Saturday, January 31, 2015

What to Buy at Old Navy Right Now (and a Few Things to Avoid)

If you shopped at Old Navy at all in December you probably ended up with a few magical slips of paper known as Super Cash. You have a few days left this week to redeem them, so let's take a look at of the best options in store right now.

What to Buy...

Terry-Fleece Skater Dress -- $32

On the surface, this isn't the most exciting dress...but it has so much potential! I love a good skater dress, and fit can be tricky -- I'm tall but long-waisted, and so often a skater style dress hits me in the worst possible part of my leg (I've been eyeing this version from H&M with a touch of sparkle, but know I just can't do that much thigh). The above-the-knee length is perfect, and I'm a sucker for a great neutral black and white palette. I also love that it is short-sleeved: not too bulky under a sweater or jacket with just enough coverage in case I forget to do push-ups for a few days years.

Short-Sleeved Jumpsuit -- $35

Sometimes Old Navy surprises you with a chic little gem like this jumpsuit. Fit will be key here -- it needs to be nipped in but drapey in all of the right places, so try it on (and be honest with yourself!). But if it works, buy it immediately and thank yourself later. I would throw this in my suitcase for almost any trip, and it would easily become my favorite option for Saturday night drinks or Sunday brunch.

Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans -- $30

Old Navy has great jeans. Don't be scared off by the name -- the Rockstar skinny jeans work on a LOT of body types. And if you don't love this style, there are plenty of other cuts to try out. You can score some good deals on denim throughout the year, but Super Cash time is a perfect opportunity to stock up on a great basic.

Trendy Outerwear

I think Old Navy does outerwear pretty well -- this is a great time to add a fun little coat to your wardrobe, or try out something trendy on the cheap. I'd like to experiment with a field coat or anorak, and here the price is definitely right. The short trench reminds me of a jacket that a friend picked up at Zara years ago -- they only had her size and I've been coveting it ever since! And I already have two of these vests (the black one and the great striped version), but I still want the tomato red and cream colors. They are warm but not at all bulky. Definitely inspired by J. Crew's super popular slim puffer vests, but stylish enough that you don't feel like you're just wearing a knock off, you know? Also, you could buy about 10 of them for the cost of one at J. Crew (i.e. I'm trying to convince myself owning 4 isn't crazy, even though it is).

And What Not to Buy....

As I was browsing the website, I realized that someone at Old Navy is REALLY liking a tulip print right now:

I immediately put anything in this print on my Do Not Buy list. I mean, there's nothing wrong with the pattern, and some these pieces are just fine. But one of the dangers of shopping at a mega chain like Old Navy is that everyone else shops there, too, so you have to work a little harder to make these pieces your own.

This reminds me of particular Gap skirt that caught my eye a few years ago. I was even ready to pay full price for it, until I was walking through Union Square and noticed THREE different women in my line of sight wearing said skirt. They weren't together but they all happened to be walking in the same direction. And I thought, "Would I want to be #4 in line in this bizarre parade?" No, no I wouldn't.

So Old Navy may have decided that this season we're all wearing tulips, but I'd stay away. You're just going to see yourself coming and going for months, and next year these pieces are going to seem SO spring '15 and will end up in the back of the closet, I promise.

Oh, and One More Thing...

Can we talk about how the Old Navy's toddler department is killing it right now? I don't know why a baby needs an adorable trench coat or a chic Chanel-inspired sweater, but I seriously want all of these things in my size.

.So how many juice cleanses do I have to do to get into a 5T? ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Budget, or What I Didn't Buy

Ah, my first budget post! As I mentioned, I've been totally inspired by Fran and other great budget bloggers to keep track of my spending and document my experience with budgeting. I also decided I would put myself on a shopping freeze for the month of January, to repent after a few months of mindless spending. So, how did it go?


Budget: $200

Spent: $0

I did it! No shopping in January, other than the one exception I'd allowed for workout clothes (in addition to the two pieces I mentioned here, I grabbed another seamless tee on the clearance rack for about six bucks). And it was a really interesting experience.

