Monday, January 31, 2011

12 in 11: January

Earlier this month, inspired by Taphophile and Louisa, I decided to set myself the 12 in 11 challenge. You might remember that the goal is to buy no more than 12 items of clothing across the year.

So, how am I going so far?

I guess you might say I'm going very well. I bought no new items of clothing, as specified by this challenge, in January. But you can probably detect a tone of doubt about how I'm really doing. As I'd predicted in my initial post, I did go shopping for shoes to accommodate the heel cups that are meant to ease the pain from my heel spurs. It wasn't that the shoes I already had were an unsuitable style for the heel cups, but rather that by the time the heel cups were inserted, my shoes became too tight and my toes were mashed in the now-too-small space. So I didn't want to have to count this practical purchase in my precious yearly total of 12. You can probably guess what happened. I couldn't bring myself to buy any old pair of right-sized shoes on sale, but ended up with some rather expensive shoes I like. I've rationalised them by thinking that if I like them I'll wear them, and the dreaded heel cups, more frequently, and that if I recover from the heel spurs the larger-sized shoes will be perfect for wearing with hand knitted socks. But because I like them so much, I think I should include these shoes in my clothing count for the year. So, that's left 11 items for the next 11 months. Still not too bad.

And there were other 'clothing' additions that unintentionally fell into the exclusions category. I had the lenses updated in some old, much-loved spectacle frames. This seems to fall into the 'make do and mend' category, except that it really was an extravagance. I already have other pairs of perfectly acceptable spectacle frames - it's just I have a bit of a passion for them. But despite feeling a twinge of guilt, I'm not going to count these amongst my items.

And then there was the knitting I finished - a shawl/scarf I know I'll wear in winter, and a hat I probably won't. According to my rules, these are hand-made and clearly exclusions from the count.

So, there it goes. I've bought one item so far in 2011, but I feel as if my wardrobe has expanded. I haven't cheated, but I feel as if I have. I wonder what February will bring.


Rose Red said...

I have been thinking about this wardrobe thing since you posted about it earlier this month and I've decided I'm in! In addition to the exclusions you noted, I am going to exclude shoes too ... because it is me, after all!

Sel and Poivre said...

I think good quality shoes - heel cups or not - are closely akin to an investment in one's health and well being. Foot pain - and its go easy to develop wearing cheap shoes - can be debilitating!

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife said...

How very honest of you to include the shoes even though you could have got away with them as necessary! :) I think your rationalising makes sense - better to spend money on something you'll love rather than something you won't wear much.

I've not bought any clothes yet - either ones included in the challenge or the exclusions - so I've saved up a month's credit for next month. Probably for the best as I tend to buy a few items at once when I do buy things...

Good luck for February!

Susan Luni said...

Can I encourage you by disagreeing? I think reasonable expenditures to acquire well-made items are necessary for one's comfort and the economy. Why impose limits if they bind? You wouldn't buy too-small shoes, why try to live within unecessary budgetary constraints?
As one who made the transition from going out to work to working from home a few years ago, I can tell you that your expenditures will naturally decrease at that time. The motivation to "dress up" disappears, and the reasons to buy a lot of clothes goes with it.
Your expenses will naturally decline with your income, no extra effort required.

1funkyknitwit said...

giggle ;) ..I love how you have rationalized your shopping, however I do think it's a fair call :D

Your far braver than I Lyn and I would have far more excuses...ahhah,

Where's the shoes ??

Taphophile said...

You did very well indeed - far better than I.

I follow your reasoning for including the shoes, but I think they were necessary and buying nice ones is by far the best plan. We don't have to wear the podiatry equivalent of hair shirts to keep in the spirit of the challenge. My take on this is about buying quality and getting the best wear out it.

I'm going to put the price of my very serious temptations - or those items I would have bought if I had not been taking part in the challenge - into jar so I have cash on hand to spend when I find that perfect item. I suspect I will surprise myself by the "savings".

Ditto the glasses. I bought new ones this month - new prescription and new frames. They aren't clothing, they are essential equipment. And my staff and family are pleased that I have three pairs so they aren't constantly searching for my specs.

Ruby Girl said...

You have done so well, what a great sense of self control you have.