Monthly budget adventures (July 2016) | Month 3 of the ‘Let’s Be Shop Free for 3’ challenge

I have completed the third and final month of the “Let’s Be Shop Free for 3” challenge and Facebook group. The “3” in this instance stood for three months, so it was a challenge to be shop free (regarding clothes shopping) from May through July. The group and challenge was organized by Carrie @ A Lovely Little Wardrobe.

Let's Be Shop Free for 3 header

How did I do in the challenge during its final month of July? Since I was moving into our new home in Tacoma, Washington, during July — and moving is quite expensive — I didn’t have time (nor the funds) to shop at all for clothes during July. (When we did go shopping, it was for things like paper towel holders for the kitchen!) Therefore, this no-clothes-shopping challenge was very easy for me!

eShakti trial fit dress

But I did receive one new item for my closet in July, and that was a “trial fit” dress made for me courtesy of eShakti. Back in April, I was contacted by an eShakti representative who offered me a custom-made garment, free of cost, “in reference to your feedback mentioning the problems you have faced with your orders with us” and to “ensure that we would give you clothes that fit well.” What they’re referring to are my posts this past winter outlining the communication and fit issues I experienced with my plaid shirtdress, here and here.

To be fair, although I’ve had several issues with fit in the past with eShakti clothing, one thing I’ve never been disappointed in is the quality — particularly for the price points. If you’re a longtime reader (thank you!), you know that I have collected several eShakti items in my closet over the years and wear them regularly. I was surprised at eShakti’s offer and readily agreed to the “trial fit” dress, sending in my measurements and sample pics. I am happy to report that they have added several measurement categories, including shoulder to waist. (I first advocated for this back in this post from 2014.)

I had no idea what they were going to send me, so it was a fun experience opening up the package when it arrived at our new home in Tacoma. Behold my new “trial fit” dress from eShakti:

Librarian for Life + Style | Trial fit dress from eShakti

Librarian for Life + Style | Trial fit dress from eShakti

Later this week, I will have more outfit pics of me wearing the dress and a more thorough review, so stay tuned!

Budget Recap:

Total spent for this month: $0
Total savings for this month:  $0

Total spent for this year:  $86.45
Total savings for this year:  $389

Note:  This marks the THIRD time this year that I’ve spent $0 on my monthly clothing budget!😀 How are you doing on monthly clothing shopping? Please leave a comment and share.


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

SIA interpretation: Girl with a Pearl Earring

It’s time for my interpretation for this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! SIA co-founder, Salazar, from 14 Shades of Grey, chose Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665. Salazar and I have both been lucky enough to see this iconic painting in person at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, Netherlands.

The deadline this week to participate was a day earlier than normal this week, as Salazar is doing this while on vacation! She will have the round-up post ready to go today on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey.

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1665

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1665

Where to start for inspiration with this iconic painting? The earrings, of course!:) I don’t have any pearl earrings in the teardrop shape (yet), so I went instead with my large pearl stud earrings from Abu Dhabi (the UAE is famous for its pearls, and pearls are my favorite gemstones). Next came the head scarf, and the yellow, white, and navy pattern of this scarf went the best with the colors in the inspiration painting.

Overall, I went more with the yellow and gold tones in the painting (my scarf, cardigan, and gold Rhea flip flops), but there’s blue in there in the head scarf and in my denim skirt. I don’t really have anything in that cornflower blue shade in the painting. My ivory blouse mimicked the peek of ivory visible around the girl’s neck.

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA interpretation, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + denim casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + denim casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + denim casual outfit

We did the obligatory head shots to echo the painting, as you can see below. I tried to keep my expression kind of soft and hopeful, like the girl in the painting, but that didn’t last long… Sam soon had me cracking up!😀

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA interpretation, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Librarian for Life + Style | SIA interpretation, Girl with a Pearl Earring

The setting for these photos is the front door and archway of our new home. The painting has a black background, so our black front door felt like a good backdrop for photos, plus the arch of the porch made a nice “frame” for my outfit.:)

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + denim casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + denim casual outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Yellow + denim casual outfit

Please stop by 14 Shades of Grey for the SIA round-up, and also visit fellow SIA co-host Erin @ Loop Looks. I’ll be curating the next SIA challenge next week, so stay tuned!:)


Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, Shoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore WednesdayThrowback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming Friday, Friday Favorites

Six-month retrospective of monthly favorites in 2016

Each month, I do a monthly retrospective post with a reader poll so you can choose your own favorite outfit from the month. It’s already more than halfway through 2016 (!), so I thought a six-month retrospective was in store.

