2014 - Fashion Budget (aka being a grownup)

Bah, being a grown up is no fun, is it? :P I took a look at my closet today, and there's just way too much stuff in there - a lot of it accumulated over the last two or three years (aka post YLF). With all the style experimentation that occurs when you want to explore and find your own new style, I suppose it is understandable. 

I find a lot of my purges are the "oh, but this is only $30!" type - and I get bitten with the sales bug a lot; so hopefully this budget (thank you, Mo for your inspiration) will help rein me in a little bit. I didn't think I could afford a nicer parka, but after getting frostbite this year x2 (very minor), the boy was like, I don't care, you need a better one! GRRRR. $700 later....

I think the other thing that helps is I don't feel like I have to "keep up" anymore at work - I have enough street cred built in right now that I'm not just one of the "faceless junior residents" - and I think I can afford to cruise and hone my personal style a little bit now, knowing that it is mostly work appropriate.

My style budget (#2) - I broke it down into different seasons. A lot of the things I need are replacements and repairs. My nude pumps were beyond repair x2 pairs; and now I really really am desperate for a replacement, but I am also pretty picky (you'll notice I want the Naturalizer Lennox ones) - and I also want a pair of pretty date night shoes. $2600 a year is definitely doable for me for enduring pieces - I probably spent about double this this year ... *ugh* I don't know how that happened.

I also want to have more "signature" pieces - the ones that when people see on other people, it becomes, "Oh, Lyn has that." - and I'm willing to invest in those things, as well as my versatile neutral (navy) which also happens to be boy's favourite colour.

New needs - a date night capsule. So far I just usually make do with things I wear to work, but I think I may want to expand on this. I don't think it will be fancy things (we usually go for burgers and pub fare, and we prefer to do that then really fancy things anyway), so it might mean t-shirts and jeans! But definitely a new part of my wardrobe, regardless!

Also - GOOD NEWS. MY KATE SPADE HAS ARRIVED. #3/4. I guess that call to customer service between crying/begging/yelling that my poor bag had been oversold ended up in a bag in the similar style but a different colour - I had initially ordered oxblood red, but they only had brown left (they would substitute, and is that okay?) - I guess it's okay (secretly overjoyed, I think this one will be more versatile!) 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    You sound very wise and grown up. It can still be fun.

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    More is not better.  Better is better. 
    OK -- that's the closest I cam come to wisdom at 1am, after two hours of wrapping.  Still, I think you're at the place in life when finding great garments that flatter, serve, and represent you to the world beats a closet full of cute, trendy clothes.

  • Gigi replied 9 years ago

    Although I hate making mistakes, it's always the best way to learn!

    For your date night capsule, maybe you could start with some add-on pieces that would go with your work wardrobe--fancy clutches, high heels, some statement jewelry--so that you are able to increase the functionality of some of your work wardrobe pieces rather than just keep adding to the closet (seeing as you feel like you have too much in there already). Also, this would buy you time to find stuff that is perfect for the date night capsule.

  • Ariadne replied 9 years ago

    This is impressive and inspiring.  It looks like you've been very thorough and realistic.  I look forward to seeing how it all plays out this year!

    Is the first image from Anthro?  It's lovely.

    Tell me more about the Doc Martens zippers.  Can they be replaced?  I have a beloved silver pair and the zipper just broke on one of them.

  • jayne replied 9 years ago

    Great start on a budget.  Just love these posts and seeing how it worked out.  Good you have some wild cards in there.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 9 years ago

    Looks like a great plan Lyn. 

    Have you ever heard of ear bags?  They are these cute little things that fit over your ears for extra warmth.  I got a pair a few years ago at Portage Place hat shop.  Frostbite on ears is no fun.


  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Lol! Being a grown up can be a pain sometimes:). I think this all sounds well thought out and ver wise)

  • Meli replied 9 years ago

    I've read a few articles on budgeting clothing and really was struck that they all recommend under 5% total, and even how overspending can impact you over the years. So I've adjusted my own budget as well this year.

  • Runcarla replied 9 years ago

    Being a grown up can be fun too, and having a budget is just smart.

  • bj1111 replied 9 years ago

    wait...there's a boy?  when did that happen?

  • replied 9 years ago

    It must be hard to buy boring things you need when there are so many pretty dresses out there (and they all look amazing on you) but you can do it! Love the new Kate Spade. :)

  • Mo replied 9 years ago

    You know I love this!  I recently started marking what's a replacement or upgrade as well on my lists.  You already have a beautiful wardrobe; I'm sure this will just fine tune it more for the year to come :)

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    "Better is better."

    Beth Ann, you are brilliant at 1 a.m.!

  • retailgirl replied 9 years ago

    It is so hard to reign yourself in! I understand...I work in retail, so temptation is always right in front of me, plus I am easy to fit...size 8, tall and slim. It was worse for me when I was a buyer and could buy salesman's samples. So I have a closet with way too many options, most of them very nice. The return you get from a consignment store is not worth the effort involved. (To me, anyway.) But Lyn, you are wise to be prudent with your spending in the early years of your career, you'll be able to build up a nice retirement nest egg or save for your own home or whatever long term goals you may have. I wish I had been a little more frugal! But no regrets!

  • Lisa replied 9 years ago

    Smart move to preplan your spending for next year.  I usually create a running wish list but I don't have the shopping planned out better than that.  I'm going to sit down and think of this for myself next year.  Like yourself, I also have too many clothes sitting unworn.

  • lyn* replied 9 years ago

    @ Beth Ann - You are very wise at 1 am. I shall consult you again at this time.

    @ Gigi - I think I have the fancy end stuff covered; it's more the opposite - we kinda lounge around and do jigsaw puzzles and make food in his kitchen - and he feels more comfortable around me when I just wear jeans and a t-shirt anyway (he says I always look so 'dressed up' when he sees me after work). 

    @ Ariadne - The first pic is from Anthro, and I have the dotty dress which is why I kept the picture! :) The Doc Marten zipper burst on one of my boots (ULTIMATE SAD FACE) but I am thinking of getting them replaced with heavy duty zippers x2; that way they match. Although having Doc Martens with not matching zippers sounds pretty bad-ass.

    @ Jayne - My life is a wildcard :p

    @ Dianthus - It sounds like I need some ear bags :p I usually use muffs + toque + hood these days. I got the frostbite on my inner thigh, actually. Drat skirts.

    @ Deborah - :) Thank you; I hope that it will be nice in the future once I get the groundwork settled.

    @ Meli - I usually stick to about 5% of my budget on clothes; I do reach into the hobbies 10% too though, because I consider curating my closet to be my primary hobby.

    @ Runcarla - Oooh, grown up and smart ;) You flatter me.

    @Bj11111 - Officially for about 6 weeks; unofficially for much longer than that. Finally one of the older ladies at work just stares at me, "You know these dinner and movie things you go on are dates right?" O_o; are they? Oh ...

    @ Claire - Ah; I know, boring things are boring. Hopefully pastels are making a comeback this year and I hate pastels, so it will make life easier for me.

    @ Mo - I had you in my mind as I was plotting my world domination - uh; bank account domination?

    @ Una - I know, isn't she brilliant? I think I will start to use that quote.

    @ Retailgirl - Yes; I am very fortunate to work in an environment in which there aren't new clothes all the time - if I did, I'd be much more broke. I didn't think I'd need a real nest egg for awhile - I don't know now though. I think aside from a car, a nice healthy downpayment for property would be nice to have.

    @ Lisa - I wish you best of luck as well - It's nice to be able to sit in front of your closet and give it a sobering look.

  • Alassë replied 9 years ago

    Good job and fun read, Lyn*!

