Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Buyer's Archive - May

Back in early 2015, I started a series of posts that I called The Buyer's Archive to document what I was spending on wearable items every month.  I also looked back to the previous year to see how my purchases compared to then, and detailed what had survived and was still being worn, and which pieces had found their way to the charity shop.  I'm not usually much of a list maker but this is an area of life that I find endlessly fascinating - what drives people's shopping habits?  why do they wear what they do?  how do they decide what 'enough' looks like in terms of their wardrobe? - and although I can only document my own purchases, I love that others have joined in with the series (search for #buyersarchive on social media!)

Last May I bought three items of clothing that I love and one that got re-donated almost straight away.  It turns out giant white kaftans aren't a great look on me.  Unsurprisingly, the grey cardigan had pretty steady use all year and the dress and trousers were worn a few times last summer, although I find them a little tricky to style.  I don't own many fitted tops and I'm not really a fan of tucking tees in - my usual style is slim fit bottoms with loose tops so I'm finding it awkward to get the balance right with the trousers.  They're so comfy though and will definitely be good work trousers as the weather gets even warmer.

This May ended up being so full on that I didn't get much chance to go near the shops, let alone buy anything.  Then last week came the age old story - I went to Boots and was told the pharmacist was on lunch for another ten minutes.  What to do?  Visit the surrounding charity shops, of course!  One of the closest shops has a 50p rail that's proved quite fruitful in the past, so I popped in for a nosy.  And emerged £2 lighter and one bag heavier, as you do.

Asda pjs via charity shop - 50p
Possibly my favourite find of last month - new pjs!  I can't even remember the last time I bought pjs (they're so easy to make and they last forever, plus there's the tall person length issue) but I couldn't resist for that price.  I don't think they're actually a set (the top and bottoms are different sizes) but I knew I could pass them on to either my mum or Tam's if I didn't like the fit.  The bottoms are definitely in falling-down territory but I reckon I can unpick a side seam and pull the elastic in tighter, and the slim leg style means it doesn't matter if they're slightly short.

Eastex check shirt via charity shop - £2
I'd just started a casual search for some summer work clothes when I found this shirt.  It's just the right amount of oversized and the fabric is nice and drapey, and the fact it's nearly identical to one that my co-worker wears only makes me love it more.  I didn't realise that when I bought it, I hasten to add - it was only when my boss appeared and commented 'hey, you and K are dressed the same!' that we noticed it.  Mondays are now Check Shirt Day in the office.

Red jumper via charity shop - 50p
I grabbed this in the bargain frenzy haze but in hindsight, it's not quite right.  I always find it difficult to judge how something will fit if I can't try it on in store - I can work out pretty easily if a garment will suit my body shape but it's definitely harder to work out whether fabric will cling in the wrong places etc.  I don't think this top will be staying in my wardrobe but I can refashion it into something for one of the many winter babies that I'll be meeting soon.

Primark tshirt via charity shop - 50p
Not a brand I'd buy new clothing from but secondhand with the tags still on is another story.  I wore this tshirt on a particularly hot day last week and really liked it.  The fabric is lovely and soft and the colours are very me.

Sainsburys chinos via charity shop - 50p
I was looking for some trousers to wear to work when it's too hot to be doing anything in jeans and these ones are just the right style.  Originally from the men's department, they'll be having a meeting with my sewing machine soon to remove some of the excess fabric around the waist.

Next jeans via clothes swap - free
Free clothes!  We organised a clothes swap at work a few weeks ago and the last thing I expected to walk away with was jeans.  They're not from the tall range but a longer length, so they'll be fine for summer when I don't mind my ankles getting some air.  The waistband is ridiculously massive, which might explain why they were donated, but I'm cool with wearing a belt now and then.

Total spend for May - £4

Total spend for 2017 so far - £225.99

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