Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A year of Buyer's Archive

buyers archive knitwear stack vintage chair

For a whole year now, I've been documenting my spending each month with my Buyer's Archive posts (and my handy Where's Wally? notebook).  It's possibly a bit nerdy, but I like seeing where my money is going each month and whether or not it was all spent wisely.  I wrote down everything I bought in the book but on here I've just been counting wardrobe items - let's face it, we'd be here all day if I started talking about yarn too.  Hazel did a similar post in October and gave me some good ideas on how to sum up my year in purchases, so here goes.

Important stats
First up, the big numbers. My total spend for 2015 on wearable garments (clothes, shoes, underwear and accessories) was £517.33, compared £905.45 in 2014.  This is not an unreasonable number, taking my necessary outgoings, savings and disposable income into consideration, but the next point is slightly more unsettling...

Last year I bought 64 items, including 16 dresses, 11 t-shirts and 12 knits, plus 4 blouses/shirts and 3 skirts, despite rarely wearing either of those things.  I probably spend about half my life in dresses but, added to what I already own, does anyone really need close to 40 versions of one type of clothing?  I don't feel so bad about the t-shirts because I use them until they get a bit shabby looking, then relegate them to gym wear and finally pyjamas.  And the knitwear...  A lot of it gets worn year round but I think I have enough now.

While I'm not going on a full on spending ban this year (well done to Char for managing that, by the way!) I like to think I'll be a bit more careful about where my money is going.  At the moment, I'm not in a very spendy mood, but that could change at any time.  Of course, my main problem with spending on clothing is that I buy a lot in charity shops and when I spot something I like, it's highly unlikely it would be there on my next visit, if indeed I even had a next visit.  I'll try to control the impulse though.

Digging deeper
Here, have a few more stats then I'll move on to the fun stuff...

- In 2014 I bought 62 items, 17 of which I got rid of - 5 items wore out and the other 12 I just changed my mind about.

- 5 items I bought in 2015 have already gone, for various reasons.

- Out of all my purchases, 39 were second-hand and 25 were new buys.

- All my second-hand items were from charity shops. (eBay gives me a headache these days)

- M&S led the way as the retailer I bought most of my new garments from, followed by TK Maxx and Long Tall Sally.

- I bought 11 things that needed alterations done on them, 10 of which I actually got around to altering.  I'm usually pretty lazy about that stuff so I was pleasantly surprised there!  The thing that didn't get altered was a dress that I want to restructure but I'm not sure what I'm planning for it yet...

- I didn't buy any gym clothing, pyjamas, scarves, gloves or hats last year.  The first two I simply have enough of and the latter three I can make for myself!

Ok, enough stats, more fun stuff!

vintage leather handbag office indiana tan ankle boots

My most worn purchases
- I use my charity shopped handbag almost every day and it gets loads of compliments.  My other handbag is a small navy one, also charity shopped for the grand total of 50p a few years ago.

- I bought my Office boots in October intending them to be my main choice of footwear over the winter, and they've been paying their dues ever since.  They're looking way more battered than the photo now and I'm a bit disappointed at how quickly they lost their 'newness' but I have been wearing them a lot.

- The same goes for my two grey H&M t-shirts.  I knew they'd get worn often and they certainly have been.  They're still in great condition despite the constant wearing.

palm tree print shirt dress M&S jersey skirts colour block sweater jumper vintage floral dress

The ones I though I'd wear more
- I had a jersey skirt that I wore a lot the previous year so when I found these replacements I figured they'd just replace the old one.  Not so much.  I'm not sure why but I'm not that keen on either of them, although I think they look better with bare legs and I expect to wear them more in the summer.

- When I had my mad knitwear spree in November, this was the jumper that I was most excited to find and it ended up being the least worn.  It's more fitted than the others and right now I'm in a giant-cosy-sweater phase.  Its time will come.

- The palm tree dress is another thing that works better without tights, although I think I'll give it another try with some layers and see how it looks since I really like the style.

- I was so excited to find this 1940s style floral dress in the spring and then hardly wore it.  I suspect my cake belly made it less flattering than it could be though...

monochrome blouse M&S leopard flats shoes vintage floral dress oversize cardigan

My absolute favourite finds
Not necessarily the clothes I wear the most, but definitely the ones I feel most special in.

- The people-print blouse (and in fact all my Brighton finds) was such a perfectly 'me' thing to come across that I don't even care how giant it is.  In fact I think that's part of the charm.

- It's nice when I find something that isn't blue, but that goes with all my blue clothes, of which there are many.  This burgundy cardi has been a big part of the aforementioned cosy-sweater-phase.

- I went on and on about this perfect vintage floral dress when I found it and even though I only got to wear it once I'm still in love.  Please let this summer have more dress wearing opportunities!

- Ditto the leopard print slipper shoes.  Still love them, even if the rain doesn't.

Honorable mentions also go to the smock dress and the jeggings for being possibly the most comfortable clothing I own that isn't pyjamas.  Interestingly, despite about two thirds of my clothing being blue, I haven't chosen anything in that shade as a favourite.  Could the tide be turning?  Let's hope not, because what on earth would I do with all those self-matching garments?

I'm still plotting out how a link up would work if anyone wants to take part in the series this year, but feel free to join in and sent me your links anyway!  How was your spending last year?  Any regrets?


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