May 2017 clothing budget

This post contains affiliate links.

Just a heads up, I started an Instagram account to pair with the blog! You can find me posting “outfit selfies” at shortofinfinity_ until I can think of a better username without the underscore. See the blog’s sidebar for a glimpse of my latest outfits ๐Ÿ™‚

As for my budget, for the first time in a months, I got really close to going over budget. Since my last post, I’ve been increasingly thinking about my purchasing choices. I’ve been doing a lot more online browsing of sustainable and ethical clothing as well as spending more time on eBay and Poshmark trying to sell some of my clothes… however I end up looking at a lot of tempting things I want to buy but don’t necessarily need.

I’ve also been trying to replace a few items in my wardrobe so I think the more-than-average Googling and online window shopping has brought back some of my more impulsive behaviors. However, that being said, I’m happy to report that after months of searching, I think I’ve found a pair of replacement black jeans for a good price as well as my perfect leather tote bag.

Here’s what I got this month:

Budget: $150
Spent: $139.57

1. Genetic Los Angeles Mid Waist Crop Skinny Kate in obsidian ($59.50, originally $119)
Like I mentioned last month, I used the coupon code IMBACK to get 50% off my Genetic Denim order (the coupon still works at the time I’m posting this). I ordered these cropped jeans in a size 26 and 27 and kept the 26. The wash of the jeans are the perfect jet black and I’m curious to see how it’ll wash. The fabric is the perfect denim blend of 98% cotton and 2% elastane and is stretchier than compared to my Madewell jeans of the same material composition. These fit really snug but because they’re stretchy, I’m assuming they’ll stretch out and mold with some wear so I kept the 26 (my usual size) because the 27 was already a little loose in some areas (knees and bum). I’m not sure if I’d be able to always pay $119 for jeans but the discount definitely makes them affordable while being on par with the quality of higher end denim. The 27″ inseam is also perfect for my height (5’2″). On top of it all, these jeans are incredibly flattering on my lower half, if I say so myself. Bonus: these jeans are made ethically and sustainably in Los Angeles.

I’m hoping they’ll come out with a cropped dark-blue pair because I would definitely be interested in since I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement for my favorite pair of Madewell dark blue skinny ankle jeans for about a year now. I’ve had my old pair of Madewell black ankle skinnies for about four years, and I wonder how these Genetic denim ones will last in comparison.

2. The Stowe Mini Katie in black leather ($41.49 via Poshmark, retail $339)
I’ve come across The Stowe on Need Supply Co. but their bags (designed and ethically made in Montreal, Canada) are way out of my price range, even when on sale. My current style crush is Lee from StyleBee and she has a bag by The Stowe that’s a slightly unusual but cool shape, so I always notice when it makes an appearance on her blog. The Mini Katie tote in particular has been probably on my “pine but can’t afford” wish list for a while. I was browsing the Cuyana section on Poshmark the other day and ended up finding a user who was selling her used Mini Katie in black leather. For $40. I actually made an offer of $35 to test the waters (I honestly would’ve gladly paid more than $40 for the bag but I had just bought my jeans and was trying to stay within budget as much as possible) which was accepted. I legitimately nearly screamed.

It finally arrived after getting lost somewhere in the USPS mail system and you guys, it’s so beautiful. There are a few nicks here and there (but you can’t really tell unless you’re an inch away) and the inner cloth pocket has a small rip but the bag is completely functional and I like to think the wear and tear gives it character. Like all my leather bags and shoes, I’ve given the outer surface a nice coat of Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam (also approved by Katrina of The Demure Muse).

Some background: I’ve been on the search for a leather tote for about five years. I’ve tested the Madewell Transport Tote in the past, and they’re so large they completely overwhelm my petite frame (the tote ends up hanging past my butt and is about twice the width of my side profile). The Cuyana totes aren’t able to stand up on their own. Totes by other handmade leather brands end up being a little too utilitarian in style for my liking. The Stowe’s Mini Katie tote is the perfect simple design and roomy enough to hold a bunch of stuff but is still a manageable size. The brand name is embossed but it’s not in your face. I’m actually in love. Can’t wait to take it out for a whirl. Praise be (I’ve also been obsessed with The Handmaid’s Tale).

3. Gap Poplin Print Sleep Shorts in poppy print ($12.08, originally $19.99)
With summer approaching, it’s time for me to update my PJ shorts game. I have an old pair of these sleep shorts and they’re perfect so I couldn’t resist picking up another pair (in a gorgeous poppy print) when there was a discount code. Obviously unlikely to be ethically or sustainably made.

4. Old Navy Classic Flip Flops in black ($2.50, originally $3.99)
While I hate socks and wearing shoes, I have constantly sweaty feet so I dislike walking around my apartment barefoot because I end up with the dirtiest feet. To combat this,ย  I wear flip-flops that exclusively stay indoors. These flip-flops serve that purpose; I always have a back up pair in the closet for when my current pair gives out (I go through about one pair a year). Same as the Gap shorts on the ethical/sustainable front.

