All The Clothes I Bought In The Second Half of 2019

Only one new item in the back half of the new year, but still a lot spent. You can check out my first six months of 2019 here. Now it’s time for the round up!

Everything I Bought

Mizuno Paradox 3 Running Shoes – $63 (Full Retail: $140)


Pretty much getting the same replacement running shoes on a six month cycle at this point. I still think these wear faster than the original Mizuno Paradox shoes, but I’m scared to change lest the next iterations are even worse. Womp, womp. ūüė¶

Watch Repair – $275


Finally got my schmancy watch cleaned, tuned, and battery replaced. I kind of regret spending so much on this, since I barely wear it much. Oh well. Maybe I can sell it or something.

Leather Jacket Repair – $60

coach jacket

Got the shoulder of my leather jacket patched. Haven’t been able to wear it much since it’s been drippy and cold instead of sunny and cold, but I’m sure I’ll get good mileage out of this one.

Total – $398


Trying to be eco-conscious so instead of going out and buying replacements for worn items, I spent a lot on clothing repair. I’ll try to do the same with a pair of jeans I just tore through the knee by falling on the ground (ouch!).

In lieu of espadrilles this past summer, I just cycled in my old running shoes as daily walking fare, which helped with the heat issue. I’m less interested in jewelry now, mostly because it’d stand out weirdly at my workplace and I haven’t been as interested in dressing up lately.

In terms of 2020, I think I’ll continue cycling running shoes 2-3x/year. If it weren’t for the prospect of pregnancy, I would say my wardrobe feels pretty much “complete.” Not really sure how I’m supposed to dress when suddenly all my clothes don’t fit me, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

What clothes have you bought this year? Do you have a budget? What pieces do you have your eye on?

All The Clothes I Bought In The First Half of 2019

It’s been about six months since my last clothing roundup, so I figured it was time for another update!

Everything I Bought

Mizuno Paradox 3 Running Shoes – $60 (Full Retail: $140)


Replacement running shoes. Unfortunately all of the original Paradox shoes have been sold out at all suppliers, so I decided to get one of the next versions, but still not the most recent so I could get a heavy discount. They’re comfortable to run in, but definitely have worn out faster than the originals. ūüė¶

Superfeet Black Insoles – $50 (Full Retail $50)


Again, replacements. Always invest well in what separates you from the ground.

Vince Striped Linen Shirt – $22 (Full Retail: $135)


I really like the design of this shirt and the lightness of the linen. I’m excited to get a lot of use out of it this summer. The drape on this shirt is lovely, but I worry a little about the longevity– it’s a little thin.

Eileen Fisher Cotton & Linen Shirt – $26 (Full Retail: $168)


Similar to the above, I had a little bit of a linen splurge. The color is a bit greener than in the above photo. It feels really nice, but the garment is a bit too roomy. Even in an XS, I’m swimming in it.

Linenfox Linen Pants – $76 (Full Retail: $70)


Bought this based on a recommendation from Xin. Haven’t received this item yet since they take 4-6 weeks to make (and then to ship from Lithuania), but I am looking forward to wearing the same pair of wrinkly linen pants all through August/September. Luckily, that’s the worst time of year here for mugginess and heat (since all the seasons are pushed, like, two months back).

Total – $234

Full Retail – $563


While last year I had a goal stay under $350 for clothes, this year I’m willing to splurge a little bit more. Though, honestly, I spent $110 on what are really orthopedic expenses more than fashion, so I certainly don’t think $125 in truly discretionary clothes spending is going overboard at all.

I want to get espadrilles for the summer, because my leather Merrell Jungle Mocs are waaaay too hot when I walk a lot in the heat. I’d still like to get¬†the La Collisione necklace from Alighieri, but it’s not top priority right now. Similarly, would like to fix up my leather jacket (small shoulder rip) and get the fancy watch my family gifted me for our wedding serviced so I can actually use it.

What clothes have you bought so far this year? Do you have a budget? What pieces do you have your eye on?

