Tag Archives: $20

Weeks 29-30 Results

29 Sep

Alright, this is going to be a short and possibly spastic post since my week was insane and I’m now in a mad dash to pack for my trip!

If you recall, this challenge was a continuation of my previous challenge to find a pair of skinny jeans. I originally set out to find a pair for $20 or under with no luck so I decided to continue my search with an increased budget of $40 (out of a possible $60 to spend).

So what did I find? Well, I finally found a pair of jeans after looking through a ton of stores and trying on what felt like millions of pairs! I found them at American Eagle for $55.94 (taxes included) so this purchase definitely leans towards the “potential $60 budget” lol. BUT I really like them and they’re actually quite comfortable!

Now unfortunately I haven’t even had a spare minute to take of picture of them, the receipt, or me wearing them but here’s a picture of them on the model so you can get an idea of what they look like:

American Eagle Skinny Jean in Indigo Wash

I promise that I’ll post a picture of me wearing them on my trip when I get back (and the dated receipt so you know it’s all legit, lol) and I’ll also post the voting poll then so stay tuned!

I’m going to try to fit in a quick post tomorrow morning before I catch my plane but in case I don’t have time I want to thank you for all of your input/advice about whether or not I should give myself a challenge in Paris 😮

Now back to my packing!

Weeks 27-28 “Results”/Weeks 29-30 Challenge

19 Sep

You may have noticed that there was no results post for the Weeks 27-28 skinny jean challenge on Saturday. This is partially because I was focussing on my first half-marathon which I ran yesterday (it went well BTW, it was a great race and the weather was perfect !), but mostly because I could not for the life of me find a pair of skinny jeans for $20 or under that fit me properly and didn’t make me look awkward. Walking around with your legs straight because the jeans are so tight that you can’t bend your knees is not exactly cute! Definitely not look I was going for based on my inspiration picture…

The jeans I tried on did NOT look like these on me (Rag & Bone $185)

So based on what I found I’m going to continue my skinny jean search for the Weeks 29-30 Challenge with a $40 budget. I could technically make the budget $60 because I didn’t use the left over $20 from the last challenge but I should be able to find something for under $40 right? Right?!

Since I’m leaving for Paris (swoon!) next Friday I’ll make my deadline next Thursday night, that way I should have a bit of time to also give myself a little challenge for my trip 😮

Wish me luck!

Mid-Year Review

17 Sep

I can’t believe that this experiment is already half over! It seems like just yesterday I was coming up with this crazy idea and now I’ve surpassed the 6 month mark! Wow does time ever fly!

To celebrate this little milestone I figure that it’s about time I do a little recap of what I’ve bought so far. So here goes! Just a warning, this could be a long post…it’s taken me days to load all of these pictures!

Week 1 Challenge

Inspiration: Marc Jacobs cardigan

February 2011 Edition of Marie Claire

What I found: a cardigan from Old Navy and a skirt from Winners.

Old Navy $12.42

Winners $1.05

Total spent: $13.47

Week 2 Challenge

Inspiration: Ralph Lauren and DSquared2 vests

Ralph Lauren $149

DSquared2, Spring 2011, Milan Fashion Week

What I found: a Tommy Hilfiger and a Sirens vest from Value Village

Tommy Hilfiger $11.29 from Value Village

Sirens $4.51 from Value Village

Total spent: $15.80

Week 3 Challenge

Inspiration: Little black Gucci dress

Gucci $1300

What I found: A bandeau-style dress from Suzy Shier

Suzy Shier $19.21

Total spent: $19.21

Week 4 Challenge

Inspiration: Proenza Schouler PS1 Extra Large leather travel bag

Proenza Schouler $2350

What I found: Nothing for under $20 :o( See Week 10 challenge

Total spent: Nothing, my $20 was carried over to the Week 10 Challenge

Week 5 Challenge

Inspiration: Rose quartz ring

Moonlight Mining $48

What I found: A “gold”/”rose” ring from Aldo

Aldo $9.04

Total spent: $9.04

Week 6 Challenge

Inspiration: Banana Republic fedora

Banana Republic $50

What I found: A fedora at Old Navy

Old Navy $16.39

In the end I actually ended up trading my husband the hat for this one he bought me in Mexico:

Total spent: $16.39

Week 7 Challenge

Inspiration: Floral D&G dress

What I found: An Old Navy dress

Old Navy $22.04

The SpendThrift Savings Bank also took a hit on this one because I couldn’t return a dress to Sirens >o(

Sirens $18.08

Total spent: $40.12

Week 8 Challenge

Inspiration: White dress shirt

Iro $265, NET-A-PORTER

What I found: A dress shirt from Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca $16.94

Total spent: $16.94

Week 9 Challenge

Inspiration: Tory Burch flats

Tory Burch

What I found: Flats from the Shoe Company

The Shoe Company $16.94

The unfortunate fate of these flats: chew toys…sigh

Apparently my dog was a fan...or wasn't. I'm not quite sure.

Total spent: $16.94

Week 10 Challenge

Take 2 on the PS1 bag challenge from Week 4

What I found: Actually it’s what my parents found in Florida. A much discussed knock-off bag from Target

Mossimo, Target

Total spent: Nothing! It was a gift, thanks Mom and Dad 😮

Week 11 Challenge

Inspiration: Black dress pants

Theory Denison Teach $255

What I found: Two pairs of pants at Jacob!

Jacob $10

Jacob $10

Total spent: $22.60

Week 12 Challenge

Inspiration: Gucci colour blocking


What I found: A shirt and capris from Jacob

Jacob $12.99

Jacob $10

Total spent: $18.18 after a 30% discount

Week 13 Challenge

Inspiration: Lululemon/Adidas tennis skirt

Lululemon $54

What I found: A super comfy running skirt at Old Navy

Old Navy $10.16

Total spent: $10.16

Week 14 Challenge

Inspiration: Multi strand necklace

Nina Bukvic $950, Barneys

What I found: A great leucite necklace at Jacob.

Jacob, originally $25.90

Total spent: $17.56

Week 15 Challenge

Inspiration: Roxy athletic tank top

Roxy $59.99 (this is the back of the tank)

What I found: Unfortunately nothing under $20 this week, sigh…see the Week 16 Challenge

Total spent: Nada

Week 16 Challenge

Inspiration: See the Week 15 Challenge since this is the continuation…

What I found: A tank at Foot Locker that wasn’t far off from my original budget!

Foot Locker $22.59

Total spent: $22.59

***This is the point where I switched to bi-weekly $40 challenges***

Weeks 17-18 Challenge

Inspiration: White Peter Som dress

Anne Menke, Self Magazine. Dress Peter Som $1,395, necklace Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel $275, belt Forever 21 $9, bag Jamin Puech $470, shoes J.Crew $148

What I found: A tunic-style white dress from Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh, $19 (it definitely has more shape when I'm wearing it!)

Total spent: $21.47

Weeks 19-20 Challenge

Inspiration: Brown belt to go with the white dress from the Weeks 17-18 Challenge (see inspiration photo from that challenge)

What I found: A funky belt from Smart Set

Smart Set $20.34

Total spent: $20.34

Weeks 21-22 Challenge

Inspiration: My need for black work-appropriate sandals

What I found: A pair of black patent sandals at the Shoe Company

Greenwich Village $44.99, The Shoe Company

Total spent: $38.13 after a discount!

Weeks 23-24 Challenge

Inspiration: Black flats to walk around Paris in. Originally I thought Pumas but then I changed my mind

Puma Espera III $70

What I found: Originally a pair of black flats from Winners:

Winners $38.40

But I wasn’t very sure about them so I went shopping again and found a pair of motorcycle boots:

Aldo $43.49

Total spent: $81.89…the Savings Bank took a big hit on this one so I’m going to try to be extra frugal with future challenges!

Weeks 25-26 Challenge

Inspiration: A black Calvin Klein trench

Calvin Klein ~$79.99

What I found: A great trench with a hood from Suzy Shier

Suzy Shier $63.27

Total spent: $63.27…again, I think that I’m going to need more $20 challenges to make up for my recent spending creep, eek!

