My New Shirt
My Old Cupboard

You might not believe this but I haven't been to the shops (supermarket excluded) since the week before Christmas. My halo was so shiny.

I may have indulged in a little online sale shopping (ignore the halo slipping slightly) but I haven't gone mad. A little bit of knitwear which I coveted prior to Christmas and the grey Splendid tee which I spotted whilst browsing NAP. That's not too bad.

Last Sunday was the first day I made it out of the house to have a little wander around on my own to have a look at real shops and real clothes. I'd noticed in the last week or so I've been developing this strange twitch which comes from not touching new clothes in shops ... it's a strange affliction I have. I hear there are lots of sufferers out there too so I know I am not alone.

Anyway to remedy the matter, I set off for the York Outlet. Some things don't change - I love shopping. Some things do change - I'm shopping differently. I noticed this as I was going in to various shops. It might be because it's January and everyone's watching their pennies a little in January including myself but I did notice that I was a little more mindful than usual about the items I picked up and whether (1) I really wanted them, (2) I needed to buy something to scratch the itch of having something new or (3) they appealed because they were a "bargain". I picked up a couple of plain jersey tops in Gap which had 30% off - I even went so far as to trying them on but then I thought - I didn't set off to buy these, they're not very exciting and my money is better put towards something better. Halo, my my, you are so shiny!

So this is kind of new to me - I'm actually taking a step back to think about what I would really really like. These are not the same things as those on my £1000 wishlist where I spend without guilt. This is my reality wishlist with things on it I can possibly hope to buy. So what do I have in mind which will really make my heart sing with joy and liven up my whole wardrobe? This is my current list :

- Suede loafers (preferably navy)
- Lace up shoes (preferably grey or beige)

Yup ... that's it. In all honesty, that's as far as I've got in identifying what I would like right now and that's probably why I've been quite restrained in the sales. I know I previously said I would like a pair of burgundy Bass Weejun loafers but these are proving rather elusive in a size 4 in the UK. So I've given up and changed tack, colours and materials. but all in all, I would just like a nice pair of loafers. And a nice pair of lace ups which look okay on my feet and do not reduce my legs to stumps or make me look like a clumsy oaf. So a shortish list and a list I was sort of working off whilst I shopping.

Anyway, I went round the outlet polishing my halo after each shop until I reached the Paul Smith shop. This is not a shop I normally go in but for once - I went to have a look .... and whilst looking through the solitary rack of women's clothes in the whole store - I came upon my new checked shirt. I confess now - I do have a slight fondness for boyish check shirts hence the fact that I went a bit off piste buying a checked shirt because I don't recall them featuring on any of my lists just recently, do you?

 Boyish charm.

It's the little details like the unexpected different coloured button!

Get that for fab pattern matching!

You just know that it's a really nice cotton.

Contrast cuff lining.

What made me fall for this particular shirt? The little details. The little details like the sharp stitching, the little etched buttons on the cuffs, the fact that the pattern on the collar matches perfectly as well as down the middle - so many brands do not bother to centralise the pattern along the front placket! tsk tsk! And it was a lovely soft cotton and it fitted well. No brainer. 

The fact that as I walked out of the changing room clutching my new shirt, a lady eyed it up and then went off to the rack to have a rifle through the remaining shirts looking for my shirt in her size made me feel a little bit smug for having got there first. I know she was looking for my shirt as I overheard her asking the sales assistant if they had one in her size. Probably not because I've got it! 

So the halo slipped somewhat by the end of Sunday but I came home a happy bunny. 

Happy because I came home swinging a little pale grey Paul Smith bag with bright pink neon writing on it (simple pleasures!). 

Happy because I had a beautifully made check shirt. 

Happy because the first thing Grumps said when he saw the shirt was "That will look nice on you" and not "How much???". 

And happy that I didn't buy a couple of plain tops and bought one nicer thing instead.


