Thursday, 28 October 2010

Style Budget Special Week - Day 4 Going Forward

For some reason I love a plan. I think it is part of being a stylist. I make lists - a lot. I have to write down items, what was used, what to reference. Even with an assistant to help I tend to do the doing part. I prefer to send them on errands or sew and steam.

I've always found the best way to have a versatile and useful wardrobe is to know what you've got and what you need. Don't get me wrong, spontaneity and that sudden must have isn't out of the question...except when times are hard. There have been some wonderful comments this week to help organise my thoughts. My favourite is the direct action option from Fashionistable 'cut back'.

Over this week the purpose of the posts has been to make you think about what action you can take (if you need to) to assist you to baton down the hatches or keep in credit. The hardest element for the fashionista is how to stay stylish. It is quite difficult if you are a trend terror but less so if you have your own style that is based on what you like.

The first piece of advice is the dullest but most important. After you have paid your taxes and NI, plus contributed to a pension plan you need to save 10% of your net income - in my case that 10% goes to pay off my MA loan and costs.

Then you need to sort your outgoings out for all the essentials and whatever is left over is your spend. I read somewhere recently that the most pleasure people get is from experiences. I mulled this over for quite sometime and realised I get the most pleasure from being dressed up - drat!

horrified that dressing up won't count

I am more than happy to make do with what I've got but am bound to have moments of weakness. I like Pearl's suggestion in her guest post of just getting a new nail varnish to fill those moments. Also the idea of selling items to buy a new one is a good shout, but I think you have to pay off what you have first before you can buy. Not always the easiest thing to do, especially when you have a bad hair day.

Here is my plan for the next year. My birthday is in November and I've decided to stick to it for a whole year. Rather than set buying restrictions, I'm setting category/retailer restrictions.

My radical approach (well it isn't actually) calls for a cocktail of restraint, creativity and cunning. My category for buying is... (X Factor style pause, big music and lights plus big hair do) designer.

I've chosen the designer category on the basis of quality and exclusivity (of sorts). It gives me a broad range of buying opportunities from car boots sales, charity shops, ebay, TK Maxx, the Outnet and full price if I can afford it. I felt designer would naturally restrict me and stop me buying high street 'homages' to the catwalk which somehow always date quicker. I value high street less for some reason,ss unless it is something I really love and then I don't care where it is from. I have until mid November to get my marabou fix in from Oasis.

The less is more suits me more than a rammed wardrobe and I will feel I'm really getting good additional items I will always keep. I might not get many but rather than fritter money away I will have to think, think about what I buy.

My going forward plan is simple. Make sure 10% of my net is squirrelled away. Think nail varnish first then only designer items can be purchased. Bonkers I know but it is what suits me to help me make do. I think I'm with Dame Viv and might throw my tablecloth around me with a good belt if it comes to it.

Will you have a plan? Would you think it would help to have one? And what category would you choose?


  1. I don't have a plan of sorts, but haven't really bought anything except the TK Maxx Faux Fur and one new dress since the last summer sales purchase, just had too much going on and not much money left over for me! I will hopefully get some cash for Xmas and must do some investment purchasing in the sales, all the things I should have by now, but still haven't got!

  2. I enjoy buying a lot, especially chaharity shops and car boot sales, vintage shops, etc. But I get a real thrill when the clothes clash with each other and, like in a puzzle they become an unique outfit.
    Un abrazo fuerte.

  3. MDS you are a one! The designer category is a coup. Far better than selecting Simon and his t-shirts. I'm going to copy.

  4. I love it when you have a new plan! This one I certainly can related to as it is pretty much how I shop. My friends are always whineing on how they cant afford designer but then I point out that if they hadn't bought bags of Primark, had so many meals out etc then actually they could have bought just one thing thats is more expensive. They never get though and think I am a millinoaire rather than a savvy shopper! BTW TK Maxx is amazing at the moment!

  5. I love a plan...especially a fashion based one. Im a planner and a list girl! I have a plan that involves me not buying anything until I have saved for it rather than using the credit card. It makes the shopping a far more enjoyable experience. Also ore good/mid quality items and less impulse buys. My impulse buys always end up on friends or in charity shops! x

  6. I love a list and I love a plan. Not so sure I could stick to a category but I definitely get all the necessary budget things out of the way first, then allocate myself a certain amount for clothing spends.

  7. Hahaha you could make a fortune from the nail varnish and designer clothes diet, I'm sure. Barry M is my favourite! They do very nice Chanel-like shades and I find it very chip-proof..

  8. Great plan, darling!
    Less is, indeed, more!


  9. Sounds like a good plan to me. There is also the factor that when you've reached a certain age (as I have) you often have everything you need, which means you can make conscious decisions and choices of what you would really, really like to own. For me it's rather 1 McQueen dress than 50 pieces from H&M.

  10. Hi my dear-I think its an excellent plan and buying and keeping designer will give you a much more enjoyable and covetable wardrobe too. As you well know, I try my best to thrift designer as much as possible and it has more staying power in my wardrobe than high street pieces. I also love the designer/high street collaberations, especially from Debenhams and Topshop, they are definitely worth a second look too.

  11. Great plan, and I too love a new plan when it comes to wardrobe, ooh I just love thinking about it.
    My current plan is to avoid buying new garments, try to find accessories that can make old outfits sing, and if I do buy a new garment avoid Made in China.
    I am a Brora fan and the fact that their clothes and sweaters are made in the UK means more purchases from me, though I live in NA and have to deal with hideous duties.
    I think your Designer category is very sensible.

  12. MDS, you are great. The way you come up with a rather unbelievable plan, make it sound acceptable and write it all up so amusingly. Love it.

    My own plan is: buy nothing, since my earnings have gone down approx 70% (own choice and not minding it).

  13. Great idea and good luck, there is a a Designer sale on tomorrow and Friday so go check out my recent post - temping tempting :-)

  14. I tend to buy high street for simple essentials (long sleeve tees etc), but for most other things I prefer vintage or designer - in addition to being more unique and fun to wear, they also hold their value so much better x

    ps please don't think I am being rude, but I think it is batten down the hatches ;)x

  15. As a kid my grandma always told me to buy the best you can afford hence the reason I prefer to buy a good quality second-hand garment than a quick fix from the high street.
    Whenever, I'm helping my friends declutter their wardrobes it's always the cheap, impulse buys that get rejected rather than an expensive pieces that were saved for and treasured.
    It's much better to invest in one beautiful designer piece than loads of cheap crap.
    Good plan and great idea about the nail polish. xxx

  16. Penny Dreadful - I agree, damn shame though! Ref baton down the hatches xx

  17. Sounds like a great plan, over the past couple of years I've cut down my monthly spending habits to buying key items for the seasons but I could do better. I hope you don't mind but perhaps I might pinch part of your idea, I'm a November baby too so might use my 2011 birthday as a project milestone too maybe buying items from charity shops, car boots or clothes swapping only!

  18. These posts hit the spot with me. I've been feeling so guilty lately about spending money. Even buying lunch fills me with dread (should have made a sandwich at home thoughts etc etc). It's a struggle!

    M xx

  19. No doubt - you'll drag me along on this plan too :-) I love it. Can't wait to hear more...


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