In Style, What I bought

December 2012: What I Bought

Savers, avert your eyes!!!!!!

I spent a LOT this month even by my standards, but 50% of it was spent on were classic items I had been looking for and missing in my wardrobe, so I feel good.

A lot of it was because of the Boxing Day sales too, or thrifted.

I think I may save my money up for shopping in June or in December, when the sales are on, it really is worth it to wait for Boxing Day.

funny-cat-kitten-boxing-day-shopping-sales

FINAL CLOTHING COUNT FOR DECEMBER OF WHAT I KEPT:

December-2012-What-I-Bought-Clothes-and-didn't-return

  • 2 dresses
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 blazers
  • 5 long-sleeved silk shirts
  • 2 shell tops in silk
  • 1 pair of leather boots (short)
  • 1 pair of shearling gloves (damn they’re warm)

Yikes? It’s practically a whole new wardrobe. 🙂 I

CLOTHING COUNT OF WHAT I RETURNED:

What-I-returned-in-December-2011-Clothing

  • 1 blazer
  • 1 sweater
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 3 pairs of leggings

I’m quite pleased with my returns as well.

Let’s start with the few things I did NOT pay for… (ha. ha… HA!!!)

FREE SWAGBUCKS E-BOOKS FROM AMAZON.COM FOR MY KINDLE

I get free e-books bought with Amazon gift cards by using Swagbucks — referral link here.


December-2012-Books-I-Bought

Some of you may be wondering why I buy e-books and not the real thing, especially since Amazon can simply just delete it from my Kindle.

The trick is to Google how to save those ebooks in another format other than the (.azw) Amazon format, and convert it into .epub format or PDF.

My philosophy is I paid good money for those books, and I should be allowed to keep them.

I don’t share them with anyone, nor do I lend them out, but I also want to back them up and own them, rather than put them on some cloud.

…Okay, now the paying and spaving begins!

SHOPPERS DRUG MART 20X POINTS DAY

These are the only days where it is a great deal.

I generally avoid Shoppers until their 20X points days to stock up on things, unless I can find something for 50% off or if I desperately, truly, need something and can’t wait (medication falls into this category, as it doesn’t get points anyway).

I spent about $199.11 stocking up on Korres White Tea Fluid Cleansing Gel, Gillette Mach 3 Turbo blades (men’s razors work better and last longer), and vitamins I need to keep taking (omega 3 pills).

What-I-Bought-Shoppers-20X-Day-Points-Stock-Up-Staples

With the points that I received in return for the 20X points days, it is the equivalent of my spending $3490 at Shoppers to get the same amount of 34,900 points, or about 17.53 times over what I actually spent.

Factoring in that there’s a 15% inflation on all their prices, and not all Shoppers stores ascribe to the same pricing strategies (usually off by $0.50 or $1 here and there), it is still an excellent time to buy what you need and use on a regular basis — your staples.

It isn’t an excuse to go and spave on useless, unnecessary items.

The best deal is at the highest tier of their rewards level, so wait until all your points are accumulated on 20X days before redeeming any.

DAVID’S TEA STOCK UPS = $120

So apparently they don’t keep ALL the teas in-store, so I had to order online.

December-2012-What-I-Bought-Davids-Tea-Teas

I bought the following:

  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Brazillionaire
  • Vanilla Orchid — love!
  • Tropicalia (normally a Summer tea but it sounds delicious)
  • Sleigh Ride — trying for the first time
  • Stormy Night — first try
  • Snow Bunny — first try
  • Pineapple Oolong — fresh and delicious

I’m set for at least until June 2013.

I drink about 3 cups of tea a day, two in the morning/afternoon and one at night.

I was afraid of them running out of Banana Nut Bread (a very real possibility), and since it’s my favourite tisane I drink nightly (which means non-caffeinated, herbal “tea”), I had to stock up, and bought the largest 500g bag they had (that is like 5 tins of that stuff).

BUTTER AVENUE MACARONS – 3467 AVENUE ST, TORONTO ON – $13.50 for 6 macarons or $2.25 each

Butter-Avenue-Box-Macarons-Toronto-Canada

My verdict? Meh.

Still better made than most macaron places, but they were a bit dry, a bit chewy rather than cake-y, and felt old, but not as crumbly or as bad as Nadege, or nowhere as bad as Moroco (THE worst place to eat macarons).

They mostly had buttercream for the middles instead of a true ganache, which ruined the experience for me.

I hate, HATE HAAAATE buttercream in macarons. No extra flavour added and it’s a waste of a perfectly good macaron shell.

I ate the fruit ones and raspberry and cassis were my favourites. Lemon was kind of like eating sugary dish soap.

23 AND ME DNA MAPPING TEST — $160 (shipping included)

 

dna-test-23-and-me-genealogy

 

I’m curious, what can I say? Oh and if you’re of African descent, I think you might be able to score it for free.

