Frugal Follow-up

(594 Posts)
FrugalFashionista Sat 20-Apr-13 18:44:20

We've hopelessly lost the old thread. How are you doing ladies?

I need to reawaken the thread as I need to get back on the wagon. I decided to temporarily suspend my shopping ban - it's summery here and I've started wearing summer clothes and I decided to make some purchases now so that I can wear them all season long (in low 20s it's still a bit too cool for my routine sleeveless dress/bare legs summer look). Most of my old summer clothes are in great shape but this is what I needed to update them -

1. white jeans (have lots of denim shirts and blue tops) - straight-leg, non see-through wink
2. colorful printed cigarette pants (my wardrobe is mostly solid colors - I want to wear prints but not near my face) - found a pair in my favorite colors from MSMG <love>
3. sandals (bored of ballet flats and Havaianas) - black cage wedges, low-rent child-friendly version of the Altuzarra look
4. slingbacks (found a lovely two-tone white/taupe pair on sale)
5. a few bracelets to liven things up

I'm still looking for a couple of high-quality white or cream tops, scoop neck if possible. They seem to be the hardest item to find, but my refound Zara poly-viscose top is surprisingly versatile. Still thinking about a long and narrow snakeprint silk scarf in my best blues and also need to make a decision regarding nude/taupe courts (to go with my summer cocktail dresses).

Spring lasted for 3-4 weeks here and coincided with my 1-month shopping ban. By thinking a bit harder and digging a bit deeper I was able to find all spring outfits I ever needed without any spending! Summer will be around until the end of October so I hope that I will get quite a lot of wear out of my mix of old and new. But I think I'm almost done with wardrobe updates and might go back to tight-fist mode very soon wink

I am having another shopping ban in May. Going to top up my wardrobe with summer clothes over the next week or so and then have a ban for a month. I don't need much so I should be able to get my summer wardrobe sorted fairly cheaply. The thing I need most desperately is shoes and sandals so they are what i will spend the most on in hopes that they will last more than one summer.

Hello smile

Did the old thread die? (hopefully because everyone is 'cured' wink)

Frugal love those trousers.

I haven't been on a ban but trying to spend time planning purchases to fill wardrobe gaps. Everything was going ok until the Toast flash sale and I bought a pair of £5 trews. They were reduced to £5 for a reason - see through and unflattering. But not spending ££ to return so have slapped my wrist and will wear round the house as penance.

Currently on the look out for a properly waterproof summer mac. Have a couple on my list - need to choose.

Warm enough here to get my legs out. I love the simplicity of summer clothes.

scarlet76 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:35:58

Hello my lovelies smile
Frugal the white jeans is also a purchase I made this month and gave them a go with one of my many blush denim shirts. It works well.
Whilst my spending remains reduced, I have fallen off the waggon a little this month and need to get back on it in May.
The purchases I have mde this month have been considered and plug some holes in my wardrobe which should see me through til autumn: Tan leather bag which I can wear on the shoulder or across body (I had some John Lewis vouchers to put towards it which helped justify it), white 'relaxed skinny' jeans, black jersey maxi dress, blue cotton embroidered sleeveless top, sunglasses and a cropped cashmere cardi.
The only things I would still like is a cream pretty summer top (the holy grail), a cotton knee dress and a parka style light coat.
This month has been tough emotionally and I am recognising ever more that shopping has been a coping a strategy for me, a pick me up if you like. But of course the hit is only temporary.

Corygal Sat 20-Apr-13 20:50:04

I've reduced my monthly budget to a glorious 7.50 - bought some stretchy stripe cotton jersey that comes in a tube and copied a Cos bag dress.

The pattern turned out to be 'pillowcase with hole', with a couple of stitches to make the inter-esting folds - not exactly challenging - but looks rather good.

Wearing it tomorrow in the London sun, can't wait.

ShirleySharpeyes Sat 20-Apr-13 20:55:23

I am still lurking (so glad you are all back)... and trying not to spend, although the toast sale was my complete undoing - I spent £100 blush but did manage a good haul (jeans, swimsuit, bikini, two cotton jumpers) all of which I really like and of course can justify, so not too bad. I have also sorted through all my clothes and mended lots - I even got around to fixing heart shaped elbow patches on two of my most favourite jumpers... pinterest is a mine of info and ideas isn't it?

So now, I'm planning for a frugal May, and I'm determined that every time I think of something I need/that'll make life complete/wardrobe woes end etc I shall add it to my list (plus onto my 'want's' pinterest board) and if it ends up in a June sale, and I still want it and can truly justify it then so be it.
I know I use shopping as a quick fix and a diversion from stressful stuff, at least I recognize that now, I just need to not be so easily diverted! Lurking on a frugal thread really helps stop me shopping....

ChablisLover Sat 20-Apr-13 21:12:27

Very frugal may and June here.

Need to pay for holidays and discovered need to spend £300 to fix car to stop it rolling on hills even when hand brake is on!!! I think this is essential work! Could be £500 + if I need new brake pads too.

Plus have sil 50th birthday, other sil birthday too. 2 friends turn 40 with big bash staying in hotel.

Plus on holidays with in laws next month so may need lots of wine! And trying to budget for trip to outlet near here when there.

Plus would like to budget for summer rain coat - staycationing this year and after last years washout it could be seen as an essential. Cue a heat wave after this purchase. Funding or this is via eBay sales if people would bid. Lots of watchers but no real bids yet

Sounds awful lot when it's written down!

So frugal few months which run into summer hols with increased child care costs too!

CeeceeBloomingdale Sat 20-Apr-13 21:52:19

We've been having boiler problems then a whole load of swimming lessons, dance exams etc to pay for so I'll be on the frugal bandwagon for a while yet.

chanie44 Sun 21-Apr-13 09:11:23

My last few months certainly haven't been frugal, but I have gone through my wardrobe and made a list of everything I have so I can start to work out what i need to get.

scarlet76 Sun 21-Apr-13 09:20:35

Yes an expensive time of year. Downstairs bathroom toilet has sprung a major leak and I am awaiting a plumber which will no doubt come at a price. DS turns 10 next month so presents and party to be paid for. Then it's time to pay for the holiday and at the end of August is BIL's wedding. Determined not to rush out and buy new clothes for any of these events but use what I have

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 21-Apr-13 09:23:56

I've been buying more wisely recently, shoeaholics have helped a lot with that though, shoes were needed more than clothes.

River island are doing white jeans, I bought from them years ago and liked the jeans.

I have white boot cuts from gap, I don't like boot cut anymore and they don't sell on eBay so off to the charity shop for them.

Tk maxx had Calvin Klein dark skinny jeans for £30 last week.

DigWeedSow Sun 21-Apr-13 09:32:08

Hello again! April has not been a frugal month for me, after ruthlessly clearing out my wardrobe I've been filling in the gaps with things that I need to make it work.

So in April I have bought.......
Taupe linen/knitted biker jacket
Navy/ivory long sleeve Breton top
Neutral ballet flats
Leopard print ballet flats
Taupe sleeveless vest
And tempted by the Zatchels 50% off thread on here a pewter satchel blush However I haven't bought a new bag for 18 months (actually I didn't even buy that one as it was a birthday present!) so I don't feel too guilty.

In addition to this I need 2/3 t shirts and a pair of either dark denim or taupe jeans. Then working them into my existing wardrobe it should take me right through Summer. In theory that means I could have a frugal May, June, July and August, thankfully I have no special occasions or holidays abroad to buy for this season!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:59:38

When you look at Elle McPherson in the paparazzi pictures she looks great but it's all pretty basic stuff, cropped 3/4 length cardigan, little camisole underneath it, skinny jeans, ballet flats in black, oversized sunglasses.

What makes it look nice is that it all fits properly, its ironed, she has her hair blow dried and is all lovely and tanned and lithe.

FrugalFashionista Sun 21-Apr-13 14:46:37

Great to have you still onboard ladies <and sending you good plumbing/car repairs etc karma> I would like to have a frugal summer too!

Fluffy I'll give you a direct quote from an Elle McPherson interview as I thing she's a frugal kindred spirit - "Find a personal style by not following fashion trends. I have worn jeans and a white T-shirt with knee-high/cowboy/motorcycle boots, ballet flats and a cashmere jumper for twenty-five years. The shape of jeans changes and that's about it. I believe in comfort and consistency. There is something disquieting about clothing schizophrenia."

I'm ready to start another shopping ban right now. Buying stuff is boring; dealing with the clutter/returns/wardrobe editing even more so (it's super hard for me to let go of things - not sure why). Although I quite like some of my new purchases, I enjoy feeling in control a lot more. Let's have a modest goal and aim for a shopping-free week for starters wink

Linking to the old thread - Bleeding found it. Lots of good info on it so feel free to refer back.

I've embraced white this spring and while winter white is a great color on me the maintenance is starting to wear me out. I have a white blazer that seems hexed - went into a lot of trouble to replace its buttons; then stained it with biro; got the biro marks out with hairspray, but then noticed that there were yellowish watermarks; got them out by washing the entire sleeve; new yellowish water marks emerged, fetchingly in the armpit area confused. It's 100% cotton but the tags forbid washing - starting to understand why. Dry cleaners remains an option, but having it drycleaned circa every three days?

What are you wearing? I'm wearing one of my favorite transitional outfits (not exactly the paragon of style but comfy at home)

Refound floral skinnies from last summer (the only skinnies I still wear)
Old refound short white cotton tank
Cream loose-knit poly/viscose sweater
Silver mock-Tiffany chain bracelet
Sky-blue mock-ostrich ballerinas

I think limiting my shopping habits is a good thing for me, it stops me buying just for the sake of it instead of considering what I need and then buying to fit into my existing wardrobe. I've given away three bin bags full of things that don't fit/wrong shape/wrong colour. Most of it's gone to my sister and what she didn't want she's passed on to her friends. I have also started trying things on before I buy them which was something I never used to do. The shopping ban has come at the right time for me as the shops are full of pastels which just don't suit me so I'm saving my money until there's a colour theme I can work with.

FrugalFashionista Sun 21-Apr-13 15:19:08

OneLittleLady I'm a Summer but don't like the pastels either wink Do grown women really buy them?

During the last thread, I accomplished so many things I'm really proud of - for example I repaired a dozen clothing items and did mini clearouts.

Facing a vexing overcluttering dilemma again. A big chunk of my winter wardrobe is useful for cooler summer days and traveling - so I can't get rid of it all. I took out everything I was sure I wouldn't need until October, but didn't clear enough space for my summer stuff <too many dresses>

Promising to dedicate at least one hour of my time today to decluttering/trying to find solutions to this. The bottom line - I simply have too much stuff sad

I wore ancient bootcuts today shock more flares actually, with a pale yellow cotton knitted Chanel-esque jacket and navy vest. Until DD spilt a cup of coffee over me. Now just in house lounging stuff.

I'm pretty certain I'm in the Winter palette FF Summer and Autumn colours really do nothing for me, I get far more compliments and nods to how well I look when I stick to winter colours so that's what I'm basing any future purchases on.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 21-Apr-13 17:26:44

I'm on the lookout for basic vests, I've seen some in boden of all places but only in white and I want white and black.

I could buy two and dye one though.

I'm fed up of buying cheap vests, they don't fit well and their too thin. There, I've said it.

Very glad to see this thread back as I will be needing some support and inspiration. Haven't bought anything as such but had my colours done yesterday. Great day and I'd highly recommend it.

It turns out I'm a vibrant autumn and look best in rich, classy colours such as geranium, coffee, forest green and kingfisher blue. No black or white (not a great surprise to me as they only work for winters and I knew I wasn't one of them), and limited denim, not indigo which will be more of a challenge.

So I've been wearing a lot of the wrong colours - muted pinks, lilacs, greys. Having gone through my wardrobe last night, I realise that I now have exceptionally little to wear. Obviously I'm not going to chuck everything out over night and bulk buy a new wardrobe (not in the spirit of this thread!) but I'm going to have to plan carefully.

I need to go to the shops and try lots of stuff on which is not my favourite thing, but I know it doesn't automatically lead to me buying stuff. Realistically I'll buy some bits and pieces when AW is in the shops. In the meantime, I think maybe some dying, small bits of sewing and trying on different combinations.

Oh frugal thanks for the postage money. Glad you like the bag - finally!

FrugalFashionista Sun 21-Apr-13 19:08:21

Sounds great QoW - fantastic colors! I can believe it's an initial shock - it's a big change. I had my colors done two years ago. I'm a Light Summer and at that point I was wearing just black and bright red wink Getting used to taupe, camel, winter white and soft blues too some time grin Go about it gradually! If you haven't done so yet, also figure out your ideal clothing shapes and personal style before purchasing anything new (you'll see more of those colors in stores in autumn). That way you can avoid big and costly mistakes. And remember that Coco Chanel said three good outfits are enough for a woman wish I had taken her advice

For example: the standard advice for a newly color-analyzed person is "Buy scarves". Yes I did that too but it was a mistake - I'm not a scarf person at all. I need a couple of scarves to keep warm in the winter and one or two dramatic and opulent ones for certain outfits (preferably in smoky blue, a magic color that often neutralizes poor color choices), but they are not a daily necessity for me and I usually feel that they clutter up my silhouette.

The correct advice for me might actually be 'Buy a new bracelet'. We went out for an early dinner with DC and everything I wore was old stuff in neutrals (white jacket and top, blue jeans). The focal point was a new bracelet - it really made the outfit (bang-on-trend cobalt-magenta-pale blue ikat pattern chunky cuff) - total cost of the style revamp 10€, wish I'd always remember this hmm

I got started with decluttering - not easy, action items for the coming week:
* return everything that can and should be returned
* go out and buy some clothes hangers
* sort through and pack up all extra winter clothes
* storage winter boots

maybemyrtle Sun 21-Apr-13 19:32:18

Hello, can I join in? I lurked on the old thread and am so pleased it's been resurrected. Must rein in the spending as I seem to have given myself a free pass in March and April and it can't go on! I did loads of decluttering earlier this year and it felt great to have a leaner meaner wardrobe, it's amazing how quickly I've restocked blush...

So, I really like the gentle intro of a spend-free week. The only things that I think I'll need to buy for the summer are a pair of summer work shoes and a versatile summer dress. I need to lose weight find a good place that does alterations for existing items too.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 21-Apr-13 19:33:41

Looking after your clothes helps too, I bought a cheap pair of ballet flats for driving in that can fold up and go in the glove box so I don't get my naice shoes scuffed. Now I need leather cream to keep them looking nice.

This only works if you take the sweet rappers, petrol receipts and various CDs out of the glove box.

FrugalFashionista Sun 21-Apr-13 19:42:32

Bill a local socialite I see quite often <the glamour-by-proxy of my life> wink loves white bootcuts. She started wearing them again last week after a winter break. I think she combines them with sandals and a dark super simple top, sleek hair and a general super-groomed look.

Myrtle welcome!

Fluffy agree completely! Very difficult to look glamorous in scuffed shoes wink

QueenCadbury Sun 21-Apr-13 19:59:25

Hi all. Can I just say that queen looks fabulous in her new colours. I had mine done also and am a sprinter winter. I will definitely need to go shopping as although I have the right sorts of colours in my wardrobe they're just not the correct vivid jewel tone. I always bought muted tones as i was convinced i was a summer. just goes to show that you can't self diagnose on the internet. Like queen I can't replace it all overnight (oh, how I wish I could) but having seen what a difference the correct colours can make I'm desperate to get started! I had put myself on a shopping ban over the last couple of months but bought a cardigan that I was convinced would be my colour and now I'm kicking myself that it's not!!

VioletGoesVintage Sun 21-Apr-13 20:46:01

Oh, I really want my colours done too! Am fairly sure I'm a winter, partly because of the colours that I think suit me, and that I tend to get compliments when wearing, and partly because of what a colour analyst lady said when she gave a talk to my old NCT toddler group. It was funny to look round the room and see everyone "wearing" a scarf in their bleurgh colours (as diagnosed by the analyst). Mine was salmon pink. I look dead in salmon pink.

Have been spending money like water recently. Sadly (or perhaps not?), only £35 odd of it was on me. DigWeedSow, I too succumbed to this weekend's Zatchel sale. Managed to whittle a very extensive and expensive wish list down to one item: the gothic lace saddle bag. Can't wait for it to arrive! And very proud that I didn't just think to hell with it and order three. I would have done once. Am really hoping that making less frequent, more considered and more eagerly anticipated purchases will mean I get more enjoyment - and use! - from them. I definitely remember shopping being far more thrilling when I was an impoverished student than when I had a City worker's salary and could pretty much buy what I wanted.

Anyway, like another poster (*Chablis*? Sorry if that's wrong, am afraid of losing message if I scroll back to check) I've just spent a small fortune on car repairs. And shortly afterwards the tumble dryer broke....and then my shower....and both DC suddenly needed new shoes......<Sigh>

DigWeedSow Sun 21-Apr-13 21:57:31

Violet The Zatchel sale was too hard to resist wasn't it! To be fair though I have been wanting one for some time but couldn't bring myself to pay full price. I was sorely tempted to buy another but resisted, hopefully they'll be dispatched soon.

Very interested to hear about getting your colours done. I would love to get mine done, I know that my colouring is soft and low contrast but very neutral. I always thought that I was an Autumn as I have green eyes and chestnut hair however my eyes are grey green and my natural hair colour is mousy so I could be a soft summer. Pale muted colours suit me, I'm lost in dark colours and brights.

ShirleySharpeyes Sun 21-Apr-13 22:30:57

I love knowing my 'colours' - it makes charity shopping and places like TK Maxx far easier as you can weed out most of it as being of the wrong hue. I would recommend getting it done as I am sure it's saved me money in the long run, and my wardrobe is really quite together as a result. I'm saving for the style day next, which is meant to be equally revealing.

QoW I had my colours done over 2 years ago and I'm a dark leaf autumn, my best colours are dark brown, brick, olive, forest green and Kingfisher. I still wear indigo jeans as they seem to go with the rest of my wardrobe, and i have a drawer full, plus they are slimming and far enough from my face to not make me too washed out. I would love to wear denim shirts - but have excepted that I really don't look great in them.

FrugalFashionista Mon 22-Apr-13 09:19:33

Loving the color talk ladies!

It's a cold, dreary and rainy morning - today's outfit is not very imaginative
* camel merino v-neck (one of my hardest-working sweaters)
* indigo skinnies (I know, I know - but these are two years old)
* gray opaques (darned)
* navy suede loafers (hand-me-downs from my mother)
* new smoke blue/aqua snakeprint scarf (loving the opulence of of python print on thick silk)
* new steel bracelet

I'm a walking cliche in scarf, sweater and skinnies wink - and it gets worse - the new scarf is basically a retake of the classic MN scarf blush
Busy day ahead but feel good because made some progress decluttering last night and managed to do a big return this morning.
And a slash of fuchsia lipstick never fails to cheer me up.

Like Shirley says, the side-effect is of having your colours done is that discount/outlet shopping becomes a breeze.
The unwanted side-effect: I'm drowning in bargainous find - cumulative effect not so good.

What are you wearing today?

ShirleySharpeyes Mon 22-Apr-13 09:45:58

Cold and wet here - so wearing indigo straight leg jeans, rolled up so I can fit my fitflop polar sneakers on (not glamorous but warm and so comfy), teal long sleeved top and favourite sludgy green wool jumper - all favourite, easy items and worn very regularly. I'm working from home today and have a huge list to achieve (hence loitering on MN). Only reason to leave the house is to post 8 ebay parcels (yay! goodbye pile of stuff), and to take the kids to a swimming lesson after school.

teta Mon 22-Apr-13 10:17:28

Rather boringly i am wearing a navy crewneck with M&S indigo jeggings plus Hush leopard silk/wool scarf.Its a bright sunny morning here and we had a lovely walk to school.All the scented bulb pots are looking and smelling beautiful in the garden.
I have been really good this month and spent nothing.I ordered 2 dresses from Wrap earlier but have now returned them as they were utterly shapeless.I am rather tempted by a couple of things in the Toast catalogue though.Will think about them while i do my wardrobe sort-out and before i go to the gym.Also have to do some work for dh's company that i have already been paid for.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 22-Apr-13 10:45:10

It's cold here too:

Grey long sleeved t shirt, very tight fitting though not baggy.
Mid wash skinny jeans biker details
Black leather all saints jacket
Greige wool all saints scarf
Kurt geiger plimsoles in dark gold.

Are indigo jeans out? I like indigo jeans but dh is a style guru and says that a "brighter" denim is required now.

My basic vests are on their way, which is why it is now freezing. Sorry everyone.

VioletGoesVintage Mon 22-Apr-13 11:30:04

Quite warm here today. I'm wearing:

Raspberry bootcuts worn very long over burgundy converse
Navy and lighter blue long sleeved striped tee worn under
Slouchy elbow length navy tee, which is flecked with tiny dots of colour: raspberry, paler pink, blue
Huge bright pink scarf patterned with pink and green roses (from the same eBay seller as the MN scarf)
Blue bead bracelet

Wore a slouchy navy blazer when I went out earlier but was too hot!

DigWeedSow Mon 22-Apr-13 11:42:20

Cold here but the sun is shining! Day at home today catching up on housework and waiting for repair man who's coming to fix the tumble dryer (another broken one, what is it with tumble dryers at the moment!) so in old mid wash Gap boyfriend jeans and a raspberry striped long sleeve t.

Fluffy I'm another indigo jeans fan and see them as a classic colour denim, they might not be bang on trend but I don't think that they'll ever be completely out.

lurkingaround Mon 22-Apr-13 11:52:47

Hi all! Haven't been on MN for ages, life just got in the way of MN! I missed a lot of the last thread, just couldn't get the time. But I am having a quiet moment at work, and I logged on, delighted to see you all here.

My fashion buying ban ended too. Have made a few purchases, some necessary, some not-so-necessary, not helped by all the SALE ON emails. So tempting. I need to reign in again, cop on a bit.

So I just have 2 things on my list. Much like others, I really want a pair of white jeans, straight or baby boot. Good solid thick denim, no flimsy stuff. Def not skinny, sadlle-bag alert here. And sandals. And that's it.

Great colour and fashion talk here.

lurkingaround Mon 22-Apr-13 11:56:00

Frugal can I ask where is your lovely blue/aqua scarf from? Sounds gorgeous.

ShirleySharpeyes Mon 22-Apr-13 13:17:06

teta there was a toast code for 15% off mentioned on a thread yesterday - won't retype it here as don't want to be seen as an enabler! But I have been thinking about using it as well, although I realise mine is a want rather than a need....

teta Mon 22-Apr-13 15:09:51

Thank you Shirley s.I found similar items in my wardrobe and have now decided to be frugal and use the items i have already got.I love the toast khaki/orange/cream scarf.I have just found an enormous silk Peony scark in a puckered sari-like green/orange colourway that i can wear.I have also refound cotton/cashmere sweaters in green/teal/peach/orange that i can update with my jersey maxi/midi.I put all my Bretons away last autumn as i was fed up of them.Now they look pretty fresh.Tucked away were 3 cotton/cashmere grandad style bretons in red ,green and blue colourways[with a contrasting edging].They're lovely [but i am a bit too fat in them].Its my incentive to restart my diet.I have rolled up some old straight legged nydj jeans that are nicely faded as well to make some boyfriend jeans.On the earlier advice of this thread i have kept some flattering wide-legged jeans that are long enough to brush the floor[and have never been worn].I have enough spare clothes to restock an average shop tbw.

ShirleySharpeyes Mon 22-Apr-13 15:22:57

Gosh I wish I could delve into my wardrobe and find similar riches! I am looking forward to getting all the summer stuff out and re-discovering a few things - but I'm not convinced it is truly warm enough for some of my pretty blouses and cotton skirts, so stuffed in a cupboard it remains, until perhaps next weekend. I know I've put on a few pounds with this extended winter, so need to get back to doing the shred on a regular basis....and eating less carbs/more salads as I realise I won't be able to hide in layers for much longer!

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 22-Apr-13 15:40:29

If I find something I've forgotten I had in my wardrobe I put it on eBay because it means I didn't know what to do with it.

I found an all saints bag last week, hadn't got a clue as to why I bought it in the first place.

teta Mon 22-Apr-13 15:41:53

One of the advantages of living in Asia for 7 years Shirley[and access to the wholesale shops/warehouses].I think i have enough cashmere to last the next 20 years[if the moths don't get it that is].

