April 2017 clothing budget + thoughts

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This month, I upped my budget up to $150 in order to give me more room to find the perfect black skinny jeans to replace my old Madewell pair that are on the verge of splitting at the seams everytime I squat. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the pair just yet but I saw a promo code for 50% off (code: IMBACK; not sponsored; it’s just a really good discount and worth sharing!) Genetic Denim so I ordered two pairs to try; they probably won’t arrive until May so I’ll include the winners in my May budget post if they work out. Fingers crossed!

But onto my purchases this month:

april 20171. B.P. 55mm Mirrored Sunglasses in black/gold (via Nordstrom, $12)
2. A.J. Morgan Deliverance 50mm Sunglasses in gold/pink mirror (via Nordstrom, $24)

Budget: $150
Spent: $36

Can you believe I’ve never really owned sunglasses? Because I’m Asian, the problems I have with most sunglasses are due to my flat nose bridge. Most sunglasses just won’t stay on my face and I definitely can’t look down otherwise they’ll just slide off. Add in the fact that my high cheekbones end right below my eye socket, and it means smiling will dislodge sunglasses that actually sit well on my nosebridge.

However, it can get painfully sunny here, and I end up squinting everytime I go outside, and I don’t want premature wrinkles! I’m also planning to attend a few music festivals in summer and fall and really want sunglasses since I’ll be spending multiple full days outside. I opted to order a bunch of cheap sunglasses off Nordstrom to test at home (there aren’t any Nordstrom stores near me) to find glasses shapes that would suit my face. This little experiment showed me that I should stay away from cat-eye styles and I shouldn’t be afraid to try out styles, even if I don’t think they’ll work out. Out of the 12 pairs I ordered, I really liked four pairs, and of the four, I ended up keeping just two: one practical pair and one fun pair.

1. B.P. 55mm Mirrored Sunglasses in black/gold
These are the “practical pair” that I’ve nicknamed my bored socialite sunglasses. The lenses are larger than I expected would work, but I kind of love them. They pretty much fit perfectly. The oversized style raises them off my face and avoids my cheekbones. Love the addition of the top bar and the way the top of the rim curves down to prevent the style from looking too square. I dislike sunglasses where you can see people’s eyes, so I’m also a huge fan of the dark lens tint.

Of the 12 pairs I tried, ten of them were by B.P. and while some were a bit flimsier, the majority of the B.P. glasses (including this pair) were weighted and sturdier than I expected for the price (most of the B.P. glasses were $12-$14). Really happy with this find! Kind of have my eye on the tortoise/rose gold pair, but I’m controlling myself for the time being. None of the B.P. glasses came with a case or pouch so if I’m hoping to stumble upon a cute case πŸ˜‰

2. A.J. Morgan Deliverance 50mm Sunglasses in gold/pink mirror
Two of the 12 pairs I ordered were by A.J. Morgan. I’ve seen the brand name floating around the interwebz and the styles are a bit more fun while still being reasonably priced (pairs are usually around $24). I was on Snapchat when they had that John Lennon glasses filter (lol- someone needs to make an app for trying on sunglasses if it doesn’t already exist rather than those “upload a picture of yourself” things on websites) and actually thought the glasses style didn’t look too bad on me so ordered this pair to try, not expecting much. Because of my weird lens thing I mentioned above, I love mirrored lenses and these are a cool unexpected color. These glasses are lighter and generally thinner than the B.P. pair, but I plan to wear these for more fun outings rather than everyday. The adjustable nose pads are a nice touch and I don’t think they’ll make my nose sore after time. The nose pads also help lift these off my face and cheekbones and also sit comfortably on my nosebridge. It also comes with a little black drawstring pouch.

That’s all I kept this month! I tried on a pair of jeans but they just didn’t make the cut.

This past year, my desire for shopping has diminished so much compared to past years (e.g. see this crazy ass budget post– I’ve since resold most of these items). I’m that person in my lab who goes around digging out all the plastic packaging and bottles from the garbage to put in the recycling bin, and over more time (and especially in this political climate- pun intended), I’ve become increasingly bothered by the unsustainability of humans in general, which is forcing me to think about areas where I can continue cutting down on my footprint. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch The True Cost (on Netflix) because I’m not mentally prepared for it, but if you’re interested in learning more about fashion production, this documentary seems like a worthwhile watch (heard both good and bad things about it).

My fashion purchases, in particular, is an area of my life I should have full control over, and I’ve really started to question every purchase I make: Is it worth it? Do I actually need it aka will I actually wear it as a graduate student in a lab that works with messy and smelly samples?

Most of the items I’m now trying to buy are items that are either replacements for old worn items (e.g. finally replaced my Baggu bag I’ve had for years) or items that fill crucial holes in my wardrobe (like a light down jacket last month or sunglasses this month). I’ve also been selling clothing, bags and shoes I just either don’t wear often or items that have never even been worn! It’s crazy how much I’ve accumulated in just a few years. I’ve also been trying to buy more things secondhand (at local consignment stores or online via Poshmark and eBay). Obviously, my purchases are not 100% environmentally friendly or ethical (as I just bought cheap sunglasses) but I like to think I’m doing the best I can for my means which has to be good enough for the time being. I’m hoping I can reevaluate my habits once I graduate and get a job with an actual salary.

Keeping my budget at $150 for next month. Hoping a pair of the Genetic Denim (ethically and somewhat sustainably made in LA) jeans I ordered will work out, and I really need to replace my old slip-on Vans (my summer shoes) because they’re literally unraveling… these are definitely not ethically or sustainably made, but baby steps. Nothing can change overnight.

I’ve been thinking about this too much and really felt like I needed to write out my thoughts before my brain exploded. Keeping my purchases within a budget was the catalyst for why I started going down this thought train, and I think it’s been really key in re-evaluating my spending habits.

Enough of babbling. As always, linking up with other budgeting bloggers over at Franish!