Goes without saying that you have to also be a believer in evolution to accept these findings 😛

On sale for $99 each test, and about $60 for international shipping to Canada and back, I’m willing to spend $160 to take a bite and see how my DNA scores.

I don’t really know most of my extended family even though I know that altogether, I’d have about 30 aunts and uncles, but I only know about 7 of them, and I don’t know one whole branch of my family because…… well it’s complicated.

With that said, I don’t know anything about my history other than what my parents have as maladies, and I like being prepared.

For instance, I know we have a propensity to diabetes (Type 2), so I’ve started cutting back on sugar in everything I eat and drink on a daily basis.

For treats, I allow myself to eat sugar once in a while, but I don’t do it the way I used to as a kid — my after school snack was white sugar sprinkled on butter spread on white bread… seriously.

I would like to know what other things I have a propensity towards so I can look out for any symptoms or signs, instead of waving it off due to being fatigued or something.

Secretly.. it would also be nice to see if I can find some long-lost cousins, aunts and/or uncles.

I know it’s silly because I haven’t known them my whole life, so why should I care.. but I’ve always felt like a part of my world has been missing.

It’s a long shot but I’d like to try, especially just for $160.

LE CREUSET COOKING STUFF — $400 turned into $600

We got a lot of cooking stuff this month (the deals were great, around 25% off everything!)


And by “I”, I mean “We”, and by “We” I mean BF.

He loves to cook, I love to eat… I am not about to disturb that chi.

What’s not pictured below is some really fancy French-made, amazing, glazed, wonderful pots made for rustic French dishes, but are not on the Williams Sonoma website.

all-clan-stainless-steel-measuring-cups-and-spoons-williams-sonoma microplane-rasp-grater-williams-sonoma-zest clearshield-nonstick-pan-baking-williams-sonoma le-creuset-heritage-stoneware-pate-terrine-williams-sonoma Williams-Sonoma-WMF-Spider-Skimmer-Spatula williams-sonoma-silpat-silicone-mat rosle-conical-strainers-pestle-chinoiserie-cooking-williams-sonoma-pestle-wooden rosle-conical-strainers-pestle-chinoiserie-cooking-williams-sonoma

Mmmmmmm I smell delicious French food starting…

Update: We made homemade foie gras, and oxtail curry stew, and it was magnificent!

1 SAMPLE OF A KAIA BAMBOO BIODEGRADABLE MAKEUP WIPES – $1.45

Bamboo makeup facial wipes from Kaia that looked, smelled and sounded SO GOOD (although a bit dry).

I normally use Cost-Co Kirkland Brand makeup wipes for about $0.09 each ($27 bucks buys you 300 wipes), and I LOVE THEM.

They’re incredible, and everything comes out without a problem or any kind of scrubbing.

These bamboo Kaia cloths cost $1.45 each for a sample, or about $15 for 30 wipes, so the price has essentially gone up about 5.5X per wipe.

Funny-ish PF story:

Me: How much is this sample?

Girl: Ummm…. $1.45 after taxes. Wow! That’s so cheap!?

Me:……. Well it’s only ONE makeup wipe. *thinks it’s pretty expensive*

Girl: Oh I know, but just.. $1.45 is like nothing!

Me: ….Yeah……… I guess…it is…. like…nothing……if “nothing” was… $1.45…..

*fights to keep the PF-beast quiet inside of her*

*thinking silently* A month of these samples, used daily would cost $43.50, or $522 a year just on WIPES alone for your face.

$522 a YEAR. That is NOT cheap.

Anyway, I wanted to like them SO BAD because they’re bamboo, biodegradable and smell so good, even if my wallet didn’t.

I could justify buying ONE pack, and then using them sparingly (e.g. not wearing makeup daily).

Alas, they don’t clean as well.

Here’s the evidence below:

 Click to biggify

Note: I don’t think I wear a LOT of makeup like some girls. I really just wear my tinted sunscreen, dab of blush, a bit of powder to set it, some concealer here and there, and eye makeup like non-waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

I don’t cake anything on.

Looks like it cleaned everything pretty well right?

Well, for one thing, it’s WAY TOO SMALL. It was a third of the size of the Kirkland Costco Makeup Wipes.

For another, it wasn’t soaked with those “honey and vitamins” enough, and I was scrubbing an almost dry cloth over my long-lasting eye makeup, which made me feel like I was tearing my skin and eyelashes off.

Then I went over my face again with a Costco Kirkland wipe to see what else I missed:

It is faint, but you can see that even after scrubbing, it totally missed a small smear of my tinted sunscreen, as well as a few swipes of my eye makeup.

It was also a lot easier to use (more wet), so I didn’t have to scrub as hard.

I could use these, if I don’t wear mascara or eyeliner, or anything long-lasting or long wearing, but how likely is that?

*sigh*

I really wanted to like them.

Bamboo! BAMBOO!!!

2 BOXES OF KIRKLAND COST-CO MAKEUP FACIAL CLEANSING WIPES — $27

 

They’re usually 150 towelettes in a box each, but I picked up two full boxes because they had a mini sale — buy one, get $5 off!

They have 2 travel pack sizes of 15 towelettes each, and 4 really huge 30 pack towelettes that have a little lid instead of a stupid sticker.

These are great because:

  • they’re fairly cheap (~$0.09 each)
  • they really remove everything quite gently
  • they’re a proper size to get everywhere
  • they’re soaked in the liquid
  • they don’t feel greasy at all — you can skip the facial cleanser step
  • they’re textured, so they do a little exfoliation

Then Boxing Day arrived…. it’s like the Black Friday of the U.S….

I really should just wait until December to shop.

m0851 TAN SHEARLING GLOVES — $82.50

..Originally $150 but was on sale for 45% off.

I’ve been searching for a while and I can’t really find shearling gloves for less than $150, so I was pleased with these.

shearling-gloves-m0851

(These are not the exact gloves, but close enough.)

I’ve been eying these for a while, since about a year ago, but couldn’t stomach paying $150 for them. Yes, I know, they’re still cheaper than buying them from J. Crew (~$200) or UGG (~$200), but $150 is still a lot of money for gloves.

I was pleasantly surprised to find them on sale for $82.50 when I went in on Boxing Day, and when the size fit perfectly, and the colour was nice (tan), I decided to buy them.

Super warm. I have my old mittens from 5 years ago, but the Thinsulate inside is wearing thin and I’m starting to get frozen fingers because it isn’t quite cutting it any more.

SHEARLING FOR EVERYONE!

EQUIPMENT BRIGHT WHITE SILK AND REGAL BLUE CLASSIC UTILITY SHIRTS — $215.30 EACH

…at full price because I couldn’t get a deal other than EBATES CANADA

…SAME EQUIPMENT CLASSIC UTILITY SHIRT IN MULBERRY – $129.85

Originally $215.30, but for 40% off


equipment-white-silk-shirt-signature

 

SAVING (SOME) MONEY BY USING EBATES CANADA AND SHOPPING ONLINE

I originally but that Equipment Bright White shirt at Holt Renfrew on a whim for about $255 CAD, which turned out to be $288.15 CAD in total after taxes.

Then I went online out of curiousity and found it on Nordstrom and Saks 5th Avenue with free shipping to Canada, duties and taxes included, came out to about $9.55 LESS than what I paid at HR.

Plus there was no 40% off sale on any shirt.

O_o

Add on top of that, I get 6% limited cash back in from Ebates Canada for Saks Fifth Avenue and 1% back on my CIBC Dividend, and the resulting price tag makes my wallet slightly less suicidal.

But in reality, the Mulberry is more this muted colour because of the style of silk.

I still like it even if it isn’t as bright, and it is still a saturated jewel toned colour to be flattering (unlike that nasty Nude Pale Blush shade..)

equipment-mulberry-signature-silk-shirt-product

And the regal blue was just as bright, but with that kind of silk, it ended up looking like this, so not QUITE as dark as the picture on the Equipment site, but not too far off like the Mulberry.

Equipment-Silk-Shirt-Regal-Blue-Actual

Here’s how it looks like in a chart with my savings for one shirt as a comparison:

It’s about $17.93 – $24.62 in savings if you use Ebates Canada or a rewards credit cards.

Of course, I’d save 100% by NOT buying anything, but… ..er… hush!!

Oh, and they both have a (smart) thing where they tell you the duties in advance so you aren’t surprised when you get the item.

This is how much I paid for everything; the shirt is cost about $234.69, which is lower than the Canadian retail price of $255 CAD (plus 13% taxes).

HEY, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH YOU AND MILITARY SHIRTS?

I’ve been lusting after utility shirts for a long time.

My mother is the one who first got me addicted to the style and look — clean, simple, masculine-y.

Then I put them on and it was a match made in heaven for me.

Plus, look at how many ways Grasie Mercedes wore her Equipment silk shirt!

signature-equipment-silk-white-shirt-grasie-mercedes-pretty

Ahem.

I already have 3 Facile Camp Shirts in an ivory, khaki green and black from Anthropologie I bought last year or so for about $88 each.

anthropologie-facile-camp-shirt-ivory-black-all-3-khaki-green-wardrobe

I REALLY like the Anthropologie shirts for the summer.

The material (rayon) is perfect, breezy, and light for humid summers. Plus it has more of a casual look, military gold buttons, and sleeves that are best kept at 3/4 length (I sewed them to keep them in place and to stop unfurling).

I’ve also been stalking Equipment because they’re also known to have amazing utility shirts, and totally in silk.

Therefore you may ask why would I really need a BRIGHT WHITE classic silk shirt, if I already have ivory, khaki green and black?

Trick question…. Er… I don’t really need more shirts.

But I really wanted it and I like the colour as a classic bright white button-up. It had a nice drape, flow, feeling, warmth… everything was working nicely.

I also really liked the Mulberry and Regal Blue colours.

Now it is on my perpetual Wardrobe Wish List to look out for more colours from Equipment as they look good on me.

I saw the nice nude-coloured pale peach version in a consignment shop for about 40% off, but alas, it makes me (and plenty of others) look sickly — see below for what I tried:

 

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG KALEY LILY CREPE ROSEBERRY SILK TOP — $200 (ON SALE)

…Original retail price was $400

It’s LOVELY.

A beautiful fuchsia colour, an interesting pattern in front but it isn’t see through, there’s a transparent cloth behind the cutouts, and it looks GREAT.

Took it in a Size 4, but the 2 fit as well, just a bit tighter around the neck, armholes and longer in length. It will look awesome with my blazers.

It feels and fits like a dream. Looks amazing alone, and under jackets.

ANTHROPOLOGIE CARTONNIER WAVED PLACKET JACKET — $178 — RETURNED

The shopping did NOT stop there because while I was waiting for a friend, I browsed Anthropologie in Yorkville *slaps hands*…

I saw this grey, wool-tweed-y kind of jacket and immediately thought:

Kind of weird on the hanger, let’s see how it looks on me.

Fell. In. Love. In. The. Store.

Let this be a lesson to all of you (and to me.. sort of…), to NEVER. EVER. just “try things on” to see if you like it or not.

Just.. avoid temptation. (Advice best said, hardly followed…)

Anyway, I love that it looked like a 3-piece suit underneath:

anthropologie-cartonnier-waved-placket-jacket-elevenses

Anthropologie, alas.. is not online via Ebates Canada, so I am only going to get 1% back because I used my CIBC Dividends card.


Size 4, is my real size right now, and that’s the one I got that fit like a charm without feeling tight, although I will mention that I am in inverted triangle, so you may have to try a Size 2 to see if you like it better.

I had on the Size 0 before, and couldn’t really move my arms (felt like a real blazer), and it barely buttoned.

Size 2 was better for the buttons, but Size 4 was the best for my slightly larger shoulders.

UPDATE AND REVIEW ON WHY I DECIDED TO RETURN THE ANTHROPOLOGIE CARTONNIER  OPEN PLACKET JACKET:

I loved it on me in-store, and even liked the idea of it, but ultimately I ended up returning it because of my body shape (inverted triangle, large broad shoulders, straight waist, very small bottom half).

  • The tiny shoulder pads are noticeable enough to add bulk to my already defined shoulders
  • The slight twisted bump on the shoulder pads didn’t help either
  • In contrast, my much smaller bottom half looks toothpicky. Very disproportionate. Think of a body builder who only worked out his upper half, and that’s what I felt I looked like.
  • I also think it’s meant for bustier girls, because the one-button is flattering, and it gaped open in the front on me when I buttoned it
  • It also didn’t have a deep enough V in the front to draw attention to my waist, and in contrast, my shoulders looked huge (plus the gaping at the bust didn’t help)

I have learned my lesson from the last time. If I don’t LOVE IT, I should return it.

So instead, I picked up this Wilfred Chevalier Shrunken blazer I didn’t buy the first time around:

WILFRED PETIT CHEVALIER SHRUNKEN JACKET IN BIRCH -$198

 

I didn’t buy it the first time around about a year ago or so, because the original cut looked so strange on me, it was originally called the “Shrunken Chevalier” before, but the name has changed to “Petit Chevalier”.

Wilfred-Petit-Chevalier-Birch-Shrunken-Jacket-00-Small

I had put on the Shrunken Chevalier, but the lapels were too far off, almost falling off my body. I liked the textured look of the double-cloth Japanese fabric (sourced from Japan, sewn in China), and I even liked the pockets, but I felt like it was a constant battle to keep it on my body.

I tried on the Petit Chevalier recently in a 00 instead of 0, and this time I don’t know what they did, but it stayed on my body.

They must have switched up the design to make it more fitted in the shoulders, and added more fabric structure in the front and a better curved lapel.

NOW, it looks awesome on me.

Not too loose, doesn’t fall off… an instant buy. It looks exactly like the picture above on me.

Update: Should have waited for Boxing Day, I would have gotten $23 off the price, as it went for $175.

GRR! I’ll know for next time.

Extremely flattering for an inverted triangle body shape because the lapels are loose, not too structured, absolutely NO shoulder pads (thank goodness), and it hangs just right with a bit of a dip in the back like this, which looks very cool and covers the bum:

Wilfred-Petit-Chevalier-Birch-Shrunken-Jacket-00-Back

RAG & BONE SKINNY JEAN LEGGINGS IN GUNMETAL — $210

 

They look black here in the photo, but they’re not. It is more like this HEX web code shade, almost black: #333333 like this 

I also saw these jean leggings, made out of cotton twill instead of raw denim, and they do NOT look like tights or leggings on me because they have pockets, a zipper, and the whole belt loophole detail.

