black maxi dress driftyness

What a Black Maxi Dress Taught Me About Managing My Finances

WWhen I saw it, I gasped. The perfect loose-yet-draping-in-the-right-places dress. It was long and covered my legs, which meant I could skip the lotion if I was running late (#girlhacks). The V-neck cut was décolletage friendly without leaving me feeling overexposed, the thin and seamless straps made it look a little more designed than your average black maxi dress, and the material was one that wouldn’t start forming those horrid little balls that make whole outfits look shabby.

It wasn’t crazy expensive, but as a grad student with a limited income, I still had to save up for it. I calculated how long it would take for me to get it, and I checked on the dress a few days later.

To my horror, it was sold out and hasn’t been restocked since. My feelings were hurt, and to be honest, I’m still a little salty.

It bugged me even more because this has happened before on multiple occasions. Bombshell little black dress for a ridiculous price? Can’t afford it. Cute statement jewellery that matches my glasses? Too broke. Flash sale at one of my favourite stores? Not enough money for that, sorry.

I think I’ve got it half right in that I shouldn’t be spending money I don’t have, but I think I’m half wrong in not being prepared for situations that are only partly unpredictable: I know that they’ll happen, but I just don’t know when.

Join me as I try to get myself together.

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dior ball gown pink dress evening

The Time I Lost My Edges at the ROM Dior Exhibit

BBoth the Royal Ontario Museum and Dior will be receiving bills for my Jamaican black castor oil.

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On Standing Out & Dressing Well: Less Can Be More

orange lace dress cropped light

Dress: Design Lab (old) | Shoes: Zara (old) | Clutch: The Shoe Company (old) | Bracelet: ASOS | Earrings: Amazon | Perfume (travel size): Burberry

This journey of wearing no makeup for a year has had some unexpected consequences. My appreciation for simplicity is spilling over into what it means for me to stand out.

I have learned to value standing out from a young age. As a child, I stood out with my puffy braids and tall height. As a teenager, I valued standing out as a way of creative expression. As a student, I value standing out academically. In employment, I value standing out due to hard work. I’m used to obvious ways of standing out–things that are hard to miss.

However, what I have been learning as I go through my days without makeup is that it is not necessary to be loud and noticeable to make a statement. Sometimes, letting things speak for themselves is enough.

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The Broke Fashionistas Club: Dressing Well On a Budget

Image credits: @BrokeGirl_Probs (Twitter) | Pinterest

One of the goals I set for myself for 2016 is to be better with money. To save, to learn about investing, and not to waste (or spend money I don’t have) on things I don’t need. This goal came about in two ways. First, I went to the bank, and was served by a very handsome teller whilst broke (a sad bank account is never cute, ladies!) And second, I read this article about compound interest, and was shocked to find how much money can grow if I start saving & investing it early.

As a student, I will be broke well into the foreseeable future. So I’ve had to ask myself how I can look good and save on a very limited budget. I’m still learning how to answer this question, but here’s what I’ve learned so far.

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Building A Basic Wardrobe

Images Via: Fashion Gum & Pinterest

When I moved to a different city for university, I hated the process of moving so much that I bought a book on how to have a minimalist lifestyle. I wanted to get rid of my stuff so I’d never have so much hassle ever again. While my minimalist life didn’t last long (or even start), there were some lessons that stayed with me. One of them is called the 80-20 rule. In The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide, Francine Jay writes about this rule, which basically says that we tend to wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. I’ve found this to be true for me, and I’ve been thinking about how I can maximize that essential 20%. I don’t want to think about what to wear in the morning. And yet, I still want to look put together.

In order to do this, I asked myself some questions. First, what’s comfortable for me? Second, I asked myself what kind of clothes fit my lifestyle? Third, I asked myself what do I want to look like? And finally, I asked myself what can I afford? 

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