November Budget

How did you fair this shopping weekend? Were you good and bought gifts for others, or were you indulgent and bought things for yourself? Admittedly, I did try to get the bulk of my holiday shopping done, but the draw of a sale was, as per usual, too much for me to resist. None of those purchases are included in this list however, as they haven't arrived yet and I tend to return almost as much as I buy.




Banana Republic Navy Satin Button Blouse, $26
Madewell Floral Midi Dress, $35
Express Faux Leather Paperbag Waist Pants, $38
Banana Republic Brown Ribbed Cardigan, $40
J.Crew Giraffe Print Pants, $49
Madewell Denim Chore Jacket, $60
Tagliamonte Gold Plated Cameo Earrings, $40 via TJMaxx
Bod & Christensen Leather Skirt, $69 via Marshalls
Bozzolo Green Short Sleeve Bodysuit, $10 via TJMaxx
Akola Raffia Earrings, $17 via TJMaxx
Old Navy Brown Rib knit Wrap Dress, $20
Cote d 'Argent Paperclip Chain Necklace, $30 via TJMaxx
Gorjana Maya Necklace, $15 via TJMaxx
Golden Cleff San Marco Ring Ring, $50 via TJMaxx
Max Sport Black Wrap Sweater, $17 via TJMaxx
Mango Knit Tee, $20
Express Twisted Buckle Belt, $16

Sunny Afternoons

The days are shorter, the trees now bare, temperatures slowly erratically creeping lower. Never before have I witnessed a town bustling with outdoor diners in the middle of November, everyone trying to capitalize on the warm, sunny afternoons when we are graced with them.


I eavesdrop on restaurateurs recounting their tales of trying to secure heaters for their patios and the cutthroat Facebook Marketplace transactions. I observe the neighboring diners, who brought blankets, making a mental note that is a good idea. I lament how quickly my coffee has gotten cold (which isn't long enough even when indoors.)

As long as the sun shines, it's warm and beautiful, but once it sets and the evening chill settles in, the illusion of "dress weather" fades. At such time, it's best to have a furry layer on hand, or be ready to call it a night at 4:30 p.m.

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The Rundown
Leopard Wrap Dress
Poshmark similar
Cream Open Knit Cardigan Ali Express
White Caned Pumps Just Fab
Monogrammed Bucket Bag c/o Marley Lilly
Cream Wool Fedora Goorin Brothers similar
Gold Croissant Ring Etsy
Thin Gold Ring Etsy
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx

Velvet Pants

Sometime early pandemic I decided I'd waited long enough (almost three years) to get this pair of velvet pants, and when I saw them at ThredUP I bought them. However, I bought a size small and it turned out I needed the medium. I managed to resell them on Poshmark (at a loss, of course) and then purchased the medium from another Posher who wasn't too open to price negotiation, so I paid more than I did on the first pair. Then in my typical fashion, I managed to not wear them for five months. Turns out that styling them in my imagination was a lot easier than in reality.

Hopefully I can come up with a few more ways to style them before another year passes.

dust rose velvet culottes, pearl button cardigan, woven toe cap pumps, croc bag-17.jpgdust rose velvet culottes, pearl button cardigan, woven toe cap pumps, croc bag-1.jpgdust rose velvet culottes, pearl button cardigan, woven toe cap pumps, croc bag-19.jpgdust rose velvet culottes, pearl button cardigan, woven toe cap pumps, croc bag-4.jpgdust rose velvet culottes, pearl button cardigan, woven toe cap pumps, croc bag-12.jpgdust rose velvet culottes, pearl button cardigan, woven toe cap pumps, croc bag-7.jpg
The Rundown
Pearl Button Cardigan Aritzia
Velvet Wide Leg Pants Joie via Poshmark
Woven Toe Cap Slingback Pumps Pons Quintana via Marshalls
Brown Croc Bag Loeffler Randall similar
Twisted Hoop Earrings Thrifted similar
Necklace S.V. Decker
Aries Pendant Necklace Mejuri
Thin Gold Ring Etsy
Sunglasses "Nina" Ray-Ban
Midi Stackable Diamond Ring c/o AUrate New York
Gold Croissant Ring Etsy

Caught a Light Breeze

The calendar pages of 2020 are blowing away, this year that seemed like it was going to stretch out forever is reaching its end sooner than imaginable. Not much is going to change the moment the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, but for a renewed sense of hope and the promise of a new year bringing better things than the last. 

That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

blue floral jumpsuit, cream cropped denim jacket, brown felt fedora, caning bag-11.jpgblue floral jumpsuit, cream cropped denim jacket, brown felt fedora, caning bag-5.jpgblue floral jumpsuit, cream cropped denim jacket, brown felt fedora, caning bag-13.jpgblue floral jumpsuit, cream cropped denim jacket, brown felt fedora, caning bag-7.jpgblue floral jumpsuit, cream cropped denim jacket, brown felt fedora, caning bag-15.jpgblue floral jumpsuit, cream cropped denim jacket, brown felt fedora, caning bag-1.jpg
The Rundown
Navy Floral Jumpsuit J.Crew similar
Cream Denim Jacket Banana Republic
Brown Wool Fedora H&M
Slide Sandals Nine West similar
Caning Bucket Bag Tommy Bahama via TJMaxx
Woven Belt Thrifted similar
Loop Earrings Mejuri
Circle Necklace Gorjana via TJMaxx
Blue Topaz Stacking Ring Hirajule via TJMaxx
Thin Gold Ring Etsy

Italic

Luxury for less has always been the guiding principle of this blog. Lots of things have changed over the years, but I still get excited over a beautiful, quality bag at an attainable price point. So how about a calfskin leather bag made by the same manufacturer as Prada and Miu Miu for $170? If you can live without the designer labels but still want quality, Italic is the company to put on your radar.

Italic is like a direct to consumer brand, only minus the brand - the membership based site is about enabling products to be purchased from the manufacturer at cost. Eliminating the brand removes packaging hallmarks we often associate with luxury goods - the glossy box with a magnetic closure, pieces swaddled in tissue emblematised with logos - but do we really need them?

 

Not just limited to bags, Italic is home to coats from the same manufacturer as Alexander Wang and Armani, shoes sharing a manufacturer with Chanel and Prada, even housewares and bedding from the same manufactures as All-Clad and Frette.

 

Italic's membership costs $120 a year, but considering they sell everything with zero markups, they aren't profiting on product sales, and most members break even on the cost with a single purchase. With the holiday season approaching, I can't think of a better way to gift a cashmere sweater that could retail at $400 for only $65.

rust wide leg pants, knit tank, cream denim jacket, boots, green bag-2.jpgrust wide leg pants, knit tank, cream denim jacket, boots, green bag-8.jpgrust wide leg pants, knit tank, cream denim jacket, boots, green bag-6.jpgrust wide leg pants, knit tank, cream denim jacket, boots, green bag-17.jpgrust wide leg pants, knit tank, cream denim jacket, boots, green bag-1.jpgrust wide leg pants, knit tank, cream denim jacket, boots, green bag-11.jpg
The Rundown
Cream Denim Jacket Banana Republic
Cream Sweater Tank Banana Republic
Rust Wide Leg Pants H&M similar
Cream Booties Aerosoles
Green Mini Trunk Bag c/o Italic
Earrings S.V. Decker
Necklace S.V. Decker
Gold Snake Chain Vintage similar
Thin Gold Ring Etsy
Chevron Ring Etsy via Silver Canyon Jewelry
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx



Italic provided me with the bag for this post. Thanks for supporting the brands who support Chic on the Cheap.

October Budget

Another month of using shopping as the replacement for everything else in life has resulted in this mess, and I'm going to be honest, I didn't include everything. T.J.Maxx OCD online order placing aside, I did find some unique and gorgeous secondhand pieces at Coco's on the Green, and the prettiest little vintage tapestry bag at Vintanthromodern that I may have spent a tiny bit more on than I should have, but certainly couldn't let anyone else buy them!


The biggest time, energy, and financial drain of the month was that damn leopard dress from L.K. Bennett. It's my fault for following bloggers in the UK, then breaking my rules of not making purchases where I'd have to pay shipping, returning, and restocking fees. Despite how globally connected we are, and the fact that I can get a dress at my doorstep from the UK in three days, size charts and customer reviews are still utterly useless. Based on the size chart I should have been a perfect UK 12, so I took the chance and placed the order with it's $15 shipping fee. Naturally it arrived and was too big; I should have ordered the UK 10, which I would have, had I not scrutinized the size chart. Another $15 to send it back, as well as a $7 restocking fee, and then of course $15 more to ship the new dress... which arrived damaged. To be more accurate, soaking wet. Bizarrely, in it's plastic bag, drenched. It wasn't raining that day and it's hard to imagine what happened, but after a couple weeks and half a dozen emails with customer service, I got a full refund for the damaged dress and my return shipping fees reimbursed. Silver lining, when I placed the order for the replacement dress it was $16 less, so it was almost like getting my original shipping refunded. Now I just need to wear it before it gets too cold.




L.K. Bennett Leopard Dress $148
Gorjana Earrings, $8 via TJMaxx
Vince Brown Velvet Bomber Jacket, $40 via Coco's on the Green
Gorjana Quinn Circle Necklace, $13 via TJMaxx
Gorjana Tanner Bar Necklace, $13 via TJMaxx
Shutz Boots, $60 via The Outnet
Marti x Dani Stahl for Calypso Printed Leather Jacket, $52 via Coco's on the Green
Vintage Floral Tapestry Bag, $42 via Vintanthromodern
Tahari Blush Buclele Coat, $70 via TJMaxx
Numph Striped Sweater, $20 via Coco's on the Green
H&M Brown Fedora, $24
Joie Deer Print Silk Blouse, $30 via ThredUP
Joie Lace Blouse, $12 via Coco's on the Green
Ann Taylor Wide Leg Faux Suede Pants, $50
Lulu's Tan Croc Mules, $15
Banana Republic Sweater Tank, $30
Nine West Calf Hair Leopard Mules, $40 via TJMaxx
14k Gold Ring, $49 via TJMaxx
Golden Cleff 14k Infinity Curb Chain Ring, $59 via TJMaxx
Banana Republic Cream Cropped Denim Jacket, $40
H&M Wide Leg Pants, $12
Gorjana Maya Bracelet, $13 via TJMaxx
Banana Republic Floral Wrap Bodysuit, $20
Gap Factory Black Icon Denim Jacket, $32
Banana Republic Factory Printed Pleated Skirt, $22
Nine West Jewel Strap Patent Pumps, $40 via TJMaxx

Coffee and Wine

Desperate to cling to every day left when sitting outside is enjoyable (even if it's a little chilly) there are two main reasons to go out; for coffee and for wine. 

 

Lately we've been enjoying the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven, where there is an abundance of cute spots to sit outside and enjoy either (or both). Granted, the areas are small, usually comprised of no more than five tables, but that's why we always leave the house at three in the afternoon, so there is daylight for photos and we can arrive promptly when the wine bar opens at four p.m. Then we can sip our wine and people dog watch. I saw a dalmatian puppy while we were taking these photos and you can probably tell which photo shows the genuine "I'm dying of puppy adorableness" smile.


Connecticut style blogger Lydia Abate wearing a camel velvet blazer, straight leg jeans, caned leather pumps, and a croc leather bag for fallwine and cameracamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-9.jpgcamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-4.jpgcamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-12.jpgcamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-6.jpgcamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-11.jpgcamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-2.jpgrose in the fall camel velvet blazer-1.jpgAugustcamel velvet blazer, jeans, white lace cami, caned pumps, leather bag-8.jpg
The Rundown
Camel Velvet Blazer Banana Republic similar
White Lace Trim Cami Coco's on the Green similar
Straight Leg Jeans Ann Taylor
White Caned Pumps Just Fab
Cream Croc Purse Persaman via TJMaxx
Necklace Thrifted
Gold Croissant Ring Etsy
Thin Gold Ring Etsy
Twist Ring Etsy
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx

August Light

How rapidly the daylight hours shrink the moment August ends. Sunlight past 6 p.m. feels like a dream. 


This is the last set of the true summer photos. I'm not sure why I held on to them for so long, though perhaps it's because I don't want to accept that summer is over.


shirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-2.jpgshirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-12.jpgshirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-10.jpgshirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-15.jpgshirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-9.jpgshirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-8.jpgshirred rust floral maxi dress, caned bucket bag, brown sandals-1.jpg
The Rundown
Rust Floral Dress Mango similar
Sandals J.Crew similar
Caning Bucket Bag Tommy Bahama via TJMaxx
Earrings S.V. Decker
Necklace S.V. Decker
Gold Croissant Ring Etsy
Thin Gold Ring Etsy
Sunglasses Ray-Ban via TJMaxx