Tag Archives: Aldo

Triumph or Tacky?

13 Nov

Wow, I just realized that it’s been forever since I’ve written one of my Triumph or Tacky? posts! Looks like I’m going to have a lot of backlog to get through!

This post is going to address the black bag that I bought for the Weeks 31-32 Challenge. If you recall I was looking for a bag similar to one of these by Michael Kors:

Michael Kors Jenna Large Tote, $464 CAD Bloomingdale's

Michael Kors Gia Ostrich-Embossed Leather Satchel, $805 CAD Zappos Couture

And what I ended up finding was this bag from Aldo for a budget-busting $62.15 (after taxes):

Aldo Pressel, $55 (front view from the website)

Although votes were split three ways between “you did great”, “not quite close enough” and “better luck next time”, many of you pointed out that this was more than a tad expensive for a so-called “budget find”  and you were completely right. It was WAY too expensive and in all honesty not a worthwhile use of my Experiment money. This one unfortunately falls into Tacky territory.

The funny thing is that I knew this when I was buying it but for some reason I was in a “OMG I just need to buy something for this challenge!” state of mind.  So needless to say this challenge has ended up costing me even more money when you factor in the gas that I used driving back to the store to return it!

However, when I brought the Pressel bag back to Aldo I ended up coming across a bag that I like a lot more than the original bag:

Aldo Gillyard $39.98 (photo from the Aldo website)

Back view

Is it a perfect representation of either of the Michael Kors bags? No. But I think that it bears at least a small teeny tiny resemblance to the Jenna tote. Plus it has a really cute houndstooth lining and also a shoulder strap that’s handy (or shouldery I guess…pardon the awful pun).

It was still a bit over budget once the taxes were factored in ($45.18 total) but at least this time I can say that I’m comfortable paying the overage.

Hopefully I can find something more affordable for my next challenge though, my track record hasn’t been great lately and I’m starting to worry about my budget shopping abilities!

Weeks 31-32 Results

5 Nov

It’s results post time! This challenge was to find a new black bag, which was necessary because of the dire condition of my Cynthia Rowley bag:

Notice the lovely frayed straps

My inspiration pieces were two lovely bags by Michael Kors, both of which are WAY over my budget:

Michael Kors Jenna Large Tote, $464 CAD Bloomingdale's

Michael Kors Gia Ostrich-Embossed Leather Satchel, $805 CAD Zappos Couture

So keeping these bags in mind I set out to find a new one. Easy right? There are millions of affordable black bags in this world! Well, apparently not anywhere near where I live because I had the hardest time finding one that wasn’t way over budget or one that looked even remotely close to the Michael Kors bags!

I finally managed to luck out at Aldo. Correction, the third Aldo that I visited. I had no luck at the outlet or at the Aldo accessory store (or Payless, Ardene, Smart Set, Forever 21, Jacob, Le Chateau, Winners…my list could go on and on!) but finally found something at a regular Aldo shoe store in the mall:

Aldo Pressel, $55 (front view from the Aldo website)

Back view of the bag I bought

Now I really like this bag, I’m a big fan of big bags that you can store your whole life in. However, I don’t know how much it resembles either of the inspiration bags. I kind of think that if I squint it looks like a mash-up of the two Michael Kors bags but that may just be me seeing what I want to see. I don’t know, you’ll have to be the judge on this one.

Also, I went slightly over budget. The bag retails for $55 (so already $15 over budget) and after taxes it came to $62.15:

So the SpendThrift Savings Bank is going to take a hit this time!

Was it worth it? I like the bag but my success is for you to decide!

Up next tomorrow I’m going to delay my next challenge post until Monday but I have a very good reason for it…and it involves an orange box (squeal!!!).

Triumph or Tacky? Part 2

10 Sep

Alright, time to finally let you know what I decided to do for the Weeks 23-24 Challenge! If you recall I was looking for black shoes to wear around Paris and I ended up finding these at Winners:

Winners $29.99

Now although these flats are cute, I wasn’t complete sold on them so I went out shoe shopping again after the conclusion of the challenge. That’s when I came across (and bought!) these awesome motorcycle boots:

Aldo Halat $43.49

At this point I had a dilemma on my hands, should I return the black flats or should I keep both pairs of shoes? According to your opinions, most of you thought that I should keep the motorcycle boots. Keeping both pairs of shoes came a close second.

So what did I decide? Well, in the end I kept both pairs of shoes (and have adjusted the SpendThrift Savings Bank accordingly). This decision was actually made in the heat of the moment rather than after a lot of thought, lol. I was running late for work one morning, couldn’t find my old pair of black flats and the new pair was just sitting there so they kind of got chosen by default!

The flats are actually really comfortable, my only complaint is that they’re a little loose (which is more my fault than that of the shoes) so I may need to find a pair of those little socks that fit into flats invisibly. We’ll see. I think that I will find a way to make them work somehow.

I haven’t had a chance to wear the motorcycle boots yet since I haven’t gotten around to putting leather protector on them but that’s on the agenda for this weekend so hopefully I’ll wear them this week. I’ll post a picture when I do wear them, they do look pretty cute with a skirt 😮

That’s it for me for now, tomorrow I’m off to shop for my current challenge!

Triumph or Tacky? Part 1

23 Aug
This is going to be a bit of a different Triumph or Tacky? post since I haven’t actually worn the shoes from my last challenge but I do have some very good reasons for not wearing them yet.
Even when I was purchasing the black ballet flats for the weeks 23-24 Challenge I still wasn’t completely sold on them.

Winners $29.99

It wasn’t that they weren’t nice, or practical or comfortable even, it’s more that they weren’t exactly what I had in mind when I started my search. Since I still wasn’t convinced that they were my “practical Paris shoes” I decided to keep looking for shoes on Sunday.
Conveniently, I was also going out for brunch with one of my best friends that day and she is always amenable to shopping so we decided to hit up an Aldo outlet store after eating 😮
Aldo was having a bunch of sales (duh outlet store!) and all boots were 30% off. I just happened to notice an array of short motorcycle boots on a shelf (you may recall my debate on this style of shoe in my last post) . My friend and I actually found three styles that we liked but unfortunately they only had one style in my size. Fortunately, they were really cute!

Aldo Halat $43.49

My initial reservation about this style of boot was that it might make my legs look even shorter and thicker than they already are but I actually think that these work and my friend assured me that they do (pics may follow in the next Triumph or Tacky? post). We both thought that they would look great with a skirt or dress, I have yet to test this theory though.
Overall though I really liked them…enough to buy them! Now here’s the catch (well two catches actually!): first, they were 30% off but after taxes they came to $43.49 which is over my $40 budget. In my defence I will point out that they are real leather as opposed to the black flats.
Second, I have decided that I will leave the decision as to whether I keep them up to you since reactions were quite mixed on the black ballet flats.
So what do you think?

Some Big News!

2 May

I really meant to post this yesterday (especially after the lead up to it in my last post) but I had a crazy weekend (and my laptop is still toast!) so I just didn’t get around to it. I think that it is worth the wait though.

No, sadly Proenza Schouler still haven’t sent me a PS 1 bag (I’m still stuck inhaling Mossimo bag fumes), but I think that this news is even more exciting:


Woo hoo! I was waiting until it was official to say anything but I figure that now it’s safe to mention since I had my first day at work today 🙂

So what does this mean for the SpendThrift Experiment? Well, besides the fact that my posts may sometimes be a little tardy since I will be balancing blogging with work, school, volunteering, the gym, and trying to maintain a social life, things won’t change very much. I will still have my weekly $20 challenges but I will occasionally mix challenge pieces with more expensive apparel. For example, my wonderful husband took me out shopping for work clothes this weekend and I scored some great pieces:


Aldo $60


Mexx $129.90


This little shopping spree was definitely a one time thing though, I still have to recover from living off of my meagre grad school income (that required a lot of income supplementation courtesy of Visa) and pay off some debts accrued over the past few very expensive years (wedding, honeymoon, house, car, etc.).

