One Year Purchase Review: September 2015

It takes some time, on a new job, to figure out what kind of work clothes you will wear.

Now's the time to look at the things I purchased in September 2015 (one year ago) and see how well I did with my shopping then! This was an interesting month, marking my transition to the job I now hold.

Sewing Stuff - $11
For a hot minute, I thought I would get into sewing as a new hobby. Newsflash: I didn't! I bought a pattern ($5.00), some fabric ($6.00). I wouldn't say this was "not worth it" since, even though I didn't get into the hobby, it was fun to give it a shot and I didn't invest too much in it. And hey, I still may work on it in the future. I would not like to deny myself the opportunity to learn and work on new projects, even if they don't end up being "my thing."

Bras - $154
After about about a year of wearing the correct bra size, my fancy expensive bras that I worked for a year to find started to feel too small. I've heard this happens to people - they gain a cup size after wearing the right bra size for awhile. "Tissue migration" they call it. Anyway, this time I knew exactly where to go for The Right Bras For Me (a Polish company called Ewa Michalak). I ordered some in the next cup size up and lo and behold they fit perfectly. I'm still wearing them a year later and they are still in great condition. Totally worth it purchase.

Sketchbook - $8
Reasonable art supplies are typically worth it. This was my first sketchbook in ages, and I really enjoyed getting back to drawing (which I did with a hundred tiny images of Bendelacreme).

Retail work clothes - $115
I got a new job with a more conservative dress code (not "software business casual") , so I had to quickly get some nicer things. I have to say that I don't even remember these hasty button-down shirt purchases from Gap, J. Crew Factory, and Eddie Bauer, and I think I have exactly none of the them anymore.

Thrift work clothes - $20
This was a hasty shopping trip to quickly fill in gaps in my new wardrobe the night before I started my new job. I got a couple of button-down shirts and sweaters. Pretty sure I still have these things. GO FIGURE.

Bag strap cover - $15
My messenger bag straps were digging in, so I got a Velcro pad cover on Etsy. It didn't really work that well. I eventually stopped carrying a messenger bag because it encouraged me to carry more weight than I really should have put on one shoulder. I'd classify this as a Band-aid purchase; I was trying to cover up a problem, which doesn't usually work that well.

Farmer's Market Tote Bag - $30
This was sort of a cross between a tote and a purse. I got it to ferry things back and forth between two work stations at my new job. Now that I have a Perfect Work Purse, this has become obsolete, and I've given it away. At the time, I kind of felt like it would be friovolous to get a new handbag, but now that I have one (okay, two) I love, I no longer have any need or desire for a bunch of of "almost kinda not quite" bags.

Warm Fall Tights & Leggings - $110
$64 of this represents good purchases (a pair of very nice wool tights for $60 and a pair of shockingly cheap and absolutely decent leggings for $4), and $46 represents poor purchases (two pairs $23 microfiber tights that were super uncomfortable with extended wear). Another lesson in "cutting out the middle."

Total Spent: $463
Total Worth It: $257
Total Not Worth It: $206

Not my worst spend month, but not my best track record! The bulk of my ill-considered purchases were made out of a sense of time pressure (NEW JOB NEW DRESS CODE WHAT DO I DO). Thrifting was clearly the best answer to this, because I DID need something to wear, but I should have known that whatever I got quickly wouldn't necessarily be what I wore forever. I didn't need to, and shouldn't have expected myself to, be able to put together the perfect "buy it for life" wardrobe all at once. In addition to the time it takes just to find clothes that fit well and look great, it took some time for me to figure out what kind of clothes I liked to wear within the new constraints. I thought, then, that the answer would be button-down shirts, but due to my fit issues with those kinds of shirts, it turns out that light pullover sweaters worn at tops are a better option for me. (And much easier to find thrifting, incidentally!)

So there you have it. I don't really resent my spending in September 2015, because, as you will see, my spending in September 2016 has been much, much more disastrous.


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