Shopping Plan 2017 – Update 2 Months in

I started my shopping year just after Black Friday.  I did this last year as well, but tried to ‘fudge’ the numbers to make them fit into my plan and this year decided to just face my reality.  I shop at year’s end.  There are good sales, I have gift money to spend, it happens.  That puts me 2 months in to my 2017 shopping year.  Let’s see how I’m doing.  Here is what I’ve purchased so far:


This first list is my yearly plan, which is based on frequency of buys.  Last year I found I had a few buying spurts that I needed to rein in.  So this year the rule of thumb is one item every other week.  If I get ahead of schedule, I need to wait out the next purchase.  Also, I don’t have to buy anything just because it’s been 2 weeks, rather I want to slow down the overall rate of purchases.  In this regard, I’m doing fine.

One thing I want to note is the timetable for online purchases isn’t as smooth as A) I bought it B) I wear it C) I’m done.  The cardigan from Modcloth still isn’t here, for instance.  It is on a 3rd exchange.  I’m debating how I want to deal with such time lags due to returns and exchanges. (It shows one wear because I did try it out for an afternoon and then realized the sizing was off and exchanged for another size).  Anyway, it’s more a skewing of how it looks like I’m not wearing something for months, when in reality I just don’t have it to wear!


This second chart shows my basics and gear, not included in the every other week plan.  Last year I incorporated all buys into one long list, as I realized a lot of my shopping was for these ‘extras’.  Why would I go back to separating them?  Well, I flushed out that category pretty well last year and now am in a place of just replacing as needed.  Also, these items are for home or workout so they are not assimilated into my regular wardrobe.  They go into the gear/basics drawer and don’t get figured into ‘outfits’.  (I want to note that the moto leggings are intended for workouts, but I know I also want to incorporate them into some athleisure outfits, so they went into the main shopping plan.)

These purchases are largely driven by need, not want, and so they aren’t an impulse issue for me.  Bra worn out?  Get a new one.  Sweatpants were 15 years old with too low a rise, and hand me downs to begin with (yes, true story). Buy a new soft pair for yourself.  Cold toes, buy some socks.  You know.

I do think that I want to slow down even these ‘needs’ purchases.  It could be that I simply reviewed my lounge attire and found the need to upgrade at just the same time that I joined a gym’s boot camp class and found need for some gear upgrade.  But going forth I’d like to keep these buys from coming in chunks and space them out more as well. Maybe one to two a month, as needed, if needed.  Thinking on that still.

Lastly, here is my Shopping List for 2017 and how it’s coming along:


I have purchased 5 items from my list.  The hoodie dress has not arrived, and it may go back, making for 4 list purchases.  As mentioned, I have several gear and basics purchases racked up already and am easing off there.  Overall I feel good about my shopping so far.  I am making careful choices, and returning where something is not quite right.  It makes for a bit of a merry go round, but in the end, what stays ends up getting worn.

I am in the depths of winter right now, and we had tons of snow.  This has meant little more than work, working out, and staying home for me.  Not a lot of opportunity to dress up in outfits and go run about town.  Heck, couldn’t even leave the house for days on end, but that’s another story.  Consequently,  my regular wardrobe has not been utilized much and I can see a period of little buying while I get back in there and start putting some looks together again. I think buying pauses are natural, and I look forward to one (or more) during my year’s plan.

I believe this plan will work well for me.  I’ve got a good base wardrobe and just need some replacements and updates here and there.  But I don’t need a lot of stuff anymore.  I don’t feel restricted too severely and it’s hitting that sweet spot for me so far. Will it continue to satisfy once seasons change and the new pretties come out to be perused?  I hope so.  Stay tuned!

Great Cost Per Wear, or a Casualty of Casual?

I was looking back on 2016 purchases on my spreadsheet and the CPW of the items.  Great news!  I did better this year than ever before.  Many items over 10 times worn, some above that.  Only a handful under 2 (swimsuits, yoga wear, and dresses that were only season appropriate).  This should be cause for celebration, right?  Sort of.

On the one hand, I’m buying more for my actual lifestyle, and therefore items are getting a lot of use.  This is great.  But unfortunately I’m sliding into more casual than I’d like.  My most recent buys were jogger sweatpants, an asymmetrical sweatshirt, and a striped tee.  Recent gift for Christmas a grommet hoodie.  All very casual items.  Which, in and of itself, isn’t bad in any way.  But I find I’m getting lazier with outfits.  I’m throwing on jeans and a tee and heading out the door.  It’s fine, but it’s not inspired in any way.

Part of the issue is that I really do live a casual lifestyle.  Work is in a restaurant and greasy floors and salsa spills are a reality.  I can only do so much with work outfits.  And that is fine.  I do what I can.  Life outside of work is in a very outdoorsy, active town that also tends towards casual wear.  Not a lot of sidewalks, for instance.  Mountainous terrain.  Not really the place for heels.

So my challenge has always been to buck the societal norms a little but still not look completely out of place.  I think I zeroed in so much at year’s end on items I could wear the most often that I lost sight of putting that little zip into my look. I recently realized while studying an inspiration look I’d torn out of a magazine, that the juxtaposition was what really made it stand out.  This is what I’ve been lacking.  Balancing boyish with feminine details, and drapey with a fitted tailored item.  Contrasting textures and styles.  I intend to refocus on creating more interesting looks, even the most casual ones.


In the end, this should only make for even better CPW spread across my whole closet.  I’ll be pulling more dressy tops to go with the everyday jeans, upping their meager CPW.  Putting on an actual jacket instead of an easy hoodie or flannel shirt jacket.  And grabbing the not oft worn vests, and funkier shoes (when conditions are possible – not on snow days like now).

Sure, wearing your jogger sweats, hoodies, and jeans and tees into the ground makes for great CPW, but maybe not the most fashionable ‘look’.  I will still be concentrating on buying things I will actually wear, but I don’t want to lose sight of the style part of the equation.  Good cost per wear does not have to, and shouldn’t, come at the price of looking put together and stylish.  I can have both!   And intend to.