Frugal Follow-up

(594 Posts)
FrugalFashionista Sat 20-Apr-13 18:44:20

We've hopelessly lost the old thread. How are you doing ladies?

I need to reawaken the thread as I need to get back on the wagon. I decided to temporarily suspend my shopping ban - it's summery here and I've started wearing summer clothes and I decided to make some purchases now so that I can wear them all season long (in low 20s it's still a bit too cool for my routine sleeveless dress/bare legs summer look). Most of my old summer clothes are in great shape but this is what I needed to update them -

1. white jeans (have lots of denim shirts and blue tops) - straight-leg, non see-through wink
2. colorful printed cigarette pants (my wardrobe is mostly solid colors - I want to wear prints but not near my face) - found a pair in my favorite colors from MSMG <love>
3. sandals (bored of ballet flats and Havaianas) - black cage wedges, low-rent child-friendly version of the Altuzarra look
4. slingbacks (found a lovely two-tone white/taupe pair on sale)
5. a few bracelets to liven things up

I'm still looking for a couple of high-quality white or cream tops, scoop neck if possible. They seem to be the hardest item to find, but my refound Zara poly-viscose top is surprisingly versatile. Still thinking about a long and narrow snakeprint silk scarf in my best blues and also need to make a decision regarding nude/taupe courts (to go with my summer cocktail dresses).

Spring lasted for 3-4 weeks here and coincided with my 1-month shopping ban. By thinking a bit harder and digging a bit deeper I was able to find all spring outfits I ever needed without any spending! Summer will be around until the end of October so I hope that I will get quite a lot of wear out of my mix of old and new. But I think I'm almost done with wardrobe updates and might go back to tight-fist mode very soon wink

DigWeedSow Mon 10-Jun-13 10:30:24

Hi everyone,
Just checking in and catching up, after a week on a boat with no internet access followed by a week of great gardening weather I have spent very little time on MN. It's good to see that there have been many wise purchases rather that impulse buys smile

I've not bought any clothing for 4 weeks now (polishes halo) and have been reinventing last years summer clothing, I've also been wearing this years purchases rather than saving them for best which is something I have been guilty of in the past. I did treat myself to some perfume though!

Frugal it sounds like you have really made some progress and completely agree that when you're engrossed in other things shopping and fashion don't seem to matter half as much.

Teta sounds like a fab holiday! I'm not a camper but a slightly more wussy caravaner, what will the weather be like? Depending on the weather I would take jeans or shorts and t's with lots of layers (only experience is in the uk though so need to be prepared for 4 seasons in one day!)

FrugalFashionista Mon 10-Jun-13 17:35:17

Hi ladies,
I'm enjoying your posts, so happy that you are on this thread!
QC don't feel too bad, you are aware of many things now and changing is slow. There are setbacks and strides forward. Limiting time on MN is good - I want to be fully present in my real life. And exploring other things can be very stimulating!
Dig one month is a fantastic achievement!!! thanks A week on the boat sounds fab... And do enjoy the perfume, sounds lovely!

I expected some rocky feelings after a fantastic week, and today has been difficult. I've been irritable. The children a handful at the moment and I'm not fully in control of my own emotions. Maybe it's also because I'm going through some rough terrain in TBONTB. I've reconstructed some trigger-action-remorse sequences (good, can recommend: really increases your awareness and helps to recognize challenging situations and to avoid them) and thought what I'd like my eulogy to be like (very tough, as my ideal and true selves are quite far apart). It's interesting to see that right now I'm quite far along in professional goals but just starting out in personal growth, and not doing in great in many important areas. What started as a project of trying to control overshopping seems to be resulting in a reevaluation of everything.

No clothing shopping urges and almost zero exposure over the past few days.
I realized yesterday that overshopping urges can change their shape and pop up elsewhere - I really have to watch my overall spending.
That means, I cannot compensate by overshopping books, food, perfume, plants, gardening items, children's stuff etc.
We did do some really constructive shopping yesterday: replacing broken toilet lids, showerheads, and chipped water glasses.

Progress:
I've recognized some trigger situations and managed to avoid them.
During the work day, when I felt I needed a break, I had a cup of tea or stepped outdoors for a few moments.
And after a tough day, I did not go online (this might sometimes mean a lost zombie-like evening); instead, I spent time in the garden and looked for books that would soothe me.
I'm also starting to make contingency plans.

