This'll be long... I wanted to talk through this and see what others think. I'm on a budget--each paycheck (I'm paid twice per month), I get $200 of discretionary spending, which I can use on anything I want. I often put it toward clothing, home decorations, books, and entertainment. I don't have a dedicated clothing budget because my fiancée and I are early in our careers and make just enough to live comfortably and work on slowly paying down credit card/student loan debt.

I'm also working on losing weight, and am down to about 216 from 244, with a goal weight of around 180. This means my size may change, but the way I tend to carry weight is pretty balanced and I'm a large person to begin with, so my sizes don't change A LOT with weight change. I prefer clothing with a tailored to loose fit, but not oversized, and am enjoying things to be a bit more fitted with my body shape changing; lots of extra fabric makes me look bigger instead of smoother. As such, I'm comfortable buying things that are a bit snug now, but will become a perfect or loose fit as I continue to slim down.

I am considering versatile items that would boost my wardrobe happiness and are unlikely to become too large for me very quickly. I've been feeling happier in my life in general lately, and that's manifesting in a desire to wear more colors. I've been really loving burgundy and have a few pieces, but want to add more. I'm also interested in adding more bright orange and lavender/lilac to continue building those capsules (I have 2 items in each color right now) and adding marigold/bright mustard because it reminds me of sunflowers, my personal self-care/mental health symbol.

Additionally, I'm assessing my footwear capsule and finding that I generally need some dressier options, as I'm moving toward dressing smart casual most days after years of dressing mostly casually. So I've been looking at some more options there. I also need a new bag and am considering the Botkier crossbody bag Tanya posted about (in black, which would go with most of what I already have, or brown, which would allow me to start a brown capsule with some of the shoes I'm considering and my favorite hat), as well as some backpacks (in black, but I also added the Madewell in cognac to my finds, though I'm unlikely to get it ahead of other options).

I have a couple different strategies in mind for acquiring these items I'm interested in from my finds, but I need to decide what's most important because items may sell out before I'm able to purchase them. Here's my list of finds I'm considering:

SWEATERS - Mostly here to add color to my wardrobe; most sweaters I currently have are dark neutrals, which I love, but want more variety.

  • Marks & Spencer lavender/lilac V-neck sweater (~$100)
  • NYDJ yellow V-neck sweater (~$100)
  • Saint + Sofia red cable sweater (~$130; lower priority than other two because while I like red, I have more red items than lavender or yellow)
BAGS - Need a good day to day bag and am looking into nice backpacks for the future.
  • Madewell backpack (~$200; should fit my laptop, so would be good school bag if I get into grad school, but wouldn't be practical for daily use right NOW because I don't want to be burdened with a large bag)
  • Botkier crossbody bag, brown (~$200; love the design and size of these for a day to day bag.)
  • Botkier crossbody bag, black (~$200)
  • Marks & Spencer mini backpack (~$40; love the low price! Would be suitable as day to day bag, but wouldn't be good for school.)
SHOES - I'm really digging the lug sole trend, which suits the tough edge in my style, so most of these fit that. The loafers are more refined, which I'd like to have the option of, too. All black and brown to bookend my super dark brown hair.
  • Converse burgundy patent sneakers ($75; I think these would work as a dressier sneaker)
  • Vagabond Chelsea boots, brown ($160)
  • Marc Fisher Chelsea boots, black (~$130)
  • Dansko clog, brown (~$125)
  • Kate Spade NY loafer (~$200; I <3 NY stuff makes me smile, because my dad worked in the city and my mom was a grad student at Juilliard when she was pregnant with me... it's always felt familiar, even though I've never lived there.)
  • Jon Josef loafer ($200; love the star studs! Would have to move fast, only 1-2 pairs left in my size... may not even be there by the time I get paid on Friday.)

MISC - Some more items I'm looking at that would work well in my wardrobe but don't fit into one of the above categories.

  • Old Navy denim shirt (~$35; affordable, and would help me work toward my goal of acquiring more light neutrals. Could also pair with a couple of the sweaters I'm considering and the overalls.)
  • City Chic crop flare jeans (~$90; loving the black bootcut jeans I recently got from this brand, and have a desire to take advantage of the wider silhouettes while they're trending because they suit my inverted triangle body type and long legs.)
  • Wildfang overalls, merlot (~$170; would add to my burgeoning burgundy capsule, and I believe these would work with all tops I'm currently considering.)
Thanks for reading! I would greatly appreciate any help figuring out how to prioritize, here. I've started to figure out some ideas about how to prioritize within each category, but with my restrictive budget, I have to make the difficult decisions about which *categories* to prioritize, too.