It definitely wasn't fun -- hey, I just like to shop! -- and it wasn't easy (my inbox was SCREAMING with an endless number of killer sales). But after completing the first half of my closet inventory (part two coming soon!), I knew that these clothes I was eyeing really weren't things I NEEDED, they were just things I wanted...and sometimes being a grown-up is just telling yourself no.

So to avoid making this the most boring budget post ever, I thought I'd take a look at what I didn't buy. I was doing a lot of "window shopping", and I started keeping track of the things that I normally would have pulled the trigger on if I hadn't given myself this challenge.

Zip Sweater Jacket -- was $36 (now $60)

I thought this was a pretty great little jacket for spring and fall, when it gets a little cooler but you don't quite need a real coat. The oversized collar is fun, and I love the long and lean silhouette it gives. Not sure how it would work on real person/non model. Sizes online are pretty limited, but I might keep an eye out for it in my local store.

Kut From the Kloth Jeans and Blouse (no longer available) -- $100ish

Oh, the lure of the flash sale. An email from Rue La La caught my eye when I saw a Kut From the Kloth feature. I love the look of their jeans and I've been wanting to try out a pair, particularly their boyfriend jeans. I think the ones above were on sale for about $50, and I definitely would have popped them in my cart under normal circumstances. I also saw this blouse in the sale and probably would have thrown that in, too. Don't need it, but it is so me. I love a good sheer, lacy blouse -- I usually opt for black, so navy would have been a nice change.

Pretty Eyelet Dress -- $63.20

I almost slipped with this one. Sooo pretty...I feel like this is a dress I'd wear for years. I decided I'd just leave it to fate and if it was still available in February, I'd let myself pull the trigger.

Merino Collared Sweater -- $61.60

Another item that just feels! I love a peter pan collar, and I am always gravitating towards the gray/black/white color palette. Reviews say this runs a bit short, which is not great for a long-waisted girl like me. I think I'm also annoyed that even on sale, it's kind of expensive. Probably best that I let this one go. Probably...

Ena Heels -- $69.95

I do need some practical (but not hideous) work shoes, and these seemed like a good contender. A few weeks ago they were discounted but final sale, which never works for me (my feet are just difficult sometimes). Now they are back to full price but returnable. Hmmm.

Foil-Printed Pullover -- was $35.97 (now $59.95)

Anthropologie's additional 40% off sale items was pretty hard to pass up. Sometimes their prices are just so absurd, so it feels nice to get a bit of a deal. The sweater caught my eye months ago -- the rose gold detail is just so pretty and unique. At 35 bucks it would have been a fine purchase. I would have worn it enough to get my money's worth and I'm sure I would have been perfectly happy. But one of my tricks for learning to say "no" this month was to play devil's advocate. Perhaps this sweater is too unique and stands out too much. Also, I try to use that old "three ways to wear it" rule of thumb when making a purchase, and I'm a bit stumped here -- it will look the same with jeans or pants, and I can't think of too many exciting layering options. I have always been pretty good at talking myself in to making a purchase, but this is a good reminder that sometimes I need to be better at convincing myself to walk away.

Total Not Spent: about $365

That's pretty eye-opening. Even if I hadn't bought everything, I would have gone way over my $200 budget. My goal for February is to be REALLY thoughtful about purchases, and try to incorporate some of the things I learned this month:

- Look for reasons why not -- as a true Libra, I can almost always see the other side of the argument and need to talk myself OUT of buying things sometimes

- Be ruthless about the 3-ways-to-wear-it rule -- as cute as it is, that Anthro sweater doesn't pass the test

-Waiting 24 hours (for a handgun, or a fabulous party dress) is never a bad idea -- flash sales are dangerous because they speak right to that FOMO part of the brain. Sometimes in the light of a new day, that must-have just...isn't.

I can't wait to put my budget to the test in February! I'm still thinking about some of the things that I passed up this month, but I also have $30 of Old Navy Super Cash burning a hole in my wallet and there should be plenty of new spring merchandise in stores soon...

First time linking up with Franish and the amazing Budgeting Bloggers -- check them out for inspiration/temptation!

Wardrobe Rule: Shop Your Closet First

When you have a big event coming up, what's your first thought?

