fall additions

9.17 fall additions

one | two *| three | four

five *| six | seven | eight | nine

ah, fall. my favorite season. it’s also my favorite season to dress for – I love a good knit. I always spend the most on clothing in the fall, and this year is no exception, although it was a bit more tempered by the fact that I’m still on the job hunt. all in all, I’m really pleased with the handful of things I’ve purchased so far. I’m particularly digging that blazer cardigan from j.crew factory (it’s 100% cotton, thick, and well-made) and the michael kors loafers (like butter on my feet…I might need them in black, too). have you picked up anything for the new season?

I’ll be sharing pics of our apartment soon, now that we’ve settled in a bit. have a good week!

*these links will take you to my personal thirty-one website. I make no money from clicking through the link, only if you were to place an order through me. just fyi. :)

may clothing budget

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st. james x j. crew shirt: $89 $40 on sale + student discount

lauren ralph lauren crossbody: $168 $75 on sale

madewell necklace: $45 $10 on sale + student discount

j. crew factory skirt: $79.50 $32 on sale

j. crew factory tee: $29.50 $11 on sale

j. crew cap-toe flats: $118 $41 on sale + student discount

sperry boat shoes: $90

total: $299

remaining budget for june & july: $201

we’ll be moving to Boston in the beginning of August, which means we need to get serious about planning our move and all of the costs associated with that. to help keep our spending on the lighter end for the next little while, I’m going to start listing out my monthly purchases here on the blog, to keep me accountable and also to share with you guys the things I’m loving & buying. 5% of my present income is about $2000, so that gives me about $500 per quarter to play with for clothing, which is a category that includes everything that I wear (clothes, shoes, accessories) but not makeup.

 

may was a bit spendy – graduation + all the sales + some actual time off of school over the holiday weekend made for a costly combination. but still, I love what I ended up getting. the purse was a bit of a splurge, even at such a steal of a price since I didn’t really need it and wasn’t looking for a new bag, but I couldn’t resist the classic, timeless shape and ultimately bought it as a graduation present.

 

what fun stuff have you found lately? have a good weekend!

 

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wearing my heart on my sleeve

heartonmysleeve

the future is female | woman up (similar) | introvert!

…or chest, rather. I’ve been wearing statement sweatshirts nonstop the past month or so. not only are they insanely comfortable, they’ve also been a way to let a little of my personality & thoughts shine through.

they’ve been the sartorial edition of conversation starters. I’ve gotten so many compliments from and engaged in conversations with so many people I don’t know. in these challenging times, talking to each other more can only be a good thing.

what have you been loving to wear lately?

p.s. the ‘introvert!’ one just kills me! I call it my ‘quiet jazz hands’ sweatshirt (said with the aforementioned jazz hands) , which makes my husband laugh like crazy. I’m totally digging the subtle irony. how very introvert of me. ;)

p.p.s. these shirts are great, too, and incredibly relevant.

five things for fall

5thingsfall

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can you feel a hint of fall in the air? we’re still getting oppressively hot days in chicago but today and a day earlier this week, there’s been a bit of a snap in the air. I’m pretty good to go for this season clothes-wise, so the items I’m eyeing to add are accessories or the super luxe versions of the basic items I love in my closet.

these shoes are just so, so good. the color blocking is so chic, and I would instantly feel put together if I had those puppies on my feet. I love that they’re responsibly made to boot.

this might be the year that I spring for a cashmere cardigan. I love the color on this one, but I’m keeping my options open.

one of the best things about fall is how rich & cozy the season is. as the air gets chillier, everything intensifies with it. I’m looking forward to returning to heavier scents and layering it with this lotion. it’s apparently the brand’s best-selling scent, and I can see why. it’s warm and sexy and sophisticated and a little bit mysterious.

lastly, I’m excited to add this to my rotation of fall lip options and to finally snag this little guy.

what’s on your fall wish list?