FrugalFashionista Mon 22-Apr-13 15:42:10

Teta fantastic discoveries! I went through my shoes last night and noticed I had worn out three pairs over last year - two pairs of black ballet flats and one of blue flats. Decided to wear two pairs of white shoes to death this summer grin

Lurking my python scarf is Roccobarocco, purchased at an Italian department store (COIN). It isn't a brand I would normally notice, but the scarf was very good value for 50€ - the silk is thick and the print high quality and the scarf is almost two meters long shock. Not available online unfortunately.

Indigo jeans are a classic item so if they look good on you, do wear them! I'm not a big trend forecaster but for some reason skinnies are not very popular where I live. In fact they now seem to be the 'frumpy' choice in my neighborhood. The exception is camouflage print skinnies - red hot around here. Other colored jeans haven't really taken off, possibly because they (combined with an open-necked white shirt and loafers on bare feet) have for many years been a part of the local male summer uniform.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 22-Apr-13 15:50:30

Which country are you in Frugal?

FrugalFashionista Mon 22-Apr-13 16:24:17

In Italy. And I'm puzzled because Italians really, really love blue denim in general. Maybe they are just bored?

Napoleon66 Mon 22-Apr-13 16:35:43

Hi, I found the last thread last week, read it all and then could not locate it again, glad you're all back!

A little bit about me: In May I will make my last payment of a 60 mth debt repayment plan. In the last year and a half I started buying myself clothes (I hadn't bought clothes for years, except when i needed it- I couldn't because i didn't have the money, it was as though i felt i could trust myself again. During the last 5 years my attitude has totally changed towards money, I'm more mindful of it and know only too well its value.

In the last year, in particular, i have become more minimalist minded, I realised that i didn't like having lots of stuff - it wasnt necessary. Last year I culled my wardrobe for two reasons i) i was sick to the back teeth of the stuff i'd been wearing for the last 6 or 7 years, a lot of which was 2nd hand when bought, and ii) I had my colours done as a birthday treat (winter). I do not have many clothes but what i have all go with each other, suits me, I enjoy getting dressed in the morning and wearing them.

I also follow the MNV too as i love clothes, beauty and style. I love the Frugal thread and find it refreshing and calming.

Apologies for the long into...Thank you for great thread.

FrugalFashionista Mon 22-Apr-13 17:15:53

Napoleon congratulations - well done with debt repayments! <can imagine how hard it must have been>

Envying you Winters - you've hogged the best colors!

Okay, today is another Day 1 of a new shopping ban. It's so easy for me to relapse, I'm very good at talking myself into buying. And it's super hard for me to get rid of things sad But making progress in several small ways. I'm really happy with my low-cost beauty finds - the Revlon eye palette from ca 2004 is ace and my skin is better than ever! Enjoying the empties (have used up a lip balm!), trying to replace them with nothing (have lots of backups). Wish I could do the same with clothes...

I have a mixed relationship with trends. I'm a classic dresser and I need some trendy stuff. But I'm also sick and tired of the too-fast cycles - it's burning out fashion designers too - and closets and landfills filled up with tat (only a small fraction of what we donate to charity is actually resaleable - have you ever been to the recycling center and seen the scary mountains of unwanted clothes). More and more interested in personal signature style...

Just back from the Post Office as I was sending off eBay parcels. That's another £90 in our Paypal, but not for clothes yet as we still want to make another £250 for our holiday fund. I started ebaying in earnest when on the minimalist threads and we have between us made well over £2k. The amount of stuff we all have can be quite shocking - still haven't missed or needed anything.

But even if I did have the money for clothes, I'm not clear in my head yet what I would want to buy. Now I need new colours (and will be stalking shirley as her stuff sounds perfect for me), but it's also what style, personality etc.

Reading the 'You Are What You Wear Thread' has had a real impact on me. When I get some time I want to go back to it a bit more. It really made me realise that I don't buy clothes for my lifestyle which is fairly relaxed and sedate. But I like my lifestyle and would hate formal events (for me, that includes dinner parties, 'event' parties), so don't know why I've been buying things that are too smart for the life I have and want.

However I must go and buy some bras as mine are a state and, having been on the bra intervention threads, I am also wearing the wrong size. I also need to resort out my make up, but that's not a priority right now.

frugal I'm with you on disliking the industry of fashion. What I find so effective is looking at the materials - anything that is more than 30% viscose or polyester is not something I want to be wearing - that negates about 75% of the stuff in the shops!

And frugal, well done on sorting the returns as I know that's hard for you.

DigWeedSow Mon 22-Apr-13 18:08:26

Hello Napoleon well done on the debt repayment, like you I'm quite minimalist minded which helps in keeping the amount of purchases down. I do love clothes though and have found that I get far more enjoyment from a few carefully chosen coveted pieces than from multiple cheap quick fixes.

Frugal another classic dresser here although I sometimes worry that I play it too safe sometimes. In my case I think that this is partly to do with not wanting to make mistakes and buy things that I'll regret so I stick with the safe option iykwim.

Queen Interesting what you say about buying clothes for your lifestyle. As someone who never attends formal functions why then did I buy a full length Grecian style pure silk evening dress a couple of months ago! blush

FrugalFashionista Tue 23-Apr-13 08:58:20

Dig I love Marlien Rentmeester's blog Le Catch for keeping up with trends. I've followed her a while and think I'm learning from her how to be a less-boring classic dresser! She's an ex fashion editor, a mother who does school runs (roughly my age), a New Yorker living in LA, and I absolutely love her nonchalant but chic take on accessories.

Today is going to be super-stressful so I got dressed very quickly and lunch is coming from the freezer. Outfit is adapted from Le Catch - this exact thing (white roll-up jeans + cream top) without the jacket and substituting either taupe white-tipped slingbacks or black cage wedges if/when I go out. And I happened to find the exact copy of this rather pricey Wonder Woman bracelet featured earlier on Le Catch for 10€ at the local department store - it jazzes up the all-white outfit and edits out the lingering nurse associations!

The frugal part? Underneath, an ancient white nursing tank top; the light sweater is my rescued-from-the-recycling-bag cream poly/viscose Zara top (that has turned out to be probably my favorite top this spring shock ) and, atm, for wearing around the house, very old white slip-on shoes (one of the pairs I intend to wear a lot this year).

This basic outfit can be varied a lot with different jackets, bracelets, shoes and the occasional scarf!

FrugalFashionista Tue 23-Apr-13 09:00:13

Oh and Dig I have a grecian dress t

FrugalFashionista Tue 23-Apr-13 09:04:22

(sorry, fingers slipped on the touch screen) - have a grecian dress too, worn exactly once! sad I go to dressy parties every now and then but really don't need more outfits like that!

teta Tue 23-Apr-13 09:36:38

I also have a grecian dress in pure silk!This is so weird.Mine has just gone to the dress agency where they put a a £25 price tag on itshock.I have never worn it so there was absolutely no point in keeping it.But resale prices are really low.

FrugalFashionista Tue 23-Apr-13 09:43:52

sad Teta one of my main reasons of becoming more frugal is that clothes are such a poor investment in general! (Cars are a horrible investment but clothes even worse.) You buy something for £££ but it's resale value is £ or ££ and also a lot of faff! For this reason I'm trying to learn to purchase items that I really need and will wear to death/need to have forever!

OnTheNingNangNong Tue 23-Apr-13 09:51:20

Glad to see a revival of this thread as I fell right off the wagon blush

I dyed a skirt and dress last weekend to a navy blue which is really nice, feels like new clothes but for the price of Dylon.

I have spent a bit of money on some indigo jeans, and a later dress but had £25 off so it wasn't too bad. I've also spent on navy vests, belts and summery deck shoes.

I'm losing weight at the moment so most of the stuff I had is bagging wildly and I look hideous.

I need a lightweight jacket and a whole wardrobe for summer. I think I need to try a personal shopper in JL and resist temptation I have no idea what suits me still!

The weather is beautiful here, I'm wearing my dyed skater mini dress, black jeggings (yeauch) and I'll have my deck shoes when I do the school run later.

AphraBehn Tue 23-Apr-13 11:20:08

I'm so glad to see this thread back. I was just getting carried away with buying new clothes!

Like most of you, I have bought a few things in the last couple of weeks. A navy striped t shirt, a navy jersey maxi skirt, navy jean type things, a couple of other plain t shirts, tan wedges, a stone jersey blazer and two necklaces. I'm hoping that these plainer bits will prove more versatile than the pretty printed tops I seem to buy every year.

The only gap I can see is something to wear on those rare hot days when I have an smartish occasion to go to. The last couple of years I have felt really out of place at wedding receptions, christenings, parties, evening events because I've dressed for cooler weather and am not comfortable in what I'm wearing. Everyone else is looking summery and glam and I'm sweating in a dark dress or jeans and a blouse. I don't like strappy or sleeveless so my options are narrowed down quite a bit!

I'm watching a dress on ebay that would fit the bill, but haven't bought on ebay before so don't know what to do! It's up for a fixed price and has no bids. Do I bid the price now or wait until closer to the end of the auction?

AphraBehn Tue 23-Apr-13 11:31:54

I'm also fascinated by the talk of colours. I have no idea what my colour analysis would be although I do wear colour a lot. I thought I was some kind of spring/autumn hybrid but can never work it out properly from any of the websites.

DigWeedSow Tue 23-Apr-13 12:46:11

Forgive me ladies for I have sinned grin I decided to bite the bullet this morning and plug the gaps in my wardrobe so have ordered from JL
Navy fitted slub cotton t shirt
Ivory lace t shirt
Taupe metallic sleeveless top
Nude coloured undies

Along with some straight leg jeans from Gap, that is it, my summer wardrobe is now complete, I've been very careful this season in making sure that everything works together. I'm hoping that I shouldn't have to buy anything now until the Autumn.

Just back from yoga so sporting black yoga pants and a grey t shirt at the momentsmile

Frugal Thanks for the link to Le Catch, going to make a coffee and have a good read now.

QueenCadbury Tue 23-Apr-13 13:57:20

I went on a shopping spree yesterday and spent far too much but never intended on keeping it all. Since trying everything on at home with the rest of my wardrobe I'm keeping very little. Having my wallet of colour swatches works really well for me as I like the prescriptiveness (is that even a word or did I make it up confused) of it but also it really makes you consider your purchases more. Instead of thinking 'oh, that'll do', if it doesn't match the colour swatch then it goes back! Amazing how different colours can be in the light of the shop and the light at home.

I've just had a sort out and put my jumpers away and got my summer stuff out. I've been fairly ruthless with anything that doesn't work on me but also I've hard to get rid of a couple of things as they're years old and faded. What I can dye to restore colour I will but some patterned things will be in the recycling (I can't even see how people would want to buy them 2nd hand).

So I have less clothes but what I do have suits me and more importantly goes together. My next purchases will be accessories such as belts and jewellery as I've realised how a bit of colour can really help lift outfits.

I know my spending ban doesn't start til May but there's NOTHING in the shops I want to buy right now. Everything is either too short ( a 30 year old with a big butt in booty shorts? I think not!) or in a hideous pastel colour and will make me look like death warmed up. I don't even want much but there's nothing pulling on my purse strings right now. Seems like the shops have decided my spending ban starts now!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:05:56

I'm going to look for an online guide to colours, I can't afford to get my colours done.

I resisted the skinny whit jeans in tk maxx, they had gold metal work. Yucky or what?

DigWeedSow Tue 23-Apr-13 16:22:30

Fluffy try this site for an online colours test. Also lots of information here

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:24:11

grin I have just bookmarked that for later! After an abortive google search that just bought up Pantone colours.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 23-Apr-13 21:42:19

I'm a clear winter. Which is why mum put me in navy as a baby, everyone asked if I was ill if she put me in pink.

That's what I think I am too fluffy shame there seems to be no colours suitable in the shops at the minute sad

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 23-Apr-13 21:52:56

We always fall back on black though. Oddly the colours we are meant to have ie fuschia and purple I already have in my wardrobe.

I'm a cool winter, its all very confusing isn't it? I wonder if those colour swatches are on ebay?.

I have all the right kinds of colours already, I have always bought those colours, them being the same colours my mum used to dress me in. Seems my goth leanings have paid off for me grin

FrugalFashionista Tue 23-Apr-13 22:03:52

Ladies shhh - I like to shop with discounters (Yoox and Outnet and others)
because they seem to have a bit of every color season.

Sorry about not giving everyone personal feedback - I just finished working perhaps 15 min ago <crazy deadlines> Nevertheless it's fantastic to have this great peer network of like-minded people - thanks for your updates ladies, I'm enjoying every single one!

QC very happy that you are experiencing the same thing with colors that I have - isn't it really worth it! Also sending you good returns vibes - have recently returned truly bargainous Prada and Valentino shoes because they were not exactly right <moral high ground> grin

Dig and Aphra your purchases sound quite useful but do stop while you are still ahead of the game! wink I feel that I slightly overdid my summer purchases. Not many items but still probably more than I really need. <oh yes and I did eventually start feeling like a nurse in my all-white outfit - I put a cardigan on when I was feeling a bit cold and that was that - perfect night nurse attire>

Aphra if it's a 'Buy it now' fixed price auction you will just buy it whenever - no need to wait until the end of auction.

What I have really loved about these threads is the collective creativity and organizing --- looking at the back of wardrobe, discovering something old and resurrecting it and starting to love it again. Am looking forward to doing a bit more of that - restyling, revamping, relaunching - when my crazy work pressures subside a little.

Good luck with color self-diagnosis! Some seasons are super easy to diagnose but I could never decide on my own whether I was a Summer or a Spring. According to the very experienced color analyst, I'm a Light Summer - somewhere between Summer and Spring. My eyes are warmish olive green tinged with brown golden flecks - hair ashy blonde but also pale gold, skin neutral/ cool (true pale beige - neither pink nor yellowish). I mostly identify with Summer colors but seem to get the most compliments when I'm wearing Spring-toned lipstick or tops - coral and terracotta for example. My color analyst made me a personalized palette that has both Summer and Spring colors and yes I do love my watermelon red wink

CeeceeBloomingdale Tue 23-Apr-13 22:13:36

Good to see so many of us are still aiming for frugal. Just a reminder of our swap board - if it's not your colour why not swap it for something that is?

I picked up a truly baraginous lipstick today for a pound in a really bright deep pink. I was slightly worried that it was too bright for me, me being super super pale but after trying it out at home, it's just right and really livens my face up. I might go back for the still bright but slightly paler version tomorrow as that looked ok under shop light and for a pound, I think it's worth trying at home. I've decided that if I can't find clothes, I'll freshen up my make up bag as that seems to be an area I'm very behind in. I am so, so bad for keeping things way past their best and then having nothing to use when I actually need it.

teta Tue 23-Apr-13 22:37:44

I've self diagnosed myself as a soft summer.I suit pastels and most blues and warm pinks and soft whites.I do suit beige foundation but have naturally rosy cheeks and grey blue eyes that change colour with different eye make up and fair hair.I am pale in winter but am olive skinned in summer.Presciptives used to diagnose me as a summer-but my contrast colours were corals/apricots.I tend to use Clinique chunky lip pencils in the coral and red colours for a quick lift during the day.I really do think for me it would be a waste of time to have a colour analysis as even with my wrong colours i will wear an appropriate colour scarf next to my face.

DigWeedSow Wed 24-Apr-13 08:43:53

Good morning, DS has just gone to school so a quick catch up with this thread before I start work!

After yesterday's splurge I felt the need to redeem myself so have altered a jacket. It's navy in a lovely drapey fabric but it looked too boxy on me, every time I have worn it it just hasn't felt right. So by adding a press stud fastening, rather than leaving it to hang open it now has a bit more shape and will suit my shape (slim hourglass) far better. I also rescued a much liked t shirt from the throwing out pile. It had had a run in with some tomato sauce but after a bit of perseverance with the vanish it looks as good as new smile

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:03:13

I've been cursing myself, I threw a lovely black and white top in the bin because the colours ran and the white bits looked awful

I could have just used colour run remover on it sad

All this colour talk is fascinating, and great news on diagnosis Queens C and W. I'm on Pinterest (Bellerama) and keep seeing the most beautiful colours fly past from your boards - peacock blue, cobalt, emerald etc.
I love the intensity of winter colours.

I will get my colours done one day for sure.

Yesterday I wore a cream silk shell top I bought a while ago in an outlet village. It's languished at the back of my wardrobe for ages as seemed a bit too formal for my work and silk is an obvious no no with toddlers. Forced myself to wear it somehow this week so paired it with dark beige slim trousers rolled up, tan pointy flats and a simple black edge to edge jacket. Felt perfect for a sunny spring day.

Have just finished 'Overdressed' and it has certainly strengthened my resolve to be more frugal. The most shocking thing for me was learning about the amount of clothes donated to charity shops that end up in landfill in the end anyway as they remain unsold, and developing countries are becoming more particular about the style of donations shipped to their shores.

The book also made me think far more about textile processes - leather tanning creates toxic by products (look for vegetable tans if you're concerned) and although we think clothes can be recycled back into their constituent components, current technology does not enable separation of natural and man-made fibres, so a silk-viscose top is ultimately destined for landfill unless worn to rags.

A real eye opener for me, thanks Frugal for recommending.

Have a lovely day all!

daimbardiva Wed 24-Apr-13 10:59:37

I'm also pleased to see this thread back - I've been bad too! Fell for one of Boden's gift voucher offers and ordered two dresses and a bag. The bag is definitely going back as it's a clutch for a wedding and it is neither the colour I expected or a formal enough style. Haven't had the chance to try the dresses yet, but will only keep one, or perhaps neither...

I also had to order a load of new bras to try as none of mine fit now the baby weight is finally going...and somehow managed to order another TWO pairs of M&S jeggings - I already have 5!!! How can I break this addiction?! Have also ordered a pair of slim fit trousers in the hope of smartneing up a bit for work, without going the whole hog towards "workwear" iyswim.

Still feel absolutely in a rut tbh, and not sure how to break out of it...I was totally inspired by your saying you wear your party dresses during the day Frugal with ballet flats, and thought hmmm, maybe I could too...but then realised that you live in Italy and I live in rural Scotland....!

FrugalFashionista Wed 24-Apr-13 13:51:34

Loving your posts! Finished a big project well before deadline and as a treat am getting the rest of the day off...

Dig well done thanks rescuing two items - sounds fab!
For anyone battling with tomato stains, some hours or days in direct sunlight (I know, I know) will miraculously completely eliminate the stain (I learned this somewhere very hot where people tend to wear really sparkling whites - they explained that they did this back in the day in the interior when there were no washing powders - but they loved Vanish too wink )

Bill you are currently wearing my dream summer top - cream shell. That's exactly what I'm looking for!

Daimbar I actually spend several months per year in the very far north. Jeans and skirts are much more practical when it rains but I actually started my 'dressing up for everyday' routine while living up North (starting from gorgeous jeans and jackets and good knits worn with pretty shoes indoors, moving on to bright coats and good boots outdoors). Am going there next week for a few days and will definitely wear a dress for you (weather forecast: "60% chance of frozen mix").

OneLittleLady I love lipstick and haven't probably spent a day in the past 25 years without it would look dead

Teta my DD1 is clearly morphing from a Light Summer into a Soft Summer. She tans very easily too, has dark blonde/light brown hair and I just noticed that her skin tone and hair color are ultra close to each other these days (= Sarah Jessica Parker type colors for her). I'm a Light summer but coral is one of my very best colors - I guess because my personal coloring is a mix of cool and warm (cool/neutral skin, warm multicolored eyes, hair that is pale gold color at its summer best).

In fact wearing right now
A coral V-neck cashmere sweater (debobbled, several years old)
White straight-leg jeans (new, delicious with coral!)
Multicolored chunky ikat cuff, gold inside (new)
White slip-on shoes (about 5 years old)

With freshly blow-dried hair, the outfit feels low-key luxurious, a bit like resort wear (Palm Beach anyone?) wink

Day 3 of my shopping ban progressing well - might make it to Day 7 or even beyond this time...

teta Wed 24-Apr-13 14:21:33

I have succumbed to some leopard print hightops.i love leopard print [my kids hate it].This was an impulse purchase and they were heavily reduced and very comfy.The thing is i don't normally wear sneakers as i am only 5ft 3.So i will have to see whether they will fit into my wardrobe.Having perused pininterest,leopard sneakers look like a modern classic.Is this right?I'm also rather tempted to buy the plain white shirt from Hush thats on offer right now.I love lightweight cotton/silk mixes in tops because it drapes well.The very crisp traditional shirting does my body shape no favours at all.This is my first purchase in 6 weeks so hopefully i'm not derailing the thread.
Love the sound of your outfit Frugal.Isn't it interesting how children change so much in the early years.My children are of mixed asian/english parentage but they have all developed my english rosy cheeks this year[maybe due to the very cold weather]

FF I am a new convert to lipstick. I always thought I couldn't wear it due to the shape of my lips (thin upper lip but pouty bottom lip) but I realised I was just choosing the wrong colours. Now I've semi figured out what colours work for me, I know what to look for and have made a few considered lipstick purchases to brighten up my day to day wear without breaking the bank by buying whole new outfits.

DigWeedSow Wed 24-Apr-13 14:28:23

Frugal love your suggestion of bleaching out stains in sunlight, alas as I live in the North of England and we have yet to see the sun this year only vanish will do grin

Your outfit today sounds lovely and very glam. Since I no longer have to do the school run on the days that I work from home I have resorted to wearing up old clothes/fashion mistakes as I rarely see anyone. The postman must think I'm a right scruff but it does save my good stuff I suppose!

A frugal beauty tip that works for me is using evening primrose oil on my face. Over the winter my skin has dried out and I have started to develop all kinds of fine lines. I read on a beauty blog that if you pierce an evening primrose capsule and massage the contents onto your face it makes a really good moisturiser. I do it at bed time as it does leave a bit of a sheen and find that 1/2 a capsule is enough (the rest I rub into my shins) and it has really helped my dry skin. It might not work for everyone but if like me you already take the capsules (great to combat PMT) it may be worth a try.

I take the evening primrose capsules for PMT as well, I do find they help along with having the implant. Before I started taking them, I was in agony every month and that's no exaggeration.

I've been through my make up bag this afternoon and thrown out everything that smells funky, has an odd looking crust or is clumpy and unusable. I have plenty of basics left, just need a couple of eyeliners and eyeshadows for night time wear now.

QueenCadbury Wed 24-Apr-13 14:36:57

I agree, the sun totally bleaches out stains. If we ever have the weather to get the washing on the line.

For those of you doing your colours online,it's not always accurate. I pretty much always came out as a summer due to my blonde hair but am actually a winter. Online, you will hardly ever find a blonde winter.

IKWYM QueenC about doing your own colours but I've always stuck to the same colours so I'm fairly certain that I've got it right. I'll eat my own shoes if I ever have them done and I turn out to be a summer grin

Teta yes I think leopard print is pretty classic (leopard is a neutral after all wink) Leopard sneakers would go with everything really.

But damn you, now I want some gringrin

<backing away, thinking of my earlier post and leopard sneakers lying forlorn in landfill>

DigWeedSow Wed 24-Apr-13 15:46:16

OneLittleLady I was the same, in total agony. Thankfully no pain at all since taking evening primrose.

Still torn between soft summer and sort autumn colouring, even more so since reading that you never change your season only the depth. As a child I had white blond hair that gradually turned ash brown with a pinky beige skin tone and grey/green eyes. DS has the exact same colouring only with blue/grey eyes and is most definitely a soft summer.

I think that as I've dyed my hair for sooooo long it's skewed my perception and way back when there were only 4 colour seasons Autumn was the the one that I fitted into (green eyes, rich warm toned hair). Back to the drawing board for me I think!

I know I'm now biased, but I'm not convinced you can self-diagnose your colours online. I did loads of different tests described on blogs and each one brought me out as a a spring or possibly a warm summer. I sort of knew it wasn't right, maybe that's partly why I went to have them done properly.

I'm a vibrant autumn and she spent quite a bit of time double checking I wasn't a spring, as I'm close to the line. But we could all see it as the spring colours just made me look a bit washed out. Her rule of thumb for me was expensive, classy and it's too spring if it looks a bit cheap which is spot on.

Also QueenCadbury is a natural blonde, but definitely a winter. I've yet to see an online guide that says that. I think they place too much emphasis on hair and eye colour. The other women with us had that slight Irish thing, pale skin and dark hair but was a spring. When you see the colours draped in daylight, you really get a sense of what works and what doesn't.

Completely agree with getting stains out by hanging in the sun. DD was in washable nappies and all those poo stains came out, so think what it can do to your clothes!

Clothes wise I've still not bought anything, but that's not unusual for me. I tend to get a bit paralysed and then can't buy anything at all. However I still had a wardrobe largely full of benchwarmers before starting this.

