Thursday, 31 January 2008

Day 31 all said and done

This really is the end of the month. I worked out today it will take me um, ages to repay my credit card debt. In fact, all of 24 months paying about £275 a month- this would cover the interest repayments as well. It could be more.

All I can say is...I have learnt a very hard lesson the very very hard way. New year, new beginnings, all on the right track.

What will the next month bring - any joy? Any cash windfalls? Any light fashion relief?

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Day 30 - opps!

Got my credit card statement today. Not a great read as the interest is horrendous £107 - I've spent nothing but am still paying for my past mistakes. Agh!

What can I do to reduce this mess fast? That's legal!?

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Day 29 and counting

So far so good ....apart from the New Look number I've had a pretty good month. I'm surprising myself. I'm starting to feel quite toned and healthy - lack of alcohol!

I actually couldn't be bothered to buy Grazia this week which is amazing.
I'm also starting to see a veneer of cheapness regarding clothes. My fave shop French Connection is off limits and I'm coping well. After a few weeks of feeling dreadful I think I can cope with the limits I'm under. I am worried about the coming season but my strategy is to adopt white and wear it lots!

Will me new found resolve last?

Monday, 28 January 2008

Day 28 If only...

Next year it could all be mine. I so heart this skirt!

A gorg Oscar de la Renta number from net-a-porter
Full cotton twill skirt
Blue cotton twill skirt with a removable flared petticoat underneath.

A mere £1,900!

However if I had no debt and had saved all year this could be mine...............

Do I have the will power to stay on the straight and narrow? Would I save or splurge?

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Day 27 Camaraderie

Being skint and broke in January is good fun given that all your mates seem to be in the same position. Last night we all opted to stay in and watch Sky movie's tribute to Heath Ledger.

It was Brokeback Mountain and a poignant time was had by all - although quite childishly, some of us had to look away or resort to giggles at the sex scenes. My flatmates boyfriend particularly struggled with it all, though he did think the film was an epic - like us all.

So the antidote to it all was a Sky Plus offering of Ross Kemp in Afghanistan. I don't think we were meant to laugh at it. It was really interesting to learn about the soldiers but Ross Kemp with his Taliban scarf had us in fits. See, being a debt ridden girl isn't all dullness.

Will my friends be as supportive in February?

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Day 26 questioning self indulgence

After realising that others struggle with finances versus fashion purchases, I wondered if it was a bit self indulgent writing a blog that merely reflected my struggle and thoughts. How interesting can a young women's stupid indulgence be?

I'm hardly providing advice a la Style Bubble or Mrs Fashion (to mention but two as they are British). There are also a few other fashion addict type musings going on too. I am the only one concerned with not spending another penny on a single item of clothing until my debt is gone and I have a clothing budget I stick to.

I have to confess this is the hardest thing I've ever done, because I truly love clothes and define myself with my outfits. Come on, I hear a few people say - are you that shallow. Durr, yes! OK I recycle (a lot), keep healthy, don't smoke and at the moment due to funds don't drink or even go out much. I read novels, the papers and am generally well informed. I like music and films but clothes are my passion. I can date any item within a year or two - spot a designer label a mile off in TK Maxx - no mean feat.

Ultimately I do this to help me beat my addiction which harms literally no one but myself.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Day 25 And I thought I had problems...

What is it with people who rack up £30k debts? How does one not notice?
I actually felt quite sane after flicking through a book called 'In the red' - a bit of a Make Do & Mend rip off if you ask me. The author keeps a diary about her recovery as a shopaholic. All very dull in reality and to self absorbed to entertain me!

One thing I do agree with Alexis Hall, the author of book - you have to go cold turkey. However unbearable it is - it is the only way.

Where I differ is obvious. My debt is mismanagement of all my fiances overall made worse by my love of fashion. I don't have to have the latest it bag nor do I buy something to emulate someone else. Nope, mine is a pure love of an item and a mind that produces wonderful images of how to wear it and what it will feel like. I spend selectively but until this year conveniently forgot about living within your means. And yes my debt includes, travel, nights out, off-licence visits and oh moments of madness in Space NK.

