Monday, 30 March 2015

The Buyer's Archive: March

I did extremely well while thrifting this month, although arguably I could have been just a bit more adventurous with my finds: how many striped dresses and navy blue items does one wardrobe need? I was also very much dreaming of summer whilst shopping (ignoring the fact that it's still fucking freezing here in Leicester) so I actually haven't yet been able to wear a single one of my new acquisitions. But never mind, my wardrobe game is going to be so on point come warmer weather.

Striped jersey dress, New Look via charity shop £3
I was bemoaning my sucky charity shop luck when I stumbled upon this gem of a dress in the local Cancer Research shop. Navy blue? Stripes? In my size? I didn't even bother to try it on, just ran to the till to pay. Luckily, it fits perfectly and will be ace with a mustard cardigan.

Navy cardigan, Primark via charity shop £3
In the same charity shop as the stripey dress I found this cardigan, brand new with tags still attached. I already own this in cream so knew it'd be a great addition to my wardrobe: I love the openwork design, which is perfect for keeping me cool in summer when I still need to cover up my arms at work (scars + tattoos + teaching = not a good combination)

Vintage dress made into skirt, Sue Ryder Vintage £6
I had no need for another skirt in my summer wardrobe but I absolutely loved the print on this. Although it started life as an extremely unflattering 1980s dress, a few snips and a sewn up hem and waistband later, and it's now a super cute floral skirt.

Striped French Connection dresss, ASOS £33 (on special offer)
I'd never pay full whack for this, but at its sale price I pounced. It's got an interesting v-shaped back detail with exposed zip, which lifts it above standard Breton-striped-dress territory. It'll be perfect in summer with bare legs, tan sandals and sunglasses, and when I get bored of it in my main wardrobe it's also smart enough to wear for work.

Black t-shirt, H&M £3.99 (not pictured)
Because one can never have too many black tees, and I lacked one with a v-neck.

Black midi skirt, Primark via charity shop £3 (not pictured)
There's an Age UK shop in Leicester that is an absolute diamond for skirts. A black midi skirt has been on my 'need' list for ages, so when I found this I pounced. It was actually a maxi skirt, but half an hour with the sewing machine and it's the perfect length.

Overall, my total spend for March was £51.99, with 5 items coming to only £18.99 plus £33 for the French Connection dress at 40% off. Bargain hunter or what? This month has reignited my love for charity shops and given me faith that great wardrobe staples can be found therein. Now I just need some warm weather so I can get wearing...


  1. I'm pretty jealous of your ability with a sewing machine! My inability to do anything handy like that means that all of the unflattering dresses I find in charity shops remain just that! Great haul though, and I love the dress :)

  2. An excellent haul! Particularly impressed with your stripes quota :) you can never have too many stripes in your wardrobe.

  3. Ooh you got some good stuff! Love the stripes. And navy is the best colour ever of course. I bought far too much...then after I wrote up my post I bought more. It's the month of spending!

  4. I am also a stripey things addict, don't feel so bad now! Spring is the worst time of year for resisting all the new stripey things in the shops, my willpower is weakening already. Some great finds there, well done on repurposing the dress, looks like a great warmer months piece! :-)

  5. I'm amateur at best with a sewing machine, but if you can thread it and sew it in a straight line, then you can hem something. I did a beginners class for a couple of hours one evening, and it gave me enough basic knowledge to sew cushion covers, bags and skirts. I'd definitely recommend it.

  6. At this point, I view stripes as a neutral, wardrobe basic.

  7. Haha, I wrote this on Sunday and then bought a pair of shoes yesterday and a Cath Kidston skirt today!

  8. Yep, it would be far too much to ask of myself that I just walked past an item that was a) a dress b) navy blue and c) striped.

  9. Oooh,I SAY, you did well!!!!! Ha, I am the same with navy and white stripes!!!! I have SO many items.
    Lent has only been 6 weeks but I have missed charityshopping in that time!!!x

  10. That is good going - I think the fact you can and do alter things it pretty helpful too. I have some clothes that desperately need altering sitting unworn in my wardrobe - it makes me sad :(

  11. My next goal is to learn how to properly make and alter dresses - hemming something is one thing but it would be amazing to know how to fit a bodice properly (especially as having big boobs means the tops of dresses often fit poorly)

  12. Giving up high street shopping doesn't ever bother me too much, but giving up charity shopping - eek! The thought of what I might be missing out on would torment me!

  13. You've done great! Navy and stripes work so well don't they.