Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Buyer's Archive: March, April & May

Since last February I've been tracking my spending by joining in with Elise's Buyer's Archive project. Having a two month blogging break means that this month I have a whopping thirteen weeks worth of purchases to record. But first, for last year's purchases.

Last March I was buying a lot of stripes. April 2015 found me spending a whacking great amount - £223.79 to be precise. And in May of last year, it was all about the polka dots.

Of what I bought a year ago, the polka dots and stripes have probable fared the best: I wear the French Connection dress a lot for school, and the charity shopped striped dress and C&A polka dot dress got a lot of wear last summer. Predictably, the I Like Big Books... tote bag has seen a lot of use, too.

Faring less well were the Cath Kidston skirt, gingham dress, bicycle print dress and Clarks shoes, which have all been sold on already, together with the Sugar & Vice necklaces. But the yellow scarf, an unseasonable buy last April, came into its own over the winter.

Overall, my total spending for the months March-May in 2015 was a frankly terrifying £386.78. But did I do any better in 2016? Let's see...

Mint green sunglasses, Claire's Accessories £3
I decided one Friday that I needed a pair of mint green sunglasses. A bit of internet research found plenty of expensive ones, but as someone who breaks most sunglasses within weeks there was no way I was spending upwards of £30 on some. A quick mooch around town later, and good old Claire's - purveyors of cheap plasticky jewellery and ear-piercing services - came up trumps. Only £3 for these beauties: bargain!

Denim shorts, H&M £19.99
I remain a little unsure about these shorts: they're very, well, short and although I am massively in awe of fat girls who rock short shorts, I'm yet to be convinced I have that confidence. But, with a couple of holidays coming up, I thought sod it.

Breton striped top, La Redoute £8 (with 40% discount) - no longer online
Sadly still not the Breton top of my dreams - when oh when will I find 'the one'? - but a pretty good approximation in the meantime.

Badass Feminist Killjoy tote bag, bought at Sheffield Zine Fest, £8
Because of course.

Turquoise & gold beaded necklace, street market in Cape Town, approx. £6
I love this colour and I love necklaces, so of course it was coming home with me.

Long gold pendant, Mungo & Jemima (in Cape Town), approx. £14
This is frankly pretty pricey for something in South Africa, but I'm constantly on the hunt for longer necklaces that hit just the right part of my chest, which this does.

Floral 90s midi skirt, charity shop, £1.75
The Age UK shop in Leicester is like a Room of Requirement* for me and midi skirts, I swear I just have to imagine a skirt and BOOM it appears in there. Previous skirt cravings have included a button front chambray midi (worn here) and a ditsy floral midi (worn here) both of which I merely had to wish for and, I kid you not, there they were. So I pottered into town on my aforementioned mint sunglasses hunt and thought, "hmm, I wonder if Age Concern will have an ugly/pretty 90s midi?" And they did! It's actually starting to freak me out. I don't think I've ever bought anything else from there apart from perfect skirts.
* Nerd reference holla!

Black t-shirt, H&M £3.99
A replacement for a much-loved black H&M t-shirt that finally went to clothes heaven last month. This is a great fit for tucking into skirts and will get tons of wear.

Collared skater dress, Topshop via eBay, £4
I already have this dress in navy blue and love it, so it was a complete no-brainer to buy it in mustard when I spotted it on eBay. It hadn't occurred to me that the thin jersey fabric would be a tad see-through in this lighter-coloured fabric. Oops. I haven't yet figured out a way to wear it without flashing my bra/pants/tights.

Grey jersey pleated midi skirt, Monki via ASOS, £15 in sale
I'd been yearning for a pleated skirt when I saw this one on ASOS. It's made of a very lightweight, crease-proof jersey fabric, and I've worn it a couple of times already with a black tee, denim jacket, and black clogs.

Black jersey midi skater skirt, ASOS £16.20 with 10% discount
My name is Janet and I have an addiction to midi skirts. But c'mon, when is a plain black skirt not a wardrobe essential?

Washed black Leigh jeans, Topshop via eBay, £8 (not pictured)
Leigh jeans are my must-wears for long plane journeys, so it was a bit of disaster when I couldn't find any in my size before I went to South Africa in March. Luckily, while browsing the eBay app one evening, I spotted these - not only my size but my favourite colour, too - and quickly snapped them up, so my next plane journey will be a more comfortable one.

Slouchy black t-shirt, GAP £14.95 (not pictured)
A panic-buy whilst hungover in Cheltenham with friends. Why I was panicking, I don't know: I wasn't urgently in need of a black tee, and this one is weirdly ill-fitting and has already stretched out. Not a good purchase.

All of which brings my grand total for the past three months to a not-too-shabby £122.88. I think that is beyond a bargain for thirteen items, to be honest, and for three months worth of shopping it's even better. Hey! Maybe I'm finally getting to grips with my over-spending! Now I just need some sun so I can wear my enormous collection of skirts...

Check out the #buyersarchive hashtag on Twitter/Instagram to see posts from everyone taking part, which usually includes Elise (of course), Hazel, Kezzie, Donna, Lucy and Charlotte.


  1. I often panic buy weird stuff when I'm away too, it's that "But what if I run out of clothes?!" fear I think! I love the look of those pleated midis, but pleated anything terrifies me (the ironing!). Also those Capetown necklaces are fab! :-)I've spent a lot less on clothes recently too, I blame the shops' fixation with 90's crop tops and other assorted non-waif friendly trends!

    1. It's strange isn't it? Some of my best buys are when I'm away from home, but some of my worst ones are too - and all thanks to that strange panic.

  2. Replies
    1. I wish I could remember the name of the sellers, I already want another one for spare!

  3. That feminist tote bag is brilliant! Loving the nerd reference too! I wish our local charity shops were more like the Room of Requirement.

    1. It's weird that the shop only works for skirts - such a specific requirement!

  4. I keep thinking I should join you with the buyers archive, such a good way of keeping track.

    I've been contemplating the midi skirt...I just don't know what shoes to wear with them. Damn my rubbish feet and dependency on trainers!

    1. I've seen them worn with Converse or Toms (doesn't work for me because I'm too short and stocky, but might for you), or if Saltwater sandals work for you then that's an idea too.

  5. I have a charity shop I'm not telling anyone about because someone keeps dropping off AMAZING recent YA titles and it's only £1 for four books... shh, don't tell a soul!

  6. some lovely purchases, the collar on that skater dress is lovely!

    1. Never mind that I already have three other crochet collar skater dresses....

  7. Love the tote bag! I wish I could say 'sod it' when it comes to shorts but never muster the confidence to wear them. Stripes forever!

    1. I got a great pair of H&M shorts last summer and they started me on the path to happy shorts-wearing! It's so nice to wear something that protects my poor thighs from the dreaded chafing.

  8. Ha, you are the mustard collar queen! Love that one! I love them all in fact. My favourite item is that turquoise and gold necklace- SUCH a nice combination!
    I have no idea WHAT I bought in May except that there were quite a few things! Who knows what!

    1. I'm very predictable in my choices! The necklace is great, isn't it? I'm already regretting not getting it in other colours.

  9. You will rock those shorts! I love the killjoy totebag too. I thought of you this Spring when I bought my first top with a Peter Pan collar :)

  10. I was determined not to buy clothes. I was determined I'm changing my style. And then I found an a dress with a round neckine, a-line skirt, fitted waist and pockets. And then I realised I wear dresses like that for work for a reason. So I bought a new dress when on spending ban because I know I'll wear it until it falls apart.

    1. One thing I've learnt from doing a year of these posts is that I'm at a stage where I need to just keep re-buying the things I feel comfortable and confident in. I'm past the stage of trying radical new colours or styles - whenever I try I just don't wear them - so I stick to what I know (stripes, dots, collars, lots of blue and black, midi skirts) because I'll get tons of wear out of them all.