What's new in my wardrobe? - october '23

A little while ago over on YouTube, I thought about sharing the usual A/W wardrobe changeover type content that is so common this time of year - but I hesitated. So much of my content on Youtube has been focussed on saving rather than spending, abstinence rather than indulgence; how would sharing some new additions to my wardrobe sit right with my audience? I've also been critised (somewhat unfairly in my opinion) in the comments section in the past whenever I share something that is deemed 'not frugal enough' - and to be honest, given YouTube and social media in general is not some big money making enterprise for me,  I just can't be bothered at times if something is going to lead to such commentary. 

But I'll have to get over that at some point and find a way to work it into my content in an authentic way because part of my journey with spending has been focussed on my previous spending habits and understanding how and why I spent somewhat frivolously at times, and my go to indulgence was always clothes. In fact, it would be fair to say that moving forwards, it still will be, but in a much more intentional, mindful and realistic way. I've learnt an awful lot of valuable lessons over the last few years, and mindset shifts that continue to help me, ones that I'm sure could help others too.

I shared my reasons behind that proposed video not being forthcoming over on instagram and interestingly several people got in touch to say that understanding the rationale behind the items I have purchased could actually be helpful, so here we are. I couldn't quite find a way to work it into a video, and it didn't seem right in an instagram post or story, so a good old fashioned blog post it is. 

(For those of you who have stumbled on this post without ever seeing my YT channel - I have barely bought any clothes for a number of years. I was saving to enable the purchase of my home and was swimming in clothes I'd bought in my mid 20's but never wore anymore. It was great taking the time to understand what I actually wear, what the gaps were in my wardrobe, but I'm now very much overdue some clothing for the person I am today.)

Left: Dress from Feather & Bone via TK Maxx 

I actually saw this dress on the website initially and really liked it. I'm often wary with animal prints as they can come off a bit 'Bet Lynch' if you're not selective but I loved the colours. I find blues work well with my skin tone and gets me out of my go-to Black. I'm finding myself wearing dresses more these days, they seem to be more flattering to my shape than some other options are - I absolutely love my jeans, but I know I often look better in more feminine styles. I used to wear quite a lot of dresses in my younger years, but with higher hems or tighter fitting styles - I find the longer length, more flowy styles more flattering and also more practical now. 

I've started buying less online and more in store in person (or buying from online stores where I can return to a physical store), so decided I wouldn't bother ordering, but I happened to go into a nearby store and there it was - it was as though it was meant to be! 

In all seriousness though, I just really liked the cut of this dress, and it's got elements that are different to some of the dresses I already have - for example, the skirt is a tiered design rather than straight. It's made from Viscose so breathable for the S/S months, but I also liked that with black being in the print I can team it with a blazer for work, or knitwear and boots when its a little colder, meaning it has some versatility. This was also a reasonable price at £34.99.

Right: Block Heeled Leather Boots from Lauren Ralph Lauren via TK Maxx

These have been on my wishlist for some time and I'm delighted that I've managed to find a pair I like - and at a price I like. Last year when I was trying to style items for the colder weather I really felt like I was missing a pair of high heeled boots. I had a lovely pair that I really enjoyed, but they were synthetic and when I took them out of storage they had all crumbled, much in the way plastic bags do when left in the back of a cupboard, so I really wanted leather in the hope I could wear them for years to come. I have some with a low heel which are years old and are good for many occasions but I wanted something that would be slightly more feminine and feel a little more dressed up. I also tend to favour a block heel over a stiletto these days regardless of the current trends. 

These were part of the Ralph Lauren A/W 2022 Collection, originally retailing at around £299; I found these at TK Maxx for just £129.99 which personally I think is a great price as you would pay similar for leather boots in H&M or other similar stores. 

White Leather Trainers from Polo Ralph Lauren via TK Maxx

I've had a pair of new trainers on my wishlist for such a long time now. Most of my trainers are really running shoes and not really suitable for the kind of outfits I wanted to put together with items I already have. I wanted to be able to pair with dresses in the summer when sandals aren't really appropriate but you need comfortable footwear, or to team with jeans and a blazer keeping that smart yet casual feel.

