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Where d'you shop ....

(94 Posts)
HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 11-May-13 19:40:32

... when you're not old, but not young?
Not poor, but not rich?
Not thin, but not all that fat?


After a period of enormous frugality I have some money with which to revitalise my rather sad old wardrobe. I do some dress-making and really love vintage stuff, so that side is kind of covered.

But I still need some of the basics - jersey tops to wear with skirts, knitwear, jackets, shirts - and don't know where to go!

I'm mid-30s but feel about 50, and I'm not big enough to need a Specialist Shop but my days of Topshop and River Island are long gone.

I need things that are really good quality so they'll last and last (the period of enormous frugality is likely to return very swiftly!), but I had a look at The Outnet and £70 for a T shirt seems a bit steep.

Any recommendations gratefully received!

Caladria Wed 22-May-13 05:50:56

Uniqlo t-shirts and heattech stuff lasts forever. Better quality than a lot of more expensive stuff IMO. Tabio for tights - I fell off my bike once, grazing my leg, and the tights still didn't ladder. Anthropologie sales are worth checking out.

Chandon Sat 18-May-13 13:38:58

Ecover is very mild, so use that ( it is non bio I think?)

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 18-May-13 10:20:34

Thanks Haunted I think it will depend how long the top layer is. I don't want it looking like a crop top and highlighting my stomach.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Sat 18-May-13 07:33:04

Ooo, I love it. Rather French. I can't imagine it show any lumps and bumps at all with that clever layery thing going on.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sat 18-May-13 05:04:59

Sorry but can't link from my phone. It's called the dark navy double layer top. It is a navy and white striped vest with a navy chiffon layer over the top. I'm kind of having second thoughts now as I'm worried it'll show off too many lumps and bumps but we'll see.

SlinkyB Fri 17-May-13 22:02:39

Ooh, that is a good tip for the cashmere - will remember that when I buy some! I actually bought some Ecover for delicates/handwash stuff the other day, said it was for woollens, so think it'd be ok?

Going to go back to the beginning of the thread to find the links to good quality cashmere now.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Fri 17-May-13 21:47:27

Chandon - that's genius re. shampoo for cashmere. I am taking notes!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Fri 17-May-13 21:44:43

Excellent!! Linky for your top? I need inspiration! I'm still slightly on hold as I have to provide more paperwork before I get my funds <gritted teeth>

However I think this might help calm me the heck down before I start getting stuck in...I got a bit over-excited at first and a bit of a pause will help with sticking to The Rules...

AlwaysReadyForABlether Fri 17-May-13 21:07:07

I made a start today and bought a top from Mint Velvet. £59 which is more than I would normally pay but sticking to the "less but better" mantra.
Also googled and found a code to get free delivery.
It looks lovely online but I have sworn to myself that I won't keep it unless it's great.
I'm also getting some John Lewis vouchers later this month that I'm going to use for new underwear - after being properly measured of course.
See - I'm reading this thread and taking it all in!

Chandon Fri 17-May-13 07:36:20

You can keep cashmere as new for years and years, if it is good quality to start with, and if you wash it eitehr with special cashmere detergent, OR shampoo ( really! After all, it is made out of natural hair) or, at a push, non bio liquid.

Never wash with biological detergent, ever. It is too harsh. Don't leave to soak for too long either.

It is a bit of a faf, but worth it.

SlinkyB Thu 16-May-13 21:47:51

Oh dear. I just registered at Brandalley, just so I could take a look at that Toast coat you see, and am seeing lots of stuff I want!!

Looked at shoes, and saw these and thought of you for some reason Haunted? They are quite possibly not at all what you're after, but who knows? (not me!)

Love the coat, btw, looks ace. Your pun on Ghost and vanishing made me smile, too!

Oh yeah, my granny moccasins; I'm using them instead of ballet flats, as they're way more comfy. So, with slim leg jeans, and hoping to buy some tea dresses for the nicer weather we ARE SO going to have. I wish I was 5ft 11 and looked like a supermodel <pouts>

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Thu 16-May-13 09:36:18


Brandalley has 20% off everything in the Outlet - I just bagged this Toast coat down from £195 to £47.20!

You'll have to be quick though - a Ghost top I wanted vanished in the time it took me to have a wee!

Slinky I just put my cashmere in the machine on delicates. HOWEVER I have to say I think this shrank my John Lewis cardis, so .... I am now vowing to take better care of them.

I quite like those shoes blush. My pal wears them, but then she's 5 foot 11 and looks like a supermodel and I think she might have actually bought hers from a Native American artisan whilst riding through America or something <sigh>

SlinkyB Wed 15-May-13 22:00:42

Evening all! Loving the extra hints and tips, such as:

Don't panic buy
Only buy something you absolutely love, love, love
Do a spreadsheet

I promise to do two out of three of the above wink

That Jaeger cashmere jumper does look good Haunted, I'm just starting to worry a little about the practicalities of owning "dry clean only" fabrics, when I'm a complete klutz I have a sticky toddler running around.

Sorry I can't help you with your shoe quest, I'm rubbish as always go for comfort over style, and live in ankle boots in winter, and Birkenstocks in summer. I recently bought these hideous granny slippers which look even more horrific online. 2.3yr old DS exclaimed "Like Nana's!" when I showed him. But I don't care! 'Cos they're ridiculously comfortable.

