The past few months have been a tsunami of overindulgence, unexpected bills, and ill-timed purchases.
Not going to lie, my checking account is looking slim right now. I’ll replenish the money in the middle of the month (when I get paid)…only to have it boomerang right back out the door for travel expenses.
But hey, life has a way of never working out exactly as you planned.
That I’ve come to fully accept.
The important thing is what you choose to do next.
If you watch Silicon Valley (if not you should, because it’s super cute), there was this great scene when the fledgling tech startup hits rock bottom. They have no office. No viable product. No money. But then one of the characters, in a sleep-deprived haze, has this moment of clarity:
He tells the other guys in the group to not lose faith. They have the bones of a great company. And they just need an idea. Now they’re going pivot. “Let’s pivot,” he says.
And pivoting I am.
It started with my priorities. I’ve felt a stronger pull to reserve money for Italy than anything else, so having that in the forefront makes it easier to pull back in other areas.
I’ve resisted stocking up on Diptyque candles for 35% off, because I know another sale will happen.
The Sephora sale came and went.
There’s no point in buying flowers for the house when I won’t be around this week to enjoy them.
And maybe, just maybe You Need a Budget is finally working on me. When I’m setting aside money for future expenses I know will come at the end of the month, it’s easier for my brain to process that spending that money now is going to get me into trouble.
Trouble like seeing your favorite designers’ spring collections and now basically wanting everything.
If you’ve been around the blog for a while then you know that thinking in binary terms, all or nothing, black or white, is not how we roll here.
So even though most of my money this month is spoken for, that doesn’t mean I can’t budget a little bit for refreshing my closet.
Here’s what’s been inspiring me lately, and how I’m planning to recreate similar looks for way less.
*Affiliate links below*
Utilitarian Midi Dress
- Inspiration: Dries Van Noten dress
- My Version: Vintage from eBay, $15
Utilitarian workwear-style dresses have been around for ages. They seem to be having a moment right now, and when I saw this Dries Van Noten version my interest was reignited. But that dress costs over $1,000 and the length would overwhelm my frame.
I couldn’t find the cobalt color, but for a similar look and feel, I bought this fuchsia rose (my new favorite color name) vintage dress from eBay for $15. It’s by Albert Nipon and 50/50 cotton-linen which makes it just right for summer. I love how timeless this style is, with the longer sleeves and the modest length.
I’m also pleasantly surprised by its versatility. You can pair a midi dress with flat sandals, throw a striped turtleneck underneath, or use it as a beach coverup.
Other midi dresses I like:
This white vintage dress hits all the right notes.
For a bolder look, this forest green dress stands out.
- Inspiration: Joseph Spring/Summer 2019
- My Version: Uniqlo, $10
One of my favorite ways to refresh my look is not by choosing a new silhouette, but by changing up the colors I wear.
Mint green is so fresh for spring/summer and looks good with a ton of other colors already in my closet: white, khaki, navy, ochre, olive green.
To satisfy that very specific color urge, I lucked out with this super budget-friendly $10 Uniqlo ribbed tee. It’s a little more dressed-up than my usual T-shirts, and is already packed away in my suitcase for Italy.
Other mint green pieces I like:
OK, so Mango has always been one of my favorite trendy stores, and they are killing it this season.
If I had to pick just one spring item to buy, it would be this mint green and mock neck knit top.
And this mint green linen dress is so sophisticated and would look good on lots of different body types.
Low Block Heels
- Inspiration: Kate Bosworth
- My Version: Vintage Ferragamo heels, around $60
I wear sneakers 90% of the time, but I’ve been craving a pair of low heels I won’t mind beating up, so vintage is the way to go. I’m looking for a pair vintage Ferragamo shoes in brown or green, and I’ve seen a few options pop up on eBay or Etsy for around $60. I like how they look when paired with something non-ladylike at all, like distressed wider-cut jeans.
Wide-Legged Khaki Pants
- Inspiration: Pinterest
- My Version: My own, $0
Khakis cue preppy, but when the hems are frayed all of sudden they’re a little more subversive.
But I’m not looking for your everyday fitted khakis.
I want them to be high waist, with the dorky pleats, and on the baggy side–basically a total fashion faux-pas. I can’t find a pair that hits all my requirements, so I’m going to use these ones I already have. They aren’t 100% perfect, but I like the idea of shopping in my own closet when I haven’t found the right piece.
What’s on your mind clothing-wise? Any fun ways you’re recreating your favorite looks for less?
Feature Image: Unsplash