5. Tai Mini Gold Trim Post Earring in turquoise ($24, originally $30)
I was browsing a local boutique and stumbled upon these turquoise studs on sale. I’ve been casually looking for turquoise earrings for the last year and while these are a little smaller than what I envisioned, it was not a deal breaker. They’re super adorable and can’t wait to wear them all throughout summer. Clothing-wise, I usually wear two colors (three on an adventurous day or when laundry day is approaching) so these are a nice pop of brightness. I’ve never heard of this brand but I did some digging and the founder is of Thai origin and the brand employs and supports Thai artisans which I can only applaud.

That’s it for this month! A few necessary items and a few not-so-necessary purchases.ย ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ

I still need to replace my increasingly beat up Vans slip-ons so that’s definitely going on the purchase list for next month. I’d also love to find a pair of cropped boyfriend-fit jeans since it’s getting warmer here, and I only have one pair of looser fitting jeans (shorts are not allowed in lab), and I’m not really someone who’s comfortable wearing a skirt or dress in lab. Also casually looking for a lightweight/packable rain jacket.

Going to lower my budget back down to $100 for next month. As always, linking up with other budgeting bloggers over at Franish ๐Ÿ™‚

Review: Maison Miru Tiny Crystal Stud Earrings

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The earrings were paid for with my own money. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this product since I couldn’t find many reviews before I ordered mine.

Maison Miru is a jewelry brand that has recently come to my attention when I saw their ad on Instagram that said they were giving away pairs of their Tiny Crystal Studs ($29) to celebrate the launch of their “Ear Bar” (a section of their earrings that are mostly stud earrings).

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My pair of Maison Miru Tiny Crystal Stud Earrings

You have to pay the price of shipping ($6.99) for the free pair of Tiny Crystal Studs but I thought that $6.99 was a reasonable price to get to try out the brand as well as the earrings. I’ve amassed quite a large collection of stud earrings (my favorite type) but actually didn’t have any simple crystal/jewel earrings on the more “professional” side. The first time I tried to place an order, they were sold out of the studs but they have since restocked (link at the bottom of this post).

After placing the order, my earrings were shipped that same day. I told one of my friends who also loves stud earrings about this deal, and she also placed an order. Her earrings also shipped the same day and actually arrived the next day (the brand is based in NY and my friend is in CA) which is pretty amazing. My earrings took a bit longer to arrive to MI but we had been having weather delays due to snow that week. Still, they arrived just 1-2 days later than expected which isn’t a big deal.

First impressions of the earrings out of the packaging were noticing how small and dainty they were despite the size being listed in the description (3mm) and seeing the pictures of someone modeling the earrings. If you have multiple piercings, I’d say these would look best in a second or third piercing if the main earring is larger than these studs. But I think they look simple and pretty if they’re the only earrings you’re wearing. I have a second lobe piercing on my right ear with a small black stud, and the Maison Miru studs are about the same size, so I feel like I can get away with wearing them together since the black stud doesn’t overwhelm the Maison Miru ones.

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These studs are made of “14k goldย plated brass with high quality CZ crystal.” I haven’t had any metal allergic reactions to any earrings before, so I can’t really speak about the metal quality for someone who is more sensitive.

After wearing these earrings several times, some of my main issues with the earrings are that the butterfly backing is a little difficult to get onto the stem (it’s super tight) so it’s hard to put on and to take off. In addition, the stem of the earring bends fairly easily which adds to the difficulty of putting them on and taking them off (see photos; you’ll notice the stems aren’t necessary straight). I’ll keep an eye on how these earrings hold up over time but after wearing them a handful of times, I’ve had to bend back the post multiple times and am worried it might eventually snap. This will only be a problem for someone like me who like sleeping in earrings with a butterfly backing.

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Comparison: The Madewell Staccato Stud Earrings are my everyday earrings. They’re also described as 3mm but look larger than the Maison Miru Tiny Crystal Stud. Notice the bend in the earring stem of the Maison Miru stud.

Overall, I do think that for $6.99, these earrings are worth it despite my concerns. However, I haven’t had them long enough to say whether I think they’re worth the full price of $29/pair. I do like the convenience of how Maison Miru sells their earrings as pairs or as single studs (in case you have an odd number of piercings like me or if you lose just one earring).

If you’re interested in trying out a pair of the Tiny Crystal Studs for the price of shipping, the link can be found here.

Things I want

Now that my graduate school interviews are over, I have a shit load of newfound free time and I pretty much spend all day just browsing for things I want.

Been drooling over these earrings and I’m waiting for a promotion or free shipping deal before I take the plunge. Mainly because I HATE paying for shipping.ย  All the earrings I currently have or have been given are classic gold, silver or black and they’re great for everyday wear and work with any outfit. So I’m hoping these will be my pretty/formal/colorful earrings that I wear for special occasions.

I’M SO PURRTYYYY. click the photo for the link

I’m still trying to take out my labret studs from my 5-month-old-but-healed lobe piercings.ย I started really trying to get them out three days ago and it’s an ongoing process. But once I get these labret studs out, the earring extravaganza is on.

-amy