New Clothing Plan

These boots have been awesome on the ice this winter

These boots have been awesome on the slippy sidewalks this winter

Last year I said I would keep a list of clothes I needed, and buy only from the list. It didn’t happen. I kept thinking, “I know what I need so I don’t have to write it down.” That wasn’t enough to discourage me from impulse buys!

Some good purchases last year were warm-lined rubber boots, hiking boots, grey espadrilles, dark wash jeans, a skort, my first pair of shorts in 10 years, an infinity scarf, and cardigans for work in black and white. How adventuresome, eh? Some duds were a pair of shoes that developed a permanent squeak and couldn’t be returned, a pair of tights that only lasted one wearing, and a beautiful ruched blazer that is just too dressy, even for work (maybe I’ll save it for a presentation to the Board?) And my silliest purchase was a Domo hat, Peruvian-style, which I wore on Hallowe’en. I must remember to keep wearing it in the cold weather to combat any professional stuffiness that I might develop!

Classic helmet head look!

Classic helmet head look!

So, I have the beginnings of a list for 2014. First of all, I wanted to go skating this week, but my in-line skating helmet is not ice-worthy, and helmets are required at the rink. So I now have a CSA-approved helmet and I can hardly wait to get on the ice! Maybe I can create a new “sports equipment” line in my budget so that won’t have to count it as clothing, LOL!

New New Balance trainers

New New Balance trainers

I have also bought a pair of sneakers. I just loved my old ones which lasted for 2.5 years of elliptical machine workouts and neighbourhood walks until they had no tread left. I was determined not to buy any sort of technical shoe since I am not an athlete. I have big-boat feet and have difficulty buying women’s sneakers, so I was willing to accept any that were affordable and also fit! I ended up with white/silver/purple, not at all what I’d choose if I had free reign.  It’s a good thing I work out at home, so my taste isn’t questioned!

Right now I have 2 tanks, 2 pairs of yoga pants and 2 pairs of shorts that I wear for home workouts. One of the sets is 10 years old! I’ve decided if I ever take a class at the gym, I’ll get at least one new set. But probably not Lulu Lemon.

Do you think I should put all of the above under sports equipment?

I lost one of my best-est gloves, and haven’t been able to find a replacement pair on the January sales racks, so I will need to invest in some nice ones next Fall.

I have a pair of black ballet-type flats with the soles worn through. They are good enough quality that I’ll attempt to have them resoled, but if that doesn’t work out, they go on the list.

Most of my clothes go with black or white, but I have a few items in the brown and orange warmer-colours group. I need to replace brown pants (trousers) and shoes this year. I am not ready to give up that whole colour range.

Want these!

Want these!

My latest jeans are good for Casual Days at work, but some much cooler ones are in order for the weekends. I can feel a trip to Bootlegger coming on for some Silver Suki jeans!

Two pairs of black cotton pants that I wear most often are faded, although I still love them, so I may try dyeing them.

For Summer and Fall, I have a stack of single-colour short-sleeve and long-sleeve T-shirts that I wear with everything. I replace them if they get too faded for work. I use them to punch up the colour in my otherwise neutral work outfits. My summer collection is good, but I need a new array of long-sleeve ones.

omg, you can get Irish wool sweaters as hoodies! Only 100 euros!

omg, you can get Irish wool sweaters as hoodies! Only 100 euros 🙂

I have a lovely cable knit cotton sweater (2 years old) which I wear often, and correspondingly have to hand wash often. It’s become stretched and is hard to block. I am thinking of upgrading to a Scottish or Irish wool sweater, but that is a serious investment so I will need to shop around!

It has been ages since I’ve added to my hoodie collection and I am not averse to letting another one or two in. I think I only have 10 now?

Finally, I have resolved not to get hung up on particular colours and styles, instead focusing on function and fit. As I once mentioned, if I think I need a new pair of black pants for work, probably a charcoal pair from a thrift store would serve just as well. So I will try to keep a more open mind, and browse at Value Village and consignment shops before getting obsessed about “that one thing I must have.”

Did I mention my budget for the year is $900 – a reduction of 30% from last year? I might be able to keep my spending in check…if I transfer a few items to Sporting Goods!

Spending to Date:

  • Sneakers $57
  • Ice helmet $69
  • Wool blend scarf $20

Total: $146


  1. Mel

    I think your trainers are gorgeous! I love the colors!

  2. What is different about Irish or Scottish wool? I do love the hoodie cardigan you showed – in past years, but not 2013, I bought one woolen cardigan per annum. I now have four I think, with different thickness, styles and warmth, but they are GREAT! So I think this year I will again look for another addition, perhaps in navy.