Oh, thanks also for the tips re: my Bravissimo trip. Dsis and I are planning on getting there early, so will go there first. I too prefer t-shirt style bra's, and will want to get some pretty sets as well.

Am keeping everything crossed that your 'ship comes in' soon smile

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 16:45:27

Issima I had always thought those 'Colour me hawt' things were emperor's new clothes until I came on MN and realised folk swear by it! I just worry that I'd be told that I need to wear peach or something. And I wont, so that's that grin

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 16:43:09

Thanks Jazz!

And if anyone can give me shoe help <pleadingface> I have a thread here...

JazzDalek Wed 15-May-13 16:06:02

SIZE doesn't work on Clearance, but it does work on the already discounted items here, if any of them take your fancy (and these offers change weekly, so it's worth checking back every Monday):

issimma Wed 15-May-13 10:52:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 10:05:18

Oh. No it doesn't sad

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 10:00:57

Nah bugger off Foxy wink

Ooo those are all so helpful, thanks so much. I love the idea of having a spreadsheet - I swear half my trouble with money is not really having any idea where any of it goes confused

I've not checked out some of the brands you mention there so shall dash off for a look...

Quick question for those who've used the boden SIZE code - does it work on sale stuff??

foxysocks Wed 15-May-13 09:36:24

i am 33, definitely not rich, but i am quite thin. am I allowed to post? wink

I am of the buy less buy better school of shopping. i also plan what I need carefully and don't buy anything unless I absolutely love love love it. i tend to buy 1-3 items a month.

I actually have a spreadsheet <geek> where I keep track of ALL my spending. one page for family/household budget, one for DCs, one for my personal spends. this helps make sure I know exactly what I've spent, how much I have left, and whether I can afford something

recent buys have been from the outnet, j crew, whistles, asos, cos, a french company called cashmere rainbow (excellent quality cashmere/silk mix scarves they might have clothes too), zalando, massimo dutti (hit and miss quality on the latter I find), the now defunct style passport

I don't pay full price for anything, I always go through quidco and google for codes pre purchase, I always send back if not perfect.

re: cashmere - I have two jumpers, both cost £20, one in outnet clearance sales and one in style passport sales. cashmere scarf was £23 from cashmere rainbow. you just need to shop clever to get great quality at high st prices. plan well, no panic buying!

Hedwig06 Wed 15-May-13 08:35:46

That's true Haunted, my DH has been the cinema twice in the last couple of weeks, buying VIP seats and treats, its cost around £89 and he's taking the DC again this weekend....

I didn't know that about New Look, but as my DD17 has a student card, I'm always buying bits and pieces from there, but I was bought up to buy as much as possible for my money, I'm finding it very hard to change the habit of a lifetime, I make a resolution to myself and then fall off the wagon a week later!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 08:17:44

If nothing else Hedwig remember that New Look were had up for using a UK sweatshop where workers were paid less than half the minimum wage - there you go, a clear conscience on spending your money :D

I think we all need to kind of re-think how we value clothes, in a way. For instance it's more than possible to burn fifty quid going out with your DH to the cinema, getting sweets and drinks, and having a pizza after...well, that fifty quid could have been a silk shirt or cashmere sweater that will make you feel amazing and last 20 years or even a lifetime.

It's all perspective ain't it?

<begins to think should be hired as marketing manager for Whistles>


Hedwig06 Wed 15-May-13 08:14:46

Thanks Haunted I'm off to my local shopping park to have mooch today, fingers crossed I can stay away from New Look grin

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 08:01:57

Oh gosh that's not a hijack Hedwig, especially as I'm banging on about cashmere!!

HauntedArmchairOfDoom Wed 15-May-13 08:01:17

I've not started the cull yet Slinky - I'm on hold until the money comes in - can you imagine if I started tossing things out and they didn't pay up grin

re Bravissimo - I don't think you'd need an appointment - I've never made one. But you might wait a little while on a sofa, so unless you're getting there really early you could maybe call up?

It absolutely will take half a stone off, you won't believe it. Can I recommend you get at least 2 - one T shirt type one, and one rocket-booster one. It's not until recently that I realised the difference bras make to certain outfits!

Definitely makes sense to make a list - and preferably I guess a wardrobe should be greater than the sum of its parts, so that for eg. all the tops go with all the bottoms, and the cardigans can be worth with dresses or jeans etc.

The one massive massive thing I'd say is GET CASHMERE!!! Honestly, I know I keep banging on about this, but if there is one thing that makes you feel like you're a Proper Lady wearing Proper Clothes it's the feel of cashmere. And it will last you 20 years if you look after it. Most of the big retailers have a cashmere collection.

Oh, and have you looked at Jaeger? They have an EXCELLENT outlet section and tend to be forgotten, but their knitwear in particular is second to none. For instance you might like these cashmere mix sweaters in lots of colours, and this is pure silk and down from £140 to £40!!!

I know what you mean re. work but if I were you I'd wear your lovely clobber there, as well. It makes you feel amazing.

I've decided to invest all my energies in your shopping until my money comes in, I hope that's ok grin

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