A Buyer's Archive 2020 #2

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


As we were in complete lockdown in April I'd assumed that I wouldn't buy any clothes, but I did.

During a bout of insomnia I was tempted by an email from New Look offering 25% off dresses. I placed an order, only remembering that I'd done so when I read the order confirmation email the next morning.

It's a midi dress (£19.49), very pretty, easy to wear, and good for slightly cooler summer days - you know the ones where it's not quite warm enough for short sleeves or hemlines, but you feel the need for something a bit summery? Well, this is perfect for such days.

In May I ordered a strappy black midi sundress (£26.00 not pictured), and a khaki print swimsuit (£25.99) from ASOS. Then I purchased a pre-loved dress (£9) from eBay despite having no idea when I'll wear it! It was the fact it has a full skirt and pockets that prompted me to place a bid, but it might find itself back on eBay if I don't wear it soon...

And this is when I decided that I wouldn't make another purchase for three months, partly to put a stop to my spending on clothes, new or otherwise, and partly so I can focus on another Wearing It All challenge, which I'll be starting tomorrow.


In April last year I purchased 18 items! 12 of which remain in my wardrobe.

These are the things that remain. Above: black pattern tunic dress, navy jumper, red floral top, black and tan shorts, white t-shirt, and grey jacket (which is over 30 Wears). Below: cream jumper, PJ bottoms, stripe scarf, pink jumper, navy jumpsuit, black v neck t-shirt.

The six items I no longer have were all sold on ebay in the summer, mostly because they didn't fit well. Overall I made a small profit. One day I'll learn to try things on in charity shops before I buy them.

In May I purchased a pair of sandals in the La Redoute sale (£28.00), and a pair of almost new Next jeans for £5.00 from a charity shop. The sandals are lovely and very comfy, and the jeans have been worn well over 30 times already too.

In June I purchased two new items, a red tropical print Warehouse swimsuit in the sale, £28.50 (from £36.00), a pair of Havaianas flip flops, £24.00. The swimsuit has only been worn a handful of times, but the flip flops, as you can imagine, were in almost constant use last summer, and have been worn a lot already this year too.

My first secondhand purchase of the month was a cornflower blue Escales Paris clutch bag for £6.50. I Googled the brand and discovered that these retail for over £200! It doesn't hold much so I'm tempted to sell it on ebay when the lockdown is over.

My second pre-loved purchase was a blue ASOS embroidered dress (£5.00). It's only been worn once but you can expect to see it again soon!

Total so far for 2020: £163.47

Total at this time last year: £219.25

Left of £200.00 budget: £36.53

Not much left in the budget! I'm going to go ahead and blame lockdown for my spending, if the charity shops had been open I'm sure I'd have spent less... maybe.

Anyway, not buying any clothes for the next few months will help to keep the total down, and who knows maybe £36.53 will buy me a few nice pre-loved bits at the end of the year and keep me within budget? I should feel more comfortable about venturing out and into the charity shops by the start of October.

Items purchased: 9 (pre-loved: 5) (new: 4)

My one purchase a month rule has been broken a few times but maybe a total of 12 items for the year still achievable? We'll see.

For the fifth year running I'm keeping track of my spending on clothes, shoes, and accessories with A Buyer's Archive.

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  1. I can't say I blame you for almost blowing the budget. I have been good with clothes shopping, having bought two belts (new) and one bag (pre-loved) only since lockdown. I think I've blown the budget on plants though :-)) Love that dress you bought during a bout of insomnia. If you hold out on buying anything else, and make your return to the charity shops later this year, you might still be fine, though! xxx

    1. Plants are the only other thing that would tempt me at the moment! I do love the dress, it's been worn already for a socially distanced birthday garden meet up. I hope I can stay within budget, if not I don't think I'll go over by much.

  2. Good luck with the rest of it! I really like the things you bought!

    1. Thanks, I might wear the Monsoon dress around the house today :)

  3. Love your New Look dress, it would look fabulous with a denim jacket and boots in the cooler days too. It's not so easy to be frugal with the charity shops closed, but eBay has had some nice things. I decided to have a second round of the 1970s and am wearing maxi dresses and kaftans, I even found a denim maxi skirt in the sales in preparation for the Winter. I am noticing that the brand names are now trying their best to be sustainable/recycled - Monsoon for example is using recycled synthetics in some of their range.

    1. I love it too! I plan to do the denim jacket / boots thing, and adding hosiery and a slip could take it into winter. It has plenty of room underneath for layers.
      The 70s were a great time for style, I was born in the 70s but grew up in the 80s - the worst fashion decade of. all. time.
      Brands do seem to be realising that sustainable change is needed, and it's about time! I don't think I'll ever lose my love of preloved though.

    2. Isn't that the truth! I grew up in the 80's and HATED the fashion.

  4. That New Look dress is lovely! You're right, you can't beat a cotton dress with sleeves, it took me half a century to figure it out and now I'm obsessed, it means I can wear my wardrobe all year round.
    I neraly went and looked at La Redoute after seeing your sandals then remembered I bought a gold leather pair on the day I left India.
    With India at the beginning of the year and lockdown a month later, I think I've only had a few weeks of charity shopping opportunities this year. As usual I've frequented Ebay rather a lot although haven't bought a great deal. xxx

    1. I'd buy a few more in different patterns if I hadn't out myself on a spending ban, if anything I don't have anymore room for clothes!
      I'd much rather have purchased my sandals in India, but they are nice and, I think, will last a long time.
      I do like ebay, and love the dress I bought this month but I do find it a bit hit and miss.
      I envy your holiday this year, I know you might not be able to get to Greece but it's lovely that you got to India early doors.

  5. I turned to ebay to find some dresses that fir comfortably. I bought about 6 and hate most of them, most are not that nice but at least not too small.
    I think I'm wearing out all my outdoor workwear, the elastic is going on my vest tops and the shorts are wearing thin. Doom!

    1. Ebay can be so hit and miss, I've lost count of the amount of times I've ended up with a duff purchase.
      You're probably like me, really wanting to hit the charity shops, but also really not wanting too. It's frustrating.


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