All The Clothes I Bought In The Second Half of 2018

In the first half of the year, I mostly bought casual clothing and minor replacements in shoes and socks for my wardrobe. I kept up the same trend the last few months. Most of items I got were blue– easy, neutral, don’t want flashy right now. I doubt I’ll be buying anything in the next few weeks, mostly out of disinterest in anything except an Alighieri necklace, which I know I won’t be buying until next year at least.

Everything I Bought

Vince Color Block T Shirt – $33


I needed some casual T-shirts for work. I wanted something without logo branding, but a little funkier than the plain crew-neck shirts I have already.

Eileen Fisher Silk Blend Crew Neck Sweater $27


For when I’m leaning hard into menocore. I’ve never been much into loose, flowy garments, but this this sweater is so damn cozy and I actually kind of like the crunchy granola look I have wearing this with my tortoise shell glasses.

J Brand Jeans – $35


The same as the jeans I bought during my wardrobe overhaul last year. I like the way those have held up, but I needed another pair so it wasn’t on rotation literally every day.

Vince Paneled Shirt – $22


Another hip shirt with a wide waist and stomach, though less so than a tunic. I’m not sure how I feel about this one, though it feels like a good transitional item for when I’m pregnant (is that a thing I’m allowed to think about now?).

Total – $117

Grand Total for 2018 – $327


My goal at the beginning of the year was to stay under $350 for clothes, and I definitely did that! I’m not setting myself a budget for next year. Now that my husband and I have our monthly allowances, I feel less pressure to spend more/less in any particular budget category. Rather, as long as I stay in my range for total discretionary spending each month (~$600) then it’s fine.

Other than the La Collisione necklace from Alighieri, the only thing I have on my radar for next year is a summer shoe– something like TOMS canvas ones. And maternity clothing maybe? That’s still weird to say.

Oh, and I want to get a few pieces repaired early in the year. This includes my leather jacket, which somehow developed a small rip in the shoulder, cleaning my Merrells, replacing my insoles, and tuning up one of the old fancy watches I got as a wedding so I can wear it day to day.

What clothes did you buy in 2018? Do you have a budget for next year? What pieces do you have your eye on?

What Is Casual Dress Code Even

It looks like I’ve been getting a lot of traffic on my “Should I Think Less About FIRE?” post. It seems like it came from someone’s email newsletter, but I can’t tell from whom? In any case, thanks internet stranger! And welcome new readers!

I know I’m on break, but I had a couple quick things I wanted to talk about with regard to my new company’s casual dress code.

First of all, “casual” pretends it is not a dress code, but it totally is. It mirrors what I think a lot of us had as school dress codes. As far as I can tell, casual means that one can wear jeans and T shirts, but that things that are more skin-revealing (even tank tops or off-the-shoulder looks which are trendy right now) or bodycon are really out of place.

Even within the realm of T shirts and jeans, some tees are normal and others are out of place. Lightly patterned tees (stripes, dots, little dog prints, etc.) are fine, but emblazoned words and three wolf moon-esque shirts are not. Also, fit is extremely important. Especially if one is literally wearing tees and sweats, the right fit is the one thing keeping wearers from being seen as truly unkempt.

Second of all, my business casual-leaning wardrobe is really close to feeling out of place at my current work place. I’ve been defaulting to my silk shirts and jeans and I’m worried it’s causing people to see me as too dressy to be technical?¬†Like sometimes people don’t bother telling me things I can completely understand because they are “subtle”, but like I would really appreciate people to just¬†tell me in order to perform my job thank you very much. Maybe this is just in my head? A projection of imposter syndrome, perhaps?

In any case, I think I’d be well-served to add a couple more pairs of jeans to my rotation and some non-silk shirts. I don’t really want to just wear tees, personally. Feels too informal.¬†Some minimalist cotton or linen blouses, I reckon, but no button-ups because even as a bust size B, those tend to pucker like whoa. Recommendations welcome!

Third of all, I have a $50 credit to Saks through a new Amex partnership via¬†my Platinum card. I can burn the credit between now and the end of the calendar year. It’s enough to buy maybe a third of a garment? Not really sure how and whether I’ll end up using this.

