Picking just the right pieces for my fall wardrobe

As I’ve mentioned before, J and I have been on a pretty strict spending budget for quite some time now. It’s been going very well, and I plan on writing a post sometime talking about the challenges and successes of budget life. One arena that I’ve had to cut back on, though, was spending on home items/clothes/make-up, etc. It’s been tough, and involves long-range planning and saving, as well as thinking about what items I REALLY want, since I only have a limited amount to spend.

I didn’t buy many clothes over the summer, because I didn’t need to (working in air conditioning eliminates the need for a lot of warm-weather clothes, plus this was a pretty cool Michigan summer). A $20 maxi dress from Marshalls pretty much had me covered for new clothes, and it was great.

That wasn’t going to fly in the fall. I mean, it’s fall! It’s back to school shopping season! Plus, there’s nothing like unearthing all my sweaters and taking a closer look at my boots to realize that things are feeling/looking a little shabby.

I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about “capsule wardrobes” for the different seasons, but I don’t think that’s for me. I get the whole cutting down on your possessions, and getting rid of clothes you don’t actually wear. But I already do that (when one item of clothing comes in, another is sent to the donate bag), and I know that I wear the hell out of my clothes and shoes. Plus, I read one account of creating a capsule wardrobe for fall that cost north of $1,000 (!). The girl reasoned that that was only $330 a month, which isn’t THAT bad. Girl, I have $100 a month to spend on clothes, salon visits, make-up, home decor items, cleaning supplies…I can’t afford buying a new capsule wardrobe, no matter how “freeing” the experience is.

So, I’ve had to think long and hard on what I really wanted – and needed – this fall. Here’s what I’ve bought so far:


I NEEDED belts, badly. One of my belts broke recently due to overuse, and another just disappeared, and so I had one left that I was wearing almost everyday (pants don’t fit me well). I picked up two belts from Target: a black one and this leopard-print one that makes me feel very stylish.



I bought this unexpectedly for myself during my birthday weekend, and surprisingly it still fit into my monthly budget, so, go me! I love these boyfriend sweaters from Target (I’ve got others in red and yellow), and I’ve been wanting a navy blue cardi for some time. It’s so cliche to work in a library and wear cardigans all the time, but what can I say? They’re awesome.

This cardigan, only in navy.

This cardigan, only in navy.


So this was kind of a cheat from the budget, because my in-laws graciously gifted me with a $75 gift card to DSW for my birthday. But that’s awesome because I was able to pick out a new pair of black boots for the winter without worrying about somehow fitting it into a $100 budget (which would basically be impossible). Ankle boots seem to be the thing, and I already have knee-high boots in black and brown, so I went for these Madden Girls. They’re very comfortable and awesome.



No pictures are needed, but I’ve also picked up a new pair of black leggings/tights, and four new pairs of boot socks with the extra money from my DSW card.


Not yet purchased, however, is a new sweater, and it’s here that I’m running into a roadblock. What kind of sweater do I want? All I know is that I DO need at least one new sweater. I’m still wearing sweaters from my undergraduate days – dare I even say high school? That can’t be possible, though there is an old picture of me wearing a sweater I still currently own/wear…and I’m wearing contacts. I only wore contacts in high school. Lord help me.

I’m thinking I’ve reached critical mass when it comes to cardigans (besides the boyfriend cardigans, I own…four others? Yikes!), so I need something more traditionally “sweater-y”. A lot of my Pinterest likes are (not surprising) cardigans, which isn’t a big help. I don’t even know where to begin, though; I’m used to my sweaters fitting snugly, but that doesn’t seem to be the trend this year. *Sigh* I guess I can do some more window-shopping, even though the budget totally sucks the fun and spontaneity out of it. All I know is that sweaters = warmth, and last winter = very cold. I don’t want to be that cold this year.

Other wants

Oh, the things I want but will probably have to wait for…

  • New jeans, preferably straight leg and slightly distressed
  • New black pants (some black skinnies I bought last year from the Gap have stretched into a major disappointment)
  • A puffy vest (this desire comes around every fall, but I know that once I buy one, it’ll won’t be cool anymore)
  • New knee-high black boots (the polar vortex hit my current ones pretty badly)



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