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…
Degree: English Literature
Yearly Maintenance Loan: £4,289
Rent: £838 for this term so far- we’ve had a rent reduction in halls
Part-time job: Not at the moment
Extra cash: I wish! I’m currently using up my savings from my part-time job last year, as well as monthly cash injections from my parents. I did have my birthday in February though, and that came in handy!
Monthly budget: My budget plan is just hoping my savings don’t go down too much.
Fashion and beauty spending habits: Summed up in two words: Urban Outfitters. Long gone are the days of Saturday shopping trips with my friends (hopefully soon to return!), but I still end up spending far too much online. I don’t really spend on beauty: my mum’s Bobbi Brown leftovers are still going strong.
Monthly estimated spend on fashion and beauty: oh my God – no idea! It fully depends on how much we’ve splurged on tequila or Sainsbury’s trips (Parklife tickets took a chunk out of my budget too!) but I’ll guess around £30.
Tuesday 2nd March: £5 – For my birthday, both my parents gave me £100 and rather than give me this in cash, my dad decided to give me an £100 Hollister voucher. Now this was slightly bizarre to be honest, as the last time I shopped in Hollister I was a 15 year old dressed in ill-fitting, overpriced tops and feeling sweatily inadequate in So-Cal changing rooms.
Still, it was a lovely present and I immediately bought out most of the shop: a slouchy blue hoodie, two black bras (one of which immediately went missing), one top, one cardigan and the most comfy flared jeans I’ve ever owned. They cost £105 all in all, so £5 with the gift card. 10/10 birthday present dad.
Tuesday 9th March: £30.99 – It’s my dad’s wedding in May (the 22nd if anyone wants an invite) and he’s asked me to be his ‘best person’. After ordering and returning two other dresses, a gorgeous slip dress from Urban Outfitters caught my eye. It was a lovely silvery blue, and more importantly only £19.41 in the sale!
Considering my dad had given me a budget of £200, this felt like a good deal. I love Urban Outfitters slip dresses, as they’re usually made of more substantial material than most. I also picked up a white Out From Under halter top for only £7.59 which I can’t wait to wear in summer.
Wednesday 10th March: £13 – I have to admit, it never feels good to be online shopping during a lecture on Marxism but here we are. Shops don’t open again for ages and shipping was only £1 for Mother’s Day at Boux Avenue so I had a browse.
I ended up buying three pairs of underwear in the 3 for £12 deal, which also bought me another couple of days until my next Circuit laundry ordeal. The underwear’s such good quality here, and great for a one-off buy.
Wednesday 17th March: £20 – Wednesday’s are no good for my bank account. On Tuesday, I found a nice bag in the same baby blue colour as my dress for the wedding on ASOS. I woke up on Thursday and it turned out that I’d ordered it drunk using my friend Eve’s premier account.
Now I’m lucky that was the only thing we ordered, but it turned out we got it shipped to her home in Middlesbrough by mistake. Oh well! It really compliments the dress so definitely worth the wait. It’s more Alice in Wonderland than Blair Waldorf but I do like the ruching on it.
Wednesday 31st March: £6 – Back home again and just time to squeeze in one purchase before the end of the month. This time it’s from Depop: a strappy black top from Urban Outfitters.
I have a love-hate relationship with tops that are more interesting at the back than the front. At least this means that it can be dressed up or down, though, so I’m not entirely mad about it.
Total Spend: £74.99
Overall verdict: This month’s definitely had a lot more big purchases than usual and quite a few treats. But I think everyone deserves a bit of a spending spree, after the intense first three months of the year we’ve had. I only ended up spending £35.58 of my own money, as my dad paid for the wedding outfit, so I’ve only slightly exceeded my estimate.
I’m a bit disappointed I’ve opted for fast fashion so much this month, so hopefully I’ll reign that in a bit this term. At least my flatmate Saskia and I resisted the temptations of free shipping on Urban Outfitters midway through the month – a win in our books!
We’re all looking forward to charity shops reopening soon: hopefully that can steer me away from the big brands, at least until the next tantalizing sale!
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.