2016 | Clothes

Monday, January 09, 2017

Each year I look back at what I spent on clothes and accessories, and have been doing so for five years now. In a previous post I shared every item I purchased in 2016, and here I'm doing my annual breakdown.

The numbers
My overall spend for the year was £742.39, buying me a total of 63 items, which is the lowest number since I started keeping a tally back in 2012.

The most expensive item was a winter coat at £95.00 but then there was quite a jump in price to the next most expensive - a cream cardy from Next at £40.00, the cheapest was a pre-loved bracelet purchased in September for just £1.25.

The percentage of pre-loved items purchased overall was 37% - the lowest since records began. I'd hoped it would be higher than previous years, but of these I'm wearing a higher percentage than ever before.

By reviewing my spending of previous years I'd realised that I had a tendency to buy a lot of pre-loved items but discarded most of them without being worn. Now I'm more selective, I try things on in the shop, and generally shop less.

I still own 85% of all items bought - the best figure since 2012. Proof that I'm making more considered purchases, buying things to fit my wardrobe, and ditching my old 'I like it so I'll buy it' attitude. There were a few ebay purchases that couldn't be returned, and a few items that having bought them I dithered about whether or not to return them, I kept them and wore them once - a lesson to be learnt there.

I'm really pleased with my spending this year. Not only did I spend less,  I'm also wearing the things I purchased more often than in previous years. Both of these things can be attributed to seasonal capsule wardrobes, and taking part in A Buyer's Archive.


I've purchased a number of things I really like this year but if I had to choose just one item as my favourite, it'd be a white skirt I picked up at a clothes swap early in the year.

My other favourites are Next maxi skirt, dungarees, black t-shirt, Phase Eight dress (all but the t-shirt are pre-loved).

My most expensive pre-loved item was an ASOS pencil dress for £18.00 via ebay. This is another of my favourite items of 2016, I'm not normally one for a pencil skirt but I felt great in this and am looking forward to wearing it more. Strange as it might sound coming from a 40-something, but I felt properly grown up in this outfit. And did you notice it has pockets?

12% of purchases made in 2016 remain unworn but this statistic isn't as bad as it sounds (last year this figure was just 5%). I have two items that need altering, two that I bought for an occasion and then wore something else, two items have been put away for the summer, and two items that I haven't had a chance to wear yet as they're recent purchases.

The total of these items is £89.57 but as long as I can get items altered I should wear all of these things in the coming year, so I don't feel that this money has been wasted.

A 2015 purchase - a bird patterned dress - remains unworn as it still needs altering, if it hasn't been altered by the beginning of summer, I'll pop it on ebay.

I had a few items purchased in 2015 that I only wore for the first time in 2016. My pre-loved Kew shorts were added to my summer capsule and worn a few times over the summer, a pair of Irregular Choice shoes, also pre-loved, worn for a ball, and for a night out in Aldeburgh. And my white oversized dress was worn for the first time in April, and then again several times over spring and summer.

2016 was the year I finally wore my pre-loved Monsoon pencil skirt, purchased in 2014. I won it on ebay for £5.19 and love it. I just needed to find the right items to wear with it so I stuck it in my spring capsule and went shopping. Since wearing this I've decided that I haven't found it's perfect pairing ... yet. And it looks best when worn with heels.
For 2016 I had a total ban on scarves and PJs. Also knitwear, summer trousers, lipstick and blusher.

I totally failed on the knitwear ban buying eight knitted items over the year, and I bought one scarf, annoyingly I wore the scarf once and ruined it. The rest were successful though, I even decided to forgo my usual Christmas PJs and instead enjoyed wearing the ones I purchased the previous year. That said Andy gave me two pairs of PJs for Christmas, so whilst I didn't buy any myself I do have some new ones to enjoy. Yay for PJs (and husbands)!

For this year, I'd like my spending to be lower than 2016 (I'm thinking under £600), I want to wear anything I purchased in 2016 but have yet to wear, and have another ban on PJs. I need to alter items in a more timely manner, and sell the things I no longer want, or have no hope of ever wearing.

Do you keep a tally of your spending?

Links to previous years - 2012   |  2013  |  2014  |  2015

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  1. I SO should have continued keeping track of what I spent. I suspect it would be worse than you!!! You bought somelovely items which I like very much! That white skirt is a classic!!

    1. I fear I'm a little addicted to analysing my spending now!
      I love that skirt, I can't wait for spring and the opportunity to wear it again.

  2. You have really thought this through, and by keeping tabs you know where there's room for improvement. I so often (far too often, in fact) am seduced into buying a pre-loved item for next to nothing, only for it to end up going back to the charity shop later, as it has remained unworn. There's definitely room for improvement for me there ... xxx

    1. I sometimes wonder if I give it too much thought, but it has helped to shape my wardrobe and improve my spending habits, so I guess it's worth it.
      You should join in A Buyers Archive, and do a round up post each month xx


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All products that are featured on Hazel’s World of Joy have been purchased by me unless otherwise stated. Any PR samples, items that have been sent to me for review or similar will be declared as such at the end of the post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.