"I have to go out to buy something new to wear!"

It's such a knee-jerk reaction, but it is almost always the wrong one. After many years of thinking this way, and a closet full of pieces that I sort-of-but-don't-totally-love, I came to learn one of the most important wardrobe rules: don't shop for an occasion, shop for your life. Fill your closet with pieces that you'll want to wear over and over again, that make you feel amazing and make you excited to get dressed.

There are plenty of times in your life when you'll want to dress to impress: a good friend's wedding, a class reunion, a first date with your crush, an interview for your dream job. When the moment arises, you'll probably run out and spend a day or two frantically trying to find the perfect thing to wear. And what are the chances that will happen? More likely, you'll find something that seems good enough...but then after that initial wearing, the luster wears off and it ends up hanging in your closet untouched. Or you find something fantastic, but it's a budget buster and you're a little low on funds at that moment.

But when you have a well-constructed wardrobe, your reaction to dressing for a big event is different. Instead of going to the mall, you go to your closet. Instead of trying to find something new, you find something that always serves you well.

So how do you achieve this? For me, it means I am always on the lookout for special pieces that I'll want to wear over and over. I try to be ruthless when it comes to style and fit -- avoiding things that are super trendy, rejecting things that just aren't flattering. It means I shop often, but buy less.

And I know that those dress-to-impress events will pop up, sometimes without much notice. So at any given moment, I try to make sure that my closet is ready.

So if the invitation arrived today, what would I find by shopping my own closet?

The Big Wedding

I can't find an image online, but I definitely have a go-to guest-at-a-wedding dress. It is a fantastic Oscar de la Renta-inspired full-skirted dress with a gorgeous green rose print. The dress is the perfect shape for my figure (nipped in at the waist with a full skirt), the color makes my eyes pop, and it is so comfy I can dance all night in it. Even better, it was a pretty great deal. I think I paid about $60, and then another $10 at the tailor for a minor alteration to make it fit like couture (well, almost!).

I bought it years ago and have worn it to more than half a dozen events, including 5 weddings. When I talk with friends about the shop your closet rule, one of the first things I hear is "but people have seen me in this already!" And to that I say...who cares? When you wear the right clothes, people will notice how great you look in them, not that they've seen them before. If Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama can re-wear their dresses, the rest of us can, too.

My dress is from Loft, but Boden makes a lot of pretty and figure flattering dresses that would be great go-to party looks. When my Loft dress is ready to be retired, I might look to something like this as a replacement:

dress (similar)/clutch/shoes
Even though the print is bold, you'll still be able to make it feel fresh each time you wear it by changing the accessories: a solid colored wrap and simple earrings for a daytime wedding, a sequin shrug and a couple of big cocktail rings at night. When you find the right dress, you won't outshine the bride...but you may just be the happiest girl at the wedding!

The Class Reunion

I have a big reunion coming up in a year and a half, but I already have the perfect dress hanging in my closet. I scooped it up last year at Anthropologie's killer after-Christmas sale for a steal ($30). I didn't have any idea where I might wear it, but I loved the shape and the color, and I figured I'd be able to style it a million different ways. When I got it home, it dawned on me that it would make a GREAT high school reunion dress. It's a little sexy but not desperate, and it's flattering but not fussy.

For the reunion, I'd add my favorite earrings (they make my green eyes sparkle!) and a simple clutch. For some reason I have this vision of finishing the outfit with bright floral heels. They're not in my closet yet, but I'll keep an eye out for something similar to the ones below. 

dress (similar)/earrings (similar)/clutch/shoes

The Big Date

I'm single but I kind of hate dating (am I the only one?) isn't always easy out there. On those occasions when I do find myself getting ready for a date, I always go for classic pieces that I feel at ease in. Looking in my closet right now, I'd pick a few simple basics and dress them up with a sartorial security blanket: my favorite bold necklace.

maxi dress/jacket/necklace (simliar)/sandals
The Dream Interview

My interview options are a bit limited at the moment -- this is an area of my wardrobe I need to beef up a bit, so a good suit is on my running list of things to look for when I'm out shopping. For now, I could pull together a pretty decent interview look. A simple black blazer and wide leg pants are pretty classic, but I'd add a little personality with a sweet blouse, bold gold jewelry, and great shoes (my only score from the highly coveted Missoni x Target collection).

blazer/pants/blouse/lipstick/watch/ring/shoes (similar)
The watch is on my wish list, though seeing it mixed in here makes me love it even more. So sharp, right?

