You know it’s time to go shopping when you have recurring dreams about clothes.
I wish I was kidding. I’ve lost count now of the number of times I’ve dreamt about finding new items hidden away in my closet. (Waking up in every case has been surprisingly disappointing.)
I really hate shopping. I tend to buy stuff in bursts – bundle up the pain, I guess. And it’s about time for one of those, since I haven’t bought anything in about a year. Belt-tightening (figuratively) and all that.
It’s embarrassing how many of my clothes are faded, stained, torn or need to be firmly retired to ‘at home’ status only for whatever reasons. I’m 27 this year and badly need to update my wardrobe accordingly.
Where to start? At the minimum:
Jeans (probably one dark and one light/medium)
At least one long-sleeved top
A non-summery skirt
And maybe a soft blazer?
I am really not looking forward to this quest. Fashionista friends, put me in your prayers.
I set myself a goal at the start of the year: no clothing or beauty purchases in 2012, except in the case of an emergency (ie shoes, because I have so few of them, that need replacing. One of my flats has actually already given up on me, but I’m getting by without).
That finally spurred me on to do something that’s been on my list for aaaages: a visual catalogue of my wardrobe.
While shooting every item (which took me weeks, to be quite honest – hence the changing lighting) it felt like I had way more garments than I should.
Upon putting them all into spreads, though, it started to feel like i should have MORE clothing.
Without counting underwear, PJs and the oversized band shirts I slob around in at home/sleep in, that’s 97 garments.
13 jackets – two long sleeved tops, three hoodies, two blazers, a denim jacket, cropped jacket, waterproof jacket, long cardi and two coats.
10 cardigans – three cropped cardis, two open cardis, five regular ones
32 tops – three dressy tops, 11 casual, six work tops,12 nice tops
7 pairs of shorts – two office-appropriate pairs, two pairs of board shorts, one pair of denim shorts and my running shorts
13 pairs of pants – five pairs of jeans, one pair of exercise pants, two stripey pairs, three plain pairs and two pairs of blingy black pants
9 skirts – two denim, one dressy, two long, one that’s a bit too cutesy and three summery ones.
13 dresses – four formal, four casual, two black work dresses, and three that straddle categories.
I’m happy with what’s there, which is why I set myself this challenge. My wardrobe is finally starting to reflect me: colours I love, clean lines, a few nice things but mostly unfussy.
I ask because I still sleep in shirts that I’ve had since I was barely in double digits, and only recently purged a bunch of clothes that I just couldn’t get away with wearing anymore. Tops that were a little too short, but were in every other way perfect (grrr – waste irritates me to no end! Part of it was me growing taller, part a trend for longer tops coming in).
I can’t really say I update my wardrobe from season to season. I just don’t shop for clothing that often. This month I bought a pair of canvas sneakers, two tops and one skirt – a veritable shopping spree! They were all pretty cheerful and cheap, so I’ll be happy if they last me two or three years.
Prior to that, my clothing purchases for the year amounted to: one dress, two cardigans, one top, a jacket, a pair of shoes and a pair of boots. If my memory serves me correctly, that is. For some reason, that sounds like a lot, and yet I feel like my wardrobe still has a lot of holes in it. I think it’s time to get cracking with that item-by-item show-and-tell…
Do you get rid of clothes once you’re bored of them? Once they’re too worn to pass muster? How much life would you expect from a $10 item? A $20 item?
I am seriously in need of some casual sneakers. I have a ratty pair of slip on Skecher type shoes and a pair of skate shoes. Then I have boots, cute flats and other shoes I can wear to work and out and about.
But what I really just need something more street for *those* days, ya know? And I only want to spend on one pair. So help a girl out.
Do I go for some cute Ked styles?
The generic canvas laceups?
All out on the Chucks?
(Actually, scratch the Chucks. I love the look of them, but hate the feel.)
Clothes and grooming: $12 of this was for a new bottle of face wash, and the rest got me two jackets and a pair of shoes! Bless you, Trademe (it seriously is the best place to score quality shoes in mint condition. As long as you know your size and stick to known brands). More below.
Debt: Slowly knocking down T’s car loan, with nearly an extra $100 more than usual going towards it.
Dining: Still way too many fast food purchases, mostly of T’s doing. (His penchant for Wendy’s is second to none). Includes just over $60 of reimbursable meals. With that taken into account, we’re spending just over $50 a week on eating out. And considering that’s our main entertainment spending, I don’t think it’s too bad – but again, I’m trying to go for QUALITY here, and we kind of failed this month. BUT, we did discover the gem that is Jai Jalaram Khaman on Sandringham Rd – affordable, tasty Indian food. Aside from that, we had Chinese on New Year’s, and again a couple of weeks ago, but nothing memorable.
Entertainment: Snorkelling, our monthly Fatso subscription, and stuff associated with T’s weekend away this week (including buying a fishing rod. Slightly costly, but healthier than hanging out with our loser flatmates who have nothing in their lives except smoking and drinking, at least. Hey, I live with them, but I don’t have to like em!)
Holidays: From New Year’s. T was meant to pay for this out of the money he made on New Year’s…only he STILL hasn’t been paid. Instead, I took it out of my travel/holiday fund. I’m about to book our Waiheke getaway package that I’ve been looking forward to for months before summer ends, so hoping that comes through ASAP! If not, we should be okay, as my side job is due to pay me before then anyway.
Groceries: is really high, there’s no getting around it. I did cheat a bit and count our post-New Year’s picnic food as groceries rather than eating out, but still. Ideally this should be more like $500, or $550 max.
Savings: doesn’t take into account approximately $300 towards LT savings, but mostly consists of my extra payment towards Kiwisaver (because I was a dumbass and messed up).
