Where will you start?

building or rather re-building your wardrobe is not the short distance race I tend to treat it as. After a bout of buyer’s remorse–left still wanting more (to go with this shirt or for a second option with that dress)–I have to give myself the “from now on, one treat a paycheck” lecture or “one splurge a month” –er “every other month” encouragement. Well, it’s my last week before a shopping fast–yes a break from buying clothes until my birthday… in April–and I’ll be spending no more than $40 (ahem, $35 store credit not included) in a final attempt to get my wardrobe NYC ready. What about you? Have some green to spare? Pick one–one–of the the items currently in my closet; they’ll cost you no more than $40.

Some of the best “outfit makers” currently in my closet I purchased after seeking it out or impulsively. Either way, they’ve been pieces I’m excited to have accompanying my sometimes aimless wardrobe. They’re like “look zhuzhers”: pieces that add personality and je ne sais quois or simply help complete a look. You’ll be happy to know, whether you want to zhuzh your outfit or complete it, you don’t have to break bank… I certainly didn’t.


I put together a look last week featuring three of my new favorite pieces (all of which are actually under $25). And even better than thier manageable price point, I can vouch for the quality and worthiness of almost everything here.

Items Under $50
Items Under $50 by dresscapades featuring a slit skirt

1. H&M Pencil Skirt in Dark Grey, $24.95

I contemplated returning this skirt when, upon seeing it (packaged with receipt and all), my mother begged me not to. The skirt made of a thick but breathable jersey is lovely dressed up for work (as seen above) or dressed down with a graphic tee and sneakers. The best part? The sleek skirt features a back slit with a concealed zip; opt for slit or not or adjust the slit size according to your comfort (and modesty). Beware, the reason I went to return the skirt is because they run big. Ultimately, I exchanged it for a small (?!)–and there’s another perk: this skirt’ll convince you you’ve lost a few.

2. H&M Knit Sweater in Light Pink, $24.95

If you can’t find the powder pink itchy sweater featured in my instagram pic (H&M, $19.95) this light pink sweater for just a few bucks more is a nice substitute. However, if you take the trip to your local H&M, you’ll probably find the one I own. Or if you’re in the UK and/or don’t mind purchasing from the UK online store, you can find it here. As previously mentioned, this sweater is a little itchy, but it has a big and comfy fit to it which makes the itchiness tolerable (especially since I adore it with a button down underneath).

3. Factory Draped Stones and Crystal Necklace, $14.99

Lucky, lucky you. When I bought this necklace from J. Crew Factory several weeks ago, I paid $19.19 after a 40% post-Christmas discount. Now the necklace is on sale for $14.99 (other colors, $30.99). Statement necklaces never go out of style and J. Crew statement necklace has got style and quality. The necklace, shipped to me in a canvas bag, features a steel chain, and is adorned with beautiful stones. Pairs perfectly with a buttoned up collar shirt–polka dotted, checkered, chambray..-ed.

This set also features:

Jigsaw Polka Dot Silk Blouse in Ivory from JohnLewis.com, $195 OR go for the J.Crew Factory (inexpensive) alternative

Austin Bound Bootie from ModCloth, $69.99

4. Falling in Puppy Love Tunics in Dog, $39.99
Falling in Puppy Love Tunic in Dogs

ModCloth’s Falling in Puppy Love Tunic is probably the most charming piece of clothing I own. A professed lover of prints, it can be pretty hard sometimes for me to rein it in. This tunic featuring an adorable puppy dog print is great with jeans and boots but also pairs nicely with a kelly green blazer or cardigan.


If you’ve got a big bust, size up, it runs kind of small in the chest area.

5.  Lulu’s Swoon Walker Brown High Heel Ankle Boots, $38


Buy these and you’ll never tire of them. These boots go with everything in my closet and even better they’re soooooooo comfortable. Walking through the city, I’m still not over how my feet never ache. The high shaft allows me to wear them comfortably with cuffed jeans or a long and flowy skirt.


My favorite look so far has been with a large cozy chunky cardigan on top of a monochromatic base (tights and tunic or dress; black or grey)–these boots add a touch of ladyness to an otherwise rainy-day-on-the-couch outfit. And the quality is great. As often as I’ve worn them, I’m pleased I haven’t found any scuffing, wear or tear.  Looks like Lulu’s just restocked! I dare you not to get them in black, too.

Got a bigger budget? The combinations of the 5 items above are plenty! Everything here is yours for less than $150. You know if you’re into shopping sprees…



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