Over time, my go-to looks for these big events may change, and that's fine. But it is a great feeling knowing that my closet is ready for whatever big events life is going to throw my way!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Closet Staple: Linen T-Shirt

Basics aren't always the most exciting pieces in your closet, but they are incredibly important. They're the workhorses of your closet, so you want them to flatter, you want them to last forever, and you want them to be affordable (so you can spend more money buying the fun stuff).

I found one of my new favorite basics at my old favorite store (Target!), and it has quickly become a closet staple.

Drapey linen tee -- $12 (or less)

Confession: I discovered these on the clearance rack this summer, so I paid just $3.60. I bought two (both gray), but I wish I'd stocked up on half a dozen or more and added some other colors (white, blue, and black would be good choices). This is a seasonal piece, so there is a slightly different variation in stores/online right now but I think the v-neck version will return this spring. (Update: I've seen this v-neck version in stores! Not online yet, but probably soon.)

This tee shirt is simple but perfect. The loose, drapey cut is forgiving but not baggy -- it kind of floats along the body. It is thin without being sheer, and the linen blend fabric gives the shirt a touch of structure and elevates it beyond your basic gym shirt.

Boring-but-important: it washes like a dream! I use the gentle cycle and let it air dry and it is exactly the same as when I took it off the rack. No shrinking, no pilling.

How to Wear It

I try to use the 3-ways-to-wear-it rule when making a decision about anything in my closet. The first two are my favorites, but I want to try to be a bit more creative with it!

Saturday Errands

I'll admit, this is my go-to way to wear this shirt. Leggings, cute sneakers, and aviators and I feel comfortable but totally polished while running around town doing errands on a Saturday morning. Look fabulous without seeming like you tried too hard (pretty much my life goal!). This particular shirt is nice and long -- it is tunic length and covers my bum, so I feel OK wearing it with (good) leggings.


Thursday Day-to-Night

My job is relaxed enough that I can wear jeans most days of the week. For a casual day (i.e., no client meetings), I'd wear my favorite tee with boyfriend jeans, a blazer, and delicate gold jewelry. I'd do a simple black wedge during the day, but the cage heels would be great to slip on for after-work shenanigans (that don't require a lot of walking).


Casual Sunday

I'd throw this on for a lazy Sunday at the movies. Skinny ankle jeans, bright (and comfy) shoes, and some tough but pretty accessories.

jeans/shoes/watch/ear cuff

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Closet Inventory - Part I

Inspired by some of my favorite bloggers, I decided that a closet inventory was a great place to start as I work towards building my perfect wardrobe.

This is not my closet...yet! (source)
So let me start by saying, I have two closets. One in Florida, where I currently (temporarily) live, and another in New York, my permanent home. Because the climates are so different, and because I moved via plane with just 2 (giant) suitcases, it didn't make sense to bring my whole wardrobe. I'd hoped that paring down to a sort of capsule wardrobe would make getting dressed easy, but instead I'm unsatisfied and just keep buying more and more to compensate. My shopping has gotten a bit out of control, and I've decided to need to be more thoughtful about my purchases so that I'm building a wardrobe that I'll love for years, rather than a random collection of pieces that are just cute. 

On New Year's Day, I spent a few quality hours with my clothes, organizing and sorting and looking at every single piece with a critical eye. I want a closet filled with beautiful things that flatter, that work for my current life, and that make me happy to get dressed every morning. I wanted to be ruthless about trimming the adorable but ill-fitting blouses from the juniors' department, the pieces that used to fit (but never will again), the clothes that are meant for a girl I will just never be. 

So what did I have left?

