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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

alemci Mon 09-Sep-13 12:04:12

I sympathise Dainbar as I am in a similar situation. on gardening leave in old jeans waiting to see.

have ordered a jacket from Debenhams Betty Jackson though so if i do get interviews i will look smart but may not even like it

daimbardiva Wed 11-Sep-13 10:42:22

I love the accountability things too, AphraBehn - I'm going to set up a spreadsheet, should help keep me occupied until I find another job, and also stop me comfort shopping...I think I'll have to extend it to all non-essentials, including homeware (cushions etc.) as I managed to randomly buy 3 cushions for the living room yesterday...demonstrating perfectly how dangerous it is to go into shops "just for a look"!

I really hope this thread continues too, as I've also found it really helpful and love to hear how all you ladies are getting on smile

evelynj Wed 11-Sep-13 13:40:28

Ooh, am marking my place to read the full thread-hoc spring colours thread has been enlightening for me as don't usually look at the style chats & waiting for an appointment to get mine done. Exciting stuff!

sisukas Sat 28-Dec-13 20:57:11

Can this wonderful thread be resurrected? It is only half full so far, and the beginning of January is an excellent time to recommit to buying less, buying better. i have learnt so much already from reading this thus far.

chanie44 Sat 28-Dec-13 23:02:24

I feel like I've had quite a positive year. I know now what clothes suit my body shape and my lifestyle so it makes shopping so much easier.

I also wrote down a list of my purchases and there are only about 3 items that haven't been good buys, which is pretty good going.

I still have some gaps in my wardrobe, but it feels good to be able to open my wardrobe and like what I see in there. I plan on focussing 2014 on filling those gaps, plus accessories like belts, scarves and jewellery.

I've been making efforts to keep my clothes in relatively good condition so unfortunately, this means my two new pairs of suede shoes haven't been worn as much as I would have liked (I have protected them but don't want them ruined). I must say, it does feel good in stuff that fits well and doesn't look scruffy.

Justonemorecardi Sun 29-Dec-13 12:41:27

Great to see this thread resurrected - I loved following it and it definitely changed the way I shopped this year. I choose a colour scheme - navy, black and grey basics with pale pink, white and teal. I wrote down everything I bought and tried to only keep things that I rated an 8 or above, I also tried to fill gaps, buying nice walking clothes and exercise stuff as well as day to day clothes. I haven't spent less but I've got nicer clothes, I wear more variety and have something for most occasions.

AphraBehn Sun 29-Dec-13 13:00:06

I love this thread. I'm still logging everything I buy and how often I wear it and am making much more considered purchases.

I try to apply a 3 rule when I see something I like.
Will it go with at least 3 different things I already own? Stops me buying stuff and then having to look for skirt/top/shoes to go with it.
Will I have at least 3 occasions to wear it in the next 3 months? Already planned occasions, not just in case ones. Makes me think about buying for the life I gave and not a fantasy one
Do I still want it in 3 days? I pin it on Pinterest which gives me thinking time.

I'm not saying I haven't made mistakes, but I'm far happier with my clothes now.

FrugalFashionista Sun 29-Dec-13 13:40:36

Hi ladies, I'm so glad to see this thread again! You all offered so much support and like-minded company - glad to hear that these threads have had an impact and that so many of you have had a great year!

I've had an amazing year. In the spring, I started re-evaluating my life, values and goals and experimented with shopping bans. I realized that I was overshopping to feel connected and appreciated: my wardrobes were bursting but my life felt hollow. In the summer, I read Dr Benson's excellent book to better understand why I was overshopping and started keeping track of my spending patterns. Thanks to you, I also found Recovering Shopaholic. These discoveries have had a big impact on my life.

This fall has been great, I've gradually implemented big changes in my life. Instead of hoarding more stuff, I've focused on experiences I can share with other people. I've renewed old friendships, made new friends, and filled my spare time with activities and pursuits that I really enjoy - travel, visual arts, volunteering, leaning new things, films, music. I feel happier, more connected and more satisfied than I have in a long time. I have had two overshopping relapses in the past six months, but haven't bought any clothes in the past two months.