Oh, yesterday's outfit was more post-worthy than today's. it was ChablisLover's denim flares with orangey red ballerina pumps. On top I had a coral lace White Stuff vest, a deep purple skinny rib lace-edged top from Jigsaw and a blue velvet Monsoon blazer, topped off with a slinky Missoni-style scarf from Accessorize. Unfortunately I was still too cold, as there's a bitter wind here in the South West. Today it's sensible tights and boots yet again.

FrugalFashionista Wed 24-Apr-13 16:56:08

I think some seasons may be easy to self-analyze but it get's trickier if you are not a textbook case. I've actually done both. I became familiar with color analysis around 1989 when I was living Stateside. Someone there had been diagnosed Winter and it had transformed her life (she found bright lipstick) so she gave me the CMB book. Back then it was just 4 seasons and based on the book I knew I was some sort of summer but it didn't fit completely and I found the pastel shades quite difficult, less flattering than some Spring shades. (I often get compliments when I wear coral and terracotta but never when I tried to wear pale pinks - felt like an oversize baby in them.) I used the palette for a few years but then got bored and started experimenting with everything else until I completely lost my way. I finally saw a color analyst (not in the UK - she's a blonde winter too!) two years ago and it was a revelation - she had used many different color analysis systems and said that she had started using a system the has hundreds of slightly different palettes, kind of like going bespoke after buying clothes in S, M, L or XL. Mine is 'Light Crystalline Summer' and I think it's spot on (a couple of shades on it are horrific - mauve anyone? - but I'm happy with most, particularly the bright reds and greens. If you want to see some of the tailored Summer and Winter palettes, check this site). I miss black and still wear it. Cool burgundy, rose beige and taupes were totally new territory for me and I also found my best neutral, smoky blue.

I keep my palette on my iPhone for quick reference.My MIL has had her colors done very cheaply at the local community college, she's a Spring and I can see my DH is a Spring too. (He looks fantastic wearing yellow and bright pastel shirts.)

Re: leopard print shoes as a basic wink, I bought a pair of ponyskin leopard flats 2-3 years ago from Zara and have worn them to shreds. If the rest of the outfit is very plain and simple, say a black or white top worn with jeans, they give it some individuality. But I've grown a bit tired of them and have started preferring my mock ostrich leather flats - and will probably move on to snakeskin wink A bit of exotic skin is like Vitamin C, no?

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 24-Apr-13 17:13:00

Fake snakeskin frugal?

FrugalFashionista Wed 24-Apr-13 17:42:50

Yep, always fake snake in shoes! I have a bit of real python in my bags disclaimer, I've eaten snake meat too - tastes like chicken like nearly every other un-PC meat out there and it's an incredibly supple and delicate material - not sure what to do if one of the scales falls out. If someone else is having similar First World Problems, here is a good care guide. Will probably need to buy DYO Reptile Conditioner hmm
I do realize I sound like a bizarro fetishist blush

But there are weirder exotic skins still... I've heard about leather pants made of salmon skin and here are tilapia (=that cheap and muddy tasting freshwater fish farmed in Africa) Manolos (saw similar but cheaper fishskin shoes recently on Yoox). And, ahem, when I saw small sleeping crocodiles in the zoo my first thought was that someone had accidentally dropped her purse there - almost rushed out to get it before realizing that it was the real thing wink Alligator tastes like chicken too

I've never ventured into anything snake skin print be it clothes, shoes or bags. It's never really appealed to me. I like a bit of leopard print but snake skin print has just never been on my radar.

FrugalFashionista Wed 24-Apr-13 19:24:15

I agree OneLittleLady that snakeprint overkill can look pretty bad roadkill but I love it in small doses. Most of my snakeskin items are dyed. I do have a pretty pair of natural-toned faux snakeskin ballerinas that I should be wearing much more often...

I just praised Le Catch yesterday and in return she is showing an outfit today that makes me want to walk to Bermuda triangle of dangerous shops to try on the jacket and break my shopping ban. But I won't. At least not right now wink

QueenCadbury Wed 24-Apr-13 20:37:35

Wish more people would eat snakes and then make them extinct. I'm utterly terrified of the buggers grin

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:03:35

Well, my boden tops arrived. Total tat so back they go.

I ordered 3 Zara tops, white, black and ink blue. I just need skinny white jeans and I'm done.

CeeceeBloomingdale Wed 24-Apr-13 21:26:07

I'm an animal print whore at the moment. Since I decluttered by wardrobe leaving pretty much just neutrals the the amount of leopard, zebra and snakeskin pieces makes up a large proportion. I've recently self diagnosed my colours and have no doubt but I seem to really fit the stereotypes. I already was drawn to 'my' colours and know they look better on me. A colleague at work has a very similar colouring to me and always gets 'our' colours right, I think I play it too safe much of the time. I also ignore the fact beiges and browns aren't great on me as I like them so stick a 'good' colour close to my face with a scarf.

I've spent the last week or two by sliding back to old habits and wearing old and tired clothes. I've promised myself I'll make more effort for the rest of the week, even if it's just the clothes as make up is normally a stretch too far!

Beiges and browns are rubbish on me as well CeeCee I love them but they really do nothing for me. I have whittled down my browns to two cardigans and one dress. I gave everything else in those colours away or to the charity shops. My sister took the bulk of them and they look fab on her.

teta Wed 24-Apr-13 21:45:19

My dh is terrified of snakes too.He once had a snake fall on his head off a tree in his garden.I should imagine the Italians are not scared of a bit of skin,or fur for that matter.Isn't Italy the place where you go for beautiful shoes and handbags?[and clothes for that matter].My dh bought home stingray purses once as they were a specialty in the area he had just visited.
Bill i don't want to encourage you to buy more things.These leopard sneakers may end up going back.Maybe they have been arround a while and i am a late adopter of this particular trend but so be it.If they suit me i will keep them and everytime i look at them they will cheer me up.I like the look of them with block color black,marl grey or white with indigo denim.
Regarding colour analysis i'm pretty certain on mine.I tend to lighten my hair in summer[highlights] and when i tan i think i veer towards the colours in a light summer like khaki and rose.Is it possible to move from a soft summer towards a light summer with a change in seasons?
Incidentally has anyone had kangaroo?It tastes like steak,not chicken for once and is quite delicious.

QueenCadbury Wed 24-Apr-13 21:50:41

teta I'm going to having nightmares about that now grin. I'm hoping that didn't happen in the uk?

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 24-Apr-13 22:02:49

I've eaten ostrich, very dense meat a bit like venison in taste. I'm vegetarian now.

teta Wed 24-Apr-13 22:11:27

Oh dear,Fluffy,was that because of the venison?No,Queen it happened in a far off land,a long way from dear old blighty.So don't worry.I thought the only snake that can hurt you in the Uk is the adder?[and that used to be in the south mainly].Though i might be wrong about this.

FrugalFashionista Thu 25-Apr-13 09:53:28

We had a poisonous snake entering our kitchen yard when we lived in the tropics and DD1 ran toward it confused

CeeCee I think reporting my daily outfit here makes me a bit more creative - would it help you?

I'm enjoying my new formula - the white jeans were probably a good purchase because they help me to wear clothes that might normally not get worn - pale sunshine today, a bit cool indoors so still dressing transitional:

White jeans (new)
White leather slip-on shoes (old)
Teal blue merino V-neck sweater (from 2 years ago, rarely worn)
Blue/aqua silk snakeprint scarf (new)

What's the weather like where you are atm and what are you ladies wearing?

teta Thu 25-Apr-13 10:37:18

Sunny n cloudy here but mild.Its market day today and i am going to buy a big bunch of scented flowers for the kitchen table.I am still in my gym kit but will try and dress more creatively later.

CeeceeBloomingdale Thu 25-Apr-13 13:25:00

I'm not sure FF, yesterdays jeans and a smeared top courtesy of the two year old could be repetitive!

Today it is raining and I'm getting the boiler fixed between school runs. I'm wearing indigo skinnies, a grey slash necked long sleeve tee with a grey ombre leopard print scarf. I have a tinybamount of makeup on which is progress (blush, powder, grey eyeliner and lip gloss). I'm letting the look down by wearing a navy duffle with a hood and black knee boots on the school run though!

DigWeedSow Thu 25-Apr-13 15:48:14

Hello, dull and rainy here today with temperatures due to drop further, I might be getting my jumpers back out tomorrow!

My JL order arrived today and was very disappointing sad

The lace t shirt was a very strange fit and huge around the bust area, I'm a 30f and ordered a size 10 so should have filled it however it gaped horribly around the top and sizing down would make it too small around the hem.
The navy t shirt is ok but has shiny marks on it like the ones you get from ironing something at a too high temperature!
The taupe top is more of a nude colour and I look horrendous in it, nude is a really bad colour for me.
The undies are ok grin
All in all a real disappointment, however I do think as a result of this thread I am getting more selective about what stays and what gets sent back.

teta Thu 25-Apr-13 15:52:49

Wearing now:Indigo skinnies,Orange cowl neck cashmere sweater with drapey tulip/cape sleeves,sparkly fitflops and navy parka with leopard lining.Not the height of sartorial splendour but comfy and colourful.The Leopard hitops have arrived.They look lovely-bronze coloured printed leather and quite a subtle pattern.I do have a confession to make though.They are Fitflop trainers and are so comfortable.I can't walk up and down my hill in high heels anymore.

FrugalFashionista Thu 25-Apr-13 17:54:43

Teta your outfit sounds fab <likes>
Dig do return sub-standard stuff - we all should!
CeeCee yy to having made a bit of effort.

An article on low-heeled shoes from NY Times Style pages. Personally, I don't find them frumpy (if fashion means red soles and platform stripper shoes, count me out, plus most women can't walk properly in stiletto heels) - loving the shapes. They are so sleek and modern in a 1950s and 1960s optimistic sense of modern grin

Cooking pesto from scratch (one of my favorite spring meals, so fragrant), wearing old golden Havaianas customized with tiny white enamel butterflies - they look great with white jeans.

foxysocks Thu 25-Apr-13 18:10:27

where are your white jeans from, frugal? i still haven't managed to find the right pair for me. lots have gone back!

am doing well overall with my targeted list this year. have found and ticked off some great items and, most importantly, i absolutely ADORE everything i have bought smile

FrugalFashionista Thu 25-Apr-13 18:53:20

Foxy J Brand pencil leg (very slim straight leg) on sale on Yoox a couple of weeks ago - I also tried lots and went for the thickest denim I could find as I hate see-through white. With these, you could wear black knickers and nobody would know grin I bet Zara has good contenders too, found good colored straight-legs there last year.

Many premium denim brands have started mixing cheaper fibers (say high quality viscoses like tencel and rayon) into their jeans. My long and loving relationship with MiH ended when I tried on the first fabric mix batch. Some premium labels even overdose polyester; you'll also find that a high dose of elastane/lycra will make jeans strangely shiny.

Someone I know works in a jeans store and a few frugal tips from her: if you want the pair to retain its stretch, never use fabric softener, it kills lycra (as do warm washes). Wash as sparingly as possible (obv not possible with white jeans) - air them instead. If you need to shorten them, wash them first, an average pair will shrink 1cm during the first wash. She has good access to all imaginable brands but prefers Cheap Monday; Frame Denim is apparently the new 'it' label.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 26-Apr-13 07:09:16

So that means that really fab softener is also damaging other clothes with elastane then doesn't it? Time to buy some white vinegar for my nice stuff I think!

CeeceeBloomingdale Fri 26-Apr-13 07:16:32

I never use fabric conditioner and can't say it makes the clothes any less soft and does seem to make clothes last longer. The washing machine drawer doesn't get all gungy either.

DigWeedSow Fri 26-Apr-13 08:56:47

Another one who doesn't use fabric conditioner, in fact I've recently had a go at making my own laundry powder and can report it does just as good a job as any I've used before.

At last the sun is shining here today and I'm just getting ready to pop out to the shops (and post office to send back returns) to pick some things up for DS, he's going to Paris next week. I am sooooo envy

Today I'm wearing
Dark blue skinnies (recently revived thanks to dylon)
Taupe vest
Stone linen biker jacket/cardi
Leopard print ballet pumps

Have a great day everyone

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 08:57:00

We've been fabric conditioner free for about five years too and don't miss it. Lycra is a tricky fiber, sensitive to heat and sunlight and UV - bleach is particularly bad (but oxygen-based whiteners/brighteners can be used). Vinegar is a good natural color brightener.

Facing a busy day so wearing a cookie-cutter outfit - the convenience of formulas:
White jeans
Bright green (think St Patrick's) cotton V neck sweater (last year, nearly unworn - it didn't work with blue jeans)
Multicolored green-red-blue-white-yellow Madras check scarf (several years old, very preppy, haven't worn it much)
Steel cuff bracelet (new)
Golden Havaianas (old), to be replaced with white or tan loafers (both old) if I go out.

White really work hard with my existing wardrobe! I think I love white jeans because they add contrast - green-denim blue or green-gray are very low contrast combinations that can look a bit dull in the high-contrast bright sunlight. Green-black tends to look tawdry, whereas green-white is dazzling. I find that bright sky blue is a good summer neutral jean color for me as well - fantastic with white and watermelon for example. Will need to wash the white jeans tonight <withdrawal symptoms>, so will definitely explore other options tomorrow...

Teta the leopard hitops sound really nice! I love bronze in shoes, it's an often overlooked shoe color that can look fantastic. My daughters were playing in my shoe closet and found a couple of pairs of silver and bronze jeweled sandals I had forgotten about. As soon as my feet have picked up a little bit of color (this is what the running capris are for) I will start wearing them...

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 09:37:22

Sorry about spamming the thread but Recovering Shopaholic has another great post. If you are into clothes-self-psychoanalysis wink well worth reading and maybe even charting your favorite outfits.

teta Fri 26-Apr-13 10:19:23

Yes,i do think Recovering Shopaholic talks sense.I have some clothes that are favourites [especially summer linen shirts/kaftans/dresses]and i pull out every year.There are lots of discounts on at the moment and i was tempted to buy a few things.I had to remind myself that i already have similar items in my wardrobe.For some reason i'm always really tempted to buy duplicates.I've also just read her post on shopping more with weight/shape changes.I do this to make myself feel better and anaesthetise myself.Even if clothes look awful[because i'm so fat] i will buy scarves in multiples.
I have a beautiful enormous creamware jug full of lilac and pink double tulips in front of me.Plus a small celadon jug stuffed with pink hyacinths for scent.Inspiring.

Is it just me, or are a lot of Recovering Shopaholic's clothes actually not that great? Considering she's spent so much money and works as a stylist, I find a lot of them quite boring and think they don't really work for her shape.

I know it sounds a bit judgey, but that's not how it's intended. It's almost as if, by her own admission, she's become so caught up in the the process of shopping than the clothes themselves are almost incidental.

I kinda felt that way about her clothes too QueenofWhatever I think it's a common problem with over shoppers though, I know during my worst stages of over shopping, I'd buy the same things over and over again because I somehow forgot that I already had half a dozen of the same thing in my wardrobe already.

DigWeedSow Fri 26-Apr-13 16:20:18

I thought exactly the same thing and find the outfits she posts quite underwhelming, she talks sense though.

Teta your flowers sound lovely, spring flowers are my favourites and I love the scent of hyacinths.

teta Fri 26-Apr-13 17:10:46

Americans dress very differently to the British i think.The clothes seem terribly old-fashioned to me.I'm shocked at the number of people who don't use fabric conditioner.I love it,as it makes clothes smell so nice especially when they are drying indoors[it also disguise the smell of muddy spaniel].But then i still use Johnsons baby bath on my kids, because i love the smell<of innocence>,as well as the baby fabric conditioner.
Frugal i like the sound of your outfit. I also wear a lot of green Fruga lbecause Its such a good colour on me.I always wear it with indigo or faded jeans though or a favourite pair of wide legged white linen trousers from Warehouse that i've had for years.The contrast issue is interesting one.
Spring flowers are my absolute favourite too.We have got numerous pots of scented layered bulbs all flowering at the moment in the garden,and they just smell delicious[especially the hyacinths].

I'm so envy at all your talk of flowers. I live in a first floor flat so no garden to grow any and I can't have any inside as the kitten keeps eating them and then vomiting sad

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 17:13:49

I agree ladies! Poor Rec Shop - she is gorgeous and shopping has been a major focus in her life, but the clothes look like the opening chapter of 'Overdressed'. This is where you see the point of guest wardrobe editing - she has countless multiples, but most of them are formulaic and pointless and I think she has a tendency to pick stuff that is too 'old' and shapeless for her. An outsider would get rid of all that in an hour and explore a couple of alternatives (I'd try shorter skirts, less loose trousers, better materials and get rid of the b&w chevron stuff - maybe also arrange her lovely long hair in a different way - and adopt a few trends!). But she sounds like a genuinely lovely and thoughtful person and I admire her courage and insights and great writing. Not many people have the guts to talk openly about these processes...

A scary thought for everyone - if someone catalogued your wardrobe, would it look like the real you?

A friend's mother recently died and she had to clear out the apartment and sort through the belongings. She said the saddest thing was finding half a dozen identical black quilted jackets with tags still on sad

How sad FF sad it was hard clearing out my mums wardrobe as she had so many lovely things that in the end she couldn't wear as the cancer had just brutalised her to the point where she couldn't even lift her head to drink sad

DigWeedSow Fri 26-Apr-13 17:34:50

OneLittleLady sad at your poor kitten, my cat got really ill last year after licking lily pollen off her fur. She fine now and is curled up on my knee as I type this. I would quite happily give some of my garden away at the moment as it takes up far too much of my time.

FrugalFashionista Fri 26-Apr-13 17:51:19

OneLittleLady your poor mother sad

Teta your tulips sound lovely <my favorite flowers> I've lived in many parts of the US and agree that small town America can be a fashion wasteland all about Old Navy and Forever21. But like anywhere else, you can find some of the sharpest dressers on this planet in certain cities. Incidentally New York crosstown traffic killed my high heel habit - it was faster and more convenient to walk and I've preferred low heels and flats ever since <frumpy>

Re the green-blue contrast, sunlight is different here: the Mediterranean sun loves brilliant colors and didn't Diana Vreeland say that pink is the navy blue of India? wink I can't do the ultimate contrast, b&w, because of my muted coloring, but love pairing white with brights (learned that in the tropics - nobody ever wore black there, it just looked off - white and khaki were the best neutrals there). In the North, light is softer and more nuanced contrasts can work really well.

We just had a small sandstorm. It rained dirt, literally confused <new white jeans were not drying outdoors>

I like to wear brights with black if I'm honest. I carry black off better than white I think and I'm most comfortable wearing black with just a splash of colour. I wear black even in the heat of summer!

thanks for the sympathies FF it was a very difficult time. Mum's at peace now so I can take comfort knowing she isn't suffering anymore.

DigWeedSow Fri 26-Apr-13 17:58:36

Sorry cross posted, I can't begin to imagine how hard that must have been OneLittleLady

Would my wardrobe look like the real me? Hmm interesting, I think that my wardrobe doesn't reflect my creative side and is possibly a bit more conservative than I feel I am, however I'm not a girly girl and the range of colours and lack of skirts/dresses reflect this!

I think my wardrobe would look like the real me. I'd say it's a fairly accurate reflection of myself. Quirky but not over the top with a touch of classic in terms of shapes of things. I'm quite a quirky, creative person and I think my clothes reflect that smile

thanks dig

VioletGoesVintage Fri 26-Apr-13 20:18:39

Gosh, yes, clearing out someone's things - clothes included - after they've died is such a difficult thing to do. I remember helping my mother do my father's, and every item, no matter how mundane, seemed so loaded with memories. It really made me vow not to leave too much stuff for my own DC to deal with after I'm gone. Not sure I'm doing terribly well at that yet....

Made an unplanned purchase today but it is (a) lovely and will be worn lots and (b) cost less than I made on eBay last weekend. So that's ok, isn't it? (Seeking enablement here, obviously!)

Not 100% sure if my wardrobe reflects me. I think it does - well, all the bits I wear, anyway wink. Seriously, I am really trying to get rid of the unworn excess. I went to the tip this week with a carload of garden waste (my own composters had reached capacity and, really, what are you supposed to do with 40 odd decaying bamboo canes left by the previous owner?) and was quite taken aback to see piles and piles of clothes. It had all been separated out for recycling or other reuse but, seriously, there was so much of it. Such waste. I know we can't all always buy less buy better but, goodness me, it's got to be an aim, hasn't it?

teta Fri 26-Apr-13 23:00:02

Some insightful and thought provoking conversations tonight.Violet if its cost-neutral and something you will wear a lot,its ok.Sorry to all the posters who have had losses.Clearing out sounds so incredibly difficult.Interesting concept about wardrobes reflecting their owner.I think mine will just reflect my schizophrenic tendencies,changes in size and circumstance and climate.Colours are so much more vibrant in the tropics compared to the uk.I had a lot of clothes i never wore in the uk.In contrast most of school uniforms in parts of Asia are pure white[must be a nightmare for the parents].In the business capitals though, dark colours are always worn,even in the burning heat of high summer.Lady can you fit a window box?.Or failing that those wall mounted plant pots?Even when i live in a flat i grew bourganvillia[sp] on my balcony.

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 09:50:40

Thanks for your very thoughtful post Violet! <shudder thinking about polyester clothes in a land-fill - do they take 400 years to decompose?>

Day 6 of the new shopping ban, and no shopping urges at the moment. I love fashion, can't help it, but will try to limit myself to restyling looks from my existing wardrobe. The ultimate aim wink is to gradually wear out the excess and end up having a functional and streamlined wardrobe to save DDs from a lot of grief and heartbreak when I'm gone.

My very stylish and fashionsmad mother stopped buying clothes about a decade ago - she had a walk-in closet and a basement and a full wall of wardrobes full of mostly unused clothes. She realized that her plan to hand things down to me was backfiring - we are very different sizes and I can't wear her glamorous 1970s open-toe stilettos and 4" heel boots.

Not feeling particularly stylish today. White jeans (have just remembered that they were my mother's signature look in the early 1980s - I feel very cozy and maternal in them - 'mumsy' in the best possible sense) are in the washer and I'm wearing blue-toned floral skinnies with a coral cashmere V-neck sweater and Havaianas and feeling frumpy. The silhouette is all wrong - can't shake the long johns associations and the top is too slimline. Will need to do some ironing and wardrobe organizing to find something nicer to wear...

It sounds great OneLittleLady that you have a wardrobe that reflects you <aren't you a Winter - you can wear black!>

I'm working on a wardrobe that is more me... <the problem being that my identity keeps evolving> I think the big theme is identifying my core identity, gradually becoming free of fashion lemmings and adhering more and more closely to my personal individual style.

Violet what did you impulse buy? If it's something you plan on wearing frequently, yes maybe grin, but on the other hand, you are facing the same dilemma that I am... To really effectively reduce the number of clothes in your wardrobe you need to not replace items when you manage to sell/donate/wear something out.

I do believe I am a winter FF. Winter colours just seem to work for me over any other so if I ever have my colours done officially and I turn out to be a summer, I'll eat my own shoes!

Today I'm wearing a sale bargain River Island dress (£12!), it's white and navy polka dots with a shaped panel around the bust area. It succeeds in making me look very slim and busty grin

DigWeedSow Sat 27-Apr-13 11:05:03

There's nothing like a trip to the tip to show how wasteful our society is! Planned obsolescence has a lot to blame for the increased turn over in all consumer goods. How many times have you read on these boards about the quality of certain clothing chains diminishing? Yes, it's partly to do with cutting manufacturing costs but I also think that the general loss of quality is intended to encourage us the replace our clothing more often. Jumper bobbled after a couple of wears? No problem! throw it away and buy another, they're only a few pounds after all. Clothing has become throwaway and the only winners are the manufacturers.

DigWeedSow I completely agree with you about the planned obsolescence and I hate it. I believe it is a conscious strategy by the fashion industry, and not a by-product of changes in clothing manufacture etc. I just don't want to be part of it, which makes buying clothes quite hard.

I have had a constructive few days and am starting to put together some more interesting colour combinations from my existing clothes. We went to a concert last night and I wore a dark denim pencil skirt with a purple jumper and my Missioni style scarf. I also wore petrol coloured tights with my calf length brown boots, set off by a petrol/turquoise bangle I found in the charity shop.

Not a colour combination I would have tried before getting my colours done, but I have to say it really worked. Same purple jumper today with frugal's blue wide-legged trousers and blue suede Nike. The main problem is that it's still ridiculously cold despite being nearly May.

