Nope, mother nature is being rather frugal with her spring weather this week. A little miserly, a tad stingy, economizing on the sunshine, and even when she deigns to bring us some sunshine it's often paired with a crisp breeze. She doesn't want us to get soft. Ha.
So I'm looking for something to wear today that will be a nod to spring even when it doesn't altogether feel like spring yet. And I'm going to dig into my closet and find some stuff I haven't worn in a while. Stuff I haven't worn since last fall, or last spring, or even ten springs ago.
|My frugal spring outfit|
Mother nature isn't the only one who can be frugal, you know. Don't laugh. I know that frugal is not the first word that my friends think of when (and if) they think of me and and shopping. I have been known to maybe, perhaps, sometimes pay a bit more than I intended for an item of clothing.
Like that blue Montcler anorak that I told you about last week. I know, I know, it's expensive. Or the navy Veronica Beard suit I bought in 2016. Or the burgundy Akris sweater from last fall. All expensive. But all pieces that I love, which filled an empty niche in my wardrobe, and which make me smile when I'm wearing them. And which I hope to wear for many years.
In my own way, I am kind of frugal. Aren't I?
To answer my own question, I looked up the definition of frugal, and its many synonyms. Let's see. I'm not "self-denying, mingy, or parsimonious." Neither am I "miserly or stingy." Or "cheeseparing." Ha. Love that last one. But I am "economical," in my own way. And when it comes to wardrobe planning and shopping I'm definitely "cautious and prudent."
Being frugal is no longer just something our grandmothers preached to us. The idea of being a frugal shopper has become cool, lately. Cool and desirable. For this, we can thank, in part, the many bloggers out there who know how to spend their dollars wisely, who know how to find a great outfit at thrift shops and vintage stores. People like Patti at Not Dead Yet Style, Melanie at Bag and a Beret, or Suzanne at SuzanneCarillo.com. These ladies are wizards with their thrift shop and vintage finds. But I've never had much luck thrift shop shopping. And I never find anything that fits me at vintage clothing stores. Maybe it's a failure of imagination on my part, or maybe I just give up too soon.
It seems the only time I have much luck shopping for vintage is when I shop my own closet. Like in 2016 when I hauled a Max Mara spring suit out for the first times in years. Maybe even a decade. I bought that suit in 2002, wore it for a few years, and then packed it away until 2016 when jackets with strong shoulders and wide leg pants became trendy again.
This is how I wore the suit jacket two years ago. With my Current Elliot jeans, Paul Green ankle boots, a striped tee, navy scarf, and my Mackage cross-body bag. And a vintage brooch. I have better luck shopping for vintage jewellry than vintage clothing.
|Out for lunch in a "vintage" jacket shopped from my own closet.|
But today I had a hankering to wear my Stan Smith sneakers with my old suit jacket. And since the weather was brisk, I needed socks, and thus my Current Elliot flared jeans. Under my old Max Mara jacket, I wore my Lafayette 148 white shirt from last fall. And since it's spring (supposedly) and almost Easter, I added a bright scarf in Easter colours of pink and green. I bought this scarf on a girls' shopping weekend in Montreal in the spring of 2004.
|A bit brisk to be out without a coat today.|
So, if I say that what this spring outfit needs to finish it off is a great spring coat, such as a navy Montcler anorak, and said anorak is quite expensive (okay, very expensive), can I still say that the outfit is "frugal?" Well, in my world I can.
That last line makes me smile and remember a certain shopping trip with a certain good friend and former colleague in 2010. When the sales person rang in my friend's purchases, and announced the total, we both gasped, my friend with dismay, and me with surprised pleasure. "Wow," we said, almost in unison. Then, I turned to her and said, "You've done really well. That's a great price for all those pieces." Until I noticed the stricken look on her face, and added, lamely "Well, in Sue's world that's a great price."
How does one define frugal, anyway? It seems we all have a slightly different answer to that question. For me it's not just about the cost of the item. But about spending my money in a way that I don't regret. I almost never suffer from buyer's remorse. That's because I buy what I love, and what fits me, and my wardrobe. And I take good care of my special pieces, and keep them for a long time.
So, I guess a frugal spring for me would be about finding a way to wear my old spring pieces, with my new spring pieces. New pieces which I really love, and which fill a niche in my wardrobe. And if a couple of those pieces were quite pricey, then I'll just think of my Max Mara suit which was also pricey in its day. And which I'm still wearing and loving many years later.
Now if mother nature could find it in her heart to be a bit less parsimonious with the sunshine, and a bit more generous with the warm temperatures, we could get on with spring in earnest.
We also wouldn't complain if she were a little more frugal with the allotment of Canada geese we've been given. The river is filled every evening with wave after wave of birds. Sheesh. Talk about the evening chorus. Cacophony, more like. Hubby's even had to turn the television up so he can hear the hockey game. Ha. Poor lad.
How about you, my friends? What constitutes a frugal spring from your perspective?