January 2016 favorites:

My houndstooth and red lips combo took top honors for 3 out of the 4 slots, with Sam the outlier. (Sam’s fave was also my personal runner-up.) Obviously I was feeling a bold red lip and bold colors and patterns at the start of the year!

Librarian for Life + Style | Faves collage, January 2016

most viewed + poll winner + Jen’s fave  //  Sam’s fave

February 2016 favorites:

The patterns continue to rack up the faves! Interesting how I chose the eventual poll winner again, with my eyeglasses tee and new brogues (which you can’t see in the cropped pic below). Also interesting to note how outfits with trousers took 3 of the 4 favorite slots in February 2016.

Librarian for Life + Style | Faves collage, February 2016

most viewed  //  poll winner + Jen’s fave  //  Sam’s fave

March 2016 favorites:

This month, it switched back to skirts and dresses! I see a shift to more classic, simple outfits in March. And for the third month in a row, my fave also ended up the poll winner!

Sam’s criteria for choosing his faves almost always comes to (1) color, (2) the shape of the clothing items, and (3) how well my clothing shows off my shape, particularly my legs.

Librarian for Life + Style | Faves collage, March 2016

most viewed  //  poll winner + Jen’s fave  //  Sam’s fave

April 2016 favorites:

In April, I was the odd one out! I chose a neutral outfit of white + grey + black, while my bold red + turquoise outfit was the overwhelming fave for 3 of the 4 top slots.

Librarian for Life + Style | Faves collage, April 2016

most viewed + poll winner + Sam’s fave  //  Jen’s fave

May 2016 favorites:

Blue came out on top in May, across the spectrum, from turquoise to royal blue to chambray. And my fave once again turned out to be the poll winner! Also interesting to note how often I wear cardigans, and how often they turn out to be favorites:)

Librarian for Life + Style | Faves collage, May 2016

most viewed  //  poll winner + Jen’s fave  //  Sam’s fave

June 2016 favorites:

For the third time in the last six months, the same outfit took 3 of the 4 faves! Sam called this dress (and picture) my “Marilyn Monroe” look. Can’t argue with a classic!😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Faves collage, June 2016

most viewed  //  poll winner + Jen’s fave + Sam’s fave


Any of your personal favorites here? Please leave a comment and let me know!


Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, Shoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore WednesdayThrowback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming Friday, Friday Favorites

Greetings from Tacoma | Red dress + orange gingham

Greetings from Tacoma! I wore this casual day dress combo of red + orange gingham on the day we drove up to Tacoma to sign the closing documents for our new home. Since then, my life has been all about packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking.

But before all that sweat, this summer outfit just looked fiery with its red and orange color combo. Hah!😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham

Details:

And I think we can all agree that my bangs are reaching Conan O’Brien heights. I am okay with this.😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham

From my de facto capsule collection, my metallic sandals, topaz drop earrings, and yellow tote bag showcased their MVP status!

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham

Librarian for Life + Style | Red dress + orange gingham

I have combined red and orange together several times before! Here are other ways I’ve mixed red with my orange gingham button-front shirt:

Librarian for Life + Style | Remixing orange gingham + red

far left (2012)  //  middle left (2012)  //  middle right (2013)  //  far right (2016)


Linkups:  Hello Monday, Monday MingleVisible Monday, Shoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore WednesdayThrowback Thursday, Top of the World, What I Wore to Work/Summer StyleThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming Friday, Friday Favorites

SIA: Girl with a Pearl Earring

It’s Salazar’s turn to curate the next Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! Salazar is traveling right now, but she is still hosting the next SIA challenge. She chose an absolute classic, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665.

This choice has several personal connections. Salazar just visited the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, and she got to see the painting up close in person. This has also been the “face” of SIA since the beginning — see original SIA co-founder Jess’s SIA page on her blog, Animated Cardigan. I also have a personal connection with this artwork:  Vermeer is my favorite painter, and I also got to see Girl with a Pearl Earring in person at the Mauritshouse during our Netherlands trip in 2010. This painting, and the girl, are absolutely magnetic up close.

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1665

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1665

So how do you participate in SIA challenges? Both bloggers and non-bloggers are welcome to participate. All you need to do is take a photo of an outfit inspired by this week’s inspiration artwork — flat lays and selfies are also okay — and send to this week’s curator, Salazar, at 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com.

The deadline to participate is a day earlier than normal this week, as Salazar is doing this while on vacation! So she needs pics in by Sunday, July 24, and she will have the round-up post ready to go by Monday, July 25, on her blog, 14 Shades of Grey.