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The Shopping Ban / Frugal Fashion Thread

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

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

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

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

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

InMySpareTime Mon 25-Mar-13 08:26:34

Read most of the thread now, sorry, I'll stop posting daily outfits.
I failed the shopping personality quiz, got 2 A, 2D, 2E, 2F. Does that mean I have no personality or multiple personalities? It explains why I have no style!
I got a brilliant "Heidi" style dress from the charity shop last week, fitted side-laced bodice, full skirt, great for teaching Von Trapps to sing etc. £5, and a size 8 to boot.
I must admit to having none of the "permanent 10 best sellers" in my wardrobe, unless a plain white thick-strap vest counts as a plain white topblush.
Most of my wardrobe is either 2 or more sizes too big, or is from the early noughties when I was last slim.
I have a couple of charity shop items, and some Tesco cable leggings from this year, but I am still getting to grips with my new size, and want to find my style cheaply.
At least with the cold weather I can layer my big clothes so the bigger ones fit on the top layer.

FrugalFashionista Mon 25-Mar-13 09:48:02

SpareTime daily outfit posts are fine if you are being frugal ie using old/refound/revamped/repaired/restyled clothes! I personally find them inspiring! This thread is all about trying to stay stylish, even fashionable, by being more mindful. People have very different approaches and solutions, and it's great when people are sharing what works for them.

Although I like and follow many fashion blogs, I find the obligation to always come up with something new ('the weekly fix') quite problematic. What happens to the old stuff? Back home, sustainable fashion has been a megatrend for years <I'm coming to the party very late> There, some fashion bloggers organize massive blogger swapmeets / jumble sales. They are actually quite popular and often sell out. Frugal fashion has been a mainstream megatrend there for so long now that even the glossies feature thrifted/2nd hand looks, sustainable clothes and DIYs. You can spot celebrities at the local recycling center grin - they look for vintage denim and leather for 'authentic lived-in' looks wink Of course many people still buy fast fashion there, but I find the change very refreshing: when a few key opinion leaders have changed their consumer behaviors, the masses are following them. Now even some huge retail chains like H&M are introducing organic/ethical/recycled product lines in response to increasing consumer demand... <will try to find out more about them in April>

SpareTime, finding a coherent personal style helps in buiding a coherent wardrobe - many items will work together and the possible combinations are almost unlimited. Recommend reading 'You are what you wear' (some people here have found it via their local library).

I took two minutes this morning to repair a torn vest. Have been putting this off for weeks but it was and easy fix and I feel v smug about it grin

Weather turned cold and rainy again. Wearing in part one of my newfound formulas (gray skinnies pulled tight over chunky gray suede boots) but because I'm sick and tired of dreary dark/neutral winter clothes, the top is a delicious coral red cashmere V neck sweater <instantly brightens the gray day> This sweater is several years old and looked bobbled like the cat's blanket, but I combed it throughout on Sat with the refound cashmere comb (the consequent loss of fiber was not-so-frugal confused ) - it looks decent now. I'm not really a scarf person - it has taken me long to realize but they tend to instantly frumpify many of my outfits (sleek long scarves and some silk squares being the exception) so no scarf, just a chunky silvertone mock-Tiffany chain necklace (another free subscriber's gift from my mother, found while decluttering) a simple and plain hematite ring and a chunky steel cuff bracelet (from COS last year - slightly defective, should have returned it, didn't, and am now trying to learn to love it because it is flawed). Everything in the outfit is old/refound/a mistake purchase, but together they feel really fresh grin

cartoontrickster Mon 25-Mar-13 12:14:56

don't know if I'm being daft but I didn't get a invite on pinterest.

issimma Mon 25-Mar-13 12:31:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneLittleLady Mon 25-Mar-13 12:39:58

Todays outfit is all old sale bargains

Red shirt dress - £8 in New Look
Black & White striped cardi - £5 in Primark
Charcoal Leggings - £1.50 in Primark
Frankenweenie slippers - £3 in the Disney Store


freddiemisagreatshag Mon 25-Mar-13 12:50:26

Can I join and boast a little?

If you look on my profile (and I have another thread on here about it but it's so cheap I have to share) I am wearing a £5 tesco dress. In the reduced bit and I think (and so far MN agrees) it looks fantastic.

OneLittleLady Mon 25-Mar-13 12:51:30

That's a great dress, looks really good smile

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 25-Mar-13 12:53:12

It really is The Most Amazing dress. I'm a 14 and I don't look fat or frumpy in it.

grin <--- that's my face.

I just went back and bought another one <frugal fail but it was only a fiver>

Limoncellolovely Mon 25-Mar-13 15:53:59

In spare time dont stop posting outfits I really like hearing what others are wearing gives me lots of inspiration and some of you are a lot more creative with your clothes than I will ever be !!

daimbardiva Mon 25-Mar-13 16:18:40

I like hearing what other people are wearing too - although sometimes it makes me feel woefully inadequate and unimaginative. frugal you always sound impossbily glamorous and I am always in jeans...! But I guess I have to embrace the fact that jeans is what works with me and my lifestyle (and the unending freezing weather!) and take it from there...

