Third time was a charm with this dress. I first ordered a size 6, which is the same size as another beloved LOFT dress from last summer. Too small. I then ordered an 8 petite because the regular wasn’t available. Too short (as in “I’m pretty sure I can’t sit down and still be a lady”). Finally, an 8 regular popped back in my size and I jumped on it. Totally worth the hassle. It was my favorite dress to wear in Louisville and I have no doubt it’s going to get plenty of wear in Belgium.
May is my birthday month, which is usually carte blanche to purchase whatever my heart desires. This year was no different. I bought a pair of striped loafers from J.Crew with a gift card, the Tory Burch scarf I’ve been dreaming about, a romper, and two dresses: a versatile LBD from LOFT and a DVF dress I had been crushing on since its debut (on sale!). Let’s just say that June should be another no-shop month, but I’d like to add two more spring dresses (love this and this) and this romper to my wardrobe before we go to Belgium next month.
We’re also at the halfway point for this season’s French Wardrobe Challenge, which is a good time to evaluate progress and make changes for the next three months. My Pinterest board of purchases has been an incredible way to stay accountable, even if I’m a little embarrassed by the amount of things I’ve accumulated in just three months. If you look at the board, you’ll see that those turquoise pants from Banana Republic look so out of place with my other purchases, and perhaps not surprisingly, they’re the only thing I haven’t yet worn. I bought them on a whim with a few coupons and discounts that brought the price down to under $10. I figured they’d be a fun way to punch up my work wardrobe, but that hasn’t been the case.
Everything else, though, is very “me” and has been worn repeatedly, but I think I can cut back on the amount of things I’m buying. I remember reading a blog post awhile back that restricted each month’s purchases to one article of clothing and one accessory each month. I wish I remember the author because it was such a unique way to make sure your purchases are the best you can afford and the most representative of your style.
- Just five standout pieces per season that update your wardrobe. (There are two “seasons” for this purpose: spring/summer and fall/winter.)
- Quality over quantity.
- Basics don’t count.
- Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual.
- Socks and underwear don’t count.
- Shoes do count. (I’m not counting shoes, though.)
Part of my five:
- J.Crew Factory botanical-print shorts
- ASOS midi skirt in sheer check
- NEW Diane von Furstenberg dress in a floral stripe: I wanted this since it first came out for spring, but I certainly couldn’t afford a $545 dress. I snagged mine at Bergdorf for $190—barely more than I’d spend on a dress from J.Crew and much better quality.
- NEW Rachel Zoe romper: I tried this on at Saks Off 5th and knew it was coming home with me before I even looked at the price tag. It’s the first romper I’ve tried that made me willing to put up with the bathroom acrobatics that go along with such an impractical item.
- J.Crew 5” chino shorts in navy
- J.Crew merino Tippi sweater in heather grey
- J.Crew fit and flare dress in haven blue
- J.Crew lightweight merino v-neck sweater in grey
- Banana Republic “Sloan” pants in turquoise
- Banana Republic trench coat in navy
- Banana Republic eyelet dress in white
- NEW LOFT black dress: I couldn’t resist the eyelet lace on the bodice of this dress. It’s going to get a lot of wear on weekends and during our Belgian vacation.
- Eddie Borgo iridescent cone earrings (pre-ordered from Modi Operandi)
- Lele Sadoughi lotus bib necklace
- Vintage ring from Frippery Vintage
- Coach saffiano leather card case in peach rose
- Double pearl earrings via eBay
- NEW Tory Burch floral scarf: I’m sure this purchase came as no surprise, considering I featured the scarf in my sidebar almost all of last month. I’m so happy to finally own something in this botanical print, but now I need to figure out the art of tying a scarf.
- Gap striped flats
- Anthropologie palm-print flats
- Tory Burch “Desi” printed pumps
- NEW J.Crew striped loafers: I bought these during a recent 30% off promotion with a gift card Dave’s parents gave me for Christmas.
- Randolph Engineering rose gold aviators
- Gerard Yosca statement necklace
- Emma McKinstry long pendant necklace
- Meghna Designs druzy ring
- Golden Thread arrowhead pendant
- Sammy dress double pearl choker
- Lacee Alexandra ring
- Haydren Reis beach bag
- Suzanne Kalan necklace
- NEW Rivet & Sway sunglasses
- NEW Peter Som for Kohl’s dress
- NEW Candie’s sandals
- NEW Apt. 9 crossbody bag
- NEW Apt. 9 sunglasses
If you’re curious about The French Wardrobe Challenge, I encourage you to peruse the archived posts.
Are you taking part in The French Wardrobe Challenge this season? Let me know and I’ll link to your post below. (It probably goes without saying, but I’d love it if you linked back to my posts too.)
- Celebrated my 31st birthday with the cutest daisy cupcake
- Visited Louisville and stopped by Please & Thank You
- Splurged on a Tory Burch scarf with the botanical print I’m obsessed with
- Purchased a Gray Malin print, which is the first piece of “real” art Dave and I picked out together
- Visited Churchill Downs
- Enjoyed evening drinks at Garage Bar in Louisville with my birthday present from Dave
- Discovered a fabulous pair of sandals at Kohl’s (c/o)
- Stuck in traffic just outside our destination, which gave me enough time to snap a decent photo of the Kentucky state sign
- Beat the 90-degree heat over cocktails at Proof on Main
Follow along on Instagram!
I often discuss ways to shop smarter with my French Wardrobe series, but for many of us, that means shopping on a budget. When Kohl’s challenged me to create a summer outfit for $100, I embraced the opportunity to prove that you can find closet-worthy pieces at any price point—and It helps that Kohl’s has fantastic sales to help you stay on budget. Nearly everything in the store was marked down 40% or more, making it fun to see just how far my dollar would stretch. Here’s what I fell in love with:
Candie’s sandals: $44.99 $24.99
My outfit actually started with these darling strappy sandals when I spotted them at Kohl’s in Louisville. My size wasn’t available at any of the area locations, but a quick store search showed a pair in a size 7 back in Madison. I wasn’t sure what I’d pair them with at the time, but I knew navy sandals would be a summer staple in my wardrobe and I adored they were by Candie’s. My mom had a pair of the brand’s signature heeled mules back in the ’70s and I remember fawning over the shoes in Jenny McCarthy’s ad campaign when I was a teen.
Peter Som for Kohl’s dress: $74 $44.40
There are dozens of darling white dresses at Kohl’s right now. I fell in love with this eyelet version from Peter Som’s Design Nation collection. The quality of the cotton eyelet is great and the ruffled hem gives it visual interest. Best of all, it has pockets.
Apt 9 crossbody: $34 $19.99
I was initially drawn to the punchy hue of this crossbody bag, but it was the practicality of the item that won me over. If you click over to see more images of it on the Kohl’s site, you’ll see that there’s plenty of room for your essentials, including a spot for your cell phone.
Apt 9 sunglasses: $26 $12.99
I had $10.62 my budget for my final item and opted for a pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses started at $8.99, but the subtle cat-eye frames of a slightly more expensive pair were most flattering. (Had I thought to sign up for Kohl’s emails before I shopped, I would have been able to save an additional 15% on my purchase.)
Total Spent: $102.47 | Total Saved: $76.62
Even though I went over by a teeny bit, I did receive a $10 Kohl’s coupon good toward any purchase in early June. That means I’m still $7.53 ahead, right? I’m planning to put it toward this set of stackable rings by Lauren Conrad.
Disclosure: I received a $100 gift card from Kohl’s for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own.