I had NOT planned on buying them (just to try them with the jacket), but I fell in love with them.

(DAMN IT. AGAIN.)

Mid-rise, super soft and almost velvety, thin, and extremely flattering for flat butts. I picked it up in a 26, but I normally wear a 27 which fit me perfectly, but the salesgirl told me to size down because they stretch.

I REALLY like them, and gunmetal is a nice colour to have for skinny pants that is not black or a dark rinse jean. A good neutral.

Update:

If I had waited for Boxing Day, I could have saved $10, but I may not have gotten the pants.

This time around, yes my size was available, but I wanted the black ones from Rag and Bone, and all they had left was a tiny 24. I’m a 26. 

It’s hard to take chances on sales when you aren’t sure.

THRIFTED RICH & SKINNY BLACK MID-RISE JEANS — $80

…Original retail price was $200

Rich-and-Skinny-Black-Jean-Rinse-Front

Yep. Thrifted. Scored a great deal. They look almost new, still very black, and weren’t a legging (although I could have settled for the Rag and Bone same legging above but in a black as well).

$80!

I’m so thrilled that they fit so well.

I also checked the makeup of the jean, and it is 95% cotton, and only 5% lycra, which is a PERFECT fabric mix for small, flat butts (won’t flatten out and look weird).

I will need to take them into a tailor because a 27 in these pants is not a 27 in Citizens of Humanity, they’re larger.

I knew that when I tried it on, but just a little fix in the waist for $30 and I’ll have the perfect pair of black jeans for a price still well below the retail cost of around $200/jeans plus 13% tax.

THRIFTED STUART WEITZMAN NAPPA LEATHER SQUARE-TOED BOOTS — $150

…Original retail price was $495 USD

Stuart-Weitzman-Ankle-Square-Toed-Boot-Nappa-Leather-Gordon

Square toe is also a departure for me. I’m used to pointy-toed things.

Size 8, they’re quite new because at a Size 8 they should fit well, but they are tight, as if they haven’t been worn very much (soles and the leather look barely scuffed). I’m going to take them into a cobbler to get them a good cleanup, but I’m quite pleased.

They’re shorter mid-calf boots which I can wear under pants for work (FINALLY!), they’re flat with only about 2″ of heel, and they look amazing with skinny pants tucked into them.

I thought about this the other day — this is my first real pair of ‘covered shoes’, otherwise all I own are ballet flats, heels or tall boots, or sandals. Nothing in between!

I can finally wear these out when it rains with socks and with pants at any time of the year, and not worry about my flats getting wet and soggy.

Update:

Wow are they new.

At a size 38, I should not be feeling any kind of pinch at all (I’m a 37), but after walking around in them for about 5 hours, I felt it. I’m going to need to shoe-stretch these suckers.

Otherwise, they look great.

Update 2:

I stretched them with a $30 contraption from Moneyworth’s Shoe Shop, and they are BEAUTIFUL now.

Well worth the money I paid! They feel like butter on my feet.

THRIFTED DIANE VON FURSTENBERG PANEL BLACK MARTA SKIRT — $79

…Original retail price was $365

A perfect classic pencil skirt fit at a size 2, is high-waisted, paneled, adds a little something to my hips.

It also won’t slide around because the waistband is not stretchy, it’s a tight no-give sort of waistband that will hold on tight to me.

I could only find a photo of the exact skirt in navy, but close enough!

diane-von-furstenberg-black-marta-panel-skirt-model-back-in-navy

And it even showed up on Gossip Girl..

 

I’ll give it a whirl in the Spring, but I can tell that it will not likely shift and twist around the way most pencil skirts do on my hipless body. *cough* J. Crew *cough*

THRIFTED 100% SILK DIANE VON FURSTENBERG JESSICA GINGKO PRINT WRAP DRESS — $103.99

….Original retail price was $400, on sale for $129.99 and then I got another 20% off!

The original thrift price was $129.99 and with a 20% off for pre-Boxing Day, it was just over $100!!! 😀

jessica-julian-wrap-dress-gingko-navy-white-diane-von-furstenberg-dvf-wrap-dress

I find most DVF dresses tend to not have enough fabric in the front to compensate for my larger shoulders (inverted triangle shape), and the cut is to show off cleavage (which I am not a fan of), so I take a US 4 or a US 6 instead of a US 2 which is my size.

Still going to wear a slip underneath this.

J. CREW STUFF — MAY NOT KEEP IT ALL …. AM NOT KEEPING ANYTHING EXCEPT THE ON-SALE SHIRT

..then J. Crew came along with their sexy 30% off, free shipping, and Ebates Canada was offering a whopping 6% back.

