Monday, 1 August 2016

The Buyer's Archive: July

Since February last year, inspired by Elise's Buyer's Archive project, I've been keeping a record of all my clothing purchases in an effort to track what works and what doesn't and - in theory - cut down on my spending. Check out the #buyersarchive hashtag on Twitter/Instagram to see posts from everyone taking part, which usually includes Elise, HazelKezzieDonnaLucy and Charlotte.

In July 2015 I was preparing to go on holiday and so, as is often the case, I spent a lot: £159.38 to be precise. Shockingly, only three items of the seven that I bought last July are still in my wardrobe: I returned both the striped top and the yellow raincoat without wearing them; the Topshop shoes never actually fit me so I sold them, unworn, on eBay (at a loss); and the New Look sandals left my feet blistered and sore in Montreal last summer, so they went into the charity bag as soon as we got back. The star buy was the blue floral skirt, which cost me £2 from a charity shop, as I wore it frequently last summer and worn it again this summer. Meanwhile, the sale bargain Joy dress has so far done me two weddings and a graduation; it's my go-to "need to look smart and like an upstanding citizen" dress.

As for July 2016, I again bought quite a few pieces, and you may notice something of a pattern (no pun intended) developing...

Black denim skirt, Primark £8
I stalked this skirt for weeks, checking my local store regularly for a size 16. Finally, on a trip to Nottingham, I spotted one and pounced. Annoyingly, I think I could probably have done with an 18 but the 16 will do for now, while I keep my eyes open for a larger size.

White top with red stripes, New Look £8.99
Another striped top Janet? I hear you ask. Yes indeed. My job is surprisingly physical - lots of lugging around boxes of books, unpacking new stock, reaching high up on bookcases to grab titles I need - and so stretchy skinny jeans and a comfortable top are what's needed. Hence, I've spent a lot of time this month (as you will see) boosting my collection of striped tees. I bought this one as the stripes are a dark red instead of navy or black, which is a nice change.

Cats books tea t-shirt, Etsy £9 (but sort of free, really, as the original t-shirt was a gift & I saved the money made from that to buy this)
This is the best t-shirt ever, right?! If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I got this months ago and it was too big. I sold it to Amy and kept the pennies in my Paypal account, but it took me ages to get around to ordering it again in a smaller size. It is made of the most gorgeously soft stretch jersey cotton, and I'm as yet undecided whether it's going to become my favourite slouch-around-the-house-with-pyjama-bottoms shirt, or one I actually wear outside.
Linen-mix striped t-shirt, H&M £12.99
I bought this one afternoon when I'd gone into town before meeting up with friends, and quickly discovered that it was far too hot for the long-sleeved t-shirt I had on. It's actually turned out to be a good buy, cool and airy to wear in those brief days we had of proper heat. But yeah, more stripes.

Swallow print blouse, Debenhams £11.40 (also mostly free)
When I bought my fatkini of dreams last month I got a £10 gift voucher for Debenhams as part of a promotion. I don't usually buy much from there but I'd had my eye on this swallow print top for a couple of months, and I pounced as soon as its price was reduced for a second time in the sale. It's been a great buy for work - teamed with black Toyshop jeans and a cardigan (our office is freezing even now) it's both comfortable and cute.
Navy blue striped top, Sainsburys £9
Ok, so this is where it starts to get ridiculous. Did I really buy four different striped tops in July? Yes, I'm afraid I did. This dark blue one (again, different from anything else in my collection so totally allowed, right?) is really comfortable on days like today when I was schlepping thousands of parcels out of our office and into delivery vans.

White striped t-shirt, Zara £5.99
My search for the perfect short-sleeved striped t-shirt for tucking-in purposes continues. This is a pretty good find actually; it might even be 'the one'. I bought this before the whole Zara being absolute dicks to indie artists thing blew up, BTW. I wouldn't be so quick to give them my hard-earned cash now.

My total spend for July was therefore £35.97 for the five items I paid for fully out of my own pocket, plus £20.40 for the Etsy tee and Debenhams top, giving a grand total of £55.97 and seven items.

Excitingly, I also bought my wedding dress last month, but there's no photograph of that for obvious reasons. I'm also excluding it, plus the two dresses I bought for my mini bridesmaids, from my total spend (although, at £16 for mine and £9 apiece for the girls', they wouldn't have bumped my total up too much).

18 comments:

  1. The red stripes are a lovely idea. The cats, books & tea t-shirt is utterly wonderful, you have to share it with the world.
    I'm with you on Zara, it'll be some time before I shop there again.

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    1. Zara isn't a shop I ever buy much from anyway, but I certainly won't do so again.

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  2. I bought 2 stripy tops in the charity shop on Saturday as well (one Jaeger, one Hobbs NW3!) - they ARE versatile! I wish I had kept track of what I had bought in July (actually no, I don't, I'd probably die of shame...)
    I love your books, cats, tea tee (tee hee)- it is so cute! Zara are evil buggers! Not that I ever buy anything in there but still, I won't be!

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    1. Yay for striped tops! And bagging Jaeger and Hobbs in a charity shop - good work!

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  3. I LOVE the "cats, books and tea" t-shirt. If it wasn't for the fact I'm trying to reduce my wardrobe size, I'd be very tempted...

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    1. It's definitely my new favourite thing.

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  4. I'm always impressed by your bargain hunting... I was impressed by the tops but £16 for a wedding dress? I salute you.

    Liz x
    Distract Me Now Please

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    1. I do feel inordinately proud of myself, I have to say. And I honestly love it so much more than any of the ££££ proper wedding dresses I tried on.

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  5. I think you've added some great staples to your wardrobe. Like everyone else, I think the cats, books & tea shirt is brilliant! You should definitely wear it out.

    And congratulations on finding a wedding dress, for £16 no less! So exciting!

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    1. have massively ruined the surprise by showing pretty much all my friends a photo of me in the wedding dress, but I was too excited by the bargain to keep quiet!

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  6. £16 wedding dress, well done you! I'm reassured now that I am not alone with striped tops, I have so many and I love them all very much. The swallows print top is also really cute.

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    1. The bad thing is, I secretly still want more striped tops. I think I need an intervention...

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  7. I love this tshirt so much - it's too big for me, so is very much a lounging round the house/pyjama tshirt but it's already got a lot of wear! Bargain.

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    1. And isn't it so soft feeling? I just love it - I might need to buy one for pyjama wear and one for outside!

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  8. That is an impressive haul for relatively few pennies! July was faintly spend-y for me too, and I've just booked a last minute trip which always results in some panic shopping. I am willing to join a Striped Top Addicts Anonymous group with you if you are up for it! I try and try to stop, but somehow, there are always more,even better striped tops! I hate to think of how many times I have put unworn items to charity...I mean, yay for them but it's embarassing. I guess I always think "Who would want this crazy thing I bought that I have no use for?" but maybe I need to re-think that.

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    1. Striped Top Addicts Anonymous is sorely needed - as I write, I have open in another window not one but TWO La Redoute striped tops that I think might be about to jump into my shopping basket 😂

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  9. Reading through this comments I feel like I don't quite fit in here ... I don't own many stripey tops 😂 however I am very much tempted to go online right now and purchase the cats books and tea top ...

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    1. The cats books tea top is SO comfortable, I thoroughly recommend it.

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