Thursday, March 10, 2011

in the pouring rain.

At least I can say my first shopping trip was somewhat successful- it taught me that I am committed to this project. It was dark, cold and rainy, and I walked about 2 miles from my job in the Loop to Michigan Ave (public transportation scares me, I always think I'm going to get lost). I was a little pressed for time, because I had to work the upcoming weekend and I decided to give up shopping for Lent (eek!! I'm marrying into a Catholic family, so I decided to give up something that I would actually miss. I plan on shopping in my closet for those 40 days, and pairing my new items with old favorites).

My first stop was Zara, and I found some great options right off the bat. It's a bit difficult to take pictures in their tiny fitting rooms, but I did my best.

So cute and comfortable, and definitely the look I was going for. Unfortunately, too big.
Blue pants! Very silky and different, but again, too big.
Loved this shirt! I knew I would wear it again and again, but it was $80, more than half of the budget.

My next stop was H&M. I ended up buying a pair of pants (they had tons of 70's inspired styles), but when I put them back on in the J.Crew fitting room (to see how they'd look with some shirt options), I had a "what in the world was I thinking??" moment. They were definitely too tight! Tucking a top into them made the look so unflattering. Bummer.

After stopping in American Apparel and Urban Outfitters with no success, I dragged my feet home, feeling very defeated. At least I got some great chunky, silver bangles and a cocktail ring from Forever 21 (for $10!!)

The next morning, I was up and at the stores at 9am (had to get my shopping in before work). I misread the H&M receipt and thought they didn't give refunds, so I was set on getting my pants there as to not blow my budget (I spent $60 on the pants, meaning I only had $50 left). Luckily, I ended up finding my entire outfit! I got a pair of navy, linen blend wide-leg pants, an adorable animal print cardigan and a white blouse with ruffles and a tie. Not exactly like my inspiration pictures, but I think I'll get much more use out of a navy pair of pants, as opposed to khaki or ivory. I'm also aware that I bought another cardigan. Shush, baby steps.

Here's the look I'm going for, and I got all 3 pieces for $85!

Some other shirt options I was considering. Ultimately I thought I could wear the blouse more.

I spent a total of $95 for the entire outfit ($85 at H&M and $10 for the accessories at F21). Coming in under budget isn't really my style, so I stopped in F21 again on my way to work. I ended up finding a long, taupe skirt for $20 and couldn't resist. The high waist and movement in the skirt reminded me of the wide leg pants from my inspiration pictures, and I thought I could definitely take some risks with this skirt. I spent the last $5 on a thick, off-white woven belt.

My long skirt (ignore my sub-par photography skills!)
I can't wait to wear my new outfit!

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