A full wardrobe and an empty bank account

Posted in Fashion, Writing.

Are you like me? Does your heartbeat quicken as you walk into a shop? Do you love the rustle of new carrier bags, the jangle of shiny coins and the swipe of plastic? Does a shopping trip leave you with heavy bags and a featherlight purse? Yes – you’re like me.

After reading a fascinating piece on finance and the fashion blogger via The Redhead Fashionista, I was struck by the sheer volume of fashion and style bloggers who feel just like I do – pressured into spending to keep up with our richer counterparts. In these credit crunch times, when being in the red is oh so 2007, why do we continue to buy our way into the fash pack? And does it actually work? Do more pennies really equal more style points?

The rate of consumption displayed on so many fashion blogs (including my own) often astounds me. Closets overflowing with couture, shoes stacked pair upon pair, It Bags from seasons past sitting forgotten and forlorn – a financial history at a glance. And a new, up-to-date, on trend and on your credit card outfit is worn once, only to be banished afterwards because real fashion is never repeated. But how long can bloggers like me, on a modest wage with rent and food to factor in, afford to sustain a fashion lifestyle to rival Carrie Bradshaw’s – a girl who once went without food to buy Vogue?

The simple answer is, we can’t. One credit card and an overdraft later, I took action and consolidated my couture commitments into one easy monthly payment. I’m still paying for my Steve Madden leather jacket, my Zara floral dress and my Fossil handbag, but at least I’m not controlled by the need to craft my closet.

I still overspend, I still have debt and I still have a wardrobe that’s far too fat for its own good – remember the Fashion Diet? But I’m becoming a thrifter, rather than a spendthrift. I’m learning. Which seems a ridiculous statement to make, aged 24, but hey. At least I have enough dresses to last ’til I’m 30 (and you can quote me on that. Maybe. I can’t promise I’ll listen).

How do you feel about fashionable finances? Are you a beautiful budgeter who saves for her handbags? Or would you spend a month’s rent on a Burberry raincoat? And if you’re a fashion blogger, do you feel the need to keep up with fashion’s most fickle mistress – the trend? Do tell.

PS – Here’s proving beautiful clothes don’t have to leave you homeless – this 100% silk dress was just £2.99…



Thrifted silk dress, H&M shirt, H&M tights, TK Maxx shoes, name necklace, thrifted ring
Total outfit cost – £42



I’m a bit of bargain hunter really and although I covet a mulberry, I just don’t have the stamina/patience to save up for one!! I do buy a lot of clothes/shoes/bags but when I feel I’ve overspent, I’ll always have a clear out on ebay!

Em x

I’m like you, i do overspend. But i actually think my blog has made me more aware of what i’m buying and now i don’t tend to get things that i won’t wear. I’m pretty good at selling things on ebay too rather then leaving them to fester in the wardrobe. I do love a bargain too! x


I think I’m pretty good really. Evidence on my blog of lots of new clothes may suggest otherwise but I was in desperate need of some new stuff after losing all the weight and even then, the big shopping trip only cost about £200 in total, which is probably what most people spend a month without even thinking about it.

I don’t own anything designer and I baulk at paying full price for a lot of high street stuff unless it’s really decent quality and will last a long time. But there is this implied pressure to buy into trends and I often find myself wistfully thinking “Oh I wish I had X’s boots or Y’s jeans”. I usually click out of it after a while though!

Skyline Eyes

I went into H&M the other day and it felt so strange to be in a shop where there’s actually all the clothes in your size, and everything’s stacked neatly or on hangers, rather than in a rummage pile on the floor. The moral of that story? I haven’t properly shopped in a high street store for awhile. On my meagre budget I literally buy the majority of my wardrobe in charity and vintage shops. After my grandmother had altered yet another vintage dress for me a few weeks ago, she jokingly asked me “Don’t you like new clothes?” At least I think she was joking.
If there was something I saw in a high street store that I loved and couldn’t afford, I’d probably save up for it, but I love the freedom and sheer coincidence of buying second hand. Plus it’s cheap! (:
Fashion blogs have been a source of inspiration for me for awhile now, and I love your outfit! (:

Little Sugar Mama

I’ve been shopping primarily at thrift stores for almost as long as I’ve been making my own money. It started out of necessity, and soon turned into the stark realization that I can spend $40 and walk out with a bag full of clothes from a variety of stores, as opposed to spending $40 for one shirt.

