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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

sultrywinter Tue 31-Dec-13 17:15:15

I'm all shopped out! Went on a mini-binge this afternoon and bought a casual hoodie and Dash navy loungepants at 50% off(I promise to only wear indoors), a couple of fine knits from Planet at 50% off, a pair of navy trousers, and two fine knit tops from CC at 60% off and a cobalt blue jumper at 50% off.

My new wardrobe is now complete and I've saved a fortune. No need to spend a bean in January now grin

It was always my intention to make way for some new stuff as I had about 30 items of clothing left after decluttering. I'm just chuffed I got it all in the sales and can start the NY without needing anything.

Sisukas Tue 31-Dec-13 14:23:16

Interesting observations Frugal, thank you, holiday wear is actually something I really need to think about. For someone who can look reasonably elegant on a daily basis at work, it all goes to hell in a hand basket on hols. I get so involved in ensuring my brood have sun block, sun hats, not arguing, car sick bag at ready....that I myself look disheveled, harassed, and very much a tourist, putting on whatever keeps me warm/or cool , to hell with style. i hate looking like this as it's not who I actually am, I hope. How to combine practicality and the reality of being away from one's own wardrobe, lots of sightseeing & walking in variable weathers, without total sartorial melt down, is a major challenge/goal for me in 2014.

Happy New Year to you all ladies, thank you for letting me crash your fab thread. smile

FrugalFashionista Tue 31-Dec-13 14:03:06

I'll look around a bit! I have no idea what people actually wear as have been cocooning indoors for many weeks now. Today, the sunshine is golden yellow again and spring is definitely on its way: I'll do a style recap when I have something to report.

In my neighborhood, I mostly see elderly people (many of whom are stunning, innovative dressers), very sharply dressed suity men, middle-aged housewives, dog walkers, preppy girls from a private university (they have discovered sweggings en masse), and people who exercise showily in public places (I saw a bare torso when it was 10C and drizzling!). The typical dog-walking look is something like this wink

For any tourist, if you wear on the street what you'd wear to work at home (relatively formal office work - I've seen a local portiere don a jaunty black suit while mowing the lawn!), you'll fit right in. Northern Europeans tend to pick trekking clothes, Gore Tex, windbreakers, hiking sandals and Crocodile Dundee sunhats when they come here. It's very practical, but stands out. If you go to tiny hilltop villages in Tuscany, Umbria, Abruzzi and Marche, you often see middle aged and elderly women who live in a time capsule: their look is straight from neorealist films.

MotherOfChickens Tue 31-Dec-13 11:47:37

Another one here who is interested in hearing more about Italian style, I'm touring around Italy this summer so will be very interested in learning how to dress appropriately (as in not standing out as an obvious tourist grin ) before I go.

Sisukas Tue 31-Dec-13 11:34:58

Frugal, I know you are busy cooking for ten <awe and respect> but when you have time in the coming days, weeks, please do act as our window on your bit of Italy. I find personally that how italian women dress is more inspirational for me than the French model simply because I share the former's body type - full hips and bust. Never could ever find my bra size in France (30E), and I feel like a heffalump in Paris, even though I'm a UK size 10. In northern Italy I feel right at home, except a lot less glamorous than the locals. So, up the periscope and send telegraphic transmissions of your spying our way! grin

LadyV, your report is very encouraging. I have my work look nailed down, but casual wear - somewhat less confident. Looking forward to thinking this through without laying any cash out for now.

LadyVetinari Tue 31-Dec-13 10:30:41

Praise be - the thread is still alive! grin I like the "slow January" idea; the original Frugal thread really changed my mindset, even though a consistently crappy year persistently prevented me from keeping up with it... blush

I really hope that bootcuts don't supplant skinny/straight leg jeans for a while! I lived in bootcuts in the noughties and loved how comfortable they were, but I've finally come around to the slimmer silhouette because it looks so much better (on me, at least) with floaty layers and big, heavy boots. I've finally found something that works for me, so I really hope the high street doesn't force me to change again!

I think the best thing I've done for my appearance/confidence/wallet in 2013 was recognising the unpopular 1990s teenager "look" that makes me feel happy, and starting to find comfortable ways of toning it down for the majority of days when it's not appropriate to dress up.

The original thread made me think a lot more carefully about colours and shapes, and it helped me to figure out A) what I feel good in, and B) how to get the greatest amount of use out of my clothes.

I now pretty much live in black or dark grey, with accents of colour in deep jewel tones, or navy, or dusky purple, because I like them and I'm pretty sure they look best on me. I've spent most of the year wearing skinny or straight jeans and layering vests, draped cowl necked jersey tops, floaty waterfall cardigans or understated blazers, and Dr Martens. A-line leather mini skirts, 90s tube skirts, and cranberry/petrol cord jeans are pretty much as "dressed up" as I get now. It's great - I always feel appropriately dressed and get lots of compliments, even though I'm not spending anywhere near as much time or money on my appearance!

Oddly, I've found that the above change has either made it easier for me to "get away with" more casual clothes than I'd previously have felt comfortable in, or at the very least made me feel better about wearing them. For the first time ever, I bought two zip-up rock band hoodies (thinking that they'd at least keep me warm without pilling), and I was really surprised to realise that they actually look great with my other clothes!

Good glasses (very dark metallic brown wire frames) and sunglasses (Jackie O style, in brown tortoiseshell) have also made a big difference, not least because I don't avoid wearing them, now that I have some which I actually like...

My resolutions for 2014 are:

- Figure out how to dress for summer without spending a fortune or looking like a full-blown goth again;
- Buy some more of those wonderful 3/4 sleeve linen t shirts from Zara as soon as they appear in store, since my three have been worn at least once per week each for the past year;
- Hopefully limit purchases to aforementioned Zara tops and a new pair of Docs this year, because I'd really like to reserve the rest of my disposable income for savings and more books, gigs, and days out with friends...

FrugalFashionista Tue 31-Dec-13 10:20:29

Sorry, meant Mother not Sisukas <distracted>

FrugalFashionista Tue 31-Dec-13 10:18:49

Sultry I shouldn't be a pro-shopping advocate <wrist slap> wink but well-cut jogging bottoms were a revelation for me - some Sweaty Betty and BAM items have lovely body-friendly extras such as strategic ruching and control tops. Visual trickery, such as leg-lengthening flare, can be great too. But some of it can be really viscose-tastic so check out the reviews. Oh, and no need to binge shop, you can start with just one good pair.

Sisukas I still love the classic late 1990s/ early 2000s pairing bootcuts + flipflops (google Jennifer Aniston). At home, I wear them with sheepskin houseboots. I'm slightly pear-shaped but bootcuts balance that out. Many Italian women have hourglass figures or ample hips - that's why bootcuts and flares look so great on them. Isn't JA Greek too, I think she has the typical fairly full-hipped Mediterranean body shape, we just don't notice it grin <back to cooking>

sultrywinter Tue 31-Dec-13 09:51:02

I must have been living under a rock, I've never heard of any of the companies you've mentioned re loungewear. I normally shop on the High Street in dept stores. blush I've never bought an item of clothing online in my life!!

I have an M&Co locally and a store that does Dash (old-fashioned but I can pick my way around them) and some Esprit stuff. There's a Next and a Sainsbury's locally too!

MotherOfChickens Tue 31-Dec-13 09:15:19

Sisukas that blog looks great! I'll spend far too much time reading that today.

Frugal it's interesting to here your observations on bootcuts. I'm another fan of them but often get stuck on what to wear on my feet, I usually only wear them in winter when I can wear them with a highish block heeled boot.

Sultry have you looked at Uniqlo for loungewear? Decent quality and not too many £££'s

FrugalFashionista Tue 31-Dec-13 09:03:40

Sultry wow, fantastic clearout thanks I'll need to do a cull in January!

I'm not an expert on loungewear, but have you checked out the usual suspects - Sweaty Betty (very flattering cuts), BAM (love the material), Lululemon (for the West Coast obsessed) at sales time? Does anyone have more frugal ideas?

sultrywinter Tue 31-Dec-13 08:53:22


To clarify 'stylish' loungewear - not spendy - just more stylish than jogging bottoms! Any ideas?

sultrywinter Tue 31-Dec-13 08:51:10

I have just decluttered my entire wardrobe, skincare and make-up collection and I'm down to the basics. Everything I have I love, use or need and it all fits. YAY ME!

Now I need to ONLY buy things that I love, will use or need and I'm sorted.

Current needs are loungewear - I need something stylish to slob about the house in, my wardrobe is a bit too uptight for that confused

Will resolve to really think about what I buy and for whatreason from now on. I will look to what I have already instead of what I want and stop bying the next best thing beauty/skin wise - use up what I have - it's all great quality stuff.

FrugalFashionista Tue 31-Dec-13 08:41:19

Mother Dickensian biker sounds fantastic! grin We've seen a lot of renaissance paintings over the holidays and St John always looks like a rock star in his long hair, stubble and creative leather / fur outfits - very Steven Tyler wink

Rainbow project 333 sounds fantastic and from what I hear you've already done the biggest part, the clearout and sorting. Good luck, keep us posted! I've read one of Miss Minimalist's ebook and she has great advice for anyone who wants to simplify even just a little. And it's great that QoW has already done it!

Sisukas Laura Ashley circa 1982 takes me straight back to Holly Hobbie and Laura Ingalls style sun bonnets... My style dream when I was about 8 grin I admire people who have found their personal style and happily go against the current. In my neighborhood, middle aged and elderly women are the best dressers, often extremely unique and superbly stylish. Teenage and twentysomething girls all look the same in a depressing, carbon-copied way - very few of them have developed their individual taste.

QC I saw the most stunning dark denim flares on a young model/socialite a few weeks ago, she paired them with bright trainers and a loosely polo-necked chunky cream knit. Flares seem to worn to say 'Look at me - look at my endless legs.' Around here, women nearly always pick a bootcut if they wear trainers, probably to offset the bulkiness of the shoe. Bootcuts and denim in general are a casual choice, saying 'I'm dressing down today but still look stunning.' The other classic pairing is heeled boots worn with an A line coat - they require very long bootcuts. That's often an anonymous city look, saying 'I have things to do and places to go to, please do not disturb.' People here are not trend-oriented, they are quality oriented. They pick some key accessories to show that they know what Paris and Milan are up to (the boho chic felt hat right now), but they can also happily wear last season's stuff, beautifully cared for items from 10 years ago, or things they inherited from their grandmother. The other day, I saw a lady who had snipped the sleeves and hem off her grandmother's golden mink coat; what was left was a stunning gilet with raw edges (worn with a denim shirt, dark denim flares and invisible boots). I would look like a bag lady in that outfit, but she looked impossibly glamorous.

I'm in anti-minimalist mode today, cooking for ten, and hosting a party tonight. Need to get started, lots to do...

QueenCadbury Mon 30-Dec-13 21:05:17

Hello again. Like the other queen I've had my colours and style day done in the past few months so have made quite a few purchases but most of those I've made have been very successful buys. The only mistakes were the things I bought on a shopping trip away and then once home realised that they weren't quite right but I couldn't take them back. Ho hum, I've just chalked it up to experience and realised that you will probably never make no mistakes. There are still a few more bits I would like, mainly to replace my tees with blouses but there is so much to be done to the house that I must be frugal. A slow January sounds great to me and will keep dh happy.

frugal what do people wear on their feet with bootcuts?

MotherOfChickens Mon 30-Dec-13 21:03:36

Hello, count me in for a slow 2014.
This thread has been a huge inspiration for me and because of it most of my purchases over the past year have been a success. I'm now trying to avoid buying anything new now until the Spring.

One thing that I have found with buying less is that I'm being a little more creative with my combinations - today I have worn brogue lace up ankle boots with thick tights, a layered midi length apron skirt, a camel long sleeved t over a cream vest and leather biker jacket - very Dickensian biker chic grin

Sisukas Mon 30-Dec-13 20:09:27

Frugal, it does indeed sound groovy where you live. I have spent much of the day in a meeting looking at a female (very senior) colleague's Laura Ashley brushed cotton floral dress circa 1982, with thick knit tights, brogues, almost pince nez glasses, and a heavy Harris Tweed jacket. You know, she looks funky, groovy, sort of bohemian hip, just proves if you hang on to stuff long enough, it has its time again! She is in her 60s, brilliantly clever, warm, lovely, and delightfully oblivious to what she wears. If she lived in another century she'd be a powerful abbess kicking the metaphorical shit out of the bully-boy monks down the road. I do admire that serene lack of concern with external image, not being facetious, I really do.

Sisukas Mon 30-Dec-13 20:01:35

I am the world's greatest wombat when it comes to web links but here goes first attempt...

QueenofWhatever Mon 30-Dec-13 19:21:13

It sounds so groovy where you live frugal. Nobody over the age of five wears a poncho round here.

sisukas can you link to that blog you mentioned please? I can find her website, but not her actual blog.

rainbowstars I started Project 333 this time last year and did it for over nine months. I got so much out of it, both mentally and physically. I'm always banging on about it!

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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