Trying to learn to be patient with all this. Learning new ways to cope with difficult things is a slow process.

YoniTime Mon 10-Jun-13 19:08:23

Hello again!
I’m glad that things seem to go well for you all.
Lots of interesting insights in your latest posts Frugal – I can relate to a lot of it.
As you all know I felt really unhappy with my wardrobe so I bought some new stuff, perhaps too much, but now I feel more content with what I have. And I feel that fashion just isn’t the number one most important thing in my life – well I never thought that, but I sure prioritized shopping over so much else. Recently I have -and will continue- focused on relationships and old hobbies again. So much more rewarding!

Hi all - have also been AWOL (on a beach. In the UK!) so lovely to catch up.

Frugal sounds like you are going through some serious self-CBT/synapse remapping. I've done quite a bit of supported CBT and it is exhausting. Look after yourself.

Clothes wise I've enjoyed wearing summer stuff over the past 10 days. I've bought and returned a couple of items which weren't quite right. One a knitted Chanel esque jacket but the boob pockets did me no favours. On the look out for a pocketless version. Also a pair of ankle cuff low heeled wedges but the ankle cuff not chunky enough. Beautiful shoes though, really well made.

Did 'win' a black wool lined sequinned cape on ebay that I am very pleased with. It will be a perfect cover up for wintry evenings.

And bad news - I lost a gold locket on the beach. hmm It was a present from DH last Christmas and I've worn it practically everyday since. Can't quite believe it. No way we can replace it at the moment. BUT I do have lots of other necklaces which I'm determined will now get an outing.

FrugalFashionista Wed 12-Jun-13 17:44:48

Bill your beach life sounds fantastic! grin Sorry about the locket!
Yoni I'm happy you've refound old friends and hobbies. Midlife/motherhood is such a boot camp for most women that it's really easy to forget who we really are and what we really enjoy.

I'm feeling really great. Limiting exposures really works. I spend an average of 3min per day thinking about clothes. I'm still really well dressed (because I reorganized my wardrobe earlier in the spring, most clothes are relatively new, everything fits and is in my colors). But the focus is totally elsewhere. I'm addressing my psychological, social and esthetic needs more directly and that is so satisfying. Cooking, gardening, reading to children, taking long walks, writing, listening to music, meeting up with friends. And also feeling more connected to my emotions. Feeling sad about things I'm allowed to feel sad about, and feeling freer to express whatever I'm feeling, even anger and frustration. Also coming to terms with my spiritual needs (actually, feeling really malnourished - materialism is deadly for the soul)... 'stuff' is never going to fill the void.

Anyway, the exercises in TBONTB really work. I'm a bit alexithymic, I have a tendency to intellectualize and rationalize many things, and it's so easy to lose the connection with what I am really feeling and become enmeshed in pointless and compulsive behavior patterns. Writing down simple things, slowly connecting the dots has helped me to understand what's really going on - I feel much freer.

The relapse prevention and contingency planning strategies and also seem to work - at least in the short term. I'm now for the first time combining a short shopping ban with all these new strategies. We'll see how it goes, but I think things are really changing...

AphraBehn Sat 15-Jun-13 16:35:51

How are we all doing?

My shopping ban finishes today. Unfortunately I didn't manage to keep to it sad. However, I bought practical items and all of them have been worn - a navy cardigan, a beige mac and a navy/green scarf.
On the plus side, I haven't bought a pretty printed top since I realised that was my buying weakness, things I have bought have been more practical and in solid colours and I have loads of wear out of them.

My 10 unworn purchases have reduced to 5, 2 are items of clothing, 2 are jewellery items and 1 is a bag. My aim is to have worn all of them by the end of July.
I have rescued 2 items from death row and worn both and given a bag of 6 or so good quality but unsuitable items to the charity shop.

I fully agree with replacing shopping with other activities. This last couple of weeks I have been revising for an exam so have had little spare time. I now need to consider how time draining some of my habits are. For example, I will sit and mindlessly watch old episodes of Friends that I have seen umpteen times before, but miss a really interesting drama because 'I don't have the time'. Recovering Shopaholic's blog piece about being bored with your life really struck a chord with me as well.

