[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I [/dropcap]’m abandoning the French Wardrobe Challenge this season. Don’t get me wrong, it was great way to focus on quality over quantity, but it could be a little too restricting. I found myself bypassing fun, unexpected statement items in favor of quieter pieces. I know that’s the point of the challenge, but it does suck some of the joy out of building a wardrobe. So, bring on the budget!
I’m not doing a month-to-month budget, however. I’m taking Fran’s approach with a seasonal budget. Her restrictions are in place thanks to student loans, but I wanted to adopt a similar approach because I think it’s more realistic for my lifestyle–and falls more in step with the principles of The French Wardrobe Challenge. In the past, I’ve found that a strict monthly budget led to an overabundance of cheap items because I wanted to stretch my dollar. This time, I’m going with a six-month allowance that gives me the opportunity to splurge on quality pieces to truly reinvigorate my wardrobe.
I’m still going to add each new addition to a Pinterest board to keep track of what I’m adding and how much I’m adding.
I’ve started with a six-month budget of $1,500. I consider blog revenue and eBay sales to be “fun money” and may add a portion of that additional income to my overall seasonal budget if it doesn’t end up in my travel fund first. I’ll record any budget increases or expenditures here each month. (There will also be an annual “Tax Refund Splurge” that goes above my budget, but I’ll devote a post to that in January.)
- $1,500 starting budget
- + $0 added to the budget this season ($0 this month)
- – $463.20 spent this season ($463.20 this month)
- = $1,036.80 remaining
- Ted Baker opulent bloom skirt ($248): I’m obsessing over dark florals for fall and my heart skipped a beat when I saw this skirt for the first time. It’s my first Ted Baker item and the quality is impeccable. It’s fully lined and has a crinoline layer to keep the bottom full even after a day sitting in front of a computer.
- LOFT scuba flare skirt in navy and black ($98.70): LOFT is a little fast and loose with the definition of “scuba” on this one. It’s not neoprene nor does it have the signature stiff flare of actual scuba fabric. That said, the knit skirt is light and flirty. It’s a good work basic that won’t look out of place with more casual attire on the weekend. It is short, though, and wouldn’t fly in a conservative office. (I also tried the beige version, but it felt a little too much like a Girl Scout uniform.)
- Badgley Mischka mineral print skirt ($53.60): Two fancy skirts is a little indulgent, I know, but look at how much I paid! (In other words, a complete and utter impulse purchase.)
- J.Crew “Tippi” sweater in black ($62.90): I already have a black Tippi sweater, but either it shrunk or I gained weight (or both). In any case, it’s about time I bought a replacement. It’s been a missing link in my wardrobe for far too long.
Shoes & Accessories:
- Nothing yet!
- Elie Tahari x DesigNation Faux-Fur Mixed-Media Jacket: I love, love, love this jacket. Remember when I mentioned that I was in the market for a statement coat this fall? This is it. (Outfit posts including this jacket and the dress below are coming next week.)
- Elie Tahari x DesigNation NYC Skyline Fit & Flare Dress
- Apt. 9 openwork ring
Items I tried this month, but didn’t purchase:
- J.Crew lambswool shirttail hem sweater: The sweater portion of this top added bulk to my frame (and gave me the illusion of a muffin top) and the shirt part was weird and clingy. Bad news all around.
- ASOS color block shift dress: I was so excited about this dress because it has the same shape as another dress from ASOS that I love. However, this one had the most unpleasant texture, almost as if it had been spray painted with rubber.
- LOFT floral romper: Eh. The bottom was too tight and I was drowning in the top. Fit issues aside, it probably wouldn’t get a lot of use this fall. Bathroom acrobatics are hard enough in a romper without adding tights to the mix.
Fran does a great job of linking to budget bloggers each month and I strongly encourage you to take part. I’ve also started a link up below for you to share your budget recaps here. (My plan is to post the budget update on the last Friday of each month.) Not into budgeting? Feel free to share your monthly purchase posts here too. I’m always curious to see how other people build their wardrobes!