Honestly there is nothing like someone else's stupidity to cheer you up.

Will smugness come before a fall?

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Day 24 Lunchtime misery

Oh dear! Lunchtime is such a problem these days. Well it was a problem before of a different sort, hence the debt. All those little browsing sessions have left me nearly penniless. Now I have to walk the streets.
Yes, yes I know it is only an hour but that hour used to fly by and now it seems an age. I do read a few blogs but I love the style ones which only adds to the torture. Although some inspiration is gained for mixing and matching of existing items.
I've done the book shop number already this week, a la Ms.Battrick and again very useful, it fills a spot. But today is Thursday! I've ate my home made sandwiches (don't!), I've had a look at, happily couture is way out of my league, and now I'm bored.
If I wander outside I don't trust myself not to take a peek.
Looks like I'll have to make friends with someone from audit!

Hows does a girl keep on the straight and narrow?

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Day 23 Gawd!

Blimey how dramatic and sad ref Heath Ledger.
Nothing like a shock death to make you not so self centred.
I'm shocked.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Day 22 Celebration time

At last a dent has been made. Officially, at this time before interested gets added, my credit card debt is £5,568.29!!!
It is heading in the right direction. I feel saintly. I've spent nothing and paid some back.
Ha when all around me are falling (the footsie that is) I'm crawling back into credit.
Still praying for that lottery win though!

Do I dare celebrate? How does one celebrate with nothing?

Monday, 21 January 2008

Day 21 the nearly bought

There it was all green, stripy and with gold buttons - at £16 a veritable bargain. I walked away.....aghhhhhh

TOPSHOP Gold Button Rib Stripe Top
In Chocolate, Navy, Green
Striped short sleeve top with placket detail and gold buttons 100% Cotton. Machine washable.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Day 20 Skinted

The sad thing about having spent too much is the fact I'm too poor to afford even the skinted versions of minted items. One also knows the skinted stuff is fashion addict territory while the minted is for the style acquisition brigade.
I'm in the midst of planning how to look 2008 with 2007 s/s stuff. I'm heartened by the fact the trends are mainly similar/same as last year but for a fashion addict a few subtle shifts are enough to make you tear your hair out.
It is the knowing it's not quite bang on trend that fills me with despair. How I long to gain the nonchalant style of a Nigella/L'Wren/Deyn/Wintour - peeps who regardless of their age or the seasons must haves - have a look for them. OK Deyn is going to struggle in a couple of years time if she's to avoid the Boy George problem - the look that went on for way toooooo long!

I take comfort from the belief that old Kate Moss suffers like I do, but she at least has the benefit of choice/money and a stylist to hand. Me, I'm too poor, to unknown and am not being sort out by a single stylist. Fashion addiction is a downward spiral and I'm still in search of the up.

Will I acquire a stylish demise? How does one become stylish not fashionable a ls Ms.Chanel?

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Day 19 Empty hours

The good thing about not drinking due to no money is a clear head and being a few pounds lighter. The bad thing is no lying in until rid of hangover and an ability to wake up providing you with too much time to read papers, surf fashion sites etc.

My mind is hearting a Gucci belt.

My bank balance is telling me the canvas one for £19 in Gap.

Am I the Chris Moyles of the fashion world - always aiming too high? Does pride come before a fall? Will Aled's hair recede faster than Moyles's beard grows?

Friday, 18 January 2008

Day 18 Pass....

I officially need an evening out pass from Ms.Battrick. It's no joke. After my initial euphoria over having a nice telling off, I've done my spreadsheet and for the next six months I'm on eau de tap. Thank goodness I've got an Oystercard, which is an essential. Otherwise I'd be house bound.

Luckily no one is in the mood for nights out after our Christmas excess - too many clubbing nights and parties. Tonight I'll be out for about 2 hours. One hour travelling and the other whilst my small glass of wine or half a beer lasts. Great!

