I haven’t bought any clothes AT ALL for eight months. I’m not a big clothes shopper at the best of times – but even for me, that’s a long time.
I’ve been Husbanding My Resources like billy-o since my husband left the marriage in February.
I’ve cut back my food bills, my energy bills, my water bills, the amount I spend on running a car and the amount I give to Sky.
It was OK over the summer – I own lots of summer clothes. I do a good line in linen trousers, smart tops, casual tops, sundresses, comfy sandals, dressy-up sandals.
But my winter clothing selection is a bit thin.
I need new jeans – my grey jeans got splashed with bleach, so they’re not fit to be seen; my black jeans are OK, just not in the prime of life anymore; my skinny blue jeans (my favourite of all the jeans) have a hole in one knee and are wearing very thin on the other. And my boot-cut jeans just look dated somehow and have been relegated to housework.
Give a girl a good pair of jeans, and she can conquer the world. But first she has to find a good pair of jeans…
The underwear is starting to look a bit sorrowful – the underwire of my #1 bra is making a bid for freedom, so that needs to be added to the list. Shopping for bras is a nightmare.
And last but not least my handbag is elderly. At least I know the handbag will fit. You can’t go wrong with handbags.
I don’t particularly enjoy clothes shopping. I find the whole ‘I love this, I’ll try it on, oh it doesn’t fit’ thing frustrating and demoralising.
To everyone out there who blames themselves when clothes don’t fit, I can confidently report that they still don’t fit even if you’re a standard size 10 and tall and skinny like all the magazines say you should be.
It is not our fault.
Women come in a greater variety of shapes than men. A man can buy a shirt based purely on the size of his neck, and be reasonably confident that it’ll fit!! Also manufacturers, it appears, have never met any actual women… There’s a general assumption that the taller you are, the wider you will be! And also that if you’re a 10 (or whatever) at the top, you’ll be a 10 at the bottom too.
Anyhoo, having arrived in Leeds, I had shopping to do. I headed for M&S – always reliable for underwear (and you want reliable underwear…). Also the last pair of jeans I bought were from Marksies and I was happy with them. You have to start somewhere.
I bought – a pair of jeans (black, skinny, size 10 regular), two bras (black, 34 *ahem* D), and a new handbag (also black).
Turns out M&S were having a 20% off sale for their Sparks Card holders. I hold a Sparks Card – saved seventeen quid. Happy days.
I also signed up to M&S energy, who are promising to save me £13 a month on my current bills, provide me with a smart meter (the saga with EDF is still ongoing, and I’m bored with it now) and will give me a £20 M&S voucher as well. So all in all a good morning’s work.
I really didn’t want to linger – looking around the shops at things I can’t afford to buy right now isn’t my idea of a good time. I’d bought the stuff that I needed, and that was all I needed to do, so I headed home for lunch.
But to be fair, clothes shopping isn’t my most favourite thing even when money isn’t tight – at least now I have a good excuse for not doing it.
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that it’s three days since I last posted – that’s because Mental Health Awareness day fell on a day when I don’t normally post, and I thought it was important to post something on the day – so that post was a day early. We’re back to the usual schedule now!
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