The Bradshaw Budget: New Year’s Eve


// As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “I like my money where I can see it: hanging in my closet.” And while I completely agree with her, as a broke college student, I don’t exactly have a ton of money OR a ton hanging in my closet. But that didn’t stop her from being fabulous! So I decided to start a column, The Bradshaw Budget, for when we all have one of those days. Or weeks. Or months.  In every BB post, every item of clothing or make-up I talk about is under $50. I know that’s still somewhat pricey, so don’t worry. A lot of items will be way less. Until we can actually be Carrie… xoxo JM \\

New Years’s Eve: the night of every girl’s dreams. When wearing glitter in your hair is not only acceptable, but encouraged. When you can drink as much $10 champagne and prosecco as your little heart desires because no one will say a word. When you can dance to old Flo-Rida songs without getting weird looks, and you can eat lobster and other fancy foods as “appetizers”. And the best part is, you do all of this knowing that tomorrow you’ll sleep in, nurse a hangover over warm coffee while watching the College Football Playoff Game, and tell yourself that it’s okay to start that “going to the gym” New Years Resolution on January 2nd. It’s truly a dream come true.

And with this magical night, comes the opportunity to look your absolute fan-effing-tastic best. You want to do a full out smokey eye? Go for it, it’s New Year’s Eve! You’ve been wanting to try out space buns? Go for it, it’s New Year’s Eve!! Anything is possible. With that being said, I always do face one serious roadblock on the way to NYE magical land, and that is my empty-ass wallet. It’s hard to buy a bomb outfit and those shoes that you know are just perfect for New Year’s Eve when you literally have less money in your bank account than you did were you were in high school, working at the local ice cream shop. College is rough, y’all, and it takes all my money away. I guess I ~could~ wear something I already own, but where is the fun in that? Like no, Mom, that dress is 2016, this is twenty SEVENTEEN!!! Ugh. So I swallowed my pride and entered one of my favorite/most hated stores in the world… Forever 21.

Say what you will about this chaos covered, cheap fabric making company, but I have definitely had some good moments there. When I needed that bag for study abroad trip to Italy, F21 came through for me. When I forgot to go Christmas shopping for my sister and she has a new addiction to chokers, F21 was there for me. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s a secret hidden treasure somewhere in the store. Once you pull off the weird “Mondays Suck” jacket from the rack, move the two tone colored knock-off Adidas superstars, and dig your way through the bottom of the pile, there it is… low and behold, the perfect outfit. You go up to the counter, swipe your card (paying only 1/50th of what you would have paid somewhere else), and walk alway with your little yellow bag. It even has a Bible verse on the bottom; it’s as if God Himself led you to this little piece of perfection.

For anyone who hates F21, I don’t blame you, but I also feel sorry for you, because this place feeds my wardrobe when I’m ballin on a budget. Which is basically always.

Alright, sorry, back to the point. The only reason I wanted to do such an intro about F21 is because almost my entire outfit from last night was from there. Okay. Anyway. Here we go.

My dress was the first plunging neckline that I ever bought. And I do mean plunging. The model on the website wasn’t wearing any bra with it, but let me tell you, (and I’m sorry), but that girl had no boobs. Or she had boob tape or stickies or something, and I’m also probably ignoring the fact that she’s a size00 but whatEVERRRR. I tried the dress on with no bra, and I was .5 seconds away from flashing the whole world. Therefore, I decided to go with a simple bandeau, which covered what it needed to cover, but still left some skin and the main point of the dress in tact.

Then a few days later, I was on Forever 21’s instagram (no clue why, maybe I’m actually obsessed with them) and I found a metallic moto jacket that I fell IN LOVE with. However the THREE F21 stores closest to me didn’t have it. Shocker. You know, my roommate is learning a lot about Operational Management in her major, and I would just say that maybe F21 could work on a few things in the department. Anyway, I ended up having to order it online and pay $20 1-2 day shipping to get it to my grandparent’s vacation home in Montana in time for NYE. I wasn’t happy about it, but I knew it was going to be worth it. And it was.

Next, I threw on some tights and my go-to pair of booties from Target. (But they’re Aldo brand and therefore cost me $45. That was a rough day at Target. I felt like Isla Fischer in Confessions of a Shopaholic. But I survived and now I have cute shoes!)

Once my outfit was ready, it was time to figure out “everything else.” I absolutely suck at hair, all I can do is straighten it or curl it. And I mean it looks damn good when I do those, but this was NYE, I wanted more. So my sister helped me, and did a middle part, with two tiny braids pulled back into space bun-typesque buns, and then curled the rest. It looked amazing. I tried to capture it in a photo but it was really difficult.

Lastly, was the makeup. Foundation is easy enough, but with the two different eye-shadow palettes I got for Christmas, I had some choices to make. I ended up doing a lot of pink to go with the jacket, and some gray on the outside to go with my dress. Then of course, I put a ton of glitter all over. Some eyeliner, a shit ton of mascara, and my Posie K Kylie Lip Kit later, I was ready to go.

I hope this has inspired you to know that you don’t have to break the bank to look drop dead gorg. I would encourage anyone to fund their NYE look with as little amount of money as possible, so you have way more money to spend on alcohol, am I right?!

As always, feel free to reach out with questions, or to tell me how you rocked your New Year’s Eve look, I LOVE hearing from you!! Happy New Year!! xoxo, JM


  1. Forever 21 Plunging Metallic Mini Dress ($29.90)
  2. Forever 21 Metallic Moto Jacket ($37.90)
  3. Aldo brand “A+” Booties from Target ($44.99) BUT ON SALE RIGHT NOW FOR $19.99!
  4. Too Faced Christmas in New York Eyeshadow Kit ($49.00) Currently sold out, but they have plenty of other kinds!! 
  5. Kylie Cosmetics – Lip Kit in “Posie K” ($29.00)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *