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If you have been following me, you know that I am constantly confused about whether I should be not buying things or buying things that last. A couple of people that I follow in the FIRE movement have clothing shopping bans. My best friend and I are constantly debating whether or not my willingness to buy more expensive brands is stupid or smart; unsurprisingly I think I am smart but she thinks I am stupid. I argue that I am smart because these things I buy are made to last. However, buying things that are made to last is still more expensive than buying nothing at all so there is that. So without further guilt, I am going to talk about building my new luxury (and not so luxury) wardrobe and what I have learned so far.
Fat Bottomed Girls!
Are you gonna take me home tonight?
Ah, down beside that red firelight
Are you gonna let it all hang out?
Fat bottomed girls
You make the rockin’ world go ’round
Point 1: Pants are a disappointment generally so far and I am tough on them!
In my almost luxury wardrobe, there are a bunch of things that I already own. In particular, I already owned two pairs of black denim Levis jeans (I wrote about how I bought jeans with a higher amount of denim because they last thigh rub better). I bought them when I was visiting my parents and they cost $160.78 for two or £92.65, so they are on the cheaper end of my clothes purchases lately. So far they seem to be working well with no noticeable chaffing inside, however, I got them in December so lets see.
2 jeans -> £92.65
They replaced my first attempt at NYDJs that were not a success (Skinny Legging in dark grey Sure Stretch Denim, on sale £89.99 each, and £179.96 with tax for two) Last year, before traveling to Japan, I also bought two pairs of Eileen Fisher trousers to wear on rotation. Thats right, on average, I wear two pairs of pants on rotation almost exclusively and I often purchase two of the exact same. These trousers did not survive Japanese humidity plus frequent washing plus thigh rub. The crotch in both of them started to get little bumps or pilling and one pair even discoloured a bit in the crotch. Not amazing, especially for the hefty price tag (£120 + £130 = £250 for both). I still have them (purchased in August 2019) and I am hoping that I can get another year out of them.
So I decided recently to go up even a bit more structure and bought a pair of twill trousers from Theory and a Theory stretch jersey pencil skirt. It is the first time I have purchased something from this brand and I noticed instantly the benefit of a bit more structure. They were both with a hefty price tag but on sale. Indeed, after paying for the trousers, I noticed that a few days later, the store had put them even more on sale. I contacted the store and they were able to give me the difference in the prices, so as to save me from returning them and then reordering the trousers and the skirt for the lower price! Just by looking at the sale again, I managed to save an additional £120 and get two very nice items (trousers and a skirt) from a designer brand for £164.
1 trouser -> £94
1 skirt -> £70
Bottoms total: £256.65 (2 pairs of jeans, 1 trouser, 1 pencil skirt)
Ooh, you make me live
Whatever this world can give to me
It’s you you’re all I see
Ooh, you make me live now honey
Point 2. Better quality t-shirts are actually worth it, because a year later, I ❤ it more
I spent the most amount of money on a t-shirt ever in my life in January 2019. It was 40 euros, which to me, seemed like a lot of money on a t-shirt. I am happy to say that a year later, I love this t-shirt even more than I thought I would and I don’t have to replace it yet.
Point 3: Replacing sweaters/jumpers is stressful and Im still not sure I am doing it right? I have a number of knitwear and cashmere jumpers that I bought in Germany a number of years ago. They last but are definitely pilling in places, especially in the armpit. The British brand Joseph is having a sale on knitwear (and other things Winter 2019) and so I decided to try some knitwear.
Tops total: £254
Tops and Bottoms total: £510.65
Note that I am sticking to my white/cream, prink, black, and navy colour pallet which means that everything basically goes with whatever I already have in my closet and I am buying stuff I don’t have (pencil skirt) and stuff I wear (jumpers and knits) over stuff I really don’t need (nice silk blouses that I love but rarely wear). I can also wear the above with trainers, with flats, and with boots, and I can use my sewing machine to make scarfs and tops that are more trendy items.
In case you were wondering how to style yourself with these clothes, I don’t have much style at all! I just put a top and bottom together, pick some shoes, and head out the door. The more your clothes are from the same colour scheme the less you have to worry about styling.
I now spend about 500 pounds twice a year on clothes plus extras like shoes, socks, and workout clothes, or approx 1500 pounds a year on stuff that I wear day in day out. I also buy stuff from Oxfam and other charity shops (for example, I got a gorgeous Chloe cream / ivory – Knee length dress from Oxfam in December for £60. I’m probably close to spending around 5% of my after tax income on clothes. What do you spend?
My ~500 pound luxury wardrobe: