Fashion Forward February

I’ve been really good at not hitting my clothing budget. For months. According to Mint, in the Nov-Dec-Jan I spent $75 total on clothes, even though I give myself $150/month for that purpose. Awesome.

Since I’ve got a gift card or two to burn, and since, as per Shop It To Me, President’s Day and February have historically had the steepest discounts, I’ve decided that this is the month to hunt for some of the items I’ve wanted in my closet for awhile. I’m not usually one of those people that carries over a budget from month-to-month, but since I’ve technically saved $375 by not shopping in the last three months, I’m upping my February budget to $250 and maybe splurging a bit.

I found a really nice list of “closet staples” on the fashion blog Here&Now. I know lot of blogs, magazines and websites have similar lists, but this one resonated with me because:

  • It covers all seasons, and a lot of the items on the list can be either classic, high-quality pieces, or can be swapped in for fast-fashion if I’m feeling particularly trendy.
  • Everything on the list is easily attainable. I went through my closet and about 30% of the list is covered already (I own more than 30%, but I am trying to weed out and replace older things with other pieces that will last longer).
  • I can use most of the items for both casual outfits and work-appropriate ones.
  • It didn’t include jeggings.  You would be amazed at how many of these “must-have” lists include jeggings.

So anyway. Because I’m me, I copied the list and color-coded each one as either “already have”, “already have but should be replaced”, “actively seeking for”, “should save $$ for investment piece” and “low priority/not applicable”. The last category is for things that I could potentially ask for as a birthday or Christmas gift, because I’m 12 and my family still asks for a short list for both occasions. I never realized how much I rely on spreadsheets to keep track of everyday information. I use them all the time for work, but my Google Drive is embarrassing, it’s all spreadsheets about photos to print, clothes to buy, and places in NYC to visit. For shame. case you thought I was kidding.

…in case you thought I was kidding.

My “actively seeking for” items came down to three things, which I’ll allow myself to hunt for and possibly splurge for this month.

  1. Tall boots. I bought these on Monday after my brown boots had a zipper shafu and were then almost unwearable, unless I wanted to pull the zipper up the shaft with my teeth. I can’t be too angry, I bought them at Payless. After I got home with new ones I promptly threw out the two pairs of black boots that I had held onto for too long, and the brown boots weren’t around much longer. When I got to DSW, their selection wasn’t very extensive, and I know that tall boots are going out of season in terms of buying them, so I grabbed the one pair I really liked that came in my size.

    White Mountain "Latigo" Boot via DSW.

    White Mountain “Latigo” Boot via DSW.

  2. Tailored blazer. Yes, I have blazers, and really nice ones, but the closest I have to a fitted one is from Forever 21 (see a pattern here?). I like the way that fitted blazers look with dark jeans and with my dress pants, so I think I’ll allow myself another one. In black, at which point the black one I have that is pretty ill-fitted is going straight to Housing Works.


    Blazer Options: 1.Asos $53, 2.Mango $90, 3.Tahari $69

  3. Dressy shell tanks. I have lots of basic tank tops (you know, of the Old Navy and H&M variety), but I’d love to get one or more nice ones. They’re perfect to wear casually during the summer without looking like a teenager shopping in the junior’s department, and they’d be easy to add some light layers to for work.


    Shell Options: 1.Topshop $32, 2.Nordstrom $39, 3.LOFT $50

So there you have it. After my boots, I’ve got $190 left in my extra-special February budget, hrm. Could that be a blazer and two shells? Oh, the possibilities!

Are you looking for any special fashion purchases this month? Or am I the only meticulous person that hunts and pecks for specific items?

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day, if you’re into that stuff!


4 thoughts on “Fashion Forward February

  1. I have Google Drive spreadsheets for clothing and makeup items I want/need to buy as well! I like your color coding system though–very effective. I also have a Google doc for outfit ideas, restaurants/bars to visit, and blog post ideas. No shame in being organized!!

  2. Cindie,
    I am so happy that you found my list of closet staples useful! I am an obsessive spreadsheet user too, which is how this list ultimately came to be. I am working on a second installment of this list, items that make the 50 wardrobe staples personalized to each person… if you have any suggestions of things that you wish would have been on the first list, I would love to hear them!
    I love the tall boots you picked up! Good luck stocking your closet full of wonderful staples, it is a process that can take some time, but is soooo worth it!

    • I can’t wait to see the second installment! On my personal list, I removed straw hat (I so do not have a hat head), and put a hockey jersey, but that’s clearly very specific! I have too many of those for me not to consider them “essentials” in my own closet.

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