Will I get through the month without a splurge? Is it worth it?

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Day 17 Comfort over style

Today was one day I didn't want to draw attention to myself at work. I choose to wear round neck jumper with skirt, ribbed tights and my Gap Pierre Hardy patent sandals - so comfy you can run for a bus in them. No accessories adorn my outfit and my make up is au natural.

This morning I woke up sporting my newly acquired Spice Girls t-shirt. I won it on the office away day sessions -ok! The slogan 'who do you think you are' appealed to me. However, I'm remembering my competitive approach to said comp to win said t-shirt. I think the pretty boy from Customer Relations took his drink elsewhere after my shameless singing on the karaoke. I think I did Kylie, Britney, Madonna and the Spice Girls or was it Geri quite proud. Let's face it they are safe in their day jobs and I've got a free item after weeks of nothing.

I'm going to brazen the obvious remarks out all day. I perfected my facial expressions in the shower this morning -faintly amused or sneer depending on delivery.

A girl has to get what she wants by fair means or foul - doesn't she?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Day 15 & 16 all blur into one

For all I know someone could have a set a new trend in the lifetime I've been away. How can a group of trainers and so called leadership people make one feel as if you are in a cheap TV programme? You know one like, Janice Dickinson model agency. The format runs as follows, repeat, repeat, repeat, new bit, back to repeat a vous. Oh, plus dramatic build up with supporting music to reveal ....absolutely nothing.

All I know is that for two nights I have binge drunk on the company. Is there a subliminal message when sent on away days. Will bore you to death first then give you the opportunity to drink yourself to death. Hurray now you've gone we don't have to a) go through the effort to sack you or b)pay you off with too much money.

Does all of this mean I've forgotten about clothes? Have I become so utterly numb that I lose the will to look or shop?

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Day 12, 13 & 14 away days

I'm packing like a mad thing, trying to distract myself from thinking should I have bought any new items. I'm only going on two days of boring old work training. I'll be back in the office on Wednesday. Still there's a pretty boy from Customer Services who might be worth trying to impress, in a stylish not tarty way of course!

Least I'll have no access to net or stores or the coming Grazia.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Day 11 fashion forward choices on a budget

I found my self strangely drawn to the dungarees in the High Street pages of the Weekend Guardian. Is this a look I can pull off I asked myself? Would my friends snigger behind my back, laugh in my face, wished they could be so brave and fashion forward, or the worst in my book pass no comment - verbal or thought wise.

It might just be me but the thought of someone saying nothing usually gives them the upper hand. I begin to wonder what they are thinking. This only applies to my fellow fashion savvy mates. In all other areas of my life I lack a competitive edge but give me an occasion and I put a general to shame with my tactics and battle planning. I love my friends but I have to be top dog in the fashion stakes. Dreadful but true. I wish I could be at ease and care free. Have you any idea how hard it is to not compare yourself? I know it is a most pointless and useless thing to be hooked into and I need to transfer this ability to bloody spreadsheets or something practical otherwise I'll find myself with a child mainly to dress up and play dolls with.

Back to the dungarees. The best thing about them is they represent great value for money. I could adopt tomboy chic and rework every t-shirt, shirt and top I've got with the dungarees. Or I can just make do with my wide legs jeans by taking 2 inches off the hem and wear as above but inject occasional riviera chic. After two evenings in with Kate Battrick's book, I've got £40 to spend on my spring/summer wardrobe. Yes the budget is done.

Dungarees or altering my wide leg jeans?

Friday, 11 January 2008

Day 10 at last a break

Everyone has been bemoaning the rain with the exception of moi. No opportunity to nip to the shops. Lots of people hanging around at lunchtime to entertain me or distract me, because they to don't want to go out in the rain.