  • shedev replied 9 years ago

    Nice list Lyn. A good warm coat is something you will likely get a ton of use out of.

  • lyn* replied 9 years ago

    Drat. I forgot my red trench coat. >:(

  • Gracie replied 9 years ago

    Smart planning! It's nice to have the realization that one has enough good things and start thinking about a few, better and more planned statement-y purchases. Thank you for sharing your budget. I didn't see date jeans and tees in there but I see you already have some. My budget is purely aspirational, I just want to be in the ball park by the end of the year. I call it my so-called-clothes-budget :)

    And, some guys make those comments all the time – I've been married 12 years and when going out to eat (Chili's, Applebees, Mexican - not fancy) and I choose a skirt or dress my hubby always seems crest-fallen "Oh, you're dressing up?" then I say, it's *just* a skirt, or *just a summer dress* lol... always the same routine.  Of course if I wear jeans, he is very pleased.

  • Runcarla replied 9 years ago

    LOL! When I changed my pants from black straight legs, to loose silk trousers, DH said: "I'm not dressing up for Christmas Eve, you know?"

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    That coat will prove itself worth every penny in your climate. 

    And so will the bag. 

    This looks like a sensible plan and it sounds as if you've got reason to upgrade everything you're considering. 

  • Meli replied 9 years ago

    Re: the 5%, this was a new line of thinking for me. I have spent more than that before and never knew what the right # to budget before. This will be an interesting experiment.

  • lyn* replied 9 years ago

    @ Gracie - haha, yes, he thinks a skirt or a dress is dressing up - but I'm slowly getting him used to the idea that I rarely wear pants. I wore jeans once to the grocery store, and he doesn't even remember. :p

    @ Carla - Haha! But it is a dress-up occasion! :) Silk pants sound really comfy.

    @ Suz - This is what I am hoping. I seriously thought about jumping someone for theirs when it was -40.

    @ Meli - I think it depends what you do with the rest of your money too; I think 5% is your "clothing only" kind of budget assuming you spend money on other things too. I rarely spend my money on other things - tuition, textbooks, some electronics, my vehicle, groceries, utilities ... I don't go out to concerts or movies, or anything like that, so I lump what they call "entertainment" into my clothing sometimes.

  • rae replied 9 years ago

    You and Mo are so inspiring! I totally get what you said about the experimental phase as well as the need to "keep up" at work. It really sucks the money right out of your wallet, doesn't it? lol

    I think your plan is pretty solid, and I love that you have built in the replacements and repairs. And um... frostbite?? Thank goodness you got that parka!

    I really need to sit down and assess my needs to create a game plan for Spring/Summer.

  • bj1111 replied 9 years ago

    my husband and i went on three "non-dates" before we officially started dating.  we also forgot what day we got engaged.  so we only celebrate our wedding anniversary (when we remember).  i guess we are not a sentimental couple.

  • cheryl replied 9 years ago

    Fantastic list. Glad you got yourself a warm winter coat!

  • Krista replied 9 years ago

    Great analysis, Lyn! I like how you have further categorized your lists with New/Upgrade/Replacement; it's one step further in planning than I usually go and I like it very much; it would keep me focused on my list, rather than just randomly purchasing an extra item or two with the thought "Oh well, not on the list but still okay." Given that I completely overspent in the Fall :( I need this type of focus to reign me in for this year.

  • Kristin L replied 9 years ago

    First off, I'm so glad you finally got your purse! It's very cute!

    I like how you have everything laid out in your budget. Your rationale sounds great and as long as you can afford it, then go for it! I really like the update/repair part as well. 

    Oh, and I wanted to tell you, my DF LOVES the dotty dress I got from you. :D

  • lyn* replied 9 years ago

    @ Krista - I tend to overspend in the fall too! :) I will save all of my bonuses along the way towards fall, I will need new boots, come fall.

    @ K - I'm so glad your DF likes the dotty dress!!! :) It is very fun!

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