Shopping Diaries: April 2018

After overspending on my wardrobe last year, I decided to track my spending. At the beginning of each month, I will review and reflect on the things I bought in the previous month. I hope the insights I gain from doing this will help me accomplish three goals: 1) avoid overspending, 2) shop smarter (quality not quantity), and 3) have a functional closet full of pieces I love to wear. 

Snapshot of last month’s receipt

+ $68 Reformation hoodie

+ $107.79 Rent the Runway Unlimited membership

+ $86.15 Mejuri Necklace

$257.98 Isabel Marant Sneakers via TheRealReal

= $519.92

But wait, there’s more. I sold three items on Depop and the Instagram selling account @thegeneraleconomy and made a total of $84.52 after shipping and fees. Therefore…

My adjusted total spending for April = $435.40

The details (what I bought and kept)

Reformation hoodie (wearing size small, similar version here)
This purchase was completely motivated by my flight to Italy. Since I didn’t own a single hoodie that was cozy enough to take with me, I pounced on this one the moment I saw it on Reformation’s site.

I already confessed my love for this hoodie in my April favorites, but this really checks all the boxes for me. It’s sustainably made, comfortable, and has both a hood and a kangaroo pocket. You better believe I am wearing this hoodie on my flight tonight (this post will go up on Monday so I’m speaking to you from the past 🤓).

Rent the Runway Unlimited membership
A few weeks ago, I got my first interview in a very long time. I was so excited, but quickly realized I had nothing to wear for such an occasion. Unless, the interview could be conducted with me in jeans and a sweater. So I thought of the next best thing to buying a bunch of pieces I probably won’t wear all that often. Enter RTR Unlimited monthly membership (it was my first month so it was $99 pre-tax, instead of the usual $159/month). Each month you can rent out a max. of four pieces at a time and swap out for new pieces whenever you like. It came through for me for two interviews.

Read my initial thoughts/first interview look here and my second interview look here. For me, it was the most economical choice.

For now, I don’t plan on continuing my subscription into the second month. Simply because I don’t know what my employment situation will look like, and can’t guarantee that I will need dressier pieces to wear. This renting experience helped me see the value of having both a pretty blouse and a pair of pants on hand. Especially, if they happen to be versatile enough for interviews and everyday life. I guess I just added two things to my wishlist.

Mejuri Zodiac Necklace
I have been eyeing this necklace since my wishlist post back in February. I finally decided to see what the Mejuri hype was all about and ordered the necklace. It was backordered till May 1st but it ended up arriving then, which was a really nice surprise.

I actually really like this necklace. And for the price, there wasn’t a better option out there. Or at least, I didn’t find one. It does come a bit tangled though. Nothing a little patience can’t fix. The only downside is that it’s made of gold vermeil and not solid gold. So I definitely have to remember to take this off before I shower. The instructions suggest to let your jewelry be the last thing you put on before you head out, and the first thing you take off when you get home. At first I thought this was a pain, but I guess anything that’s nice is worth taking care of.

After eyeing coin necklaces for months, I’m really glad I decided on this zodiac necklace. I think wearing my sign (Taurus) is just a bit more personal than wearing a coin with an unfamiliar face on it. Anyway, I finally found the necklace to dress up simple outfits. Obsession tamed and mission accomplished.

Isabel Marant Beth Sneakers (more affordable version from Veja here)  
I have also been yapping on about wanting a pair of Isabel Marant sneakers for months. And one day about two weeks ago, I was scrolling through TheRealReal (get $25 off your first purchase) and discovered that someone had consigned this sneaker in my size. I never imagined that I would get this lucky. Especially, considering I was seriously considering buying this exact pair for full price, just a few days before. After a bit of contemplating and making sure that it was returnable, I finally decided to hand over my credit card info. A week later, these babies arrived.

Condition: It was listed as very good. Based on the pictures and the description, it seemed like the previous owner had only worn these once or twice. Mind you, I have never bought secondhand shoes before. This was new territory. When I finally got to inspect these in person, my suspicions seemed to be right. There were no major imperfections to the sneakers. It could have honestly passed for like new.

Sizing: FR 39 (US 7.5) fit me perfectly.

I can’t wait to wear these with everything! I like that the velcro detail is both cute and functional. I definitely won’t have to stop to tie my shoelaces. I did make sure to coat the sneakers with the Jason Markk water and stain repellent spray though. I’m hoping it works 🤞🏼. Will give an update after I test them out on my trip where I will be walking a lot, likely with gelato in hand.

An unexpected return

In my March shopping diaries post, I mentioned that I was going to reorder these AGOLDE jeans in a smaller size. Well, I decided to return them in the smaller size as well.

I decided that I wasn’t a fan of the distress along the seam of the jeans. To me, it just meant that I would need to replace them much sooner than I would like. So back they went.

This means that my March total gets a little adjustment. With the return of ($172.02), my total March spending = $371.56 instead of the original $543.58.

An unexpected plot twist

Remember my beloved James Perse sweatpants from January’s shopping diaries post? Well, they got so loved that after barely three months of wearing them, a hole developed in the most unsightly of places. The derrière. Yup, it happened. And luckily, the discovery was made at home. And not while I was prancing around outside, totally unaware.

At first, I thought, ah crap, I’m going to have to shell out some more money for a new pair. But then, I wondered if maybe something could be done.

I spent a whopping $117 (pre-tax) on them, so I wasn’t going to give up so easily. So I contacted James Perse to see if they could replace it. Turns out because I bought it through Revolve and not on James Perse’s site or store, they couldn’t do anything about it. They were ready to help me out though, if I had bought it from them. They suggested I contact Revolve. So I did.

I knew this whole process was a long shot. So I expected nothing out of all this.

To my surprise, Revolve offered me store credit for sending the sweatpants back to them. About a week later, $127.38 was added to my Revolve account.

My takeaways: Cost is not always directly correlated to quality. And, it never hurts to ask.

The numbers

$435.40 = April total

$371.56 = Adjusted March total 

$1,113.64 = Year to date total

3 = Number of items added to closet in April

10 = Number of items added to closet so far this year

Final thoughts

I’m pretty happy with April’s total spending. I didn’t add more clutter to my closet by renting via RTR. I got very lucky with my first secondhand shoe purchase. I sold three things and sent them to better homes. And, I got reminded that brand names and heftier price tags are sometimes just that, and nothing more. I mean, I’ve been wearing my J.Crew factory sweatpants (current season version here) from about four years ago, and they’re still going strong with no holes in sight. I’ll be wearing them on my flight tonight.

This month, I hope to sell a few more pieces and do some more decluttering. As for my shopping ban, I hope to do one in June. But it really depends on my employment situation. Unless, I’m allowed to have an approved shopping list like Cait Flanders. Either way, tracking my spending these past few months have kept me conscious of how much I’m spending and what I am adding into my closet. I even feel a competitiveness with myself, to do much better than I did last year. I don’t want to jinx it, but it seems like I’m on track so far.

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What are your thoughts on buying things secondhand? Any tips? Have you ever tried renting clothes? Or do you have an outfit for every occasion?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This is not an ad. All opinions are my own.