A Year of Shopping Responsibly

Last year around this time I turned over the finances to my husband. In 14 years of marriage I have aways managed the money but a new level of soul searching and letting go led me to “try” something new. We don’t have an unusual amount of conflict around spending—just the normal amount. 😉 But when we look at where we’ve been overspending it’s almost always the same: clothing, dining and recreation. We set a budget and go over that budget. And, honestly, the clothing category is all me. So, all this to say, I had to start being “good.” For the last year I was given a monthly cash allowance of roughly what I should have been spending all along. Allowance is for anything outside of the budget. Oh yeah, “Clothing” ceased to be a category. My “mad money” was to pay for clothing, make up, hair, nails, etc. But, it gets tricky when ordering things on-line. I have to use a Credit card and then pay it back with cash. It got pretty confusing and so I kind of gave up keeping track. I honestly didn’t know if I had been good. I mean, I kind of knew I wasn’t when the Nordstrom sale came around in the Spring. (Stitch Fix also contributed to my downfall.) A lot of what I bought has been underwear and workout-wear which I don’t think should count toward “additions to my closet” but whatev. I’ll also mention that I justified overspending by selling clothes on Poshmark. I made about $225 from Postmark sales.

The following is what I added to my wardrobe this year:

January $143

Gap – bras & undies $94

J. Crew – Shirt-jacket in buffalo check $43

Stitch Fix – Mavi jeans $6 (w/ giftcard)

February $174

Old Navy – gray hoodie $28

Old Navy – gingham shirt $20

LOFT – print dress $36

DSW – Puma sneakers $50

Poshmark – J Brand army shorts $14

Poshmark – Gap jeans in black $26

March $119

Gap – Sports Bras in black & gray $24 ea.

Gap – Workout tank in white $16

Asics – workout tank $13

Poshmark – J. Crew straw market tote $26

Poshmark – NB workout tank $16

April $106

DSW – nude ballet flats $40

Poshmark – Madewell heels $66

May $415

Banana Republic – Camisole $25

Banana Republic – Striped tank $25

Stitch Fix – Joie tee $148

Nordstrom – Amour Vert long sleeve striped tee $88

Nordstrom – Vince Camuto sandals in red $53

Nordstrom – Topshop cigarette pants $38

Poshmark – Gap workout leggings $19

Poshmark – Madewell tank $19

June $139

J. Crew – denim shorts $56

Gap – long sleeve striped tees in gray/white & navy/white $11 ea.

Gap – tank top in gray $15

Gap – undies $16

Athleta – bikini top $30

July $100

Famous Footwear – Nikes $75

DSW – Roxy flip flops $25

August $45

Athleta – bikini bottom $21

Snap back hat – $24

September $152

Nordstrom Rack – Steve Madden flats in black $50

Banana Republic – A-line skirt in olive $39

J. Crew – A-line midi sweater skirt $63

October $10

Gap – Vintage Wash Short Sleeve Tee in “Glass of Water” blue $10


So that’s the extent of it. I know that may seem like a lot to spend to some people (or very little to others) and I hesitated to include prices but for me it’s important to drag it out into the light of day. To be true to myself. Throughout the year I bought and returned quite a few items. I knew they weren’t right, that I wouldn’t wear them. Some of what I bought (and kept) turned out to be great decisions, and others were not. Live and learn, I guess. It makes me see that I can stand to be a lot more intentional in my buying process. To my credit, I tend to pin things to a wish list board and then wait a while before pulling the trigger.

My ultimate goal is to enjoy what I wear, how I look and then get on with it. You know? I hope somebody somewhere gets some inspiration from this, on how to have fun with clothes, but, like in a grown-up-y way.


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