Sunday, November 19, 2017

ten of the ten: a photographic retrospective.

One of my favorite things to write is the “ten under $35” series, in which I put together complete outfits that cost under $35. I have been doing this series for more than four years, and the series is now a ten-parter. That means ONE HUNDRED OUTFITS.

What better time for a retrospective?

I picked one favorite outfit from each post to showcase… especially in the early days, while I was totally sold on my outfits at the time, I cringed a bit looking back. My style has most certainly evolved in the last few years. Most of the clothes from 2013/2014? They’ve gone to the big Goodwill in the sky.

You’ll notice that my posting frequency has slowed over the years. I did this series THREE TIMES in 2014 and 2016… with one lonely post in 2017. It is super fun and easy to put these outfits together in my brain, but it is something else completely to put them on and rope James into taking my pictures… which is best done while it’s light/warmish out… and all that means it’s tough to get the pictures taken.

Never fear, though! I will gladly forge on with my outfit photos; they just may not be as timely as we would all like them to be. In the meantime, please enjoy my top ten outfits from ten chapters of cheap outfits!

under $40: May 2013
cardigan – Goodwill – $3.75
shoes – Nordstrom Rack – $13
jeans – Plato’s Closet – $3.80 (minus $5 coupon and $5 trade-in)
scarf – Forever 21 – $10.80
TOTAL = $31.35

This was my very first cheap outfit post. I was SO poor, you guys. I was still very much figuring out my style, which was “whatever happens to be cheap and fit me and I don’t hate it” chic.

under $30: January 2014
     jeans – Forever21 – $10.80
     poncho – Goodwill St Paul – $4.49 (half off all clothes)
     shoes – Target – $9.98
     pearl bracelets – Helzberg – FREE! 
TOTAL = $25.27

My brief foray into ponchos. I really did like that sweater poncho, but working at the library means never wearing anything too thick lest you die of heatstroke while unloading bins full of books. So long, sweater poncho.

under $35, part I: April 2014
dress – Maurices – $9.95
pearls – Etsy – $6
wedges – Target – $14.98

TOTAL = $30.93

Aha! A piece of clothing I still have! I totally love this dress – it’s just something cheap from Maurices, so it’s covered in fuzzies, but I just can’t get rid of it. I’m sure there’s a way to de-fuzz it, but I’m too lazy to figure out how.

part II: August 2014
skirt – Effie’s Heart – $16 ($10 off)
wedges – Target – $14.98
t-shirt – Old Navy – $3.97 (clearance)
magnifying glass necklace – gift!
TOTAL = $34.95

Speaking of lazy, I am not much of a skirt wearer. I don’t have a ton of skirts, and almost all of them are patterned and multicolored – which means I have to think extra hard about a plain shirt of an appropriate color to wear with them. So they mostly sit in my closet because I often do not have the mental capacity/patience to do that. But I do love my twirly pocketed skirts.

part III: January 2015
dress – Mikarose – $29.99 
     sandals – JCPenney – $3  
     necklace – gift (Botanical Garden)
TOTAL: $32.99

I still call this “the Mormon dress” because it came from a Utah-based website catering to the “modest woman.” Kind of hilarious, but exactly what I’m looking for as far as work apparel, so maybe I should shop at more Mormon stores.

part IV: April 2015
shirt – Goodwill St Paul – $2.99
skirt – Forever21 – $15.80
booties – Dollhouse – $15 ($10 off + $15 Paypal survey money)
TOTAL = $33.79

I don’t have this skirt any more (maxi skirt versus desk chair… DESK CHAIR WAS VICTORIOUS), but this was a great outfit. Sigh.

part V: February 2016
dress - Country Peddler - FREE! (was $18, used credit)
necklace - Francescas - $6.50 (buy one get one 50% off)
belt – Modcloth – FREE! (came with dress)
shoes - Modcloth - FREE! (scuffed heel)
TOTAL: $24.50

This series would be nothing – NOTHING, I TELL YOU – without Country Peddler. Most of my best stuff comes from Country Peddler.

part VI: June 2016
shirt – Maurices – $5.24 (75% off clearance price)
pants – Maurices – $25.50 (25% off)
shoes – DSW – FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
necklace – gift from Mark and Maria
TOTAL: $30.74

This series would also be nothing without Maurices. Seriously.

part VII: September 2016
dress – Modcloth – $28.79 (additional 40% off clearance)
sandals – Modcloth – $5.99 (additional 40% off clearance)
TOTAL: $34.78

Modcloth has been a heavy hitter in the last few chapters because of their amazing clearance sales. 70% off is no joke. And I’ll be damned if I’m missing out on a dress full of sea creatures.

part VIII: August 2017
sweater – Country Peddler – FREE! (was $12, used credit)

jeans – AE – $29.97 (40% off)
shoes - DSW - FREE! ($29.99, $20.15 and $10 off)
TOTAL: $29.97

Finally, my favorite outfit from the latest post. This sweater is the COZIEST, and American Eagle jeans are my go-to. Life is good in this outfit.

If you would like to look at all one hundred outfits, here’s how you get there:

Stay tuned for more cheap outfits in 2018!

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