The most wonderful time of the year (as well as the year itself) is coming to a close, and I am sitting here in a bit of a consumption coma. Lots of buying happened this month -- many gifts, of course, and many purchases for myself. I hit the after-Christmas sales. Hard.
I'd tried to avoid shopping too much over the past month or two because I knew prices would be great after the holidays, and they were. I missed a few items due to sell out (and a number of items mentioned aren't linked below because they are now out of stock), but I think it's just fate reminding me I can't have everything.
Starting Budget: $250 ($200 of my regular monthly budget, plus $50 because I returned this sweater and these shoes purchased previously)
H&M Jeweled Sweater ($10, on sale) -- this is my favorite buy this month (a tough call to make because I love sooo many things). The color is so rich and gorgeous -- I think it would look great on many people, but in particular I think it is really striking on brunettes. I've already worn it twice, once for Christmas morning brunch (over leggings and sparkly slippers) and once for an impromptu holiday gathering with high school friends (with ponte pants and chunky black pumps). I'm considering buying another one because the price is ridiculous (the one I bought was size large, which was very roomy and oversized; a medium would be more fitted, perfect with jeans or dress pants).
H&M Printed Sweater ($8, on sale) -- a simple little lounge top, perfect with leggings for lazy weekends (or weekdays, honestly, since I work from home). Nice for layering on those rare chilly Florida mornings. I like the stars :)
Anthropologie Splitneck Henley ($50, on sale) -- I've been eyeing this since September and I finally caught my size in stock for a great price. I got the large because I wanted it to be roomy and oversized -- reviews are very accurate in that it runs small (at least one size, maybe two).
Ava + Viv Sequin Skirt ($35) -- you never know where you'll find a gem. A friend of mine showed up to a holiday party wearing this amazing skirt and I all but snatched it off of her when she walked in the room. It is that perfect piece that is fancy but not fussy. When she told me it was from Target my eyes about popped out of my head, and I was floored to hear it was from their new-ish plus size line Ava + Viv. Plus size options are typically the worst so good on you Target for designing this winner. I wasn't sure the skirt would fit me (I can range from a 6 to a 12 depending on brand but mostly fall into 8s and 10s), but I ordered the smallest size they had (X, which is a 14-16) and crossed my fingers. Success! What helps is that it has an elastic waist, creating a much more forgiving fit. I'm also a bit pear-shaped, so the hips that I am always cursing come to the rescue here. I'm also experimenting with pinning it a bit on the side for a more secure fit. It's great little party skirt and looks much more expensive than it's price tag -- I can't wait to wear it with a simple button down blouse, a little velvet blazer, and even a graphic tee. So many possibilities.
H&M Printed Sweatshirt ($20, on sale) -- I don't know why, I just wanted it. I like my loungewear, what can I say?
Loft Speckled Shirt ($17, on sale) -- a twist on a basic black sweater -- the speckled print adds a bit of interesting texture.
H&M Sequin Sweater ($35) -- I loved this so much I paid full price. This rich emerald green color is my kryptonite (it's deeper and prettier in person), and I liked the placement of large paillettes. It's fun and festive without being too over the top.
H&M Cable Knit Cardigan ($20, on sale) -- I've been searching for an ivory cable knit cardigan for about a year (it's on my wish list!). I'm not big on belting things, so I'll probably wear it with the belt tied in the back.
J. Crew Striped Shirt with Bow Detail ($24, on sale) -- I have too many striped shirts, but I have NONE that are tied in the back with shimmery ribbon bows. I couldn't not buy this. The fact that I waited until it went on sale is basically a miracle (I'm expecting the Dope Pope to nominate me for sainthood any day now). This got scooped up fast in J. Crew's 40% off sale sale, so it was totally worth my being late for a family brunch while I furiously loaded things in my card and whipped my credit card out.
J. Crew Tippi Sweater ($35, on sale) -- I've never owned a Tippi sweater, but I know several devotees and I feel like this will easily work into my existing wardrobe (pairing with the jeans, pants, and leggings I wear almost daily). This bright ocean color is beyond gorgeous.
J. Crew Parker Crossbody ($47, on sale) -- I've never seen this bag in person but I am hoping it is as sweet and lovely as it seems in the photo. The lipstick pink color is punchy but not too saccharine sweet.
J. Crew Boatneck Tee ($20, on sale) -- Pink and orange is my favorite color combo, and it's unusual to see these sort of candy colors paired in a classic Breton stripe tee. I'll be saving it for spring and summer, it seems ideal for those early warm nights.
H&M Jacquard Knit Sweater ($13, on sale) -- an impulse buy. I'd seen it in store a few weeks ago and it seemed so cozy. I'm not sure I'll get many chances to wear it this year (hello insanely warm winter), but it is making me want to plan some sort of ski trip so I can rock while drinking cocoa in the lodge (I don't actually ski, but I'm an apres-ski pro).
Gap Cozy Bold Stripe Scarf ($12, on sale) -- I couldn't stop thinking about it after posting about it weeks ago. It's a want more than a need, making it a perfect after Christmas buy.
Forever 21 Beaded Jacket ($50) -- looks so much more expensive than it was. Perfect topper over a tank and jeans for easy nights out.
Anthropologie Celestial Slippers ($44) -- a little gift for myself. Fancy slippers are a happy little luxury. These are on a nice sale and would be great to pick up as a gift for Christmas 2016 (yes, I sometimes buy gifts a year in advance. I'm sure that is stage one hoarding, but I don't care).
I'm about $100 over, which isn't ideal but it could have been worse. Also, a number of these items haven't arrived yet so I do think there's a chance that one or two may end up being returned.
I thought I'd also mention a few items I got for Christmas -- they are already very happy additions to my wardrobe!
This bag doesn't look like it came from H&M, and it does a good job of scratching my itch for a Marc Jacobs hobo. I've been dying for a black watch plaid blanket scarf -- this one looks great with basic black and navy tops. I have these earrings in green and wear them a lot, so I know this coral pair will get a lot of love. And I love this palette of cool shadows from Buxom (they have a primer built in, which is great because I am lazy about that sort of thing).
Hope you had a wonderful December and most importantly, enjoyed spending time with the people you love. I've always thought of myself as a fairly grateful person -- I have a generally happy life filled with amazing friends and family, and I don't take them for granted even for a minute. Still, this time of year provides an even better reminder that what matters most in life is the people you share it with and the good work that you do. So while it's fun to collect beautiful baubles and sparkly skirts, they're just a bit of icing on the cake.
Linking with Fran and the budgeting bloggers - I'm so curious to see what fun things everyone found this month!