I have a few months before I have to start study again, I want to fill the time doing nice or productive things. Shopping for a fantasy lifestyle isn't one of them.

bleedingheart Mon 17-Jun-13 12:03:41

Hello all!
How is everyone doing?
Aphra, I'm I'm a similar position to you I think in that I am trying to buy/keep for the life I have and not some previous or imaginary one!
I used to work outside the home and was a very confident dresser, hitting the right smart/fashionable balance for the job I had. Now I am self/employed and work from home 99.9% of the time, incorporating childcare and the school run, those clothes just don't seem right so why do I keep buying smart trousers and tops?
I have sold a few things, donated others and started to get ruthless.
I wear jeans everyday soni have bought some smart sweatshirts, tees and jumpers in plain colours and some flat pumps for running around after children.
The biggest thing I've finally admitted to myself is smart wool coats look great but a warm, rainproof coat is more useful to me. Therefore I have invested in a fleece-lined trench/parka combo in 'my' shade of green. I just look so much more groomed and like I'm living the life I've got.
Self-indulgent post here but I think I need to get it down so I can remind myself what my new rules are!

MumbleBag Mon 17-Jun-13 13:59:06

Delurking I've found this thread so inspiring. I am definitely guilty of using shopping as a way to emulate a desired lifestyle. I have now realised I have enough nice clothes and have started clearing out my wardrobes and eBaying anything that I don't wear or doesn't fit properly and plan to use the money I make to buy anything that I need (good quality knitwear is all I can think of for now).

I'm also trying to wear the clothes I have left in new ways and with different items. This is mainly the reason I am delurking as I'd really like to fine a website/app that will host photos of outfits that I wear day to day so I can get ideas of what works well in my wardrobe. Does anyone know a site that does this? Thanks in advance and good luck to everyone with shopping bans and recycling current wardrobes!

FrugalFashionista Mon 17-Jun-13 14:03:45

Hi ladies - very happy news from me <sunshine emoticon>: almost zero exposures, zero shopping urges and a shopping-free week! (Have closely watched all other possible areas of overspending too.) I feel great!

Have done lots of small good things every day (including visiting a great art exhibition). Keeping a journal is really helpful too, easier to process and understand difficult and negative emotions. And I've refound humor and irony - laughing (also at myself) really helpful. Contingency planning very helpful too. DH away again <potential trigger> but things are going relatively well.

Very happy Aphra and Bleeding about all the positive changes. For me, these threads have started an enormously liberating and fulfilling process!

FrugalFashionista Mon 17-Jun-13 14:08:13

Mumble welcome, how about Polyvore and Pinterest?
(Have found both very useful - but watch out, both can be addictive wink)

MumbleBag Mon 17-Jun-13 14:20:23

Thanks Frugal. I have just started out on Pintrest but hadn't thought about uploading my own photos of outfits. Will have a little play with that and see if that helps me remember different outfits. Otherwise I wear the same items in the same way each week!

FrugalFashionista Mon 17-Jun-13 14:24:49

You can have secret boards there too Mumble (just in case)!

MumbleBag Mon 17-Jun-13 14:32:58

Oh yes definitely, certainly not ready to go that public!

YoniTime Thu 20-Jun-13 21:41:32

So, it's time for the sales season! A time where I've always, always ended up overshopping in the past. How are you all going to approach it?

I'm struggling to be honest!

I've got my eye on a couple of things and hoping they will go in the sale, but very nearly ordered a jacket and a dress tonight that I really don't need.

mirpuppet Fri 21-Jun-13 07:38:22

Seasonal sales I plan to skip this year -- very easy because here in teh UK we haven't have much of a summer. I will be going to warmer climes fr holiday but have enough summer clothes to last me awhile.

I must admit I lurked on the ZARA sale thread and just went to the sale website and I managed to remember -- sale items are things the shop couldn't sell at full price and there is often a reason (fit; quality; weird material; a trend that didn't take). So I will approach sales with caution.

bleedingheart Fri 21-Jun-13 15:16:17

I did view the Zara and Whistles sale but found it all a bit meh. I'm hoping I remain strong!
Must remember its only sunny for a number of weeks!

FrugalFashionista Sat 22-Jun-13 16:55:14

A sunny hello to all Frugalistas from the Adriatic coast!
I'm definitely skipping sales this year - I have far too many summer clothes and don't need anything new.

Limiting browsing physical stores, estores, blogs etc really helps! I've been nearly exposure free for the past weeks and it has made a huge difference - I haven't had overshopping urges in the past few weeks and have been busy with so many other more fulfilling things (friends, gardening, travel, work, cooking...). A few darker, moodier moments too but I've managed to work through them without resorting to retail therapy.

I'm also using the Toshl iPhone app to record every single purchase I'm making. This type of bookkeeping is recommended in TBONTB and although I was relunctant to do it at first I'm a convert now - the phone app makes it really simple. I've also done some budgeting: my aim is to up monthly savings and take a good look at all impulsive spur-of-the-moment spending. My aim is to cut down on nonsense like magazines and only spend money on 'heartsongs', ie things we all love, like lovely weekends away wink

Oh, and am currently wearing my short-sleeved cardi. I'm definitely using my 'benchwarmers' more now, auditing them has really helped too.

Keep strong ladies and keep exploring the underlying motives! I overshopped because I felt lonely, isolated and misunderstood grin Shopping didn't help - finding more satisfying things to do, resuscitating old hobbies and reaching out for friends did - it's early days still but I feel so many things have changed inside me that an overshopping relapse seems unlikely <knocks on wood>

themaltesecat Sat 22-Jun-13 17:43:33

I need this thread. Have spent about 1200 pounds of money that's supposed to be being saved on makeup and clothes in the last month without really noticing it.

Shite, that looks bad written down.

Ambassadoryouarespoilingme Sat 22-Jun-13 20:30:04

hi, just to reassure those of you who were tempted by the Zara sale...I looked online on the first day of the sale and saw a few things I thought were lovely. I happened to be in town later that day and went into the store.. in the flesh, those same items were grim. Terrible quality, poor seams, completely untempting. I was so glad I hadn't made any online purchases.

FrugalFashionista Sun 23-Jun-13 08:32:22

Maltese (hug) I've been there! Many people here have done something similar and many of us have discovered that we have shopped to 'fill a void', to belong, to fulfil dreams of a fantasy lifestyle, or because we feel sad about aging.

If you need to change, do read 'Recovering Shopaholic' (a blog) or 'To Shop or Not to Shop' (a self-help guide for overshoppers). I've found both extremely helpful!

Ambassador Zara clothes are really poor value right now - I've liked their stuff in the past (back when you could buy pure silk dresses from them) but the two items I bought this year were garbage: not cheap but with twisted, pulling seams and substandard material.

QueenCadbury Sun 23-Jun-13 09:36:37

Hello all. I mainly avoid the sales as I think if I liked something then I would have bought it in the first place and I hate the way stores often just bring out tat in the hope that you'll buy it as it has a reduced sticker on. Saying that I was ordering some stuff from john Lewis (practical homeware stuff that was needed) and a couple of tops fell into my basket. I was seduced by the perfect colours of them and one of them looks amazing on, great fit, great colour. But here is the dilemma-it's a going out top. It doesn't look good dressed down with jeans (my wardrobe staple as a SAHM). I don't go out that often and already have a nice selection of going out clothes. It's £19. Do I keep it as it looks fab but it will remain largely unworn or do I take it back...?

teta Sun 23-Jun-13 10:27:23

I was going to buy some Zara linen T's just to try them,but then couldn't be bothered to negotiate the website.I have bought replacement jeggings from M&S as they currently have 20% off[plus 3 pairs of brightly coloured skinnies for dd1].2 cashmere cardigans from Boden in navy and coral and 2 Phase 8 tops.I've also purchased a cheap black jersey maxi from Dorothy Perkins for my holiday [anniversary celebrations for MIL].But the armholes gape and are badly shaped[some remedial work is needed].The shape is good though and it is perfect for travelling.I really don't wear dresses very often so expensive ones are not justifiable.Most of these buys are Winter wear and are eminently practical.
QueenCadbury i would return it.I have so many going out tops i have tried to resell in the local dress agency.Its just going to clutter up your wardrobe.

Oh gosh I desperately need to join you all. Only read a handful of the most recent posts and it resonates so much. Will read through properly later but I have a wardrobe of unworn clothes for the thinner cooler me of my imagination, bags of clothes and toys for the children for when they are older, "bargains" for the present box which is really just clutter, cupboards and freezer bursting with food. I need to stop it and think about why...bored on maternity leave is part of it, feeling unsatisfied. I even got 3 bloody bags in the zatchels sale and not used any yet. Anyway marking place to read fully later and post

Oh god and baby wipes, always buy them when they're on offer for DS but I have a mountain of packs. Need help....

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