I'm about to go away skiing. I love the shops in Morzine! But when I set myself this challenge I didn't actually realise I was away part of February. The good news is that I get paid while I am there and it is 1st March mid-way through our break so I could legitimately go and have a look in the shops.
My final update - Week 4 - won;t be until I get back though and I will also then share what happened in the first days of March. Did I manage to save some money or did I then go mad!?
But first of all I have a little confession to make! As you know I love the scarves at Sweet-Bea and they had new stock in, and the hand-printed cotton scarves / double as a sarong were selling fast. I can see why, they are gorgeous and edged with pom pom's and sequins. Seriously amazing. Well it just so happened I had a credit in my PayPal account (so not strictly spending is it)??!! So forgive me for I have sinned ... I have just purchased this Handprint Tile Block Scarf (shh don't tell anyone)! It will be perfect for our holiday to Sri Lanka in July.
Shopping my Wardrobe
A bit of red on Valentine's Day! This pom pom jumper is from Next, worn with coated jeans and a bit of animal print!
This was a gorgeous sunny day and I didn't have to wear my coat! My grey poncho style knit is from Karen Millen (£70 in the sale), the scarf is old and yep it's the coated jeans again!
On Sunday I was meeting one of my besties for lunch at The Ivy Marlow Garden, despite living in the same town, we don't see each other as often as we'd like, she works full time and I don't and our timetables are different. But this Sunday it worked out. I wore a blouse I picked up last year in the sale at Brookes in Wendover, it was very expensive, although much more sensible in the sale but it is a good quality, forever, classic that will keep on giving for years to come. My pom pom burgundy scarf is from Sweet-Bea and I noticed (when writing this) that there is only one left in stock! It's £19.50, take a look here - but be quick!
Tracey suggested a new challenge after my No Spend February - we were discussing that very soon I will need to be thinking about saving some money whilst we help our daughter through university if she is lucky enough to get the place she so wants. So the challenge is finding good quality, classic clothes on a budget. Tracey looked amazing in her tunic dress with statement sleeves, £12 from Matalan! I will be doing some research!
We are off skiing next week, so no blog post until I get back! Watch my Instagram for updates from the slopes though.
Sweatshirt £65 from Hey Holla (sold out in black but pre-ordering in slate grey) - check out their other fitness wear too!
As I start to write this week's update, I realise I am actually enjoying this challenge, mainly because I like seeing money in my bank account but also because I am freeing up time by not 'online shopping' and I am looking at my wardrobe with different eyes.
Why did I get so addicted to new clothes I wonder? Lack of confidence, fear of missing out, loving what everyone is wearing on Instagram and wanting it myself?
All of the above a little bit but I think mostly lack of confidence. My aim in more recent years has been to always have an outfit in my wardrobe to wear for any occasion so that I don't need to panic buy at the last minute.
My husband took me over to Henley-on-Thames on Sunday for a walk along the river, a light lunch and a walk back to the car via the town. There is a shop there that I have really enjoyed in the past - Cara, they have an online store too but I never think of them when I am browsing. I didn't go in but I did say, I'd like to go back for a proper look once I have done my February challenge. I looked online, they have some gorgeous boots! Look at these for spring!
I've had to do some serious resisting when looking at their website and Instagram page!
Moving on ...my daughter pointed out that if I am just going to go ahead and buy everything in March that I resisted in February, does that not just defeat the object of the exercise? No because I will probably only buy the items I really want so I will buy less and I am thinking of setting a strict budget for March so that I keep it sensible.
Shopping my Wardrobe
Obviously without new items arriving every few days I am taking a fresher look at what is in my wardrobe already. I definitely wear my coated jeans (Next and Boden) on repeat followed by my 7 for all Mankind denim.
This pom pom jumper is from Next, it is a good price as always from Next and worn with my coated jeans it feels a little bit more special. I like the tie option so I can wear it as styled here or just loose.
I love this camel knit from Hobbs (last year) and I wear it with my animal print scarf from John Lewis (I've not yet seen another one in such a good colour), denim jeans and Marks & Spencer suede biker boots.
Another outing for the coated jeans this time with my Audrey Jumper from Winser London which I now have in three colours and which has just that perfect shape, not too big and baggy, but skimming on the tummy. The scarf is an old one from Mango.
And just to make sure I keep it real! This has been the weather for days on end. We keep trying to get out but it's either freezing cold, wet or hailstones. It does mean that my Dubarry long leather walking boots get lots of use (very expensive but a best buy). This was taken on Saturday and we had very very muddy dogs when we got home. I showered them, lost hold of the shower head and ended up spraying myself in the face, I was very wet but had to see the funny side.
