Friday 4 March 2016

2016 Clothing Budget

You know it's time to replace items of clothing when they're getting so threadbare they're no longer mendable.  And the problem of not buying many new (or new-to-me) clothes means that at some point they will need to be replaced. However, it's very annoying when you have a mental dog called Emma who decides it's time to encourage you to replace your 10 yo walking boots!!  I'd been wearing them since she chewed off one of the labels as a pup but last week she chewed the other one right off and made a hole through the tongue.  This means they're no longer waterproof as the water gets in the hole and soaks my socks!! Thankfully I've had these boots for years so I know that my next pair will be a good investment.  I'll be keeping an eye out for a good sale or discount.

I'm always looking for clothes ideas on Pinterest especially for work.  I'm not into fashion and never have been but for work my clothes have to look smart and professional.  They also need to be practical (ie easy to wash!) as I teach wee ones (think glue/paint/glitter/snot!)  I came across an article that stated research has found that we spend 20% of our income on clothes.  20%!!!!  I don't even spend 2%!

Before I went back to work I literally didn't have the money to spare to buy clothes.  However, in my 'old life' I did have the cash to splash and I did have a lot of good quality clothes that have lasted me well these past 5 years.  But as I said, some of them are now starting to look rather worn and need to be replaced especially stuff I wear to work.

So, I sat down and tried to work out what kind of clothes does my lifestyle need?  I need work clothes, gym/exercise clothes, outdoor clothes (for dog walking, gardening, rambling, geo caching etc), smart casual clothes for evenings and weekends, a couple of posh frocks and 'scruffs' for lounging about the house.

Then I tried to work out a sensible budget.  For the last few years my budget was £120 (or £10 a month) I'm now earning a decent salary but there's no way I'm spending 20% of it on clothes.  So after some hard sums and a few best guesses, I've come up with the following numbers:

Work £200
Gym/exercise £100
Outdoor £100
Smart casual £100

Total: £500 a year, that's about £40 a month.  Eeeek!! But if I don't need to spend it I won't.  That's my maximum.  My plan is to replace worn out stuff (also make it if I have the fabric) and never pay full price.

So using my new rules here's my first purchase.  Black cardigan from Marks and Spencer, 25% off plus free p&p.  This is to replace a very bobbled one in my wardrobe.  I splashed on cashmere as I've got a lilac one that has lasted me 8 years so hope this one has the same longevity.  This comes out my work budget although I'll be wearing it for going out too.

Second purchase from Boden (I do love Boden stuff!)  Stripey top with leopard spots to replace a much loved Tesco's Florence and Fred one that has been reduced to 'scruffs' status.  I had a 15% discount code for it.  This comes out my smart casual budget.

I've also bought a pair of opaque navy tights (£8.99) as I have a decent navy skirt and shoes that I could wear to work.  My base colour is normally black so being able to add a navy skirt to my work wardrobe is worth the £8.99 especially as I've found opaque tights can last for years especially if you start wearing them 'inside out' if they get bobbly ;-)

On an entirely different clothes note, here's my Mary Poppins costume for World Book Day.  Amazingly most kids don't know a lot of film characters originally came from a book!!  Everything came out of my wardrobe.  White M&S blouse with red ribbon stitched to top button, black vintage Jasper Conran jacket (one of my lovely mum's cast offs when she retired), man's umbrella (belonged to the ex and left behind in his hurry to depart!) with a paper parrot's head stuck on the wooden handle, hat from eBay years ago with tissue paper flowers stuck on, a black Hobbs longish skirt, black tights and black shoes.  Whole outfit cost 99p and that was for the wee badge on my lapel that says

Yep, that's me ;-)


  1. Fab costume & great clothes purchases too.

  2. I love your costume and the fact it cost so little but looks so authentic is very impressive. Well done. I don't think I've bought a single full price clothing item since I retired 5 years ago and I've learned the secret of going to M&S when the sale is almost over and they just want rid of stuff. I got two pairs of perfect fitting jeans recently for £5 a pair from £25 and a cashmino jumper for my mum for £3.

  3. Love your ideas. Thanks for sharing

    1. I didnt intend not to sign it. Mandy Stoner x


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