Monthly budget adventures (March 2017)

It’s time to see what my monthly clothing budget adventures were for this month! This month was mostly about replacing items, and here’s a sneak peek at what I got this month:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (March 2017)

Links to exact items:  striped fit-and-flare dress //  black gingham button-front shirt  //  raspberry gingham burton-front shirt  //  black tote bag  //  metallic pewter flats  //  black sneakers  //  brown sneakers  //  tan sneakers

Replacing shoes

I have been working on identifying well-worn items in my closet that need replacing. That has included almost all of my Skechers sneakers, which lasted me for over a decade. Time to stock back up! We happened to find all three colors I needed — brown, black, and tan — in stock in my size at a local Famous Footwear store.

Librarian for Life + Style | New Skechers sneakers

  • Tan sneakers, Skechers via Famous Footwear:  paid $54.99 (original price $64.99)
  • Brown sneakers, Skechers via Famous Footwear:  paid $40 (original price $64.99)
  • Black sneakers, Skechers via Famous Footwear:  paid $54.99 (original price $64.99)

I also have noted that my beloved grey metallic flats have cracked in the back and sunken down, and they’re not as comfortable to wear anymore for long stretches of time. Bummer. These beauties lasted me over six years! I happened to find these metallic pewter flats on the sale rack at the same Famous Footwear we were scouting out Skechers. Score!

Librarian for Life + Style | New metallic pewter flats

Replacing my black tote bag

My trusty black-and-grey tote bag, which I’ve used at least weekly for 5+ years now, is also starting to crack around the handles. Y’all have seen this bag many, many times (here and here, for example), so I’ve been scouting out a possible replacement for over a month. My requirements for a replacement included:

  • a tote bag shape — my preferred kind of work bag
  • handles big enough to fit over my shoulders
  • a zipper along the top so as to prevent rain from getting in — a PNW reality

Then I spied this tote bag at Target, and bingo! I love the structured shape, classic design, and what looks to be sturdy handles. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | New Target tote bag

Librarian for Life + Style | New Target tote bag

Lands’ End gift card

I also have had a few Lands’ End gift cards, so I have been browsing the Lands’ End site for a couple of months now. When this past weekend saw a 30% off sale PLUS major savings on the gingham button-front shirts I’ve been wanting to stock up on, I finally placed an order. I paid less than $2 for the following 3 items!

And yes, that’s another striped dress in my favorite fit-and-flare shape. This marks the THIRD fit-and-flare dress I’ve picked up from Lands’ End. They’re SO comfortable and flattering, and they are great to pack when traveling. See here and here for the other two Lands’ End fit-and-flare dresses I’ve bought.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lands' End purchases, March 2017

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $206.21
Total savings for this month:  $285.74

Total spent for this year:  $400.98
Total savings for this year:  $350.24

I’ve definitely spent a chunk of change this month, with most of that spent on my sneakers! I’m okay with that, considering that my previous Skechers sneakers lasted me over a decade. I saved the most at Lands’ End, paying less than $2 for items originally priced at over $195.


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

SIA interpretation: Garden Center roses

SIA inspiration pick:

It’s time for my interpretation for this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, this time chosen by Erin @ Loop Looks. She has posted before on her blog about her friend Annabelle’s job at Garden Center Services, an organization that provides services and job training for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. One of their programs is called GrowArts, and its goal is to have the adults they serve create art that they then sell. For SIA this week Erin chose one of the pieces they have for sale, a striking painting of roses.

My interpretation:

Librarian for Life + Style | Garden center SIA collage

My very first idea was to wear my green, rose-print scarf. I wanted the focus to be more on the rose print, so I went the green-and-tan color scheme route, rather than pulling focus with a bright red clothing item. (But I did add in a touch of red with the ladybug on my brooch.)

The SIA painting is part of the Garden Center Services project, so I wanted to stick with that theme by taking photos in a local community garden. We took photos in the Dometop Community Garden, which is right beside the Rogers children’s park and overlooks a restored 1907 school building.

Can you tell I was ready for spring?! You might say I was so ready, I was jumping for joy… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

I mixed in more florals with my rose earring studs and my floral clutch. More pattern-mixing with multiple kinds of roses! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral scarf and jewelry closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

By the way, this clutch is pretty roomy! I can fit in my wallet, sunglasses case, tissues, chapstick, and my cell phone, with room to spare. PLUS this clutch is pattern-mixing all on its own, with an interior of striped fabric! I also love that the external fabric is a scuba-like material.

Librarian for Life + Style | What's in my clutch?