I really didn't have any idea what to expect, so I'm not sure what to make of this. Overall, I think my closet is pretty well balanced. I currently work from home, so jeans and yoga pants make up the bulk of my lower-half wardrobe. I have entirely too many sweaters for a hot and sticky climate, but I love them (and break them out as soon as the thermostat gets below 65 degrees!).

The point of this inventory was really just to pull everything out, sort it, and count it. I didn't find a lot of things immediately needed to be removed, though I did discard a few things that were worn out, too big, hideously ugly, etc., and I'll keep an eye on a few things that I haven't really worn that often. For now, I have plenty of room to store all of these clothes, so I just want to be thoughtful about anything that is added.

I'll be able to do my other closet inventory soon, and I'll be interested to see what that uncovers. I feel like there is some purging to do there...some of those clothes are 10+ years old and just shouldn't be worn (by me) anymore.

It feels great to start out the new year with a clean and organized closet! Now to work on keeping it that way...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Wish List Score: Perfect Dress Coat

I keep a running shopping wish list of items that I really love and want to add to my wardrobe. Most of them are those beautiful, classic pieces that I expect I'll keep for years. If I had an unlimited budget, I guess I would just run out and buy everything on my list....and then make a new list, and buy all of those things! But since that isn't the case, I have to put on my Pollyanna hat and play the Glad Game: I'm glad I can't buy everything I wish for because it's fun to have to wait and dream about them for a while. And when you finally get your hands on one, it feels amazing!

Tweed Faux Fur Collar Coat -- $89 (another price cut!)

I've had this particular item, a gorgeous tweed coat with a luxe faux fur collar, on my list for over a year. I first spotted it on Le Catch and I loved it immediately. Quietly glamorous, modern but timeless....yum. At $170, it isn't really a budget-buster (especially since the cost per wear on a good coat should be pretty low), but I was hoping to catch it on sale. Last year came and went and I never saw the price drop, so I was glad to see it reappear this year. Still $170, and for some reason I just never felt ready to pull the trigger.

And like a magical sign from heaven, I stumbled upon a sale...a great sale! At around 11:45 on New Year's Eve, just minutes before my self-imposed January shopping ban was about to start, I decided to take a quick look online to see if I could catch an after-Christmas sale (because sometimes the best NYE plans involve watching The Twilight Zone marathon and screwing around online, right?). Between the sale and a pop-up code for an additional 20% off with free shipping, I was able to score my dream coat for just under $100!

When it arrived, I couldn't believe that I loved it even more than I hoped. The tweed is gray and this incredibly beautiful navy blue, giving it a richer tone than a traditional gray/black combo. And the fur collar is removable! So I'll have a fur collar that I can wear with other looks (I'd been eyeing a similar collar at Anthropologie all winter), and I'll also have a simple tweed coat perfect for almost any occasion.

This coat would be great with party clothes and other dressed up looks, but I kind of like the idea of wearing it with a more casual "Saturday night at the bar with friends" look.


I mean, damn. I want to wear that outfit every day!

Confession: I am wearing this coat right now. Over my pajamas. It looks amazing.

Not sure when it will be cold enough to justify pulling out this beauty, but I know I'll be turning heads and feeling like a million bucks!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Creating a Shopping Budget and the No-Buy January

Sometimes an idea pops into your head and then suddenly it seems everywhere you turn, you keep seeing or hearing things related to that idea. It just seems to be in the air, like the universe is telling you something. That's been happening for me lately, and the idea is simple: girl, you need a shopping budget.

So why a budget, and why now? To explain, I'll first say that I love a good routine, and lately I find that I've fallen into a routine that makes my heart happy but my wallet a bit sad. I start out most Saturday mornings with my favorite yoga class, which happens to be a 30 minute drive from my house. I finish by 10am and feel happy and energized and ready for the day! And I take advantage of the energy, the early hour, and my location to run some errands and get things done.

And maybe I start thinking, I've done something good for my body, I deserve a treat! On the way home from yoga, I have to pass 2 enormous malls, 2 fantastic outlet malls, a massive outdoor shopping plaza, and about a dozen Targets. And I think, ooh, the stores will be empty -- I should pop into Old Navy and just see what's new! I need to get a birthday present...I'll stop at the mall and hit the sale racks at Anthro. Hey, a new TJ Maxx just opened -- wonder what treasures they have?

