After last week, I had $45 left of my $125 to spend.   This week was my birthday, so I did a little bit of shopping :)

3/4 Sleeve Cotton/Cashmere blend Tee, J Crew, $15 on Ebay

Gap filled:  3/4 sleeve work blouses

I don’t know how to begin to express how much I love this blouse.  It’s soft, it’s light enough to take me from Spring to Summer, it has lovely, on trend Breton stripes.  And the price!  I keep seeing this blouse being listed on Ebay, and it usually ends up selling for at least $35, so I surprised even myself when I managed to get it for such a low price.  This is certainly going to become a staple for me, both at work and on the weekends.

I mentioned that I went thrifting on my birthday.  I was substituting on the other side of town that day, and one of my readers had recently told me about a new thrift store in that area, so I decided to check it out.  I came home with some excellent loot.  I ended up having a lot of luck with blouses, but didn’t find any trousers, jeans or skirts to try on.  The store was very clean, the prices excellent, the items in good condition, and the staff friendly.  They had a lot of vintage and brand name items.  Here’s what I bought there for a total of $26!

Red Tee: Old Navy
Blue Tee: White Stag
Grey Tee: George

Gap filled: Casual 3/4 sleeve tees

Casual tees weren’t expressly on my gaps list, but these were dirt cheap and decent quality, and it’s always nice to have some comfy tees for wearing around the house.  The red one can probably be dressed up for work too.

Raspberry button-down: Gap
Yellow button-down: Alexandra Bartlett
Green Button-down: St Johns Bay
Green kimono blouse: Voice
Turquoise button-down: Westbound

Gap filled: Work blouses, summer casuals

I’ve mentioned before that I only have one button-down, which I hate.  These, however, I love.  The 3/4 sleeve ones will be fantastic for work, and I adore the colors.  The sleeveless ones will help me to stay polished once it gets ridiculously hot in the summer, and they’ll work for casual weekends too.  The kimono blouse is just awesome and unique.

Vintage 80′s “Leather” Clutch

Gap filled: “Leather” clutch

I’ve been looking for a good leather clutch for awhile.  I wanted something that would be just large enough to hold my wallet, keys, cell phone, and lip gloss.  Something that would be dressy enough to wear to dinner or special events, but that would also work with casual outfits for hanging out with friends.  This one fits the bill perfectly.  I don’t think it’s real leather, but it’s not really bad quality either.  Plus, the strap can be tucked in, so I can carry it in my hands, or as a shoulder bag.

So after all that, I ended up with $4 left, which will roll over into next month.  I managed to stick to my budget!  Of course, there was $50 of early birthday money that I spent at Anthro, which helped a lot.  And I’ll be getting a little bit more this weekend, which will help make March less difficult.  I’m really happy with how my shopping habits are transforming.  I feel like I have become much more discriminating, focusing only on items that I really love.  I’m so tired of buying “okay” items just to toss them at the next closet purging.  I’m really starting to get a good grasp of what I love, which makes it much easier to eliminate items while shopping.  And I’m starting to have a wardrobe that really makes me happy, full of pieces that fit well and look great.  I’m lovin’ it.

(Note: I recently joined Independent Fashion Bloggers, which is an absolutely fantastic and supportive network of bloggers who write about style and fashion.  Every week, they collect some of the top links submitted and publish them in Links a la Mode.  My Ebay post was featured this week!  I’ll be posting Links a la Mode  every Saturday at noon)

Project Beyond the Runway

Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

Reading through the links this week, I realized that fashion week or no fashion week, fashion will most certainly go on! A winter snowstorm couldn’t even slow down New York Fashion Week, and the links below are testament to the wonderful style that exists beyond the runway, such as Ode to Awe‘s jewelry discovery, how to look chic while lounging by Cafe Fashionista, and tips for vintage shoe shopping by Wicked Whimsy. Don’t get me wrong, I love being ‘in the know’ on runway looks and trends, but how you interpret them and work them into your personal style is so much more important than remembering which designers showed one-shoulder looks this season!

As expected, there was a fabulous round-up of links in the forum as well, all worthy of your eyeballs!

Links à la Mode : February 25th

39th and Broadway – A Side of the Industry Unknown by Most: Life as a Corporate Fashion Designer
British Style Bloggers – Cherish forever what makes you unique, ‘cos you’re a yawn once it’s gone
Cafe Fashionista - A step-by-step guide to looking luxurious even when lounging
Clutch22 -Up close and personal with Vivienne Tam as she expands her fashion+tech innovations to a new category
CMYKaboom – Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) ‘Tweet Up in the Tents’ event
Debutante Clothing - Vintage Jewelry: Q&A with Lucite line Circa Sixty Three
Fabulous Finds Gal – Moonstuck at the opera with photographer Bersa
Fashion Pulse Daily – Sonia Rykiel Pour H&M; the debut and the review
Holier Than Now – New Take on Florals (5 Under $50)
Idiosyncratic Style - A Girl’s Guide to Maternity Style
Independent Fashion Bloggers : Evolving Influence Recap : Part One
Individual Chic: – Would you have wanted a Computer Engineer Barbie when you were smaller? Or would you love one now?
Night Watch – 10 Questions with Model Clara Zapffe
Ode to Awe - Denmark based Alidra Alic’s Alice-inspired jewelry
Oranges and Apples – Rules for advertising and sponsorship on blogs
Retro Chick – The Ethics of Blogging
Smiles Go with Everything -10 Tips for Shopping on Ebay: How to find great deals on awesome duds.
The Coveted – Visits Nine West HQ for a sneak peak of AW10 shoe collections!
The Style PA – Gives Henry Holland a grilling ahead of his House of Holland show.
The Sunday Best – Do men get better service when they shop?
Wicked Whimsy -What to look for when buying vintage shoes
Workchic – Fall 2010 NY Fashion week collections: recreated runway to the office outfits

The knitted gloves and mittens giveaway had 18 entries, and using, comment #3 was selected.

By Franca, February 21, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

Yes please! The coldest temperature I’ve experienced has been minus 10 Celcius, this winter here in Edinburgh.

Congratulations Franca of Oranges and Apples!  I’ll  be e-mailing you shortly.

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