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Last note :

Just wondering - has anybody made any shopping resolutions for 2013 or recently re-evaluated the way they buy and why? It's a subject close to my heart as I would love a really pared down minimalist wardrobe but my shopaholic brain won't let this happen. It's an ongoing battle but I think I made a tiny tiny baby step on this shopping expedition in at least I thought twice before buying and when I did buy, I bought something nicer than some bits and bobs. 



34 comments:

  1. Beautiful shirt! You know it's a great shirt when you find so many things to say about one piece of clothing.

    My shopping resolutions are: do not stress shop; do not fall off the wagon when on holiday. I'm very prone to the women's mag "you work so hard, you're worth it" school of thought.

    Also sort of related: love what I already have more.

    Also, it's when I start feeling smug about not shopping that I will find something I really really want. So I've stopped polishing my halo...

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    1. I want to love more what I already have. Most of the tops and things I am genuinely happy with ... till I see the new ranges hitting the shops and then what I have doesn't seem so appealing. I also get a happy high when I have a new thing ... sometimes the thing goes back to the shop because it's not really me or it doesn't suit but I still like the temporary high. Hence the fact it's so hard to cut back on the thrill of the shop. I'm a lost(ish) cause.

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  2. Hi there! The shirt really is a fabulous buy, it will transcend seasons and is a perfect mix of quality and style too, the colours are lovely! I am trying hard to make sure that when I buy things now that I will definitely wear them, as opposed to 'That's great and may come in handy at some point in the future'. Apart from basics too it has to be a buy that makes me feel like skipping home in buying such a coveted item, rather than something that is just 'meh'-a waste of my time and money really!! I really want to 'shop my own wardrobe' more this year too.

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    1. Yes - the colours make it quite versatile actually for winter or summer. In the winter, it pairs brilliantly with you guessed it ... my favourite colour grey. In the summer, it's just jeans and you're good to go. Shopping your own wardrobe is a term I come across quite often - it's also something I need to do. Sometimes I do but then I find I need something new to go with it to bring the look up to date. I can't win. Or rather ... I put quite a strong case for shopping don't I?

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  3. Love the shirt ! I'd much rather have one item of quality than 3 or 4 cheaper items. I put my money towards my Ash trainers instead of lots of bits and bobs and am so glad I did. I often used to feel I'd been conned in the sales so I just don't go anymore unless I have identified something I really want!

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    1. Yes that's a good one - a quality item rather than bits. I'm going to try and focus on more quality pieces - well what I deem to be quality pieces - pieces that work with my existing wardrobe rather than something I've seen on someone else and don't suit me, my lifestyle or budget. Good call.

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  4. Yes. My plan is to only spend eBay proceeds, otherwise I don't think I could justify the amounts that I spend to my BF... Especially given that we need new dining room chairs, need to spruce up the "crusty bathroom", want to go to Europe on holiday a the end of the year and need to built a carport/garage for our vehicles... not to mention start thinking about starting a family soon.

    I can report (and you are the first to read it) that as of today I have exhausted my eBay kitty. Need to sell more, otherwise I won't be shopping. Like you though everything that I have bought I have thought about carefully and I'm shopping off a list. I don't come home guilty about my purchase, but instead very pleased.

    I love the colours in your new shirt... I think it's a piece that will get better with age also :)

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    1. I just used up my Ebay kitty as well but am about to load up some more items so I have some ready funds should anything catch my eye. I like the idea of shopping off a list but sometimes that doesn't work for me either given that I just succumbed to a new shirt. But that is a good idea - to do it off Ebay funds but the problem is getting off your backside to do it.

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  5. That is a gorgeous shirt and look at the amazing quality! You did well with this and it's so nice to be happy after buying something special, the don't call it Retail Therapy for nothing do they!

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    1. Retail therapy is wonderful - I can wholeheartedly recommend it for the soul if not for the purse. I am really pleased with the finish and the price - not much more than you would pay for something in Zara!

