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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 Wed 03-Apr-13 10:04:09

Aphra, could you add sleeves, or wear it over a long sleeved fitted top?

AphraBehn Wed 03-Apr-13 10:11:43

Not really, it's slightly tight across the bust if I'm honest, so no room for a layer underneath sad.

AphraBehn Wed 03-Apr-13 10:13:11

I would put it on the swap board but don't think anyone else is a 16/18.

PretzelTime Fri 05-Apr-13 14:48:18


InMySpareTime Fri 05-Apr-13 14:55:53

I was just thinking about this thread actually, but was dressed too shabbily to 'fess up on here.
track suit bottoms and a hoodie, oh the shameblush

OneLittleLady Fri 05-Apr-13 14:58:12

I've ended my spending ban and bought a few things but I have been much more careful about what I've bought. I seem to have developed a better eye for what colours work for me and have ignored things I would normally have wanted to buy because of the design. Really happy with the few things I've bought so far smile

Frugal the Vitruvian aspect is so interesting. I had a bit of a duh/lightbulb moment as I studied this in depth as part of my undergrad degree but never saw the connection. Thank you - you're like a wonderful Venn diagram enabler smile

I'm 8 head lengths but have a long torso. My middle is at my hips/bikini line, which explains why standard length jackets look awful on me - they need to be cropped, or mid thigh, or knee length.

I'm a definite apple so my hips are narrow - high waists with shorter tops (or longer tucked in) accentuate my legs and balance my proportions.

And short dresses tunics actually do suit me I've decided. Hem line hits mid thigh, and shows off my apple best bit - legs.

InMySpareTime Sun 07-Apr-13 14:47:28

How are we all doing today? The warmth and sunshine is enabling me to revisit my summer wardrobe. Today I'm wearing a grey fitted v neck t shirt with a white full-skirt embroidered dress.
I went to a wedding reception yesterday and was widely complimented on my combination of a red dress with a black, cherry-print corset over it to accentuate my waist and bust. Admittedly, I did buy the corset new, but it was £20 in the sale and DH paid half as a present.
Everything else (yesterday and today) was at least 5 years old.

FrugalFashionista Sun 07-Apr-13 15:59:00

Hi all - sorry about being offline for several days, we took an impromptu vacation up the mountains on the Adriatic coast. I refuse to tell what I wore (it was chilly up there - I basically layered all my clothes - four layers of sweaters was just right). When I packed I stupidly didn't take the two things you always need for any Italian countryside vacation - a down jacket and warm scarf. After shivering for a couple of days I actually broke my shopping ban to buy a 5€ scarf (100% polyester!!!) from the street vendor... blush I am going to categorize it as a health necessity. Back on the wagon nevertheless.

But it was a fantastic trip. We found some gorgeous wines (an up-and-coming rediscovered local varietal that is still a bargain - the most delicious one we could find was a staggering 4.80 per bottle grin ) and the scenery was unbelievable. Huge rolling hills, stunning rugged and isolated fortress towns (we stayed in this one), snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches. Very few tourists, we had the entire province to ourselves. We stayed very frugally at an agriturismo (if anyone is traveling to Italy, those tend to be fantastic value and you'll usually feel like a long-lost family member - lots of space and perfect with children - ask me for recommendations!). The best part - I think I funded the trip with whatever I didn't spend on S&B during the past month. Frugal, no? grin grin grin

Oh, and I found time to read a couple of books during the trip. Violet Save Karyn was a great frothy light beach read (I could identify with both the spending and the economizing parts). And I finally read the Willpower book by Baumeister and Tierney. I was really impressed - state-of-the-art psychological research in a very readable format. "Willpower" sounds dull and Victorian, but it was about much more - self-control, self-esteem, ego depletion, to do lists, prioritizing, how to raise children, dieting (or more accurately, why most diets fail), how self-help programs and religion help to build up willpower... After having read the book I understood that the Shopping Ban has worked for me because a clear blanket rule is willpower-conserving and really simplifies my life.

Bill your proportions discovery sounds great and I agree, tunics can be flattering on apples.

OneLittleLady your new purchase policy sounds fab.

Everyone else, is frugality out of fashion already? wink

PS When I previewed this post, it seems that MN is auto-adding really strange and annoying links. If you see them, please ignore them, they are not mine.

scarlet76 Sun 07-Apr-13 17:35:29

Hooray, the thread is here! Couldn't find it when I came looking the other day.
Whilst I'm not on a total spending ban, I wanted to address my desire to consume, spend less and have a more capsule type wardrobe.
The desire to consume has made me take a long hard look at myself to figure out what this is about. And I feel I have a better understanding now and how to curb it for the future. I have also had a long discussion with DH about spending and how we divide our incomes. There are some positive changes afoot.
In terms of spending less, I am doing well sticking to a sensible budget. I have sold things I don't want / like / need on ebay and have set this aside to put towards things I need / love and will use. I am enjoying taking more time thinking about fewer purchases.
My wardrobe feels more manageable and I think I spend less time wondering what to wear. I have a family wedding in August and in the past would have felt compelled to buy a whole new outfit. Instead, I have earmarked a hardly worn black linen knee dress and will buy some nude sling backs I have seen and pair with my leather wrap bracelet I was recently given. It has been a huge revelation for me to realise I don't have to be head to toe in new stuff to feel good.

