Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Buyer's Archive: June

Since February 2015, 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. 

Apart from this post being extremely delayed, I actually didn't do too badly last month.

Denim skirt, Primark £7
I really can't explain why I bought yet another denim skirt: I think this is maybe my seventh? And not even black, like I wanted. It was a panic buy, a desperate grab at the only denim skirt near to my size (oh yeah it's also a size too big). Not my smartest ever buy, but I have worn it a few times, with a belt to prevent it falling down, so I'm trying to get my money's worth.

Grey marl t-shirt, Primark £2.50
Steff alerted me to the brilliance that is Primark's slouchy tees and I am so glad. This dark grey marl one is one of my buys of the summer: I wear it constantly, tucked into a variety of vintage midi skirts. This is a size 12 (and I am a size 16/18) so their size range would fit well into plus sizes.

Tote bag, Black Lodge Press £7.50 (bought with Etsy vouchers)
Isn't this just THE best bag you've ever seen? I've had Etsy vouchers burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas, but hadn't spied anything I really wanted to spend them on until I saw this on Black Lodge Press's Instagram feed.
Tan loafers, Clarks £25
I've worked my way through a variety of uncomfortable and ill-fitting tan loafers from fashion stores like Dorothy Perkins, and thought it was more than time I invested in a proper, leather pair. So I was thrilled to find the Griffin Milly loafers in the Clarks sale (they don't seem to be online anymore but they might still have them instore). Once autumn hits, I'll be wearing these non-stop with my skinny jeans.

I'm finding at the moment that either there aren't any clothes in the shops that interest me, or that I don't feel like I *need* new stuff, which is great. Could it be that my addiction to fast fashion and shopping is starting to wane? We'll see... But with six months of 2017 gone, I'm almost exactly on target to achieve my goal of spending only £600 on clothes, shoes and accessories.
But  June 2016 was a different story: I went on a real shopping spree and ended up spending a whopping £131.99. Of what I bought then, unfortunately nothing has been particularly well-worn with the exception of the ASOS T-bar shoes. I ended up having to sell the cat t-shirt because Missy hated it(!), and the turquoise midi skirt also got sold on. The polka dot skirt hasn't yet found its way into my regular wardrobe as I can't ever quite figure out what to wear it with. And I've found it hard to wean myself off my tote bag habit, so the Fjallraven rucksack - although a bargain - doesn't get used a huge amount. So yeah, overall not a terribly successful month of shopping.

Total for June: £42

Total so far for 2017: £291.69

Total this time last year: £334.63

Look out for the #buyersarchive hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to see the other bloggers taking part.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Photo An Hour: Saturday 15th July

I finally remembered to participate in Photo An Hour, after a few months of consistently forgetting, hooray! To be honest, when I woke up I felt like I wasn't going to bother with it but then I saw that Becks - who I was meeting later in the day - was taking part and it spurred me on to start taking my photos.
A shamefully late start to my day. I don't know why, but I am just so tired at the moment and feel like I could just sleep and sleep every morning. Anyway, finally up and I have a cup of tea and a bagel to fortify me for my trip to Nottingham.
Getting dressed. I really wanted to go to Weirdo Zine Fest in London today but train tickets from Leicester are ridiculously £££ and I just can't afford to go much anymore. Instead, I'm representing for zinesters with my brilliant new tote bag from Black Lodge Press: Make Zines/Destroy Fascism is a great slogan to live by.
On the tram into Nottingham from the Park & Ride. I was meeting up with my friend Becks for the first time in months
Can you believe I didn't know that there was a Sostrene Grene in Nottingham until today. Just loooook at all this beautiful yarn! And I don't even use yarn in any of my crafts. Never heard of Sostrene Grene? Imagine Tiger, but both cheaper and classier.
Becks had heard about a super special secret bar hidden away in Hockley and was in the process of telling me about it when we literally stumbled upon it by accident (so maybe not so super secret after all). Inside was an incredible candle-lit space that reminded me of Budapest's ruin bars.
Pizza time! I had a the garlic bread with cheese and it was amazing.
My timings are a bit screwy here - at 4 I was actually driving home, so instead have this picture I took at about half 3 in the Sue Ryder Vintage shop. I can never resist a vintage typewriter.
My vintage shopping haul. I've been after a pleated polka dot midi skirt for ages, so I was especially excited to find this one.
Missy has shown to inclination to sit on laps since it got warm a month ago, so the fact that she plonked herself down on mine almost as soon as I sat down was very exciting. Never mind that it delayed dinner by a good hour, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity for some quality cat time.
I'm a real creature of habit, and Saturday evenings don't feel quite right without the following ingredients: the Funk & Soul Show on 6 Music, a glass of wine, the kitchen fairy lights lit, and something bubbling away on the stove.
I'm feeling completely wiped out lately - underlying wedding planning stress maybe? - and last night I didn't feel capable of anything more intellectually demanding than a terrible comedy, so Role Models it was.

Missed a couple of hours as we were finishing the film, but 11pm found me in bed with a book and about to turn off the light.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

I Will Not Be A Perfect Bride

I will not be a perfect bride and I will not have a perfect wedding.

I will be a size 18 bride, as I am a size 18 woman. I haven't slimmed for the wedding, haven't tried to turn myself into a different, smaller version of the person Thomas fell in love with. I understand why, in a society in which fat-shaming and diet culture are pervasive, many brides choose to diet. But I won't, I didn't. I will wear my double chins and my back fat and my stomach with pride. I will not be a perfect bride.

I will be a scarred bride. I am blemished and tattooed and scarred and I will not cover them with clothes or with make-up. I will wear the marks on my body because they are my history, each one bringing me closer to the person I am today, the person who Thomas knows and loves. I will not be a perfect bride.

I will be a bride with a chronic illness. I will be carefully attending to my medication regimen and diet in the next three weeks but, nevertheless, I will be a bride who needs the loo a lot on her wedding day. I will not be a perfect bride.

I will be a bride with as little anxiety as possible, which means that I will not have a perfect wedding. It will not be very Instagrammable, nor will it look like a Pinterest board. It will be simple and ramshackle and DIY. But it will also be silly and fun and oh-so-very 'us'.

Because while I will not be a perfect bride, I will be a very happy bride. I will be surrounded by family and friends, who are collectively travelling a total of 61,000 miles to be with us in Leicester. Every aspect of our day - from the reception venue to the cakes to the photographer - involves people we know and love. And, most importantly, I will be with my boy. The one who goes into another room to eat crisps because he knows I can't stand the noise. The one who took six weeks to kiss me when we started dating. The one who thinks my most annoying quirks are not just tolerable but actually cute. And while he won't be a perfect bridegroom, either, he will be - and is - perfect for me.