Pinch, punch! First of the month! So here we are, the start of another month which can only mean… another Buyer’s Archive post! This month, I bought a total of 15 pieces of clothing from charity shops (insert see-no-evil monkey here) and a mere 4 from the high street. It may sound a lot, but thanks to half term during February I had more time to clear out unworn clothes and time to devote finding new clothes to love. Through gifting, swapping, donating and selling, I managed to gain a new wardrobe of clothes for no additional cost with some money left over.
As you know, Elise is the founder of the Buyer’s Archive series: a series I joined during the summer of 2015 with the intention of tracking my spending habits. In January, even though I fell off the thrifty band wagon, I only spent £41.46 of my Christmas money (the rest went on bills, grown up life hey?) This month, did my thrifty ways see me buy more but spend less? Grab a cuppa’, this could take some time.
Kenneth Cole vintage tan heels £3 & Audley London leather boots, £3.50, Sue Ryder, Didsbury
Let’s start with the purchases that I’m most excited about! After a meeting in Manchester city centre, John and I decided to visit Didsbury’s charity shops for the first time. Charlotte is a big fan of Sue Ryder, so we made it our first stop. Finding nothing, I was almost ready to give up when I caught sight of not one, but two pairs of brown leather shoes. Perfectly fitting, they’re just what I was looking for. I think a little bit of Charlotte’s shoe luck rubbed off on me that day!
Purple Beret, £1.50, Jospice, Allerton Road, Liverpool
You might have seen my Vintage Village photographs on Instagram over half term, I dragged John along with the intention of finding a vintage red or black beret and eating cake. As it was our first visit, we were overwhelmed with the amount of vintage on offer and sadly, no berets were found. Lucky for me, a couple of days later I found this 100% wool beret in Jospice for an amazing price.
Topshop Nautical Jumper, £3.99, Barnados, Preston
The start of February saw a long overdue thrifty bloggers meet up back in my old university town of Preston. High on nostalgia, I was thrilled to find this red, nautical Topshop jumper that I used to own during my university days. It’s a size smaller than my usual size and a little shorter in length, but I intend to wear it under a pinafore dress so it’s not a problem.
Topshop Plaid Shirt & Primark Stripe Dress, Each £1, Sue Ryder, Preston
Primark Navy Cardigan, £2.50, Cancer Help, Preston
Moving from the Tulketh Mill area, Charlotte, Jenni, Rachelle and I hopped in a taxi to Plungington Road. Despite its proximity to my old halls of residence, I’d never visited before. In the first local charity shop, I found an almost new long sleeved, navy Primark cardigan. Sure, not the biggest bargain or particularly exciting (hence, it’s not photographed) but it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for to wear with my Lindy Bop Matilda dresses in spring.
Uniqlo Skirt, £1.99, Age UK, Burnley
When I’m teaching, I find it difficult to visit my favourite East Lancashire charity shops before they close. Some days, I pack up my marking and bring it home with me just so I can make closing time! Although strictly not an essential purchase, I’m a fan of Uniqlo’s clothes so even though this skirt isn’t strictly my usual style, at £1.99 I’ll take a chance.
Oasis Deer Print Collar Top, £1.99, Age UK, Burnley
Emblazoned with a deer print AND complete with a collar, this quirky number was the first thing I spotted as I walked through the door. Its perfect collar means I’ve already layered it with a dress in this outfit, but I’m yet to find an outfit to really let its print shine.
Principles Peter Pan Collar Jumper, £1.99, Age UK, Burnley
Peter Pan collar + moss green = perfect jumper.
Next 1940s Tea Dress, £2.50, Age UK, Ormskirk
In the same trip, I found this polka dot tea dress. I loved the style of it (and of course the print) but when I tried it on, it was so flattering. Even though it’s missing a button, the condition is like new. It has a spare button attached so it’s easily fixed.
H&M Swing Dress, £2, Age UK, Ormskirk
Remember when H&M released a range of cotton swing dresses last year? I was saving every penny and despite trying them on numerous times, I decided not to buy one. It felt like my patience was rewarded when I found this geometric print swing dress. It’s a couple of sizes bigger than usual, but it adds to the effect.
Topshop Gingham Smock, £2 Cat Protection
Remember this spending ban wish list? When I spotted this gingham dress, I instantly recognised it from my hours spent trawling the internet for a budget version. In perfect condition, in my head, I’m already matching it with Dr Martens and a Fedora.
New Look Heart Print Dress, £2, Cat Protection
Same shop, same day. I think it must have been donated at the same time as the Topshop smock. Although it’s not different to the many other patterned dresses I own, they’re easy to look after and because I’ve now left teaching (I know, right? There’ll be a post about it soon), I’m building a new wardrobe of work clothes for a less formal look.
Pinafore dress, £10, Apricot (originally, £29)
As well as charity shopping, I also went high street shopping with my mum. As we park close to Debenhams, we cut through the store to reach the shopping centre. This Apricot dress stopped me in my tracks, even more so when I discovered it in Apricot’s online sale. I returned the original dress and I’m waiting to take delivery of the £10 dress.
Black cardigan, £8, Primark
Again, another cardigan from Primark. Nothing exciting, but matches everything and oh so practical and warm!
Monochrome stripe skirt, £8, Primark
Confession: my mum bought me the skirt and the cardigan. I know, I’m spoiled. I’ve never been a fan of Primark, if I’m honest; I’ve bought higher quality items for much cheaper prices, but Primark’s skirt game is so strong right now. I just really liked this striped skirt, the quality isn’t amazing but it fits well and I know I’ll wear it lots.
Deer print dress, £5, Boundary Mill
Enough is enough, I decided. No more clothes this month, I thought. But, how can you resist a dress with a deer print when it’s a fiver? I couldn’t, especially not when it fit so well. I’m unlikely to wear this until Christmas, however buying out of season seems to be what I do well.