Tag Archives: rules

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!

 

 

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:

Aldo

 

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 4 “Results”

5 Mar

I have to start off by apologizing for my lack of additional posts this week (just a heads up, there is more apologizing to come…). It was a very long and busy week and I have been completely exhausted. I’m still feeling wiped out so you are forewarned in case this entry comes off as nonsensical at times (or I continue to use hoity-toity language).

If you recall, this week’s challenge was to find an accurate representation of the highly coveted (at least by me) Proenza Schouler PS1 extra large leather travel bag (in Saddle). In case you have forgotten what this beauty looks like here is a picture to remind you:

 

So how did I do? Well first of all I am disappointed to tell you that I have not received my actual PS1 bag from Proenza Schouler yet. Obviously, it MUST still be in transit somewhere but I will be sure to take lots of pictures when it arrives, lol.

And back to reality now…and what a harsh reality it is! I come to you today with my tail tucked neatly between my legs. I didn’t want to have to admit this so early on in the experiment but, sigh, I have failed. Believe me it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I looked everywhere but sadly I was unable to find a similar bag for $20 or under. To make matters worse I wasn’t even able to find a bag for $40 or under in stores (one exception was a brown bag at Ardene but it was very cheap looking, small, and the zipper was broken; I want to stick to my budget but I also don’t want to buy something crappy that I don’t like or will never use).

So where does that leave me? Well if you recall the rules I am allowed to carry over my $20 to another week to try to find the same item for $40. Considering my lack of success in stores I think that I may only be left with one option, online shopping. This could also be a challenge within itself.

After trolling around online I found that ASOS used to have a similar bag that retailed for $125.51 US but it’s out of stock and way over my budget:

 

ASOS Leather Twist Lock Vintage Style Satchel

Likewise, Topshop also had a look-alike bag, although slightly less faithful to the original PS 1 bag, that retailed for $100 US and is also out of stock:

Topshop

I have found a bag that I think could work on Ebay, that falls within my budget (including shipping):

eBay $31.47 CAD

BUT there is a slight problem (ok a few actually besides the fact that it’s advertised as being made of PU leather which I hope means polyurethane and not smelly leather…).

First, the seller is in China which means that the shipping time will most likely be long (they estimate 10-25 days). Can I order the bag and wait several weeks to receive it (even though this would be cheating according to the rules)?

Second, do I have to continue this challenge in the coming week or can I give myself a new challenge this week and revisit this one sometime in the near future? I’ll be away for a week at the end of the month (more on that in tomorrow’s post) so that would be a good week to order the bag from Ebay since I hopefully won’t be blogging that week (sorry! vacation time=disconnecting from the world).

Third, if I do order the bag now and it comes the week that I’m away I take the risk of the post office sending it back since I may not make it within their required pick up time. I definitely don’t want to take that chance!

Finally, do I take my $40 and continue hitting the malls in hopes that having a bit more money will allow me to look in places that I may have missed the first time around in this challenge?

Since I have no “How did I do?” poll this week (frankly, I have an EFF on my hands here, ugh!) I need you to help me decide my fate. I’ll give you until Tuesday to vote for what option you like best and in the meantime I’ll start a new challenge tomorrow. I’ll tally the scores on Tuesday night and let you know!

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!

Don’t take off the tags

10 Feb

I’m going to state the obvious here. I love looking through fashion magazines and ads to get ideas for outfits, especially future outfits that I might wear when my financial tide starts to turn (current status: the tide is still out). This is of course one of the main challenge activities related to this experiment outside of the actual shopping part, I need to find an article of clothing or outfit to copy to the best of my abilities for $20 or under. The more I think about it though this poses a challenge besides my just being able to find the clothing that I am looking for on a tight budget.

Vogue Italia February 2011

When I look through magazines the models in the spreads and ads are usually beautiful, the styling is luxurious, the lighting is soft or well-balanced, and the photography is artistic. A picture of perfect or deliberately imperfect perfection is presented to the reader. Oh and everything has been photoshopped from here to next Tuesday! The thing is, when I pick clothing or outfits for the challenge I really have no idea if they will actually look good on me. Heck, I don’t even know if they actually look good on some of the models in real life (probably, but I’m sure that not everything looks good on everyone, even models). This creates a problem.

You see, I have not been blessed with the genetics to be a Kate, a Gisele, or a Heidi. I am an average woman. I am petite in height and curvy and will probably never be stick thin like the models wearing the clothing I covet (and that’s ok!). So for the purposes of this challenge  what do I do if the clothing I buy just doesn’t look good on me even if it measures up to the criteria of the pictured look I’m going after?

I actually love this blazer, I just haven't had a chance to wear it yet so I haven't taken off the tags

After some discussion with Raine (the poor man is going to be so sick of this experiment soon!), he said that I should leave it up to the opinions of our families, friends, and whoever is reading this blog to decide.  BUT just in case I shouldn’t take the tags off in case I want to return something. This could be tricky not to mention kind of wrong if I need to wear an article of clothing or outfit for a day to solicit opinions on it! So if the majority of people I ask don’t like something I bought as part of the challenge, or if I don’t like the look of it (because honestly I don’t want to buy something that I will never wear again, I’m not trying to be an actual spendthrift!), what should I do? Should I return it or do I have to keep it? If I do return it does that make the week’s mission a failure or is it still a success since I found what I was looking for? What do I do with the money that I get back from a return? Do I get to pool it with the next week’s money?

So many questions to answer and details to sort out! Let me know what you think, I’m going to try to decide how this new issue should work into the rules (along with the eBay/online shopping rules) this weekend.

Ebay and online shopping

8 Feb

I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the finer details of this challenge  and the rules. Specifically, I haven’t decided how eBay and online shopping should fit in. I have to admit that I love shopping online! I think that it’s convenient, you can find things that you wouldn’t normally be able to find in a mall, and you can get some amazing deals!

My wedding (a little over a year ago) was a prime example of how successful and budget-friendly online shopping can be (I think that stylewise it was also a success, I was featured as a Wedding Belle in a Weddingbells magazine blog at least :o). Even though we got married at a resort in the Caribbean I still wanted to bring down decorations for the reception, create welcome bags for our guests, and have some really cute outfits to wear the week we were down there. I also had a budget to stick to (well try to stick to at least) and the online deals I found were great! For example, I found my authentic Jimmy Choo wedding shoes for a ridiculously low price (see the about me section for a pic!). Here are some other examples of some cute Lilly Pulitzer and Betsey Johnson shoes I found (keep in mind my wedding colours were fuchsia and lime green):

I was especially successful at finding bargains on eBay… a little too successful though. The thing is, finding deals and steals can be very addictive. Wedding shopping turned into things like late night Coach binges:

Obviously a leather messenger bag and dog collars don’t quite fall in the realm of “wedding-related expenses” though…


Overall the point that I want to make is that you can be wildly successful shopping online. How can I fit this in with the rules of this experiment though? Here are the main problems with online shopping:

1. With many sites/stores you have to pay for shipping. Do shipping costs have to fall within my $20 limit (Raine says yes) or can they be added on top of the $20?

2. Exchange rates can make the cost of items more expensive.

3. Shipping can take a while. Can I wait for a purchase to arrive or do I have to receive it by the next Saturday (the end day of the challenge week) for it to count? Again, Raine says that I need to have the item in my hands and ready to photograph at the end of the week.

Hmm, I’m thinking that I have to agree with Raine in terms of shipping costs and time but this severely limits my online shopping options…

What do you think?