GRAND TOTAL SPENT: $484.10 (out of a possible $520)

Phew! That’s a lot of clothing but I’m really happy that I’m still under my original budget!

Can’t wait to see what I find over the next 6 months!

Weeks 17-18 Results

25 Jun

This is going to be a quick post tonight since I haven’t gotten a chance to take a picture of myself in my challenge outfit (busy day = hair and makeup that really aren’t picture-worthy, lol) but I do have pictures of what I bought and I will update this post to add the picture of myself and a poll (see updates below!).

If you recall, my challenge for Week 17, which subsequently became the Weeks 17-18 challenge (with a bigger $40 budget), was to find a white dress inspired by a spread in Self Magazine:

Anne Menke, Self Magazine. Dress Peter Som $1,395, necklace Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel $275, belt Forever 21 $9, bag Jamin Puech $470, shoes J.Crew $148

After searching high and low and finding nothing in my original $20 budget, and then nothing in my new $40 budget, I finally came across a tunic style dress/cover-up by Joe Fresh ( once again) at the grocery store!

Joe Fresh, $19

Joe Fresh, $19

It was an even greater find since it was selling for only $19 and after taxes it came in at the very affordable price of $21.47! With my new budget that leaves me with a whopping $18.53 for the SpendThrift Savings Bank!

Although it is more of a tunic than a true dress, is a little see-through (I may need a slip to put under it…wow, don’t I sound like a Grandma with that one!), and the shape is a little hard decipher without actually seeing it on an actual person, I really do think that it embodies the feeling of the Peter Som dress in the Self Magazine picture.

Dress Joe Fresh, shoes Chinese Laundry


Dress Joe Fresh

I’m actually quite surprised at how similar the structure is. Now all I need is a belt to complete the look…now if that isn’t a hint about my next challenge I don’t know what is 😮

Now keep in mind this isn't really a belt in this picture, it's actually the strap of my Mossimo bag, lol! It's more to show how this dress really needs a belt!


So what do you think?

A New Game Plan

20 Jun

You may have noticed that I was MIA this weekend since no results were posted for the Week 17 challenge and no new challenge appeared. I have to apologize for that, I was competing at a Dragon Boat festival all weekend and by the time I got home at night both days I was so pooped that I could barely spell my own name let alone string together a coherent sentence! However, I think that it was worth the sacrifice since our team did really well and we had so much fun!

The other reason why I didn’t end up posting this weekend (or pre-writing my posts so that I could just hit the publish button at least) is because I have been thinking a lot about this experiment in the context of my crazy new schedule and also in relation to the clothes that I have amassed over the past 16 weeks (well, 17 sort of).

First of all, over the past 16 weeks I have bought a lot of clothes! To date I have bought (in no particular order): 1 sweater, 2 skirts (one dressy, one for running), 3 dresses, 1 bag, 1 pair of shoes (that unfortunately got eaten by my dog), 2 vests, 1 hat, 1 ring, 1 necklace, 1 dress shirt, 3 pairs of pants (two pairs of dress pants, one pair of Capri pants), and 2 tank tops (one dressy, one for running). Phew!

Although I love having such a great clothing haul, my closet is getting a little full and that list above doesn’t even include the clothing that I purchased for my new job!

Second, the fact that I am now a working woman who is also a full-time student means that my free time is close to non-existent (at least when you throw in all of the other things that are important to me in life, this blog included). As I have mentioned in previous posts I’ve been having a hard time trying to actually find the time to shop on a weekly basis. I have also found that an activity that I normally find relaxing and fun has become slightly stressful. Since this blog is supposed to be fun I have decided once again to tweak the rules. All experiments evolve and change over time and this one is proving to be no different!

So what is my new game plan? Well, I am going to shift challenges from every week to every 2 weeks. So for example, the Week 17 challenge (which I unfortunately was not successful at since I couldn’t find a dress anywhere close to $20) will become the Weeks 17 and 18 challenge. I will still post my challenge on the Sunday at the start of every 2 week period and a results post on the Saturday at the end of the 2 weeks. My budget will increase from $20 to $40 (aka adding the normal $20 for each week together) BUT I will still try to find every article of clothing for the least amount of money possible.