teta Sun 07-Apr-13 17:40:40

No,it is still highly fashionable in my household.Have only purchased 2 jersey Hush skirts this month-something that i had planned to buy and filled a gap in my wardrobe.I also have barely left the house due to illness and 3 vomiting dc's on a sight seeing 'holiday' round London and Legoland and consequent recovery for them [and me].Your holiday sounds infinitely better than mine!
Thank you for your tips on country style-i really liked the looks.I just need to lose my tummy for things to look right.The lack of exercise and illness and excess of chocolate easter eggs is not helping that.

FrugalFashionista Sun 07-Apr-13 18:36:18

Teta I edited out the car-sickness part...
Our 3-y-o gets really carsick and when we were all kitted out to go to the beach she unleashed a literal waterfall of vomit - hitting just about everything in sight (including her underwear - we spent the next 1.5 hours deep-cleaning and the car still smells of very ripe cheese...). After that, she had travel holding a sick bag fashioned out of a Happy Meal carton (aversion therapy wink )...

I need to shed the winter padding I always accumulate (for warmth, naturally wink) and will focus my willpower on that.

Scarlet loving your re-found outfit! I also like your analysis and I've had similar insights into my mindless consumerist tendencies. Also thinking about budgeting issues and long-term goals.

The trip was an exercise in minimalism - everything I needed was either worn or in my backpack - but I didn't get it quite right. Minimalism is really hard! I realized that I actually enjoy my varied and versatile wardrobe and don't want a massive downsizing - but I definitely need free space and can have a spending ban for quite a while because most of my clothes are either classics or up to date and have been worn very little. May need some further paring down still.

Also had quite a few <shallow> insights during the trip. What makes a real difference is blow-drying my hair - I look undone if I don't do it <didn't take the necessary paraphernalia along - should have>. I also missed variety in make-up - I need a couple of alternative colors and finishes, having no options is just dull. And I really don't feel great in 'natural' clothes. A Nordic sweater and cowboy boots may be functional items out in the countryside, but I feel much better in my city clothes.

But I'm definitely still in mindful mode: I'm going to continue my S&B Shopping Ban until the end of April for now. I'm learning a lot and this is definitely worth pursuing!

OneLittleLady Sun 07-Apr-13 18:42:17

I feel really good about having a shopping ban for a while. I think it's something I will do again. I have a lot of clothes but I buy to make myself feel better. I need to find other ways of doing that so that I don't spend what we don't have.

foxysocks Sun 07-Apr-13 19:02:37

hello! just wanted to say that I bought and really enjoyed You are what you Wear, and am now reading Overdressed. both great recs, thanks!

I've never been one for lots of cheap fashion BUT there have been the odd purchases over the years that fall into this category and have ended up in the charity shop pile. no more! i am really loving planning and working out where to spend my money, and so far in 2013 have only bought stuff I really love and slots into my current life/wardrobe. it's brilliant!

so for april I am planning on some white jeans, pointy leopard flats, a black tee (don't have one! can you believe it?!) and some sporty new balance style trainers, a la phoebe philo. am so excited to research and choose my items, will take my time and really enjoy every purchase.

QueenCadbury Sun 07-Apr-13 20:32:55

frugal I'm so with you on the blow dry. I could be wearing the most fabulous clothes but if my hair looks crap, I feel crap. Similarly I can have freshly washed and blow dried hair and I just feel so much better in whatever I wear.

SplatPancake Sun 07-Apr-13 22:12:55

Oh Frugal, nice weekend! We spent part of our honeymoon in a fabulous hotel in Le Marche - gorgeous area!

I've been on a finances-imposed shopping ban for 18 months, and have ordered what seems to be a load of stuff after such a drought. Nothing desperately exciting, but stuff I'd been thinking about and planning for AGES - jeans (1), work trousers (1), t shirts (2) - but I've already returned the majority of them because they're just not right. I've lived for so long without it, waiting for another few weeks to find the right thing is not a problem anymore.

Hallelujah - BREAKTHROUGH!

If only I'd been able to see that 18 months ago, I wouldn't have had the shitty loan repaying months I've just crawled out of ...

santamarianovella Sun 07-Apr-13 23:44:42

frugal im ending my shopping ban late april too,i made a list of the items im planing to buy ,and pray to god i have the will power to stick to it.will go on another ban till summer sales for me.
i started on my AW13 wish list (was bored) and listed a few pricy items that i hope i can save enough to buy.
will you start another ban after your spree?