Alright, back to my exponentially increasing to do list!

Does your workplace have a “casual” dress code? What does that even mean? Any minimalist cotton or linen tops you’d recommend?

All The Clothes I Bought In The First Half of 2018

After last year’s big clothing overhaul, I’m still basking in the glow of a nice, new-ish wardrobe. Honestly, I’ve found the idea of clothes shopping since to be kind of a chore, in part because I know I’ll have to get anything I buy tailored to make it feel as good as my clothes do right now.

And besides my wallet could use the break– I’m hoping to keep under $350 this year, but won’t be sad if I go slightly over. I also told JP from Fired Up Finance that I’d join her 12 items for 2018 challenge, so that’s another motivator for the relatively low key spending so far this year. Depending on how you count it, I’m somewhere between three and six items (do socks count? do duds count?). This does not include my wedding wardrobe, by the way, which I consider under its own separate budget.

Everything I Bought

Merrell Jungle MOCs ‚Äď $80.00

MRL-R60801-01-yThese are, by far, my favorite shoes of all time. So comfy, good for urban walking and also light hikes through all sorts of weather. My old pair lasted me about a year to a year and a half, but I wore those shoes every. single. day. And they were probably still serviceable, though they were starting to develop some holes at the toes. If this replacement pair lasts me the year, I’ll be happy.

Mizuno Wave Paradox 3 – $53.13


Over the past few years I’ve burned through quite a few pairs of Mizuno Wave Paradoxes which feels unfrugal but honestly I probably should be replacing them more often than I do. After burning through my stash and realizing that the original design is no longer being sold, I bought an updated though still older version from the same line which is designed for over-pronators like myself. They aren’t as lightweight as the original Wave Paradox, which were a dream, but so far I like them.

Silvertoe Socks – $28.29


Bought a couple packs of Silvertoe socks to replace the thick, hole-in-the-sole pairs I’d inherited a decade ago from my parents. These are nice, thin, and feel appropriate for casual to business casual settings. No complaints so far.

Uniqlo Warhol Shirt – $9


I was idling at one of the consignment shops in the schmancy part of town, and wasn’t feeling enamored by the selection and, more importantly, the prices. Everything was basically at the retail sale price (i.e. about as much as I could spend buying it new straight from the store). Also, they were selling heavy fall/winter wear in June which… why? But anyway, amongst the racks I found this Warhol-esque Campbell’s Beef Noodle tee shirt which was sold at the MoMA for a while. It’s soft, catches the eye, and serves as my one fun purchase of 2018.

Duds – $39.50

I tried out some pieces from Grana but they didn’t end up fitting my body shape well. That resulted in a $8 restocking fee. I also tried buying a pair of Merrells used on Poshmark, but found that their sizing had recently changed. I ended up donating the slightly too small shoes and buying the pair I use now new, as described above.

Total – $209.92

Things I Want

I want to get some more casual tops, but am waiting to start working at my new job to see what the dress code is there first. Also some linen, because summer is hot and while silk is light and breezy, it shows all the sweat, all the time.

What clothes have you bought so far in 2018? What clothes do you want?

All The Clothes I Bought Last Year, Rated

Last year I did a couple rundowns of all the clothing I bought. Basking in the shine of newness, though, I feel like I didn’t really gauge the pieces. Well now, after a few months wearing these pieces day in and day out, I have some opinions. What’s worked for me, what hasn’t. And so I thought I’d revisit my clothes from last year. What was worth it? What wasn’t? I’ll be rating each on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). I’ll try to note how much I liked/disliked a piece¬†for me versus thought it was high/low quality in general.

Here’s my rough, completely subjective scale:

  • 5 = Perfect piece, wouldn’t change a thing
  • 4 = Would recommend
  • 3 = This is fine
  • 2 = Not for me, thanks
  • 1 = Never again

In general, let me know if you have any questions on the pieces I list here. My primary goal is to have a reference I can turn to in the future to know what’s been good for me in the past, but I also would like this to be useful to others if I can. So, without further ado…


All My Silk Shirts – 4.5/5

I’m just going to come out and say it: silk is my perfect fabric. Breathable in the summer, insulating in the winter. Light. Appropriate for work and play. Just so good.