I had to take DD to Brownies at Hobbycraft at some godforsaken shopping centre last night, but bought some replacement buttons for my winter coat (one is missing), so will sew them on tomorrow. I've also ordered some Amazon Green Dylon dye so will be entering the world of home dying when that arrives.

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 11:42:34

The planned obsolescence is definitely going too far! It's burning out designers too (Zara etc don't innovate - they do knock-off designer stuff - the more you follow fashion the scarier the near-duplicates look) - they have to produce an insane number of collections and many clothes look dated before they even become available... They keep up for a while under tremendous pressure and then they burn out like Alexander McQueen or John Galliano.

I think the only possible counteraction is trying to identify a permanent personal style and sticking to it. It is not easy - and most of the cues around us seem to be working against it and the messages are always mixed. ('Find your individual style' and 'Update your look' - but then 'Refresh your wardrobe' - 'Experiment') Even here - try being a classic dresser on MN - no you are 'frumpy' and 'mumsy' wink

I'm deeply internally conflicted <deep> wink I'd like to be frugal and never-changing but I also get bored really easily...

Nina Garcia's book on wardrobe classics, 'The One Hundred', and 'A guide to elegance' by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux are good reading for anyone in the search of true style. Also, if your local library has 'The Triumph of Individual Style' (out of print), it has a lot of useful info on proportions and body shapes.

QoW your looks sound great and very inspiring!

teta Sat 27-Apr-13 12:10:55

Me too,i also get bored easily.But i do think there must be a market for good quality,classic basics.Maybe someone could construct a capsule collection for different body shapes too.What is the point in buying throwaway clothes though?Apart from the fact that shopping has become a pastime in its own right.Why are so many companies manufacturing almost entirely in viscose?[with the exception of Me and Em's modal which i love].
I have been thinking about buying some linen t shirts and jumpers.The only ones i liked were from Me and Em[expensive] and Wrap.I've just ordered a couple from Brandalley from a brand called Charli[they were very discounted].Is it any good?I know i can return if they are unsuitable but the long delivery time does bug me.Sorry to mention buying things-but these are a planned purchase and will fit a hole in my wardrobe.

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 12:50:35

No experience of Charli Teta and I haven't succesfully solved the everyday top issue - have just found lots of poor choices - except that I'm starting to think that maybe fitted t shirts are not the right look for me any more. Why don't you buy one expensive Me&Em top and see how it works - if well, maybe add gradually a few more? (I find I often exaggerate the number of items I need.) My ideal top would be a soft white or cream scoop-neck, fitted but not skin-tight, in mercerized cotton or silk-cotton. Not thin and not sheer or semi sheer and no lace.

I've started to realize that non-jersey non-t-shirt materials look much more flattering on me. A slightly heavier weight fabric and tailored shapes - my favorite everyday white top currently is this one from last year, works with all of my trousers and flatters my shape. Still need something to wear under jackets and have not found it, maybe a silk shell or a silk cotton top.

I've almost given up on high street (my winter purchases from Zara mostly really disappointing quality - miss the time when they had lots of pure silk and cotton - COS have been much better but it's very difficult to buy them online - you really need to shop instore). Benetton and Esprit can still sometimes have decent basics and sometimes I find good items in department stores (knitwear and my 50€ thick snakeprint silk scarf!) but I mostly buy discounted high-end (Yoox and Outnet; Yoox is mainly Italian and quality generally noticeably better than on Outnet; Matches when on sale) or 2nd hand. I'm picky about raw materials and have very few synthetics.

Sorry about trigger-laden post, the bottom line anyway is that finding good basics is increasingly difficult and that's another good reason for me to stop shopping and starting to wear what I already have in my wardrobe grin

teta Sat 27-Apr-13 13:15:13

I often buy high end but always at Tk Maxx.I really have to try things on due to tummy issues.Charli is a similar price point to Me and Em at full price so i shall wait[21 days!] and see what the fit is like.I was tempted to also buy from Zara too but was put off when the Birmingham shop looked like a jumble sale.I've got funny skin and a lot of synthetics irritate me[memories of convent school with so-itchy crimpline dresses].Have saved Yoox for future reference.
I have a brilliant cream silk shell from Reiss[via tk Maxx] and silk trimmed cream t shirts from a shop that has since closed down.I bought about 5 as they were such a good shape.

DigWeedSow Sat 27-Apr-13 13:48:55

Every day tops are the weak point in my wardrobe too. At the moment the shops are stuffed with the wrong colours for me and don't get me started on quality!

I took a peak at the linen t's in Zara last week, they are very loose fitting but in a good range of colours. Unfortunately no good for me as I need a fitted top as my waist disappears in anything too loose and I look bigger than I am.

teta I love the anticipation of shopping in TK Maxx as I am forever hearing of people snapping up great bargains. The reality is that I rarely find anything, my DH on the other hand has had some great buys.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 27-Apr-13 14:16:14

Tk maxx is online though, I look through the gold label stuff to drool over costume national and Pucci.

I bought 3 square neck vests from zara, black, white and a dark blue, there only £10 each but the neckline makes it look like I have a bust. They are nylon though, but I had them before in 2005 and they do flatter me.

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 17:42:10

Atrocious weather today - tried to go running and got soaked. So lounging in black leggings, black long-sleeved cotton tee and a blue men's chambray skirt. Which is my version of the classic men's white shirt. Which got me thinking -
Which 5 items are your indispensable wardrobe basics?

You often see lists like the one below in magazines and style books:
* a white t shirt
* a white men's shirt
* a pair of blue jeans
* a LBD
* a cashmere cardigan

But does anyone really wear them? What is your version?

If I had to stick to that list this would be my version (right now):
* a white peplum top
* a blue chambray shirt (have several)
* a pair of jeans - white this season but I might also pick bright ciggy pants
* a LBD - not a daily basic for me but I do like them. Red would also work.
* a cashmere cardigan - I'm not really a cardie person, I'd prefer a jacket, blazer or a simple V neck sweater in cashmere, merino or cotton (have loads of each)

The 5 items in my wardrobe that currently get most wear?
* white long H&M 3.99 spaghetti-strap vests
* cream loose-knit poly-viscose top
* one pair of jeans, difficult to pick a favorite pair
* black full length bamboo running leggings
* oatmeal Celtic sheepskin houseboots

Share your lists ladies!

FrugalFashionista Sat 27-Apr-13 17:43:15

Okay not really lounging in a men's chambray skirt grin <Boden didn't do them after all>

Good question frugal. My five basics never correspond with those endless lists in magazines. No LBD, no men's shirts, no 'killer' heels (all they kill are my feet).

My staples are cardigans, knee- or calf-high boots, thermal tops (I feel the cold so much) and some kind of slouchy trouser. I'm also partial to a crossover top or dress, but have to be careful not to veer into mumsy with those.

Today I'm wearing the Zara Breton top I got on holiday (off white so the right colour for me) and am wearing a grass green short-sleeved crossover top over the top. Not a combination I've tried before, but they just happened to be hanging together in the wardrobe and they work well together, especially with the green glass pendant DP gave me for Valentine's Day. Denim flares on the bottom with a turquoise Van Gogh belt from Amsterdam.

QueenCadbury Sun 28-Apr-13 11:38:28

<waves to queen>. So glad you're getting on with your colours. Your belt sounds lovely. I love Van Gogh. Dh still can't get to grips with the red lippy and absolutely hates it which is making me doubt it too.

My basics are jeans (bootcut, straight legged, flares. Skinnies do nothing for me), grey/navy/white tops and cardigans. Since having my colours done i've realised that I can do white and have rediscovered my love for a very old blouse. I think I had it pre dc and so the shape looks a bit wrong on me now and makes me look pregnant so I'll be on the lookout for a replacement I think. I have just had a very unfrugal purchase of a white top for going out (I like to separate my day clothes from going out clothes). Part of me feels guilty for the amount it cost but it looks fab, it's classic and I will wear it loads so I'm trying to put the guilt aside and just enjoy it.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 28-Apr-13 12:47:33

Finally ordered white skinnies. I am done now for summer.

I just need to flog all my old stuff to pay for the sales.

FrugalFashionista Sun 28-Apr-13 13:04:20

I had a feeling women's mags know nothing about how real women dress and you are proving the point...

QC the going-out top sounds great - sometimes you just have to purchase something lovely right when you see it. Fluffy if you ask me, an occasional TJ Maxx Gold label purchase is more than justified! (One way of being frugal is mixing high and low - outlets and discounters are great for finding expensive items for much less.)

I'm very good at impulse shopping grin - and actually often the intuitive, of-the-moment finds can be very good - but not very good with planned purchases. I've had some planned purchases on my list for several years and still haven't found the right item!!!

QoW outfit sounds fab. I'm more and more into individual dressing. Am a bit bored of cookie-cutter looks - here almost everyone is stylish but people whom I really register on the streets wear something unexpected, quirky, unique. (Some weeks ago, a very old lady paired an art deco type fur coat with a luscious nude lipstick instead of the standard demure matte brick/slightly frosted rose - still thinking about it). And it's not always about visual punch - low-key perfectly balanced pairings can work too. Yesterday during my run I saw a superb example of no-effort casual that totally worked - gray marl sweatshirt, olive green straight chinos, navy short padded gilet, brown loafers, boat shoes, nude makeup and glossy brown freshly blow-dried hair. Sounds dull but everything complemented each other, the balance was just right and it looked superb.

White jeans are back in action and I'm wearing my blue chambray/oxford men's shirt (size S, so slightly slouchy but I'm not drowning in it) over my white H&M vest with white jeans, white leather slip-ons and a silver mock-Tiffany chain bracelet. This outfit makes me feel so good - the blue is one of my best colors - feels like resort wear, I feel very relaxed and casual but still a bit groomed. The curved hem is the key - the outfit would be too boxy otherwise. During the past months I've started to notice that small details like this make a huge difference.

Have had a fully shopping-free week (thanks for the support!) and will try to have another. Will travel abroad for a few days at the end of the week, so if I happen to see the elusive white/cream top, will make an exception for that, but otherwise I should just continue exploring how my recent purchases can transform old staples.

It's a lovely day here so will return outdoors and try to tan my ghastly pale legs a bit...

Hopefully Sun 28-Apr-13 13:07:33

Apologies for randomly popping up - I lurk here occasionally... Just wanted today re the 'top five' and Nina Garcia's The 100, I had quite a good time going through the 100 the other day and pencilling in what my own equivalent was for each item, and then assessing if there was anything else I needed that she didn't have on her 'list' (swimsuit, as well as the already-included bikini, was one of them, there were a dozen or so) or anything she had in her 100 that was not remotely relevant to me. Was really interesting <geek>.

teta Sun 28-Apr-13 13:10:05

I am a really good shopper at Tk Maxx.I can spot a bargain at 1000 paces.Which is why i'm on this threadblush.Its only a bargain if i havn't already got multiples of said item.You know shopping addiction i think runs in my genes because my Mum buys multiples of everything too[think 7 glass juicersconfused].
This winter my 5 basics have been Brora thermal tops,crew necked t shirts in black/cream/grey/navy,Very long vest tops,M&S Jeggings and wedge ankle boots or over the knee tan Duo boots [plus cashmere boyfriend cardigan].Ok that is actually 6!
I am actually wearing a skirt today.Hush midi skirt in shadow with long marl grey vest top plus slightly sheer modal pale grey t shirt on top.Rather monotone but easy to wear.

FrugalFashionista Sun 28-Apr-13 13:43:17

Hopefully thinking hard about the 5 basics and your personal versions of them may very well have been your idea on some of the old threads - if so , thank you thanks, is it has been a revelation for me. Some of the classic staples just aren't my thing (white tees and white dress shirts for example - not even in the right softer white). I love The One Hundred but if you have time to share some of your substitutions (or blog about them!) that might be really enlightening too!

QC I'm a die-hard lipstick wearer (have been for 25 years...) and pure reds are some of my most flattering clothing colors, but for some reason red lipstick isn't my thing. It accentuates every tiny discoloration in my skin, my teeth don't look completely white, and overall I think it's just a bit too harsh, even aging - even in the most carefully chosen cool-red tones! Men ime love the no-makeup look or nudes or very natural shades. Rosy tones and cool raspberries and muted fuchsias look fantastic on me - (this is the darkest and brightest tone I can pull off). You might want to experiment with sheerer formulas or berry tones?

I have to confess I've never actually been to TK Maxx (I think it's called TJ Maxx in the US), but know other similar discounters way too well. And like Teta, I need to avoid them now. They are very good for an occasional browse for someone without impulsive/compulsive tendencies but I have committed more shopping mistakes at outlets and discounters than anywhere else. It's easy to get a bit starstruck (Dolce &Gabbana - just one size too small, never mind... Prada - never mind if they pinch!) I can distinctly remember a maroon top (not my color) and a ruffled one-shoulder party dress (ugh) and lots of other things that never ever got worn blush But I've found many very good things too - a lovely Missoni scarf and many great party dresses.

DigWeedSow Sun 28-Apr-13 14:37:21

A weekend catching up on some gardening jobs so a very unstylish weekend here!

My winter top 5 basic items have been
A denim pencil skirt
Dark jeggings
V neck fitted sweaters
Long layering t's
Knee length chestnut leather flat boots

Not sure what will come out top for spring as there has been little chance to wear much of it so far but I'm guessing
Dark denim straight leg jeans
Stone empire line mac
Navy/ivory Bretons
Stone chinos
Ballet pumps

Frugal I also find red lipstick ageing, my best colours are pinky browns but anything too dark looks harsh.
Loving the talk of white jeans, they sound very glam. I live in a semi rural location/farming community and a lot of the colours in my wardrobe are very earthy. It got me thinking about how where we live influences our choice in clothing. I also wonder if that's why I tend to dress very classically as the nuances of high fashion would seem very out of place here. this article sums up what I mean.

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Sun 28-Apr-13 17:42:19

I have never found anything worth buying in TK Maxx, though another thread proclaimed my local one pretty dire!

My top 5 wardrobe items are
1. Grey v neck t shirt
2. Grey sweatshirt
3. Boyfriend jeans
4. White blazer
5. NB trainers

My top five most worn items are :

Skater style sleeveless dresses
Long or 34/ sleeve cardigans
Blue/black/burgundy skinnies
Black opaque tights
Long black low heeled boots

I'm quite happy to wear these things all year round, I've found my shapes and now I'm sticking to them. Luckily for me, the skater style dresses still seem to be popular so I can load up on them in various colours/patterns for when they fall out of fashion again

CeeceeBloomingdale Mon 29-Apr-13 07:16:35

Just going back to day tops. Last year H&M did 100% linen tees introduced at £7.49 then £14.99 full price. The are long
and quite fitted which is not a great shape on me (short apple) but might work for others. Also in the past Primark have made 100% cotton slub tees which have lasted years so I don't always think basics need to be expensive brands.

daimbardiva Mon 29-Apr-13 13:45:15

My staples:
- skinny jeans
- red checked lumberjack style shirt
- brown ankle boots
- black m&s spaghetti strap vests (am always cold)
- grey cabled cadhmere mix cardigan (ad above!)

I am sick to death of cardigans, I have to say. I always end up bunging one on over whatever I'm wearing and often feel it ruins the look I was going for. But unless I either become more tolerant of the cold or move somewhere warmer, it's just a fact of life!

I'm wearing black skinnies, an olive green v neck and brown brogues today. I'm at work so it's smart enough but doesn't feel 'me'. I totally struggle w keeping an element of personal style ehile at work and im not sure why as I'm not particularly 'out there' normally but I do feel dull at work. ..

FrugalFashionista Mon 29-Apr-13 19:41:37

Fleeces, how to wear
*Pick one in your absolutely best color <mine is watermelon>
*Put on a catsuit
*Accessorize with a silver chain bracelet, earpods and Goretex trainers
*Put your most flattering lipstick
*Smile and try to ignore the gorgeous men smiling back
<loving my fleece>

Teta dirt is white here. Still loving the blue men's shirt today, my new go-to!
CeeCee great tips!
Daimbar I often struggle with work looks too. Work is often travel associated for me and my preference for hand luggage only and maximalist fashion tendencies are on a collision course.

DigWeedSow Tue 30-Apr-13 08:52:38

Frugal You even make wearing a fleece sound glamorous! grin

I've been looking back over April to see how I've done on the clothes shopping front and have purchased....
Navy/ivory Breton
Taupe vest
Stone linen biker cardigan
Dark straight jeans
Ivory/navy striped scarf
Navy v neck t shirt
Stone ballet flats
Leopard ballet flats
Leopard slipper flats
I have also ordered but not received a pewter satchel and two lace tops.

Not particularly frugal sad however my shopping habits do tend to follow a pattern where I splurge at the beginning of each season when I change my wardrobe over, usually April and September. I'm hoping that for the rest of spring/summer I will have to buy very little. I'm hoping that May will be a no spend month but with two trips away and my BF wanting me to join her on a shopping trip later in the week I will have be VERY strong!!!

How did you all do in April?

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Tue 30-Apr-13 09:38:22

Black trousers (For a funeral sad so an unexpected purchase)
Silk shirt
Amazing shoes (DH bought them for me though. Do they count?)

I am like you Dig. I plan what I need and stick to it, usually buying at the beginning of the season and then nothing until the next. I'm not a fan of the sales.

teta Tue 30-Apr-13 09:51:57

One pair of leopard sneakers.Some Charli linen t shirts due to be delivered from Brand Alley in 28 days.So does that count as expenditure this month or next month?
I don't think i actually need anything.Having ironed the contents of my laundry pile i now have about 6 silk shirts.Plus about 10 t shirts in assorted summer colours.Maybe some chinos could be useful.

VioletGoesVintage Tue 30-Apr-13 10:16:12

My April list is:

Navy cowl neck short-sleeved tee
Navy lace short-sleeved tee (this was my most recent purchase, Frugal; although it's not pure cotton, which would've been my preference, it has a high percentage, and it's a good, heavy material and hangs really well. I've already worn it, and I love it.)

I've also ordered, with a big discount, a sleeveless ruched tee in a blue/ grey colour. It should go with lots of things I already own, is 100% cotton and, if it's like others I have worn by the same label, will be a really good length on me. If it doesn't tick the right boxes, it's free returns so, either way grin.

The more I look at what I buy, and what I'm attracted to but manage to resist, the more I realise I do have a "signature" style. Which is good, I guess.

However I'm also a happy fleece owner and proud wearer when the occasion demands: early morning horse rides, gardening, hiking....although, come to think of it, there hasn't been much hiking since the DC arrived on the scene - unless endless walking to persuade Bad Sleeper DC1 to Have. A. Bloody. Nap. counted. Five years later, and I swear I still have the eye bags.

VioletGoesVintage Tue 30-Apr-13 10:17:25

Oh, and a Zatchel's saddle bag, which hasn't been dispatched and thus not yet paid for.

Hopefully Tue 30-Apr-13 10:30:49

Dig and Paris I'm not much of a sales shopper either, unless it's something really non-seasonal that I'll get good use from, like my beloved LK Bennett Florete heels, or basic t-shirts. I'm such a planner though that it's rare that I happen to have any gaps in my wardrobe at sale time.

My outfit is dull dull dull today as I am trying not to wear any of my clothes as I want to sort through my wardrobe, and it's so much easier if all my clothes are in front of me rather than on my body! So old waterfall cardigan and topshop jeggings, and a not-quite-long-enough racer back vest which I think might get culled.

mirpuppet Tue 30-Apr-13 11:39:44

My top5 -- hard to say

1. Casual Dresses -- textured cotton ones I love & also jersey dresses
2. Leggings or tights to keep my legs warm
3. brogues (in winter it was ankle boots but they made my feet hurt)
4. heattech shirts to keep me warm under cotton dresses in winter
5. Coat or Jacket

mirpuppet Tue 30-Apr-13 11:45:46

Doing some wardrobe clearing today.

Over the weekend I put items that I have never worn on Ebay and I must say I am thinking about delisting them and keeping the items.

Rationally I know I should let them go -- they are not quite right. But several have many people watching so it is making me think I should keep it because so many people are interested in the items.

I need some encouragement to stay on the straight and narrow path and not hold on to things that I'm not wearing or using.

FrugalFashionista Tue 30-Apr-13 11:57:10

Mir sell them! You can get something even nicer with the funds!

Bbl, superbusy, suffice it to say that I'm currently rocking the mumsy look - demure floral top, dainty jewelry, white straight-leg jeans, and sensible and comfy white loafers.

Out and proud and my mother would approve grin

ChablisLover Tue 30-Apr-13 12:06:25

still trying to be frugal but have ended up buying 2 bras from figleaves as mine are dying a death and they were the cheapest for the bras I wear

Plus still selling on ebay so hopefully going strong and being frugal

and rediscovering old things in wardrobe so much so DH new saying is is that new? when its just something i havent worn in a long time or never worn

Decameron Tue 30-Apr-13 12:20:35

Hi there. I lurk occasionally. I'm trying to be more sensible but I'm not frugal, I'm afraid. Anyway, Teta, just wanted to say that I have two linen Charli tops, lovely shape and seem to be wearing well.

DigWeedSow Tue 30-Apr-13 13:00:14

Well you've all done far better than I have this month in terms of being frugal, in my defence all but one of the purchases were planned. The unplanned were the leopard pony skin slippers which were a bargain buy at only £14.

The lace t shirts have arrived and are lovely, one is a deep teal the other sea green and so are perfect colours for me. They will be staying as they plug a gap in my wardrobe for smartish everyday tops.

After reading the thread re the Bangladeshi factory tragedy I am now even more determined to shop less and when I do so more wisely. At the moment I really have no need for anything new and am sure that I could make it through the summer without the need to buy any further clothing.

Just back from yoga so wearing black yoga pants and a pea green t shirt, very boring but oh so comfy smile

AphraBehn Tue 30-Apr-13 13:19:10

I've already confessed to my April buys, so far they are all working well for me. I'm still excited about working through the different combinations which feels like a new outfit everytime.

Not quite convinced that they're not mumsy though...

FrugalFashionista Tue 30-Apr-13 15:36:57

Confessions coming up or not during the weekend...

Outfit panic - a hot muggy day here and trying to remember what I wore two months ago to assemble a coherent travel wardrobe for 10C daytime highs. Have to be comfortable in the taxi flying out (hot weather) and warm for 48hrs somewhere where it's going to be very cold but dry. And would prefer hand luggage only...

Have several choices and all of them involve indigo jeans, sweaters and scarves confused Would like to wear navy suede loafers but fear it's going to be ankle boots... <falls off the high horse> Actually I'd love to wear my bright cigarette pants with a blue corduroy jacket and black cage sandals <dream on> Have completely forgotten how damn hard it's to wear a jacket under a coat.

Oh and before leaving also attending a quick party tonight. For some reason that seems very simple and straightforward...

I keep going out with the intention of shopping but I just can't find anything that I really want to buy. I desperately want some new dresses but I just can't find anything in my preferred colours so I keep coming home empty handed. The most extravagant thing I've bought in the last week and a half is an MUA eye shadow palette and that was £4!

I've bought virtually nothing this month and am quite impressed confused by how much some of you buy! It's partly because I'm still doing Project 333 and partly because I had been holding off until I had my colours done.

I managed to have a look round H&M when I was in town the other day, but didn't actually buy anything as I didn't have my colour swatches with me <sad>. However I'm planning to get to a different branch of H&M in the next week to buy some basics.

However DP and I had a bit of a charity shop trawl on Saturday and I bought a red 3/4 sleeve top and a turquoise pointelle (not sure if that is the right word) skirt, which is too big and long but I want to have a go at taking it apart and sewing an A line skirt. So my shopping total currently stands at £8!

ShirleySharpeyes Tue 30-Apr-13 21:15:14

Hello, been hectic here with work and life in general, which is good, as it means less time to browse and shop online...I have skimmed through - and so glad to see this thread still alive...
My total spend for April was £100 in the Toast sale, I have worn all already (except the £10 bikini which is stashed for our UK holiday in June <deluded>).
My five top items through the winter actually reflect how much time I spend in very rural parts of the world for work, where comfort and warmth out way any need for sartorial elegance so: Goldsign straight leg indigo jeans (sale bargain from January trip to big city), Didriksons parka (best investment ever), conker brown hand-made knee length boots (made by a friend, they're 11 years old and still beautiful leather, not elegant but so comfy and suitable for all terrains!), huge cashmere woven scarf and sludgy green boat neck wool jumper. My life feels very, very removed from Frugal's!
Can't remember who said they were buying Dylon - but me too! I've found two summer shirts and a skirt that I never wear as they are the wrong colour - will compare notes when it arrives and I've stuffed it all in the machine.
Also increasingly considering trying Project 333 - are you finding it easy and helpful QoW?
The only thing I'm allowed to buy in May is underwear, my bras are in a very sad state of affairs, but I find bra shopping terribly dull and would much prefer to spend the money on necklaces, scarves or shoes instead!

