The Year of No Clothes - an update

So around this time last year - still feels weird to think of 2016 as last year - I composed this blog post - , about my decision to try not to buy any new clothes for a year.  How did it go?  Read on to find out.

Overall it went pretty well.  I definitely found it easier than I thought I would. Having said, that I did slip up on my vow a few times.  I did have good reasons though.  Me and the boy were lucky enough to be invited to two weddings in 2016, one in the summer and one in the winter.  Naturally, a different outfit was required for each, due to the different climates she said nodding.

I know I could have just worn clothes I already had, but partly due to most people constantly having camera phones nearby, and the fact that many photos of big events end up on Facebook or Instagram, in this social media age we live in, makes it harder to re-wear outfits for special occasions. Not saying I don't wear clothes more than once  - I hate waste, and have had some of my clothes for about 10 years!  But I think if you feel fabulous you will look fabulous too.

Here are some photos of the two wedding outfits.
This was from the summer wedding, a unique fascinator definitely made me feel fantastic, and the fact I could take it on and off when it started pinching my head was brilliant!
As the winter wedding was in December I knew it would be cold, and this faux fur shrug was perfect!  The box clutch, while it looked good had a really irritating clasp which took ages to open.  Definitely won't be using that again in a hurry, and I learnt the lesson to try out a bag first before taking it to a big event.

The only other purchase I made was some black Chelsea boots from M&S in January.  I classed this as an emergency buy, as my black ankle boots started leaking a few days before I started my new job, and I knew it would be doing a lot of commuting and being exposed to the elements, didn't fancy adding wet feet into the mix.  So far they have been really good, although I did step on a drawing pin a few months ago, and part of the sole came off.  I took it to be repaired, the guy did it very well and did it pretty much for nothing, on the condition I donated to the charity box.  Definitely a case for make do and mend rather than buying new things!  Just adding in here as well, I also invested in some super comfy trainers, as I knew we would be doing a lot of walking on holiday - and my foot crushing Rome experience meant it was worth it.  These Nike Juvenate are so comfy, it feels like you don't even have shoes on!  They are great for driving too, for gripping the pedals.  The only downside is the colour shows if you get them dirty quite easily, but you can either put them in the washing machine, or lather up some washing up liquid and scrub them with a toothbrush or sponge.  Feel slightly sick now, as when I've just looked online they are now in the sale -typical!

Doing my Boxing Day 2015 sale spree meant I had several new outfits to start the year with, this really helped me not feel my self-imposed shopping ban so much.  It was hard not buying new clothes for our holiday to Paris, but I tried to do the capsule wardrobe thing, which worked out pretty well.

It definitely helped with saving money last year, as my travel costs ended up even higher than I expected on my long commute.  That has actually gone down overall(so far) as I made the decision to get back into driving after a 9 year break, and bought a car.  There's a whole blog post to be written on my whole getting back into driving experience, but here's a snap of me the day I bought my car.
Anyway, I'm getting distracted(some things never change), how did the year of no clothes impact my life?  Before I forget, I also bought an inexpensive black cold-shoulder top from H&M, as I love the trend.  I found the easiest way of stopping myself buying clothes was not going into clothes shops in the first place.  Trying to put existing pieces I had together in different ways also made me feel like I had new outfits.

When I re-read my post from January 2016, I see I had the idea of putting money away every time I wanted to buy clothes but didn't.  Kind of didn't happen.  I did save but in other ways.  One of these was to experiment with budget beauty products.

Stand out items I'd recommend are; L'Oreal Infallible Matte foundation, NYX Butter gloss, Dirty Works cucumber eye pads - from Sainsbury's!- Garnier Moisture Bomb tissue mask, Simple Hydrating oil, Josh Wood blending wand for touching up your roots between salon appointments. Next up; L'Oreal elnett hair spray - it's a classic for a reason! -Maybelline nudes eyeshadow palettes, a fraction of the costs of the Urban Decay ones, you have to pack on the colour a bit more, but lovely results. I'd recommend L'Oreal Extraordinary clay shampoo and conditioner, The Body Shop instamatte powder compact.  Have also got Bourjois Sculpt light and Manuka Doctor eye serum to try, but both look good.  Realised after looking at this list I seem to have a bit of a L'Oreal obsession - because I'm worth it!  I can't write this paragraph without giving a shout out to A Model Recommends blog where I got many of the product ideas from.  Plus I can't fail to mention the amazing Sali Hughes, her Guardian column is always on point.  Her Pretty Honest book is my bible.  Can't wait to try her latest - Pretty Iconic, my birthday is in a few months in case my someone special is reading - hint hint!

I absolutely found the year of no clothes easier than I thought.  It gave me food for thought, a fellow poet on Facebook also posted they were doing something similar and their musings really gave me an alternative outlook on this.  Not buying clothes - apart from my rule breaking wedding outfits!- zapped a little bit of joy from my life.  I'm not planning to go abroad in 2017 - visiting a few friends in different parts of the UK so having some staycations, so getting a few new pieces for these trips is something I'm looking forward to.  It has definitely made me think more about the way I shop.  But I'm definitely not going to beat myself up for buying clothes every now and then. Plus the fact that the way my work shifts fall, a lot of my work days are dress down days, I sometimes feel a bit shabby compared to some of the girls at work in Liverpool. Can't say wearing rollers to work is my style though!  Just be yourself, the most fabulous version of you.  In the words of one of the best-selling books from 2016 - spark joy!


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