You don’t have to spend a lot to look like you did. You just need the courage to look beyond the pretty pictures in advertisements & on tv.


This was an interesting post to read, really relates to how Ive been feeling recently. I think reading lots of different blogs has made me think carefully about whats going on in my wardrobe. I tend to buy what I need, rather than just wanting something on impulse. If I sell stuff on ebay I’ll use the money to go out and buy new things. That way I dont feel quite as bad. I think even if I won the lottery, I’d still shop in topshop. Im not really a ‘designer’ kinda gal. But I do agree its really easy to get caught up in magazines and media trends! I swore I would never EVER own a pair of jeggins, yet I now have three pairs in my wardrobe. Hmm 😛 xx


I have to say I look at some blogs and think “how can they afford to get all this, all they seem to do is shop!” but I’m guilty of my spurlges from time to time.
But having a house and a mortgage has kerbed my habit. I look in Topshop now and think it’s so overpriced, and would much rather rummage in a charity shop and find a gem rather than a top that a million other girls have.
I like to to think that some items will be passed onto my kids at some point and I’ll instill in them that fashion isn’t about looking like your mates, or getting something they want, but something you look and feel great in.

Great post Jen, very thought provoking!

X xx

Vintage Vixen

Great post, Jen! If it makes just one girlie think before she splurges you’ve done your good deed for the day.
As you know I’m not a lavish shopper, I always pay by cash and have never owned a credit card. Believe me, it’s much harder to part with real money than plastic.
Fab outfit, cheap is chic!


Lovely dress – what a bargain. Because I get bored with things so easily, I’m quite careful with what I buy.

People at work think I must spend a fortune but I tend to look round the high street shops and then keep an eye out on eBay for the things I want. So, for example, that orange Topshop silk tunic on yesterday’s blog post was £45 instore but £9 on eBay.

But if there’s something I really want and I have the cash and think I’ll love it for a long time, then I’ll go ahead and buy it in the shops.



You know, I think I’m actually ok with shopping. For the most part anyway!
If I see something I like, but haven’t totally fallen head over heels for it, I will hum and ha over it, consider the price, consider the student discount (often asking mates to do the maths for me!!), then consider if i actually ‘need’ it.

Maybe I’m just a stinge! Haha x

E is for Eleanor

This is a brilliant post, and quite a thought-provoker. I window-shop like it’s a national sport but I’m an inherent thrifter who would much rather buy 5 pretty charity-shop dresses than 1 dress that cost me a months wage. But you know that already. For me, its the thrill of the chase. Finding a topshop-esque piece at a car boot is a million times more rewarding for me.


LOVE that dress – can’t believe it was £2.99!
And those shoes are amazing!

I’m so good at thrifting! I never know which shops to go into to! Any tips?!

(: xx


This is such an interesting topic, and I am honestly surprised at how many people are suffering financially for their blogs, but I think it’s so good so many people are coming out and talking about it.

My day job is as an accountant so I’m a budgetter at heart. I actually find blogging has meant I spend less money on clothes because I get my fashion fix online and really think about what I’m buying more now.

I own a few designer items, as I have more money to spend now I’m working, but I want them to last and try and only buy things I love and want to still be wearing in 10 years time!


A really interesting post. I have to admit I’m pretty bad at impulse shopping, but on the otherhand i’m a regular ebay seller (and have on the odd occasion been known to make a profit) so i guess it’s all about balance. I do look at some blogs though and wonder where they find the money to buy all these items. Lovely dress too!


Fab dress! In my early 20s I really dressed to impressed, spent money I didn’t have and am now paying for it in my late 20s… I now buy key pieces and try to re-use as much as I can. As I get older I seem to care a little less about being bang uptodate, and more about comfort and if it’ll be a classic rather than a flash in the pan 🙂 x


I love this post Jen! I’m a student so am usually skint/on a small budget but somehow a HUGE chunk of my student loan and overdrfat seems to go on that “must have” dress or pair of shoes. I love that buzz when you walk out the shop doors, jauntily swinging your bag of illicit new purchases which you know you shouldn’t REALLY have bought.