Vehicle and transport: is lower than I thought. Just over $135 of that is for my bus passes! So our gas expenditure is pretty low. I did have a $50 petrol voucher which we used, however.
Utilities: is a little higher than usual, because our quarterly water bill was due. I’m also continuing to classify our cellphone costs here, because that makes a hell of a lot more sense than under entertainment.
You know what’s frustrating! As I’m going back through transactions, I ALWAYS find mistakes. Always. It’s way too easy to miscategorise something, and then that screws up my whole graph. I’ll get better at this…maybe.
For February, getting back on an even keel after New Year’s, I really want to track everything by hand. It’ll give me a more realistic picture, and I’ll be able to decide if our categories are on the right track proportionally. Gotta watch the food spending, and aim to save $100 a week into the bills account (so we’re not scrambling come time to pay the car insurance). I doubt that will happen, but even if we can regularly do $80 or $90, that would be awesome.
NEW WARDROBE PURCHASES
Blazer: $5 plus $4 postage. Basically wanted to replace my brown military jacket, because the colour is horrendous on me – not to mention a couple of the buttons have gone AWOL.
Shoes: $10 plus $6 shipping. Score! They’re real leather, are virtually pristine and would retail at Hannahs for $80-100. (Why are expensive shoes always so narrow?) Compare with my old flats, which are literally RAVAGED.
Jacket: $15 (plus, I think, $6 for postage?) Am not thrilled about this. It’s real leather, and a great colour. BUT, the fit and sizing leaves something to be desired. Compare with the photo from the listing, on the bottom – we are obviously not quite the same size. It’s my fault for leaping at the bargain without checking the measurements.
They are made perfectly for me. I’ve owned three pairs in my life, and every single one fit me like a dream. Seriously, you put them on, they hug you like a glove, and that’s a tall order in the denim world. SO much can go wrong. The rise, the waistband, zip vs buttons, wrinkling, length, etc. Not Lees.
I finally gave in and went on the hunt for a new pair. I wanted them to be medium to dark blue and fairly slim. All my jeans are flares, bar one black/faded pair and one light blue pair which I could no longer tolerate on my body. (They were $15 from Valleygirl on clearance three years ago, and THAT WAS FOR A REASON! I don’t know what they’re made of nor do I care to look. They stretched, lost their shape and generally look like crap on me now. I can’t even kid myself that they fit me today. It was driving me insane, I tell you, having to hitch the waist up even when belted, the way the knees sagged when tucked into boots, and the way the hems sat……..arrrrrrgh.)
I nearly passed up on this pair just for the price, but you really do get what you pay for with jeans. Here’s my $45 Lee jeans from Recycle Boutique – a place which has a lot of crap, but offers up the occasional gem as well. (Pardon the smudges…my streaky mirror is long overdue for a clean)
UPDATE: Now that I’ve worn them for a while, I’ve noticed the crotch seam is a little bulgy. I didn’t have that problem with any of my other Lee jeans. Marking this down to a 4.5/5 rather than a full 5/5.
Following my recent laundry mishap (I lost THREE bras to a single wash/dry episode) I really, really badly needed to go bra shopping. I don’t know about anyone else, but three bras is a lot to me…it’s almost half of my entire bra collection. I don’t exactly have a large chest, so it’s not uber important to me to have a super well made, super comfortable bra…as long as it fits fairly well without chafing or riding and isn’t fussy and lacy, I’m on board. Thanks to rock bottom sales, the Bendon outlets, and Dress Smart, I think the average price I pay for a bra is between $5-10. I wear them till they give out and then reluctantly begin the hunt all over again.
Luckily for me, I managed to pick up three brand spanking new bras for just $21 at BnT in DressSmart :D. Considering they were all originally $40 to 45, that’s a steal. I kind of want to describe them or even post pics, because I’m kind of in love with them, but I think that verges ever so slightly on TMI.
And then the checkout girl asked if I wanted the matching underwear. BLANK.
I’ve never in my life bothered to buy a matching set. I just don’t see the point. But I’ll note it down on my list of things to do before I die (along with flying first class…somewhere, anywhere). I’d be too disorganised to actually wear them together, and despite being told I should never wear the same bra two days in a row…well, I do. Methinks it would make more sense to buy two matching bottoms for every one bra.
I’m pretty sure I break a lot of the rules when it comes to bras. I don’t spend much. I wear them more than once before washing them. I don’t replace them every six months and I don’t buy matching bra/knicker sets. And I don’t lovingly arrange them in a drawer organised by colour/fabric/X-factor. I have a lingerie wash bag, but I don’t always use it (plus, it seems to unzip itself in the wash about half the time, voiding its purpose entirely).
Come to think of it, that’s probably why those three bras gave up the ghost on me. It’s karma.
My plan was to buy me a dress for under $50 for my friend’s party next weekend. The only stipulation is we can’t show up in black! I was keen for something in one of these colours:
Combed Recycle Boutique, the chain stores, the crazy minimall of Asian fashion shops in Atrium on Elliot and DressSmart. But nup, no luck.
We did however, scoop a major bargain for BF at the Dickies outlet in DressSmart. Grey Dickies pants (go for well over $100 retail, were $69 at the outlet branch, and $52.50 after a further 25% special Queen’s Birthday discount)! Something I’ve been wanting for him for ages, but Dickies aren’t cheap. So instead of buying me a dress I don’t really need (I still don’t know what I’m wearing for her birthday, but I’ll sort something out…two of my dresses are too casual, one is black, and the other two far too formal; might have to work the separates), we got him some sturdy, NICE pants to wear to the party.