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How do you plan WHICH items to spend on in your wardrobe?

(16 Posts)
SnowBells Fri 14-Feb-14 10:17:48

OK. Unless you have UNLIMITED amount of money, you need to budget. When buying your clothes how do you do that, and still look like a million dollars?

I have come to the conclusion that for me, at least, the secret lies in buying basics from places like M&S (esp. work trousers/skirts), UNIQLO (basic cotton/wool jumpers in different colors), Kettlewell Colours (tops), etc. These items are everyday wear, and I find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on items that will be subject to quick wear and tear. I find this with trousers particularly to be the case. I've tried going for expensive trousers before - didn't really last as long as I wanted.

Sure, if I was a millionaire heiress who could get changed twice or thrice a day, and who hardly ever had to walk, these things would probably last a lot longer. But wearing the same things for 12 hours a day, having to get to work, etc. - I find all this has an effect on the basic clothes you wear.

The items I do spend money on are blazers and accessories (i.e. scarves & bags). From experience when I was younger, people around me tended to think that because of that one item, everything I wore was designer.

Another thing I do is to often buy items abroad that are priced normally, but may be slightly different in design (e.g. loads to be found in South of France, IMHO). Because it looks slightly different when back in the UK, people tend to think it's fancy.

Ages ago at uni, I bumped into another girl in New Look. When she met a mutual friend later on, she was like: "OMG, I saw SnowBells in New Look. I didn't think Snowbells would shop in New Look."

Most of my clothes back then were either bought in the South of France for pocket money or were from H&M (which was not yet common in the UK).

What do you do???

claudeekishi Fri 14-Feb-14 10:29:24

What are you finding in the South of France?

Just out of interest smile Lived there for a while but was a cash-strapped student so just shopped in H&M.

You just have to be canny about it and figure out what works for you, right? I spend money on boots, jumpers, and sometimes nice dresses (for a wedding or that kind of thing). My favourite T-shirt is 4 years old and from H&M; my other T-shirts are from Cos. You will never catch me spending ££££ on black tights again. I buy skinny jeans from River Island. don't think I have a particularly groomed look though. I probably look more casual.

SnowBells Fri 14-Feb-14 10:32:19


There were loads of cheap small shops around the Cannes/Nice area at that time. A lot of nice quality items (that STILL look great now, if only I could fit into them blush)...

santamarianovella Fri 14-Feb-14 10:54:24

I'm too very interested in your findings in south of France,I go there every summer.but I hardly shop apart from some pieces for dcs at monoprix

I think It depends on your lifestyle,And what you think is a priority to you,for me,I can't downgrade or be frugal with most things i wear specially shoes knitwear,and jeans,I used to buy some seasonal items from places like Zara and mango,but I stopped doing that as i hated throwing things away after a few wears,I would rather pay more and have a lovely piece of clothing for a longer time.

chanie44 Fri 14-Feb-14 12:33:41

A work colleague is from another European country and despite having lived in the UK for years, still gets most of her clothes from her home country. She shops in places like Zara, but you don't often see others in her clothes, so her clothes look expensive.

She has loads of clothes. But she is a very canny shopper. For example, she wanted a particular brand of shoes and waited until they were reduced. She told me that if she sees something she wants, she had a long think about it before buying and thinks about what items it will go with in her wardrobe.

She's very low key about her spending and the tips I've picked up have been through observing her.

commsgirl Fri 14-Feb-14 13:03:43

I spend on boots, handbags & coats/blazers - I feel like of they look high quality then it brings the rest of your outfit together. Also spend on dresses for events (although hire if it's something I really want to wear but know I probably won't again i.e. not black ). And good knitwear.

Everything else is high street for the most part and gets replaced when it starts to look tired. Anything I know I'll only wear for one season again not black is bought as cheaply as possible. I try and focus my money on things that will last.

sugar4eva Fri 14-Feb-14 13:26:12

Santa and comma - I'm trying my best to buy things that last! Please tell me were you shop for t shirts, boots,jeans and trousers , frocks....well everything but esp knitwear and tops please!

Floisme Fri 14-Feb-14 13:36:35

I see it the other way round. I think the so-called 'basics' that I wear every day are worth spending more on than some one-off occasion dress where everyone will be too pissed to notice and the lighting will probably be bad anyway. But it does depend on your lifestyle - I guess I don't get out that much these days!

And I would pay extra for trousers or jeans if I could find some that actually that fitted me properly.

SnowBells Fri 14-Feb-14 13:39:17

It's trousers that never lasts with me - sitting in the office and any sort of commuting means they don't hold their shape long…

sucar4eva I swear by Paige jeans (expensive)… I had a few until I once put them into the washer/dryer and accidentally left the dryer on.

SnowBells Fri 14-Feb-14 13:40:26

Oh - I don't spend much on 'occasion dresses'. I buy them in the sales or TK Maxx as I hardly ever wear them...

SnowBells Fri 14-Feb-14 13:48:04

Foisme Where do you buy your 'basics' from? I have yet to find a brand that creates long-lasting clothes. I have an old coat that my gran used to wear that looks pretty new. However, I don't think they are made like that these days.

Hopefully Fri 14-Feb-14 13:49:34

Ooh, interesting thread!

I don't particularly have things that I aim to save or spend on, but there are some brands I have found I can spend less on and still get quality (American Apparel for t-shirts, for example, uniqlo for merino knitwear), and some things I can't find a cheap quality version of (leather leggings, cashmere, wool trousers/skirts).

santamarianovella Fri 14-Feb-14 15:53:21

sugar for skinnies I swear by rag&bone and ,C&E. they do the best jeans in my opinion,

For basic tops,I still have some old American vintage ones,that are still going strong,James Perse do very nice ones too,but the biggest revelation are C&E tops and sweatshirt.i have their fisherman tees,and they are super soft,they have a pre loved feel to it which I kinda like. I'm loving their sweatshirts too,specially the stadium ones, was really impressed with it,ended up buying a couple during sales.

As for knitwear i dont have a particular brand that i go to frequently, its more complicated I think,as ,its how you take care of it,that really determines the longevity and condition of the garment.But I have some by malene birger knitwear,that are just as good as my other more expensive items.and i wear them more frequently, so I rate them very highly,in fact everything I bought from them is very well made and lasts.

Floisme Fri 14-Feb-14 16:44:51

SnowBells, Sorry, my post was probably a bit misleading. I don't spend loads on basics but I'm much more picky about fabric, fit etc than I am about other stuff. Most of my knitwear and Ts are from Uniqlo, TK Maxx, Gap and Boden (who get a bashing on here but I think are ok if you're careful). I think Toast do a half decent cotton T (though they've started mixing in Viscose). White Company aren't bad either - if only it wasn't 90% white, black or beige. Me and Em are about as high end as I normally go. However I will spend ages looking for and trying on everyday clothes and I'm prepared to pay more if I do see the right thing.

On the other hand, if I want something for a night out I'll just pop into TK Maxx and that's it, job done.

alemci Fri 14-Feb-14 16:55:11

yes I buy from boden, phase 8, used to like original principles, john lewis, m&s, white stuff. most of my things seem to last ok.

don't need to look super smart at work but I try to look reasonable and well groomed.

Snowdown Fri 14-Feb-14 17:09:09

I'm not loyal to any brand. I buy good footwear - mostly because the cheap stuff feels horrible on my feet and it's a waste if money. Just bought a pair of lovely comfortable courts in Hobbs, it was a case of desperation - the only comfortable courts I have tried on in 2 years. I buy quality bags, jackets & coats, swimwear and bras - I need the support and knitwear needs to be wool/cashmere for warmth and non itchy comfort.
Everything else I just wing it - cheap jeans, shirts, t shirts, vests, tights, trousers,'ll find anything from Primark to Jigsaw and Whistles.

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