36% OFF! Time to experiment and try new things, half of which I will most likely return.

Note: Let this be a warning to all of you shoppers:

DO NOT EVER BUY ANYTHING ONLINE FROM J. CREW AND TRY TO RETURN IT IN-PERSON IN CANADA!

It was a huge hot mess.

Everything is charged in USD and you get screwed royally.

In the U.S., you can buy items and return them easily. No big deal, you even get a box to do free return shipping in.

In Canada? Forget it.

They can’t do anything right with J. Crew items for returns, and even the in-store prices are not the same as online even in CAD ($93.99 CAD as opposed to $81.99 CAD online), and I was overall quite annoyed with the whole deal.

They returned the items as USD, which made me lose out on the currency exchange (good thing I checked, it was off by $5!), and then they were all confused…. no. No way.

DEFINITELY KEEP: J. CREW BLACK AND IVORY COLOUR BLOCK SILK SHELL — $57.39

Original retail price was $82, and I got 30% off

J-Crew-Colourblock-Silk-Navy-Ivory-Shell-Front

This is the original shirt I wanted to buy on sale.

I could have bought it in-store, but it was more expensive at $93.99 instead of online at $81.99!!!

What. A. Scam.

OF COURSE I am going to buy it online!


The thing with J. Crew is if you buy anything on sale, it’s considered FINAL SALE and you cannot return it in-store.

Back to the shirt. It is loose (size 0), so the neck fits perfectly and so do the sides.

I also love that it has a black block down the middle, and it actually gives an illusion that makes it look like I’m wearing a black tank top (with all the comfort and looseness), while still being a chic, easy-to-wear top to wear over anything, and under any blazer.

Update:

I got the shirt, and I am keeping it because it is as cute as when I tried it in-store.

I made sure I ONLY bought what I had tried on and liked in-store, and the rest are just to see if they’re nice or not. If they’re not, expect all of the following to be returned..

Spoiler Alert: Yes, I returned everything J. Crew below!

J. CREW LEGGINGS IN BLACK, NAVY AND CARBON GREY — $33.25 EACH (30% off)RETURNED

These would be great to hang around the house in.

I repeat: Great to hang around the house in and not leave the house in them.

My $10 Dynamite ones are starting to fray and turn transparent. I NEED to replace them with thicker, more opaque leggings just in case I need to answer the door once in a while.

J-Crew-Leggings-Signature-Front

UPDATE AND REVIEW OF J. CREW SIGNATURE LEGGINGS:

The marketing genius who coined the phrase referring to cotton as the fabric for our lives, was not referring to these J. Crew leggings.

Turns out, I like them cheaper, and stretchier to lie around the house.

More of a jersey, less of a stiffer cotton; after all these are NOT PANTS FOR ME.

They aren’t comfortable at all, and I prefer Jacob leggings, so I may end up going to buy a replacement pair now that things are 40% off.

I found them tight, too thick, and strange. Took them in an XXS, because that’s what I thought a 00 would take (I am a 00 in the Minnie Cotton Twill Pant).

Probably could have sized up more, but then they would have stretched out, being cotton and all, and looked saggy.

J. CREW PIXIE JODHPUR PANT — $140 (30% off) — RETURNED

They looked interesting and weren’t in-store.

I just had to buy them to try them. I am not sure I’ll like them, but hey.. you never know. 30% off.

I find it interesting. And I don’t have navy skinny pants.

J-Crew-Pixie-Pant-Jodhpur-Navy-Style-Front

UPDATE AND REVIEW OF THE J. CREW LEATHER JODPHUR PANT IN NAVY SIZE 00:

Yeah so they aren’t blue like in the picture. At first I thought they sent me the black version which I didn’t want. Then I realized I could barely get my feet into them because of the leather patches on the side.

I managed to wiggle them on (Size 00, which is my Minnie Cotton Twill Pant size), and they fit to a T. A little TOO to the T, if you know what I mean.

I couldn’t get the back hook, hooked up because I can’t twist my head 180 degrees, and I couldn’t feel for where to catch the hooked edge. I can do my necklaces without looking, but this was a feat.

I hated the leather sides on them once they were on, because it felt like I was wearing off-kilter knee-pads, plus the leather looked cheap and was not at all soft like I had expected them to be.

A total, utter, disappointment…. although not really because I’m happier having the money in my pocket than having spent it on these misleading pants.

J. CREW MIDRISE SEA SALT CORD PANT — $124.60 (30% off) — RETURNED

J-Crew-Midrise-Cord-Toothpick-Pants-Skinny-Front

Again, another curious purchase at full retail price with 30% off. Just want to see if it fits well… and I don’t have any cords or any skinny white/ivory pants in my wardrobe.