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Librarian for Life + Style | Community garden floral-mixing

Weather:  Early spring day with off-and-on sunshine and drizzly rain

Where:  Running errands on the weekend

What:

  • Floral scarf:  Lands’ End, old
  • Denim jacket:  Tommy Hilfiger for Macy’s, old
  • Ankle pants:  Macy’s, old
  • Canvas flats:  Grasshoppers via DSW, old
  • Floral clutch:  Lulu’s, c/o giveaway, old

Shop my outfit:

rose print scarf //  very similar beige ankle pants  //  rose stud earrings //  similar beige canvas flats  //  very similar dark denim jacket

Librarian for Life + Style | Floral-mixing outfit collage

How you can participate in this SIA challenge:

There’s still time to participate!

Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome to participate. Just send a pic of an outfit (selfies and flat lays are also just fine) inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator, Erin, at looplooks@gmail.com. Erin will post the SIA round-up on her blog, Loop Looks, this Wednesday, so get those photos in to her before then!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Statement scarf + Fabulous Friday co-host link-up

Today, I’m so excited to be co-hosting the Fabulous Friday link-up with Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots, one of my favorite style bloggers! (I’ve been a reader of her blog for a long time — check my Blog Love roll.) Scroll down to the end of this outfit post for all the link-up details!

But first, a bit about my outfit, which is all about the accessories. I layered my black knit sleeveless dress over a black knit tee and black opaque tights in order to have a blank, er, black canvas for my geometric-print scarf and burgundy booties. I felt great in this outfit!

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

This gorgeous scarf, with its black, burgundy, and bits of gold threading, was a gift from my husband, Sam, when he took a college trip to Turkey. My wine-colored lipstick played off both my scarf and my ankle booties.

And since the print on the scarf is geometric, I also went with my geometric bronze earrings, a gift from my good friend and fellow librarian Stephanie.

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with statement scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Turkish scarf + bronze earrings closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Bronze earrings closeup

What goes into choosing photos for an outfit post? It’s mostly about choosing photos that highlight the outfit or details of the outfit (that’s the point of a style blog, right?!). But sometimes, I choose a photo for a purely arbitrary reason, like because I like the way my hair looks in that particular photo. See examples below. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | Black outfit with burgundy booties + statement scarf

Weather:  Drizzly and cold

Where:  Work day with meetings and Reference Desk duty

What:

  • Scarf:  From Turkey, decades old
  • Dress:  eShakti, old
  • Turtleneck:  Walmart, super old
  • Booties:  Naturalizer, this past fall
  • Earrings:  Gift from my friend Stephanie
  • Lipstick:  Milani, this winter

Fabulous Friday link-up

And now, time for the Fabulous Friday link-up, hosted by the always fabulous Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots. That’s right — two Jens unite for an ultra-Fabulous Friday! 😀

Fabulous Friday1

A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Fabulous Friday Linky Party

Meet your host for Fabulous Friday, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots.

∼ Hey y’all, I’m Jennie and I am a 47-year-old frugal fashionista! I am mom to two wonderful (and handsome!) sons and one very spoiled Pomeranian. After spending most of my life in black and boring clothes, I now enjoy trying new trends, am a confessed shoeaholic, believe life is too short for boring hair, and never met a polka dot I didn’t like. I am also an avid photographer, reader of Jane Austen, Paleo/Primal enthusiast, and lover of DIY. You can follow me here ∼

Bloglovin| Facebook| Instagram| Pinterest| Twitter

Each week, both Jennie and that week’s co-host choose a personal favorite outfit from last week’s link-up. My favorite this past week was from Cindy, aka PRIIINCESSS from the I Am Priiincesss blog, who looks so fabulous and fresh in her “little white dress.”

Little white dress, I Am Priincesss

And be sure to click the button below to add your link to the link-up!


Thanks for linking up! Would y’all like me to explore hosting a regular link-up of my own? Please leave a comment and let me know! 🙂


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Feeling very PNW in navy stripes + olive vest + scarf

I am in the habit of repeating an outfit on the weekend that I happened to wear for a casual Friday work day. And that happened with this outfit! I wore it to work for a professional development day for all faculty and staff, and then I wore it again on Saturday when Sam and I went to another $7 mid-morning movie. (We saw Logan, and it is goooooooood.)

I felt like I was definitely in the Pacific Northwestern style groove in my new navy-striped tee from J.Crew Factory that I paired with my trusty olive cargo vest and cognac riding boots. It’s a combination that’s casual, comfy, practical, and not at all fussy or trying too hard. That’s PNW style in a nutshell.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive vest

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive vest

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive vest

We took photos out by Ruston Way waterfront, up on the north end where there’s a new cinema. There’s a path that leads along the waterfront, but we decided to take photos up on the upper steps that then lead down to the path. I liked that it looked like the edge of the steps went right into the water. This was a beautifully sunny morning, a brief respite before more rain.