Of the shirts I bought, all but the white Boss shirt were of crepe de chine. The Brunello Cucinelli tank was actually a crepe-backed satin which, my god, was just an extra level of decadence I didn’t see coming.

I was surprised that between my Everlane and Equipment shirts, I actually prefer the Everlane pieces. The Equipment shirt is clearly of higher momme silk and the shirt’s design is lovely, but the buttons used for the shirt aren’t great. I love the big thick minimalist gold design on them, but the loop that attaches them to the garment is quite large, which causes it to jut out away from the shirt. This is not so noticeable on the front, but causes the cuffs to hang limply and look a little sloppy. Also, I’ve just been moving away from button-up shirts generally. Short of hunching all day, almost any shirt seems to pucker on me, and I’m only a 34B.

All in all, though, these are some really nice pieces and I’m glad I went the extra mile in getting them tailored. I can really see them being staples in my wardrobe for years to come.

Workout T-Shirts – 3/5


TIL: Workout tees are like regular tees, but more expensive and show slightly less sweat. Fine overall, but not worth the premium in price over a regular old, ratty cotton shirt if all you care about is exercising (though you’d probably look better in these, I guess).


J Brand Jeans – 4/5

These are probably the best jeans I’ve ever had. In particular, the black cigarette jeans are holding up as good as the day I got them. The blue jeans, after a few washes (no dryers) are starting to loosen a bit, but not too bad. The fit around my hips through my thighs continue to be good. Nothing too substantial in the way of fading. Overall, pretty good.

Banana Republic Sloan Pants – 3/5

BR’s Sloan Pants are downright magical for about two weeks. Day 1 I would have rated these a 5/5 hands down. They feel nice and thick but look sharp at the office and are comfy as all get out.

But then you wash them.

Keep in mind, you’re not technically¬†supposed¬†to wash these. They are clearly marked as dry clean only. But, you know, dry cleaning’s expensive and I was curious if I could get away with it. Hahaha, no. The viscose in these stretch out like nobody’s business, including in cold water. They were pretty much ruined after a single wash. Whoops.

Great if you have a dry cleaning budget. Otherwise, skip this one.

Lululemon Align II – 3.5/5


I wear these suckers every time I go to the gym (around 3x/week) and they’re holding up strong. Waist band is very comfortable, no sliding when I’m moving around including for squats which is great. The biggest annoyance for me is that they don’t breathe well, which leads to a little bit of overheating in intense workouts. Minus that, though, these are pretty great.

Dresses & Skirts

Cara Hansen Wrap Dress – 2/5

blue dress

Like a dress version of the Sloan pants, except it wasn’t marked as being dry clean only.

Ann Taylor Pencil Skirt – 3/5


I’m not really a skirt person. As far as skirts go, this one is fine I guess.

Blazers, Sweaters, and Outerwear

Ann Taylor Blazer – 3/5


It fits. I’ve worn it like three times. Meh.

Vintage Blazer – 2/5


Why did I buy a light cotton blue blazer? I have no freakin’ idea. It wrinkles a lot and doesn’t go with any of my clothing. And the shade of blue is weird in that I don’t even think it matches with black. Is that even possible? Mine isn’t quite the same as the shade of the blazer pictured above, but you get the idea.

Theory Marled Sweater – 5/5


I get¬†so many compliments on this sweater. Really, the picture here doesn’t do it justice. It’s just so nice and the threads are thick and give it this nice luxe textured feel. Very comfortable, just the right level of chic for casual or business casual.

Patagonia Quarter-zip fleece – 3.5/5


Comfy, practical, about what you expect from it. Polyester, so not very breathable once you get to the overheated indoors. Pills like whoa, but that’s par for the course for fleeces.