I have two days of childlesss time next week - let the great clear out/wardrobe rediscovery begin...!

FrugalFashionista Mon 25-Mar-13 17:08:34

Daimbar I've spent a lot of time in baby vom-covered too-short bootcuts grin The nadir was when I actually purchased a pair of men's shoes for comfort and convenience (that was about three years ago) - not cool shoes like oxfords, just really hideous ones <not sure where they are now, they will not survive the wardrobe purges > Dressing poorly was not good for my morale or self-image. After that I gradually changed everything overdoing it just a little . But yes, jeans are still a staple, although over the last year I've relied much less on them. And I agree - winter dressing is not super inspiring, as there are so many constraints. I've spent a big part of my life in miserably cold and rainy places. Talk to me about wellies and waterproof coats and I might never shut up grin

A tiny makeup thing has cheered me up all day. Teal green eye pencil (cheap as chips Almay), lost, forgotten but refound while decluttering. It's a dark and dreary day, every little bit of color is welcome!

Freddie dress looks great and OneLittleLady furry slippers as outerwear has been a runway phenomenom recently - like your visionary style grin

I have two girls who play dress-up all the time. I think I do too <childish> Polyvore and Pin are paper dolls for teens adults wink Although dressing is almost always a bit formulaic, I really live people who dress creatively - that's the fun in it for me, self-expression and role play. I've had phases of dressing too old, it's a pitfall to avoid, but think I'm learning to let go a little grin

OneLittleLady Mon 25-Mar-13 17:12:40

Well, I AM known for my somewhat.....creative approach to dressing FF grin

scarlet76 Mon 25-Mar-13 18:54:00

Enjoyed catching up on all the posts. RL gets in the way of me posting too much. In the spirit of being frugal, I sorted out my shoes and boots. I took 3 pairs that I hadn't worn for over a year to the cobbler for repairs. Wore a pair of black heeled boots to work today and a colleague commented on them. Felt very smug that they weren't new and that I hadn't been spending!

NomDeOrdinateur Mon 25-Mar-13 19:23:54

I've been lurking rather than posting for a while due to my ridiculous workload, but just wanted to pop in and say thanks to Frugal and all of the other posters who have started me on a mending/altering binge grin. In the past week, I have gone through all of the clothes that I don't wear/don't feel great about and fixed whatever is "wrong" with them. As a result, most of my clothes now have (not entirely frugal) vintage buttons instead of blingy/plastic-fantastic monstrosities, and a few things have been altered so much that I found myself protesting to my husband that "I've had it for years" (and meaning it, for a change)!

This thread has also encouraged me to embrace the style I have always felt most comfortable with: slightly goth colours (and boots), with layering and subtle but interesting accessories. I thought I would feel like a caricature of my teenage self, but actually I just feel very comfortable and far more confident than I have done for quite a few years now.

Today I wore:

Burgundy linen top - pre-thread but new-ish, my favourite purchase of the year;
Lace-trimmed black cotton vest - bought during my GCSEs, still going strong half-way through my Master's degree;
Black leather a-line miniskirt - bought second-hand when I was 13, still looks new;
Black velvet blazer - bought second-hand just before this thread started and recently made more casual/gothy with the addition of vintage pewter buttons, my second-favourite purchase of the year;
Burgundy opaque tights, black patent 8-eyelet Dr Martens, a small silver and amber rose brooch on my blazer lapel, and my black pearls.

I've also had a good hunt through my make-up bag and set myself the target of binning everything that I don't use within the next two weeks (back-ups of favourite products and my emergency "terrible-skin-day" bottle of ELDW excluded). As a result, I've worn Revlon Fire and Ice and a berry coloured Barry M lipstick (applied with an actual lip brush) for the first time ever this week, and I really liked the effect. I have, however, decided that I need a more muted blush to go with them as I look a bit consumptive with coral blush and bright lipstick...

OneLittleLady Mon 25-Mar-13 19:40:57

Where do you get your buttons from NomDeOrdinatuer? I have a few things that would look lovely with new buttons.

NomDeOrdinateur Mon 25-Mar-13 19:44:20

OneLittleLady - I have found ebay great for them, although you do have to spend a while searching. There are also specific websites like the Vintage Button Emporium and which look very good (especially the prices), but I haven't bought from them yet. Good luck, but watch out - it's very easy to get carried away, as my long-suffering DH will confirm!

InMySpareTime Tue 26-Mar-13 12:26:12

Today I leda storytelling session, so my outfit is frugal but individual:
(Too big) GAP jeans held up with a brown leatherette belt.
White long sleeved top with chunky hooded cable jumper
Story-coat (black velvet, embroidered with red and gold flower design and sequins, with many added pockets in various fabrics)

Outfit cost £30 but 20 of that was the jeans (in the sale in November), nothing I wore today was bought after January and most of it was charity shop.
I love my story coat, it has so many pockets I sometimes find things I'd forgotten aboutsmile.

