As the economic downturn continues along with perpetual weight loss there comes a time when you really do have to buy some clothes. The work wardrobe looks better on a clothes horse at the moment and if one more person asks where has my ass gone I might just shove it in their face. (If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be eating for England to try and put weight on I would have laughed in their face; before you ask it's a stress diet, anxiety is great for tearing up the calories apparently.)
So we have a work wardrobe to sort, a wedding to go to and attendance of milestone birthday of mega celebratory proportions. So far I had saved- yes actually physically saved cold hard cash for this purpose, a staggering £60. This was not going to go far. In fact this could not even stretch to one frock, a trouser leg never mind accessories. Dilemma!
As a teenager you could always find me foraging in a charity shop. I even have a couple of items today tucked away in my wardrobe that I cant bear to give away. They don't make 'em like they used to. Fortunately I am blessed with the best charity shops on my door step. Where ladies that lunch ( and shop ) drop off their wares for souls like me to pounce on and treasure. But would they rise to occasion and provide me with what I needed? Or would they fail and leave me with that horrible empty unfulfilled shopping feeling? The working wardrobe was becoming the biggest problem. Having got 5 suits and only 1 that you could say fits this was my most urgent need. With this is mind I managed the following
1 dress by Reiss - £6.99! This will do for both wedding and work
1 shift dress by Florence & Fred £3.99 - love a good shift dress - work attire number 2
Brand new never worn bright orange linen skirt M&S £ 3.99 - I love it!
1 Nougat top long sleeve in caramel colour £4.99 - Too good for work
1 skirt Autograph M&S - 3.99 - patterned and perfect for work summer wardrobe
1 Wonderwoman Tee - £3.99 - by this time I was feeling like wonder woman and was embracing frivolous shopping mode
A staggering £27.94!
I then did the purchase of a pair of new tees and a black cardi from M&S along with a much coveted green one £9.99 from H&M & I think I'm done. I love my charity shops and over the past couple of years have got some brilliant bargains and resisted temptation for a Joseph cream skirt suit, LK Bennett dresses to name but a few.
As a self confessed shoeaholic I'd love to buy a new pair of work shoes and in fact did but took them back as they weren't quite right. A pair of nude suede wedges perfect for my Reiss dress were calling my name like the sirens they are. I have so far managed to resist but I may not be able to resist their pull any longer. I have to run a gauntlet of Moda in Pelle, Dune, Kurt Geiger and numerous boutique shops to get through town. I must not buy, I must not buy.
The suits are on stand by waiting for my newly discovered lady that sews to take them in and I think I can hold my head up high again and my ass will be no longer hidden. My wedgie sandals so loved will have the elasticated bit where you fasten them, mended. A regular frequenter of moneysavingexpet.com helps me along and I've been savvy with some things and not so with others. I read the online stylist with envy as she describes things as being an affordable luxury and then reel beck in horror when I see the price such as a tee for £125! I have a good job but on single income and 2 teens there's not enough to go round and I'm not sure I would ever spend that on a tee and don't begrudge those that can. But please dont use the word affordable and three figures in the same sentence. Affordable is 2 for a tenner in this day and age. You'll be telling me people pay more than monkey for handbag next!
India Knight's "The Thrift Book " sits with pride on my shelf and many of her ideas from porridge oats body scrubs, cheaper make up and holidays have been taken on board. Learning to sew is my next challenge and if successful I may even create my own label. Aiming high.