Could you spend five hundred pounds on clothes?

On Monday, I wore almost £500 worth of clothes.

FIVE. HUNDRED. QUID. Never in my life have I spent that much money on an outfit. Before you all start thinking I went and blew my pledge on an epic shopping spree, I should probably explain.

Over the past few weeks at Cardiff we’ve been working on different features for a Christmas supplement we’ll be putting together next week. Secret Santa style, we had to pick our articles from a hat! My friend and colleague Ellie was lucky enough to pick out women’s fashion, a topic I think all the girls were eyeing up!

A couple of us were asked to be models for the feature, so off we popped to John Lewis (where I saw Ellie Williams from the clothes swap again!) in Cardiff to get suited and booted in some donated clothes for a quick photo shoot in the furniture section. It was a bit surreal trying on various clothing from the department store, because I haven’t been shopping in so long!

mango reiss carvelaCheeky mirror photo while our lovely make-up artist Nicola does her own war paint!

What I wore:

This all added up to a whopping £495.80!

Ok, so this includes the shoes and accessories, but even £300 or so on a jacket, top and leggings seems a bit much to me. Before the pledge, I’d hesitate before spending £30 on a dress, let alone £120 on a top alone!

I did wonder… could I possibly re-make this outfit myself? The leggings would be easy if I found the right fabric, as there are plenty of leggings patterns around. Take this one at BurdaStyle for example!

The peacock top would be fairly easy to make, but I’d probably go for a cheaper fabric than silk, but with a similar drape! This pattern would actually be pretty easy to draft myself! I’ve already tried my hand at drafting a skirt (more on this soon…), so it’s about time I tried to draft a top! Otherwise, I’d probably use a lengthened version of Goldfinch and Eagle’s Port Elizabeth Pattern.

As for the trickiest part of the outfit… the jacket. I’ve eyed up a certain biker jacket pattern at BurdaStyle since they released it a few years ago, but have always shyed away because I just don’t have confidence in my sewing abilities. They’ve used a very thick woolen fabric for their version here, but the Mango jacket was made out of quite a thin leather. If I could find some leather look fabric which was as soft and comfortable, then theoretically be all set…

Have you ever remade a garment you saw on the high street? How did it go? If not… ‘fess up and tell me what’s the most you’ve ever spent on clothes in one go!

6 thoughts on “Could you spend five hundred pounds on clothes?

  1. Trice says:

    I started remaking a high-fashion garment for a contest. It’s in my UFO pile. It’s a dress from Dogstar.
    The most I have spent on clothing is $90 for a bridesmaid gown. When it comes to clothing I don’t like too spend much.

  2. Miss Katie says:

    But when I was in my spend spend spend phase where I was constantly shopping I could have spent £100 to £200 pounds in one shopping trip (one of the reasons I decided to stop buying everything new!), but that would have been on a whole load of different items. I don’t think I have ever worn an outfit worth more than £500, the most expensive item I have ever worn is probably a prom dress, but that was only about £200 (I say only, it’s a bit of waste because I’ve only ever worn it about twice, it has definitely not made it’s money back through wearability!). I don’t tend to recreate high street looks in my own sewing because I prefer to go for a more vintage look, I copy those I see in books and vintage adverts all the time! And nowadays my big spends tend to be on fabrics, I once went a little crazy with some silk satin, £50 a metre, it’s painful just thinking about it!

  3. readythreadsew says:

    I know the most I’ve ever spent on one garment is £120 – it was a winter coat that I bought more than ten years ago. I’ve still got it, still love it and still wear it so in many ways it was a bargain. However, that was in my pre-sewing days. Now the only clothes I really spend money on (and I’m only talking £30-£35 each) is jumpers because 99% of the time I see something I like and realise I can make it for a fraction of the price. I did buy one skirt this summer – it was a gypsy style skirt using at least three different prints and I realised that I would really struggle to find three prints in the same colour palette to make my own so I splashed out a whole £20 to buy it!!

    Just before hitting send I realised that I have bought one dress that cost me more than the coat – my wedding dress. That cost me £130 (and my mum paid for it), adding a veil and shoes brought the total up to about £200. I guess I can honestly say I would never spend £500 on a single outfit.

  4. Layla says:

    I continually go into H&M and take surreptitious pictures of the clothes and then go home and make them! My favourite remake was a pair of shorts from the summer. It’s not that theyre expensive its just that i wouldnt shop in an evil corporation with such dodgy labour practices!

  5. Andrea says:

    A couple of months ago I bought an oversized sweater at H&M, took it home to trace a pattern from it and promptly returned it. The following weekend I made myself the exact sweater using jersey knit and I love it more than the original – it’s cozy, it’s fashionable, it cost me under $10 and it was made by me. I felt a bit guilty abut ripping the pattern, but a friend put it into perspective when she said that H&M probably uses child labour. Guilt gone!

  6. Elena Cresci says:

    Thanks for your comments guys! Brilliant to hear I’m not the only one who’s spent a bit too much on clothes before 😉

    Shamefully, I can’t actually remember the most I’ve ever spent on an item of clothing. Either because I don’t really go above £40 when buying things or because I clearly didn’t have such a great relationship with purchasing clothes and money management! Like some of you, coats tend to be my biggest investment, because they last a while. In fact, I’m willing to bet I’ve either spent more on coats or shoes in the past than I have on anything else. I think though I tend to spend a lot but on lots of different things – which isn’t really much better! I remember I spent about £50 in one go on a thin blazer (now with a hole in the back after only having been worn 3 times) and a sleeveless shirt (with a button missing) to go with my Wannabe Hack skirt for my Cardiff interview. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

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