After overspending on my wardrobe last year, I decided to track my spending. At the beginning of each month, I will review and reflect on the things I bought in the previous month. I hope the insights I gain from doing this will help me accomplish three goals: 1) avoid overspending, 2) shop smarter (quality not quantity), and 3) have a functional closet full of pieces I love to wear.
Snapshot of last month’s receipt
+ $333.16 Reformation cardigan and linen pants
+ $10 tailoring linen pants
+ $64.45 Frame pants via TheRealReal (= $75 – 30% off + $11.95 shipping)
+ $110.40 Amour Vert boyfriend chinos (= $138 – 20%)
+ $408.28 Cuyana leather backpack
– $18 from selling a Reformation dress on Depop
The details (what I bought and kept)
Reformation cardigan (size small)
I mentioned this in my June favorites post but I’ve been wearing this cardigan nonstop. It’s seriously the perfect summer cardigan. Unless, you’re always hot then you won’t be able to relate. But, if you’re always cold like me even in scorching hot temps, then you know that a lightweight layer goes a long way.
Reformation linen pants (size 0)
I picked up these pants on the same day as the cardigan I just mentioned. It was the end of my first day of work and I needed another pair of work pants. I had the one I was wearing and that was it. All my other pants are jeans and I can only wear the unripped ones on casual Fridays. Anyway, these ones were too long for me but I thought I could make it work so I bought them. Turns out, they were too long.
I got them hemmed and even though the length is definitely better (please excuse my bare feet in this photo and the photos to come), I still want to get another two inches taken off of it. Back to the tailor I go.
At first, they fit a bit snug in the waist but they loosened up a bit with wear. I’m not going to lie, the khaki color makes me feel like I’m Jake from State Farm. Do you remember those commercials?
Other than that, I really like the fit and the length is perfect for my short legs. If I had all my work pants fit like this, I wouldn’t be mad and would probably buy it in all the colors.
Amour Vert boyfriend chinos (size xs)
This was part of my ‘oh crap, I have nothing to wear’ online shopping spree. I do wish the waist wasn’t as loose. I guess they really do live up to their name of being a “boyfriend” fit. They are very comfortable though. And, they’re sustainably and ethically made which gets two thumbs up from me. I’m leaning towards getting a belt for these pants, but I hate wearing belts. This is major #firstworldproblems. Also, the color is not at all what it looked like on the site. It claims to be a ‘twig’ color but it looks grayish-green to me. I don’t mind it though.
Cuyana leather backpack (standard size)
I’ve had this backpack for about two full weeks and I love it. It fits everything I need for work and it’s so comfortable to walk around in. My only complaint is the price tag. Other than that, I’m happy with my purchase. Promise to do a ‘what’s in my bag’ post soon.
$908.29 = June total
$10 = tailoring a pair of pants
$2,366.38 = Year to date total
5 = Number of items added to closet in June
17 = Number of items added to closet so far this year
It was a stressful month. Not only did I spend way more $$$ than I intended to, I had the hardest time finding basic work clothes. Three new pairs of pants later, I’m still figuring out what to wear everyday for work. It continues to be a real challenge especially after discovering that I only have two tops on rotation. And dressing for the summer? A real pain. Not because I hate summer but because of how frigid cold my office is. So cold in fact that keeping puffer jackets in the office is completely normal. Yup, I now wear my Everlane puffer jacket over my summer clothes and leave it on my chair until I return for work. Welcome to NYC office life, I guess.
Frustrating office weather aside, I did wonder throughout the month if it would have just been easier for me and my wallet to continue my Rent the Runway subscription (I talk about my RTR experience here). At least, until I found some basic pieces I totally loved, instead of buying things out of desperation.
Now that the first half of 2018 is gone (where did time go?), I need to carefully consider what I want my budget for the rest of the year to look like. Ideally, I don’t want to spend more than $3000 this year. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it but it’s definitely an interesting challenge. To be honest, I just want to spend less than I did last year. One thing I have accomplished so far is buying fewer and better things. That definitely won’t change. As for next month, I’m trying to challenge myself to spend no more than $400. I know that sounds like a lot but I’m seriously building my work wardrobe from scratch. And trying to do it in a way where I don’t rely on fast fashion is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Or maybe I’m just really picky. But then again, if I’m buying it, I better love wearing it, right? Right.
What would you have done if you had to build a work wardrobe from scratch?
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