Skip to main content

12th November 2020

Accounting for Style #7 – Urban Outfitters obsession and skincare struggles

An Electrical Engineering student tracks their journey to develop a new skincare regime and their fashion purchases over the course of October
Accounting for Style #7 – Urban Outfitters obsession and skincare struggles
Photo: Accounting for style @ The Mancunion

Accounting for Style is a 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: 21

Degree: Electrical Engineering

Yearly maintenance loan: Unfortunately couldn’t apply for a loan

Rent: £483 a month including bills

Part-time job: None, but intern during summer

Monthly budget: I allow myself £250 for non-essential purchases every month, most of which is spent on eating out/going to bars

Extra cash: sometimes when I make a sale on Depop I get extra cash

Fashion and beauty spending habits: I only really spend on beauty if my skin is doing bad. As for fashion, I keep my spending generally low, apart from a few impulse purchases here and there

Monthly estimated spend on fashion and beauty: Probably £150 because I need some stuff for my fall wardrobe and a few new skincare products

Monthly Spending: 

Sunday 4th October: £80.60 – I know it seems like I’m off to a bad start, but I finally found the shoes I wanted for months, the New Balance 530, at Urban Outfitters in Arndale. I was lucky enough to find the last pair in my size. The shoes totalled £80, while the 60p was spent on cotton rounds in Primark.

New Balance black and white trainers
Photo: Ose Peter-Akhigbe @ The Mancunion

Wednesday 7th October: £69.79 – I know it seems bad, but when I was in Urban Outfitters a couple of days back, I saw this coat that really reminded me of the Saks Potts Kahlo jacket in Pistachio. While the regular jacket retails for around £1000, this one was only £59 with student discount! I also bought a matching green tank top. Let’s face it, I could only go down from here. 

Wednesday 14th October: £30 – Back in Arndale again, but this time for skincare. I had restarted my skincare again at the start of the month, so I was just using my 3 basic products – cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Even though my skin was doing ok and I’d had no major breakouts, I still struggled with textured, oily skin, and needed something more.  I ended up only getting an oil cleanser to use as a double cleanse, and a night cream, because Boots didn’t have the treatments I wanted. I also bought some hair products to replenish my stock.

Monday 26th October: £16 – I had been using the skincare items I bought from Boots for some time back then, and with no problems, so I guessed it was time to add some new products. I ordered a sample of the Paula’s Choice BHA Exfoliant that everyone had told me to try, as well as the Azelaic Acid Booster. Hopefully, they will fix my skin issues.

Paula's Choice Skincare Products
Photo: Ose Peter-Akhigbe @ The Mancunion

Wednesday 28th October: £15 – I bought a jumper from Depop, simply because it’s autumn – there’s not much more to say.

Saturday 31st October: £40. I did a NastyGal loungewear haul in anticipation of the new lockdown rules. If I’m going to stay at home for the next month, I might as well look cute doing it.

Total spend: £251.39

Overall verdict: I spent more than I anticipated but I’m not mad, as I got pieces that I really like, and my skin seems to be doing a little better. Tracking my spending has opened me up to how much I still rely on fast fashion and I hope to shop less at Urban Outfitters and more at thrift stores, as soon as they re-open in future months.


Would you like to anonymously track your fashion and beauty purchases for the period of a month for Accounting for Style? Email [email protected] to express your interest or come along to our Zoom meetings every Monday at 5:15pm.

More Coverage

A conversation about curly hair

To grow up with curly hair is to feel the detriment of beauty standards weigh heavy on the self-esteem

2024 fashion forecast: A peek into what you can expect to see trending next year

As the year comes to a close, here’s a guide of what trends we think will be seen all around campus next year

Black Friday: Is the thrill of a good deal worth our dying planet?

Black Friday equals huge hauls and slashed prices, meaning it’s only too easy to overindulge, but garment workers and the planet are the ones paying the real price

The best beauty advent calendars of 2023

From Soap & Glory to Charlotte Tilbury, here are the best beauty Advent Calendars of 2023 for every price range