Save. Spend. Splurge.

Building up your wardrobe from scratch, what would you do differently this time?

Wow, what a great question. LOTS.


I would definitely buy half a size if not a size bigger in almost everything instead of having it fit JUST RIGHT (need a little room to eat and have your weight fluctuate)


I would stay away from warm shades of browns and taupes. I like them in theory, I cannot wear them in real life.

I am clearly a Cool & Brilliant Winter, and those are the colours I should stick to:


I would not buy one of every colour in a jacket I think I love. Just one colour, my favourite of the 3, will do even if the jacket is dirt cheap.


Who needs 4 navy blazers? NO ONE.


I would not have let myself get so crazy in each category because there are only so many days, and so many outfits a woman can wear at any given moment. When you have too much choice and variety like I do, it becomes quite overwhelming.


In the end, fussy, ruffled, fancy sorts of cuts and things are not … my bag.

I like simple pencil skirts, not A-Line, I like tailored pants, not anything with ruffles, and I do not like high maintenance pieces that require a lot of ironing. One wear, and I have to wash & iron it? NO THANK YOU.

This? This is my style at its core:


I have already started doing this by avoiding stores like Forever 21, The Gap, etc.. even Banana Republic is slowly dropping off my list because if I want a gorgeous grey coat, I shouldn’t waste $300 on it on a cheap version from even Aritzia or Banana Republic because ultimately I really want the Burberry or Sentaler version which run into the thousand-dollar range, but I’d get way more wear out of it.

Buying cheap versions of what you really want doesn’t work for me. I have the money, I have the means, and I don’t want to wear crap any more.

Looks aren’t everything, I need quality in a garment too.


When I went on my thrifting kick for 2 weeks (read about it here), I found SO MANY “deals” that I couldn’t resist buying them all.

In the end? Less than 90% of it stayed and frankly, I shouldn’t have been enamoured with these things only cost $5 or $10.

Junk is junk.

The kind of secondhand shopping / thrifting I like, is far more expensive than what I can find at Goodwill or Salvation Army most of the time. Of course, there are gems, don’t get me wrong…. you can find gorgeous pieces of high end designer labels if you are patient and if you are in the right city that has money to spend and then donate said items (note: Montreal is NOT one of those cities, we don’t have a ton of high-end designers here, and what we do have, people who buy those items, don’t tend to donate to Goodwill but resell instead).

What I like is designer (like thousand-dollar designers) secondhand purchasing. Leather coats that retail for $800 – $1000, but I score for $200.

Or luxe leather boots that cost $4000 at retail but I buy for $500 secondhand.

Or gorgeous watches that retail at $300 but I score for $110 secondhand:

The end price of what I pay is still expensive ($500 for boots!??!) but I get the quality and workmanship of a thousands-of-dollars item I would otherwise not ever spend the money on.


The entire series can be found here: Women in Clothes Style & Fashion Survey


  • Becka

    So, needless to say I now think very, very hard on making any purchase for clothes or accessories. I don’t shop consignment and thrift stores as much, because I clearly love a bargain a little too much. I also tend to buy more dressses (I’m still a dress-skirt girl at heart). But a dress is complete in itself. When I buy a skirt I need to match it to a top. And then perhaps a blazer or cardigan. And so on. I once had a grey skirt for five years before I found the perfect blouse to wear it with. But I wear those items and and I’m happier with the clothes I have rather than all the ones still hanging in the stores. That and the fact that my house is less likely to burn down.

  • Mrs. Farmhouse Finance

    This is a great question! If I could start from scratch, I would pay more attention to fit than size. It’s amazing how many stores have discrepancies in their sizing. Rather than always buying the same size, I would order a couple of one item, and keep the one that fits the best. I would also avoid buying trends, since those never seem to find their way into my day to day wear.

  • Becka

    I volunteered at a wonderful consignment store that donated their proceeds to a charity. People often brought in great clothes ( in my opinion ). Brooks Brothers wool suits, lovely tailored blazers and jackets, silk blouses and dresses and well you get the idea. BUT, we couldn’t sell any of these great clothes, because everyone was moving into the casual, laid back phase. So I came to the rescue and bought everything that was my size. Which was quite a lot. Basically no one wanted to deal with any sort of clothes that required care like dry cleaners or steaming or ironing. And since the proceeds went to charity it seemed a win-win situation. Right ? Fast forward about five years and I moved into a smaller house. I finally had to take a good look at just how many clothes I had accumulated and I was forced to realize that I dreaded getting dressed in the morning. I was overwhelmed by the selection. I had silk blouses in horrible colors I would never wear. I had one hundred plus skirts ( all of them light weight summer skirts even though I live in Pittsburgh) I had two dozen black blazers, each one fitting differently, so I would have to try every single one of them on to find the perfect one for that day. I transplanting all of this stuff. – By now it was really just stuff not a wordrobe- to the basement of the new house because these clothes were beyond the capacity of any closet. My day of reckoning came when I needed to have some plumbing work done. The plumber upon seeing all these clothes taking up every space in that basement refused to do the work because he considered it a fire hazard. There was no way he would be able to run a propane torch without burning the house down. So I said good bye to over thirty large trash bags of clothes. They went to charity of course.

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