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Banana Republic diamond jacquard pullover | J. Crew no. 2 pencil skirt (other colours) | Kate Spade 'Bow Bridge Kennedy' bag | Joe Fresh shoes | Necklace (old) | Clinique Chubby Stick in 'Plumped Up Pink'


Black and white is such a classic combination, but as one of spring's biggest trends, it's been reincarnated and reinvorgated in the form of bold graphic patterns. I've been drawn to all the black-and-white pieces trickling into stores lately, particularly this pullover from Banana Republic. Although the colours more closely resemble oatmeal and black in real life, I just couldn't resist the honeycomb pattern (so fun!) and thoughts of pairing it with bright pencil skirts and bags. Neutral colours and a graphic knit make this sweater feel as versatile as a black cardigan, but add much more visual interest to basic outfits. I can see myself wearing this sweater often as we slowly transition from winter to spring.

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In other news, with finances still very much on my mind, I went through my credit card bills from the last two months and added up all my clothing-related purchases. I was shocked at the total. Flabbergasted! Granted, I love what I bought and they're quality pieces I'm happy to have and hang onto. And a lot of it was holiday sale purchases, replacing worn-out essentials (a good bra is expensive), and scope-out-spring-merchandise-and-buy-strategically shopping. But no matter how you slice it, it was still an obscene amount.

On some level, I think shopping has been my way of distracting myself from stress and burnout. (See how tired I look in the photo above? And that was on a Sunday.) By rewarding myself with a purchase here, a purchase there, the thrill of a new addition to my wardrobe became an emotional crutch. Increasingly, I found that getting through a tough day was a little easier if I could mindlessly browse online after writing my blog post in the evening, that a tough week was made better by the anticipation of a parcel in the mail.

It has to stop, and I have turn to other coping mechanisms: salsa and yoga, which I've neglected shamefully; more downtime during the evenings; more sleep; booking a real vacation. I'm sticking to a set monthly clothing allowance going forward. In the long run, it'll be much healthier for my wallet, waistline, and overall outlook.

This is a tough thing to admit online and I'm not proud of it, but now that I have admitted it to you I feel like openness and accountability will make it easier for me to stick to my goals, so thanks for letting me share. The sweater you see in this post is one of the last pre-clothing-allowance buys.

Now, on a much lighter note, have a good weekend!

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