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Author Topic: Spend vs Save  (Read 809 times)

milla

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Spend vs Save
« on: November 17, 2016, 02:18:00 PM »
Now that I am retired, I live in jeans. I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that maintains that jeans are just casual wear: they can be dressed up and look ‘right’ for everyday wear and even for the evening, unless it is a formal occasion.  I don’t go shopping for clothes very often these days; I buy one item each season and I make sure it is well-made, fits me perfectly and will last, even if it means spending more. I was talking to my SIL yesterday and she admired my jeans and asked where I had bought them. When she found out the price she told me that she would never pay that amount of money for a pair of jeans.  I replied that I expect the jeans to last me 10 years and I will probably wear them twice a week, so they were a bargain. She said: ’But it only a pair a jeans, you can buy a pair for £20 or less.’ The question is: how are cheap jeans made? How much are the workers getting paid? Is the manufacturing process of these cheap jeans actually harming the environment?
I make my own sweaters and I have started doing some sewing; so far I have made a couple of tops and I am very pleased with them. I have bought some fabric for a skirt for Christmas and I also buy clothes in charity shops. I like well-made, comfortable shoes. Jackets and coats imo are also worth spending money on, because you don’t buy them very often.   Which items of clothing are worth spending money on, in your opinion?

Styyna

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  • "steena"
Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 06:01:03 PM »
I live in jeans, too. Well, I also have a couple pair of leggings. I am still trying to lose weight so I try to be frugal in my purchases but I have found that to get a good fit and look it costs more than I would like. I'm no longer willing to settle for poor fit or look because I'm overweight. So I'm using alteration services to stretch how long I can wear garments. The other thing I'm doing is trying to make my wardrobe as interchangeable as possible. Most of my tops go with most of my bottoms.

I did find a wool coat for winter that was not expensive and I really like. I was surprised by that find! Coats cost more to alter so I don't expect to get a lot of wear out of the one I just got.

Undergarments are an area where I spend whatever it takes to get proper fit and support. They make such a difference in how I feel and how my clothing fits and looks.

Finally, this week I ordered one nice outfit for occasions like funerals that might arise. (The DH of a dear friend died.) The skirt and blouse that I got are not likely to see much wear but the sweater and shoes that finish the look will go with most of my other outfits.
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

milla

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Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 02:10:23 PM »
I agree with you entirely as regards fit. This is non-negotiable: it has got to bit a good fit or it stays in the rack!
I have bought a trench coat and it was not expensive, either. I had budgeted for something more expensive but I found this one and I really like it:
http://www.warehouse.co.uk/gb/clothing/jackets-and-coats/clean-belted-trench-coat/026084.html?dwvar_026084_color=36&position=6&cgid=coats-casual-jackets#prefn1=refinementcategory&prefv1=Trench+Coats&start=6&categoryID=coats-casual-jackets

As for underwear,I used to buy lovely, underwired bras, but now I buy soft, non-wired ones. Not very glamorous but comfortable!
I have been looking for a pair of smart shoes but it is not easy to find something that meets all my requirements. I would  a wide fitting court shoe with  a medium sized heel; no pointy toes for me, they are too uncomfortable. I might wait for the January sales …

Styyna

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  • "steena"
Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 03:39:54 PM »
I love your trench coat and so I should. I got one, too! And it wasn't very expensive either.
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

cara4art

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Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 05:18:18 PM »
Basically anything that one wears really a lot is worth spending more on, unless one finds such an item at a great sale!:) I do spend more on bras than most of my clothes though. Since I refuse to wear these awful thick molded-cup bras that make everyone look larger than they are, I shop for really nicely sewn, unpadded but very supportive underwire bras. A word about bras in general - so many women are UNCOMFORTABLE in their bras, largely because they haven't been fitted for the right style for one's body. A bra should feel snug, but it should NOT have wires poking one - that's one of the signs of a poor fit, and where the underwire gets a bad rep. And for those us, which includes a lot mature women, who have over a B-cup, really do benefit from well-fitting bras, which, unless one lucks out, has to pay $$ for. Outerwear is worth spending a little more on if bought new, layering tees also. The cheapo ones are too thin and stretch right out. As far as jeans go, I've never been in the market for really expensive ones - for years I made out just fine at second hand shops but that all changed when a lot of what was coming in were the super-low-slung ones that really only look good on very young figures with no fat on them whatsoever. But I have lucked out with women's Levis which a couple of their cuts fit my body well - the just below the waist bootcut being one.

gilberte

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Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 12:07:56 PM »
I love to sew & have a great Italian sewing machine from the 60s.  I've been finding great bits of fabric at thrift stores (charity shops) and have made a dress I love by tracing an old dress onto it.  I also made some yoga pants again by tracing an earlier pair.  Now I want to try making bras.  Like Cara I hate foam (though I hear there is a new very thin foam that doesn't add bulk - haven't seen it though) but like and need really well-made, well-fitting comfortable bras & want them to also be attractive.  I've been reading up on this in my pre- and post-election desire-to-escape, and found lots of great resources, groups, classes, blogs, sources of beautiful fabrics, laces, stretchy bits.  There used to be an Olga bra which was my favorite but the brand changed producers and the new model is smaller with less stretch and cheaper, easy-to-rip fabric.  I wondered what was going on a few years ago I couldn't fit into my regular size.  I'm still reading and gathering info but will try a pattern or two; there are even classes on Craftsy which include online videos, email with teachers, and forums to answer questions.  And I may go to a class later.  It's expensive at first to buy materials & experiment until you get the pattern adjusted to your body, but after that women say you can make a gorgeous bra in a few hours for little money. 

Also found a great coat pattern that I want to make, and I want to try making my own jeans, which is also said not to be expensive.  There are so many new, independent, creative pattern makers who sell online now.

I'm knitting a sweater I love which has made me a number of friends when I knit in public places.  Everything else in my 'wardrobe' (lol) is from thrift shops or was bought at a great sale.  As Cara has said before, if you have more time than money thrift stores are the thing.

milla

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Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2016, 01:54:10 PM »
Styyna, I love the trench coat. I was going to buy one in beige, because it is such a classic colour, but it did not look right on me; the navy blue looks much better. I have already worn it with jeans, a jumper and flat shoes and I think will look good over a skirt or a dress, as it is just the right length.
Gilberte, lovely to ‘see’ you again and I am glad you also love sewing; we can exchange ideas if not patterns! (Actually I know a couple of sites where you can get free patterns).
Fabric can be quite expensive, but I found a stall in a market here in London that does good fabric remnants at reasonable prices. I went there yesterday and bought 3 metres of viscose fabric, 1.50m wide, drapes really well, to make a blouse. It was £2 per metre or £5 for 3 metres. But I am at my tearing out my hair, because the instructions are not very good. I will work it out, though…I am nothing if not persistent. I have also got a lovely piece of brocade fabric; I want to make a skirt but I still have got to decide on the style. My sewing machine is not very advanced, but neither are my sewing skills, so it is OK.  You are right in saying that doing something creative can keep your mind occupied and help you to forget what is going on around you. I have a sister in France; she phoned me this afternoon and her first words were: ‘Have I interrupted your sewing?’ This is not telepathy: she knows that the weather here has been cold and rainy, so she just assumed that I was sewing.
I used to buy lots of things in charity shops a couple of years ago when I retired. Now I am a bit more discerning: even if it is cheap, if you don’t get enough wear out of a garment, you have wasted your money. I visit a couple of charity shops every week but I only buy if I really love it and I know I am going to wear it. Last item I bought was a plaid blouse.  I have also bought a long dress, which I have shortened. I am going to add a trim to the neckline because it is to plain.
I am not confident enough (and I have not got the right machine) to make a pair of jeans.


Styyna

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  • "steena"
Re: Spend vs Save
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2016, 03:42:34 PM »
Milla, I would have preferred a navy coat but have a dog with a very dense undercoat that sheds a little all year round. Fortunately, the color I got looks good with my coloring. I just got it back from having the sleeves shortened so haven't had a chance to wear it yet.

Gilberte - so happy to see you again! I wish I could sew like you. I love hearing about your plans and hope you (and Milla) share more about your sewing endeavors. I'm quite impressed that you are planning to sew bras, not to mention a coat and jeans! And you knit, too! You are quite skilled. Please keep sharing!
  • Complexion: NW10; slight rosacea; dry
  • Eyes: Blue-gray
  • Hair: Dark blonde with slight gray, thick, wavy, dry
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart