I should be working, but my mind really isn't up to going through information and making sense of it for the moment, so I decided to review for shopping habit over the last four months of the year so far.
This is in part due to financial necessity (time to pay back college tuition loans!) and also because I keep thinking that incessant spending can't quite be right (I abhor waste, hence I value thrift and efficiency).
Fashion-wise, I got a little carried away in the first two months of the year (when the sales were still one, and new collections also trickling in) and I bought:
- One pair of gladiator sandals from Schu: S$37*
- One striped tee from Gap: S$19 (on sale)*
- One white jersey pleat-front tank from CK Calvin Klein: S$20 (on sale)*
- One white ruffle-front silk cotton sleeveless blouse from Zara: S$65 (on sale)*
- One pair of navy patent Mary Jane flats from Massimo Dutti: S$49 (on sale) *
- One navy and cream knit vest from Topshop: $74 (with discount card)
Total for January + February = S$264
And then I went to Bangkok in March and went a little crazy shopping at the markets and cheap wholesale shops:
- One light-blue cotton tunic with striped bib and pockets: S$10*
- One chambray tunic with attached scarf: S$10
- One cream cotton sleeveless blouse with button-up back: S$9*
- One grey cotton trapeze dress with pockets: S$22
- One white cotton poplin custom-made shirt: S$35*
- One cream cotton dress: S$11*
- One cute Care Bear print tee: S$7
- One white v-neck tee with spectacles print: S$8
- One blue and white striped cotton loose-fit blouse: S$9
- One pair of leather low-heel Oxford pumps: S$83*
I was really on a roll in March. Back home, I also bought:
- One white cotton loose-fit blouse with satin trim from Topshop: S$53 (with a discount card)*
- One chambray shorts jumpsuit from Gap: $109*
- One pale pick linen skirt with paper bag waist from GG<5: S$37
- One pair of gold leather flats from Topshop: $65 (with a discount card)*
Total for March = S$468
After that I decided to budget about S$150 to S$200 a month for shopping. April was a dramatic improvement:
- One pair of skinny denim jeans from Topshop: S$83 (bought in Malaysia, much cheaper)*
- One pair of flat sandals from Charles & Keith: S$39*
Total for April = S$122
I'm still under budget for May, but then we are only nine days into May:
- One denim shirtdress from Topshop: S$82 (with a discount card)
- One grey jersey elastic waist skirt from American Apparel: S$33 (ordered online)
Note that I also spend on shopping for CDs and books and magazines: which average a combined S$100 to S$150 a month.
I think the verdict is that my budget of S$150 a month is pretty doable, unless I travel. The question is whether I need to be buying this stuff and how much of it made a genuine difference to my closet.
The ones I mark with an asterix are ones that have gotten repeat wearings and filled a gap that I wanted to fill in my closet, and I'm quite happy that ever since I purchased some of this stuff, I've been much less motivated to shop, and it's been possible to tell myself "I have enough" when I go shopping.
I also have a thing for buying more of the same (tees, tanks, loose blouses, usually white), but I can't help it, it's all sort of the same but also different at the same time. I try to control this by looking at the fabric quality and cut and tell myself not to buy anything too cheap.
Reading Editor's post here on Retail Recovery about what I would like to see in shops, I couldn't really make a full comprehensive list the way some bloggers could, I just have a vague mish-mash of wishes:
- A floral print knit cardigan, like the Prada ones, in a smokey lilac or grey
- A pair of grey jersey fabric Converse high-tops (saw it in Berlin, still kicking myself for not buying them)
- A nice ankle-length grey jersey dress, non-empire, to be belted at the waist with a woven leather belt
- Something in an abstract, painterly print.
- A navy, loose fit, long-ish cardigan
- A simple black dress, tailored but light, above the knee, slim but not tight, beltable, preferably sleeveless
I haven't seen anything quite like them, nothing I want anyway. I doubt they will surface, but I think having a wishlist like this does kind of help me stay focussed and not be distracted by things I don't particularly want. I have no intention of limiting myself to one to two things a year, but I think editing it down to one to two things a month is perfectly reasonable.