Proof that I am not very good at challenges

buying clothes in thailandAt the end of July, I decided that I would stop buying new clothes for a full year, subject to one or two exceptions. I have not been doing as well on this challenge as I had hoped and I am unimpressed with myself.

In the interest of full transparency, here’s a list of my failures so far.

Long floral maxi dress: $10Floral maxi dress

As I’ve previously explained, I bought this one from Vinnies as a future sewing project, where I hope to transform it into a maxi skirt (and therefore learn how to make simple maxi skirts.) If all else fails with my sewing adventures, I can always re-donate the dress back, and simply count my initial purchase as a charity donation.

White swimsuit and new grey trackpants: $94.33White swimsuit

Proof that I should not idly browse my favourite online stores when they are having a sale. I chanced upon this nice-looking and pretty daring (for me) white one-piece swimsuit. It happened to be drastically reduced in price, and – here’s the kicker – the only one they had left in stock happened to be in my size.

Convinced that this was Meant To Be, I quickly justified the purchase by reasoning that I was going to be heading to the tropical paradise of Thailand at the end of the year, where much swimming and beachgoing would be taking place. I currently only owned two sets of swimwear, both of them two-pieces. Suddenly it was in my shopping cart.

But I was a few dollars short of the necessary minimum spend to qualify for free shipping. I absolutely hate paying for shipping. It adds extra dollars to any online purchase, so if there’s a conditional way I can get it for free, I always take it. It’s this exact mentality that has often caused me to buy extra crap I don’t need, purely so I can avoid the $9 postage cost.

And that’s how I ended up with a new pair of trackpants which cost $40, which I regret. I meant for them to replace the ratty-looking pair I own already which are several inches too short and look ridiculous, even just for wearing around the house. When the trackpants came and I tried them on, they were STILL too short! However I convinced myself that “it must just be that all trackpants are like this”, snipped off the tags, and kept them.

Which means I now have two pairs of trackpants which are too short, and one pair cost frigging $40, and I am a doofus for not sending them back. A regretful purchase.

Sleepwear and underwear (6 items): $190Sports bra

It occurred to me after setting myself this challenge that, during the course of the challenge, I would be getting married. And going on a honeymoon. And without getting all TMI on you all, I realised I really wanted to have one or two Nice Things which I could wear. Nice Things that could be appreciated by both myself and my fiance.

So, no, I didn’t need to buy the slinky sleepwear or the lovely lacy underthings. But, hey. They were on sale, I didn’t have anything comparable before and sometimes special occasions demand special exceptions.

Moving right along.

I also bought some replacement black tights, because a massive hole developed in my other pair, and a decidedly unsexy sports bra to help me out at the gym. I do not regret these purchases.

Black lace dress and 3 singlets from eBay: $11 (including shipping)Black lace dress

Everyone has their own ‘staple’ items in their wardrobe. For me, this black lace dress was one of them. I bought it a couple of years ago and wore it to death. It was perfect: wonderfully comfortable, just the right length, could be dressed up or down for any occasion, and concealed a lot of little awkwardnesses. It was miraculous – until it started developing this strange “fringing” along each side seam where the stringy elastic started poking through. Between that and some pilling, it started looking a bit too shabby to wear outside the house. Despite buying several black lace dresses in a futile attempt to replace it, none have come close to its comfort and versatility.

And then, another miracle: someone listed that very same dress on ebay in ‘As New’ condition for 99 cents. SOLD.

So this is one purchase I do not regret at all. I’m overjoyed to welcome one of my old wardrobe workhorses back into the fold.

The only problem is, after bidding on this dress, I decided to check out the other items up for auction from the same seller. And suddenly, BAM, I’d bid on a batch of three singlet tops, also for 99 cents. Which I absolutely did not need. And despite the fact that they’re only 99 cents (and no extra shipping since it’s combined with the postage for the black lace dress), I feel disappointed in myself. Old impulse buying “but it’s SO CHEAP” habits die hard.

As a result of all this purchasing, I’ve realised that I really, really, really need to:

  • Stop browsing online stores because I’m bored (there will always be a sale or something to tempt me)
  • Not go into op shops or browse eBay just because they are second hand (because even cheap second hand things are still things I don’t need)
  • Extend my deadline for the challenge to the end of August 2015, instead of the end of July 2015, because I’ve kind of cheated this month.
  • Not keep extending deadlines because I’ve cheated.

But at the same time, those exceptions still stand…and I will permit myself a modest allowance for some Nice Things for my first year of marriage.

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