Frugal Fashion Challenge

Frugal Fashion Challenge 2017


Frugal – it’s such a buzzword isn’t it? It feels like society is just full of buzzwords and trends these days. More than likely, it has always been that way but I am only just tuning in to it now. And with the increased in job instability, a looming doom-and-gloom economy (they keep saying this!), increased costs of living and so many other factors, frugal / frugality is definitely something that is coming up more and more.

But you know what they say, can’t beat them? Join them! Not that I really have anything against buzzwords or the word ‘frugal’. Hah.

Anyways, I wanted to publicly (or as publicly as I can on an anonymous blog) announce to the universe that may or may not be listening, my intentions for the next 12 months (1st July 17 – 1st July 18). And that is, to have a Frugal Fashion Challenge 17-18. Let me explain.

What is it?

A 12 month challenge in which the participant vows to purchase no new clothes other than underwear. The keyword being ‘new’. So 2nd hand shops, fleamarkets, op shops and the like are a-okay!

But why?

  1. Our shops are filled with fast-fashion. (Disclaimer: I am aware of the generalisation.) So many horrendous quality items with high prices fly off the racks in the name of staying trendy and fashionable. This is my own personal attempt to keep things away from landfill, doing my part for Mother Earth. You can read more about what fast fashion is and the effect it has on our planet here.
  2. To cultivate a more sustainable lifestyle.
  3. To save money.
  4. To curb the habit of impulse purchasing, trend chasing and fashion envy.

So what brought this about?

In the last 9 months or so, I lost nearly 20kgs mainly through a diet and lifestyle change. As can be expected, none of my clothes now fit me. However, my weight loss also coincided with my realisation of my wasteful ways and need for financial independence. The lack of a wardrobe became a problem, but no matter how many times I browsed Asos or any other shops, I could never bring myself to pay the prices they wanted for one singular piece. $110 for a dress? Forget it! 

I have always loved looking in 2nd hand shops, but now there was a sense of urgency. I desperately needed clothes that fit, that weren’t held up by belts, or safety pins. So after 3 months of angsting at clothing shops, I made up my mind to only shop from 2nd hand and op shops. So why not blog about it?

The nitty-gritty

Every month I will post up photos of anything that I have bought that month from the op shops. And hopefully explore ways on how to style myself on a low budget. I say hopefully, because I am no stylist and certainly not an expert. But this is as much a journey of exploration for myself as it is one to save money as it has been a good 13 years since I was this weight and I no longer know how to dress my body.


So you get to go along on this journey with me! If you feel like following along on this challenge, feel free to steal the header image above for your own blog. I will also be posting frequently with the hashtag on my facebook or instagram pages so remember to follow me there if you haven’t already.

12 thoughts on “Frugal Fashion Challenge 2017”

  1. I hate fashion and clothes shopping and op-shopping, but nudity is too cold, so buying clothes is a necessary evil. I too have had to buy new clothes due to losing weight (but nowhere near 20kg, that is an amazing achievement, congratulations!) This weekend, for $27, I picked up: work pants x 2, jeans x 1, winter coat x 1. All three pairs of pants were brand new with tags. Mr. ETT had been looking at work pants in Myer for over $100 each! This is the second time I’ve tried op-shopping, and after my successes I’ve had to revise what I think of it. I won’t choose to go in and browse, but if I have a specific need then I will definitely start there.

    1. Urgh, I hate clothes shopping in general! It’s such a pain, having to find something you like the look of, trying it, and then hating it on me and then going through the endless cycle of self-hatred. At least that’s the way it is for me. Which is why I used to do more online shopping. I have to admit to hating fashion once upon a time too, but nowadays have come to realise that if I dress like a slop and put no effort into the way I dress, I tend to feel shit about myself. I have really bad self-confidence / self-image issues! So I try to put in more thought into what I wear now and want to build a capsule wardrobe.

      And $27 for all that is amazing! Isn’t that such a joy with op shopping? I guess that’s the ‘upside’ to fast fashion – people buy stuff then toss them out even before they get worn. I don’t intend to go browse every weekend either, but only once in awhile. I am still desperately trying to make my old clothes work with belts and safety pins haha.