DigWeedSow Wed 01-May-13 10:41:52

Good morning, a new month, a new start!

I have decided after last months splurge that May will definitely be a no shopping month. Will be put through my paces tomorrow as I am meeting a friend who wants to go shopping for summer clothes.

Frugal It's been 10c here for a while (actually is crept to 12c today!) and indigo jeans, sweaters and scarves have been my wardrobe staples, suede loafers will be fine as long as its dry.

I'm trying to put a capsule wardrobe together for a few days away at the end of the week. It's our longest break away without DS13 (have only ever done one night away) so I'm quite excited.

I'm also interested to hear how you're finding Project 333 QoW Have you included shoes and accessories in with your 33 items?

teta Wed 01-May-13 12:22:08

I also had to go bra shopping yesterday.Tried on about 20 sports bras in M & S.Eventually found 2 that were ok and didn't give me enormous jutting out bosoms or flatten me like a pancake.Some really bizarre bras there though.Why would anyone want heavily padded sports bras when they're d cup or bigger?I also wanted my standard t shirt bra that is light and comfortable[hate wearing bras]only to find out they have stopped stocking it.Why oh why do they do this?

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 01-May-13 12:28:14

M&S are hopeless in my opinion, I tried on over ten and couldn't find one that was perfect, I thought I was just a strange shape, but after lurking on the bra threads it appears others have the same problem. Triumph do good basic t-shirt bras and they are uber comfy, but they are expensive, so I shall just have to wait for a figleaves code or similar.
First load of dylon is in the machine right now - so I shall have an olive green cotton jumper, blouse and scarf within the hour!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 01-May-13 13:37:37

Well, I'm sending my white jeans back. 10s too big, 8s too small. Pmt water retentions not helping either.

I think I might just buy a pair from river island instead.

Justonemorecardi Thu 02-May-13 12:55:09

In the spirit of this thread, has anyone had knitwear altered by a tailor?

I have a lovely knitted jacket/cardi but its at least size too big. I phoned a tailor who said he thought he could do it and to bring it in. Will it look great? As it was quite expensive I can sell on so don't want to be in the position of having to bin it, but the style is lovely.

I must confess to shopping today. I only bought what I needed though. My shopping haul today was:
A black wrap dress ( had to size down!)
A pair of blue skinny jeans ( they fit perfectly)
A pair of flat black sandals
One black maxi skirt with belt
A pair of cropped leggings
One oversized vest with rockets printed on it

VioletGoesVintage Fri 03-May-13 11:52:34

My Zatchels saddle bag arrived this morning. It's lovely! Although definitely an autumn/winter bag so might not get too much use out of it yet. Luckily I was outside the house when the delivery man arrived. A second delivery a little while later (a birthday present) went unnoticed as it seems the doorbell is broken, and I suppose the guy didn't try the knocker. There were a few curses and a little fuming when I saw the delivery note suggested I drive 12 miles to collect the thing but I've managed to rearrange delivery for next week so must get the blimmin' bell fixed.

Gorgeous day here. Initially went out in skinny grey trousers and a slouchy purple tee but have now changed into a navy & white striped maxi skirt with a navy silk/cotton mix tee. I could get used to this!

How is everyone else today?

Deathwatchbeetle Fri 03-May-13 13:14:30

"Everything was going ok until the Toast flash sale and I bought a pair of £5 trews. They were reduced to £5 for a reason - see through and unflattering. But not spending ££ to return so have slapped my wrist and will wear round the house as penance."

This made me laugh. They would go so nicely with a hairshirt!!!!!

teta Fri 03-May-13 13:46:40

Its gone cold here after a beautiful blue sky yesterday.I was still gardening at 8 pm on my sunny patio trying to tame a clematis.Absolutely nothing of style or beauty,other than my garden is permeating my life today[i am still in gym gear and trying to resist the lure of something sweet].Is anyone else having an inspiring day?

I've been repairing jewellery for a couple of hours. I had loads of broken necklaces and earrings but I now have a pile of things I can wear again. My sister has put in a request for me to make her some pieces as well so I need to get ordering the beads and findings for them.

daimbardiva Fri 03-May-13 14:04:51

Totally uninspired here - have dug out a wooly tunic jumper id optimistically packed away thinking summer had arrived (it hasn't) and tracksuit bottoms as my dd threw up on my jeans earlier!

Deathwatch you are so right - the Toast trews do need a hair shirt. In fact I think they stock them grin

I've been keeping pretty frugal (mainly due to being bed bound with the most hideous d & v bug).

Have ordered some work clothes to try - desperately need some summer weight trousers. Have also ordered an, ahem, dark grey cotton short playsuit. For a (British) beach holiday. This was not on The List.

Enjoying wearing some summer clothes here - yesterday a navy and grey striped midi dress with denim jacket, tan flats and bright green mini handbag. Today a floral dress. Love casual summer dressing. Work summer dressing is another matter entirely.

Enjoy the BH weekend all!

FrugalFashionista Sat 04-May-13 10:53:58

Morning fellow frugalistas, back home again and have already managed to spend some time lounging in a bikini on the roof terrace (someone we know gave us a lot of terracotta-potted plants and we brought them in - looks a lot nicer than before) grin

How to wear a bikini if your skin is very pale like mine? Wear a color that is even paler than your skin! White can be demanding but cool cream works perfectly for me. The trick for wearing sandals on pale legs is to try to pick colors that complement them. I'm blue-tinged in the early spring so taupe and very pale gold look good - pinky nudes make my legs look green, pale taupes give an impression of a slight tan. Oh and for a simple bikini, a cuff bracelet and pale gold flipflops are the finishing touch wink

I was happy with my simple navy-white-cream outfit during my trip to the far north. Slimline navy coat, indigo straight-leg jeans, cream poly-viscose top, white tank, blue-toned snakeprint silk scarf and two navy calf leather bags (one pochette type, another big hobo sack - I could slip the pochette inside the hobo) and navy suede loafers. Not earthshattering fashion but effortless, pulled-together and easy to travel in. And it was about 10C all the time - but very sunny.

Didn't buy any clothes or beauty items during the trip. So unless I do something stupid, will complete 2nd week of new spending ban tomorrow grin

I read some fashion mags on the plane though - probably should stop buying them as they are generally very fast fashion oriented, but there were two that were genuinely inspiring: Swedish Elle (much more fun and livelier than the bordering-on-frumpy Br Elle and much cooler than Br Vogue) and a smaller Nordic magazine called Costume that is really zany - all about the fun and self-expression - they feature quirky DIYs (a tongue-in-cheek homemade Prada sweater) and thrift and 2nd hand shopping etc to emulate runway looks. I found it very stimulating for ideas - fresh mashups from my existing wardrobe (=what to bring back from the cellar). Might actually become a subscriber...

The best read of all is Lucy Siegle's To Die For. It's a British take on 'Overdressed', more relevant here (it talks among others about supermarket fashion and the death of the middle-range retailers). Haven't finished it yet but very informative and thought-provoking!

QoW your shopping ban is inspiring and impressive!
Cardi I refitted a sweater last month on my own, hand stiching iirc but zigzagging the raw edges. A tiny 1" alteration on both sides made all the difference. There are tutorials online, will definitely do it to other clothes too.

How are you ladies? Any spring cleaning results, outfits that you feel smug about or other things you'd like to share?

AphraBehn Sat 04-May-13 11:58:48

Today I am wearing my last two unworn April buys, a navy jersey maxi skirt from DP and a coral scoop neck t shirt with leopard print ballet flats. I feel really comfortable in this, perfect for wearing round the house but I could dress it up a bit with wedges and a jacket if I needed to. It's a bit cooler today so I may have to find a cardigan though.

So far my April basics are really working out well for me, like a mini capsule wardrobe and I still haven't worked my way through the different combinations.

Last night I went out for cocktails and tapas for my birthday. I had been on the verge of buying something new to wear all week but resisted and wore a new outfit made up of things I already had - black cropped cigarette style trousers, an ivory t shirt with a bit of lace/broiderie anglaise detail at the front, black wedges and a fabulous emerald green blazer that I bought last year in the US but haven't worn that much. I had a little snakeskin print clutch bag (£2 from Tesco about 4 years ago, on its last legs so I keep meaning to replace it but haven't seen anything I like as much) and dangly emerald green earings. I don't know what I looked like but I felt great in it all!

AphraBehn Sat 04-May-13 12:03:15

This is a very interesting post from Recovering Shopaholic. I can identify with this bit

"Sure, I love some of the items in my closet and did make some good buys, but a majority of that $47,000-plus was spent unwisely. I bought things to “keep up with the Joneses” (but never really felt I did), look good in the eyes of shopping buddies and sales associates, follow trends I didn’t really care about, and for lifestyle needs I didn’t actually have. Those are all the wrong reasons for buying!"

AphraBehn Sat 04-May-13 12:05:23

*FF Your travel outfits sound wonderful.

FrugalFashionista Sat 04-May-13 12:36:57

Aphra your birthday drinks outfit sounds bang on trend, well done! Not that being trendy is all that important... But I find it immensely satisfying when I manage to look good - and current! - relying on my stash.

Like I have said I have a difficult relationship with trends. They are all about herd instict and much less about personal style and vision. My personal leanings are classic and timeless and I'd like to have most of my clothes forever. I hate the planned obsolescence and also increasingly resent things being labeled 'frumpy, mumsy, dated'. (Fashion is cyclical and everything will come back eventually. Plus lots of visionary dressers wear something the others have rejected) I don't paint, compose or play an instrument - for me clothes are a way of expressing myself and also communicating. I'm an extrovert dresser - I feel best in brights and when people notice me (even though neutrals and blend-in oufits are also useful). But I get bored with the same old and get the most satisfaction from remixes. Luckily fashion is not particularly innovative wink - mostly the same items are just endlessly reiterated.

If you have good staples, they will be back in fashion. Random stuff may have come back too - Examples of trendy items that I already have from past years. Some are classics, other are forgotten items from past years, the most recent from last summer:
* snakeskin stuff (have had some for a decade)
* white, especially all-white outfits
* black worn in the summer
* block heel flats
* crop tops
* shoes with ankle straps
* blue eye shadow (not a personal favorite)
* those 1990s slide shoes
* bright trainers (not a favorite but have a coral pair from last year)
* vaguely orthopedic-looking flat/wedge/platform shoes and sandals
* peplums (I loved these in the early 1990s too)
* cigarette pants
* day-glo bright lipstick
* florals and zany prints
* ripped jeans that can be rolled up

As you can see, no need to buy anything new!

teta Mon 06-May-13 07:55:35

I was sorting out my summer clothes and realised the old favourites i pull out every year are my staples.These are mainly white cotton and lace items and i've had them for years.One is a kaftan style with bands of lace i bought in Vietnam and will never date,a Next broderie anglais dress plus a pale pink embroidered silk top from M&S-really not high end!In contrast most of the clothes i bought from Wrap last year are shapeless rags and only fit for the bin[were expensive].I really do think you're right about the built in obsolescence in clothes.
I'm another one who thinks you should dress to suit the shape you have not the age you are.The best dressed women arround recently to me have been Helen Mirren and Selina Scott in dresses that really suited them,plus SJP wearing a variety of distressed boyfriend jeans[a no no to many people past a certain age on this thread].I admit though i'm in my 40's so older women are starting to appeal to me more.
My leopard sneakers have been tried on and are so comfortable.Sadly they are not objects of beauty and look somewhat cornish pasty like and not cool at all.But i am keeping themgrin.

FrugalFashionista Mon 06-May-13 08:37:06

Teta your summer wardrobe sounds lovely, loving your whites, broderie everywhere this year too! M&S used to be extremely well made (90% British!) so I can believe they are wearing well!

Also taking cues from your boyfriend mention. Visited my mother last week and retrieved a lovely soft ripped-at-knee pair of my old jeans there (bootcuts that are practically straight leg).

Today's outfit (inspired by a pic I saw in a magazine)
* old (10-year-old!) ripped jeans rolled up (three rolls for me, these are v long)
* white V neck tee
* multicolored boucle jacket with chain trim, worn open
* flipflops (pale gold, 5 years old) at home and black cage sandals outdoors
* feet slightly tanned now, pinkish-white Essie Ballet Slippers nail polish looks fantastic

Absolutely loving the look - relaxed but pulled together!

Aphra love the sound of navy, coral and leopard, and Teta broderie is so pretty. I'm so attracted to lace, crochet etc, but looks a bit fussy on my top half. I'm an apple/inverted triangle shape so experimenting with plain tops and patterned bottoms to keep a balance. Have a pair of lace shorts, but fear they look too much like I've forgotten my trousers.

Sunny here, yesterday wore a simple black and white stripey dress, denim jacket, top knot and flats. The dress is this year, denim jacket a charity shop find. Today cracking out the shorts! So nice to ditch the jeans.

AphraBehn Mon 06-May-13 14:01:04

Thank you Frugal and BillStickers. They are combinations which I would never have put together if it weren't for Pinterest.
My mil gave me some money for my birthday so I bought a dress I had been coveting. It looks great on, the shape and colours are fantastic on me. And I had to size down - get in!
Even though I love it, I think it's going back. It's just a bit too dressy to wear day to day. A prime example of buying for a lifestyle I don't have sad.
This is a breakthrough, don't you think?

DigWeedSow Mon 06-May-13 15:06:47

Just back from a sunny break on the North Yorkshire coast! Arrived home to find that my Zatchel satchel had arrived, tis a thing of beauty and the pewter colour a good neutral for summer. So far no purchases this month (the satchel was ordered last month so technically doesn't count grin).

Another one here who likes a bit of lace/broderie, whilst away I wore a sea green lace t shirt with dark denim skinnies and leopard print flats.
Aphra definitely a break through! This is something I have been very guilty of in the past, I only have to take a look at the pile of clothing I have destined for ebay to see that much of it remains unworn due to not having the occasion to wear any it.

FrugalFashionista Mon 06-May-13 17:38:35

Hi ladies, recovering from a very busy workday and enjoying your posts.
Aphra it is a breakthrough! Return it!

I have retrieved my summer clothes from the cellar (last week when I needed the suitcase) and am a bit depressed - so many mistakes and this-will-do-for-nows. Very few items that I genuinely love and wish to wear. And the clutter! I had just gotten my winter wardrobe beautifully organized, now I have all these unwanted summer clothes all over the place and they will fit nowhere! With most of these, I had doubts when they were purchased / had arrived. I should have listened to that little nagging voice and returned them!

Most of the unwanted summer things are sales/outlet stuff. Not as bargainous as I thought sad My personal style has evolved too - I have so many lovely options that don't have time for the mediocre items!

Will need to think through exactly what to do with the excess clothes... (Donating to charity fraught and guilt-inducing.) Also a very strong reason to not buy anything! Starting my 3rd shopping-free week now.

Dig Zatchels are lovely <own two, like both - multiples hmm>
Bill plain tops and patterned bottoms work superbly well on me for a completely different reason - I'm pale and low contrast, strong stuff near my face tends to wear me. This year is fantastic for patterned trousers, I'm in love with a pair from J.Crew but thank god it's sold out worldwide.

FrugalFashionista Mon 06-May-13 17:49:07

Teta the cornish pasty look is fine when worn with an ironic nod grin
When someone has evolved personal style, even dubious items can look really good. I admired a Frenchwoman recently, she wore black 'mum boots', too short and too pale bootcut jeans, a dishwater-dull trench and a totally unremarkable scarf with such panache that I started wanting every item...

My newest (Nordic) style crushes - Northern Light and Teemu Bling.

alemci Mon 06-May-13 17:55:50

dug out my Summer stuff today and tried to sort it out. Never seem to get rid of much. some of it is quite shabby and I seem to have gone up a dress size.

FrugalFashionista Tue 07-May-13 08:28:27

Alemci I feel your pain! I need to do something about the extra clothes, just not sure what. Getting rid of clothes is for some reason extremely difficult for me. I'm happiest if a friend/ family member/ some other real person takes them.

Today's outfit - cool but sunny weather:
Skinny floral blue jeans (last year)
A white peplum tee from last year (a totally misguided purchase, the peplum is too limp, and if removed, it will be a too-short crop top)
Camel merino circular cocoon cardigan (last year, a good staple)
Blue flipflops (a replacement of a favorite pair, circa 2 years old)
Chunky steel cuff (new)

Some of my unwanted summer stuff is from my 'new mum' phase when I had totally lost the plot. Dull knee-length denim skirts and dresses, florals, a short-sleeved cardigan (perhaps one of the most pointless items ever), patterned skirts (I have an uneasy relationship with prints), a worn-once safari jacket, too-formal shift dresses (left over from the time when I went to parties all the time). Most of it could be restyled with some effort, but were these items to disappear altogether, I would not miss them.

FrugalFashionista Tue 07-May-13 09:28:44

Managed to sort out a few summer things <feel much better>
The ones that I will actually wear fit inside my wardrobe (because I took a huge amount of heavy winter stuff to the storage space). Still have to think about what to do with the rest. No getting around it - I have far too many clothes, most of them bought hastily for all the wrong reasons sad

But absolutely loving today's outfit! Camel-white-smoky blues are my very best neutrals and they simply work (thank you color analysis!). Pairing items that I love with mistakes generally works - more things get worn and I won't need to buy white tops this summer. Unfortunately had to upgrade flipflops to sheepskin houseboots sad <temperatures dropping by the minute>

DigWeedSow Tue 07-May-13 09:29:59

Another sunny day here today. Wearing a very frugal outfit....
Old faded straight leg jeans which had been destined for gardening wear, however inspired by Frugals outfit yesterday rolled to ankle length they look bang on trend!
Ivory and navy slash neck t shirt from last year which had a nasty tomato stain on it, rescued from recycling thanks to vanish and now lives to see another summer.
Nude ballet pumps. These are one of my most worn bargains, they are actually faux fur lined slippers but look like normal ballet pumps. The soles are thick enough to pop outside and they are sooooo comfy but make me feel more dressed than normal slippers (important for me as I work from home). They were one of my wiser sale purchases at only £6 grin

teta Tue 07-May-13 10:29:20

Wearing navy silk/jersey t shirt from TKMaxx,boyfriend jeans,navy light weight parka and high wedge gold flipflops.Its a beautiful sunny day here!
I've just ordered some silk/jersey tops from Tk Maxx online.They're an Italian brand and look really similar to Phase 8 tops[which i love].I will have to see what they look like when they arrive though.In terms of summer grooming i have updated my make up to Cliniques cc cream [more natural on] and a brighter coloured chunky lip pencil.Pedicure has also been booked as i find my toes look so much better compared to when i paint them.My stomach is really annoying me and i have downloaded My Fitness Pal to follow for the next month.Even though i exercise fairly strenuously 5 times weekly the weight is not shifting[due to 3 week flu bug and bad asthma since the end of Febuary and stress eating].I can identify with the feeling of clothes feeling tighter after winter.

VioletGoesVintage Tue 07-May-13 10:33:50

Ha ha, Frugal, I bought short sleeved cardigans in my new Mum phases, too. Glad I wasn't the only one! Every time I wore them I had to sling a denim jacket over the top.

Wearing one of my favourite spring outfits today: a navy cotton 50s style skirt with red and white striped trim to the hem, a navy vest and a navy boat neck cotton jumper. The jumper has elbow length sleeves (was also a new Mum purchase) but I can cope with exposed lower arms! Sounds a bit navy navy navy but the differing textures make it work (IMO anyway) and I finish it off with red suede shoes.

Supposed to be working so must stop prevaricating and disable MN somehow......

teta Tue 07-May-13 10:38:20

I've also just chucked a white short sleeved cardigan into the recycling pile.What was i thinking of?

Well things have been busy here clotheswise, but it hasn't all left me with a warm, cosy glow.

I finally managed a successful shopping trip, but came away with a bit of a nasty taste in my mouth which I have been pondering. I went to H&M, as they had stuff in my newly diagnosed autumn colours (forgot my swatches last time I went in). I tried on 15 things and bought four, which for me is almost like a shopping binge. But, but, but...even as I was buying them, I knew none of them were 10s and that they will be cherished. I bought:

A khaki zip jacket - love the jacket, but it's thin and shoddily made
A deep blue t-shirt - soft, fits well but the arms are too short
A khaki lace trim vest - fits well, nice material but not sure how well the lace will last
A pair of purple straight legged trousers - fit me well and are comfortable, but are they too bright and young?

Those four things cost £30, which also doesn't make me feel too good. It's all a minimum 60% cotton, but nearly all made in Bangladesh ergo a sweatshop.

However I looked round John Lewis and didn't see anything nicer or better made and I don't believe the provenance is that much more ethical. Still failed to buy a new bra!

But on the plus side, I've altered a couple of skirts and bought a couple of patterns off eBay, as making some of my own clothes is really appealing. Also I've dyed my hair chestnut (was generic blonde highlights) which has made a real difference. It makes my eyes look huge!

DigWeedSow you asked me (some days ago now!) how Project 333 is going. It's now been nearly five months and overall, it's had a massively positive effect. The warm weather and mixing in some of my summer clothes has thrown me out of kilter a bit. Like some of the others, digging out my summer clothes (which I had been thinking of as some of my favourite clothes), I realised that a fair few are getting a bit worn and also are just not right for my lifestyle.

But generally I would still recommend Project 333. To give you an example, I like just above the knee length corduroy/tweed skirts. I had three:

A purple Monsoon fine cord one that was uncomfortable round the waist
A brown Top Shop brown herringbone skirt that was lovely, but unlined and incredibly itchy.
A soft green one from Zara, lovely material but too big.

Net result? No above the knee tweedy skirt that scored more than an eight. I justified it by saying that they were all eBay or charity shop finds, but P333 made me realise: so what? I didn't wear any of them regularly and didn't feel great in any of them. So they all went on ebay and I'm back to looking. But it's made no noticeable difference to the way I dress and I don't have that sinking feeling every time I look in the wardrobe.

Now I just need to find an evening or two to P333 my summer wardrobe, so I can get back on track!

teta Tue 07-May-13 21:48:37

We all seem to be wearing variants of navy today.Well done Queen for deciding to recycle your skirts.Its's difficult when you become attached to certain items.I've just realised today that cropped wide denims and A line denim skirts do nothing for me.Cut the ends off 2 pairs of jeans to make boyfriend jeans.My old jeans-Baby Phat and Apple bottoms [American brands] are still the best fit on me so are worth keeping.

FrugalFashionista Tue 07-May-13 22:09:58

Fellow short-sleeved cardi craze victims, reunite! grin
<we should synch our outfits one of these days>
I love the color of my cardi (the exact shade of rose petals), but the matching silk cotton top that came with it has rose petal type shoulder detail that crumples if you wear the cardi <eyeroll> If I wear the cardi with a white tank, I'll expose my belly bulge.
<lots of 1st world problems>

Teta had diastasis recti, and although I'm quite slim (and at my pre-preg weight), my lower abdomen will never be what it was before. And that's fine - I think flat stomachs are vastly overrated grin Who the hell who does not writhe on music videos for a living really looks like that anyway! Botticelli's Venus and all the Greek statues have soft bulges too... wink

I can recommend Brian Wansink's book 'Mindless Eating'. It helped me to make tiny but significant (perhaps -100kcal/day) changes that really seem to work. I got in shape last year and have maintained my weight for almost a year now (-4-5kg from post-preg) without being on a diet or feeling deprived in any way. Cottage cheese is gone, everything is firmer and I feel comfortable in a bikini.

Violet loving your outfit! You sound quite leggy, that type of simple silhouette (big on navy) works really well on me too. Raf Simons at Dior has really brought the full skirts back - I love them. One of my best shapes!

QoW love your posts! New hair sounds fab! I know the feeling, I found my H&M tees from last year, all shoddy and not particularly flattering. My advice would be to take it slow until autumn clothes come to the shops, perhaps rummaging a bit in charity shops in the meantime (you may find better craftmanship there). I bought too indiscriminately right after having my colors done wink

FrugalFashionista Tue 07-May-13 22:32:47

Sorry, some atrocious copy editing tonight <tired>
Teta does not have diastasis recti, I do blush

I've splashed out a whole £25 this weekend shock I bought a bright pink pair of superga and the 30 day shred dvd. I am not planning to make any more clothes purchases until I have at least tried to lose some weight by using the dvd. I did my first workout today and though I have to modify some of the exercises due to a medical condition, I think I did well. Fingers crossed that it works for me and was worth the whole £5 I spent on it grin

For those of you looking to shift some weight, I highly recommend going primal. The principle is to eat like our ancestors did, so cut out grains and sugar plus processed food.

I've lost inches of fat over the last three months and DP has lost a stone and a half. You eat proper food, for example for breakfast I've just had scrambled eggs with bacon, tomatoes and pepper plus some coffee with double cream. I think if you have children and/or are working, you don't have the time for structured diets and lots of exercise. You need something simple (mentally and physically) that keeps you going until lunchtime.

Today I am wearing very old GAP oatmeal straight cut trousers that were too tight for me, but are now a bit loose with my new khaki vest and charcoal John Smedley cardi. The rain is looming so undecided if strappy pink sandals are the sensible choice.

DigWeedSow Wed 08-May-13 08:37:41

In the spirit of yesterday's frugal outfit last night I emptied a bag of clothes which was going to the charity shop to see if anything could be reinvented. Most of it was DS's too small stuff but in there was a soft yellow sweatshirt, lovely fitted style but a bad colour for me so today I shall be buying a dylon dye, probably navy blue. The crazy thing is I need a sweatshirt for a boating holiday that I'm going on in a couple of weeks and have been looking tentatively online for one!

Teta I used MFP after Christmas to shift some weight and found it very successful, tracking what I'm eating throughout the day and counting cals works for me. I may have to start using it again to get ready for the summer! Onelittlelady Respect, the Shred DVD is evil (but works!)

QoW I like the sound of P333, I'm quite into the whole minimalist thing so a simplified wardrobe really appeals. I don't have a huge amount of clothing, I would say that there are about 45 items in there at the moment so it wouldn't be too hard to whittle it down to 33. What sounds really great though is that it has helped you identify why things aren't working and it's this fine tuning process that would really help me. Hmmm, going upstairs now to see what my 33 items would be........

Hopefully Wed 08-May-13 08:39:59

QoW can you link to the website that had the information about project 33 on it? I thought I had it saved, but can't find it.

I've bought a few things in recent weeks, either in basics (oyster white jeans and a tulip skirt - instantly making most winter knitwear and tops summer-worthy but pairing them with white bottom half rather than dark coloured bottom half) or odd splashes of neon/bright colours, which makes me feel v v summery. I don't mind having spent a bit, as I literally bought about four items of clothing over the whole of last summer, and for the four summers before that I was pregnant/BFing.

I also went through my wardrobe the other day and have pulled out everything that needs mending altering. There wasn't much in my wardrobe in the first place, and now there is embarrassingly little left behind, which explains why I have been finding outfits rather challenging over the past couple of weeks! My mission for the next few days is to get mending, take alterations to the dressmaker, and then reassess if I need any more clothes.

Hopefully Wed 08-May-13 08:40:14

project 333

unapologetic Wed 08-May-13 09:04:43

Question: are maxi dresses still in? I hope so as I have never got my wear out of the two I have (one dressy/eveningy, one everyday type.) I did see several women wearing them yesterday which was a lovely sunny day.

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 08-May-13 09:50:39

Project 333 is here Hopefully - I really need to try and find the time to do this, the more I read/hear the more I think it would help me hugely and it sounds really liberating.
My dylon items worked out brilliantly, I am really pleased - the olive green is a perfect green for me, and the blue cotton jumper I dyed has come out the most lovely dark teal, so very happy with my 'new' clothes.
Day eight of frugal May, I have bought two boring t-shirt bras from Figleaves with a 20% discount and 5% quidco so not exactly purchase free but I always feel better able to justify with a discount code.
Really need to avoid spending any more money this month and make do with what I already have, which now that I have got some summer stuff out feels like quite a lot (although some of the summer stuff is a bit of a squeeze - so need to reduce the cake and up the salad over the next few weeks which should be much easier now the weather is better).
Today I'm wearing straight leg indigo jeans with turn-ups, teal cotton jumper over a mustard vest, chunky cream plastic necklace and cheapo tan primarni sandals from last year.

teta Wed 08-May-13 09:50:51

Outfit today is my favourite white cowl neck top,boyfriend jeans,Leopard sneakers,Hush leopard scarf,Parka with leopard lining[for school run].Yes MFP works well for me too Dig.The only way i can lose weight is by tracking calories.I cheat on all the others and then give upblush.Well done Queen for losing fat and inches.I admire anyone who can successsfully stick to a diet.
Frugal, thank you for the soothing words regarding tummies.My stomach makes me look 6 months pregnant at times and makes clothes look awful.I want to look nice in plain t shirts tucked into jeans without trying to creatively tuck and squeeze myself into various trousers/devices/tunics to hide the fat.3 dc's in my 40's including 1 set of twins has meant my stomach has never recovered-flap of loose skin plus fat.Exercise plus diet will improve it so much.I just need determination and motivation!

FrugalFashionista Wed 08-May-13 21:35:30

I've managed to create a winning outfit from a bunch of losers:
* floral blue-tone skinnies (last year)
*slightly limp white cotton peplum tee (ditto)
*short-sleeved cardi, wild rose pink (ca 2 years old, almost unworn) - thought it was cotton, but it's actually poly-viscose! <shock>
* mock ostrich ballerinas, sky blue (last year, sadly near the end of their lifespan already)
The outfit felt fresh, sunny and innocent in a 1950s teenage girl sort of way. Suits my shape, and super-flattering colors too <love>

The limp peplum tee (death row survivor) is going places grin I wore it to a swish cocktail garden party last night, albeit hidden wink
Had to get ready in minutes, so I piled on some of my nicest clothes - a full-skirted coat dress, my best bag, combined with a sheer black tights and about 10-year-old pointy toe wedges (had totally forgotten how good sheer black can look). Saw some classic Dior New Look silhouettes on partygoers, full skirts are definitely back! A balmy evening, nice people and mighty pine trees against a pink sky. Then a quick cab ride back home to put DC to bed...

FrugalFashionista Wed 08-May-13 21:45:56

Unapologetic maxi dresses never really took off here in Italy (at least not where I live) but saw a preppy girl wafting about in one last week and it looked great!
Hopefully we should set up a repairs/maintenance challenge. I have mended a lot last month but still have a pile of unironed stuff that I would like to wear. I promise it will be gone by Sunday!
Teta good luck with getting back in shape, sounds like you have a great plan! I've given up on plain t-shirts tucked in <loving being 40> wink

Intrigued by your Project 333 progress reports, very inspiring! I have more modest goals but definitely gradually downsizing my wardrobe!

FrugalFashionista Wed 08-May-13 21:57:26

Dig thanks re sweatshirt rescue idea!
QoW and OneLittleLady loving your pink footwear! <minitrend spotted!>
Oh and Hopefully your oyster jeans sound fab - white jeans totally revitalized my summer options, they go with absolutely everything!

I'm so excited about all the styling and restyling going on here. It's my favorite part in fashion!

maybemyrtle Thu 09-May-13 12:37:55

Hi, frugalistas, I have been quietly following your posts and thank you for the great tips and links.

So last night I finally got round to sorting through my wardrobe and pulling out the items that I've actually worn and been happy wearing in the past 12 months. From a massive double wardrobe, I only have 23 items that I regularly wear:

10 dresses (4 smart, 6 more casual)
7 cardigans
6 tops
3 skirts

I don't wear trousers except jeans, of which I actually wear 4 pairs.

I've got loads of clutter that doesn't suit/fit/work with my lifestyle or I just don't like anymore. Despite regular offloads to charity, I still have so much to get rid of!

Has anyone used one of those ebay selling agencies? In your experience, are they worth it? The thought of listing (and then packaging/mailing/worrying) fills me with dread, but there's some stuff that I'm confident would sell reasonably. Any advice? smile

FrugalFashionista Thu 09-May-13 13:52:56

Hi Myrtle thanks for your post, I loved your stats! Mine must be very similar blush I change my look everyday, but mostly because I feel bad about unworn clothes. A pared-down approach would be equally satisfying.

Haven't tried the eBay resellers. I did approach a consignment shop near me and their commission is 50% confused Vestiaire Collective is another option, but I cannot see how it works for the buyer - prices are generally very high and you will usually get a better deal buying brand-new from discounters. This makes financial sense for little else than sold-out current season stuff. The problem is that I generally like my high-end stuff - I'd like to offload some of my 'value' mistakers, Zara and the like, and listing and sending them is a lot of work for a really paltry return sad

Back to basics today, men's French blue shirt with white jeans and white shoes. One of the great things about living close to where DH works is that we can often go out to lunch together grin We had a long lunch and I'm slightly reeling from the huge glass of wine I just had, sitting outdoors. Couldn't help myself, I'm always style spotting wink and saw two takes on the all-in-one look on stylish Italians - head-to-toe camo worn on a very curvy frame (think Desert Storm wink ) and a total Breton look (possibly bias-cut in the bum area for extra lifting effect shock ). Keyword skintight...

maybemyrtle Thu 09-May-13 14:15:54

Oops - I've just realised that I can't add up! I hadn't counted the skirts or jeans in my tally for some reason blush

Frugal, I do feel guilty about the unworn clothes in my wardrobe. I periodically try to recreate outfits but I think the simple truth is that if I don't wear it, it's usually for a good reason. Interestingly, the items that I get most use out of aren't the most expensive ones. Hadn't thought about that before actually!

Thanks for info re Vestiaire Collective, I'll have a look.

Your lunch sounds lovely, am hmm at the head to toe camo! A brave look, but then white jeans are braver than I can muster, so... <cowardly dresser> smile

FrugalFashionista Thu 09-May-13 14:43:42

Myrtle only hang on to the items you wear most and get rid (in one way or another) of the excess! I absolutely hate eBaying but hate clutter even more, so have decided to do some this summer. You could always test the waters and start with two or three items most likely to sell. I really miss our swapboard, but fear our member base was slightly too small to keep it running sad

Project 333ers, any tips on how to best pare down/offload?

Hopefully Thu 09-May-13 15:12:46

Give it all to me? grin

FrugalFashionista Thu 09-May-13 17:48:26

I would Hopefully but I have nothing in orange grin
I mostly have Summer colours and black.

Seriously, if there is something someone is looking for, tell about it, as many of us have perfectly good clothes that just are the wrong color/style/size for us.

Hopefully Thu 09-May-13 17:54:32

Aw thanks frugal. damn your Summer colours though!

I went through my wardrobe and made a vague mental 333 list last night and realised I have plenty of bottoms, but not really enough of anything else. Am trying to construct a shopping list and be sensible rather than buy everything I see.

DigWeedSow Thu 09-May-13 18:37:40

Hello Myrtle
Very envy at your long lunch Frugal cold, windy and rainy here today so wrapped up warm and the heating has gone back on!

Dyed the sweatshirt today and the dye has taken really well so have a "new" sweatshirt for my hols grin

I had a count of the clothing in my wardrobe yesterday and only have 39 items. This doesn't include my winter clothes (stored away in a drawer) and high summer clothing such as strappy tops, shorts, sundresses, these are also stored in a drawer as they are mainly worn on holiday (hardly ever warm enough to wear here!)
So not quite Project 333 but not far off, mind you if I had to include shoes and accessories in the total it would be a very different story.

maybemyrtle Thu 09-May-13 19:17:23

I'm fascinated by the colours talk, I have no idea which season I am. Has it really made a profound difference to those of you who've had it done?

Dig your dying has inspired me to revitalise an old linen skirt. I was thinking that I needed a summer-weight skirt but a perk-up would do just fine. Did you do anything to the thread on your sweatshirt? When I've dyed things previously I've had the thread-not-dying problem and it's put me off trying to change colours.

Hopefully are you looking for anything in particular??? I need to purge my jersey tube skirts as they're really not working on me anymore sad

Hopefully Thu 09-May-13 19:34:40

What colours are your tube skirts myrtle?

Colour analysis was life changing for me - just made everything so simple.

DigWeedSow Thu 09-May-13 19:45:47

Myrtle the thread has remained it's original colour due to it being synthetic so my sweatshirt is now navy with pale gold stitching. As it is over stitched (not sure on the correct term!) it looks like the contrasting stitching is intentional. It works on the sweatshirt but I'm not sure how it would look on other items, I think the thing is not to alter the colour too drastically from the original.

mrspolkadotty Thu 09-May-13 20:16:42


Hope you don't mind me butting in. All this talk of dyeing clothes has made me wonder about trying it with my winter coat that is looking a bit tired after 3 winters. It's a lightweight parka with a detachable fleece & fur lining so i was wondering about dyeing the lightweight part navy or black from the khaki it is now. Would this work? Would i turn blue if it rained?!

ChablisLover Thu 09-May-13 20:41:59

Have paid for the car repairs now and they've come in under budget. Surprising I know. I made small primary summer slip on type canvas shoes with £5 pink jeans o small whoopsie.

But spending has been curbed significantly as some bastards has got my card details and used it! Bank was useless last night but excellent today.

So no card or access to money - what could be more frugal.

Had to take dh to garage to fill car with diesel so I could get to work.

ChablisLover Thu 09-May-13 20:43:35

Sorry meanr Purchase not primary. Typing with ds snoring in my ear with one hand a
S the other is being held captive in his grip. Clingy 6 year old - whole other story.

FrugalFashionista Fri 10-May-13 07:10:11

Dig your new sweatshirt sounds fantastic!

Chablis so sorry about your card! This happened to me once years ago, the credit company sorted it out without problems.

Polkadotty only natural fibers can be dyed, fleeces and parkas are often and stitching always made of polyester (=plastic). Color addition rules apply: red sweater+blue dye = purple. If you dye jeans, effects and the natural two-color weaving pattern found in lighter denims will be lost. Jeans will be more 'one-dimensional'. I mostly dye clothes navy or black, am contemplating dyeing two cotton print dresses. You have to think whether the topstiching effect will work or not.

Myrtle having my colors done 2 years ago has really had a huge effect on me. I've been an overshopper for nearly a decade. Before color analysis, I bought things in random colors hoping some of them would look really great (most didn't). I think knowing my colors will actually help me to gradually overcome mindless shopping. I overdid renewing my wardrobe post-color analysis a bit (too many hasty this-will-do-for-now purchases in right colors but poor materials and often the wrong styles). But now I have so many truly great clothes that I've lost interest in fast fashion.

My aim is to gradually reduce my wardrobe so that everything fits in a 150cm wardrobe. Because all of my colors generally go together now, I have almost unlimited (literally thousands, I once counted) possible combinations. I can wear my subpar items too because everything is in a flattering color. Currently, I'm slowly weeding out viscose and other remaining synthetics, most prints, and 'natural' clothes. I know my personal style really well now, and building outfits and styling them is easy. Should probably snap a picture of my wardrobe one of these days - I love how harmonious the colors look there grin

I had a great evening out last night with friends - before going, I found the momentum to iron most of my lingering pile <halo> The effect of ironing on cotton was spectacular shock - slightly limp and droopy clothes looked factory-fresh once again. I took just minutes, the quickest makeover ever!

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Fri 10-May-13 09:40:06

Hi Frugals!

I have been working hard to reduce my clothes stash. You know, the ones that make you feel uncomfortable at the waste of money when you look in your wardrobe?!

Last summer I got it into my head that I loved coral. I do but with winter colouring it doesn't do anything for me so I'm giving away a load of stuff to my friend who looks great in coral.

I'm also ebaying some maxi skirts/dresses as I'm 5ft 3 and trip over them all the time!

Inspired by you all I'm thinking of dyeing this cardigan. It's perfect, except that the colour makes me look actually dead! What colour should I dye it? I like white but obvs that won't work and I don't wear a lots of colour. What about black or grey?

FrugalFashionista Fri 10-May-13 13:47:22

Paris I think we are in the same boat wink <bloated wardrobe emoticon>
Check the fiber content and whether there is any visible stitching on the cardi. If gray is a good color for you, I'd dye it gray rather than black. Truer to the original design. If there are buttons or buttonholes, they will stay original color. If it's a wool cardigan, regular washing machine dye requires a 40C dye cycle that can cause felting. Cotton, viscose and silk are fine; synthetic mixes (such as cotton-nylon) will pick up a lighter tone and polyester cannot be dyed with regular home dyes. After dyeing, clean up the coin-lint-trapping rubber part of the washing machine - some dye often lingers there and can stain your other clothes.

The cocoon shape is very current and I really love my oatmeal merino cocoon cardi. It gives a great finishing touch to very plain outfits (=jeans, tee, ankle boots) but I also wore it to a matinee with a short leather skirt and tall boots, very versatile.

Tried to combine the short-sleeved rose cardi with white jeans, but it looked too mumsy twee. Having a stressful deadline-packed day, so back to wearing the men's French blue denim shirt <new favorite item>

maybemyrtle Fri 10-May-13 14:07:21

Hopefully The ones that have so far escaped the charity culls:
one of these that I'll never wear again sad and this in Eggplant. Also a shorter Hennes one, black with gold printed sequins. I'm too pear-y for this shape skirt and too old for rock chick nowadays!!

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Fri 10-May-13 14:57:08

Thanks Frugal. I've checked the label and it's 50% cotton and 50% viscose so should end up as a pale grey with beige undertones. Should be interesting!

Myrtle That first tube skirt is great.

DigWeedSow Fri 10-May-13 16:06:41

I've gone for the preppy look today! Straight leg jeans, camel and navy fitted tunic, camel mac, camel loafers and pewter satchel. The coat and jeans are around 5 years old and are still favourites, interestingly I paid more for these than I would normally as I loved the style/quality. I reckon that cost per wear they have outdone a lot of their cheaper counterparts.

FrugalFashionista Fri 10-May-13 20:57:01

Paris go for it and let us know how it works out!

Dig I often think the best value clothes are those made of great materials in simple, timeless styles - they make you feel great every time you wear them and last very well.

I made a great discovery last night. I still have a very simple cotton-polyester black coat from about 3 years ago when gothic Victoriana was all the rage. It is almost monastic but made of good materials but the focal point is mutton sleeves, combined with a very plain zip. I have not worn it a lot because it would l It looked great and pared down with my bright cigarette pants.

FrugalFashionista Fri 10-May-13 21:12:07

Sorry, touchscreen fail <tired>
Anyway, a forgotten short coat was the perfect 5:3 complement to one of my favorite items this summet - my very bright trousers - it felt great on a night out <nights still chilly around here>
I almost donated that coat last year, now very happy that I still have it grin

I'm starting to think that storaging and selectively rotating my clothes might be the correct way to address my bloated wardrobes. I read the charity shop chapter in 'To die for' and it made me feel thoroughly sick sad So trying to be responsible and making the best possible use of what I have (and severely limiting shopping in the future) would probably be the answer.

VioletGoesVintage Sat 11-May-13 00:09:31

What does the charity shop section say, Frugal? In summary, that is,of course! I have 3 bags lined up ready to go next week....

I've done some dying recently too. The tired cotton tees are now revitalised to their original navy but the white cotton/poly skirt is a bit, umm, not sure.... Due to the poly content, I wasn't expecting it to dye navy but the very pale grey it turned out as was a surprise. It does look nice, I think - like it's meant to be that colour - but I'm not sure it's dark enough for me to feel comfortable wearing. My palate is very much navy, charcoal and black, with touches of emerald, dark pink and white.

On that note, I was very happy with today's outfit, a never-before-worn combination: vintage wash bootcut jeans (very long), a blue and black striped long-sleeved tee under an elbow length black jumper. Jumper is a loose knit with a hint of sparkle in it. Oh, and I loved today's shoes: navy and black pointed flats, kind of western style.

VioletGoesVintage Sat 11-May-13 00:11:17

Dying? I mean dyeing, of course. <D'oh>

I've not, I hope, done any dying this week, although I may have had a glass of wine tonight (DC having a sleepover with an indulgent relative).

Justonemorecardi Sat 11-May-13 00:12:52

Has this site already been mentioned? I really liked her 10 piece capsule wardrobe.

Justonemorecardi Sat 11-May-13 00:13:13

Has this site already been mentioned? I really liked her 10 piece capsule wardrobe.

Justonemorecardi Sat 11-May-13 00:14:02

Sorry for double post - I'm rubbish at copy and paste on iPad!

QueenCadbury Sat 11-May-13 08:30:32

I've been feeling guilty at how much I have bought lately but I've found it hard to wear some of my old clothes knowing that they're the wrong colours. They've all been purchases on my mental wish list though so will get worn loads.

frugal I would also be interested to know what the book says about charity shops as I give a lot to them.

I'd also love to do some dyeing but the stitching not taking the colour would bug me. I've got a cream jacket and so making it darker would mean the stitching would show and presumably if I tried bleach to whiten it, it would ruin the fabric?

My task today is to take a couple of tops back that have ruined in the wash. One is a tee with a curved hem but it's gone all wonky and is now unwearable (I can't tuck it in as I look silly!). The other is a tee that appears to have shrunk.

justonemorecardi thanks very much for linking to the Daily Connoisseur blog. You have given me a real a-ha moment. The gist of the blog is that she is from California and had a transformational experience as an exchange student in Paris.

We're all heavily influenced by our early experiences and it's reminded me of how my Mum had a similar experience which she would always tell us about. She went from a post-war German farming community to study at the Sorbonne in the early Sixties and lived with a Parisian family. Apart from the more bonkers stuff she went on about (you must never cut a potato with a knife apparently), she drummed into me and my sister that less is more, quality matters and, more importantly in her mind, you can have the most expensive, fancy outfit in the world, but if your hair is dirty, you'll still look a mess.

Whether I like it or not, a lot of these things have stayed with me as well as other elements of a strict European upbringing (I had to curtesy to older people until I was in my early teens, I kid you not). I think it explains why I'm drawn to a streamlined wardrobe and classic, quality clothing. Not sure I actually dress like that yet!

In answer to frugal's question about what to do with your 'excess' clothes, the simple answer is it depends, but be realistic. This is discussed a lot on the minimalist/decluttering threads in Good Housekeeping.

I personally eBay stuff although the returns are mixed. We've eBayed loads of stuff, but it's been with the aim of paying for our holidays. I'm not the sort of person (or broke enough) to bother doing it for just more money to go into my bank account as the amounts aren't huge. I know some people see something they want to buy and then eBay until they have 'saved' the money.

Other good places to sell are Gumtree and local Facebook selling groups. Easier to list and the person comes to collect. It can be good for maternity clothing and formal dressing, especially as the wedding season looms.

But be honest - if it's just going to sit in an eBay pile for six months, do something else. Give it to Women's Aid, charity shop or other charity, e.g. If you have excess work or smart clothing, there are projects supporting people getting back into work who need suits and shoes etc.

The thing you have to get your head round is that you will never get the money or time back that you spent on those items. You have to make your peace with that, which can take a while. If I'm honest, eBay is a slight form of penance for me.

FrugalFashionista Sat 11-May-13 10:22:42

Fantastic ideas QoW! Sorry about long post, but trying to summarize the charity shop chapter in To Die For (highly recommended).

How do charity shops operate?
The way we think it works
You send them clothes, they discard a few but sell most of them in the local charity shop where eager shoppers get a true bargain. Yay! This transaction funds the operation costs.

The way it really works
You send them clothes. Only 52% of the donations are high grade enough to be sold on. Only an average of 10% is resaleable in UK and destined to local charity shops, where it is given 3-4 weeks to sell. The quality of donated clothes has steadily decreased (due to increasing numbers of poor-quality high street items) and covering operating costs is increasingly challenging. Unsold items and 90% of the resaleable donations are sorted in a sorting plant. A small portion of the resaleable fiber, perhaps about 10%, can be recycled to become car door and car seat fillers and wiping rags. Wool used to be recycled in Italian textile plants, but is increasingly sent to landfills. The overwhelming majority of clothes is baled and sold to middlemen who ship it to Africa. Currently, 16% of all containers on ships bound for Africa are full of used clothes. This rag trade is worth more than 1 billion USD annually. The bales are a mixed bunch: some charities do a good job sorting, but increasingly low-quality clothes are dumped into the bales - we seem to be outsourcing our landfills sad

African buyers (often market sellers and other small entrepreneurs who will spend their average monthly income to purchase a bale) generally have to buy the bales blind. African buyers are not very excited about that droopy viscose top with twisting seams either - apparently the highest value items in clothing bales are football shirts and flared jeans. A lot of the clothing in the bales is difficult to sell and poses a significant financial risk to the small-time entrepreneurs.

