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.
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.
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).