2014 was pretty uneventful I have to say. Despite all that happened I can’t remember anything that happened. That is when writing everything down comes in real handy. Let’s see… had a big birthday, was in two weddings, celebrated an anniversary, saw my dad, twice!, had a two week visit from my brother and his family, started not 1, not 2, but several more businesses and bought the most adorbs shoes!
And that’s where we find the Shopping Diary…
Okay, so I spent 15% more in 2014 than in 2013. This would normally be bad but most of that was preparing for the two weddings I was in. That can’t really be avoided. Though the cost of the Bridesmaids dress was not included in this, everything else was.
–4 more dresses; Apparently case not closed. 2 I ended up wearing and 2 I have yet to wear.
After that January through March debacle it was on to skirts. Skirts offer more options… or so I told myself. No, they do really.
–3 skirts (I bought more in 2013 that I also wore a lot). Two were returned because I was following a trend that didn’t work for me. Let’s just say pleats on hips are never a good idea. I looked like a slightly slimmer version of my high school self and I felt even worse. Sometimes it’s not how something looks but how it makes you feel that matters. This is when shopping with someone else does. not. help. at. all. Yes, you may look amazing but if it makes you feel like a former self of which you are not particularly fond, you will never wear it and you never should!
I made some really fun discoveries in 2014!
1. I discovered 3 new brands I absolutely love…
Melanie Auld for amazing jewelry. I have always struggled with finding jewelry that felt modern, not too glam but not too boring, of good quality without breaking the bank, and classic at the same time. Melanie Auld finally, finally filled that void.
Schutz for shuuuus! Schutz is particularly exciting for me as I have aged out of Aldo and Steve Madden. Nine West never really fit my style or my calves and Piperlime is too assorted and confusing.
& Other Stories for unexpected, less hyped collaborations and simple, quality clothing, shoes, and accessories. Just my speed.
I’ve always preferred to shop stores with store brands as opposed to the department concept of selling multiple brands in one place. It makes it easier to find your size and you can be relatively confident that whatever you buy from a particular brand will suit your style just as it has before. You know the sale cycle and the general price point and it just makes everything easier especially when shopping online.
2. It turns out Old Navy jeans fit me to perfection. YAY for this. No more shelling out $200 every time I need something new. The Diva Skinny is my saving grace and now I have it in every color.
3. Remember last year when I said my shoe wardrobe was almost complete… well… a shoe wardrobe is never complete. Four new additions this year. heh. heh. hmmm.
I also added 2 new things to the Shopping Diary format;
First, a page with everything I haven’t worn yet broken down by category. When trying to plan an outfit this should be the first place you look. Try to wear at least one new thing before reverting back to your favorites. It will help with that “I have nothing to wear” feeling and keep you honest. If you haven’t worn it a year after purchasing it donate it or give it to a friend no questions asked. Remember to make a note about what happened. Why didn’t you wear it? Too long, too short, too tight, not your style after all, wrong color, wrong everything. Conversely, if you wear something a lot make a note of that too! “worn – such a comfortable material”, fits me perfectly, goes with everything, flattering color, flattering neckline. My mother told me this Christmas she has finally figured out how to shop for me. She just buys me things that look like things I already have! Finally! She gets it! And so should you!
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not advocate buying multiples of one item or one item in all of its colors. When you buy multiples you either lose one or it turns out that after awhile you get sick of it or it turns out not to be your style after all. And let’s be honest, when you buy something in more than one color you only end up wearing one of the colors. Bought the black again eh? Oh, and the yellow! Great! Just throw the yellow in the garbage because it’s never going to happen. Instead, wait awhile. Is there a risk that you won’t be able to get more of your favorites after you discover they are your favorites? Of course! But that’s one of those fun kinds of risks not like say playing the penny stocks or marrying someone you met at the club.
This strategy worked out perfectly this year. I had a grey marl cable knit cardigan from J.Crew that I purchased in 2011 for a vacation. I know this because it’s on my Shopping Diary. I have worn it about 600 times since then. This year J.Crew came out with the same thing in 2 more colors. The. exact. same. thing. That was a no brainer. And so much fun to discover! The best part was that I knew what size I needed (Shopping Diary) and how much I was willing to pay for it (Shopping Diary). Now I have it in black in my size and I paid even less for it than I did 3 years ago. Even the hubs couldn’t argue with this one.
Second! I was already keeping track of what I was spending annually vs. the full-price total and the overall discount percentage. This year I also wanted to tally the average monthly spend, the number of items purchased, the average cost per item, and the most expensive item. It turned out to be completely useless… Hey, not everything can be a win.