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Triumph or Tacky?

22 Feb

Based on the online votes and the reactions that I got to my outfit and the black Tommy Hilfiger vest today I think that Week 2’s challenge was a triumph! Or at least a partial triumph, I haven’t gotten a chance to wear the grey vest yet but I will write a quick post about it when I do.

I wore my outfit to my defense (which I passed, yay!) and I got compliments on the vest from people around the office so I think that today qualifies as a good day! I really like how the look turned out and I think it definitely has a Katharine Hepburn/Chanel-ish vibe to it. Of course it’s nowhere near a true approximation of Chanel but maybe someday I can upgrade to the real thing. In the meantime I may just watch Coco Avant Chanel again for a quick fix!

Audrey Tatou in Coco Avant Chanel. Photo: Chantal Thomine-Desmazures

This menswear inspired look was also nice and comfortable which I enjoyed, except perhaps for the pants that seem to be a bit tighter than when I last wore them. Hmm, I think that I may have taken the whole newlywed “fat and happy” thing a little too far… Since I’ve been married for over a year now my newlywed excuse is pretty much equivalent to a woman sitting in McDonald’s complaining about how she hasn’t lost “the baby weight” as she’s watching her 10 year play in the playroom. But I digress.

Overall I’m happy with last week’s challenge and I hope that this week is just as successful. Tomorrow I definitely need to do some shopping, after the gym of course…

Week 2 Results

19 Feb

It’s the end of the Week 2 challenge and time for me to reveal my purchases! If you recall, my inspiration was the menswear trend and the specific clothing item was a vest, well two vests actually, one from Ralph Lauren and one from DSquared2:

So how did I do? Well, I managed to find two vests and still stay within budget! Before anyone mentions it I wasn’t able to find anything in white or with pinstripes so I know that deducts a few points but I think that I still rocked the challenge given that I did find two vests! If you are interested in a white vest Guess does have one that is similar to the DSquared2 one on sale for $44.99 with an additional 50% off but it kind of has ugly gold buttons on it…

Both of my purchases were thrift store steals. The first vest fits more with the style of the Ralph Lauren inspiration and is by Tommy Hilfiger.  It was the priciest purchase of the two at $11.29 taxes included:

I’m assuming it was more expensive since it is a “brand name” item.

The second bears a greater resemblance to the DSquared2 vest and came in at a budget friendly $4.51:

I’m pretty sure that this vest was originally from Sirens and that explains the much cheaper price (and look of the garment, lol).

That leaves me with a total of $4.20 to add to the SpendThrift savings bank!

Now in my original Week 2 challenge post I had mentioned that I also needed a dress shirt if I was going to wear a vest to my defence. Lucky for me I actually found one hiding in my closet so that was a great money saver! So here is the first vest on me with the dress shirt and some trousers (that apparently shrunk in the wash, hmm…):

Vest thrifted Tommy Hilfiger, shirt Jacob, trousers Club Monaco, shoes Steve Madden

For a more casual look I think that it also looks cute with a white t-shirt:

 

T-shirt Smartset

Here’s the second vest with a simple black tank top (sorry it looks a little wrinkled in the picture):

 

Vest thrifted Seduction, tank top Old Navy

And a silly picture with my puppy:

Is it the red lips or the outfit?

 

I think that this look is more appropriate for a night out with friends so needless to say this is not the look that I will be wearing to my defence on Tuesday!

Well I’ve shown you my purchases and given you my opinion, now it’s time to hear yours!

The Savings Bank (and an ode to Louboutins)

17 Feb

With one challenge under my belt (and amazingly some change leftover from my first purchases!) I figured that I should outline what happens to the money that I don’t spend. I have decided that every week I will add the remaining money into a little piggy bank that I will call the SpendThrift Savings Bank:

 

My purse bank 😮 Thanks Mom!

So how much money is in the savings bank at the moment? I have a grand total of $6.53 (at some point I’ll see if I can arrange a widget in the sidebar that always has the tally going). I’ll be interested to see how much this savings bank grows over time.

Now what is the purpose of this savings bank? Well I figured that with the exception of pulling out some money to cover the shipping costs associated with my one online shopping cheat  (see the rules for further clarification), I will let my leftover challenge money accumulate over the course of the entire experiment and buy something fun at the end of it!  Do I have any ideas for what would qualify as “something fun”? Hmm, let me think about this for about a nanosecond…

Christian Louboutin Maudissima $595

Ahhh, *swoon*….

Christian Louboutin Very Prive $795

Double *swoon*

If you are questioning my sanity or ability to do math yes I realize that even if I manage to save $5 from each weekly challenge that only brings me to $260 at the end of the year. However, I am hoping that by the end of this experiment I am gainfully employed and I can use my SpendThrift savings bank money as a down payment on a beautiful pair of signature red soles. I may not even be able to walk in the pair of shoes that I decide to buy (Louboutins do come with certain risks) but really, sitting shoes have their merits too right?

I have loved Christian Louboutin shoes ever since I first saw them years ago. When I was planning my wedding I was downright obsessed with one pair in particular:

Christian Louboutin Rosazissimo

 

I kept imagining myself walking down the aisle (ok, beach in my case) wearing my beautiful “something blues”. However, the $995 price tag coupled with the fact that heels and sand aren’t really a good mix meant that they just weren’t an option. Come to think of it they really wouldn’t have fit with my Grecian-style dress but really, I didn’t care at the time. I knew that no one else at my wedding would have cared that I was wearing Louboutins (some friends even told me to find a pair of *gasp* knock-offs) but I would have known and that would have been enough for me! I did find a perfect pair of Jimmy Choos as an alternative but Louboutins still would have been the epitome of luxury and I still think that they make amazing shoes that are perfect for weddings:

Christian Louboutin N°Prive Riche

Well I think that I’ve gushed enough about Louboutins for one day. My next post will be the Week 2 result post!

Week 2 challenge

13 Feb

Well I’m happy to say that I officially survived Week 1! I think that all things considered I actually did pretty well (but of course that’s up to you to decide). So on to my next challenge!

I’ve noticed that the menswear-inspired trend seems to be surfacing again. I love this trend because it’s very wearable and classic. With spring just around the corner (well hopefully at least!) and fashion weeks taking place all over the world, the fashion magazines are coming out with their spring 2011 trend reports. This is where the menswear trend caught my eye. In Style magazine featured a Ralph Lauren vest that I thought was really cute:

It’s Lauren by Ralph Lauren and retails for $149.

I also noticed a similar vest popping up on the runway in the spring 2011 collection of Canadian designers DSquared2 at Milan fashion week:

DSquared2, Spring 2011, Milan Fashion Week

And the same vest in a spread in Vogue Paris featuring Canadian model Daria Werbowry:

Vogue Paris February 2011

I have no idea how much the DSquared2 vest costs but it’s safe to say that runway=way more than $20!

Although I think that the vest looks cute with shorts or a long skirt I don’t think that I’ll end up pairing it with them. I might wear the vest with shorts in a picture for the blog but I plan on wearing this challenge outfit to my PhD proposal defense and I think that my committee members might wonder if I’ve lost it (or if I’m looking for an easy pass) if I show up in short shorts! They will definitely know that I’ve lost it if I also show up not wearing a shirt under the vest (or they will think that my funding is now so meagre that I need to make ends meet “on the side”). A dress shirt under the vest is a must!

So what is the exact look I’m going for? Well the vest is going to be the basis for this challenge and I hope to style it in more of a Katharine Hepburn inspired way (specifically more like the look on the right with a dress shirt):

I found this vintage pattern on Etsy.

I’m thinking the vest, a dress shirt, and trousers. I have the trousers but not the dress shirt so this ups the challenge a little bit. We’ll see how this week goes!

A quick note on the rules

I’m going to update the rules regarding eBay, online shopping, and what happens if I return something. Thanks for all your input regarding these little dilemmas I was having!

For eBay and online shopping: the rules will be that shipping costs must be factored into the $20 and I must have the item of clothing by the Saturday end date of the week’s challenge, BUT I will allow myself one online shopping cheat where I can pay shipping on top of the $20 (the item must still arrive by the next Saturday though).

For returns I will be able to pool the money from the returned item towards the next week’s purchase BUT I need to try my absolute best to avoid bad purchases.