All in all a good day.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Day 9 getting there

I've started to read the book - Make Do & Mend. So far so good. I'm getting the point. nothing wrong in loving fashion but not at the expense of your bank balance. Kate Battrick is a bit like Ms. Brampton you have to take charge of yourself.
It's an easy read and I do feel quite motivated but I'm not exactly cock a hoop over an evening doing spreadsheets. I'd much rather compile must have wish lists!

On the plus side my credit card is going in the right direction - down - only £5,698.29 to go!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Day 8 off the wagon

Fallen. And now the Sally Brampton foreboding of guilt and shame comes tumbling down. Why on day seven? Aghhhh!
I walked past beguiling copies of Grazia, I peered in an inconsolable way at Vogue and I stopped myself flicking through Elle, Red, Eve, Easy Living even Glamour to name but a few.

Then I walked into New Look and picked up previously mentioned t-shirt top and went to counter and parted with £10. The only plus point is, it wasn't my credit card - oh yes the maxed out beast would have refused me anyway. No, it was with my food money. Maybe I'm reallocating my funds to be thin and still have new items. Mind you starvation isn't what I had in mind. No food and I am one angry momma.

I'd like to blame Mrs Fashion for her comprehensive compilation of the forthcoming trends of S/S 2008 season. Not only did the top say Marc Jacobs to me but also Riviera and conjure up all sorts of easy seaside glamour. I felt I was a Chanel tomboy. Oh Mrs Fashion your inspiration fed my imagination. but lets face it I'm a weak willed with no sense.

Can I redeem myself?

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Day 7 non grazia

F**k, f**k etc.etc. Today is most possible the worst. Today is Grazia day.

Can I resist the splurge of anything from £1.90 to £2.50 depending on what Grazia is charging from week to week? Will I feel bereft? How will I cope without my fix regardless of how disappointing it can be?

Monday, 7 January 2008

Day 6 waiting for book

Right. Have made first attempt to get sorted by ordering book with my debit card nor credit card. Was inspired ages ago by my favourite blog Mrs Fashion but I have to peek with care now as part of my rehab. But my did you see her seminal Christmas outfits. Loved them all.
Anyway Mrs Fash did an e-interview with Kate Battrick and her book Make Do & Mend - how to buy a designer handbag whilst remaining friends with your bank manager and your conscience. I ordered it yesterday off Amazon and am also pleased Ms Battrick has started a blog.
I'm also trying to steer away from net-a-porter and read instead. To date no highs or sighs of delight from a quick read - more furrowed brows and in takes of breath by the dullness of it all.

Lets hope this book is worth it.
Am I in danger of never laughing again? Why would I care about Billie Piper's wedding dress when I can't even afford new pants?

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Day 5 a name for it!

Yes, yes, yes! There is a name for my addiction - process addiction. Apparently drink and drugs falls into the substance addiction camp and anything from shopping to gambling is process.
Thanks to the wonder that is Sally Brampton I'm beginning to think that I might come out the other side. I feel slightly liberated to think that the compulsion is so powerful I can't necessarily do it alone.

Only dampener on my need to seek help for my addiction is money. No slinking off Priory style or even a hum drum counsellor - no money to pay for it.

How will I make progress and deal with the guilt, shame and need that is fashion?

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Day 4 hard times

Does a junkie look at some talcum powder and pretend that because its fresh or new that it will do? I think not. Hence while shopping in the supermarket this morning I had to pull myself away from admiring shiny new clothing items and stop pretending it was groceries. I'm thinking buying Tu clothing is one step away from offering sex to my credit card company to pay off my debt. I MUSTN'T GO THERE.

It is extremely painful all this bl**dy looking and more looking and looking again. Even the Guardian is trying to undo my resolve. If you don't believe me that it is personal, look at pages 38 & 39 in the Weekend magazine. That model is saying ha ha these could be yours but oh no actually you can't afford them even at sale price - bitch. And she looks good in them. How I want the Dries Van Noten dress and the See by Chloe dungarees. Thank god the High Street stuff was so lame given the fab model they had to dress. The burnt orange number was close but no cigar. Alas, the Max Mara bag was a good first cousin to the YSL white downtown and half the price.