FrugalFashionista Mon 08-Apr-13 00:13:10

Hi SMN I'm taking it one day at a time in true 12-step style grin (But please do elanborate - what ate you planning to get?)

What would really make sense to me would be to buy some fresh pieces in Summer/ Winter sales to keep my wardrobe fresh. I'd also like to leave some room for occasional purchases while travelling - I've managed to build quite a nice designer wardrobe just by frequenting outlets and discounters. And lots of my outfits can tell stories about different countries and occasions.

But another thing I am considering is a S&B purchase free rest of the year, Mothermirth style. For someone like me, it's the extreme challenge, like a triathlon or an ultramarathon or something. I'd love to do it but haven't decided anything yet.

Splat Le Marche are some of the prettiest places I've ever been to! DH is actually strongly considering the opera season in Macerata and the children want to go back. Ryanair flies to Ancona and with a rental car one is just an hour away from everything. I've been to Tuscany many times but Le Marche is even more special. But sorry for gushing about travel - your message had darker undertones - I hope things are sorted out more or less. Hope you will have easier times ahead and will find some lovely basics.

Oh and SMN even deeply agnostic psychologists admit that praying is good for will-power so hope your prayers will be heard! wink
In fact some sort of spirituality /search for new meaning is good for anyone who used to shop to 'fill the void'. Have more to say but wiped out atm, another time!

IntheFrame Mon 08-Apr-13 00:17:08

Sob - massive fail. Last skirt in a Get Cutie sale that I had been looking at for awhile (ordered a fabric swatch last year). I put in an offer they accepted and that's a week food budget blown.

weak, weak weak.

scarlet76 Mon 08-Apr-13 07:39:28

Frugal I'm with you about minimalism being hard! Every year we take DC camping for a week to Northern France or Channel Islands. They love it. I do too but find it so hard to get a look I'm happy with for that kind of trip. Last year was the first year I took my hairdryer and was a definite bonus!! I also always have a good cut and colour before we go, a good pair of sunglasses and a natural looking mani and pedi.

FrugalFashionista Mon 08-Apr-13 07:57:17

Frame sad for you. The dresses are lovely but no dress is worth going without food... Can we help you in some way?

Came here to talk about another thing. Personal style is all about turning ones weaknesses into strengths. (Some of the most influential tastemakers, such as Coco Chanel and Diana Vreeland, were quite plain). It's all about evaluating your good bits (mine: brows, lips, legs, my frame) and then working on the not-so-great ones to turn them around. My eyes are nothing to write home about; on the small side, deep-set, and of a drab nondescript gray/olive green color. But there is a trick: lining the outer half (from pupille to the outer corner, also under the lower lashline) magically opens up my eyes. And by using a colored liner (I usually use eye shadow with a lip-lining brush) my eyes magically change color! Steel gray makes them pure clear gray. Cool bitter chocolate brown makes them greener, as does teal green; and today I picked dark cobalt blue and my eyes are the palest green. Italian women use blue and teal to really set off their brown eyes. Worth experimenting with if you haven't already!

There are other not-so-great bits I've managed to turn around. My fine poker-straight dirty blonde hair that can look very mousy - regular sharp cuts and highlights and blowdrying do the trick - and hair powder is miraculous for increasing volume and hold - plus cornstarch is a great budget dry shampoo for blondes (no tacky scent - this tip from a LA stylist).

And my very pale skin? Have decided not to fight it. In fact it looks very exotic - I slather on high spf and I pick colors that really set it off, taking cues from women who do pale very well (Cate Blanchett and a long list here, vintage YSL models from the 1970s, and retro beauties in the style of Dita von Teese...).

How about you ladies - which good bits do you like to show off, and have you managed to turn around some of your less than great features?

FrugalFashionista Mon 08-Apr-13 08:05:53

Scarlet I'll definitely take the hairdryer and hot brush along on my next trip wink I travel quite a bit (mostly non-exciting trips for work) and almost always do hand luggage only - very challenging as nicer clothes crease and the hair stuff takes up so much space (and many products are not airline approved). My traveling-for-work are usually much less exciting and more casual than I'd like sad Sometimes I wear my nicest outfit and bulkiest shoes on the plane but that is a fraught option too - things get crumpled and weather limits my choices a lot. If someone here is a travel capsule guru, all tips are appreciated!

InMySpareTime Mon 08-Apr-13 08:15:49

Creased clothes can be revived on location by hanging them on the shower rail and running the shower hot then leaving them in the steam. When the steam clears and the clothes dry the creases are magically gone.

ChablisLover Mon 08-Apr-13 08:25:14

i must be doing ok even dh has commented on the lack of spending

But even more frugal - rescued a TM Lewin shirt from the ebay pile and am wearing it today to work (forgot how lovely it was)

InMySpareTime Mon 08-Apr-13 09:17:22

Today's nod to summer is a white linen top with silver sequins (7 years old) with a vest and jeans. I may well wear a jumper or fleece to go out, but indoors it feels so summery I turned the heating offsmile.

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