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  6. Gorgeous shirt and a great addition to a closet. I rarely wear/buy shirts as I hate ironing them and they tend to remain unworn because of that - though recently I have been pining after a J.Crew Gingham shirt - great to wear with jeans or shorts here. I've always loved Paul Smith for the OH but never looked for myself. I'm definitely trying to be more selective this year - I feel my style evolving again - I seem to be ignoring my loud trousers these days and favoring the pared down look - probably inspired by you:)

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    1. I actually have quite a few shirts which surprises me somewhat. I just lost one to my niece who was admiring a blue check Primark one I had and so I duly handed it over like the good aunt I am. So I guess - I'm just replacing :o) I do like shirts in the summer for a relaxed tomboy feel though - so easy. You should get the J.Crew gingham one - I love gingham checks - looking for the perfect navy one (bog - did I really just say that?). And I'm flattered if you say I'm inspiring a more pared down look these days - has it ever occured to you that I am just a lazy moo :o) when it comes to getting dressed? I always feel like I'm missing something from my outfit strangely enough.

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  7. You did really well - congrats it's a beautiful shirt so I'm not at all surprised you're so happy with it. The colours are gorgeous. I've always loved the cut, quality and precision of real menswear and a real shirt looks so much sexier on a woman - I think your hubby knew that...maybe on an unconscious level? Mine cannot even form a basic opinion on an individual item like that.
    You know my shopping resolution = ban except for necessary replacements :-)

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    1. Menswear is just in another category. I always lament that I don't have size 6 feet which is where men's footwear sizes start and then I could invest in all the lovely brogues out there. My hubs loves shirts - has a wardrobe full - I can iron 15 at a time. He loves a good check shirt. Infact most of his compliments have been when I've worn a shirt - you might have twigged something there!

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  8. I love that small collar and the buttons are such a charming detail.
    My shopping resolutions are to take it slow. No bans, no stressed-out shopping, no guilt in following my instinct. And of course, to enjoy and be grateful for my wardrobe, which is pretty much a perfect size at the moment.

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    1. Oh you sound so chilled Ammu. I'm always beating myself up about the amount of clothes I have because I feel it should be less when I read the clothes culling minimalist blogs and then think I don't have that, that and that when I read the more fashion led ones or just any blog which shows me beautiful clothes.

      No guilt - I'm going to adopt that one.

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  9. Lovely shirt and the OH is right, I can see that it will look lovely on you. My OH is a big fan of Paul Smith shirts, t-shirts and sweaters and as Chief Laundry Manager in this house, I can confirm that they wash beautifully, so you will have this shirt for a long time to come. Re shopping habits, yes! I do think mine are changing. When I first started blogging, I just wanted to buy all the gorgeous things that everyone else wore (Kat's blog was particularly bad for this!) but now I've realised that I need to be cleverer with my wardrobe, buy things that suit me, rather than what looks good on others. Being on a budget (hands up those who are bored with the Recession now?!) has also forced me to think before I purchase. I currently have a €50 voucher which in latter years would have been spent within days! One month later and I still have it. I'm determined it will go towards a high quality (bloody elusive!) white tee shirt. Can you see my halo shining too :)

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    1. Yes - blogs are bad for encouraging you to buy things which aren't really your own style. You'd think we were old enough and wise enough not to go down that road but we all get sucked in to it. I hope that I now manage to take the best bits out of the blogs I like and try to emulate the style rather than the whole look and having to blow a fortune to do so. And budgets - I have a small one too so I have to learn to save for something nice - it's not always easy though.

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  10. I am absolutely NOT allowed to buy any more black! This will be difficult....I'm not a goth as you know, but just can't help myself!
    Love the PS shirt...I want a flowery one.

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    1. Ah - I didn't have you down as a goth - not one bit. My resolution should be no more grey pieces of clothing but I really do love my grey. However I am feeling good about resisting some bargain grey cashmere today. Halo still shining.

