Clothing for sale!

This is a new sort of post for me but after seeing Fabulously Broke have success with it, I thought I’d give it a go! I’m clearing out my closet for spring and looking to boost my income for this month, so below are some items of clothing I have for sale. Please contact me at bridget [at] moneyaftergraduation.com if you’re interested or have further questions. I will accept payments by PayPal and combine shipping for anyone that purchases multiple items. Whatever does not sell I’m going to take to a consignment store or give to my sisters.

All of the clothing listed below is a size small (with the exception of the shorts). I usually wear between a size 2 and 4 to help give you perspective of the fit of these items.

BCBG dress, size 2 — $75.

Red/purpleish RW & Co. long top, size small — $40. I wore this in my MoneySense article, so it’s a little famous ;) It’s much darker and less pink looking than it appears in the photo.

 

Green patterned Forever XXI dress, size small — SOLD.

 

Brown patterned dress, size small — $10 OBO

 

Pink Jacob tank top, size small — $20.

 

White Limelight shorts, size 5 — $10 OBO. Haven’t worn in years because they’re too big for me.

 

Thanks!

When cheap ends up being more expensive

Remember when I was oh so excited I found nude pumps for a fraction of the cost of a similar pair at Nine West ($40 vs. $120)?

Fast forward 8 months, two shoe repairs, and one more purchase later, I’m regretting my past pseudo-frugal sense of shopping savvy. I have since destroyed those old nude pumps. I just wore them out. I flattened the heels twice, and got them replaced twice which means those $40 shoes have actually cost me $70 in their lifetime. Now the toe is coming off of the sole and the stitches are unraveling, and I’m thinking, Cinderella would never go to a ball in these and neither am I!

Which is how I found myself in Nine West mere hours before an event I was attending an event at the art gallery, handing over my credit card to pay $126 for the nude pumps at Nine West that I wanted in the first place.

 

And that’s how I spent just shy of $200 in the past 8 months on shoes that are an essential part of my wardrobe.

I should have just went with the expensive pair first. I know that. I live by the rule of buying more expensive quality items rather than settling for crap just because it has a better price tag. What the hell was I even doing in Le Chateau anyway? Next time someone sees me buying cheap stuff because it seems like a good idea at the time, please, rescue me before I make bad decisions.

(I guess now would be an appropriate time to mention I will also be buying the same pair in black very soon?)

Minimalist Challenge: 30 items for 30 days

From March 1 until March 30 I set a goal to only wear 30 different items of clothing.

Not 30 outfits, just 30 items. This includes pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, and sweaters. It does not include underwear, accessories, shoes or jackets (because that would just be too much). I’m also not counting work-out clothes because those get worn twice a week for one hour — but for those I limited myself to only two pieces (because I didn’t work out much! Shame on me!), just to keep in the spirit of the challenge.

How much of a challenge is this? I’m not sure. It’s not nearly as ambitious as the One Dress Protest, but I feel like I wear the same thing every day. However, after I itemized my closet I learned that I have a lot more clothes than I thought I did. I have a feeling I’m wearing the same few things over and over again, but when it came down to picking only 30 I found it challenging. I had to leave out some favourites, but I also quickly filled the list with my regulars, making me realize just how much of my closet I’m genuinely not interested in.

 (side note: wearing my Talula blazer and Joe jeans that caused some controversy in my Frugal Fashion post. Both items are over 1.5 years old — still look new! Also, sorry my mirror is so hazy. It’s my hairspray mirror.)

I considered taking a picture of my outfit everyday but…

  1. this is not a fashion blog, you don’t care
  2. with only 30 items, I’ll be re-wearing a handful of outfits and that’s quite boring

So what’s the point of this? Well, there’s a few actually. First, it’s simplicity for simplicity sake. Limiting my outfit choices will reduce the amount of time I spend trying to decide what to wear in the morning. It will make my laundry schedule more regular. It will keep the clutter in my room to a minimum. Secondly, it’s like a fast. Just like when you go without eating, either for spiritual or health reasons, you naturally participate in a few mental tasks: choosing what’s most important, practicing self-discipline, and pondering what it’s like to be with less. I’m trying to train myself to become increasingly more sensitive to the over-consumption that defines our culture, so I can reduce it in my own life (this is probably a lifelong process for me because I am nothing short of enchanted by traditional marketing strategies).

The only awkward thing about this challenge is I planned to buy an item of clothing this month. I had a coupon, gift cards and my eye on a certain dress at Banana Republic. So what happened? Well, I just picked out 29 items from my own closet and picked up the dress (40% off no less) the first Wednesday of the month. Even though it became part of my 30, I still felt like I cheated a bit which is why I’m ‘fessing up now =\ But the happy side to that tale is I got a $189 dress for $40.

Now we’re nearing the end of the month and I’m looking forward to getting back my other 35 items that were put away for this challenge. Though I have to say I really do enjoy the simplicity of laundry when you only have 30 things to worry about — it was significantly less of a chore!

 

Frugal Fashion: a basic how-to

I generally don’t consider myself particularly fashionable. Maybe because before my current job, my daily outfits alternated between a uniform and lululemon. In my opinion I’m actually a rather boring dresser. I almost only wear solid colours, I loathe most pastels, I prefer classic cut clothing, and I don’t wear (or own) a lot of accessories. While I do get compliments on my dress, it’s never for being interesting or trendy, I just like to look put-together. When I decided to become an adult with my clothing I attacked it the same way I do everything:

I took out a book from the library. Actually I took out a few, but the Lucky Shopping Manual was my favourite. You can see that the styles have changed since it was published, but the advice is still solid. I would really love them to do another edition.

If you want advice from someone more stylish and adventurous than me, one of my best friends has started a fashion blog called Fashion To Teach, where she will be chronicling her own transition from student to career woman (as a teacher, obvs). For me, I’m a little bit by the book, and if that’s what you’re into I think you might like my advice below — if not, at least I’ve provided you with an alternative!

The six items I’ve posted are pieces I presently own or have similar in my closet:

    1. Talula Exeter blazer from Aritzia. Regular $125 (I bought one in black at full price, then I bought a second in grey for $99 at a Boxing day sale).
    2. Approaching Sunset blouse from Anthropologie. No longer available, regular $109 (I bought this on Kijiji for $20)
    3. Blue and Me Forever dress from Modcloth. Out of stock, regular $60 (I bought this last month. I AM IN LOVE.)
    4. Calvin Klein flats from Towne shoes. In store, regular $99 (I bought similar from Nine West for $145)
    5. Joe’s cigarette jeans from Anthropologie. No longer available, regular $225 (I got these for $89 in the Anthropologie clearance section)
    6. Textured Ponte skirt from Anthroplogie. Available, regular $118 (I own similar from RW & Co. which I bought for $65)

 

I’m of the mindset that spending more on essential pieces once every few years is better than buying new clothing every month. As you can see above, I still hunt for deals, but I also don’t hesitate to spend >$100 on items when it’s worth it. In the long run, it’s definitely easier on your wallet to buy a few expensive pieces than to buy mountains of cheap clothing.

Must-haves:

  • a black or grey blazer
  • pretty blouses that can be worth with jeans or dress pants
  • a solid colour work-appropriate dress that does day-to-night
  • a pair of dark denim jeans and a pair of lighter denim jeans
  • black or dark grey dress pants
  • a black or grey skirt
  • a good pair of black or brown leather boots
  • flats that can be paired with a dress or jeans
  • a pair of sheer black tights and a pair of opaque black tights

Tips:

- nude bras go under everything. Never wear a white bra under a white shirt. Ever. Wear a nude bra!

- sheer black tights go with everything. From a casual dress to a skirt for work, sheer black tights look sexy, modest, and appropriate. Patterns are cool too, just make sure they’re not too loud or clash with whatever else you’re wearing.

- avoid buying sleeveless dresses or shirts. Never buy tank tops unless you’re going to wear them under something. This might seem overly-modest (I can’t help it, it’s left over from when I was a devout mormon), but it’s best to choose clothing that’s appropriate for work AND going out. In the summer sleeveless or tank dresses are ok, but you have to cover your shoulders at work. If your dress is strapless, it should also be knee-length.

- with your hands by your sides, no skirt should be shorter than where your middle finger reaches on your thigh. NO SKIRT. People tend to differentiate between “bar clothing” and “everyday”. I have a bit of a personal moral vendetta against skank-by-night girls. Be Kate Middleton when you go out, not Paris Hilton.

never, ever, EVER buy any dresses or shirts with midriff or sides cut out. This is along the same line of thinking as the point above it. I don’t care if it’s for going out to the bar and you have the body for it, you look like a hooker. Be wary of low cut backs and fronts as well — they can look classy, but it can go wrong fast. Double-sided tape is your friend.

- avoid unusual patterns or overly bright colours, especially in anything other than shirts and dresses. Brightly coloured or complex patterns on pants, skirts, and coats can look awesome one year and garish the next. Make an exception if  it’s your favourite and you can match it with a ton of other items in your closet, otherwise steer clear (or just accept that you might be wearing it only one season).

- likewise, say no to logos. No one should be able to tell who made your item of clothing unless they 1) are very familiar with the brand and can spot it on sight or 2) they read the tag in the back of your shirt.

- never sport bare legs in the winter. This my personal bane of working at a university in Canada’s largest most northern city. If you live in Edmonton, you must wear tights from mid-September until the end of May. Going without looks terrible, and is also very cold.

- take care of your clothing. If it says hand wash, then wash it by hand. If it says dry-clean only, then take it to the dry cleaners. If you cannot afford the time or cost to take care of delicate fabrics, do not buy them! Choose something more forgiving of the washing machine, like cotton. Also, cut loose threads, sew on missing buttons, and patch holes. Sadly, a small flaw and ruin an entire outfit so fix it fast!

 

 

Closet cull Winter 2012

My original, very first closet cull was in November 2010. That was a long time ago, so I thought it was about time to do another. I’ve bought a ton of new clothes since then, so I was expecting my closet to have grown exponentially. However, it turns out I’m still partial to chucking things I don’t like or want anymore so I’ve kept it pretty small.

Bridget's closet!

 

In total I own:

  • 2 pairs of lululemon pants
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 pairs of dress pants
  • 1 skirt
  • 3 cardigans
  • 2 sweaters
  • 10 t-shirts
  • 13 tank tops
  • 13 dresses
  • 4 blazers
  • 13 blouses

Total = 64 items (6 bottoms, 45 tops and 13 dresses!)

It’s not much, but it all looks good so that’s what matters ;) I am planning to purchase a second pair of jeans this month, and another dress. What I really need are skirts and even some more blouses, but those additions will have to wait until next payday.

Itemizing my closet is more a way of tending my OCD, organized mind than anything else, but I do believe it’s important to be aware of the number of items we own and how they serve us. By keeping my wardrobe largely uncluttered, I wear things often, I love nearly everything I own (and like very much what I don’t love), and find it easy to put outfits together in the morning.

How many items of clothing are in your closet? How much of your closet do you wear?