and when I pulled them out of the closet, they were covered in dust. I had to dust my boots, guys.

Anyway, I’ve been waiting for the perfect day to wear this outfit, but the days have either been too hot or nice but rainy. (I have a bad habit of waiting for the ideal day to wear certain outfits. Most of the time those days never come, and why not wear an amazing outfit when you want to feel amazing?!) I gave in even though the temp flirted with 90 degrees. It ended up not being a dumb decision because I didn’t leave my office all day. (It’s crunch time, you guys. I realized I had to change my data around so I spent all day yesterday fixing the code and getting everything to look right…only I’m not sure if it still looks right. Awesome. Make sure you really love what you’re doing before you go to grad school, haha.)

I keep digressing from the outfit! I have too much going on to keep my train of thought on the same track. (Was that weird to say…?) Anyway, I’m happy that I finally found the white, collared, sleeveless shirt I’ve been searching for, and this was the first outfit I thought to wear with it. Grey, white, and black–such an easy and obvious color combination for this time of year!

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J.Crew Factory sweatshirt (on sale but sold out of grey) and skirt (on sale!) / Uniqlo shirt / ModCloth wedges (on sale!) and sunglasses / Forever 21 earrings (old)

Linking up with Jenna‘s Thursday Favorites

Birthday girl

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Today is my birthday! I’m a whole quarter of a century old–yikes! Why does 25 feel so much older than 24? 24 also felt a lot older than 23… Perhaps I’m just not keen on this whole “aging” thing, haha. For my birthday, I wore a fun, colorful striped dress. It’s one that doesn’t get a lot of wear because it requires dry cleaning, and it also wrinkles really easily. Have you ever tried to iron pleats? They are SO annoying. I don’t know why I buy so many pleated dresses/skirts because I hate caring for them, haha. The skirt of this dress has three layers–the lining, a middle stiff layer of some fabric I can’t name (but it’s shiny, sheer, and gives the skirt structure), and then the top striped layer. I have to iron the middle and top layers since both have the pleats. I always managed to fix one pleat while also ironing out the pleat next to it, so that’s why they look a little wonky. Anyway, I can’t bring myself to part with this dress just yet because it totally brightens up each day I wear it!

I had kind of a rocky start to my birthday today. First, I realized my cable bill is $50 more than I thought it would be (after calling the company TWICE two weeks ago to get my bill reduced). Then, I showered and out of nowhere a giant moth appeared. It spent most of my shower on the drain being drenched in water, but it didn’t die! I have no idea why it didn’t die, but that was disgusting. I had to get a new driver’s license since mine expired. That’s always fun. Once I made it to school, I managed to walk around with my part of my skirt tucked under my backpack. I didn’t notice because of the whole three-layer thing mentioned above. The lining was still touching my legs so I had no idea until I reached back. Luckily I think it was just the top layer that was stuck, but still…YIKES! I’ve had quite an eventful day, so I’m happy to be spending my evening on the couch with pizza and TV shows.

In the spirit of not taking oneself too seriously, I’m sharing a couple of outtakes from today’s outfit shoot. Hope you enjoy!

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The skirt does not twirl like I thought it would. Also, I always stick my tongue out when I’m concentrating. I know, I’m a huge dork. But what’s life if you can’t laugh once in a while? There’s way more where that came from; I may have to feature bloopers more! I’m linking up with Franish today, so check out the link at the end of this post to see her bloopers and some from other bloggers. :)

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ModCloth dress (last seen here) / J.Crew flats (last seen here) / Kate Spade necklace via Nordstrom

Linking up with Franish‘s Blogger Bloopers

Contrast

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I’m kind of obsessed with this outfit…like a lot! This felt very “me” when I wore it. It was the perfect outfit for a day of school (work, really) and a break to visit the farmers market. The tote I got from Madewell for free on their opening day went with my outfit perfectly! I always bring it to the farmers market since it’s perfect for holding goodies. The greens you see trying to make an escape are kale and leeks, and both were grown on campus! Isn’t that cool?! We actually randomly walked by the garden the other day. It’s pretty awesome to see exactly where your food comes from.

So, back to the outfit. I’m loving black and white SO much! This top with these shorts feel like they were always meant to be together. Isn’t it fun when outfits work out the way you hope they would?! I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! xo

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Anthropologie top (last seen here) / Gap shorts (on sale!) / Ananias sandals (custom) / ModCloth earrings (old)

Wear it anyway

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Sometimes, I’ll stare at my closet, feeling underwhelmed. After taking a big sigh, I’ll throw together an outfit, do some poses in front of a full-length mirror to see how it looks, and, if I like it, immediately add it to my list of outfit ideas. This outfit I put together over the weekend in exactly the way described above, and I wore it on Monday. That’s a pretty fast turn around time; most of my outfits sit on the list until the weather cooperates, season comes around, or until I’m “feeling it” or whatever. Some are deleted before they are even worn.

This outfit is interesting, to say the least. It’s so random and such a mish-mash of pieces. At first, I wasn’t sure about it. Boxy shirt + loose A-line skirt = too much of a rectangular figure? Maybe, but I decided to wear it anyway. It’s part experimental and part exactly what I wanted to be at that moment: a rectangle with two arms, two legs, and a head. Also, I wanted to feature this top again. I’ve worn it a few times since I first featured it on here because it’s so comfortable and unique. The only downside is the choice of shoes; I didn’t really know what looked best, but I decided to take my fisherman sandals out for a final spin before putting them away for the cooler months.

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Joe & Paul Sister top via Anthropologie (last seen here) / ModCloth skirt (similar; last seen here) and sunglasses / American Eagle Outfitters sandals (old)

Linking up with Jenna‘s Thursday Favorites

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)