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6th December 2019

Accounting for Style #3: An identity crisis haircut and a perfume shopping spree

A first-year Politics and International Relations student tracks all their fashion and beauty purchases for the period of a month
Accounting for Style #3: An identity crisis haircut and a perfume shopping spree

Accounting for Style is a new series at the Mancunion Fashion & Beauty section in which anonymous Manchester students track all of their fashion and beauty purchases over the period of a month. Get a glimpse into the way your peers spend their money on their style, the splurges and the savings…

Age: 18

Degree: Politics and International Relations 

Degree year: 1

Yearly student maintenance loan: None – I am extremely lucky that my grandfather pays for my tuition and my parents pay for housing, necessities and everything else, meaning I neither need nor have a loan.

Rent: £145/week – paid for by parents

Part-time job? No, but in the past three months, I started selling my family’s unused clothes in an effort to declutter the house (it’s a full time job of its own). The goal is to use the money to fuel my fashion purchases, in order to feel better about my buys both financially and environmentally: a full circle of some sort.

Monthly budget: £300

Fashion & beauty spending habits: I am not exactly what you would call a party animal and I cook a lot, so I don’t spend much on food and drinks. I also try to buy more consciously and to truly consider the environmental impact of my fashion purchases. I am an International student and I travel a lot, so my money is essentially divided between fashion and travel.  

Monthly estimated spend on fashion & beauty: I am going on 8-day tour of southern Europe with a friend in December, so I don’t want to spend too much on fashion and beauty in November because so I can save for the trip. Hopefully, I won’t spend over £150 on fashion and beauty items.

2nd November: I made a huge hole in my trusted wool turtleneck from Uniqlo, probably the item I wear most during winter. A real tragedy for my wardrobe (although I’ve had it for three years, so I’m not too annoyed). I really want to replace it, so I go to Uniqlo and purchase a new one. £24.90

3rd November: I buy some buttons and matching thread (£7) for my newly thrifted leather trench coat and some black dye (£5) to re-tint a sweater that has faded, as well as a white tank top that I spilled coffee over. I also take a look in Sephora and buy a gorgeous matte dark red/brown lipstick. £22

6th November: I am eyeing up a pair of Stella McCartney platforms which are way too expensive but are also so beautiful, just dreaming about wearing them is blissful in itself. 

7th November: The H&M x Giambattista Valli collection drops today and I have been eyeing a floral, ruffled maxi-dress that is absolutely divine, but I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger because it’s made of polyester and I don’t buy unnatural materials. If it had been made of anything else, I wouldn’t have had a second thought (I really regret not buying it). 

8th November: I do a lot of shopping since I act as a present-buyer/personal shopper to my family and the Christmas period is busy, so I bought quite a lot of stuff but nothing for myself; I’m actually really proud!

9th November: I’ve been wanting to get ear piercings for the longest time and I finally did it! I also went shopping with a friend and saw a gorgeous cape in a vintage shop for £40. I decided not to buy it but I regret it so much, I call the shop later in the day to try and reserve it but someone had already bought it and I’m honestly devastated. £54

20th November: I made a pretty boring but necessary buy: some hair ties and pins because I lose them at an alarming rate (where do they go?) £4

26th November: My favourite perfumer, Jo Malone, made a collection in collaboration with Zara called Emotions and they are a fraction of those from her eponymous brand so I went to check it out myself. I bought  three out of my four favourites: Waterlily Tea Dress, Tubereuse Noir and Fleur d’Oranger. The Zara I went in didn’t have Ebony Woods in the size I was after, so I might buy it online. I’m still debating whether I should buy it as a Christmas present from someone and put it under the tree (unromantic I know but it makes everybody happy). £48 

27th November: Strolling in town alongside TK MAXX, I see a beautiful red and black sweater so I go in, try it on, fall in love and buy it. It’s a bargain for Tommy Hilfiger and is great quality. £29.99

28th November: I’m  going through an existential crisis at the moment and I decide the perfect way to renew myself is to chop my hair off. It’s totally worth it, I feel like a new woman. Plus, I got student discount. £35

Overall spent: £214.64

Fashion: £69.12

Beauty: £145.52

Overall verdict: I’m still unsure whether the perfumes will actually count in my spendings because nobody has reached out in panic about what to buy me for Christmas. If you take them out of my spendings I was only £16 over my budget which is pretty good. Even if I did go over, a lot of my spending this month doesn’t feel obnoxious or unnecessary: I barely ever get my hair cut, my piercings are a lifetime ‘purchase’ and both make me insanely happy so they were both every penny.

Furthermore, I think I did pretty good fashion-wise because I haven’t done any online shopping therapy, haven’t caved in to any of my expensive dream items and only did one non-essential purchase. This is probably because I felt like I needed to steady myself after writing down everything I was spending.

In fact this month probably doesn’t really showcase my usual fashion spending, since I usually spend way more on fashion than beauty. But I’m thankful for it, because I think that all in all it was a successful month for my style and my wallet. 

Would you like to anonymously track your fashion & beauty purchases for the period of a month for The Cost of Student Style? Email [email protected] to express your interest or come along to our meetings every Monday at 6:15pm in The Hive.

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