The Shopping Ban / Frugal Fashion Thread

(825 Posts)
FrugalFashionista Fri 08-Mar-13 08:03:35

Tentatively dipping my toes in here ---
Do you love clothes, shoes, accessories, and beauty products - perhaps a bit too much? wink
Have you self-prescribed a shopping ban, are you on a strict budget, or are you trying to learn to shop more mindfully for other reasons? Are you a budding recessionista, thriftionista, frugal fashionista - or would you like to become one?
Would you like to do this with like-minded people, still looking stylish and up to date?

This thread could be a place for mutual support, inspiration and creative tweaks (planning outfits from what you already have; charity shopping, swaps, repurposing).

My personal goal: no more clothes, shoe or beauty purchases in March.

I'll tell you more about why I am here in true 12-step tradition, but we need a few like-minded people first <arranging chairs in a circle> wink

FrugalFashionista Wed 27-Mar-13 16:31:24

Also wanted to showcase the Completed Swaps board - a few items were deleted before making it here so I think we've found a new home to at least 25 items!

FF you sound far more stylish than me, I'm layered thrown together today as it's been snowing all day:
Grey short sleeved top (c.1996)
Black long sleeved top with a slit across the chest (my DSis gave me this in 1995shock)
Grey Crochet style 3/4 sleeve long top (£3.75 charity shop last week)
Cable leggings (January Tesco)
Floaty white long skirt (c.2007)
It's a bit eclectic, I'm going for BoHo chic.

FrugalFashionista Wed 27-Mar-13 16:42:37

Sorry about spamming the thread - white jeans/trousers are my SS13 planned purchase list and I think I just found mine - here. Will probably find a frugal alternative too...

FrugalFashionista Wed 27-Mar-13 16:44:19

SpareTime 1995 wins every time wink Sounds fab!

It wasn't even new thenblush, my DSis had it for a while before passing it on.

VioletGoesVintage Wed 27-Mar-13 22:36:31

Clothes from 1995 get a big tick from me! I only wish I had some of my things from the same era. Some of them, mind. I'm sure I can live very nicely without the hippy patchwork trousers, the enormously baggy Absolutely Fabulous t-shirt and the M&S petticoat I wore as a dress on student nights out......

Currently not particularly stylish here: knitted dress sandwiched between a polo neck jumper and a slouchy cardigan. Oh, and a fleece blanket thrown over the lot. But I am warm.

And on the subject of warm, I have made my first clothing purchase since this thread started. (Am not on a spending ban, btw, just trying to be very sensible and only buy what I need or absolutely love.) It's a coat - a waterproof, insulated one (am a bit hazy on our "name dropping" rules so won't give details) - in exactly the colour I wanted. I already had the non-insulated version - frankly it's been the best coat I've ever bought - and I've had my eye on the winter weight version for some time after tiring of non-waterproof puffa jackets. It was on the list to buy next winter but when one popped up on eBay, BNWT, at almost 40% off the RRP, I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get it. And I don't: it's fabulous and, of course, getting lots of wear.

Have also done a fair bit of mending - mostly of the DC's clothes - but have had to admit defeat on a button on one of my coats. It's a big metal one with a thick metal "loop" on the back, and it is proving impossible to get a needle through it without bending said needle beyond use confused.

scarlet76 Thu 28-Mar-13 06:13:34

Thank you BillStickers for posting about the top 10 items, many of which I already own. I am the lady with too many denim shirts so you are right with your question, 'do I have similar already'.
This has led me to thinking I'm going to set myself a little challenge: 10 items from my wardrobe which I will wear and accessorize in different ways for a month. Really want to focus on what I have rather than rushing out and buying fashion fixes as I am guilty of.
As it has been so utterly cold, I am constantly in my down parka style coat.

Levantine Thu 28-Mar-13 06:18:01

I just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I has been lurking and feeling that I have nothing to post, but I haven't bought a thing since it started and I feel calmer for it. Have a parcel to send back and then am done. I have loads of spring clothes and tbh if I lost some of the weight I put on this winter I would have something approaching a new wardrobe to wear in the summer - I have some lovely dresses I couldnt fit into at the moment.

Picked up Overdressed from the library and read a couple of chapters. I like her writing style and am enjoying it so far. It's got me thinking about my grandmother actually. She was a young woman in the 1940s and always had a very strong 'make do and mend' ethos. Her wedding dress was designed to be shortened afterwards and worn as an evening gown. She was always very elegant.

I think my yellow skirt will work thank goodness. It's Broderie anglaise, so the very bright colour clashes with the fabric in a good way (I hope).

I'm loving Pinterest for outfit ideas at the moment, using existing items. I'm experimenting wearing navy/black and white stripes with brighter oranges and mustards. Have lots of stripes in my wardrobe and lots of oranges but have never worn them together, always sticking to block colour or navy block + navy stripe. Yesterday wore a grey and navy striped jersey body con dress with a mohair pale orange jumper and bikers. Today I think it'll be rolled up relaxed skinnies/boyfriends, grey wedge ankle boots, black and white striped jumper and mustard cape jacket. <adventurous!>

Scarlet that sounds like a great idea, I think QueenofWhatever was doing something similar?