UPDATE AND REVIEW OF THE J.CREW MIDRISE CORDUROY CORD PANTS IN SEA SALT: 

Their sizing confuses me. I’m normally a Size 26 in pants, so I took a Size 26 in these cords. Turns out, I probably need a 25 or a 24, because they were quite baggy in the waist, and had too much excess fabric (although it could just be the cord fabric itself).

I found them extremely UNflattering, and although I liked the higher mid-rise, it gave me an overall “blech” feel when I wore them, especially for $125.

It also did my flat butt NO FAVOURS WHATSOEVER.

No, I think Rag and Bone leggings would top this in a heartbeat. I’d rather pay an extra $80 and get an amazing pair of pants, than buy these corduroy mishaps again.

Maybe corduroy is not my fabric.

For all the BR purchases below, I used my 4% cash back in from Ebates Canada, so whatever I end up keeping, they will give me 4% back in cash.

BANANA REPUBLIC SAUCY RED V-NECK PONTE KNIT DRESS – $50!

…(Originally $150, marked down to $99.99 and then it was another 50% off!)

banana-republic-saucy-red-ponte-dress

“Saucy red” is the name of the colour, and not my own naming convention. It isn’t too orange or too blue-red. I tend to prefer the blue-red spectrum and it actually matches perfectly with the Rudsak Red Leather Obi Belt I bought last month (SCORE!).

The Size 2 fit perfectly (what luck, I bought it without trying it on..), as I had a feeling the Size 4 would be too big for me, as retailers seem to be doing yet another round of vanity sizing where I am now a 2 or a 0.

The fabric is soft, comfortable, a great zipper up the back, and perfect for my inverted triangle shape (adds a little drape to the hips, and I need it!)

For $50, I can’t say anything, because it was originally $150.

I was tempted to pick up the white ponte v-neck dress as well but I already have 2 great dresses in white, so I didn’t bother getting yet another staple white dress.

BANANA REPUBLIC HERITAGE BASKET WEAVE TUNIC — $50 — RETURNED

banana-republic-heritage-basket-weave-tunic-brown-metallic

I liked the look of it, the style, it had a nice metallic thread front, while the sites were matte and it felt soft…. until I put it on.

It was too itchy, the Medium was the perfect slouchiness (XS would have been tight and probably shorter), and I don’t know what’s up with the reviews online about it being too short, but it came down to just past my hips.

Disappointing.

I would have kept it otherwise, but my eczema and general dislike for itchy sweaters made me put it back.

ARITZIA PETIT SHRUNKEN CHEVALIER IN CELESTIAL — $140

….Original retail price was $198, this particular colour was 30% off…

There aren’t ANY returns or refunds at Aritzia, so I had to be sure I wanted all these items (and I did).

Wilfred-petit-chevalier-celestial-blazer

Glad I waited (read: I couldn’t find it in stores in 00 😛 so I got it online).

Really, really really happy.

No returns or refunds at Aritzia.

ARITZIA T. BABATON SABRINA BLACK TRIMMED BOW AND WHITE BLOUSE — $99

…Original retail price was $115, on sale for $99

t-babaton-aritzia-sabrina-blouse-black-trim-white-blouse-front

I’ve tried this on and eyed it quite a number of times in the past 2 years.

They had a nice navy and white version before, but alas, I didn’t keep track of it to see if it would ever go on sale.

I’m thrilled I picked it up in black and white!

ARITZIA T. BABATON LIAM BLOUSE — $75

…Original retail price was $125, on sale for $75

t-babaton-aritzia-liam-blouse-silk-front

I just like the look of it. Very sleek, simple, and with the sleeves folded up, it will be quite versatile.

I have a blousier version of a pussybow blouse I bought in Paris (Gerard Darel), and the collar is removable on that, and is much more pirate-y, for lack of a better descriptive term. 🙂

And that’s all I bought. STILL WITH ME? NO? .. Er… Go have a lie down.

Carnivals I submitted to this month:

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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18 Comments

  1. fabulously frugirl

    I have one of these scheduled to go up, but I am still in the midst of returning stuff. I ordered about 4 boxes of stuff from Old Navy, Banana, J Crew, and also went shopping at Ann Taylor, H&M, Softmoc and Naturalizer. My room was a complete shopaholic room for a week until I went to return unwanted items at the mall.

    One of my recent purchases, was a cashmere scarf from Crew which is SO SOFT. How did I not discover cashmere before this?! The best part, it was only $53 after sales (original for $178 – crazy), and I also finally got a pair of rain boots that look nice without paying an arm and a leg.

    Having said that, it’s time to lay low for a while.

    Seriously.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Cashmere is my go-to fabric for winter. I’m still on the hunt for nice rainboots but I haven’t found a push to buy any yet.
      Waiting for March for super low coat sales!

      Reply
  2. Janine

    Love all the clothes! I picked up rag and bone leggings and one of the 3/4 sleeve blazer from aritizia in December as well! All the cookware looks amazing, I am totally jealous and I have to agree with you ok loving anthropologie in the summer! Good to great is an amazing read! Can’t wait to see what you bought in Jamuary!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Those R&B leggings are really comfortable. For a more structured feel I prefer Citizens.
      I returned a lot more in January!!

