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13th March 2021

Accounting for Style #8 – Clearance sales and targeted ads

Get a glimpse into this history and sociology student’s spending habits and Depop obsession!
Accounting for Style #8 – Clearance sales and targeted ads

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: 20

Degree: History and Sociology

Rent: N/A, I’m studying from home

Part-time job: None

Extra cash: I usually make £50 – £150 from Depop per week

Monthly budget: I’ve never thought about giving myself one

Fashion and beauty spending habits: I’m an embarrassingly big shopper! I tend to window shop online a lot when I’m bored. I don’t buy expensive things as I usually shop second-hand or in sales. I pretty much only buy beauty products once a year when there are big clearance sales just after Christmas.

Monthly estimated spend on fashion and beauty: £300. I’m estimating a bit higher than what I think I usually spend on fashion and beauty per month, but there have been many sales lately that I know I won’t be able to resist!

Monthly Spending:

Monday 1st February: £64.78 – An online black hair retailer was having a sale on some really good hair products. My current ones were running low so I decided to give in. I bought myself some hair moisturizer, hair gel and a leave-in conditioner. I also threw in some aloe vera facial scrub just for the sake of it.

Photo of black haircare products
Photo: Nicola Miles @ The Mancunion

I was looking on the Urban Outfitters website later that day and saw they were offering discount codes on top of their sale items. I ended up buying myself a couple pairs of underwear, a flannel shirt and a really cool graphic t-shirt with oranges on it!

Tuesday 2nd February: £65.25 – My friend’s birthday was coming up and I still hadn’t bought her a Christmas present, so I decided to buy her a few things from Monki. I guess I used this as an excuse to do a haul too as I got a few extra items for myself as well. I had a discount code and got 25% off my purchase, which definitely helped to ease my guilt!

Wednesday 3rd February: £20.00 – A pretty pointless purchase if I’m honest – I saw a cardigan on Depop that I thought would be perfect for spring. I was scared that someone else was going to buy it, so out of impulse it was suddenly in my basket.

Monday 8th February: £5.60 – Another impulsive buy. Urban Outfitters were giving students a 20% off discount on all items, so I couldn’t help buy buy two pairs of funky socks that I saw in the sale.

Wednesday 10th February: £67.35 – Somehow I landed myself on the Zara website and it turned out they still had leftover stock from their January clearance sale. I know fast fashion is bad, but trousers discounted to as low as 3.99?! I couldn’t say no, sorry. I ended up buying about five pairs of very baggy trousers and a really nice oversized blouse, adding up to £29.95.

Zara clothing order
Photo: Nicola Miles @ The Mancunion

My mum pointed out that I haven’t bought new pyjamas in over ten years – and surprisingly the pyjamas that fitted my 10-year-old body were now getting too big for me! So I decided to hunt for a few new pairs of PJs. Targeted advertising led me to a gorgeous satin night set from Shein that I instantly fell in love with. I also bought a couple of other PJ sets from their site as well. And, of course, I used a 15% off discount code on my order – totalling it to £37.40!

Shein satin white tiger pyjamas
Photo: Nicola Miles @ The Mancunion

Saturday 13th February: £26.99 I’ve been wanting a pair of Chelsea boots for a while but was waiting to find the right pair at a decent price. Finally, I came across a pair from Schuh on sale and they had the perfect minimalist look I was going for. Unfortunately, I had a funeral to attend later on that week and I thought these would be appropriate to wear. Urban Outfitters is currently selling the same pair but for £52, so I definitely grabbed myself a bargain!

Sunday 14th February: £16.00 – I got one of my jackets restitched and dry cleaned at my local dry cleaners, which cost £16 in total.

Monday 15th February: £28.00 – I decided to gift myself a late Valentine’s present with a secondhand Fiorucci Angels ‘Hollywood’ t-shirt that I found on Depop for £28.00. They were retailing at £80.00, so I think I did well here.

Photo: Nicola Miles @ The Mancunion

Friday 19th February: £25.28 – I had good intentions this day until a New Look Facebook ad caught my eye. New Look isn’t a shop that’s usually on my radar but they were selling a beautiful gingham dress for only £9 in their sale. I also bought myself a couple of bras which were also on sale after throwing some of my old ones away.

Sunday 21st February: £4.99 – I found a nice scarf on Depop and decided to hit buy – there’s nothing else to say about this one!

Monday 22nd February: £14.90 – I came across someone reselling a brand new Zara jumper that I was looking to buy but was unfortunately sold out. This was surely fate – I had to buy it whilst it was still available.

Tuesday 23rd February: £40.00 I bought myself a Carhartt jacket from Depop for no reason whatsoever…

Wednesday 24th February: £10.00 – I’m falling in love with skirts at the moment, and even though I have more than enough in my wardrobe, I decided to add another to my collection. I saw the nicest olive green satin midi skirt originally from Topshop on Depop for £10.

Total spent: £389

Overall verdict: To be honest, I’m not so concerned with how much I spent this month, but rather my consumption habits. I bought a lot of clothes from fast-fashion retailers which ethically isn’t great. It’s sad to see the lack of self-control I have when it comes to shopping and how low prices and discount codes easily entice me to consume, even when I’m aware that it’s unethical.

This has prompted me to start taking action so that I don’t fall victim to the schemes of our shallow spending and overconsumption culture again. I’m turning off cookies and Google ads, blocking fast-fashion websites and even adding Depop to my list of limited apps on my phone.

I’ve purchased a lot of clothing this past month which calls for a closet clear out. I’ll probably be spending most of my time this weekend listing my “old” clothes on Depop!

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.

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