Violet I had patchwork trousers too, and a bag with little mirrors sewn in, and loads of velvet blazers from charity shops. I felt so confident about my style then though, even if I looked exactly the same as all my friends.

Levantine welcome. It's a nice feeling isn't it? I feel like I've stepped off a fast moving train that has no destination <deep>

VioletGoesVintage Thu 28-Mar-13 08:08:55

Oh yes, the charity shop velvet blazers! Wish I'd kept one of them. I might not then have spent £££ buying new ones some years later.

I too like the sound of the 10 items challenge, Scarlet. Will have a think about that this weekend. I also like the idea of reducing my wardrobe by 2/3, which is an idea I've gleaned from Jennifer Baumgartner's book "You Are What You Wear". I'm sure I could do it and my groaning closets, including the one in my eldest DC's room, would thank me for it.

FrugalFashionista Thu 28-Mar-13 08:40:12

I'm so happy about this thread! I have dressed much better and with much more imagination all month - also feel I've jumped off a fast-moving train Bill wink <very very deep> So far I'm absolutely loving it!

Scarlet grin #toomanydenimshirts. I have, erm, five and can totally relate. Inspired by you, I updated my denim/chambray shirt inspiration Pinboard. It's chilly, rainy and gray here, so wearing a denim shirt loosely unbuttoned over a white vest is a great way to catch pneumonia. Today's outfit inspiration here. Substituting silver for yellow and have navy loafers and boots (but actually wearing my oatmeal sheepskin houseboots once again). But the outfit works and is super comfy and warm! And I've never worn this specific combination before.

The 10 item challenge sounds great! I'll probably try a different approach for April - am toying with "no skinnies" or "no skinnies, boots and scarf" wink but have to think it through first.

Violet I always love your posts. A waterproof insulated coat sounds like a fantastic purchase. I spend a lot of time in very rainy places and love the comfort of knee-length rubber boots + long fully waterproof trench. (Wore both yesterday. I too have winter and summer weight versions.) Coming from a super miserable climate, I'm a total believer in functional and stylish outerwear. If the outer layers do their job, you can wear interesting things under them without feeling wet and cold. And I love colorful outerwear on gloomy days - my current favorite waterproof trench is bright red.

Fantastic job Levantine! Good luck with the weight loss!

NomdeOrdinateur I'm in awe of your cosmetic knowledge. Most of you have seen this great budget cosmetics thread (but if you haven't, go there - it's very frugal).

Today's makeup is very frugal. I found an abandoned Revlon eye shadow duo (dull two-tone brown - I dimly remember purchasing it about 10 years ago blush ). But it turns out that the lighter shade is perfect for my dark blonde eyebrows and the darker brown is a fantastic eyeliner (applied precisely with a tiny lipstick brush - I never use a brush to apply lipstick so another redundant item repurposed). I love eye shadow as eyeliner - such a soft, perfectly smudged line. And I also found an old hair smoothing cream that makes my hair fantastically glossy and flicky <can warmly recommend a makeup/beauty declutter - you never know what treasures you'll find>

PenfoldRocks Thu 28-Mar-13 12:29:36

I am on a bit of a high. I went to the local Mall last night to have a browse. I tried on many things - I bought...... NOTHING!
Very pleased with myself. I looked critically at every item I tried on and looked at to see if it was Perfect and couldn't be replicated by something else in my wardrobe - none of them matched my criteria grin

Sorry for the radio silence but have been offline with a horrible lurgy. I have barely left the house and all my outfits have been based on thermals as it's blinking freezing.

The top ten list was interesting to me because I have so few of the items on it. I was also intrigued that polo necks and cropped trousers were on there. Polo necks make me feel panicky so I never wear them and cropped trousers always seems slightly impractical.

I like the ten items challenge and I'll be interested to hear more about how you all get on. I'm getting to the stage of Project 333 where I swap three things in and three things out. My three new things are all from this thread: blue wide-legged trousers from FF, wide-legged jeans that fit great and are the perfect length from ChablisLover and also the GAP denim pencil skirt from ChablisLover.

Focusing on fewer clothes for the last three months has highlighted that I have plenty of tops but too few bottoms. They are things that I find hard to buy but these three things all gave me that instant love, love, love feeling.

I am definitely not an over shopper but a lot of my thoughts and feelings are similar. I'm the opposite and I just feel overwhelmed by it all and so don't buy anything. Probably why I've worn my M&S jeggings into oblivion.

Now much more importantly, we're going to Lanzarote on Sunday grin. What shall I wear? It's currently 24 degrees there (sorry!).

issimma Thu 28-Mar-13 14:15:14

Ah, the mid-90s. Yes to patchwork trousers, embroidered and mirrored cotton tops and bags, DMs, charity shop velvet jackets and floppy velvet hats. I often used to wear a black waistcoat with gilt buttons over a tight T and long floral skirt. Loved that boho look, but it's a million miles away from my style now. Tempted to have a 90s party grin.

Welcome new frugalitas.

FrugalFashionista Thu 28-Mar-13 17:34:58

I still love charity shop velvet jackets Issimma wink - found a lovely one last year.

Like the sound of Project 33 QoW. Might do that in the summer. I'm a maximalist by nature, but frugality is clearly taking over my life grin - I'm slowly emptying the freezer and storecupboards. I love empty spaces - we all have too much stuff, empty space, empty shelves, empty drawers are the true luxury these days.

And Penfold thanks well done!

Came here to share a fantastic DIY. I love cuff bracelets and have been thinking about the original quite a lot <shallow> Quite delighted that there is a DIY alternative.

Today's outfit is once again all old sale bargains apart from the leggings.

Black knitted dress with lace peter pan collar - £5 Primark
Black leggings - £3 Primark
Black fine knit cardigan - £6 Tk Maxx

Very pleased that I'm digging out things that I bought and haven't yet worn

Ah frugal, issimma and I will convert you to minimalism! It's the way to go - once you get rid of the stuff, there is so much more space in your brain which is so soothing.

There's a blogger called recovering shopaholic who's just about to start. It seems in the spirit of this thread.

VioletGoesVintage Thu 28-Mar-13 23:37:29

Grrr, new coat has had its waterproofing qualities tested by a carsick child. That'll teach me to pack the car better. Never, ever again will I put anything (of mine) in the footwell below a car seat....

Still, looking on the bright side, it was really only a dribble that seeped out of the vom bag and the hood caught it. And the coat is machine washable, thank god.

ChablisLover Fri 29-Mar-13 00:30:59

Frugal - love the lace cuff

Queen - glad you like the jeans.

Still trying to get a good clear out going but life and work have got in the way

Maybe this weekend

Have purchased three things
Some crochet hooks
And the silver linings playbook on DVD
And corygal Alexander wang jacket

Back for a frugal April - bills to pay this month.

FrugalFashionista Fri 29-Mar-13 06:09:09

Chablis frugal April here too! Have been thinking about whether I should leave this thread on Sunday (quite a few of the processes are inside-the-head and wouldn't want to become a preacher/killjoy). The swap jacket looked lovely, hope you'll really enjoy it!

But came here to post a quote by Isabel Marant - she sounds like she belongs here!
"'You want to look good but you don't want to spend too much time on it. I always go to things that make me feel comfortable. When I open my cupboard I need some clothes: jeans, flat shoes, a sweatshirt, jumper or t-shirt, a good jacket. I don't need some clothes to go to awards or whatever, because it's once a year."

(Reducing the thinking time is one of the big challenges I'll need to face soon.)

Poor Violet sad now your coat could be labeled vomit-proof! <my sympathies> DD2 is just like that too and we are facing a long car trip next week, she actually ruined one of her prettiest coats that way. Hope it can be cleaned!

QoW thanks for the fantastic blog recommendation. I read it through last night, it really resonates (and recommend it to everyone who has truoble closing the door of the wardrobe or has to resort to purges and clearouts). Back later with a recap!

scarlet76 Fri 29-Mar-13 07:42:01

QoW - great blog recommendation.
I can really relate to the feelings of freedom that minimalism brings.
Project 333 also looks good.
I think I have decided on my 10 items for April: blue skinny jeans, khaki slim trousers, black jersey pencil skirt, spotty dress, white shirt, breton top, grey T, cashmere cardigan, trench, leather biker.
I will allow myself free rein on accessories and shoes. Looking forward to seeing if it cuts down some of the thinking time.

VioletGoesVintage Fri 29-Mar-13 08:39:05

Yes, a very interesting blog, QOW. It reminds me a bit of a book I read ("Save Karyn", i think it's called) some years ago about an American girl who moved to New York and got herself in a huge amount of debt buying "stuff" to fit her "new life". Enlightenment only really hit when she lost her job and could no longer meet the minimum repayments on all her various cards. As well as coming up with innovative ways to pay back what she owed, she had a complete mind shift about how, where and why she shopped.

I can't help but think what a First World problem this is, this being possessed by our stuff (and I have to include myself here). And it's not just clothes etc, it can be anything: books (and, here, I am far worse than ever I am with clothes), art.....scented erasers, those neon haired trolls, anything, really. We just don't always realise how lucky we are.....which is rather sad.

FF, I hope you don't mean you'll leave the thread altogether. I, for one, haven't noticed any preaching and would very much miss your insights and book recommendations. And the Marant quote really resonates with me.

issimma Fri 29-Mar-13 13:41:51

great blog qow, great cuff ff.

March hasn't been that frugal for me, but I have plugged gaps and now have all the clothes I need. I do still have a wishlist - desirable rather than essential (raspberry converse, zara linen Ts) - but this will wait until summer, as April has to be seriously frugal. All for the greater good.

10 item challenge won't work for me so will stick to Project 33. Today am in a pin-inspired outfit (denim shirt, blazer, breton, skinnies uniform), but - shock horror - don't look like the model. Will blame wintery weather...

daimbardiva Fri 29-Mar-13 19:59:44

ff please don't leave the thread...your posts are always really interesting. We'd miss you!

I'm wondering if I could possibly be brave enough to have a no skinnies week...but the thought of it actually scares me I mean, what else would I actually wear?!

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