      Probably wrong thing to tell you but I also tried on a white PS shirt with miniature roses on which was rather cute too ;o)

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    2. Oh that sounds lovely....maybe I should pop over there ( weather permitting!)

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  11. Love this shirt Sue, can't wait to see some pics of you in it. I've a bit of a thing for plaid shirts at the moment, they're all over the US blogs I'm reading. I'm definitely going to get some investment pieces this year.

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    1. Be sure I will make this lovely shirt look quite boring and dressed down. I am the simplest of dressers when it comes to a shirt - just relaxed with jeans. I don't put in as much effort as some of the US blogs - there will be no fancy necklaces across the neckline or teaming with neon coloured cardigan. I'm hoping to pick up some investment pieces this year - so I'm not stopping buying - that's a resolution too far - just buying a few nicer pieces hopefully.

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  12. It's a great shirt, I'm really fond of check button downs. Love the detail images too!

    I don't really have any resolutions, except maybe to keep pursuing only items which suit me, personally, rather than those which may not, regardless how much I am drawn to a given aesthetic.

    And hey, it's snowing!

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    1. It certainly is! Have been out with the kiddos this morning and done my mom duties all togged up to the hilt in warm things. If you ever see the fleece lined tights from Primark - get them! They are brilliant for wearing under jeans or with skirts for that matter.

      I'm not really sure what my resolutions are - probaby just to think a bit more before I buy. I do a lot of returns anyway so I don't feel too bad but I still am very guilty of wanting what I see on lovely blogs and your tumblr! I was googling Kiehls perfume last week and saddle bags - see how easily led I am. I'm not sure how to comment on Tumblr yet - probably just as well or you will have me spouting nonsense on there!

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  13. Ooooh, the more you showed of this shirt, the more I liked it, the different buttons , the different colours it introduces, green purples which would brighten up jeans and look cool with leather. This year I am trying to buy forever things and make sure I love everything about a piece: the cut AND the colour (and have it at bowing ability length!)

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    1. I think I was lucky with the lighting when I took the pictures - a bit of a rarity these wintery days, Buying forever things sounds good to me but I am fickle and susceptible ... or just weak? :o)

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  14. It's a thrill when you finally find something that you love. The colors of the plaid is flattering against your skin tone. I like the slightly pointy collars which are so different from standard ones that you normally see. As far as I can see, your halo is shining remarkably brightly whereas mine is looking almost brass like.

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    1. I think my halo fell off after I posted but at least I spent only £10 on a pair of summer pants. I'm thinking ahead!

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  15. I didn't even know PS made shirts for women!

    Not exactly a new resolution as I started to watch my spendings since last quart of 2012. Can't say I am doing well but I've made baby steps to cut down on my excessive buying. More effort needed for sure. Although I still do spend more than what I would like to, I noticed that these days my purchases are what I would wear often.

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    1. That's a really good way to do it though - the spending on the things that you wear often rather than the things that are seldom worn or put away. I need to distinguish more between what I think I want to wear and what I actually wear. What I actually wear is so boring though.

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  16. That's a stunning shirt Susan…loving it and can't wait to see it on you. Well done on buying just one item….I aspire to shopping like that. x

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    1. Oh Avril - yes I was very good. I only bought one thing on the Sunday. I'm not saying what I bought on the other days when I wasn't so good.

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  17. Your shirt is so charming! Love the smaller collar, buttons, and gorgeous colors. It just feels special and yet very wearable and versatile. Paul Smith does that well I think.

    I don't do shopping resolutions. I don't shop that much and my wardrobe is in a pretty good place. I just need to stay the course. I love and appreciate what I have. If I add something, it's got to be pretty special. At the same time, I know my instincts are good when it comes to what works for me and what I love, so if something truly pulls at my heartstrings I should listen to that.

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Hi there!


Hi, I'm Sue.

Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.

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