Pseudonymity Tue 26-Mar-13 13:00:41

Argh, I'm looking for the post about the ten items that sell year in, year out and what they are. I can't find it, did they ever get revealed?

I've had a frugal success/ish. Cut the hood and cuffs off an oversized hoody sweatshirt. Cut a boatneck and then cut the thing in half to make it cropped. Now have ballerina style slouchy crop sweatshirt thing. Not to be worn with a bare midriff - that I would have done last time I was lopping bits off clothes!

InMySpareTime Tue 26-Mar-13 13:18:10

It was 10/03/13 by Limoncellolovely if that helps locate it (can't C&P as on the app)

shopafrolic Tue 26-Mar-13 15:47:15

Just dropping in to say that I will be listing my clothes that are on the Swapboard on EBay this weekend so PM me this week if there is anything you had your eye on. Thanks!

FrugalFashionista Tue 26-Mar-13 18:02:24

Relinking to Swapboard (anyone can participate & bid). I'd love to have quite a few items there but sizing not right sad
Busy day, BBL

scarlet76 Wed 27-Mar-13 06:32:31

Someone please come share with me - what are the permanent 10 best sellers?

Swap board looking great.

I had a fashion fail day yesterday. Sick of wearing jeans I wore a maxi skirt with a fitted top and ankle boots. Looked fine when I left the house, but realised when I got to car park that neither coats I had in the car worked - one a waterproof parka, the other a camel swing coat. Felt like a bag lady all morning. Yuk.

Also decided to dye a white cotton skirt yellow, for some unknown reason. It's come up a really bright marigold. Think I can probably make it work with navy or grey. Dye cost £6 so I will wear it, dammit!

Here you go, post from LimoncelloLovely about the top ten.

Queenofwhatever hello it was me with the top ten, I was a good while ago but from memory without fail the following items featured in the top ten sellers for the company. Year round there would be a plain white T shirt, dark indigo jeans, workwear Black jacket (essentially a blazer) plain black workwear trousers in the spring/summer there was always a mac usually in beige or navy, black cropped trousers and a denim jacket. In the winter always an ivory and a black roll neck sweater and a black v- neck sweater, a grey hooded top and black ankle boots. None of these items are particularly revolutionary and I dont think would be a shock to you and I bet nearly everyone on here has at least one if not all these in their wardrobe. Don't get me wrong other items came and went out of the top ten but these basics in one form or another featured all the time. which having thought about it means we should add another rule to to our shopping mantra "Do I have one of these already ?" Aside from having a few "what on earth was I thinking purchases?" I think more people are actually guilty of having wardrobes full of identical looking purchases like me with my trainers and the other poster with her shirts which makes you feel like you have nothing to wear as your wardrobe is visibly bursting at the seams !

FrugalFashionista Wed 27-Mar-13 16:21:36

Absolutely loving the busy mending/refashioning vibe here!

Today's outfit - fashion fail here too:
White bib collar shirt (newish)
Denim blue floral skinnies (bought last summer)
Sky blue mock ostrich ballerinas (last summer), upgraded to Celtics <brrr>
Chunky silver rose quartz ring
COS steel bracelet, flawed - learning to appreciate the zen of it wink

The main problem with this outfit is 1) it's last summer's trends reheated, lukewarm and 2) that the focal point is my thigh area (floral trousers, curved hem of the shirt). I'm generally quite happy with my body shape, but this outfit makes my thighs feel ginormous. Outfit is marginally better teamed with a cream linen tuxedo jacket (tuxedo jacket + tuxedo shirt = I know, I know…) and a big sky blue mock lizard bag. Still, feel like an aging rocker in it sad Am not going to repeat-wear this ever.

Yesterday's outfit was much better, inspired by the übercool blogger/stylist Columbine Smille - I suddenly remembered I own a similar jacket:
Olive corduroy biker (ca 2007)
Black coated cigarette pants (last year)
Black long-sleeved tee (several years old)
Big healing hand silver brooch (bought in Brooklyn in early 2000s)
COS chunky steel bracelet
Silver smoky quartz Phantom ring (>5 years old)

As a sentimental bonus, I found a used Bucharest bus ticket in the pocket of the jacket - helped to date it! One of the last big trips I took sans DC… <fantastic freedom>

Bikers are really big this season (NY Times Style section had a biker feature last weekend) so if you have one/find one in a charity shop, wear it now! They also have a big feature on frugal-favorite boyfriends!

Darned a couple of opaques yesterday <love the meditative quality of darning - I usually listen to podcasts while doing the lattice>. Calculated I saved 40€ that way - a nice meal in a restaurant or seed capital towards SS13 planned purchases!

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