  2. I am totally winning this challenge! last time I bought clothes in a real store….. I’m going to say the jumper I bought last year, it was winter, so I think I’m at 12 months.

    Can I buy shoes though? Like, seriously, I need new shoes, I can see my toes through them :p

    Oh, what about sports uniforms? I had to buy a regulation shirt in February…

    1. Nice! I think shoes are allowed if they are also from the op shop. No new, new shoes allowed. =P

      And regulation shirts / uniforms are fine as they are needed and beyond your control! (Like underwear. 2nd hand underwear just makes me cringe.)

      1. Socks? What about socks?

        Also, look at these shoes! They were consigned to the trash heap about a year ago, then pulled out again when my replacement shoes needed to be thrown away :p Black volleys, nothin’ fancy!

        1. Haha, I classify socks as part of underwear. For whatever reason, I feel squeamish about socks, swimwear and underwear from op shops. I think these things are rightly classified intimates for a reason! And good for you for giving the shoes another chance at life, well done! I really should do that with my own shoes, but I’ve bought way too many heels in the past and there’s not a chance in hell that I will be wearing them now, hahaa.

  3. Wow 20kgs! Great job, Pia! I haven’t done “proper” clothes shopping since 2015 and I still haven’t felt the need to. Our wardrobe is made up of very basic pieces, most of which we can wear all year round. We usually layer during the winter too. But I think I have to replace my winter jacket soon.

    Do you have Savers there? I find that they have the best pieces out of all the op shops we’ve been to. Good luck! I’ll be following this challenge, that’s for sure!

    1. Yes! We have Savers, which I’m really glad for because they are just so awesome, haha. But their prices are rather high for an op shop ($10-15 per piece) so I don’t buy a lot from them.

      I wish I could say the same for myself, but I went through many different clothing phases and many of those involved complete overhaul of wardrobes, much to my dismay now. Imagine the money that could have been! Oh well. Luckily people change ;p

  4. 20 kgs is such an big accomplishment. I myself lost 15 kgs last year and love it! But yes, clothes were a problem. I neded up buying a few necessities only but didn’t go crazy by replacing my entire wardrobe. I’m a fan of the challenge not to buy clothes for the next 12 months. I’m in 🙂

    1. Hooray! Congrats on your loss too, what an amazing feeling it is, hey? It just feels like a new lease on life, at least it does for me. It did wonders for my image issues too, haha.

  5. This is really cool of you! Congratulations on the weight loss too :). I’m really looking forward to seeing your monthly posts of the clothes you buy second hand. Maybe also join a few facebook buy/sell pages that focus on brands you like? Some great stuff to be found second hand there too.

    I love opshops but it’s just so much effort to sift through the racks and often walk out empty handed, very time-consuming way to buy stuff but feels so satisfying when you find a great piece. I have hit up the opshops a decent amount to get baby clothes recently.

    This might be a horrible thing to say at the start of your goal, don’t want to tempt you into buying stuff you shouldn’t be! But.. I often find way nicer clothes (I’m a bit picky about nice fabrics, hate the synthetic feel) for cheaper from overseas brands (Next, Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Boohoo), I cannot even bring myself to look at dresses that are over $60 any more, just way too much! Overseas brands have fantastic sales too.. But you’re way cooler than spending money on new clothes right now – so ignore my mentioning overseas shops!

    Mrs DDU

    1. Hehe yes, I have actually joined quite a few facebook buy/sell pages esp the review group because I love the stuff from review. I’ve actually purchased from Boohoo before but I hated almost everything I got from there. The quality was horrible and construction poorly made. Maybe because I also opted for clothes that were below $10! I’m actually a huge online shopper (well, used to be anyways) but no longer because my theory is that, if I cannot find clothes in person then I’m destined not to have them and can save my money that way, haha. I too cannot spend money on dresses that are over $50!! To think I used to pay $400 for dresses….

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