      Reply
  3. B. (Below Her Means)

    Love everything you kept. As for the razors, I’m really surprised you don’t belong to DollarShaveClub.com. Buying razors at the store = highway robbery.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I buy them so rarely I just thought about them as I was in the store.

      I think that 8-pack will last 8 years or more for me. I’m only just finishing a razor blade I’ve used since 2008.

      Reply
  4. C.M.

    Love these posts! I only wish I had some money right now to go shopping! I recently started getting into loose leaf tea. Is David’s your favorite place to buy it? Do you have any other recommendations? And do you happen to have a teapot (not a kettle) that you’d recommend?

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I like David’s better than the other brands that have been popping up.
      Haven’t tried Teavana yet.

      I have a whole list of teas I love on my About page 🙂

      As for a teapot, I don’t have a recommendation. I use those stainless tea infusers because tea leaves need to float around for the best flavour. In addition, I use different cups and mugs in the office and at home, and the stainless tea infuser is very portable.

      Reply
  5. Tracy

    So happy when I saw this post go up! Those two Aritzia blazers are gorgeous, especially the blue one … please post some outfits with it or how you will style it. I also love the equipment shirts, they sure are pricey but silk lasts forever if you take good care of it. I recently inherited two silk shirts from my mom from the eighties and they still look like new.

    I had a similar story to yours in Aritzia. Saw a shirt on sale for around $40 and decided to try it on, salesperson handed me a pair of jeans to try on with. Didn’t end up liking the shirt but LOVED the jeans – could not take them off my body love. Ended up paying the $300 regular price. I think that’s how they get you in that store because they KNOW their stuff is amazingly comfy.

    Also, have you ever tried on Wildfox sweaters? I think you would love them. They have kind of a boatneck opening which is flattering on inverted triangle body types – PLUS they are ridiculously cozy.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      No, no!! Lalallalalaa!! Now I have to fight an urge to look at Wildfox sweaters.
      I’ll do a post on the pieces later but for the Aritiza blazers I am really liking the look of a long-sleeved plain cotton T underneath it in the same monochromatic colour (blue) or contrasting.
      Otherwise, practically anything goes under these things.

      Those Equipment silk shirts better last a lifetime. I’m going to baby them!!
      They feel so comfortable and light. I had tried PRICIER silk shirts than that from other brands but their silk felt too shiny, light and reminded me of polyester or cheap silk I can get for $30 at H&M.
      They didn’t feel thick, heavy and luxurious and I didn’t see the point of paying more for lower quality.

      Reply
      1. Tracy

        Haha I am such an enabler, but so are you! I’m on the Aritzia website seriously contemplating purchasing one of the petit chevalier jackets.

        Is there any reason why you didn’t purchase this one? I know you love cashmere, and this price is pretty good for 100% cashmere.

        http://aritzia.com/T.-Babaton-HOLDEN-CARDIGAN/46943,default,pd.html?dwvar_46943_color=1415

        Reply
        1. Mochi & Macarons

          I don’t like buying cashmere I can’t really try on or return.

          The thing with cashmere is the price doesn’t matter. I’ve found store brands to have felt better and not at all itchy for half the price versus buying it at J Crew or some fancy place for 3X the price.
          They add camel hair or SOMETHING that isn’t the softest cashmere possible. I am very sensitive and I itch so I never go just by price or brand :/ I have to physically try it on.
          Also, I buy my cashmere secondhand…. It’s much cheaper.

          Reply
          1. Tracy

            Just wanted to let you know that because of this post I stopped by Aritizia today and picked up the same shrunken cavalier blazer. (But in gray) It looks fab on! But my wallet says OUCH.

          2. Mochi & Macarons

            Oh no!! I enabled!!

            Still you have to admit, it’s an awesome blazer.

  6. Nurhidayati Abd Aziz

    I laughed when I read this sentence:

    “my after school snack was white sugar sprinkled on butter spread on white bread…”

    I spent more than 10 years in boarding school, this was like the best-est snack we could ever make for that late night supper on our double decker beds… YUM!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      HAHA!

      I don’t eat that any more, however. That’s something I now consider to be quite bad for my health, seeing as I have a propensity towards diabetes. 🙂
      Good to hear I wasn’t the only one!!!

      Reply
  7. Cassie

    Holy crow, that’s a lot of clothes! Lol. I’m loving that DVF wrap dress. You got a huge discount on it!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      $100 was such a deal. Funny enough, I had wanted that dress when I saw it in stores because gingko leaves/tress are my favourite shape, but I couldn’t pay $400 for it, so I left it on the rack.

      Then to find it IN STORE!? ON SALE!? Wow. What a find.

      Reply

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