the capsule wardrobe | fall 2016: clinicals

clinicalwardrobe

it certainly doesn’t feel like fall at all, but my academic year starts a week from today so I had to get started on a portion of my capsule wardrobe earlier than seasonally-appropriate. for this rotation, I’ll be required to wear business casual clothing at my clinical sessions. for my program, ‘business casual’ means no jeans, closed-toe shoes (with hosiery), and a semi-dressy top with a conservative neckline. keeping these requirements in mind, I took a good look at what I had in my closet and then pinpointed some pieces I needed to buy: some dressy shells, top layer options, more professional-looking flats, and a good pair of black trousers. some of the pieces above may look familiar because I highlighted them as things I was eyeing during the nordstrom anniversary sale. obviously, some things worked out!

one | the only item I purchased that wasn’t on sale were these pants. they were more expensive than I wanted, but they fit perfectly, are machine-washable, have good stretch but still structured, and highly recommended by my boss and several friends. I had planned on buying two pairs of trousers but ended up just buying just this pair because of the price and because no other pair came close in comparison.

two | I finally found a blazer that works for my body, so I bought it in three colors! they wouldn’t work for a completely business-attire environment, but for business casual, these are perfect. the knit is comfortable, and the open front is really flattering on me.

three | these flats are fierce, and I’m so glad that I guessed the right size before they sold out. this pair was a 2-for-1: I was looking to replace my pair of smoking slippers and for a pair of dressy flats.

four | these tanks are long enough on the bottom and high enough on the neckline to be appropriate, and I plan on wearing them underneath a cardigan or a blazer. they are a bit sheer open in the lower back, but I’ll have a layer on top to cover that detail during clinical. plus, that lets them be a great going-out option, too.

five | I was so pleased to find a long-sleeved blouse in a mixed-media design – the knit back is great for comfort & ease of movement. the neckline doesn’t come down too low (no hint of cleavage), and the tunic length & long sleeves make it a great piece that doesn’t require a top layer.

six | as for this cardigan, I wasn’t sure about the ruffles (I tend to like pieces that are a little more streamlined), but I was surprised to find that it looked really good on and added just the right amount of unexpected detail. the sweater part is the perfect light grey and is ridiculously soft.

clinicalwardrobe1

these are the pieces that I already had, rounding out my 16-piece clinical capsule wardrobe.

seven | I couldn’t find this exact turtleneck online in the black but it comes in a bunch of other colors, and this is a thicker option. I like the tissue weight because it lies flat and makes it really easy to wear under other pieces of clothing.

eight | this cashmere sweater is actually from the men’s section. I prefer the way their version drapes on me as opposed to the women’s version.

nine | this cardigan is a great basic and is a workhorse staple in my wardrobe in general. the wool is warm but thin enough to not be too bulky.

ten | this is an old pair from via spiga that I scored at a great price at nordstrom rack a couple of years ago, but this is a similar pair in classic leather with a work-friendly kitten heel.

eleven | this coach bag was a christmas present a couple of years back. it’s such a great classic shape in a not-too-big but not-too-small size. sadly, coach no longer makes this exact style, but this, this, and this are similar.

twelve | aside from a watch and my wedding band, the only jewelry I’m allowed to wear is a pair of stud earrings. these are one of my favorites. I love that the raw cut of the herkimer diamond gives a little edgy twist to an otherwise classic earring.

thirteen | every nurse needs a watch with a second hand. I prefer to wear a watch with a metal or silicone band because it’s easier to disinfect and I don’t need to worry about getting it wet every time I wash my hands. this watch has a really versatile shape, and the pink second hand is a nice touch.

are you ready for fall?

nordstrom anniversary sale picks

nsale

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four | five | six

seven | eight | nine



you’ve probably heard by now that nordstrom’s anniversary sale is already underway for cardholders, and it opens to the public this friday. I’ve been able to shop the early access because I do have a nordstrom debit card. because there are so many things included in this sale, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed with the selection from the get-go. because this sale happens at roughly the same time every year (mid-july to early august), I try to do a cleaning out of my closet before, both to do some necessary cleaning & organizing, as well as to see what my closet needs for the upcoming season. the best part of the #nsale for me is that it’s on fall/winter clothing, for multiple reasons. one, f/w clothing tends to be more expensive because of the materials used and how much of it – think wool, thick cotton, etc. secondly, the fall & winter start early and last forever in chicago. except for the warm days of deep summer, my colder weather clothing items are constantly in use from september to march (and even into june with the lighter, more versatile pieces). knowing that these will be hardworking pieces in my closet, I’m ok with spending a little bit more money on individual pieces than I normally would.