What about the days in-between, you may be asking yourself? Does that mean that the frequency of posts will be less than before (is that even possible right now, lol)? To answer this question: no.

I will still be posting Triumph or Tacky posts but I will also try to add in more commentary/opinion posts and also some posts here and there about other articles of clothing that I love, see on the street, or interesting fashion-related news stories that I come across.

I think that overall this will make for a much more consistent blog with more meat to its content. I still want to abide by the original purpose of this experiment, to prove that anyone can still have fun with fashion, even on a tight budget, but I want to make sure that I keep the fun in it!

As always thanks for reading!



Week 15 Challenge

29 May

For this week’s challenge I am going to build on my Week 13 athletic wear challenge and add a new athletic tank top into the mix. I’m easing back into my running routine and since it’s getting pretty hot and humid outside I’d like to add a new tank top with a built-in bra into my otherwise ratty athletic wardrobe (except for my awesome new running skirt of course!).

The only tank top that I own with a built-in bra is the one that I was wearing in the pictures that I posted of the Old Navy running skirt:

La Senza

I got it at La Senza years ago when they still sold athletic wear (their athletic wear was awesome by the way! I have no idea why they discontinued the line?!) and it’s faded and starting to tear in places. To be completely honest it also doesn’t quite fit my body the way that it used to (I’m going to pretend right now that it’s the tank top that has changed and not my figure…probably wishful thinking).

As a brief aside, I think that I would have bought a new tank top earlier but my gym has a policy in place stating that although you can wear tank tops in the women’s only area (which no offense to my gym, sucks), you can only wear t-shirts in the coed area.

Something about wanting to create a “family friendly” and “safe” atmosphere (apparently shoulders are far too titillating for the men at my gym). I can perhaps see the benefit of women not working out in super skimpy tops but I’d love for my gym to explain to me why booty shorts that go halfway up your cheeks are allowed?! That’s a discussion/rant for another day though…

Anyways, back to my tank top challenge. I’d like to find something somewhat similar to the one above (my pink one, not my childish illustration) but definitely in a different colour. I find that I have way too much pink in my wardrobe and although I love pink (it was one of my wedding colours after all) I think that I need to start branching out. I’d also like to find something a little funky like this tank top by Roxy:

Roxy, $59.99 SportChek, front side

Back side

I’m not sure what I’ll be able to find in my budget but this time I think that I am going to try my best to avoid Old Navy. Even though I have renewed respect for their athletic line I really need to explore some different stores.

Wish me luck!

Week 14 Results

28 May

So this week’s challenge was to find a long, multi-strand necklace. Although I had found several inspiration pieces online, such as this one by Rosantica:

Rosantica $525, Net-A-Porter

And this one by Ippolita:

Ippolita $1818, Saks

I didn’t have a set style of strand in mind. My only criteria were that it be long, and have more than one stand.

So what did I end up finding in my search? Well after looking through various accessory stores (like Ardene and Claire’s) where I found quite a few cheap options (that also looked pretty cheaply made), I wanted to find something that looked and felt more expensive (even if it wasn’t really expensive).

I actually lucked out at Jacob and not the outlet store for once! All of their jewellery was %40 off and they had a ton of long multi-strand necklaces! For once I had trouble deciding between a multitude of options that all fell within my budget! Yay!

Here’s the one that I finally decided on after a lot of thought and consideration:

Jacob, originally $25.90

It has silver chains with clear square leucite beads and was originally selling for $25.90. Since it was %40 off, after taxes the total came to $17.56 leaving $2.44 for the SpendThrift Savings Bank!

I have to admit, I’m really smitten with this necklace. I think that it looks great, much more expensive than it actually was, has a good weight to it, and since the beads are clear it will go with pretty much any colour:

I had a little bit of fun with my camera and different coloured backgrounds this week 🙂

I didn’t take a picture of me wearing it since it is a necklace and it will look pretty similar on everyone (ok that might be up for debate depending on someone’s height, chest size etc…) but if you’re wondering how it looks on a person I’ll post a picture in this week’s edition of Triumph or Tacky? once I wear it to work.

