Shopping Bags in January 2016

I feel like I have been spending a lot of cash this month to really try and replace stuff that no longer fits properly.  I am just about to hit the one year post partum mark, and while I really need to get into better shape, which would probably result in some weight loss, I need clothes for now.  I think this month it's mostly basics that I'd been holding off on and then a few final winter purchases--boots, all the boots.

January 2016


  1. A pair of black clog boots from Old Navy for $35 are like the ones I want from Dansko and Swedish Hasbeen at a quarter or less of the price.  Now, I need to cull my boots collection because see #2
  2. A pair of black motorcycle hybrid Chelsea style boots from Old Navy for $25 were a good deal.  I feel like I just needed a simple pair of go with everything boots that didn't have cutouts or giant laces up the front (i.e. my cutout booties and my combat boots).
  3. A pair of black leggings from Torrid for $20 were lacking in my closet.  I have been trying to find good leggings for months and these fit well and are super comfortable.
  4. A pair of workout capris from Sam's Club for $10 were another "I need this" purchase.  I don't have a lot of work out/hang out pants that fit, and these are so comfortable.  I hate to work out in tight pants-it's not motivating, just humiliating.
  5. A grey pullover hoodie from Sam's Club for $15 is not covered in paint or logos.  I have not got a lot of warm hoodie casual type cover ups, so this has already gotten lots of use.


Carmen San Diego, January 7th, 2016

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I was gifted quite a bit of Anthropologie gift cardage over the last few set of holiday type events:  birthdays and Christmas.  I managed to convince the husband we should go downtown to the Anthropologie by reminding him he can get new glasses at Fossil.  It's the only place that has sunglasses big enough for his head and the Fossil outlet is pretty reasonable.  Plus, he just broke his favorite pair.

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So, back to gift cards, I tried on a bunch of things and the only thing I really loved was this poplin top marked down to $11.  Can you say good deal?  I think the stripes on the front are navy so I paired it with high heeled booties, black pants and a blue cardigan.  Since it was heinously raining outside, I went ahead and wore my Carmen San Diego fedora.  Just to be funny, here's my best accidental b*tch face in the last photo.  Enjoy!

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Hat :: store in Portland, OR
Grey leather jacket :: Tahari
Blue cardigan :: Loft
White top :: Anthropologie
Pendant :: gift from husband
Stackable ring :: Loft outlet
Black pants :: JCPenney
Black heeled booties :: Rockport

Hot as Hell, December 24th, 2015

I don't love heat even though I live in a sub-tropical climate.  I really enjoy the times of year that we get a reprieve like Christmas, but this year, it just didn't happen.  It was sooo warm that I was wandering around my parents house with no shoes on.  We used the oven and the stove which just made everything so much worse.  We actually had to turn on the air conditioning on December 24th.  Sooooo wrong, Stupid El Nino.

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I planned on wearing this dress no matter what, but I skipped tights and a sweater or coat of any kind.  I honestly can't remember exactly what shoes I was wearing, but I did my hair, so that counts for something right!

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Faux ruby earrings :: inherited
Charm necklace :: gift from husband
Red sweater dress :: Old Navy
Shoes :: ?????

How Do You Define the Investment Piece?

I often read about how women my age, 37, should be investing in pieces of clothing that will last.  I like this idea that I can buy something that I love and wear it quite literally to pieces, but I find myself having trouble with the reality of it.  The investment piece is an amorphous idea if you really think about it.

How do we define the length of time an investment piece should last?  How much should an investment cost?  If I buy a suit, should it last five years, ten years, 15 years?  What about jeans or a little black dress or boots?  Every item has a different life cycle and a realistic amount of time before it can become dated.  And, we have to admit that we live in a world where we are concerned about looking current for things like job interviews.

I think the idea is that we are supposed to wear items out before they lose their appeal or invest in clothes that will be somewhat timeless.  I just don't find the process to be that simple.  Very few of us are like the ladies of Advanced Style and hold onto something and wear it for ages with grace.  Most of us struggle to define our own personal style from year to year even as we age.

