No New Clothes – a year on

This time last year I sat and wrote about the challenge I was about to embark on. It was pretty scary I have to admit. I wasn’t sure how well I would do, or if I could actually manage it. But then, isn’t that the point of a challenge? To push you out of your comfort zone? 

I set some rules that I hoped would make it a bit easier for me:

  • underwear does not count. I will not buy secondhand underwear for any of my family. I am, however, planning to make some of my own underwear again.
  • Running clothes and shoes. My current running shoes should last me until early next year but when they do need replacing I will be buying new. I wonโ€™t risk injury by buying secong hand. Running clothes, I will try to make do with what I have or buy second hand if I can.
  • Uniform/work wear. I wear my own clothes to work and therefore can get away with this but hubby canโ€™t. He is provided with a polo shirt but some of the other kit he needs may need to be new due to safety reasons. We will shop around and try to buy second hand if we can but I will not compromise his safety. School uniforms will be second hand as much as possible, however, due to the school logo, if it poses difficulty in buying second hand then at the last resort we will buy new.
  • Shoes. I wonโ€™t buy second hand shoes especially for the kids. They have both recently had new shoes so should be fine for quite a while.
  • I am allowed to make new clothes and buy second hand. I cannot however, buy a lot of new fabric in order to make new clothes. (Copied from original blog post) 

So a year on. How did I do?? Let’s see shall we?

New items bought for me:

  1. Two pairs of running trousers
  2. A pair of denim shorts 
  3. A new sports bra
  4. Two pairs of compression socks
  5. My running club hoodie
  6. A pair of running shoes (not shown)

I’m pretty pleased with that! Both the running leggings and running shoes were allowed under my rules, as was the sports bra. The compression socks were needed but on the other hand did I really need two pairs?? And the shorts? Well I could have made some if I’m honest but I really didn’t want to. They were an impulse purchase bought about a month ago. ๐Ÿ˜” So in all honesty I could have avoided buying them. 

In the interest of transparency I also received some clothes as gifts:

  1. Two pairs of jeans for Christmas
  2. A pair of furry boots (not shown)
  3. A pair of pyjamas (a Christmas Eve tradition – not shown)
  4. A running top which I had for my birthday

I have also received a few new training tops as prizes for completing races. I use these to avoid buying training tops. I do sometimes wish that races would give out trousers instead of tops occasionally so that I wouldn’t have to buy those ๐Ÿ˜‚

The kids had new pyjamas from Santa on Christmas Eve. Little Lady had a new leotard and two pairs of hot pants for her dance show and D had a new pair of bathers for his swimming lessons. Little Lady’s dance items were very specific so I would have struggled to find them second hand in time, if at all and D’s swimming lessons can be such a source of stress for him as he hates showing his body, or “performing” in public. The SpiderMan bathers helps to ease his stress as he knows SpiderMan is brave and if that helps him overcome his social anxiety then it’s worth every penny. 

In regards to making things I failed miserably. I have made a lot of outfits but unfortunately none for me. I do have a post to show you at another date of how Little Lady and I collaborated on a top for her ๐Ÿ˜Š 

We’ve talked about buying, gifts, and making but what about mending? I have done a LOT of mending this past year! 

I made shorts out of a pair of school trousers with holes in the knee:I also:

  1. Repaired a seam in my running tights
  2. Patched every pair of jeans I own over the year
  3. Repaired a seam in normal leggings
  4. Repaired a pair of shorts I had already made from a pair of jeans
  5. Fixed a jumper
  6. Replaced missing buttons on a cardigan 
  7. Shortened a dress to make it wearable
  8. Re hemmed two pairs of trousers
  9. Repaired a hole in the underarm of a cardigan

And I’m sure there were more but that’s all I seem to have kept a record of. 

All in all I think I did okay. There was room for improvement but I don’t think it was a complete failure. The big question now is: where do I go from here? Well pretty much all my clothes are looking tired. My jeans have been mended to within an inch of their lives. A very kind friend has just gifted me two new-to-me pairs of jeans so they will last a while but I could really do with some new clothes. I don’t intend to go out and buy all new and I will use charity shops as much as I can. But I do think this next year may be spent replacing the majority of my clothes. 

London Baby

Little Lady and I used to do everything together. Until she started school full time then it felt like we hardly spent time just the two of us. It was made worse (in a good way, obviously) that D came along just as she was going full time. I still had D to do things with, more so as he got older, but I missed the time with my girl.

We have made time over the years to do things together “just us girls” but they have been snatched afternoons, hours here and there. This holiday I decided to do something special just the two of us and so I booked us a Travelodge and the Megabus and took my girl to London. She had expressed interest in going last summer but we didn’t manage to go, so you can imagine how excited she was.

It’s fair to say she missed her brother while we were away. She talked about him constantly, wondering what the boys were doing, where they had been, asking me to take pictures of cranes to show him when we got back lol! But we had a fantastic time. It was so lovely spending time with her. I spent time with my little girl but also saw the little lady she is growing up to be. It was bittersweet, knowing that even though I am losing that little girl, she is growing into a fantastic big girl. Someone I am so proud to know.

We originally went with the idea of following the BFG Dream Jar trail after seeing the one in Cardiff but we were so disappointed by it that we gave it up and did some touristy things instead. Little Lady made a list of the things she would like to see and we tried to do as many as we could.

We stopped at the palace

IMG_3138

IMG_3125

Visited Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

IMG_3167

We walked along the Thames

IMG_3168

Walked across Tower Bridge

IMG_3178

We also rode the London Eye, which turned out to be the best part of Little Lady’s trip.


She also enjoyed all the travelling on the Underground and the ride there and back on the Megabus as it was a double decker ๐Ÿ˜€

We had such a fantastic time. I’m so glad we took the time to do it and I really want to do it again. Maybe we’ll go back next year.

Have you ever been to London? What was your favourite part?