Are You a Sensible Spender?

Posted in Daily Outfits, Fashion, Second Hand Shopping.

Anyone who’s ever visited my house will tell you I have a rather large wardrobe. And two chests of drawers. And all the space under the bed. And that gap at the top of the stairs. All full of my sartorial spending.

Yes, I have lots of clothes. And I do spend a fair amount of money on my ‘collection’. But I don’t spend a ridiculous amount. My love of clothing doesn’t swallow up all my money, and yet I do shop quite regularly. So, is it really possible to have plenty of outfit options without serious spending?

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Henry Holland dress via charity shop, Topshop shirt, tights and ring, vintage shoes via charity shop, Emma Fox bag via TK Maxx, collar tips via eBay

Yes, of course it is! The key is not serious spending, but sensible spending. Shopping in the right places  will help you build your clothing collection without breaking the bank. This outfit is a good example of sensible spending – here’s how it works out:

Henry Holland dress: £3.99
Topshop shirt: £25
Topshop tights: £2 (sale)
Topshop ring: £8
Vintage shoes: £3.99
Emma Fox bag: £100
Collar tips: £2.95

Total: £145.93

Not the cheapest outfit, no. But sensible spending doesn’t always equal cheap – it’s about hunting down bargains, finding the best deals and investing in pieces that you’ll wear again and again.

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When it comes to shopping for less, charity shops, car boot sales and eBay are a given. These places are packed full of thrifty pieces, like this Henry Holland dress – brand new with tags at just £3.99 – or these very on-trend collar tips, bought from this eBay seller for £2.95 so I can add them to any shirt.

But sensible spending can take place anywhere, if you know what you’re looking for. Topshop may not seem like somewhere you can shop for less, but spending that little bit more on an item you’ll wear all the time, that mixes well with the rest of your wardrobe, will save you money in the long run.

Here are some quick tips to help you shop for less:

  • Visit charity shops and car boot sales regularly, and really root through the rails
  • Scour eBay for on-trend pieces – it’s especially good for inexpensive accessories and craft supplies you can use to customise your own clothes
  • Don’t discount the high street – just consider the longevity of each purchase. Will you wear it often? Does it work with your current wardrobe?
  • Search shops like TK Maxx for investment items. I love posh leather bags but hate how expensive they are – TK Maxx isn’t bargain basement cheap, but you’ll make a great saving on the RRP (my Emma Fox bag was originally priced at over £200)
  • Understand your style – buying pieces that look good on you, that you love and that are useful means you’ll wear them all.the.time. The two most expensive items in today’s outfit – the shirt and the bag – are in constant use. I wear the shirt about once a week and use the bag almost every day. And that’s what sensible spending is all about!
Are you a sensible spender or a serious spender? How do you shop for less? Any tips or tricks to share?



Yes love this post! People always ask me how I have so many clothes but the honest answer is that the majority of my clothes only cost £1 thanks to charity shops, eBay and customising. The things that I spend out on are boots and my glasses, but even then I will shop around for the best deal.

Also jealous of the Henry Holland find – excellent. Love how you’ve styled it too!

Laila x


Great dress. I like ebay 2nd hand.

For me it’s the ethics. I won’t buy slave-made stuff which rules out everything in China because people are killing themselves there because conditions are so bad. They jail gay people, Christians, political objectors. I’m an ardent campaigner against that regime.

So used/upcycled/recycled or new IF I know its provenance. Then I will pay more. For British/European workers to make a fair living. Yes, I’ll pay for ethically-sourced clothing from anywhere in the world.


Love the look Jen! What a find with the Henry H dress! Want some collar tips too – really can change the look of any shirt so easily! : )


Interesting post. I’d say I’m a sensible spender although like you I have plenty of clothes! I like shopping in sales and on ebay and I agree with your point about longevity, I’d rather pay a bit more and buy a bit less.


Good question! I go through phases – some months I do nothing but snag charity shop bargains, and then I’ll blow a large chunk of my budget in ASOS! So long as I have money to buy food and keep the house warm (and my clothes aren’t taking over my boyfriend’s wardrobe too) then I reckon my clothes spending has stayed within acceptable limits!


I think I’m quite sensible,

I buy a lot but it’s all within budget and I rarely pay full price for anything!

I love this outfit xo


Great tips. I am trying to change from an impulsive spender to a sensible spender. I now try to only buy things I know I’ll love, even if they aren’t the cheapest rather than impulse buying anything on sale. I love your dress here, such a good bargain! x

Samantha Manzella

This is such great advice! I love what you mentioned about how buying on the cheap doesn’t necessarily equate with “sensible spending”; those key investment pieces in your wardrobe, though pricey, can sometimes make all the difference in an outfit or spruce up an otherwise basic closet. Lovely post!

<3 Samantha

Rachel, Cold Knees

gorgeous outfit! I try to be sensible, and if I’ve splurged on clothes in a week then I’ll try to balance it out by not going out for lots of drinks/meals. I do wish I could be a little savvier though! xx


I like being a sensible shopper. All of the clothes in my wardrobe really earn their place there, I like making up new ways to wear each piece.
R xx


I would like to think of myself as a sensible shopper. I love taking advantage of seasonal sales and am constantly looking for a good deal at TK Maxx. I don’t believe that you have to spend a fortune on good quality and totally cute handbags and shoes and I tend to buy pieces that I could wear in many different ways. I too love my denim short that I bought at the Gap and have been wearing it about once a week (it is so versatile!)

Thanks for the tips!


P.S. Those collar tips are great.

Edie Rocks

Fantastic post!!

I’m a terrible spender and still have nothing to wear!! It’s so nice to hear an honest account, sometimes reading lots of blogs can give you a real hunger for new items but it’s great to see those one off finds and great customising tips, far more inspiring.

Great advice to really think about what you’re buying, what works for you and to search out pieces that will gel with what you already have, I shall take that with me to the shops! 🙂

Porcelain complexion

I have a limit of $100 NZD per week (about £50) that I can spend on anything I feel like, then I pay my bills & what ever is left gets saved 🙂
It keeps me “sensible” and sane.

northwest is best

Have to disagree about Topshop, Jen. I don’t think their prices are justified by quality. I’ve also (just about) stopped buying from charity shops… now, I’m concentrating on buying high quality garments which will last. I love charity shops, but now that I work in one I’m surrounded by secondhand goods and want my own new things.

LadyBugSays ...

I used to just buy anything and everything that I liked, but now having a mortgage and bills to pay my disposable income has decreased a lot so now I have to LOVE something for it to be worth purchasing. Love the collar tips!


As a student who has been cursed with only having temporary jobs and as yet having no paid work lined up for summer… the last thing I want to do is spend money!! Recently I’ve been so proud of myself for hardly going shopping – and have been allowing myself to, every other week, buy something that’s £10 like a wee ring or something and if I don’t spend that, I ‘rollover’ to the next week so I can afford a top, This is keeping me happy and making me feel rewarded and better about my bank balance

LilliesandLove xx

I love this post – I’m always looking at fashion blogs and wondering how they manage to have so many amazing pieces, but I guess I need to spend more time delving into the treasures in charity shops and less time browsing online!

You’ve inspired me Jen, I’m off to save some moolah and buy some pretty things!


Hmmm I don’t think I could describe myself as a sensible spender – I don’t go overboard like some bloggers do though! Just purchased the collar tips – thanks for the ‘tip off’! (I know, I know, terrible joke).

Gold Jewellery

I do plan my budget prior to shopping, as I want to cut off my unnecessary expenses. I love the legging. It has an uncommon colour and look.


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