March Clothing Budget

I like the idea of doing a monthly budgeting post because keeping track of the money I spend is the best way to keep from spending more than I realize (like how keeping an honest food diary, which I do periodically, stops me from rounding down how many pieces of licorice I ate that day).   However I’m also concerned about whether comparative budgeting posts are just another form of brag post (look at all the awesome things I bought this month!)  and if trying to find the best deals actually encourages me to do more shopping that I otherwise would (keeping clothes on my wishlist for the long term to wait to buy it when it goes under a certain price point or when a really good coupon pops up.  If I just wrote it off as too expensive, maybe I’d forget about some of it and move on to the next thing?  And if I really loved it, I would be willing to save up for it.)  When I also think about how impossible it would be for me to compare to bloggers with larger budgets, it just doesn’t seem all that useful.  (Random question – gift cards won in contests and free stuff given by companies are taxable income.  Do bloggers-who-get-free-stuff consider the increased tax liability of free stuff when calculating their budget?  I’m also curious about whether tailoring, shipping, and taxes count in most people’s budgets.)

I really want my clothing budget to reflect my wardrobe goals. While I don’t want to spend a huge amount of my income on clothes, I also want each item in my closet to be something I want to wear and not something that I bought because it was cheap or I thought I should own it (button-downs, I’m looking at you).  Really what I think I’m trying to say is that I’m tired of buying new clothes and still reaching for the same old things I wore last year.  I want to buy clothes to wear now and in the future.

I went back through and looked at the clothes I had bought for 2013.  I bought 95 items of clothing (omg, that’s a lot), of which 15 I don’t really like (poor fit, annoying to wash, bad stand-ins for the items I really wanted but talked myself out of…) and 18 I haven’t really worn (accessories/tights/shoes I didn’t really need, various items that don’t really work with my life) which means I’m meh about a third of the clothes I bought last year.  I want to re-think the way I’m buying things.

Yet with all these thoughts rumbling in my head, I did buy plenty of clothes this month (I’m not going to deny that I enjoy looking at pretty clothes and buying things).

Clothes bought in March:

Skirt – white floral cotton [similar to this but floral].  This is a little shorter than many of my skirts.   I bought it because I don’t really have many casual weekend skirts.  Most of my wardrobe these days had been taken over by my work attire, which hasn’t been worn much these last few weeks.  This skirt also has pockets, which I love.  I’ve already worn it a couple of times and like it thus far.

Skirt – purple herringbone wool/rayon [kinda this shaped].  This fits beautifully, and it’s nice to have clothes in colors.  It’s a good weight of wool and length for winter.  I’m not going to get a chance to wear this again before my winter clothes get stored for the summer.  Hopefully I still love this in October when they come back down (off season clothes live in a box on the shelf in the back of my closet).

Heels – burgundy leather [I think mine are these but in this cordovan color].  I really wanted a non black or brown shoe.  This is a fairly comfortable mid-heel, real leather, and was on super clearance.  I don’t really wear heels much, so this may end up being a “eh” purchase unless my next job requires more business clothes.

Skirt – purple polka dots, merino wool [grey & green version on ebay].  This is really soft.  It’s a gorgeous sweater knit.  I had never hear of the brand (Krimson Klover) but I checked out their website they seem lovely.  I haven’t yet decided whether this is going to have to be put away for summer.  Summers are pretty chilly in the PNW, and this skirt is short-ish and not too thick.

Cardigan – it’s a pretty teal flowy cardigan.  This was very much an impulse purchase because I really just wanted a flowy cardigan and this has a great shape.

Blazer – black with pinstripes.  I don’t wear the blazers I already own, so I wasn’t really looking for another one.  But I stumbled upon this in my size, and it matches a pencil skirt I already own.  I was vaguely looking for a proper interview suit (which pinstripes would not be my first choice) but this might work as a second interview or just to switch things up.  Are interview suits still a required thing?  I think I wore a black/grey tweedy skirt and black blazer at my last interview.

Sports bra – comfy and does what it’s supposed to, which is all I require.

Shirt – navy and black polka dots, cotton/poly [this one].  Impulse buy.  It’s comfy and navy & blue which I’ve already identified as two of my three (+ grey) preferred neutrals.  It’s styled like a sweatshirt, but it’s really just a long-sleeved tee.

Henley – blue stripes, poly/cotton/rayon [this one]. Impulse buy to replace a white + blue striped shirt I’ve had for a few years because I noticed it has several holes (and then I splattered spaghetti sauce all over it…).

– spent $54.50

I meant to take a picture of my clothes bought (that’s what bloggers do, right?) but I forgot and now the blazer and wool skirt are at the dry cleaners.  Oh well.

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