I have looked at so many different options and struggled to find something quite right. I have really slim feet and so many nice options felt a bit wide when I tried them on. I considered the Fairfax and Favor trainers as I really like the design but wanted them to be quite plain so that they would be able to be paired with as many options as possible. I liked the plain canvas Superga option - but I know one or two walks in the countryside and they would end up stained (likely past the point of cleaning being canvas). The Veja Esplar trainer looked promising but my size seemed to be constantly sold out everywhere in the colour combination I wanted. I also looked at the plain white offering from Holland Cooper but as there's no stockists nearby and I'd really prefer to try on first, I didn't end up ordering.

I kept finding lovely trainers in TK Maxx (you've probably worked out by now I'm a TK Maxx regular), but they were often not in my size. In the end I settled on these - although technically these are childrens trainers! So far these seem to fit the bill and are still available in many mainstream stores at £105, yet I paid just £49.99 meaning they were less expensive than all the other options I'd looked at.

Left: Navy Cashmere Crew Neck Jumper from Marks & Spencer

I've been wanting to upgrade some of my knitwear to cashmere for a few years, especially now I 'buy less but better', in fact I had it as part of my plans for last A/W season, but sadly budget wouldn't allow. In previous years, I'd had them on somewhat of a wishlist but wanted to wait until the sales so I could pick them up a little cheaper. Whilst this isn't a bad strategy I always found the colours I wanted, the more neutral, versatile colours were sold out way before the sales kicked in. 

So this year, I treated myself to this jumper, and I have to admit it's lovely. I went with the Navy for a change from my usual Black as I think it can look really lovely paired with jeans - but also because these fly out of the stores and finding any stock in your size in any colour is a challenge. 

Cashmere crew neck jumpers at Marks & Spencer are priced at £85 which is really reasonable in comparison to other stores. I find their customer service is good too and the black version is on my wishlist, along with a roll neck version.

Right: Dress from Marks & Spencer

Ok ok, I don't need another dress - but I saw this the minute I walked into store and I LOVED it. It's got this really lovely vintage vibe, both in the print and the cut. The skirt has some pleating and additional panels of fabric meaning it hangs beautifully, and the shoulders have a ruching detail and gives the dress a classic, almost vintage feel. It's made from Viscose so like the previous dress should be breathable if I wore it in warmer months.

I tend to have a rule now that if I'm not buying something from my wishlist, if a garment is more of an impulse purchase, I have to really, really like it and be confident I will wear it. If I'm considering buying predominantely because it's reduced or 'it'll do', then I leave it behind. Thankfully I really loved this, even more so once I tried it on and I'm delighted with the purchase. The dress cost £35.

Left: Straight Leg Jeans from Marks & Spencer

Lastly - Jeans. I have been wearing the same single pair of blue jeans for months now, the only pair I had left, trying to get them to last until I had a bit more budget available for clothing. Those jeans have now finally given up the ghost so I needed to buy some new ones. I decided to opt for a straight leg pair as my much loved skinnies seem to have fallen out of favour a little of late - but also as I've gained weight around my thighs and hips, I find the straight style does do a good job of making me look a little more 'balanced'. One thing I liked was that this style also feature a reasonably high waist, so many straight leg designs are in a mid or lower rise which is just not for me. Also I find M&S jeans are a little on the generous side so I could get away with buying my usual size 10 albeit being slightly snug, meaning I hopefully can still wear them once I'm back to a healthier routine. 

These are the Sienna Straight Jeans and cost £25.

Right: Skinny Jeans from Marks & Spencer

Lastly, a pair of skinny Jeans - I am a Millenial after all! I know it's becoming a bit of a meme that people of a similar age to me are attached to their skinny jeans, but I don't care, they are really comfortable! Plus I still like to tuck my jeans into my knee high boots or wellies in the colder weather and I'm not going back the the days where we did that weird folding of the jeans thing, trying to get the additional fabric to lay as flat as possible whilst we did up the zip bit by bit - no chance!

These are the Ivy Skinny Jeans and cost £25.


So that's what's new in my wardrobe for October, let me know if you enjoyed reading this and if it was helpful - if so, I'd be happy to make it a more regular thing, perhaps even over on YouTube and we can ignore the occasional odd comments together.