Many African countries have an uneasy relationship with the rag trade, and many countries have banned some or all of it. Although sub-Saharan Africa is one of the biggest global cotton producers, domestic textile industries cannot compete with the shiploads of dumped clothing and have continued to decline steadily. Economists state that no country has ever achieved a sustainable per capita national income without developing an indigenous clothing industry. So dumped clothing as 'development aid' is probably doing exactly the opposite.

What happens with the discards, or about half of the content of the charity bags? It's difficult to find reliable statistics of how much clothing is discarded - charity shops are unwilling to give exact estimates as they fear it will negatively affect their business. states that to offset the 2.15 million tonnes of new clothing and shoes purchased each year in the UK, over 1.4 million tonnes are sent to UK landfill every year (either directly by consumers and shops or by commercial textile sorters subcontracted by charities). The lifespan of polyester in a landfill is at least 200 years.

Bottom line: do not use the charity bag for dumping. Avoid fast fashion, resell, swap, reuse and repurpose all you can. If you want to donate to charity, donate clothes that you think might do well on eBay (better UK resale value), or donate football shirts and flared jeans (high resale value in Africa).

teta Sat 11-May-13 11:09:38

Its been pretty cold here.On thursday it was 9 degrees with a very cold wind and i was freezing in my summer coat.So i'm now wearing my winter clothes again.Cashmere jumpers have been retrieved from the cupboard.The only change is boyfriend jeans instead of skinnies and leopard sneakers[which have been a revelation as they really are like walking on air].
I've sorted out more summer clothes.£100's worth of Wrap clothes have been binned.Mostly due to utter shapelessness.I will never shop from this website again[includes Poetry]My Hush midi marks when you dry it over the airer.Now have stripes across it<poor>.I am so fed up of buying appalling quality clothes that turn to rags after one wash.Good for you taking items back if they become mishapen Queen.I don't think as a nation we like to complain too much.
Frugal i do think rotating clothes works.It stops me getting too bored of certain items and also means my wardrobe isn't too full.I do it mainly by colour as well as by weight[winter].I am trying to buy less and better quality but it is difficult.In terms of reselling/recycling i pass on decent items to our local dress agency where they tend to sell for peanuts.If they don't sell there i then pass on only wearable items to the charity shops.Kids clothes go to the Salvation army bin.Bras go into the specialist bra bin at our local recycling centre.
I love the dyeing stories.I even had a look at the Dylon colours in my local hardware shop,Sadly i can't think of anything that needs transforming at the moment.Love the sound of your outfits Frugal and Dig.They sound like really classic combinations.I succumbed to the lure of Tk Maxx this week and bought some silk/jersey mix t shirts/dresses.They are pretty on with the fine silk grecian type draping going on.But the jersey is viscose and the silk is incredibly thin.I do wonder how long they will last.Hate the fact that natural fabrics seem to often be mixed with synthetics these days.

VioletGoesVintage Sat 11-May-13 11:24:10

Very interesting, and much what I feared - thank you, Frugal.

I do try hard only to donate what I think to be decent stuff to charity shops - so nothing bobbly, misshapen, threadbare etc. The rest gets labelled as "rags" and given to a place that asks for such things. But I've seen clothing markets in sub-Saharan Africa full of the West's leavings and, my goodness, I'd be annoyed if I'd spent all of my monthly income purchasing some of that lot.....

Really, the answer has to be to buy less, buy better, doesn't it? Always assuming you can afford to, of course. On that note, I am finding it impossible to find a white jumper in natural fibres (pref linen/cotton mix), long-sleeved or perhaps elbow length. Everything, but everything, seems to have acrylic/nylon/viscose/polybloodyester in it!

Very interesting to hear about your upbringing, Queen. I have several German friends and, contrary to national stereotyping, have always admired how well put together they are and how, despite their high incomes, they don't shop shop shop like it's going out of fashion. Mind you, my English grandparents, who were young adults during WWII, also had something of that mindset. Although always financially comfortable, they would never have dreamed have buying something for the sake of it, that they didn't need and that wasn't very well made. Hmmm. How times change. It's leaving me thinking how, maybe, I don't actually need that white jumper I mentioned earlier.

FrugalFashionista Sat 11-May-13 11:39:09

Thanks for your feedback Teta! I'm going to look into rotating <get bored easily - it might help with that too>

QC dyeing only works if you really like the item and the likely end result. If you feel unsure, it's better to face the facts. Good luck with returns! We really should give more customer feedback - subpar quality is unacceptable and a waste of resources.

I used to be a faithful mid-range shopper but ever-decreasing quality has forced me to move to higher end <no guarantees of good workmanship there either> and to become an avid label reader. In the past year I've found good clothes on the Outnet, Yoox and Matches sales, and selectively in higher-end department stores. Zara and H&M purchases have been a total waste of money, even 100% cotton items haven't held their shape. But have woken up to realize that many companies I have supported don't treat their suppliers in a fair way so trying to look into more ethical alternatives. I'm also trying to purchase items that I can wear for a long time. Fast fashion can be addictive I think I've done with it.

Violet polyester is tricky in dyeing but absolutely loving your long bootcut look! It can be so flattering, I always feel my legs are supermodel caliber when I wear them.

Cardi thanks for the link!

I'm stuck in a rut - wearing white jeans with my men's French blue shirt once again <time to wash both soon>

I rescued a pair of shoes yesterday! <preens> My sky blue cheap mock-ostrich ballerinas were looking really tired. I looked into leather dyes but lots of them are quite toxic and I'm not a confident shoe painter. Some websites said you can refresh leather dye with food coloring (apparently leather is usually stained, not painted) and while preparing to do so, I washed the shoes inside and out with water (never do this but felt I had nothing to lose). And lo and behold, when all the grime was gone, they looked about 100x better and are good for at least another summer! Might give them some TLC in the form of a beeswax coat when they are completely dry. And possibly skip the food coloring wink

DigWeedSow Sat 11-May-13 12:30:20

Thank you Frugal for posting about charity shops. My goal is to buy less and to buy quality items that I truly love wearing. I'm sick of having a wardrobe full of not quite right pieces but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find anything that ticks every box in terms of quality, style and fit. Throw price and ethics into the mix and its impossible.

In order to strengthen my resolve I'm going to order To Die For. As a grown your own, eco aware, chemical shunning vegetarian, I find it appalling that in many other areas of my life I'm well aware of the social and ecological cost of owning "stuff" yet for some reason I've been blinkered when it comes to clothing. sad

On a lighter note wearing old clothes today as having a clear out of DS's old toys. Thankfully these can be passed on to younger nephews, pity that his old clothes are never in a fit state to be passed on in the same way!

FrugalFashionista Sat 11-May-13 19:09:47

Dig you've done already than most grin but I agree that fashion / apparel production cannot any more be the ethical black hole it has somehow become. We can buy fairtrade bananas everywhere and nobody bats an eyebrow if we ask for organic or an energy efficiency A+ dishwasher - why should clothes be any different?

I'm almost done with 'To Die For'. It's definitely among the most important books I've read this year (and I'm an avid reader), just like 'Overdressed' was last year. I'm not pretending I'm particularly ahead the curve, but my life as a mindless shopper and my relationship with fast fashion is definitely over.

Slow Fashion, when you savor it like 'Slow Food', actually sounds fantastic. Siegle writes: "The key to this is to then of the wardrobe in terms of a collection that needs to be curated. This reinforces the idea that each piece is important, wanted, and needs to be preserved and treasured to the end of its useful life. Curating your clothes is another bulwark against filling your closet with impulse-bought fashion junk. And it is not just about selecting pieces, but about how you treat the clothes you already own. It begins with how you look after them."

I know the fashion press abuses the terms 'to curate' and 'pieces' hmm, but I really get what Siegle says. I'm tired of brief flings and impulsive one-night-stands and really after longer-term commitment. This includes a mindshift - instead of looking for 'a perfect piece' it means learning to tolerate and love the flawed and the imperfect: in brief, wabi-sabi esthetics, but perhaps more of that some other time.

QueenCadbury Sat 11-May-13 19:28:52

See frugal when you speak like that it makes sense. I think what makes it hard is that week by week, stores are bringing out new stock. I know I should step away from the iPad and just not look at shops online but somehow we've become conditioned. Then again, buying less but better doesn't always sit well with your lifestyle. I'm a SAHM with a very messy/dirty toddler. Anything I wear rarely lasts more than a day without being covered in porridge/chocolate/ketchup etc and so I need a lot of clothes otherwise I would constantly be washing (bad for me, bad for the environment). Also if I bought too well then I would be scared to wear it in case it got covered with the afore mentioned crap.

Am probably talking rubbish. Am on my second glass of prosecco grin

FrugalFashionista Sat 11-May-13 21:04:35

QC you are allowed to wear disposable clothes when you are a new mother grin It is a fleeting period through - my younger girl is now 3 and I can wear white and silk and whatnot but am stuck with the new-mom short-sleeved cardis and denim dresses If they get smeared, it's usually me anyway wink Don't be too hard on yourself - you have done many good things. There must be some karmic balance... Take it slow? Pack things away, reassess them next year? Build wishlists on Pin, then slowly accumulate new well-made items in your new colors? All these things will help you to figure out your true style.

But I agree we are being conditioned. New, shiny tempting things arrive every week and new trends are born all the time, making something you acquired last month or last year feel obsolete. Shopping has become a hobby and a social thing <I'm an alumna of various shopping threads> I think research shows that many consumers have a strong wish to do the right thing - but when the resolve is reassessed when some new and tempting item is shown to them, suddenly everyone is willing to compromise. A lot. And I'm certainly not immune sad But I'm definitely tired of wardrobe bulimia and the ever-increasing binge-purge cycles.

The good: I found a denim tunic I haven't worn much I too have too many denim tops that has a slim leather belt. Another item that works really well with white jeans grin

The bad: DH brought home a platter of sushi, but to me some of it tasted slightly off confused Had some grappa to kill lingering microbes... wine

Pretentious as curating your wardrobe sounds, I think there's definitely something in that. And I always learn something on Mumsnet, even if I had to google wabi sabi wink.

alemci Sun 12-May-13 12:18:12

I am finding that things which I bought last year or 2 years' ago which are not cheapest of cheap have little holes in them. I am not sure if it is moths but could be as the clothes were packed away but I have not found holes in my older things. The cotton is now so thin on things it is almost transparent and you get a wavy lines on some t-shirts in the shops.

I remember some of my dd's clothing getting the odd hole in too so I wonder if it is quality related.

FrugalFashionista Sun 12-May-13 18:42:58

Sounds sad Alemci. I have a viscose Sweaty Betty top that developed small holes after a couple of wears sad Lots of sheer and semi-sheer tops in the shops right now, doubt they will wash and wear well as they are so very flimsy to start with.

Sorry about poncey-sounding musings grin - you can think of your wardrobe any way you want. Growing/cultivating/pruning and other gardening metaphors <eyeroll> would work too.

I feel bad about my languishing skinny jeans, so wore my longtime favorite pair today with a very voluminious watermelon red rayon top and my freshly beeswaxed favorite blue shoes and pretty blue chain-strap bag. It's an outfit that always seem to work and cheer me up.
But it's a bit too cold now so am wearing a coral mohair jumper.

I did some ironing - DH put on a good record, so it was actually fun - and four items look and feel much fresher now <I detest ironing> Looking forward to wearing them later this week.

Hopefully Sun 12-May-13 18:53:40

Thin cotton is a PITA, I find a lot of t-shirts get holey around the jeans button area, and I'm sure that's the cause on mine. Have heard it attributed to all sorts of things though, including particles of cleaning spray eating away at clothes (picked up when brushing past kitchen surfaces). Who knows?

I think the shopping as a social thing is interesting - for me I find browsing quite a social thing (love nothing more than sharing a delicious link on the MN Vogue thread), but actual shopping is a very different, carefully thought through activity. I like the combination - satisfies my fashion love without costing a fortune!

Ironing is a hugely under-rated activity - makes all clothes look newer and better. I only do it once a week, usually with a film on.

DigWeedSow Sun 12-May-13 20:13:40

Loving your musings Frugal, I would love to prune back my wardrobe and cultivate my carefully curated pieces grin

I have also found that a lot of jersey tops have got holey around the jeans button area Hopefully and previously put it down to the fabric rubbing between jeans button and kitchen worktops.

QueenCadbury Sun 12-May-13 21:12:16

I'm so glad it's not just me who gets holes in the belt/button area. It's only happened in the last year though so quality must definately be getting worse. I've started trying to do the semi tuck thing so that it can't rub. Either that or a vest underneath so that gets the holes instead.

I had mysterious holes appear in loads of new tops a few years ago. First of all thought I had a moth problem although never saw one of the bastards, spent a fortune on anti moth stuff, then thought it was my new granite work top, then a belt that I binned...but jeans buttons! Well, wish I'd known. Stopped happening now

FrugalFashionista Sun 12-May-13 22:23:39

I read somewhere that the weight of a white cotton tee has significantly decreased in the past few years (post cotton crisis) and that the fiber is fluffed up with various chemical fillers and surface smoothers <works probably just as well as your average blow dry> Try weighing your old and new tees!

I've looked everywhere for a good white / cream / smoke blue simple top I could wear under my jackets. Cotton or silk or a mixture; not too clingy; not sheer or semi sheer; haven't found one yet. Maxmara have a good contender, but no idea where they manufacture their clothes these days. People Tree also have a few tops I could try, but they look quite voluminous on their website, and I'm not looking for a tent! If I do find suitable candidates, I will briefly suspend my shopping ban, as this is a really essential item that I would use constantly.

Oh, and I have a new style crush: Vika Gazinskaya - talk about timeless style.

FrugalFashionista Mon 13-May-13 08:23:52

Today's outfit
*White straight-leg jeans
*Short-sleeved denim tunic (extremely well-made, feels almost like couture) cinched at waist with a tan leather ribbon; side splits make it very flattering
* Oatmeal merino cocoon cardi
* White-taupe two-tone oxford slingbacks
* Silver mock-Tiffany chain bracelet
These classic summer colors feel extremely luxurious! (Might work outside for an hour to tan my legs a bit.)

alemci Mon 13-May-13 09:19:27

it's only the odd top. One is white stuff on the back of the garment (may put tiny stitch in but what a faff and the other is Oasis. It could be moths as my DH had a couple of jumpers with holes but they were bigger and these holes were tiny and everything else was ok. It may even be my washing machine but it is fairly new.

I tend to hang on to old t-shirts to wear at home but I don't really like them for work. I hate the new M&S ones with the longer sleeves. I usually find the m&S ones from previous years have been ok

AphraBehn Mon 13-May-13 09:44:24

I get that problem with t shirts as well. I put it down to where my belt buckle rubs when I'm doing things like standing at the sink. Maybe I need a more glamorous lifestyle then I wouldn't have these problems!

Today I am wearing an old favourite, an emerald green ruffle front top that I have had for about 3 years. It was from Loft, which is a US brand I love because they do such good strong colours. Emerald green is really good on me, it sounds sappy but my face noticeably lights up when I wear it. Have put it with dark blue jeans and my trusty leopard flats which have proved to be a really versatile buy.

Am contemplating a shopping ban. Last year I imposed a ban on buying handbags after my DS starting commenting on how many I had! Since then, I seem to have curbed the urge to buy any more. Hoping that a clothes shopping ban may do the same. Will think it over...

mothermirth Mon 13-May-13 11:55:25

Hi ladies,

Have been lurking and loving the thread. Heading for six months of my ban and doing well. Have only slipped up once - snaffled a lovely soft cashmere tunic in a second-hand shop a few weeks ago. Felt very disappointed with myself for falling off the ban-wagon, but as I only have five a couple of bits of cashmere, I feel it was justified.. Have worn it almost every day loads. smile

Finding it difficult now it's summer but it's my birthday soon and I'm going to beg ask my DH to treat me to something new. Presents are allowed grin

mothermirth Mon 13-May-13 11:56:46

Can't count. A bloody long time five months. smile

AphraBehn Mon 13-May-13 13:04:20

5 or 6 months! That's bloody amazing mothermirth.

<guilt> Surely I can manage a month then...?

mothermirth Mon 13-May-13 13:37:05

Hehe, it's not that difficult once you get used to it. I do a lot of window-shopping instead and dream of 2014 the time when I'm 'allowed' to shop again.

Have rediscovered lots of ancient garments in my wardrobe most of which are vile and need throwing out – there is the the odd gem.

It is strange: as if part of my life has gone. Interesting, though smile I browse a lot, but just tell myself shopping's not for me at the moment. I keep watching stuff on Ebay, but letting it go. Feels almost like shopping without the spends

It is doable: you just need to be strict firm with yourself. I know it's not forever, so I can still fantasise about clothes smile

YoniTime Mon 13-May-13 14:21:17

Hi all, I haven't been posting but I'm still following these threads with interest. And I'm now learning how to sew smile

Whoa, Vika Gazinskaya is inspiring! So stylish, but I'm getting the feeling that you have to purchase quite luxurious items if you want to pull off that oversize, minimal look? And be skinny.

Finally, anyone want to help writing to People Tree? They're a great fairtrade company, but they don't have enough basics, mostly lots of odd patterned clothes. So I thought I'd write to them and tell them more basics (such as thick white tees!) would be great.

Hopefully Mon 13-May-13 14:33:18

Frugal Vika Gazinskaya's style looks like (a more extreme version of) the way you describe your own style sometimes - granny chic but very chic!

I made a dressmaker trip this morning - I don't have the time or inclination to do major alterations myself (although I do have the knowledge), so am having a vintage eBay winter coat (£30, pure wool and mohair, large scale tartan) taken in drastically, a much-loved-but-never-really-used Hobbs boucle skirt taken up (it's a shade long so looks frumpy, but otherwise perfect) and a shirt dress copied and then turned into an actual shirt (it's too small over my hips, always has been really, but top half fits perfectly). Apologies to those that have read that exact paragraph on the MN Vogue thread today, just thought it was interesting that even I with my really very minimalist wardrobe have been able to find things to alter, salvage and work with that weren't getting full use in my wardrobe. Interestingly, the Hobbs skirt can only be taken up successfully because it is well made - there wouldn't be enough fabric to move the back split higher up if it wasn't well made with big seam allowances. An occasion where buying slightly better quality and getting it altered has made it possible to have an absolutely perfect skirt in a beautiful fabric for sub-designer prices. I also have two pairs of jeans in my personal repair pile, as I am quite capable of the pocket-tear-repair and minor bit of seam mending required. All of that will increase my wardrobe by about 15%, and the only actual new item of clothing will be the copied shirt dress.

Well, I was the one who started talking about the shopping ban and have done the opposite.

I had a bit of a trawl through the charity shops on Saturday (by myself, which is always a bonus) I bought a cream/coral/blue patterned top, a pair of chocolate brown trousers and a teal/purple knee length skirt. All three items need altering, but that was part of the reason I bought them and only the trousers are the right size.

The top needs taking in and I've already taken one of the sleeves off, as I think it will look better sleeveless. Like frugal, I struggle with patterns but love this one.

The skirt is a Monsoon fusion one made of a heavy silk. It's a size 14, but a bit like hopefully, it's well made with wide seams and quality materials so good for adapting.

The trousers are cotton with a bit of spandex and slightly flared at the leg, so I will take them in to make slim, straight summery trousers that I have been lusting after.

It felt like a successful haul and I was conscious of what frugal had posted about charity shops and the level of waste. I saw a fair few things BNWT and most things had only just been put out that week. It makes you realise what a turnover they have and there were queues at the till. By the time I was in one of the larger ones in town, I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by all that discarded clothing.

However I also had a very enjoyable trip to Fabricland where I bought some green cotton for a 60s skirt pattern from eBay and some teal cotton polyester for a pair of trousers I want to make. The vibe was really nice and all the staff were really friendly, so different from your average high street store! hopefully, your sister's blog has been really encouraging and there's some great stuff on there about making your own clothes.

Oh yes, I did a really quick detour via House of Fraser, purely in the interest of this thread wink. There's quite a large Jaeger concession and they have some nice stuff. But even there they had dresses made out of 100% polyester and loads of viscose. Price tag? £160.

yonitime I like your Peopletree idea. I wonder if the realise that many of us would love decent basics, but can't find them.

alemci Mon 13-May-13 16:34:34

I ordered some tops online from Debenhams just now Mantaray and John Rocha. I tried them on instore and they were reasonable. They were more shirty material than t-shirt.

The John Rocha t-shirt had Modal in it. Not sure but won't keep if I don't like. Just want a few bits for work.

FrugalFashionista Mon 13-May-13 22:14:58

Hopefully thanks re: trip to dressmaker's! That's what true style is all about - having things fitted and altered to suit you perfectly!

QoW I had a stressful workday, and this is always dangerous for overshopping impulses. I procrastinate by browsing online, and although I've completed a ton of work, it scares me how quick and efficient I am at fillling a cart and clicking 'buy'. I should probably become someone's personal shopper... I think I managed to solve my longstanding neutral top problem, but what annoys me is that a) I broke my shopping ban and b) I found 3 different tops, not just one <slap slap slap> Very mixed emotions confused

Mothermirth great to have you back! And yes please do stick around, hats off to 5 months! I've been able to do 4 weeks and 3 weeks sad Back on the wagon anyway. And be gentle on yourself, 2nd hand bargains really cannot ever be planned purchases.

Yoni and QoW I agree 100% re: People Tree and will join the petition! I very rarely buy prints, but I need good plain basics and would not mind paying for them. A white scoop-neck tee made of thick cotton, like this one from a US-based line, is next to impossible to find.

Alemci modal is one of the higher-end cellulose fibers (cousins to viscose). I quite like rayon, modal, tencel, and lyocell; they are often heavier weight and silkier.

Hopefully and Yoni I love people with striking personal style! Diana Vreeland is my perma-favorite, but Vika looks much more like me. She is of course infinitely quirkier and more stylish than I will ever be, but many of her silhouettes are my favorites too. I have similar body proportions so looking at her outfits is really helpful - this (without the lippy and scarf) or this or this could be me right now and I'd love to wear that. Her coloring (muted) and her pale and slightly nondescript face sound familiar too <that's why she wears flamboyant outfits> I actually had a peasant headscarf phase in my twenties and still own several cloche hats and cocoon coats <turban next?>

Do you ladies have style idols?

FrugalFashionista Mon 13-May-13 22:45:28

Recovering Shopaholic nails it again! (You may have linked to this post before but it really hits home tonight.) The Ban is on once again...

Justonemorecardi Tue 14-May-13 00:25:06

This is my current favourite thread, I love coming on here for inspiration. This afternoon I've spent hours listing clothes on ebay, and I have to confess I'm shocked at how many still had labels on or had hardly been worn. The link you posted frugal is really poignant, many were purchased because I wanted something to wear but didn't know what. I've never really wardrobe planned so collect orphans constantly - I intend to change.

I have got a lot better since the original thread started - I think I've worked out my style and a pallet of colours I like (many of the clothes I didn't love were browns - so no more earthy colours). But I think I still need help in how to plan. Should I be aiming for a set number of outfits? How should I identify gaps? I've always tried to buy in outfits, but I'm now thinking I should buy to go with what I already have and make each item work in several outfits. Am I over thinking this? confused Does anyone know of any stylish wardrobe planning sites? i like putting me together and shopaholic but I think their outfits can err on the side of conservative (only my opinion - but I probably can't talk!)

I also wonder how I can inject variety - rather than end up in the same skinny jeans and tops? For example, at this time of year I give up on skirts as opaque tights and boots look odd, but it's too cold for bare legs, so I just end up in different jeans and tops - I think this boredom of the same silhouette gets me buying mistakes, I want to wear something different but can't find anything I'm comfortable with. How do I experiment without wasting money? (I am much better in the winter and love skirts and dresses, but I'm not tall so knee length or just above looks best hence the bare leg problem in the summer)

Feel I'm waffling now!

Parisisalwaysagoodidea Tue 14-May-13 09:17:18

Hello All!

Update on the cocoon cardigan I was dyeing grey. It turned out perfectly!

Interesting to hear about tailors. I might have to investigate that. Being 5ft 3 I am lucky that turn ups are 'in' at the moment but it won't last forever!

My style icon is Christine Centenera. We are similar height and body shapes. I am more interested in the shape of clothes rather than colour or pattern so her style really inspires me.

