Whenever I read major fashion blogs (which isn’t very often thinking about it), I’m plagued by one major question: “just how much fucking money do you have, woman?”. Of course, big name bloggers get plenty of freebies thrown their way but when they’re wondering around in Preen, Gucci and Christopher Kane all week long, I start to feel like I’m living in a different universe, financially and socially.
Man Repeller, for instance, is my go-to for exactly the type of fashion I adore; bold, bright and verging on the absurd. But when they’re discussing considering buying a £1,500 trench coat or having just bought a pair of £800 shoes, I can’t help but lose focus on the fashion and start to wonder exactly how extravagant their salaries are. Maybe it’s just me and my inelegant nosiness but I’m writing this under the impression that all of you would take a peek at your neighbour’s bank statements if only they’d let you, too.
Ethical and sustainable fashion, despite not yet having joined the mainstream, is represented in much the same way on the world stage. Emma Watson, for instance, was praised for sharing her sustainable style on Instagram but, let’s face it, we can’t all sashay around in custom made gowns and we don’t all have a stylist who can call in a rail full of high end sustainable garments to wear for each occasion. I applaud her efforts (anything to get it in the spotlight) but sustainable fashion needs bringing back down to earth ASAP.
In general, we all know that buying new from ethical brands is more expensive but that doesn’t have to translate into living a prohibitively expensive lifestyle. I know this because I’m a freelance writer who is resolutely not rolling around on stacks of cash and I manage to do it just fine. And, to prove it, I’m going to lay bare my recent spending for all to see.
This post was intended to cover six months initially but as three of the past six fall under my self-imposed shopping ban, it wouldn’t make much sense to do that. So, get out your notebooks, here is what I spent on clothes and accessories throughout July, August and September this year:
- Sandals, Teva – £20
- Sun hat, Oxfam – £8
- Hastily bought second sun hat because it was way nicer, Depop – £10
- Rain coat, Insane In The Rain – £80
- Levi’s denim jacket, Vintage – £45
- Beret, Vintage – £8
GRAND TOTAL: £171
That’s a lot less than I would have spent when I was wantonly splurging on whatever old shit I fancied buying from the high street a few years ago. And really, it would have been £8 less had I not panic bought the first sun hat I saw after coming out of the other side of my shopping ban.
When you’re making considered choices over the investment buys and making the most of second hand for smaller purchases, a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. Instead of spending £40 or £80 every weekend on something I barely thought about, I’m taking time over my choices (except sun hats, apparently) and buying less, which makes forking out for the few, more expensive pieces doable in the long run.
Next up, I need a pair of trainers and I can’t see any other purchases on the horizon because I simply don’t need anything. So, yes, when you take it piece by piece, it makes sense that someone would expect me to be forking out an enormous chunk of cash each month but in reality, it’s a simple equation: not buying a lot = not spending a lot.
Keep up with all the money month posts throughout October here.
Click here to subscribe to my mailing list and get fresh posts in your inbox every fortnight.