for this year’s sale, I knew right away what I needed: some dressier separates that would work well for my psych clinical rotation this fall. instead of our usual scrubs, we’ll be expected to dress in business casual attire while we’re on the floor. I’m desperately in need of some basic dress pants, so I ordered #4 and am eyeing #5 as well. I also needed a pair of dressy flats that were comfortable & practical enough for a hospital setting, but also had some things going for it in the style department. these ticked off all of those boxes (bonus that they look like the pair of flats the model is wearing in #5!). I can’t wait to try them on – cross fingers they fit! I also needed to pick up some dressier tops. I selected pieces that could be layered, such as a sleeveless shell & an open cardigan (bought it in cream, which looks to be sold out). I’ve talked before about how blazers don’t really work for me. I’ve found better luck over the years with clean, streamlined knit pieces that function like a blazer but are more accommodating and comfortable. I’m eyeing this piece, too – I know, I know, I just told you how blazers don’t work for me and then I tell you I’m eyeing one…but I was intrigued by the open front & knit material. if it works out, it would be a slightly more structured option than the cardigan but still with some give because of the fabric. I’m hoping it will stick around a little bit so I can try on the 4 pieces I ordered to see if they work out first.



the last three things are purely in the “want” category. the scarf would be perfect for fall, and it’s really tempting me even though I really don’t need another one. I tried out a free sample set of the living proof shampoo & conditioner I received with a sephora order, and they really helped keep my hair smooth and in control and not oily. I’m just about finished with the samples but have been eking out every last squeeze because I wasn’t thrilled about the price. this set is a good deal & will lessen the sting some. the shampoo & conditioner alone would be $50, so I’d be getting those + a full-size dry shampoo for $5 less. and lastly, I’ve been meaning to give these leggings a try as they’ve gotten rave reviews. my current pair of lounge leggings have seen better days, and these may be a good replacement.


are there any pieces you’ve picked up or currently eyeing from the #nsale?

summer makeup

summermakeup

you know those people who never seem to sweat? I’m most definitely not one of those people. in addition to when I’m stressed and when I’m exercising, I also sweat when it’s hot out. so when the temperatures start rising, I stay away from heavy makeup that I know will just come right off. most days I put on moisturizer, sunscreen, curl my lashes, and slap on some color on my lips, & call it a day. but when I want/need to look a little bit more made up, I add a couple of other products.

for my base, I’ve been loving bare minerals complexion rescue (my shade is spice). I started using it back when I began clinicals. I liked that it evened out my skin tone while feeling really light & cooling. I do have to say that this is definitely a sheer coverage product, but I love it for that reason. I’ve also been really liking the glossier stretch concealer because it’s got that creamy, light consistency that I prefer for hot weather. I’ve been a longtime fan of the nars concealer & the burberry one, but both felt a little too heavy for the weather right now for me. for blush, a tried and true favorite is chanel malice, a really pretty, no-fuss peachy pink that looks really good when I’m darker. if I want a little bit more color on my lips than a nude gloss, I’ve been reaching for glossier generation g in crush. I like that it’s matte but doesn’t feel cakey or drying. the color is a really pretty pink stain, like you’ve just had a cherry popsicle. I also like that when it does fade, it does it in a really pretty ombre kind of way that looks natural and not overdone.

I usually leave my eyes bare during the day and just curl my lashes, but at night, for some added drama, I’ve been really liking using the laura mercier caviar sticks in copper & khaki. I used the shades amethyst & cocoa a lot in the fall/winter, but I’ve been loving these two shades as a change in pace. I like using them both as a blended all-over lid color & as a smudged, no-fuss liner. I then top off with some mascara, which lately has been the dinoplatz escalator one. the packaging is super cute, it doesn’t smudge, & it holds the curl in my stubborn, little lashes.

the last two products I’ve been using aren’t makeup, but they’ve been even more crucial. while my face tends to get dry in the winter, in the summer it’s pretty much an oil field, especially around the t-zone. these blotting papers have been lifesavers for keeping my face from looking like a greasy mess. I love that the sheets adhere to a little puff & that the case comes with a handy mirror. lastly, the tatcha luminous skin mist is a great midday pick me up. I’m not sure if I buy the necessity of having a mist in one’s makeup routine, but a spritz in the middle of a hot day is unbelievably refreshing, and it does help revive the makeup that has gone flat throughout the day.

spring scents

spring scentsI’m quite loyal to perfumes. although I’ll try out a free sample now & then, I only own 3 full-sized bottles: one fall/winter scent, one spring/summer scent, & one special occasion scent. I prefer my warmer weather scents to be lighter in general, and I’m partial to citrus and water notes. for the past 5 years or so, my spring/summer scent has been dolce & gabbana light blue, which to me smells like citrus & ocean.

I don’t know if my sense of scent has changed or if the formula has changed, but I sprayed a little bit of light blue on a couple weeks ago and it did not smell the way it usually does. my favorite part about this scent is the tartness of it, and this time around, it wasn’t there, making the perfume rounder & less sharp. it was ok, but it wasn’t the scent I remembered. I thought maybe I was just being weird or OCD, so I kept using it, but every time, I smelled a softer, rounder scent. I even tried a spray of the tester bottle they had in-store as I was out last week and again, it seemed like the scent had changed.

so I’ve been on the hunt for a new spring/summer scent since. I’m sampling the three above currently. I have a deluxe sample & the solid version of nirvana white, and I’m noticing that there’s a slight difference between the liquid & solid version. the solid version is more subtle, which I think I prefer. brit sheer is the brightest-smelling of the three – it’s definitely a light, happy scent that still manages to be fresh & not too sweet. lazy sunday morning is aptly named – it smells like clean sheets & a relaxed, sunny morning. it’s a little different for me as it’s not very citrusy, but I like how clean & nostalgic it is. I’ve yet to commit to one enough to warrant a full-size purchase, but I’m enjoying rotating between the 3 in the meantime.

do you have any recommendations for a spring/summer scent?

american classic

classicamericana

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spending some extended time in new england has brought out a nostalgia for classic american sportswear. there’s something timeless about pieces with clean lines in traditional colors. we took a little day trip up to the freeport, maine area on our honeymoon, and after visiting wolfe’s neck woods state park, we dropped by the 24-hr l.l. bean store in town. I didn’t walk away with anything that day since I only brought a carry-on for the trip, but I did make a mental note to check out a handful of pieces online later. I’m always in a little bit of a nautical mood when the summer comes around, so it’s not surprising that I’m eyeing up some striped pieces. the boat & tote has been an american classic since 1944, and the leather handles on this version is a really lovely update. lastly, this field jacket is so, so good. I tried it on in store, and the fit & the details were spot on. I love the way the collar lays & the cinch waist.

wardrobe essentials

  grey tee | white tank | striped tee | slouchy sweater | white button-down

chambray | black jeans | white jeans | dark jeans

knit dress | ankle boots | wrap cardigan | leopard flats

ever since getting serious about simplifying, I’ve been thinking about what I consider “essentials”. for more serious things, essential = vital. for more trivial things, like my wardrobe, essential = basic. I used to think that “basic” sounded so lackluster, the opposite of special. but when I think about how they’re the most hardworking, most well-loved pieces of my closet upon which everything else is built, it brings to mind perhaps a more accurate definition of essential: indispensable.

these are the pieces that feel the most “me”, the pieces that require no thought at all but still make me feel put together. and so, if I had to cull my capsule wardrobe down to only the pieces that were indispensable, these are what would make the cut.

what are your wardrobe essentials?