Well, as much as I love this necklace my opinion isn’t the only one that matters! Time to find out what you think!

Week 14 Challenge

22 May

Now that I’ve gotten some cute work outfits I’ve realized that I am slightly lacking in the accessories department, specifically when it comes to jewellery. Most of the costume jewellery that I own is quite old and has seen better days and I find that I am constantly wearing the same old necklaces and earrings to work day after day. I’m ready for something new!

I love the look of multi strand necklaces because I find that they can dress up any outfit. I found some great versions online in a multitude of different styles:

Jenny Bird $132, Lori's


Vanessa Mooney $165, Boutique to You


Rosantica $525, Net-A-Porter


Nina Bukvic $950, Barneys


Ippolita $1818, Saks


Obviously none of these necklaces fit into my budget but they do serve as great inspiration pieces.

I’m not sure exactly what style I will go for but my main criteria will be that the necklace should have multiple strands and be long. We’ll see what I end up finding!

Week 13 Results

21 May

Time for this week’s results post! I had actually resolved myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to successfully complete this week’s challenge of finding a new running skirt. Earlier in the week I did a whirlwind tour of sporting goods stores (two Sports Experts, SportCheck, Lululemon), department stores (two Sears, two the Bay, Zellers), and other clothing stores (Old Navy, Smart Set, American Apparel) and although I came across many cute running skirts nothing I found was within my budget. In fact nothing was under $50!

At that point I was getting pretty worried, especially when my husband smugly pointed out that looking for a running skirt on sale at the beginning of running season probably wasn’t the smartest idea…

Last night I figured that I would try one more sporting goods store at an outlet mall (Sportmart) but again, I had no luck (in fact they didn’t have any running skirts at all). In one last-ditch attempt my husband and I went into another Old Navy store at the outlet mall (since Old Navy tends to be a good fallback for this experiment) and amazingly there it was hanging from a rack, one lone running skirt, size XS:

Old Navy


It was actually my husband who spotted it and it was strange because there wasn’t a single other running skirt in the whole store. Now the price on the tag said $19.99 but everything around it was 30% off so I figured that I would see if it was on sale:

When I got to the cash I found out that it was actually on clearance for $8.99! With taxes the total came to $10.16 which leaves me with a total of $9.84 for the SpendThrift Savings Bank!

I have to say that I am really happy with this purchase. Not only was the skirt a total steal but it’s also really comfortable and the fact that it has a drawstring waist is a total plus (since I’m sure that you’re aware of my issues with Old Navy’s sizing system).

Here it is on me in the usual cheesy posed shot:

Top La Senza (they used to sell workout wear), skirt Old Navy, shoes Nike

And in a goofy “action shot” where for some reason my shadow looks a little off, and kind of creepy…

So what do you think?

Week 13 Challenge

15 May

For this week’s challenge I have decided to do something a little different. I have decided to focus on athletic wear!

You see, for the past few weeks I have been so busy and so tired that I haven’t been able to muster up any motivation to go to the gym or go for a run and I am feeling pretty icky. I’ve been running for a few years now but lately I’ve been slacking off big time. This is slightly problematic since I want to run a half marathon this fall and unless I start to get my butt back in gear that won’t be happening.  I think that I need something to help jumpstart me back into a training routine. I can think of no better way to do this than with a cute new running outfit!

More specifically I want to find a new running skirt. I’ve always been a fan of running skirts since they combine both functionality and feminine style. I’ve been wearing the same one, a fun grey and pink skirt by Adidas,  for years:

Hamming it up before my first 10K a few years back

Although I still love this skirt it is definitely starting to show some signs of age. So my goal this week is to find a new one within my $20 budget.

After doing some online research I have found a couple of skirts that I like. Lululemon always has some nice ones:

Lululemon $54

 And Adidas always has some fun options in their Stella McCartney line:

Stella McCartney for Adidas $89.99

The skirt above is actually a tennis skirt but I think that it could still work for running if it has built-in shorts (I’m not positive that it does though).

I’m not sure what I’ll find in stores but hopefully I can find a cute and comfortable budget-friendly option!
Wish me luck!