This is what normally goes through my head when I receive an invitation to something slightly fancy. Oooh, exciting. Yay, we are free that day. Bother, we have something the day before – why are these things always clustered together? What am I going to wear?
The what am I going to wear question quickly becomes “What am I going to buy?” A wedding, a big party, a celebration is a lovely excuse to hit the shops and indulge. But not this year. This year my wardrobe options are limited to strictly in-house shopping.
Last weekend I headed to the races for a birthday celebration. Normally a trip to the winter racing carnival would have my heart aflutter with the possibly of new clothes, shoes and accessories. This year, I took a different tack.
Firstly, I did a quick instagram check of #fotf (Fashions on the Field). Now I had no intention of entering FOTF, but the hashtag offers limitless inspiration, especially for hats and fascinators. Next stop: Pinterest boards for racing fashion.
Then I turned to my wardrobe. I realised that the blush tones and structured dresses I had seen in my inspiration search were perfectly reflected in a dress I already owned. Ironically given to me by the birthday girl herself when I started the new job. Normally that dress sits in my work-wear wardrobe but she’s certainly pretty enough to play away from the office.
Next, to the headwear. I own a mix of hats and fascinators and general head gear. They are a bit of an obsession really. What I love about them is that you can always mix and match them with each other and add in bits of feathers and flowers. Normally you would wear felt in winter to the races and keep the straw and florals for Spring. But we all know what the weather is like in Brisbane. I wasn’t going to bother with hosiery either. So a straw fascinator topped with an existing floral piece was just the ticket.
When I got to planning shoes, bag and earrings, I was very tempted to go shopping. My no-buy ban was just for clothes, but it’s changed my general attitude. I thought a little bit more about why I wanted to buy these new things. A new, cheap and cheerful pair of earrings from Lovisa weren’t actually necessary. And what would happen to them in three month’s time? Sitting unloved and unworn with all the other “special occasion” jewellery. I had a perfectly serviceable pair of nude heels that didn’t need upgrading. The bag posed a bigger problem, until I remembered I the gorgeous green/blue clutch that would offer just the right amount of clash.
And off to the races I went, feeling good about what I was wearing and not at all deprived by my frugal approach.
I did, however, feel very dusty as I was backing up from a the school trivia night. But my sore and sorry head made it through the glorious day and it ended up being a blast. Both my husband and I backed winners on the track. So, with my not drinking due to the previous night, my not spending a cent on my outfit and our good luck at the tote, we did quite well really.
In a few weeks time, my son will be confirmed. I am hopeful I will be able to make something new for the event. But if not, I am perfectly content shopping in my wardrobe.
How do you approach special occasions?
Do you tend to buy something new or re-use?