I love being frugal. I still mend and repurpose, and am in a gradual process of simplifying my life. Right now I'm focusing on our family meals. (Loved this book.) I'm trying to make them more relaxed and enjoyable, cooking from scratch and using leftovers creatively.

My new year's project is to avoid the sales and to focus on balancing dull but necessary routines and to-do lists with daily 'small good things'. I worked a lot this fall, so I will need to find more time to exercise. I'll try to live very simply and frugally in January - anyone else interested in having a 'slow January'?

sultrywinter Sun 29-Dec-13 14:24:37

Great thread - my particular problem area is beauty products. I research them, watch endless qvc presentations, buy them and do it all again a few weeks later and end up binning them when I either get bored or move onto the next "best" thing. It's wasteful and I would like to rein it in.

chartreuse Sun 29-Dec-13 14:31:24

Hi Frugal, good to see you around. I heard a talk by a psychologist a while ago, she said something that really stayed with me : unhappy people value things, happy people value experiences.

This has really helped me cut back my endless purchasing. I still buy things but only if I really, really want it, not because I'm bored or fed up.

sisukas Sun 29-Dec-13 15:33:01

Yay! You're all back! thank you for returning to your thread, I look forward to learning a lot from you.

FrugalFashionista, I enjoyed the writing of Recovering Shopalholic but I could not get my ahead around the fact that she works as an image consultant? She has a beautiful face and undoubtedly could look totally wonderful but her top clothing choices are, to my eye, just dire. Cheap fabric, baggy shapeless construction (not in an intentionally Eileen Fisher drapey way if that's one's thing, just, badly made shapeless), 1980s searingly bright colours and high contrast black white preference when she looks more like a medium contrast, rich dark saturated colours person from her hair/skin/eyes. I found I became distracted from her great writing by her clothing choices, which is unfortunate as her blog is at its heart, all about clothes. What did you think?

FrugalFashionista Sun 29-Dec-13 17:00:30

Chartreuse I love that insight - so true! I've read a lot of positive psychology books this year. The simple principles - be generous and share, invest in experiences, make it a treat (ie, delay gratification) - really work!

Sultry I have too much makeup too and am trying to get rid of most of what I have. Two rather unfortunate things have helped - I developed an allergy to most eye cosmetics around 2010 (goodbye Dior!). This year, I've had perioral dermatitis since summer. Covering it up only aggravated the symptoms, so over the Christmas break I've been totally makeup and skincare free. (Only water and homemade castilian soap are allowed shock ) This is incredibly drastic for me - I don't think I've left the house without lipstick since I was 15 and I could write a textbook on liquid foundations! I don't look at all glamorous, but the rash is retreating. Need to find a solution for New Year's Eve party though, don't want to scare our guests grin

Aphra those shopping rules are great! I find delaying purchases the best strategy. I let my credit card expire - with limited cash, I had to justify every purchase and delay 'wants'.

Chanie and Justone you seem to have nailed some excellent strategies! Well done!

Sisukas RecShop confessed earlier this year that she decided to become a stylist to make some legitimate use of her shopping addiction; she realized she had chosen her line of work for all the wrong reasons and decided to quit. I like her blog for many reasons. In my opinion, she is very brave - much braver than I could ever be - in exposing herself to public scrutiny and talking about the complex and painful aspects of shopping. For style advice, however, I prefer Le Catch and Garance Doré wink

As for my personal goals, I'm dressing mostly on autopilot these days and am trying to avoid focusing too much on my looks. Instead, I'm trying to focus on other things - like eating more vegetables, reading more fiction and seeing more great art wink

QueenCadbury Sun 29-Dec-13 17:40:31

Hello all, good to see you all again. I'm away at the moment and the wifi is patchy but I will catch up properly in a few days....