    I think lulu lemon, whilst extreme, is great quality and long lasting! I only have two pairs of their leggings though. I would like a 3/4 pair too, from LLL, if they go on sale, or I’m state side. I might also invest in a wicking running top as I currently use old T shirts etc.

    I can’t otherwise think of much I need – I would like some Camper heels, but might commit to only buying them on sale/at the seconds store. I also need to get a loved pair of shorts copied, so they have a new life (the old ones are pilled, but also a second copy of the original and dead linen pair).

    I haven’t set a budget though… If I head overseas, well, all bets are off!

    • There isn’t much of a North American wool industry, so I suppose we buy Scottish and Irish by default! Does the Australian/NZ wool industry do a lot of marketing? I agree about the quality of Lululemon stuff (their yoga pants scandal notwithstanding), but my less expensive workout gear has held up well. The workout tanks I have are both wicking ones and I’d never go back to T-shirts. I don’t have a plan yet for what clothes I’ll want to wear for my NYC trip, or what I might be tempted by when I’m there!

      • Australian and NZ wool is marketed pretty heavily in some spheres – more in rural areas, and tourist areas. It’s not in a lot of ‘fashion’ stuff as much. So of course we don’t care for Scottish wool!

        Oh I must get some wicking gear today – I was a sweaty mess after my jog/walk!

  3. Sonia

    Has Target made it’s way out East yet? I’ve been *very* happy with their work-out clothing (I’m pretty hard on mine due to how frequently I wash it), and was caught quite by surprise during my visit home this Christmas with their clearance rack…it was all $5!! While I don’t know if this low price will be a permanent mark-down, it did emphasize that Target *is* a good option for Canadians. I don’t recall if you particularly seek out high end labels while shopping at the second hand store, if you don’t, shopping at Target will actually be cheaper!

    • Hi Sonia! Yes, we have Target stores, and I did notice they have lots of workout wear. I will definitely check to see if they have a clearance rack – thanks for the tip! I scored one of my nicer pieces at Winners, too.

  4. I too love the wool hoodie! I’ve found that I really like to work out in the athletic calf-length leggings. I’ve been able to find two pairs at Savers (I think it’s the same company as Value Village). They are insanely comfortable and are akin to the Lululemon ones. I can’t even fathom spending nearly $100 on workout pants!

  5. Because I’m naughty with clothes I’ve decided to set myself a budget instead. £300! To really tempt you have a look at the stuff Fisherman of Ireland make!

  6. Fiona

    I really think it’s justified to have a “Sports Equipment” line in the budget (or perhaps under “Hobbies”) for things like trainers. I definitely put hiking boots and runners in the same category as tents and sleeping bags! Loooove the wool hoodie! I buy New Balance runners as well ~ they are the only ones that properly fit!

    • I had to buy a new elliptical machine last year, and I bought a new pair of inline skates, and they both went to sporting goods, so I will let myself get away with putting the helmet there, at least! Most “locavores” here buy NB shoes under the mistaken belief that they’re made in North America – I think they currently make 1 style in the US and do some assembly there.

  7. I think you can sneak your runners into sporting equipment, after all, it’s a health investment. The Irish wool hoodie looks soft and cosy, I can see why you want one!

  8. It’s my wish to have a sports or exercise clothing line in my budget, as it would mean that I’m actually doing some on a regular basis!

    I love your new trainers. NB are my favourite too – so comfortable (which is the main thing for me these days lol!).

    • When I bought the sneakers, the store was doing a promotion geared to people who don’t exercise, with slogans like “when your idea of a workout is crossing the parking lot to get to the car,” LOL!

  9. I too would add a sports equipment/exercise line item to the budget and put related clothes in there as long as you aren’t wearing them as lounge clothing as well. I’ll have to think about that myself as so far I only put the gym fee and massages in the category in my budget. NB is my go to shoe too as they are the most comfortable and I think your new ones are cute! I second the wicking shirts for working out as they are much more comfortable than cotton ones if you are sweating.

    • I do have that category already for actual equipment but I hadn’t been putting any workout clothes there. If my clothing budget gets tight I am sure I’ll take the plunge and start shifting the expenses to that line, LOL! Today was my first day wearing the NB shoes and so far, so good.

  10. Love the NB sneakers–they are the only brand that fit me really well right out of the box so hope they fit for you just as well. I think cutting your clothing budget by 30% is a huge goal (especially since you need a professional wardrobe) but Im sure you can do it!

  11. I love that hoodie too! 🙂 I like the idea of counting workout gear separately, especially if you’re only buying it for that purpose, not to also serve as pjs or lounge wear. Good luck on spending less this year! Hopefully planning what you need and scoping out second hand will help 🙂

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