I figure that if I stick with the challenges for the most part and put my newfound paycheck towards paying off debts I should be in a position to purchase (or at least start saving for) a pair of Louboutins by the end of the SpendThrift Experiment!

On a final note, I have decided to be kind to myself this week and not issue myself a challenge while I get adjusted to life in the working world (I’ll still do a Triumph or Tacky post a little later in the week, probably Wednesday). Stay tuned, the Week 12 challenge will be announced on Sunday!

Triumph or Tacky?

31 Mar

This week’s edition of Triumph or Tacky? is going to be a double-header! It will focus on the ring from the Week 5 challenge and the fedora from the Week 6 challenge.

If you recall, I bought this rose quartz-style ring from Aldo to wear on my trip to Mexico:



Overall I’m quite happy with this purchase and everyone I showed it to also seemed to like it! Here’s the big question though, how did it hold up to sun, sand, sea water, and sunscreen (say that three times fast!)? Well, given that it’s a plastic ring some degree of wear and tear was to be expected:

Honestly, my original thought was that it would melt in reaction to the sun and sunscreen or it would end up completely scratched/destroyed by the sand. I was pleasantly surprised that with the exception of some scratches it held up really well and even has a more vintage vibe to it now! It has survived well enough to be worn again another day! I’d say this qualifies as a triumph!


Now what about the fedora?

Old Navy


As much as I love this fedora not everyone felt the same way. Some people I polled thought that it looked too masculine. Also, after having some friends over one night we discovered that it looks awesome on my husband! I wanted to post a picture of him in the fedora but I think that he’s a little shy about being featured in my blog so I don’t have a picture for you unfortunately. Trust me though, it looks really good on him!

Although it is a masculine hat (and again looks better on my husband) I still happily wore it down south:

The Aldo ring shows in this one, it's a little hard to see with my pasty skin though...


Over the course of our vacation, and after perusing some local shops (did you really think that I wouldn’t do at least some shopping?), I actually came across the cutest hat! This one is definitely ultra-feminine and has more of an old-school vibe to it:

My husband was sweet enough to purchase it for me and we came up with a compromise: I got the new hat and he got the fedora!

Here’s the hat on me:

Attempting my best 50's catalog model pose


Even better, the new hat actually came in at $15 US so even though it isn’t technically part of the SpendThrift Experiment it still follows the rules. I think that this is definitely a triumphant purchase!

What do you think?

Week 5 Results

13 Mar

I have done my shopping for the week and now it’s time to show you what I bought! If you recall, this week’s challenge was inspired by rose quartz rings that I found online. I was particularly interested in finding one with yellow gold. So here’s what I found:


I got this ring at Aldo and it came in at a very affordable $9.04! That leaves $10.96 for the SpendThrift Savings Bank!



In terms of rose quartz rings I didn’t find that much out there. There was one at the Bay that was way out of my price range ($120) and another at Ardene that was very affordable ($4.50) but definitely looked cheap. I would recommend looking online if you want something similar that is more high-end or  is made of actual metal and stone (the one I bought is pretty much all plastic). All in all though I’m happy with the ring that I found and I hope that it stands up to the sun and surf of Mexico 😮 I’ll let you know. I think that I’ll wait to do my “Triumph or Tacky?” post after I get back from my trip.

All things considered even though I didn’t find many rose quartz rings I did notice a lot of pretty yellow gold costume jewelery out there in rose tones especially at Aldo:





And these aren’t even the best pieces that I saw! Unfortunately, they don’t sell all of their products on their website but if you like the look of yellow gold with natural stones in soft pastel tones they have some really beautiful products right now.

So now it’s time for your opinion! How do you think I did in this week’s challenge?