QueenofWhatever Sun 29-Dec-13 19:06:55

I'm so please to see this thread resurrected. I've missed you all! Thanks sisukas.

I'm still being frugal with my clothes, but more importantly I am mindful now. I've had my colours done and the style day (I'm a vibrant autumn ingenue natural, dontcha know), which has made me even fussier. I can now tell within about ten seconds of seeing something whether I really, really want it.

frugal I would very much be up for a 'slow January' thread if you would be willing to host it. It should be in S&B (as the wittiest, most intelligent posters on MNET tend to be in style and beauty wink), but it would be good if it could incorporate more than just clothes.

Since I last saw you all, my personal and professional life have been really quite crap. I am looking forward to seeing the back of 2013 and building on the good things that happened in the year - there were some! One of them has been rediscovering my love of fashion, but also understanding that the way I present myself says a lot about how I am seen in the world and also the place I want to take in it <deep>.

QueenofWhatever Sun 29-Dec-13 19:07:42

frugal the blue wide-legged trousers I swapped with you are still one of my favourite items of clothing and get worn weekly.

CeeceeBloomingdale Sun 29-Dec-13 19:45:24

Good to see you all again. I have definitely spent a lot less and really think before flexing the credit card. I love the Cos top I got through the swap shop and wesr it often.

ShirleySharpeyes Sun 29-Dec-13 20:18:43

Evening. I'm so very happy to find this thread back in the active convo's smile.
I was ruminating on the changes I've made in the last year whilst out walking over Christmas and without doubt this thread has played a big part in the change, so thank you all for the inspiration. I continue to follow the Recovering Shopaholic blog and TBH I don’t really look at her pics or style as I agree they are not that inspirational – but the words and message has really helped give me a nudge to stay on track.
I need a frugal/slow January,(actually I need a really frugal 2014 as DH's income has dwindled to nowt)– so I’m marking my place.

cloutiedumpling Sun 29-Dec-13 21:08:39

Great to see that this thread has been revived. In some ways I don't belong here - I've just bought six items in the sales. I identify with many of the comments made about the psychology behind shopping though, even if I don't always put them into practice! Reading this probably helps me to avoid more overspending.

Sisukas Sun 29-Dec-13 21:24:15

Thanks for your response Frugal, now it makes sense, so RecovShop was an image consultant by default, not by primary intention. Yes her writing is extraordinarily brave and I hope that she achieves the fuller life she so richly deserves in 2014 after all that painful introspection and hard work.

For style inspiration I love Lisa Pippus's blog 'Style is a language". She has such a gentle, positive tone, she believes totally that anyone can look great if they tune in to their authentic self, and tune out the shoulds, musts, ought to's and the supercharged fashion cycle. Based in Berlin, worked in Milan, with an eye for the older woman whose time is definitely not over by any means (I am early 40s but enjoy the hope and inspiration from her blog that it's not all vertiginously down hill from here!!).

FrugalFashionista Sun 29-Dec-13 21:33:42

I'm very excited to hear that so many of you ladies are still around! grin

Slow everything is very fashionable here in Italy - slow food, slow cities, slow parenting - there is even an anti fast trains movement, NO TAV! How about kicking off a Frugal Slow Jan thread on Jan 1st? Anyone who wants to implement or maintain some changes - style related, wardrobe related, lifestyle related, life related - can join and list the goals there. (Take a few days to think about them - the old Frugal favorite, the Willpower book, states that you'll be more successful if you keep the list very short.)

Sorry to hear that QoW and Shirley have experienced tough times. Stressful times are never something one would wish to relive but I think they can definitely be opportunities to become more resilient and resourceful! Let's hope for the best!

QoW and Ceecee, hearing about your successful swaps made my day! grin Waves to QC!

QoW I've had similar deeeep thoughts. Currently, I prefer clothes that allow me to be me - clothes that flatter but know their place. I'm not interested in the role of a mannequin, I just want to be me. I don't browse many style blogs or books any more, but this one is full of women who seem to have found their personal place in the world and manage to look both stylish and one of a kind.

Oh, and if you believe NYT, Thrift Shop is a huge megatrend even high fashion is trying to be a part of it!

Topazandpearl Sun 29-Dec-13 21:39:56

Really pleased to see this thread back. I was thinking about it recently and reflecting on how it, and MNV, have affected my shopping habits. I think I consider more carefully, but have recently splurged a bit in the sales, and am guilty of over shopping favourite items (Me & Em dresses?). I am up for a slow January as I feel I need to take a more considered approach to various aspects such as health and diet as well as shopping.

daimbardiva Sun 29-Dec-13 22:37:48

Hello!!!! Delighted to see you all back too - I'm definitely needing done support as my wardrobe is a total unorgsnised mess and I've fallen back into my skinny jeans rut again...
Life otherwise is great though , I have a great new job having been made redundant in the summer, so couldn't be happier in that area of my life.

Slow january really appeals to me to!

LeFreakCestChic Sun 29-Dec-13 22:50:02

I'm in. My name is freak and I've binged in the sales.
I lurked on the thread but really really need to be actively frugal. I know I overshop, not just on clothes but just stuff and I must rein it in.
I know I don't need more clothes so why do I still browse and buy?
Not long out of a very long relationship that made me unhappy, well dressed as I shopped all the time, but miserable.
I need to make 2014 meaningful and get myself out of this shop shop shop mentality.

FrugalFashionista Mon 30-Dec-13 08:09:56

Welcome LeFreak, Topaz, and Cloutie and any other binge shoppers grin Sales can be good - if you shop wisely you can really get value for your money - but it's so easy to overdo them sad

I have listed a summer shopping binge in the opening post. With the benefit of hindsight, the white jeans, sandals and slingbacks and one of the bracelets were good buys, worn constantly during the warm weather, but the other bracelets were barely worn and the clownish printed pants were an one-season wonder. I haven't catalogued my 'hit rate' but I think that 25-50% of my purchases are misses sad While shopping, the gaudy, trendy stuff catches my eye, but the more boring and utilitarian stuff actually gets worn. I also used to buy multiples - a silly habit I'm working hard on breaking! (Multiples shopping may make sense to someone with a different body shape, though.) Hope you ladies are smarter shoppers wink

Sisukas a great blog and Daimbar so happy to hear you are thriving! I'm feeling a bit bloated after the holidays - skinny jeans feel too tight. I tried an old pair of bootcuts the other day. I really love their nuanced, faded wash and enjoyed how comfy they are. Well-dressed Italians still tend to favor flares and bootcuts in the winter (combined with a boho chic look, including Saint Laurent style wide-brimmed felt hats and possibly capes or ponchos), so I don't feel like an anachronism in them.

Rainbowstars Mon 30-Dec-13 16:35:10

Hi I'm also signing up for a slow January please.
I've been reading The Joy of Less by Francine Jay (she blogs over at miss minimalist). I'm currently doing an overhaul of not only my wardrobe but the entire home, bit by bit trying to sort out each area from a minimalist approach. It's amazing how much a clutter free home makes for a clutter free mind!
I've also started project 333 ( officially starting 1st of Jan). I spent the last two weeks sorting out the wardrobe and whittled it down to around 35 items including 3 coats/ jackets. Trips to the charity shop were made and others ebayed. for the first time i did not go off replacing the clothes i sold on ebay by immediately bidding on other items as i usually do.
Everything else has been packed away along with my summer clothes. I'm excited about this challenge. I'm also on an unofficial clothes shopping ban. I believe I have enough in my wardrobe to see me through jan and feb. I'm avoiding the sales! I had to be real with myself and know there is nothing I actually need in the sales, it would just be the lure of a bargain pulling me not a real need. Anyway, sorry for waffling on a bit!

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