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive + scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive + scarf closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Book genres scarf closeup

I don’t think I’ve highlighted this scarf on the blog before. It’s a scarf that my mom gifted me years ago, and it’s made out of knits repurposed from old sweaters. It has a heart on one end, and a stack of books on the other end, with literary genres listed inbetween. The genres included are:  adventure, poetry, fantasy, fiction, history, biography, thriller, religion, travel, military, science fiction, western, romance, mystery, classics, and nonfiction. A perfect scarf for a librarian!

It was a last-minute decision to throw on this scarf, as I thought it might be chilly where we were all meeting for the keynote address that was kicking off the professional development day. (I was right. I wore the scarf all day.) But what I didn’t realize is that the scarf, with its green and blue tones, has the colors of regional sports teams, specifically the Seattle Sounders (Major League Soccer) and the Seattle Seahawks (National Football League). So all day long, colleagues came up to me and asked if I was either a Sounders or a Seahawks fan! 😀

To help illustrate this, here are the logos for the Sounders and the Seahawks, which both incorporate similar shades of green and blue:

Seattle Sounders logo

Seattle Sounders logo

Seattle Seahawks logo

Seattle Seahawks logo

It was like I was getting bonus credit for being a PNW sports fan! I will take it. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive vest

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive

Librarian for Life + Style | Navy stripes + olive

Weather:  On-and-off rain and sunshine

Where:  A casual work day and then a morning at the movies

What:

  • Cargo vest:  Fashion-swapped years ago with Erin @ Loop Looks
  • Striped tee:  J.Crew Factory, new
  • Skinny jeans:  Target, old
  • Tall boots:  Marc Fisher via Macy’s, old
  • Scarf:  Gift from my mom, old

Shop my outfit:

exact navy striped tee  //  very similar olive cargo vest  //  similar knit scarf  //  very similar skinny jeans  //  very similar cognac flat-heeled boots

Librarian for Life + Style | PNW outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday

Remixing my bandage dress

I’ve worn this bandage dress c/o The Kewl Shop a few times before, but I had always worn it layered under something else, like a cardigan or sweater. This time, I layered it over other items of clothing, a black turtleneck and black leggings. I love thinking about finding new ways to wear clothing in my closet!

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress collage

2014 outfit (with a cardigan)  //  2015 outfit (with a sweater)

I felt very secure in this outfit; this stretchy bandage dress was doing all the work of holding me in and supporting me. I am very much covered in this outfit — the top of my neck, face, and hands are the only bits of skin showing — yet the overall impression feels strong and sexy. I think it comes down to the silhouette the dress helps create, and the confidence I had in wearing it.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress with a turtleneck and leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress

I thought about going with my black metal hoop earrings, to keep everything black except the dress, but then I spied these lavender metal earrings. I thought the color and shape of the earrings would be a nice play off the pattern and colors of the dress.

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress

And as you can tell in these photos, it was raining really hard. Thank goodness I now have a phone that is water resistant! It makes it possible to take photos in the rain, which is very much the normal weather this time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Also, it tends to be overcast when it rains (but not always!), which makes the lighting particularly good for photos.

This outfit was definitely a hit at work! I had several meetings that day, and almost everyone who complimented me on the dress — all ladies, btw — wanted to touch the stretchy fabric. Against all that black, the blue, purple, and white feathery pattern of the dress really stood out, and I joked that the pattern was like a Rorschach test up close. Colleagues also got a kick out of when I stretched the dress so that the pattern and colors got distorted, like you can see in the photo below. And a couple of people commented that they liked the exposed zipper down the back. It’s a fun dress to wear!

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress with a turtleneck and leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress with a turtleneck and leggings

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing my bandage dress with a turtleneck and leggings

Weather:  Reallllllly rainy

Where:  Work day with multiple meetings and Reference Desk duty

What:

  • Bandage dress:  c/o The Kewl Shop, 2014
  • Turtleneck:  Walmart?, old
  • Leggings:  Spanx, this winter
  • Tall boots:  Rampage via Nordstrom, over a decade old
  • Earrings:  Portland Saturday Market, couple of years ago

Shop my outfit:

feathered floral scuba fit-and-flare dress  //  similar black turtleneck  //  very similar black high-heeled boots  //  triangle drop earrings

Librarian for Life + Style | Print dress + black layers outfit collage

Which is your favorite way that I’ve worn this bandage dress? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday