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Posts Tagged ‘J.Crew’

A Fistful of Dollars

Hmmm am I shamelessly man-pandering again?

Three dollars per wear for this cowboy hat. Hmmm am I shamelessly pandering to the taste of men, again?

If you can afford to be reading this, you can afford to be dressed well.  It’s not easy, but if you honestly assess your budget, priorities and power , you can find a reasonable amount to spend on clothes and stick with it.  It’s not hard to find “shopping on a budget” advice these days.  Everyone is trying to SELL us their magazines by explaining how we can SAVE money.  The last two issues of O, the magazine that shits you not, has some budget advice worth discussion.  First, Tim Gunn admits that J. Crew isn’t “cheap” for everyone , which I appreciate.  Then, there are two rules of “three” for buying clothes.  (I apologize for not link to the specific articles, but Oprah my friend, your website is PAIN and I recycled all my old periodicals last time I cleaned the bathroom).

 

Donegal shawl cardigan, $148; Printed ruffle top, $98; Toothpick ankle cord, $79.50; Skinny tortoise belt, $39.50; Lots of bracelets, $60 each at J. Crew

Donegal shawl cardigan, $148; Printed ruffle top, $98; Toothpick ankle cord, $79.50; Skinny tortoise belt, $39.50; Lots of bracelets, $60 each at J. Crew

3% of your budget is for clothes.  

This is a rule of thumb.  So: If 3% of your budget = 3% of your income, spend a week and a half’s pay for a year’s worth of clothes.   I will admit that I’m spending above this (But I will also admit I’m really happy with my wardrobe and the way I look!) I do need to tighten up with my “waste” factors. Buying things that don’t quite work but I don’t return. Also I have too many brown suit jackets. But I still don’t have the perfect weekend shoes for winter.   If I honed my budget where I need it, this shouldn’t be my problem.

Silk pleated posy top, $89.50, with wool tweed pencil skirt, $128, J. Crew. Wow, some of you cant wear ANY WOOL? Including skirts!!?

Silk pleated posy top, $89.50, with wool tweed pencil skirt, $128, J. Crew. Wow, some of you can't wear ANY WOOL? Including skirts!!?

$3 per wear is a good bargain. For a coat you wear every workday, budget $60 for each month you’ll wear the coat. For a cute skirt you wear twice a month, that’s $72 for a year. Those $498 boots need to be worn 166 times to meet this rule. That is 33 times a year for 5 years, hmm.

Obviously not everything we buy is going to make this rule, but it’s a good guideline. If you tend to overspend (feel guilty about your purchases, hide them from your spouse, or buy many things you don’t wear) it might be worth focussing on this.

Also note: This answers some cardigan and belt questions you had.  (Meg and Terri?) The cardigan has a nice hefty, warm texture but doesn’t look too sloppy because it’s nicely fitted with narrow sleeves.  The belt, well over the sweater looks a little prissy and fake to me, but Michelle Obama does it and gives the sweater some nice shape.  If you want to do a belt, do it like that. The belt with the skirt, I like the detail and how it breaks up the solid colors.

Notice that both of these outfits have a mild color scheme: Blush, black, white.  But they’re not boring or blocky because of the interesting texture, shape, color, print and detail.

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I once dabbled with catalog shopping when I was in high school. This was before Portland even had a J.Crew and we had just gotten a Banana Republic. Someone decided to send me a catalog and I was so excited. I ordered some shirts and a skirt. When they arrived and I put it on I quickly realized that I am not 6’4” and was a nerdy Asian high school student, not a blonde society gal in the Hamptons watching her boyfriend play polo and laughing it up with a bunch of old men in sweater vests. I ended up sending them back and have been catalog shy ever since. Now I know we’re all supposed to realize that these people are models and they are paid $$$ to look good and stay skinny and the photos are styled to death but somehow, seeing a piece modeled so effortlessly and nonchalantly we fall under the illusion that we too can be that person. If we wear that dress, we will have that life. That’s their business, selling fantasy.

will these shoes give me the life that i want? for $825 it better!!

will these shoes give me the life that i want? for $825 it better!!

Some of you may have wondered (but most likely no one has) why I don’t use pretty photos from fashion magazines like all the other cute fancy blogs and bloggers do. It’s because I have to confess, I’m not so much interested in fashion per se as I’m interested in figuring out what looks good on me. So I will talk about myself and what I wear and what I’ve worn and what I want to wear and feature pictures of myself and friends and regular people I see on the streets. Because that’s my reality. Knowing what looks good on Gwyneth Paltrow is not going to help me look better.

two non-Nordstrom gals at the NAS

two non-Nordstrom gals at the NAS. L is wearing a hat I found at Gasworks Park on Tuesday.

I’ve been thinking about this whole hoodie situation. There’s a reason I haven’t been wearing chunky cardigans even though they look pretty on the hangers and models. It’s because I am an inverted triangle and I have been trying most of my life to reduce the volume on top. I don’t layer much for this reason and when I do, I do it with lightweight fabric. The other practical reason I don’t wear sweaters is that my body temperature tends to run high and I am always sweltering in sweaters and pullovers.

It’s these darn rules again. If you are pear, do this. But if you are petite, do that. If you are big busted, do this. And then avoid this if you are long waisted. But what if you are ALL of those things? Maybe Bunny Kravitz is right and we should just all embrace our figure flaws and fcuk anyone who dares to disagree.

i imagine this to look SMASHING on jennie s. but comical on me. granted, i don't think jennie s. would pair it with this ensemble.

i imagine this to look SMASHING on jennie s. but comical on me. granted, i don't think jennie s. would pair it with this ensemble.

That being said, I will continue to search for styles that work for me and keep an open mind and try new things. Thanking everyone for cool cute suggestions. But there’s a reason I dress the way I dress and whatever changes I make will probably deviate only slightly from where I am now. Stay tuned!

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