Friday, January 30, 2015

January Shopping Reflections

At present, I don't set a monthly, quarterly, or even a yearly shopping budget for myself. Although I can anticipate the funds that I will have access to throughout the year, it is difficult for me to predict some of the large travel and interview-related expenses that might or might not emerge and reduce the amount I can spend on shopping. While I do quite obsessively track my expenditures and overall budget, I am not quite ready to commit to specific amounts when it comes to my fashion expenditures. Instead, I think it is more useful to be thoughtful about my purchases and to do my best to buy only the things that I truly need or will use. Or at least, that is the goal. 

I did not do that well in January based on the rules of my shopping fast. I might be giving myself too much freedom to buy things that "I could wear to work in the fall." That accounts for the burgundy jacket, the waterfall cardigan, and the dress (though in practice, even after getting it hemmed, I must admit that the dress is probably too much even for my future office's fairly permissive business casual dress code). 

My purchases for January were as follows:

Fashion - (TOTAL: $227.87)
  • Uniqlo Heattech Gloves in Navy - $7.90 - These were a definite "need" because I needed a pair of touchscreen-compatible gloves. 
  • Uniqlo Heattech Gloves in Red - $7.90 - These were a "need" once I lost the navy pair on the first day that I wore them. Oops.
  • Uniqlo Knit Beanie - $12.90 - These were a "need" because I had not previously owned a winter hat that covered my ears and my down jacket has a fussy hood that won't stay up. 
  • Uniqlo Heattech Socks - $9.90 - These were a "need" because I didn't own any trouser-type socks. Sadly, these might not have been the best choice as they're a bit too thick and my boots are all on the edge of not being spacious enough to accommodate.
  • Uniqlo Sweatpants - $9.90 - These were a replacement of my previous pair. 
  • Lou and Grey Ombre Waterfall Cardigan - $15.88 - This was neither planned nor a "need" or replacement. It doesn't fit in the rules of my shopping fast, though I quite like the cardigan and it will be a useful (if slightly redundant) part of both my casual and work wardrobes going forward.
  • Loft Twill Jacket - $42.50 - Similar situation as with the Lou and Grey cardigan... 
  • Anthropologie Baikal Dress - $76.00 - I even mentioned this one as a likely mistake in my shopping fast post. The one I ordered ended up being too small and too long, but when I went to make the return, I tried the dress on in my size. It is quite lovely, and I have a serious weakness for pretty prints, bright colors, and dresses that fit. Strictly speaking, this dress will end up costing more when I include the shipping costs I paid on the one I returned in addition to the tailoring costs to hem it. 
  • Sam Edelman Trina Sandals - $44.99 - This was a replacement for a pair of the same style in a different color. My other pair is on its last legs.

  • Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid - I decided to take advantage of a sale. It is a "need," though it is perhaps a few months before I originally planned to replace it.
  • Hada Labo Lotion - I was not supposed to replace this item so soon, but I made the mistake of buying another product that broke me out and needed to replace it.
  • Hada Labo Emulsion - Same situation as above. 
The only clear lesson from this month is that I should definitely not buy things online from Anthropologie anymore, at least until the point in time where they decide to offer free shipping as a general practice. From trying out that dress and that skirt, I find their sizing very unpredictable. There are other lessons too, about how I approach shopping for my work wardrobe, if at all, but I will have to give that question some more thought. Finally, I should be a bit more careful about replacing skincare products in my routine and about not losing things like gloves and hats. 

I linked with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers here. Hopefully my approach (where my shopping is constrained by the ebb and flow of my overall budget for the semester, though I don't stick a firm number on it in advance) is alright!


  1. You did really well! I was also on a bit of a shopping fast in January and it is NOT easy. The Anthropologie dress is amazing -- I am sure you will find that, over time, it is a great buy. Because the thing about a dress like that is you never know when you'll need it, and when you do, the chances of running out to the store and stumbling upon something that you love, that's in your size AND budget, are just so slim. Think of it as an investment in a very fancy and fabulous future!

    1. I definitely agree that a shopping fast is hard! With that dress it really was one of those things that felt "so me" when I put it on in the right size (even if it is likely that I won't encounter occasions for it that often).


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