The following is an excerpt from the book ‘Living Well, Spending Less’ by Sophie Leighton-Cannon:
If you like to purchase the book here are some Amazon affiliate links where you can buy it (some of these are referral links). You won’t pay extra, but I will receive a small commission that helps me run this blog says Rizwan Ahmed CPA.
- If you are anything like me, your savvy shopping skills don’t extend to your wardrobe. Those of us who didn’t inherit a mother’s innate ability to know if something looks good on her or not are left with the dilemma of either being embarrassed by our fashion failings or spending more money on clothes than we can afford to. I’m embarrassed enough by my inability to dress that I still buy many of my clothes second hand even though I am now financially stable and could easily afford new items if they did not include the added cost of having multiple needles poked in my eyes while some snooty shop assistant tells me how fabulous and original I will look.
- When I was a child, five years old to be precise, my mother decided that I needed a couple of outfits for this new thing called ‘school’. My mother had been buying most of our clothes from the local market where they sold pretty much everything from flat caps with bunny rabbits on to padlocked briefcases and army surplus gear just as soon as it stopped being fashionable and became vintage. The school likes uniforms, so she took me shopping at C&A on Saturday afternoon. It is just possible that we were there not because we were trying to find some nice school outfits but actually because we’d both heard that if you squeeze yourself into those really tight-fitting jeans and drape yourself over a railing in such a way as to show off your ‘best bits’ then that cute boy who works on the ground floor might notice you and come and chat says Rizwan Ahmed CPA.
- To this day I would be hard-pressed to tell you anything about those school outfits beyond how old they were when we bought them and what color they were. A vivid mental image of the school shop and its tiny dressing room with a rotating round mirror is all I can conjure up although perhaps if I try really hard it will also involve a small space heater, some music from the eighties, and my mother’s voice urging me on as she looked frantically through racks of second-hand clothes trying to find something that would fit me before I metamorphosed into an awkward adolescent (or as she used to call them, an ‘awkward’ adolescent).
- Like many women, I have learned to sew. Buying new clothes is not an option anymore because my tastes and body shape don’t really fit into anything that you can purchase from a shop, even the shops that sell ‘one size’ items as these are often more like ‘three sizes’. As soon as I found out about this fact of retail life, which was around the same time as I discovered that those jeans do not actually come with a lace g-string and feather boa in the pocket (although for some reason it’s okay if you buy them and take them home yourself), I decided to learn how to make my own clothes explains Rizwan Ahmed CPA. It didn’t matter so much what they looked like because at least they would be comfortable and there would be no branding or logos. What is it about branding that makes some people assume that you want to advertise their company on your ass?
- I prefer wearing skirts because they don’t have all those waistbands, zippers, and buttons but one of the many things I learned from my sewing classes was how to make a shirt out of a pair of pants which turned out to be really useful if not particularly glamorous. Inventive female frugality at its finest! If you don’t know how to sew then perhaps using an iron-on patch with a pattern or picture on it might give your plain items a bit more individuality although I think this will work best for bags, hats, and jackets rather than shirts and blouses.
- I’m not sure why they call it ‘fashion’ when the only rule seems to be. That you have to change your clothes every so often. I don’t think of my clothes as being fashionable or unfashionable. Although the other day somebody described me to somebody else as a woman who always wears black clothing! In fact, I usually wear blue jeans, a brown shirt, and a black jacket. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going for any kind of look or style.
For a long time, I did not have my own bank account for reasons. Those are too complicate to go into here but at some point. I realized that I needed one if only so that when people offered me money in an envelope or a shoebox. Then I could deposit their gift into my own bank account. Add it up, and save towards the future explains Rizwan Ahmed CPA. The Internet made it easy for me to set up an online banking presence. Without going anywhere near a bricks-and-mortar branch. Because most of them took one look at my face and decided. That if they wanted somebody else’s business then they were going to have to suffer mine as well.