I will be heading back to work in, um, less than 3 months now. Yikes! I can truly say that I am not yet ready – mentally, emotionally or, well, sartorially. My new mommy body – much like my mommy psyche – still needs a bit of accommodation. It’s time … to buy new pants. My bottom half is now about a size bigger than it used to be, and I don’t foresee that changing in the near future. Having done a very thorough purge of my closet, I have also decided that it’s time to update my work wardrobe with a couple of new dresses; I am hoping to find something that will transition easily from season to season, and mix well with everything from cardigans to suit jackets. That’s the goal, anyway.

Inspired by one of my favourite features in InStyle magazine, I am planning to offer up a glimpse into my shopping plan and budget over the next 3 months, which will hopefully see me ready to head back to the office by July. You will get to follow along as I set my budget, execute my plan (aka shop) and, hopefully, achieve my goals  … or not. I have a feeling there will be some detours along the way, as I find my way back to some of my past shopping haunts.

First up, the goal: to buy 2 pairs of dress pants (ideally, one black and one grey), and two dresses (ideally, solid colours, but I am open to prints too). I’ve taken stock of my wardrobe, and I am fairly well stocked up in the tops, skirts, blazers, and sweaters categories; I could probably use another suit or two, but I don’t enjoy wearing them enough to justify the investment at this time. I may need to re-assess my footwear situation down the line, once I figure out whether or not 8+ hours in 3-4 inch heels is a feasible endeavour these days. So, for now, my shopping list is fairly unambitious.

Next, the budget. I decided to set this one, somewhat arbitrarily, at $120. Although I haven’t shopped in a few months, and thus am not aware of any major inflation that may be happening, I figured that this number was not unreasonable in view of my limited list. Back in my bargain-hunting glory days, $30/item would have been totally doable; we’ll see if that is still the case. I do have a secret ace up my sleeve, though, just in case. I am planning to take a sizable pile of clothes to consignment at the end of the month, and hoping to boost my budget a little bit with the proceeds. We’ll also have to see how that works out.

I have decided not to divvy up my budget per month, because I know I would just end up finding that too restrictive. Instead, at the end of each of the next three months (April, May and June), I will post an update showing what I bought that month, and how much it cost. I hope you will follow along my new shopping adventures … and if you hear about any good deals, be sure to pass them on!

7 Comments on Back-to-work shopping … on a budget

  1. Great idea. I am excited to see what you come up with. I need to do some back to work shopping too… We should make a date of it one of these days, sans kidlets 🙂

  2. Sounds like a plan, Robyn!

    At the risk of giving it away, I can tell you that so far I have come up with a few things … none of them on my original shopping list. Sigh! That’s how it goes …

  3. This sounds like a fun plan! I will be watching with interest to see what you come up with each month. And it’s better than the INstyle feature because your budget is realistic. Who has $1000 a month to spend on clothes?

  4. Don’ t you have an online platform where you can sell your clothes?

    We have one in switzerland it’ s called ricardo.ch (search for “kelly bag” mjammiiiiiii.) äähm where was I?? ; )

    Oh yes, I sell a lot of clothes, DVD’ s, shoes etc. unbelieveable, but it works and it gives me a new budget for new things that I don’ t REALLY need ; )

    Love your cousin… ; )

  5. I love that: “execute my plan(aka shop)” Adding project management lingo always makes things sound more serious – but on the other hand, why wouldn’t you be serious here? You need to wear clothes!

  6. Hi sweetie! We do have that kind of platform, in fact, there are several versions (Kijiji, Craigslist). There are pros and cons to selling there, but it’s something I’m going to talk about in a future post 🙂

    Miss you, K! If you get a chance, send me an email at my Hotmail account – I’ve lost your addy 🙁 xx

  7. @ geetabix: haha! I was just being facetious, but you’re right about the lingo. But hey, clothes shopping is not serious – it’s fun!