Thursday, October 07, 2010

Summing Up and Letting Go

Photo: The wardrobe as it looked in May... I must take another picture this weekend for comparison.

Today I had to open the storage drawer in my wardrobe to find a non-self-stitched skirt which I wanted to wear. Well – what a revelation! What WAS all this stuff? Did I seriously ever wear that floor-length linen panelled skirt? Or the over-wide, too-short t-shirts? Or OMG that far-too-long windowpane check tweed number?

I considered the re-fashioning potential of these gems, but actually I think it’s time they went. Someone else will love them, I am sure.

And I won’t miss them. Because frankly I had forgotten they were there. How sad!

So the positive outcome of SSS is definitely that I am making space to breathe and grow. I have a much clearer idea of what I like and what suits me. And a greater open-ness to letting things go. I swore I would not let clutter build up, so off it goes! Editing.

Since FL gave me some £s to spend on clothing, almost 2 years ago now, I started to note every item I bought, and it has actually not been that much:

4 long-sleeved t-shirts
A bra
A jacket
A dress
A pair of sneakers
A pair of shoes
A black polo-neck sweater
2 pairs of jeans
A cardigan
The vintage dress-for-a-wedding
Shoes-for-the-wedding

Total cost: just over £550 (that's in two years remember!)

I spent about half as much again on materials: fabric, wool and patterns. Which, considering that stitching is my main leisure interest, is not bad at all: with the added advantage that I get to wear the outcomes!

I have no concept of what other people spend on "fashion", and really it does not matter as long as I am comfortable with my own level of expenditure and what I have to show for it. I know that I choose ethical / organic options wherever possible, which hikes up the price per garment, but hopefully they are of good quality and will last for longer as a result.

How about you? Do you have a "clothing budget"? Do you agonize over a single purchase, or have a big splurge every payday?

8 comments:

mooncalf said...

I don't really have a dedicated budget, it just comes out of my general spends.

I do keep track of what I spend though. I'd guess I'm spending something like 6 times what you spent. Gulp.

I do wear everything that I buy though, usually to death. I keep track of what I have on Flickr so that nothing gets forgotten and not too many rash impulse buys or duplicate items get bought http://www.flickr.com/photos/mooncalf39/sets/72157616995709434/

I'm a sucker for a sale...

Minnado said...

I am on a really tight overall budget as I am no longer working so I don't have money for new clothes. I gave up buying new clothes and shoes from shops in January for a few different reasons and I can tell you I was a keen clothes buyer before that especially when I was in employment, had no kids to feed and had money to spend. I was also a great sales fiend. Due to our financial constraints I buy my sewing supplies on ebay using money I have made selling other stuff like the no longer needed baby equipment. I also buy sewing things and clothes in charity shops but have cut back on that. This means it is quite easy to keep track of my spends and I try not to spend on ebay above what I have in my paypal balance. I think that even when my daughter is older and I (hopefully) return to paid employment I still won't splurge as I think I have been working hard on changing my shoppping habits. Hope this doesn't sound all too holier-than-thou. The in-laws see me as a shoeknitting hippie. Ho-hum.

christinelaennec said...

I keep close track of what I spend on clothes, and I generally stick to my budget. Some of my favy clothes are from charity shops and sales, though I also buy new things at full price if I have to. Being able to do that is something I'm well aware is a luxury, since for years I had next to nothing to spend on clothes or anything else. Minnado, good for you!

I include anything I spend on sewing or knitting (for me to wear) in my clothing budget. My mother, bless her, gives me birthday and Christmas money and all of that generally goes on wool!

Half of my budget every year goes on footwear. (Minnado - can you really knit shoes?) Since walking is my main form of transport, I tend to go through shoes and boots pretty quickly, and a lot of them nowadays aren't easy to have repaired. I've begun experimenting with buying hand-made shoes that I can send back for resoling. (I comfort myself with the fact that we don't spend much on the car.)

I rarely make impulse buys of anything over £10, but once I did buy an expensive coat that I have worn and loved ever since. My (10-year-old) daughter was horrified at the price and said, in the shop, "You'd better ask Dad for a loan!" (I reminded her that I do make some money myself.)

I also keep clothes for decades, if they still work for me!

Where the nodding violets grow said...

I am rubbish at buying clothes. I don't actively shop for clothes anymore and tend to buy what fits as opposed to what suits. I end up keeping clothes that I know I am never going to wear just because I feel guilty.

I definitely need to set a budget and have an interchangeable wardrobe so that I get better value out of the things I buy or make.

Katherine said...

I think I spend more than that. I try and wait for the sales for most of my clothes buying and if I need things in between I try and hang on for special offers, e.g. Boden's 10% off plus free p@p. I'm spending more on clothes than I used to, because I can afford to, but I'm buying better quality rather than quantity. Even though I can afford the things I buy I still agonise a little. I suppose I've got used to it!

Kate said...

I've really enjoyed your sss, especially your musings on the process, and have been thinking a lot about my relationship with my wardrobe of late. One of the things I really enjoyed about going to work was putting an outfit together ..and I'm not doing that right now. I also find myself unable to wear many of the styles I used to (pencil skirts are a complete no-no, for example, as I just can't walk in them, and some layered outfits are impossible, as they won't sit on my droopy shoulder). As I turned my winter and summer clothes around a few weeks ago, I found myself with a wardrobe full of unwearable suits and shoes. Over the past few months I've been spending the money I've saved on not commuting by train on some clothes that are still 'me', but that I am also physically comfortable in (tweedy shorts, wider skirts, easy to wear dresses etc). But this must stop, as my occupational sick pay has ceased and retrenchment is nigh! I enjoyed my year of not buying clothes, and perhaps I need another make-it-yourself period...I am also thinking of selling all my heeled shoes, which it is doubtful I will ever be able to wear again. In general, I am an inveterate sale-watcher, and my great weakness is for coats (of which I really have far too many).

Roisin Muldoon said...

I don't really keep close track on what I spend on clothes. I buy quite a lot, but most of it comes from ebay or sales, or the sample rail in the Fever shop when I'm down in London. I can't remember the last time I paid full price for an item! I will be cutting back in the next few months, however, in an effort to save a bit of money. I do wear all of my clothes, though. I don't divide them up into work clothes and casual clothes (although I do have a few party frocks that wouldn't be appropriate for work!) so I take some comfort in that fact :)

jessica said...

A couple years ago I was closely tracking what I spent on clothing, and I think I averaged $50-$75/month, including shoes, and shoes tend to be my biggest clothing expenditure since I have very finicky feet and really only wear those comfortable, flat walking shoes that grandmas favor [my grandma and I shop in the same store! So true]. These past couple years that may have ticked up slightly since I went from a 2 season to 4 season environment and had to fill in the gaps.

Shopping anywhere but thrift shops can sometimes give me anxiety due to the price/quality issue [either its crappy and affordable or well-made with a price tag that's through the roof]. If I splurge, it tends to be on items that I can't/won't make myself [pants, I'm staring at you!], on garments made from unusual or slippery fabrics, or classic-like pieces that fit so well I know I'd never achieve a similar quality if I tried it myself. I do have to tell myself to stop thrifting clothes that need altering though - that refashion pile is high enough as it is!

PS: love the purple blouse. Me wants!