Monday, 2 May 2016

The Buyer's Archive - April

mens vintage cardigan wool charity shop green diamond pattern

Two years ago, I started tracking my spending on everything that went into my wardrobe to see exactly how much of my outgoings went on non-essential items.  It's been an interesting experiment and one I plan to continue indefinitely.  Check out my journey here.

Last April, shopping went pretty well for me.  Everything I found, I loved.  Perhaps somewhat predictably, the green cardigan ended up being my most worn item of the lot.  It even stayed in the wardrobe year round, as did most of my knits last year - let's cross everything and wish for a better summer this year, okay?

vintage dress floral charity shop

Due to the hideous weather last summer, the dresses that I loved so much got aired once each (in Dunoon and Helensburgh).  Completely unacceptable for such prettiness, although it does mean I've not worn them to death and got fed up looking at them (unlike my boots and giant scarves - give me temperatures with double figures already, weather!)  This summer, I vow they'll get more time outside, even if I have to freeze to make it happen.

Last April my total spend was £16.49.  I'm not sure the cost-per-wear of each item was worth it yet but it's nice to find a few awesome bits at once.  I was hoping to get the summer clothes out last week - I even broke into the box for some shoes and trousers - but then it snowed.  So... maybe next week?

History repeated itself a bit this year and I found another batch of clothes that I just lovelovelove.  Mostly dresses.  Because if there's a gap in my wardrobe, it's... definitely not in the dress section.  Still, it's nice to have some neutrals for a change.

vintage dress charity shop polka dots M&S dorothy perkins smock style navy black white

Vintage Dorothy Perkins smock dress via charity shop - £3
There's a new-ish charity shop in my home town.  It used to be a bakery and now it looks like a bakery with crockery instead of cakes on the shelves.  I'd been in a couple of times and assumed the back room and behind the counter were still off limits but nope, you can now wander all over the shop.  I found this dress hanging on a stuffed rail amongst shoes and bedcovers.  Being navy and of a reasonable length, I decided to take a chance on it, but it wasn't until I got home and tried it on that I fell in love with the simple shape and pretty lace paneling.  Plus, a closer inspection revealed that it had been hemmed at some point, so I was even saved the trouble of doing it myself!

Vintage M&S polka dot dress via charity shop - £2
Also in the vicinity of my home town is a junk shop.  Officially it's called a thrift shop, but my description is a bit more accurate.  It's one of those places with a vague sense of organisation - sheets are folded on shelves, glasses huddle together and electronics occupy that far section that no-one really bothers with - that somehow retains an air of 'I wonder what treasure I'll find today?' kind of vibe.  There are baskets containing pencils and shower caps, and the donations have a slightly random pricing structure - a tatty straw bag will have a £2 tag but a vintage teacup will set you back 20p.  The clothing selection is usually pretty poor but Mother spotted this polka dotted gem last week.  It's missing its original slip and the fabric is rather sheer, but for that price I can add my own undergarments.  The slip I photographed the dress with doesn't match, but I have another that's just waiting to be shortened a tiny bit and then I'll be good to go.

buyers archive charity shop waistcoat vest colourwork wolsey m&s dress grey colourblock jersey sale

M&S jersey colourblock dress - £6.99
This dress has one of those typical meant-to-be stories that I seem to tell quite often, so prepare yourselves for another one.  Back in March, I was shopping in Glasgow with Mother and we inevitably ended up amongst the sale rails in M&S.  She held up this very Elise-style dress in front of me but I was feeling virtuous and said no to another purchase, and away we went.  Except the dress stayed with me, flitting in and out of my head over the next few weeks (I think this is when I admit that I have a problem, because, if you've been reading these posts over the past couple of years, CLEARLY I need no new clothing whatsoever)  I moved home, and hanging out with Mother happened way more often, and we ended up in M&S again.  The small, local one, with only one wee rail of clearance items, where Mother found a couple of things to try on.  

The changing rooms were unusually messy that day and someone had left a bunch of clothes in one of the cubicles - including my dress.  Yup, I'd already decided it was mine when I spotted it.  It even has pockets, that rare, magical thing where women's clothing is concerned.  I'm not sure it's the most flattering dress I've ever worn but it'll most likely spend its life hidden under a giant cardigan anyway.

Wolsey colourwork wool vest via charity shop - £3
Speaking of layering, I found the perfect solution for those numerous 'I'm freezing' days we're still having - a Fair Isle type waistcoat.  Tam and I both took a shine to this in the shop but in the end, I got to buy it, although I agreed to share.  Wait...I got the raw end of that deal, didn't I?  I may have already knit myself a vest (modelled with the blue dress - so I did, in fact, wear it twice!) but another one won't go wrong in Scotland.

Total spend for this April was £14.99.  Not a bad total, although I'm sure I spent far more than that on craft materials last month.  Give me unlimited free time and I'll plunge head first into a game of 'what can I make with a sewing machine and charity shopped fabric?'  It's been keeping me busy for weeks.

If anyone's joined in with Buyer's Archive, use the hashtag #buyersarchive on social media or leave me a comment below and I'll find you!

:)

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