What does 'no spend February' include? During the first couple of days I noticed my attention turning from clothes to house interiors. Now my plan really is to cut down on my online clothes shopping, my wardrobe is overflowing and I spending too much. But I thought really there is no point in saving some money and then buying a load of stuff for the house. So I have stopped myself - that's not to say I won't buy anything for the house this month, as it wasn't part of my challenge, but I will be thinking very carefully!
I received two online orders on 1st February - ordered in January. A sale coat from Boden and very nice it was too. BUT did I really need it? It is not a style I wear very often, we are coming into Spring, and I have enough coats and not much storage for them. So I sent it back!
Imelda Coat NOW £118 but I had a further discount on it bringing it to £100, it is very nice but I just don't need it so it is packaged up and ready to go back. Sale time is a really good time to grab a good coat and store it away for the following winter though and if I needed it then maybe!
As my thoughts are turning to spring and lighter weight jackets and clothes, I did order a 'ultra light weight' jacket from Esprit. in cream but I wasn't sure about it so returned that too - I probably needed an XS not a S! It' still a bit early to be buying that sort of thing so I will look properly in March! Lightweight Down Jacket £75.
Shopping my Wardrobe
This Marks & Spencer Pure Cashmere Knit was a January purchase and I loved the bright green and the stepped hem.
It is a fairly recent purchase but I hadn't worn it until this week. I wore it with a sale shirt under it from Hush and a very past season scarf from Phase Eight (similar here). And of course my trusted coated jeans - I love the Next ones - here. This was a beautiful - but cold day - I was out n about all day but even had the sun roof open on my new mini.
I've not ordered anything new this week, I do have a Pinterest board that I am using as a virtual shopping basket and it has a 'few' things in it! It will be interesting to see what I still want to buy in March!?
So I've been watching and following with interest lots of Instagrammers and Bloggers having 'no spend' periods (a month or longer). I have dabbled in the past and cut down on spending but hey I love fashion and I love a new outfit (or two) so I have never made it 'official' which means if I don't manage it no one will know. This time it's official!
I wasn't keen on trying it in January although it is a popular month for others but what with the January sales and life generally feeling a bit gloomy after Christmas I didn't feel it was the right time for me. But February? Well it is a shorter month (result), the January sales are mostly done, the weather won't be getting any warmer and so I won't 'need' any new season items yet and well it just seemed like a good month to try it. Plus I've spent a bit much recently!!
I did dabble in January with a few new season bits, did you see my post here about Hush and Marks & Spencer. I kept quite a few things I ordered. I love my Aurora cross body bag - see further down.
It would be great if at the end of February I have saved lots of money and can put it towards a bigger investment item. We are also away in February for skiing but I think I am pretty stocked up on ski gear and apres ski outfits so I shouldn't need to give in.
Here are a few recent outfits to share with you:
First up the outfit I wore for dinner when I went to Hoar Cross Hall Hotel and Spa to celebrate a friends 40th birthday. We had a really fun evening, despite me starting a very heavy cold! My silk blouse is old from Whistles, my wide leg jersey trousers were an excellent find from Part Two at My Boudoir in Marlow. They are very comfortable and very flattering. My shoes were in the sale and are by John Lewis (I can't find them online) they are a simple black suede court shoe but the addition of the ankle strap makes them very comfortable to wear. I use my animal print clutch from Boden a lot, it just adds a splash of interest to a simple outfit.
So this is my new Aurora London Gigi cross body bag, I'm in love! Cross body bags can often be too big or too small, this one is perfect and very similar to the Gucci Disco Bag but at just short of £100 an absolute bargain, beautiful leather and available in lots of gorgeous colours. Check out their new customer discount too - I think it is 10%.
Worn with animal print boots from Next, coated jeans from Next and the Audrey merino wool jumper from Winser London.
This was a wet and chilly day! It didn't stop raining all day, we had lunch in the pub then braved the weather for a walk at Waddesdon Manor. I wore my new long black very warm, very cosy down coat from Skogstad, I did quite a lot of research and had been hoping to find one in the sale but to get what I wanted - warm, slightly fitted, black and with some fur I ended up paying full price but it does tick all the boxes, replaces my old North Face one and I think will last for years to come. My lovely big scarf is from Sweet-Bea.
On Saturday night we were invited to a wedding party, a celebration following their wedding in Antigua. I decided to dig out my black jumpsuit from Phase Eight. I've not worn it for ages but it is a classic. It can be a bit of a nuisance as there are two buttons and a zip at the back so going to the toilet in a hurry isn't a good idea. I then threw on my Mint Velvet leather biker, added heels and my trusted Boden animal print clutch and I felt great.
Phase Eight do their jumpsuits on repeat most seasons. This is the Tia Jumpsuit in Black but it also comes in navy and red and is £99.
That's all for now! No Spend February and Shopping my Wardrobe will commence on Thursday - I wonder what I can fit in before then!!??
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