One thing about being on a clothing budget that I don’t like so much is that it makes me want to make “big impact” purchases. I love instant gratification, and compliments. In my opinion, the things that make the biggest splash in those categories are dresses and cool shirts, so, no surprise, those are the things I love browsing for the most. Taking a step back from shopping has meant thinking more about purchases that will make a difference to how I feel and not just how I look. So here are reviews of accessories and wardrobe basics that aren’t as “flashy” that have really made a difference in my closet (including some trendy internet-only brands like ThirdLove, Boodywear, Thinx, and Bombas).
Underwear and bras
I’ve changed my approach to buying underwear in the last year thanks to a brilliant Cup of Jo post about decision fatigue: I now only buy tan and black underwear. Why? Less decisions in the morning, and every pair works with most things I own.
Despite this, most of my underwear still come from a dominant but questionable lingerie source that most of us have been using since high school. No more hints! I’m trying to change I swear! I’ve found a couple better (more ethically produced) sources this year that I love:
Boody Wear: These are bamboo underwear and bras and they are so, so soft. There’s no underwire involved, which is great, because that’s how I roll most days. I tried the padded shaper bra (gifted) and have found it to be an excellent bralette (it doesn’t really add bulk to your bust if you worry about that like I do).
The sizing for this company is a bit…interesting? I wear a large in their bras. They are very stretchy, so it’s more about your cup size than your band size. So, I would say the size chart doesn’t lie here. A smaller size would have fit in the ribcage but the coverage of the pads is just right in the large for me. I also have this cami and pair of underwear (both gifted) and will be stocking up on more of them. The underwear is $12 a pair so not craaaazy expensive and it’s really, really soft. I got a size large but think I should go with a medium next time (I’m a size 6/28). I got the cami in a size small and it is very form fitting but also STAYS PUT under everything and tucks in really well.
ThirdLove: Ugh, my true love in bra form. They are as good as everyone claims and now more of my clothing look exactly how I want them to (unlike when I was wearing worn out bras, which can get misshapen and reveal lines, especially under thin t shirts). I have the t-shirt bra and it is life. Busty friends highly recommend this one for the wider, supportive strap that doesn’t dig into shoulders. I also have the lace plunge, which is actually comfortable because it is lined. You can use my referral link and I’ll get a little credit if you do ❤
Thinx: Last thing in the underwear category–I now use Thinx on light period days and love it! It really is leak-proof and doesn’t feel wet at all. It’s saving me money on period products and I’m really into it. The only con is that Thinx are fairly expensive (my pair was $32). I’m buying more pairs slowly!
If you want more underwear reviews, Renée over at Goblin Shark just posted some as well. Pact underwear have been on my list to try and I think they might be my next source based on her review!
Socks?! Socks can’t be that exciting, right? Well, even if they aren’t, they make a HUGE DIFFERENCE in comfort for me, so buying pairs that actually work has been a game changer….
Gekks: Gekks are sticky socks that you install in your shoes, basically, and leave them there for several months at a time (they’re not smelly, promise). This was such an easy way to make allll of my shoes much more wearable. There are certain shoes I tend to avoid selecting on days when I’ll be outside (sweaty) or walking a lot (blisters). Gekks have made a big difference in all my flats and loafers so far (I recommend the socks for flats especially if you, like me, tend to get blisters on top of your toes).
Bombas: $12 for a pair of socks? How good can they be?? Answer: really, really good. They are seamless (I didn’t know I needed this ’til I had it), the ankle socks don’t slide around, and the patterns are just. too. good. They offer 20% off first time orders but you can get 25% off if you use my code. Which I will use to buy more Bombas. Especially this pack.
My belt collection has remained stagnant since early college and consisted of one black belt from Target and one brown belt from H&M until very recently. But having a nice leather belt on really makes a difference on an outfit, especially with dress pants. I recently bought a taupe belt from J. Crew (on Poshmark) and I am really liking it for all my summer outfits. I have also been considering this brown belt from Madewell because I think a wider width would be a nice option!
Up until very, very recently, I was someone who would not buy jewelry. Most jewelry I had was some combination of accident, given to me by a friend, or picked out by my mom. Idk why. I just didn’t buy it. But being more deliberate and picking out my own everyday jewelry has brought me such joy, so I thought I would list it all here in appreciation!
Tiny rose gold rings: I love these, I buy them on Etsy and put them on when I want a little extra bling.
Crawler studs: I have two pairs of these because I thought I lost one pair and was DEVASTATED. They’re just slightly more interesting than regular studs and so so tiny!
Layering necklaces: I love everything from Gldn and am so glad I picked a couple necklaces and told Trevor to get them for me last Christmas (this is my new system for acquiring jewelry haha). They can put up with a lot of wear (I take them off for showering but you don’t have to) and the stamped disks are all really fun. I might get this pair of pearl earrings for wedding day, too!
Light gold hoops: By light here, I mean these are the lightest weight earring ever. I reach for them several times a week. Here’s a similar pair.
Huggie hoops: My mom got me these for graduation (she has great taste) but I’m linking a similar pair because they are just so perfect for professional settings.