I can think of lots of reasons that people would buy something and no longer be able to wear it beyond the sort of vain reason that it just isn't current.  Job changes, lifestyle changes, weight fluctuation.  That last one is always the killer for me, especially since I was well on my way to a highly curated wardrobe with some investment pieces before I got pregnant.

Replacing my whole wardrobe with pieces that are of the same quality isn't realistic.  I want to lose weight and be healthier, but I need clothes that fit the body I have now.  I end up shopping in some "fast fashion" retailers, but I try to buy clothing that looks well made and that has an extended shelf life in terms of style and trends.

I do still have traditional investment pieces that I've had for years that magically still fit and look good.  My best example is the first real heavy duty winter coat my Mom bought me before I got married.  It's probably 15 years old, black wool with a rounded collar.  I don't love the collar, but it's just so perfect for looking pulled together with a fancy dress even all these years later.

Where do you guys fall on this spectrum?  Are you one of the lucky ones who curate a wardrobe you always fit into?  How do you define affordable versus investment?  Are you thinking about so called fast fashion?

Shopping Bags in December 2015

Hello, all, and happy new year! I am a bit delayed on my Shopping Bags post for December because I've been having so much fun on my winter break.  But, I'm back at work and in the right mindset to do some proper blogging.


My wardrobe is fairly well stocked in terms of basics.  I'm still having fit issues with my new post-baby body, but I'm hoping to find more time to get into shape now that the Kid is bigger.  I shopped this month to address the same two problem areas of my closet I've had since starting the blog almost 5 years ago, casual clothes and warm winter items.

December 2015


A green cardigan from Target for $15 is a nice replacement for an emerald one I used to wear all the time.  I was tired of resewing it back together; now, I don't have to.
A red and navy striped top from Forever21 was $15 is lightweight but a great option for the weekends and casual work days.  I'm like everyone else on the Internet who can't get enough of striped tops.
A cream lace shoulder sweater from Forever21 for $16 is not too heavy and really easy to match with anything.  I like having a neutral top in a warmer fabric that isn't black, too.

Thanksgiving, November 26th, 2015

Last post of the year, and it's from Thanksgiving.  Not sure what to say about that.  I guess I need to get on my computer and upload photos from my camera way more often.  Since it's New Year's Eve, let's call that my resolution for 2016.

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Thanksgiving was at my parents' house this year, so the Kid could meet a bunch of relatives she didn't know yet.  Now they've all met, and everyone gets along.  Must've been all the turkey and gravy.  Nom nom nom as the Kid would say.  

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If you could apply nom nom nom to awesome hair, I'd do it for these photos.  I figured out how to refresh my curls for a day or two after washing them with a curling iron.  Color me proud.  Also, color me in black and white because I feel good, have no food baby, and can wear my baby sling without looking psycho (cause it's black, too).

Pyramid stud earrings :: Anthropologie
Stackable ring :: Loft Outlet
Red sweater :: Modcloth
Black tank :: Target
Black and white geometric skirt :: Maurice's 
Clog sandals :: Dansko

AC/DC, November 24th, 2015

I got this hat not long after the Kid was born for days when my hair looked atrocious.  This was one of those days.  The problem with owning and wearing this hat regularly is it's exactly the kind of hat the husband wears, so we end up looking weirdly matchy matchy.  Not a big deal though when I go to work.

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I love this outfit in general because it references an outfit I used to wear all the time before the components got old.  It was also stripes, a blazer, jeans and a cute shoe.  You could pretty much go anywhere like work in this outfit except some place really fancy.

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As for the title, the husband said I looked like that guy from AC/DC who wears the stripes and hat with shorts and plays guitar all over the stage.  I kind of do, but I'm not going to stop wearing it.

Hat :: Meyer the Hatter
Pearl mesh earrings :: Tiffanys, gift from husband
Pipe necklace :: gift from Mom
Stackable ring :: Loft Outlet
Black blazer :: H&M
Striped tee :: Loft
Jeans :: Torrid
Black booties :: Lockport