Back in February, I tried to start documenting my clothes shopping budget (which is $80/month) to keep myself honest about how much I was spending and if I was spending aligned with my values (vegan, labor, environment). With half a year under my belt, let's see how I did.
In February I bought: vintage shoes from Secretlake on Etsy, a dress and a skirt (sweatshop) (reused & sweatshop. vegan.)
In March and April I bought: a jacket, a sweatshirt (both reused) and a tiny shrew (art) (reused. vegan.)
In May I bought: a With Care pin and bow-tie, a dress from The Clothes Horse (reused) and an American Apparel skirt (jerky company, minimally made in the US) (handmade. vegan. reused/labor.)
In late May I listed a bunch of items I wanted, and chose to spend my June money on a pair of Melissa Anglomania Ultragrrl shoes. (vegan. labor. eco.)
In June I also stole Grace's goal of saving an extra $100 per month. Through creative definitions, I am on target. ($100 paid to teach a workshop and $500 from a secured credit card I canceled and had the deposit refunded.) I will need to find another $100 between now and December to make this goal for 2011. I had planned to take the $$ for clothes I sold at Beacon's Closet but I just couldn't do it. The credit was a better deal and I know I'll use it. Also. I mean, come on. Mentally it's like FREE CLOTHES so I can't let go of that. I know that is horrible brain math but I don't care.
In July I got stuck in the rain twice in one day with canvas shoes on and ended up buying 2 pairs of pleather oxfords at the shoe store next to my office so I'd have dry shoes (and also because they would be good for bike-riding). They were an impulse buy and while vegan, I'd have preferred to shop around for a brand with better labor practices. (vegan. sweatshop.)
I also broke down and took money out of savings to buy a sweatshop skirt and sweatshop shorts because they'd be easy to bike in and I was sick of not having appropriate clothes. I think that was +$40 spent. (vegan. sweatshop.)
In August I bought: a Vanilla & Lace dress (handmade. vegan. labor.)
Overall, I'm pretty happy with how I spent my money. There are a few sweatshop items that I'm not proud of but given how inundated we are with sweatshop labor items, it's not a tragic failure. Lotta room for improvement though.
For future months -- I find myself poking through my wishlist again. I have an entire list to look for while thrift shopping, a tailoring list and then an entire retail list as well. The retail wishlist includes good brands like Vaute Couture and Everday Apparel. Now I just have to keep my eye on the prize.