DigWeedSow Tue 14-May-13 09:27:05

So much for a no spend May! Last night I ordered 2x camisoles and a navy jacket. The reason behind the purchases is that the camisoles are to go under my two existing lace t shirts and the navy jacket is to replace an old one. The lace t shirts are made from a lovely 100% cotton lace however they came with coordinating camisoles in 100% shiny polyester shock and it really cheapens them hence the purchase of two cotton ones.
The navy jacket is to replace the one I already have, I've never really liked the shape (too boxy) of it and despite altering it never feel right when I'm wearing it.

Right, justification over! Yoni great idea about People Tree, I'm in!

Frugal Don't really have any style idols but I do admire Ines de la Fressange I like her classic style with a twist.

Just I understand what you are saying about boredom with your silhouette. I virtually always dress in trousers and would love to wear more dresses and skirts, however when I do it just doesn't feel right. Sometimes I think it's just a case of finding what works for you and adapting that style rather than going with something completely different. Well, that's what works for me but then I do have a habit of playing it safe smile

teta Tue 14-May-13 10:14:04

I love Recovering Shopaholics writing,but her clothes and the way she dresses are just so direhmm.I love the talk of different style inspirations and how we all dress in such different ways.Christine Cen. is stunning-with the little origami-inspired skirts.Your new style crush Frugal, dresses in such an interesting way.I'm little and fairly square shaped and look best in very simple clothes-with heels generally.I'm also tending to a more monochrome wardrobe these days.The way that Jennifer Ariston looks suits me down to the ground[rather boring i know].
Dig i also have problems with synthetic linings.Have a silk nude vest that i've kept for years to wear underneath sheer silk tops.Why do clothes shops sell silk dresses with polyester/viscose linings?Surely it defeats the purpose.
New Bangladeshi accord has been signed by several large clothing manufacturers[after rioting in the streets in Bangladesh].

DigWeedSow Tue 14-May-13 13:08:31

Teta good news that many large companies have signed although I am sad that Gap haven't. Looking at their facebook page though it appears that a lot of people will be boycotting them so hopefully they will make a u turn.

I really admire Recovering Shopaholic as she writes with such honesty and vulnerability. However I hope she finds a way to phase out those black and white striped items, as they just don't work. She also doesn't suit to dress her shape as she is a pear and wears tops that are too fitted or the sleeves are too short. Because she is so honest, I find I can look at her clothes and style quite objectively, which helps me.

As I'm at home today, I had a P333 'review' if you like and realise I only actually have about 28 things. So officially I have too few clothes! I have a few things to finish altering and sewing and I am watching some knitwear on eBay. There is also a bunch of stuff put to one side that is 'proper' summer stuff (raining heavily here and I have the heating on) or to ebay in the autumn. Working with my HoC book is really helping me plan and identify what I want.

cardi I wouldn't buy in outfits, but just individual items that you love as long as you know they're realistic for your lifestyle and in colours and materials that work for you. I find Pinterest incredibly helpful and it curbs a lot of my impulses, as I still feel I 'own' some of the pretty things just by pinning them. I'm Queen of Whatever on there as well, if you want to have a look.

Have spent this morning looking online for cream cotton vests with lace digweedsow - any suggestions?

And frugal, don't feel too bad about the things you bought. Each time it happens, you analyse it a bit more and work out what just happened. A couple of questions - why do you think you bought multiples? Why did you hit buy rather than wait a day or come and ask us? Certainly not criticisms, but I'm genuinely interested.

DigWeedSow Tue 14-May-13 14:06:16

QoW if its an all over lace vest that you are wanting then Jack Wills has a gorgeous one in cream, won't link to it as its very tempting but it is on the website.

Just changed out of yoga gear, today's outfit is rolled hem chinos, classic white shirt, brown tweed jacket and leopard print pumps.

My no spend May is going well so far. I haven't bought any clothes at all but I am planning on a perfume purchase. It's one I've been waiting ages for so I don't feel bad about it. I've been making good use of the clothes I already have, using over 80% of my wardrobe instead of the usual 20% I go back to time and time again.

Hopefully Tue 14-May-13 15:27:40

I am feeling a bit bleak as I've realised I need to update my work wardrobe - two or three cardigans/jackets are getting really beyond the pale, and one work dress has been worn to death (will attempt a re-dye, but i think the fabric is just getting a bit worn out and it shows. appearance matters in my job, so need to get on the case. Am trying to do plenty of research to make sure I buy the perfect replacements though.

AphraBehn Tue 14-May-13 16:59:02

Ladies, I am now on a shopping ban.

I have an exam on 14th June, so one month away. I may allow myself to buy something after the exam.

oh heck, only one month until my exam

FrugalFashionista Tue 14-May-13 17:17:36

Hopefully I'm the queen of multiples but paradoxically I'd say don't panic, start with just one dress and cardi/jacket in the best possible quality grin Multiples are for ourselves - others will never notice. I like to observe people's clothes and often notice low quality - but I'd probably completely fail to notice whether it was the same outfit or a different one than the day before wink (That's btw one of the problems with RecShop's wardrobe - it's full of near-identical multiples - quantity vs quality. But her writing is stellar, I mislinked last night, meant this post.)

QoW excellent questions, thanks. I'm rewarded at work for quick analytical and decision making skills; I'm the one who takes quick action and makes decisions and gets things done when others still deliberate (ENTJ personality). Unfortunately this trait works against me in many other situations (clicking 'buy' for example grin). I complete the full cycle of searching, deciding and finishing the transaction in minutes. I'm also often exposed to very direct feedback and criticism at work (plus as a perfectionist I'm often very harsh on myself). Shopping is one of my distraction strategies and escapes. For me shopping is really about the thrill of the hunt - the high subsides soon after the purchase. Outlets, sales and last pieces are particularly difficult for me to resist - the go go go before it's gone. Multiples is more difficult to understand, but it's some type of insurance against running out of things. Also a consequence of an expat lifestyle - hoarding and hauling various random things during brief visits abroad - has anyone here treated herself to sacks of rolled oats or a steel pressure cooker as a souvenir? grin Will try to slow things down and ask for your feedback next time...

Cardi great that you like it here, I find you ladies very inspiring and I like the emphasis on styling /self-analysis! Pin and Polyvore have helped me a lot, but I find that finding some stylish dressers (via blogs etc) can really develop one's eye - The Sartorialist and Le Catch for example. My problem with 'mum blogs' is that they are anti-aspirational. If I find inspiring looks, I can dress them down on my own: Olivia Palermo and Lauren Santo Domingo and some Italian directional dressers (Giovanna Battaglia, Eleonora Carisi) and Vika. My second big source of inspiration is street style, both on blogs (love Stockholm Street Style) and people around me (very conservative but refined dressers). That has helped a lot with casual looks, neutrals and finding proportions that work.

Hopefully Tue 14-May-13 17:33:58

Good idea Frugal, I will attempt to find one perfect item and take it from there.

In other news, have discovered that my wardrobe is something like 12% of the size of RecShop's (she has a numbers post of how many of everything). Explains why I wear through clothes so quickly!

FrugalFashionista Tue 14-May-13 17:40:51

Dig I do agree - my impulse purchases were camisoles! My cheap white H&M vests have been washed and worn a lot (even mended!) and I suddenly realized that a heavier weight knit (cashmere and a cotton/rayon mix) camisole will feel luxurious against my skin and skim my curves but not cling too much. Plus no ironing needed wink Still havent found tops with sleeves that I really like.

Aphra restarting my shopping ban, my modest goal is until the end of May for now.

Teta and Paris Christine Centenera is stunning and nothing wrong with Jen A <love both her dedication to bootcuts and her new-ish man>

OLL I'll buy a bottle of perfume too - will be at the airport tomorrow on a brief trip for work. I've been really good with my make-up purchase ban <can probably continue for the rest of my life> and using up products <ditto>, and it's been a while since my last full bottle grin

maybemyrtle Tue 14-May-13 19:55:27

Just popping in to say hello really, I've been totally rubbish and fell into the Toast sale. I expect I shall end up sending most of it back but hey ho. Tomorrow is another day. Back in winter clothes today though (it's so cold!) so the jury's out if summer wear will in fact be necessary any time soon... hmm

One small achievement has been to resist charity shop purchases, which sounds odd compared to some other recent posts! I developed a habit of buying things because they're cheap and "for charity", but never wearing them. Resisting (for me) is progress.

Re basics, I find Muji stuff to be reasonable and durable. Not sure on their overall ethical credentials but organic cotton has to be up there?

Hopefully can I ask how much your alterations are costing? I have no idea what's reasonable for these things.

I'm so impressed by the long term shopping bans! Love reading all of your posts flowers

AphraBehn Tue 14-May-13 23:27:20

I've been compiling some stats, considering I don't didn't class myself as a shopoholic they are pretty scary!

Since 1st Jan 2013 I have bought 25 separate items of clothing, shoes and accessories.

4/25 have been worn 6+ times
1/25 has been worn 3 times
9/25 have been worn 1 or 2 times
10/25 haven't been worn at all blush
1/25 has been worn/washed and consigned to the charity shop as a mistake blush

Nothing was very expensive, no one item over £50 and a lot are t shirts/accessories that cost less than £10 but it still adds up to nearly £400! £400? I'm supposed to be skint!

That shopping ban is definately on now.

AphraBehn Tue 14-May-13 23:29:18

Those totals don't include stuff I've ordered/bought and returned!

Going for a lie down now.

mirpuppet Wed 15-May-13 06:35:29

AphraBen8 thanks for sharing.

I also have made a list of purchases since 2013.

I have purchased 28 items; but I have returned 6; and Ebayed 6.

Still have 7 items I have worn shock

So I am with you on this and this is why I'm on this thread.

I would encourage you to return more that you haven't worn if possible.

I am encouraging myself to shop less.

I'm thinking one item per month might be a good goal for me.

I also need to stop buying warm weather clothes- the unworn items are sandals, sleeveless dresses, camisoles, tee shirts.

scarlet76 Wed 15-May-13 06:49:17

Ordering / buying and then returning has become almost a full time occupation for me at times. The woman who works in the local post office even sent me a friend request on FB!
I think, for me, there is something about the thrill of the purchase. Then when I get the item home and that thrill is over, I realise I don't really want or need it.
Whilst I still haven't reached the point of a total shopping ban, my spending is reduced. I am still focusing on a quality over quantity approach to my wardrobe. I am also reducing down the amount of time I allow myself for online shopping. I can easily lose a whole evening to it. So I am limiting my browsing to my 20 minute commute time on the train.

Interesting exercise - never done this before!

Since January I've bought and kept 28 items, and returned a further 10. This doesn't include ebay and charity shop purchases though.

Having listed them though, I'm still pretty happy, and have worn them all more than once. I'm getting so much better at planning my clothes - thinking about my lifestyle, putting together outfits from existing clothes and buying to plug gaps. I used to just buy pretty clothes with no thought about when/where/how I would wear. Which is why I still have a wardrobe of lovely dresses just in case I get invited to the Queen's garden party

Hopefully Wed 15-May-13 07:06:04

I have bought 21 things this year (I am counting a multipack of M&S pants as one thing). 8 of those were eBay buys, and 4 of that 8 are back in the eBay pile (have promised myself to clear eBay backlog before buying anything more) and 1 of the remaining 4 items is a winter coat which is in for alterations so obviously not being used.

Of the remaining items, every item (eBay and full priced) has been worn lots already and is working hard in my wardrobe. The only thing I'm slightly peeved about is that I bought a skirt and shorts that really are warm-weather-only clothes, which I know I will need on those odd warm days, but the shorts certainly won't get a huge amount of use in between. The skirt might get a bit more though.

I feel vaguely guilty about the quantity, but that's mainly because the number is high thanks to eBay misses, which I know I will get money back on as none were expensive. I have always found that a few misses are inevitable with eBay, but worth it for the gems as long as you actually re-sell the misses.

Right, Hopefully, you've inspired me to sort out my wardrobe and get Ebaying. I have waves of Ebay and feel a wave coming on grin

Hopefully Wed 15-May-13 08:23:44

I am attempting to start a wave Dry! I have to in order to fun new clothes, or I'm going to end up wearing holey jeans and a baggy t-shirt to see clients grin.

Interesting how even those of us on this thread, when we actually add it up, are into 20+ purchases this year. I wonder how many people really add it up and take stock. If I'd been asked to hazard a guess without my list I would have said 10-12, tops, which shows how good at denial I am, at least!

Hopefully Wed 15-May-13 08:24:01

fund new clothes. Which is also fun.

Agree about the denial Hopefully. I really thought I'd bought a handful of items - maybe 10 tops.

DigWeedSow Wed 15-May-13 08:44:12

Ok, here goes....
Since January I have bought 26 items. The only things out of this that I haven't worn so far are some of the t shirts and the vests but this has been down to the lovely British weather! Some of the things have been worn multiple times already and this total includes sportswear, underwear, shoes and accessories.

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 15-May-13 16:06:45

Aphra you have made me put all my acquisitions since January into a spreadsheet <geek>, which has really opened my eyes. I have bought 26 items, and I thought I was being so good. blush. I have no idea what I wore last year, as I seem to have worn most of the new stuff lots, (except the bikini and sandals which should last years what with British summers as they are...). My total spend (less what I've sold on Ebay) is £750. That is meant to be about my budget for the whole year. I am honestly horrified and have spent the afternoon unsubscribing to emails and removing myself from mailing lists, I find it so easy to be tempted by online shopping. It is an escape from my mundane working from home lifestyle.

I also spent the weekend considering doing the Project 333 and have cleared and donated a lot of good clothing that I never wore (wrong colours) to charity and some has been listed on ebay - all in preparation of simplifying my wardrobe. I still have over 30 tops, so I am a long way from just 33 items, but this thread and the Bangladesh thread have made me really re-consider my lifestyle and attitude towards clothing. Thankyou Frugal.

The self imposed spending ban is now in place until September at least. Just hope I can stick to it...

Hopefully Wed 15-May-13 16:33:49

Shirley it's amazing what you spend when you actually add it up and really clock what you've been spending.

My number one tip for not having a horrendous overspend on clothes is to work out twice a year (early S/S and early A/W) what you need for the coming season and figure out how much budget you can afford for each bit. I find if I don't make a firm plan I end up spending on the 'fun' stuff, then I still have to spend on essentials like t-shirts and knitwear and the occasional coat or pair of boots, and that's when the budget really gets blown. It's made my life so much easier since I started doing it, and means I can afford to buy decent basics when i need them, rather than having to compromise and then replace them a couple of months later.

teta Wed 15-May-13 16:41:37

<Gulp> here goes my list of clothes since January
1 lightweight Trenchcoat
1 Lightweight parka
4 crew necked t shirts
4 long vest tops
3 t shirt bras/2 sports bras
4 silk tops/t shirts
boyfriend jeans
2 jersey skirts
leopard sneakers
4 short sleeved cotton t shirts
1 cashmere sweater
today-orange fitflops and silk/cotton lace edged vest tops X 3
That adds up to 30 itemsshock
I wear the crew neck and vest tops every day[sometimes twice daily] for gymwear.The coats i wear all the time,ditto the skirts and jeans.The sleeved silk tops i've worn but not all the short sleeved t shirts.The t shirts i havn't worn are the bright colours like green,periwinkle and orange[as i need a tan].As you can see i am the queen of multiples.

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 15-May-13 16:43:43

Hopefully I had written all my spends down in a book, but they were on separate pages and not in list form. I also have a 'would like' list in this notebook - most of which if I'm honest I really don't need as I have similar items already.
My spreadsheet has shocked me, and I grumble about my husband spending much less on bits for his beloved bike!
I agree I need to really consider what I need each season, write it down and then search it out rather than impulse buying in sales and on ebay. At least I've got a few months of not spending now to consider my Autumn list....

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 15-May-13 16:49:48

Multiples are clearly an issue here as well - I have a drawer full of very similar thin cotton layering tops and t-shirts (with a preponderance for green and brown ones!), and a wardrobe full of little neat cashmere cardigans and scarves and indigo jeans... <shakes head at self> but at least I know what I like!

FrugalFashionista Wed 15-May-13 20:13:51

Thanks ladies so much - very interesting totals! Inspired by you, I did mine too… <gulp>
Clothes bought this year: 28 + 3 swapped + 1 warranty replacement underway
*6 pairs of shoes (1 pair of winter shoes, 3 pairs of dressy shoes, 1 vintage pair, 1 pair of sandals)
*6 bracelets (very different styles)
*4 coats (2 evening coats, 1 open cocoon coat, 1 trench)
*4 vests
*2 merino dresses
*1 pair of trousers
*1 pair of jeans
*2 blazers
*1 mohair sweater
*1 scarf
*1 tee

I feared it could have been worse - your numbers are comforting - only after having seen them did I find the courage to do my totals blush But as it's currently only Week 20 of 2013, this means I have accumulated more than one item per week shock It also means I have essentially bought all I would need for Project 333 this year. And I've been on a shopping ban for 7 weeks!!! So the actual rate is about two per week <fast fashion victim>

I'm good about rotating my clothes. Everything except two pairs of party shoes and one pair of winter shoes has been worn (bought on a trip back North from a final sale, intended for next year).

I bought too many bracelets - two were clearly mistakes, the rest have been worn constantly. The coats sound like a lot but the evening coats have been quite useful. The blazers are slightly too dressy for my day-to-day lifestyle, one is of disappointing quality.

I updated quite a few of my basics - vests, white jeans, print trousers, merino dresses. All of them have been worn a lot. I also updated my party footwear. I needed nude shoes, but why did I buy 3 pairs instead of one? The vintage Chanel pair is heavely though...

I do not want to continue buying like this. Stopping completely may not be realistic (I will have to keep an eye whether shopping bans actually increase my shopping - the relapses are pretty destructive), but I aim to halve the number of purchases during the rest of the year: 2 per month or a maximum of 14. I will also need to sell/swap/donate one item for every new purchase.

And it strikes me how similar our tallies are - are we members of the same cult? S&B Are we being brainwashed? confused
Should we have a competition - who can have the lowest monthly totals? wink
wine to a spending-free rest of the month!

FrugalFashionista Wed 15-May-13 20:23:33

Oh and Scarlet giggling re: your new FB friend grin
Our doorman delivers my packages - he knows what's going on blush
I'm very well-behaved in b&m stores, online shopping is my downfall.

DigWeedSow Wed 15-May-13 20:27:10

Reduce my total to 25 grin have decided that the quality of new navy blue jacket isn't up to scratch so shall be returning it tomorrow.

DigWeedSow Wed 15-May-13 20:39:16

Online shopping is my downfall too. I've been reading more blogs to avoid browsing online shops and am liking and at the moment. The only problem is I keep getting flashes of stylish inspiration from them and need to go shopping. Maybe I need to read blogs about housework grin

Well, mine is a total of 22 which I've been quite shocked by. So much for minimalism.

Two have been returned (including the only dress which I got in the January sales), two are straight to eBay with the tags still on. 17 of the 22 are eBay or charity shops, which says more about my shopping habits than any worthiness on my part.

I'm sitting here trying to work out how it happened. Seven things have been in the last few weeks since having my colours done, but I think I was kidding myself that I hadn't bought much before then. I am also still buying too many skirts and warm weather clothes. I am manage to accept that we live in a cold and rainy climate and that it's worth focusing on warm, comfortable clothes that fit the day to day reality of my life (school, nipping out for eggs, doing the gardening etc.).

Project 333 has made me realise I have some serious holes in my wardrobe, specifically around knitwear and warm clothing. I haven't quite cracked that yet, so why have I bought the other stuff?

On the plus size, everything (bar the straight to eBay items) has been worn a fair bit. But I'm still buying things and wearing clothes that I don't love and wouldn't be gutted if they went missing somehow. Off to ponder.

scarlet laughed my head off at your Facebook friend!

FrugalFashionista Wed 15-May-13 20:40:26

Fantastic Dig, I might be able to return some items as well!

If anyone still remembers the Willpower book, keeping track is a good way to reinforce behavioral change. I started keeping track of my work hours a year ago and it has immensely increased my productivity. I've already tallied purchases in my notebook but may need to start an Excel with purchase dates and prices to really understand what's going on...

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 15-May-13 21:10:34

Dig your post made me smile, I love reading style blogs and have a fair few saved on the 'bloglovin' site, they are a good source of inspiration but I am easily influenced and often find myself searching for stuff mentioned (or a variety of) on ebay or pinterest or in the stores....and I have yet to find an interesting blog about cleaning grin.

I also love a spreadsheet and seeing my purchases all mapped out with dates has really clarified how un-frugal I've been. I always thought my purchases were off-set by my ebay sales, clearly I have been deluded!
Also, I do agree with Frugal - it is very strange that we have all bought a similar number of items since does make me more determined to be mindful in the next few months though (but think I may need to check in here regularly in order to keep on the straight and narrow!).

ShirleySharpeyes Wed 15-May-13 21:11:31

Oh and I am finally going to get around to reading the willpower book. I have downloaded it but seem to be avoiding reading it for some reason... will start tonight!

Matsikula Wed 15-May-13 21:25:13

Hello all, have been posting sporadically and lurking a lot. Just joining in to say how much fun I have been having following this - and how much it has helped. Have picked up some great tips. I have been logging all my purchases, and aside from hosiery and some essential bras (post breast feeding I didn't have a single one that fitted) I have bought 11 things, this includes some real successes that I am loving, a necklace that broke on its first outing (from cos, but I have not managed to return) a viscose skirt which was a poorly considered attempt to buy a work staple but crumples and so doesn't look great in office lighting and isn't very warm. Also my first full on beige trench which was expensive, but I love it. Overall, I am on budget, but am promising no more purchases until I have made some needed repairs. I find that is a good way of stalling the spending!

CeeceeBloomingdale Wed 15-May-13 21:46:36

Hi, all, just checking in again as it's been a while (I've been following but not posting). I wouldn't like to think how many new pieces I have bought this year but I suspect it's similar to the numbers above. On the plus side I have sold things to fund this and charity shopped the unsaleable. I have now realised my wardrobe consists almost entirely of neutral, some in browns which aren't a great colour on me although not so bad away from my face. I seem to nearly always buy things that are reduced or in the sale. I then file them in the wardrobe until I do something more interesting than usual or because it was a bad choice. I seem to keep things for best too much so I'm downgrading all my 'good' clothes to everyday wear.

libertychick Wed 15-May-13 22:23:47

I had decided at end of January to keep a spreadsheet but stopped doing it at end of March and it shows!!! Since beginning of April I have bought 16 items - I nearly fainted when I realised. Since beginning of January it is 41 items - 4 of those are a multiple buy (a perfect T). 3 items were not good buys and with a couple of others it's too early to judge. That said, most of what I bought I have worn. I did a run through the list and 20 of the 41 (and this includes the 4 perfect T's!!) count as 'really good buys' and I think my wardrobe is much better for having them.

Feb and March, when I was recording purchases as I made them on the spreadsheet, have the least number of items purchased (3 in Feb and 6 in March) and 7 of those 9 items are on the list of 20 'really good buys' - a good example of how being mindful pays off. In Jan I went a bit crazy in the sales and since beginning of April I have been very stressed with work and some personal stuff and I have been comfort shopping - in addition to the 16 items I kept in that time I have also bought and returned an additional 15 items!!! Not good at all....I am not going to do a ban as that never works for me but definitely going to be disciplined about recording the shopping.

Also the endless returns are getting me down - it becomes just another task and I am sick of spending Saturday in the post office. And I have had to chase a couple of refunds so more time wasted reconciling my credit card statement and following up with retailers.

Matsikula Wed 15-May-13 22:34:05

I share your hatred of returns. I've decided to just buy in real live shops as far as possible unless it is something like a t-shirt where the fit doesn't have to be so exact. The upside if this is that it can make shopping more fun - actual human interaction, no forgetting your login, not so much wasteful packaging, interesting fellow shoppers to look at...

It's amazing how much difference recording the shopping makes for me. My friend always used to log every single purchase whenever we went travelling together which drive me nutty but a) it's sensible and b) it's an interesting record too.

The amount spent is interesting too A I'm sure many people are in denial if they don't keep a record (I know I am).

There are often threads on here asking about and comparing clothes budgets. Lots of posters always shockshock about others with seemingly enormous set budgets (I remember Amber getting a pasting once)

But I wonder how much less those claiming "oh only a few items a month" do actually spend.

I thought I was quite frugal, but I've spent well over 1k this year on clothing and accessories. That averages out as £36 ish per item, so not exactly high end.

A total ban is not practical for me - back at work after ML plus still breastfeeding so a changing shape - but I will definitely set a budget from now on. That way I won't feel guilty with every purchase, something I'm also prone to. Also hopefully I won't get this massive shock/guilt/horror feeling when I do this again in a few months!