Last night I taunted myself further with Matches lookbook. My dreams conveyed me effortlessly wearing vibrant jeans by Chloe at a mere £219.

Will I ever get a payback high for my withdrawal? Is there anything other than clothes to distract me from clothes?
Jeans shown availabe from

Friday, 4 January 2008

Day 3 a chink of light

OK now I know how Pete Doherty (or is it Dogherty - who cares!) feels after 3 days of no benders - great! So great he starts going on a bender. Yep, I'm at that tough point where I went back to Dorothy Perkins and tried the £25 dress on. It looked quite nice, the material was too see through and I walked away. I took details of the product code information - I have no idea why!
On the way out sans purchase I did peek a look at the white top, I'm still tempted but .......

How good am I? Will I suddenly go om mad bender a la Pete Doherty?

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Day Two battle stakes are upped

I made the fatal mistake of nipping into town. I didn't buy anything but I saw a number of items that wouldn't break the budget. A nice fine stripy tee with ruffle detail, quite Jacobesque in New Look. Red ballet flats in the sale for £5 and equally useful black ones for £15. I also peeked in at H&M, a Marniesque skirt retailing for £14.99 jumped out at me. I ran away it had summer frolics and fun written all over it. Would look great with Christian Louboutin patent sandals in yellow. The H&M skirt is white with grey abstract block print. Then Dotty Ps was my next little venture. I ignored Topshop and others on the basis I'm looking low end high street retailer. Can the lower end fuel or dowse my fashion flames? I spied a great black t-shirt dress at £25, very French, very flirty and again I was transported to flights of fancy. A long sleeve white tee with bib front and ruffle collar was talking to me but I stepped away. I don't do Primark or Peacocks - yet, so M&S was given a whirl and thankfully a major amount of Per Una and Classics numbers was their offering and I was suitably bored and appalled.
Sleep did not come easily to me last night - the black flats were fought off, the DP black dress was the lead role with the New Look stripy tee a good supporting act.
Oh god is there no escape? Will I succumb to a purchase that is money earmarked for credit card pay back? Am I destined to the high street not Bond Street or Knightsbridge for the rest of my life?

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Day One cold turkey

This blog is all about me. I'm a fashion adict/clothes shopaholic. Well to some extent I don't shop that much but what I do is always binge buy new clothes. I am beguiled and delighted by the latest look, fashion and must have item. Today I have visited net-a-porter and Toast websites.Last night I was viewing APC. In short I'm hooked on my image, what I wear, how I look and presenting a view of my in the most spectacular visual way.OK so what is the problem. Well the problem is a £5,700 credit card debt. In a nutshell I owe £5,700. On Monday my credit card company said I'd gone over my limit of £5,700 and I had to pay £58 immediately.
When I arrived at my friends New Year's Eve party a guest asked me did I have a new year's resolution. Taking a swig of champagne and a feeling sick I said yes - I'm going into cold turkey. The poor guy looked terrified. He probably thought shit Amy Winehouse has arrived. so I had to put him straight and say I loved a flutter on line and at the shops. That sorted he was quite useful and gave me some top tips.Lying in bed with hangover and my careless words echoing back at me, I thought what the f*** am I to do. I realised right away I had to be honest and bore people with my problem. It's not as shocking as drugs or drink but it ain't cheap either.
I can list the items I want to buy right now and the sum total of my desired items is not under £1000 probably tipping nearer £2000. It includes Pucci skirt £271, Tod wedges £270, Christian Louboutin patent sandals £350, Toast bag in sale £131, Toast jumper in sale £71, Topshop new silk sailor style dress £50.Also, 2 x Marc by Marc Jacobs tops total is £225, a little Joe by Gail Elliot top £80 and a Iisli top for £125. HELP. I'm in trouble. How do I lose the craving? How do I stop spending on clothes? How do I face the world without a new outfit or item? Can I still buy Grazia on a Tuesday?
Shoes shown available from