However in the last few months I have been doing a paid work placement which has given me a lot more money to spend how I please! At first I spent even more feeding my high street addiction, but recently, inspired by the fashion blogs I have started to get really into, I have realised just how much I ACTUALLY spend on shopping. I have enough clothes to wear a new outfit every day for the next few months!

So I’ve started to become a bit more careful…I’m trying not to buy anything unless I really really REALLY love it and I know I will get plenty of use from it. Don’t get me wrong…every now and then I will still treat myself, but I’m starting to think about what else I could do with my money instead.

And that is not a ridiculous statement to make aged 24 Jen…as Carrie said “Enjoy yourself…thats what your twenties are for!”


♥ joei

oh wow. my closet’s too full despite having garage sales here and there. problem is i couldn’t give up most of my clothes (just because of the brand or the price i paid for them at that time) even if they don’t fit me anymore since i gained weight!

good piece to write about.

♥ joei

Ana - Toil and Trouble

You are definitely touching on a big issue in the style/fashion blogging world – I definitely find myself wishing I had more money when I admire certain blogs, but I am honestly more enamored with the bloggers that wear mostly thrifted clothes and put together beautifully inspired outfits. I think that says a lot more about their creative abilities.


yes yes and YES, i’m like you!! i spend faster than i could save…bad habit im trying to kick it but i guess i can start with yard sale/blog sale for spring cleaning hehee



First of all, great dress, what a find! Secondly, I am a bargain shopper through and through. I don’t think you have to spend a lot of money to look great, and in fact I think it’s more fun when you take the time to hunt for good deals. I frequent second-hand stores, discount stores, and Target. That being said, I tend to sometimes go overboard because the individual pieces I buy are so inexpensive. And unfortunately, it all seems to add up…


Blogging always makes me want to buy more clothes! I am a serious sale shopper and hardly ever buy things at regular price. While I may not be able to buy the lastest trends first, I can still get clothes that I love. Plus I sew, so I enjoying making some of my own clothes.


This is a thought-provoking post, Jen 🙂
I love to shop, for the social aspect just as much as the “new clothes” thing, and I truly think it’s far more fun shopping for fun, rather than necessity..
That said, I have never owned a credit card, or a store card, and despite what people may think from reading my blog, with all my new purchases, i only spend what I can afford, bills come first, then clothes, then food (my nod towards carrie bradshaw i guess lol)..

LadyBugSays ...

My name is Vicky and I’m abit addicted to shopping!! I love the thrill of owning a new item! Though I am a bargain hunter, so my habits haven’t got me into too much trouble. But I am currently on a shopping ban, hopefully I can convince myself that I don’t need to buy all the time!

the crafty currant

I can defo understand how you could get carried away trying to keep up but I also think that it opens a lot more opportunity to thrift, bargain hunt and recycle. I think the most successful bloggers of any type just need to be rich in time

Pierrot le Fou

i think blogging has made me spend money on items i really treasure rather than buy a lot of cheap bland things and i prefer blogs that always have gorgeous, inpiring posts, even if they’re a good time apart, rather than very regular posts full of bland items or recycled images from other blogs

feeling this way has made me a bit fussier over what i post myself, meaning i buy stuff of higher standards

*Creme Cup*

What a fantastic post. I know what you mean, shopping is a terrible disease, and it can really get you into bad debt. I do buy things just for the sake of it because I think it looks nice without even considering the price tag sometimes, but I am really trying to calm down now!


I’m a nightmare with money, a total spendthrift. I’m all about the highstreet and I’ve never saved for anything in my life – I’m a tragic trend buyer from places like h&M and Primark. I do like a good bit of thrifting though. I love ebay x

un petit lapin

I’m really stingy on things like buying groceries so I indirectly have more money for fashion. I’m the sort of person who’d rather have one expensive handbag than twenty outfits.


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