By about 3 o'clock, I'm walking through the door loaded down with about half a dozen different bags. And I can justify all of it:

I had to pick up a few things at Target and this sweater caught my eye!

Everything at Old Navy is 40% off!

I really needed some new jeans and I'll get an extra 15% off if I spend $75, so these sweaters are practically free!

I've been doing this for a few months, and while I haven't gotten myself into any debt or purchased anything I'm unhappy with, I just feel like this is an unhealthy habit that I need to break. I love to shop, but I want to do it mindfully. I love a deal, but I want to build a wardrobe full of pieces that I absolutely love.

I'm looking for a closet full of Mr. Rights, and I'm getting distracted by clearance stickers, which are the Mr. Right-Nows.

All of this has been swirling in my mind and I've realized that a lot of my friends and some of my favorite bloggers work hard to stick to a shopping budget. I've learned that I may not be the best at natural self-discipline, but I know am excellent at setting goals and sticking to a plan.

Shopping budget: let's do this!

I've decided to give myself a monthly budget of $200. This feels comfortable right now -- not extravagant, not restrictive. I like to shop, so I don't want to be frustrated all month long...but I also want to focus on building my wardrobe and buying beautiful pieces that I'll wear for years. I'm hoping this budget will give me the right mix of quality and quantity...we'll see!

In addition to my budget, I decided to take a month off of shopping: this is officially a no-buy January. I bought a lot (= too much) in December, seemingly unable to resist all of the holiday sales. I overdid it, and I need a break. So just as Gwyneth Paltrow starts a new year with a miserable, restrictive juice cleanse (so she can rid her body of that extra cheese cube she ate on Christmas), I wanted to kick off the new year with a (slightly-less-painful) wallet cleanse. No clothes*, no makeup, no jewelry...not easy, but necessary. (*I did make one exception, allowing myself to buy workout clothes -- January is usually the best month to find deals, and my daily workouts mean I need a lot of sweat-wicking garments in my life).

We're about halfway through the month and I'm doing well! I've had some temptation, but I haven't given in. Everything is on sale, but I'm kind of tired of looking at the old winter collections $200 and I can't wait to see what spring goodies arrive next month!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


First came the news that beloved 90's staple Delia's was shutting it's (virtual) doors and today we learn that C. Wonder is shuttering. Both bummed me out (for different reasons), and I'm a bit surprised and kind of sad to see C. Wonder go. A store with an odd and sort of ugly history (Jezebel dubbing it Chris Burch's "revenge emporium" is perfection), it did scratch my itch for things that were a little too bright, a little too preppy, and a little too monogrammed.

Plus, they loved a good dachshund silhouette.

Plus, I got a lot of c Christmas presents there.

Sadly, C. Wonder will be no more in just a few short days. I was happy to pick up a couple of cute items during the 75% off after Christmas sale at my local store:

This basic but perfectly tailored striped tee was an absolute steal at $6:

And I couldn't resist this sweet little trinket box for $4. It will look great on my coffee table or nightstand!

C. Wonder is currently offering 50% off everything online (and discounts at B&M stores are probably steeper). I'm on a self-imposed shopping freeze for the month of January, but here's what I would pick up if I was going to take hit up the sale.

Dachshund Crest Sweater -- $34

I think I could pull this off as ironically preppy, and I'd wear it while running errands on the weekend (and walking my sweet dachshund, Audrey!).

The agony and the ecstasy -- they don't have these in my size. Shopping ban is in tact, but my closet is much poorer for it. These boots look AMAZING -- classic, versatile, ready to walk for miles. Please buy these and live in them for the rest of the winter, OK?

This is kind of a fun twist on a basic nude wedge. I'd love to see these peeking out beneath the hem of some of my tailored work slacks, or adding a little sparkle to my weekend uniform of trouser jeans and a blazer.

Does it get any preppier than this? You'll find a million uses for this slick box -- keeping things tidy on your desk, storing jewelry on your dresser, stashing, um, gadgets on your nightstand (what? It is the perfect shape and I love to hide things in plain sight!).

I've given these as Christmas presents in the past -- you can personalize for each recipient with her initial of course and then fill with Christmas cookies, a pile of her favorite candy, an assortment of yummy tea bags or K-cups, or any other little treat (for my running friends, I filled with Gu and Chomps and other other fuel -- huge hit!). If you're on the ball, you could get a jump on your holiday shopping!

Farewell, C. Wonder! We hardly knew ye, but your wacky patterns and searingly bright colors will live in our hearts and closets for many seasons to come. And soon we shall dry our preppy tears on the mid-priced seersucker goodness that will be Lilly Pulitzer x Target!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Buy This: C9 Activewear

I love a good deal and a hidden gem, so from time to time I'll be sharing some of the ones I'm loving at the moment. Happy closet, happy wallet!

One of my resolutions for 2014 was to Generally Act Like a Grown-Up, something I hadn't really been successful in achieving in my 30-something years on earth. Over the past year, I've learned exactly what that means to me, including:

  • Going to bed at a reasonable time and waking up more than 10 minutes before I need to leave for work (you can only sneak into the office bathroom to put on your makeup and brush your teeth so many times)
  • Making regular trips to the grocery store so there are ingredients for meals (several of them each day!); Cheez-its and marshmallows are not appropriate for dinner
  • Getting my sweat on once a day (at least!) -- my brain just works better when I do

I hit the gym every morning and I often walk a few miles after dinner, so I need plenty of cute/stretchy/sop-up-the-sweat pieces in my wardrobe. I've tried a lot of different brands, and by far my favorite is C9 by Champion, which can be found at Target.

The C9 line is a great bargain but more importantly, a great value. These pieces are super flattering and hold up to sweaty workouts and multiple washes (a small caveat: the hot pink items I've purchased tend to bleed; I just hand wash them because I love a bright pink, but choose any other color if you don't want the extra maintenance). And right now, they're on sale! The whole line is 10-20% off, and there are some additional coupons: $5 of a $30 purchase or $10 off a $50 purchase.

Tonight I headed to my local Target and picked up 2 favorites:

C9 Women's Seamless Tee  -- regularly $25, on sale for $20

This is my favorite running top, hands down. Very similar to the popular Lululemon Run Swiftly tee for a fraction of the price. I have it in 3 colors and picked up Shadow, a really pretty pale blue color (it is actually a bit more robin's egg than it appears in the photo). Can't wait to take it for a spin!

C9 Women's Seamless Racerback Bra -- regularly $16.99, on sale for $10 (or less)

And here's my favorite sports bra. I just can't stomach paying $40, $50, or $60 for an item that is meant to be soaked in boob sweat, so the price is more than right here. Cute, supportive, and available in tons of colors -- this is a great find. I picked up the Black Heather color as a treat for myself as I'll be running my first half marathon this weekend (eek!). The girls will be well-supported for all 13.1 miles...I hope the rest of me survives!

You'll note that the total here came to exactly $30, so I used the extra coupon to bring the cost down to $25 -- a total steal. I'll wear each of these 1-2x a week for a year or more, so the cost per wear will be tiny.

January is a GREAT time to find deals on activewear -- Old Navy, Gap, and Anthropologie are running sales right now -- so don't forget to stock up on your favorites!

Ooh, where'd you get that?!

Don't you love hearing that? I have to admit, I do. I love clothes, I love shopping, and I love it when a friend (or stranger) notices something that I'm wearing. It's a little vain, I know (it is the Libra in me - a touch of narcissism is our one flaw).

I think, talk, and read about fashion all day long, and I've been wanting an outlet for my thoughts and ideas. I'm on a mission to build the perfect wardrobe, and I thought it would be fun to blog about it. I love blogs and I get SO much inspiration from all of the real girls who open their virtual closet doors, so I thought I'd try to do the same. I don't want to be internet famous, I don't want to present some glossy version of a life that doesn't really exist, I don't want to end up on GOMI...I just want to share some pretty things and figure out how to create an awesome wardrobe for a pretty awesome life!

Thanks for reading!