Coach Lambskin Leather Bomber Jacket – 4/5

coach jacket

I love wearing my bomber jacket. Honestly, I probably wear it too much. I feel badass walking down the street in this, my black jeans, and some shades; the embossed lining feels decadent; and with my Patagonia fleece, I’m pretty much able to wear it down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit if there’s no wind (if there’s wind, all bets are off).

But as much as I love my bomber, it’s not perfect. For one, there are no side pockets. Which, even if it weren’t freezing cold and I wasn’t try to hide my hands away, I’d still want because I’m a fidgety person who can’t figure out where to put my hands when I walk. The torso is a little long for pear-shaped petite folk, which means the bottom will ride up an inch or two to snuggle right above my hips. Also, lambskin is a bit fussy, which I can see being annoying from the perspective of long term maintenance.


Bali Wire Free Bra – 3/5bal6570_champ

I’ve never found a bra that’s made me feel like I’m doing bras properly, but this one is comfortable so it’s my usual go to. Unfortunately, like most bras, after a few months they get a little sad. I don’t know. Is there such a thing as a long-lasting, supportive, comfortable bra? Recommendations?

Hanes Cotton Underwear – 3/5


Cheap underwear, doing what it does.

Wolford Hosiery – 3.5/5

I got two pairs of Wolfords– one in denier 50 (black) and one in 20 (nude). They’re definitely less scratchy and more comfortable than your typical drugstore hosiery. And still holding up strong. Not life-changing, but decent.

LL Bean Silk Long Underwear – 4.5/5


Wow, just wow! I was seriously impressed by how these long underwear kept my legs warm. They were very lightweight to the point that if they’re worn alone they’re sheer. But in spite of that they really kept my legs feeling toasty throughout the cold af winter. And they were nice and loose with a comfy waistband which meant they weren’t constantly riding up, riding down, pinching my legs, etc. Not quite as warm as a high end pair of thick fleece underwear, but far more practical for wearing all day under work clothes.¬†My only wish is that these weren’t quite so sheer. I’d’ve loved to have been able to wear these around the house as pajama pants as well.


WHBM Obi Belt – 2/5

obi belt

Look. This could be a brilliant statement piece for someone. That someone just needs to have a longer torso with fewer curves than I do. Due to the hard plastic siding and the thickness of the belt– a good five inches or so– it doesn’t meld well to hourglass figures. Also, I found little bits of light-colored suede from the other siding kept shedding all over my clothes. Such a shame. This one feels so aesthetically pleasing but is downright impractical in person.

Cambridge Satchel – 1/5


I replaced the low-quality push lock on this bag three separate times and each time the new lock failed within a couple months. There’s a little rod as part of the push lock that seems to be glued in place. Once it comes undone, the whole lock falls apart, bits flying everywhere. Since replacement locks from Cambridge Satchel cost $25 a pop to be shipped to the US, I’ve just given up on this one.

Coach Willis Messenger Bag – 4/5


This bag is built like a tank. The leather is super thick and the hardware is clearly built to last. And after the constant frustrations with my Cambridge Satchel, it is nice to have something with a turn lock that doesn’t look like it’s going to break anytime soon. But from a design standpoint, like most cross-bodies I wish it had a couple more notches higher up for us shorter folk. And with such an old bag, you’re wont to see a little edge fraying on the leather. Nothing deal-breaking, but certainly noticeable up close.

Neck gaiter – 3.5/5


I like neck gaiters more than scarves because they keep nice and close to my body, which helps with heat retention during the most brutal part of the cold season. This cheap one I got from Amazon with reversible fleece lining did it’s job, though probably could have been a little thicker or had some other means of wind protection.

Patagonia Better Sweater Mittens – 3/5


While I like that these convert back and forth between mittens and gloves, frankly they just aren’t all that warm.

Patagonia Beanie – 3.5/5


Not much to say about this one. Nice and thick beanie, generally unassuming. Good for the 30-40 degree range. Does okay but not great in the wind.

