Today's Everyday Fashion: Budget Update

Realistic clothing budget

Here's everything I've purchased with my clothing budget since my last budget post in September! 

1. Maison Jules/Macy's, $10 - I wear v-neck t-shirts more than anything so whenever I see one I really like for a good price, I snap it up. Ordered online with a promo.
2. Forever 21, $18 - I bought this top because I loved the fall colors, but after one wash it seems to have completely changed shape (not cool!), so I can't recommend buying it. 
3. J. Crew Factory, $44 - I fell for this sweater because of the zipper details and colors. Purchased in store on promo.
4. J.Crew Factory, $35 - My current navy pencil skirt is 7 years old and still one of my favorite work staples, so I was excited to add this wool version with zippers to my closet. Purchased in store with #3.
5. Macy's, $24 - I ordered this online with #1, and absolutely love it. I wore it with sneakers and bare legs in warm weather and boots and leggings for cold weather. 
6. J.Crew Factory, $83 - This is a staple piece I had on my wish list for a long time. I talked about my decision to purchase a staple piece from an outlet store (which is not the same quality as the regular store) in this post. Ordered online with a coupon. 
7. Sperry, $45 - Flat/comfy shoes have also been on my wish list for awhile, and the next two items satisfied that category - comfy and adorable! I purchased both during Macy's 25% off promo in the store. 
8. Steve Madden, $60

Total = $319

Clothing budget example: J's Everyday Fashion

These next items were all purchased on the same day (except #8-9), and for one very specific reason: my trip to NYC! I re-scheduled my trip twice during my two-month long illness, so by the time it rolled around, it was WAY colder than when I originally planned to go. Four days before my trip, I hit the mall with a very long wish list. On one hand, this is what a clothing budget is for - I was incredibly thankful to have money already set aside for the cold-weather clothes I needed for the trip. On the other hand, shopping on a tight deadline will result spending way more than you normally would, and that was definitely the case on some of the pricier items! (It's one of my #1 shopping tips: a time crunch will often result in spending more than you want, so plan ahead!)   

1. Banana Republic, $28 - Every sweater I own is regular length, and I really wanted a tunic length for NYC. It's one of those basics I'll have and love forever. Purchased in store on clearance and with a $10 Gap Reward. 
2. H&M, $30 (sold out) - This was my other sweater purchase for NYC. I knew the cowl neck would keep me warm, and the short sleeves would fit under a coat. Purchased in store.
3. Banana Republic, $23 - I was craving plaid to wear on my trip! Purchased in store on promo and with a $10 Gap Reward. 
4. Michael Kors/Macy's, $225 - I can't tell you how many times I've said "I can't wear riding boots, they don't fit my calves (the boots are always too big)." I really wanted tall boots for my trip though, and these were 30% at Macy's because they were the last pair, so I reluctantly tried them on. They are a size smaller than what I normally wear but they fit perfectly - including the calves, woo hoo! I couldn't believe my luck, but they were about $75 more than I wanted to spend. I'm really thankful I bit the bullet because not only did I walk at least 20 miles in them in NYC, but I've also worn them a ton here in Orlando. 
5. American Eagle, $37 - I already have jeans in my closet but during my illness I gained weight and couldn't fit into most of them! So both of these pairs were my "emergency" jeans for NYC. (Up until that point I had just been wearing dresses here in Orlando, but I wanted jeans for the colder weather.) I went to AE for their affordability and sizing - I didn't want to commit to an expensive pair, and I'm in between sizes at AE and always size up, so I knew I had a shot of them fitting once I lost the weight (they do!). I wound up really liking both pairs so much I think I would've bought them regardless of the "emergency."   
6. American Eagle, $37
7. Michael Kors, $111 - Carrying a heavy purse gives me serious shoulder pain and with all the walking I knew I'd be doing, I didn't want to leave the mall until I had a lightweight bag. I cringed at spending that much (and totally did not mean to "match" my boots - whoops!), but I got 25% off during a Macy's in-store promo, and I'm wearing it a lot here in Orlando, too. 
8. Banana Republic, $35 - I bought this while I was in NYC and I love it! My top is the light pink color and I bought it during a 50% off promo in the store.
9. Banana Republic, $30 - This is a recent purchase! I don't have any silver sequins in my closet yet, and it's perfect for the holidays. Purchased during a promo in the store. 

Total = $556

My clothing budget is $250 per month. I treat it like an allowance and at the start of each month I deposit $250 into an "account" and then spend as I go. (The $88 is from this cruise shopping post in October.) For more info, see "How to Set a Clothing Budget."