Shopping of 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

For the past four years I've kept a record of all the clothes and accessories I've purchased throughout the year and set myself goals for the coming year. You can read about the results here -  2012  /  2013  /  2014.

Ordinarily I'd post this in early January but I've just looked at my total for 2015 and put myself on an immediate spending ban until 2016.

Needless-to-say my total is already more than last year.


I was really pleased to see my lowest spend last year, coming in at £745.65. I wanted to reduce it further this year but I've already spent £1207.87.


My only saving grace here is that in 2012 I spent £1751.00.

So my final purchase of 2015 was a pair of Christmas PJs. As soon as I saw them I knew they were the ones. At £40 these are the most expensive PJs I've ever owned but thanks to a ban on buying any sleepwear this year I've still spent less on PJs overall (and hopefully at this price they'll last a good long while). Roll on Christmas Eve!

I purchased 74 items in total (less than any other year), 41% of which were pre-loved. I was surprised to find that 25% of items purchased I now no longer have. I didn't think it would be that high, 80% of these discarded items were pre-loved.

So what did I buy and why?

I lost two pairs of jeans to rips this year and replaced them at a cost of £80.00, I did look in charity shops, I always keep a look out for jeans but so far I haven't found a single pair.

My two most expensive items are dresses, my day after dress (£69), and the dress I wore for my Mum's wedding (£85), that was worn again to have afternoon tea with Sophie, and to a friend's wedding reception. They came in at £154.00. Both of which have been worn since then and will be worn again. But I wouldn't have bought them without the occasion to wear them in the first place.

I don't normally spend that much on a single item but as both dresses were for a special occasion, I gave myself permission to splurge. I love both of these dresses and think that they will be worn a lot (I'm constantly looking for excuses to wear them).

I've bought three more white dresses (here and here, with the third yet to make a blog appearance) that total £83.00, if I hadn't developed a bit of a thing for them I wouldn't have spent this.

But I can attribute most of my spending to the fact that I've been drawn to a different style of clothes. Dresses have caught my eye (white ones in particular!) and pretty summer tops too, instead of my normal t-shirts and jeans. A change in taste is always going to mean multiple purchases.

Of course I didn't need all of these clothes but the fact I am wearing them, and enjoying wearing them, makes me feel better about the overall spend.

It seems I'm still buying things in charity shops that I never wear. Either they don't fit (why didn't I try them on?!), or I don't like them once I've got them home. The overall total of these discarded items is low, but it's still a waste.

I don't think I'll ever fall out of love with charity shopping, I just need to be more sensible about it. What I do keep gets a lot of use. I satisfied my need for thick jumpers this year by searching the charity shop rails, and this saved me a small fortune!

I'm not saying that spending money on clothes is bad, I'm not saying having a lot of clothes is bad. I'd just like to wear my clothes more, use and enjoy what I have and save a bit of money in the process - and I was doing so well until this year!

There's nothing wrong with buying something new and giving old clothes to charity but I've recently donated 8 bin bags of perfectly good clothes to my favourite charity shop, which is wasteful (although good for the charity shop).

So for 2016, what are my wardrobe goals?

Out of curiousity I totted up how much I've spent, on clothes and accessories, in total since 2012... £4892.52.

That stopped me in my tracks.

Imagine the things I could've spent that money on? The adventures I could've had? If nothing else this figure makes me determined to reduce my spending on clothes.

Now that I can see the items in my drawers and wardrobe (thanks to the KonMari tidying method, I'll do a full book review soon), I hope to be more aware of what I have as the seasons change. I want to wear more of what I already own. All the clothes that remain are clothes that I like, so there's no excuse.

I'd like to try a new experiment soon too. I happened upon Un-fancy - a minimalist fashion blog and I'm so intrigued by the idea. It's about a capsule wardrobe that you update each season, it started at 37 items but the theory has evolved to allow you to settle on your own number. Any items not included in this number are then stored away.

At the start of each season you swap out items for others you already own and if you want to you can add a few new ones, but then you don't shop during the season. At all. Not even a little bit.

I've been trying different wardrobe challenges since I started this blog five years ago, and this one sounds right up my street. It's not too dissimilar to my 4-4-4 Challenge, which I really enjoyed.

I love clothes, and creating outfits but the volume of items I have often overwhelms me, even my newly thinned out wardrobe still feels cramped, I still get 'I have nothing to wear' days, so maybe this is a good way to pare it down even further, while building a workable, wearable capsule wardrobe.

Do you know how much you spend on clothes in a year?

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  1. I dread to think how much I've spent if I sat and worked it all out, so I won't :D

    1. There is definitely some logic to that! I knew I spent a lot this year so I kept postponing adding it up. I nearly feel over when I did! It does give me renewed determination for next year though...

  2. Honestly, I dread to think. Obviously this year has been an exception - I've not spent anything at all on clothes and shoes, although I've had a lot gifted to me, so it's not been as difficult or tempting as it could have been. I love the fact that you keep stats like this and I might start doing this next year, if / when I have any spare cash to spend on clothes (unlikely but y'know). I really love your new PJs and that lovely dress you bought for your Mum's wedding.

    1. I can't wait to wear my new PJs!
      I want to try something different next year, the 37 piece capsule wardrobe sounds really doable and could potentially save me a small fortune!

  3. I REALLY need to work out how much I've spent and I suspect my total would be similar to yours (maybe, not sure, but probably!) ahrgh, and considering I am saving for a house, I need to stop!! So hard!!! I know CBC wants me to stop! I agree, but can't seem to!x
    That dress for your Mum's wedding is gorgeous! x

    1. Thanks, I love it. I knew I wanted something special for her special day :)
      I think having a set budget and buying things at the start of each season is a good way to go. This year I banned myself from buying scarves and PJs, and if I saw any I liked I just said to myself 'nope, you're banned' and moved on. It was more effective than I though it would be. Of course I can't imagine having a complete spending ban!

  4. Meh, sometimes that just happens I think - some phases of life make you feel more of a shopping/spending urge than others! I like that you've worked out items/secondhand/cost sums, I was planning to do something like that at the end of this year but you've given me something to work with, thanks! :)

    1. It really makes you think when you add it all up, especially when you look at my four year total!! Yikes!
      I'll look forward to seeing your sums :)

  5. Since I started doing Elise's Buyer's Archive series, I've definitely been surprised at how much I spend some months. Problem is, I think nothing of spending £100 a month on clothes and shoes - it doesn't sound like too much - but added up over a year that's a huge amount; enough for an amazing holiday, for example. Once I leave teaching in December I am going to have to tighten the purse strings massively, which will be a challenge.

    1. A holiday was exactly what I thought of when I saw my total!


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