REI Silk Sock Liner – 3/5


These helped me not break out while wearing wool socks this winter. Not a lot of give or stretchiness, but not uncomfortable either. They did that job well without wearing through in spite of their thinness. At the price ($10/pair), I wouldn’t buy more than 1-2 pairs though.

Red Coral Necklace – 4/5


Great statement piece though a bit heavy.


Mizuno Wave Paradox – 5/5

848bcb09bb7a91c67c872ef31ffbeb73The only sneaker that keeps my overpronation in check while running.

Madewell Leather Sandals – 3/5


Okay sandals. Not at all resistant to any of the elements and hurt after walking a bit. But for the price point, the quality is fine.

Tailoring – 5/5

The absolute¬†best money I spent on clothes last year was on tailoring. Hands down, far and away, bar none, superlatives to infinity and beyond. Really, if there’s anything I learned last year: buy less, tailor more.

Any pieces you bought last year you’ve since come to love more? Less?

Window Shopping: All The Grana Edition

As I mentioned in my clothing roundup posts from last year, I feel like my closet is in a pretty good state. I can go through around three weeks without doing laundry and everything feels comfortable and just chic enough for casual situations and work. There is no absolute need requiring me to buy clothes for the next few months.

That said, sometimes it’s nice to window shop. Imagining what I could¬†buy is like 75% of the enjoyment of actually purchasing an item.¬†And with the internet, that’s easier than ever. I’ll probably have this as a series up here every once and a while to vent some of the idle shopping feelings. No links– affiliate or otherwise. I’m not trying to push anyone to spend where they otherwise wouldn’t.

Here’s what I’ve been looking at lately:

Grana Silk Ankle Pants

After Xin’s post about these, I’ve been really itching to buy them for work. Imagine it: slacks but with an elastic waist band. And a loose comfortable fabric that¬†breathes. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it. I think I can probably pull it off if I don’t tuck in my shirt, the elastic band look would not go over well with my supervisors. I also like the texture, a nice suede-looking crepe de chine. So often my modus operandi has been to use blouses as the interest piece, but it’s interesting to consider flipping the script. A crisp white button up with silk ankle pants? I can dig it.

Grana Round Neck Dipped Hem Dress


One of the reasons I would buy Everlane clothing so much is that– barring their general problems with quality, their color game is just so¬†on point. I am not into saturated jewel tones, so the muted colors suited me well: forest greens, brick reds, powder pinks. Grana, on the other hand, has much brighter colors: mint blues, fresh leaf greens, lavenders so vibrant you can almost smell them. It’s not loud exactly, but starting to speak in an outside voice.

The one color I¬†cannot get enough of in Grana’s catalog is this coral though. Classic and cute. And the cut of this dress is just so gently flirty and versatile. I feel like it’s a very lady-in-a-commercial dress. She’s eating a picnic on the beach, twirling in the sunlight, stops by the cafe for a croissant on the way home. She reminds you that you’re young and vibrant, and that maybe you should have something in your closet that makes you feel pretty instead of put together.

As you can tell, I’m weirdly emotionally invested in this dress.

Grana Silk Loose Shorts


Take all my thoughts about the coral dress and apply it to these shorts.


Grana Silk Bomber


Completely impractical for my life, but also overwhelmingly cool. I like the idea of an all-silk outfit on a summer’s night. Clothes so light and breathable I can barely tell where I end and nature begins.

Equipment Liam Floral Top

Maybe it’s the three days of 50 F weather (after a week hovering near zero plus a bomb cyclone), but I’ve been really crushing on the florals lately. I love the contrast between the front and the sleeves. A blouse of just the sleeve textile would be too loud, of just the front too dowdy. This feels the right amount of off-kilter.

Elizabeth Suzann Linen Pants


I’ve been searching for a pair of minimalist black linen pants for about two years. Lo and behold everything Elizabeth Suzann. I feel late to the game on this but I really like the lack of adornment on her clothing. It looks simple but versatile. But so expensive with a limited secondary market where clothes cost nearly as much as they are new.


Anything you’ve been window shopping lately?