We're in a recession, times are hard and budgets have shrunk and my shopping habits are reflecting this. For someone who used to happily spunk 300 quid on a coat, I'm adapting to survive in Breadline Britain. Basically, I've set myself a ten quid limit, if it costs more than that, it's not going in the bag.
Impossible you might suggest, but my wardrobe has been regularly replenished in recent times, even without recourse to Oxfam and Save The Kids.
If I wanted to turn out in new outfit of gear costing a tenner or less, I've bought a blue, hooded waterproof sailing jacket from Decathlon in Sheffield with Triboard logo on the sleeve. That was £6. Under that, it being spring, I'm wearing the crew neck sweatshirt purchased from Gap at York Designer Outlet for £9.99. Under the sweatshirt, you'll see the collar of a button-down collar striped shirt, nice cotton, Rockport shop at Castleford outlet, 10 quid.
Moving down, nice cotton khakis with zip pocket detail on the leg, Timberland, Boundary Mill Stores at Colne, £9.99. Then there's the Blue Harbour leather deck shoes that were a tenner at the M&S outlet at Crown Point in Leeds.
The advent of a new Superleague season means Castleford's back on my retail map, all the other locations fall on routes to or from jobs I've done recently, so fuel costs are covered.
As the ten pound limit's been too easy, I've now set myself a new £5 challenge. Another rugby job helped set the oval ball rolling, as I passed time between interviews with Leeds Carnegie and Rhinos coaches by nipping across the road from their Kirkstall training base to the retail park opposite. This is home to the only Dunne's store I've seen in the UK. It's a kind of Irish version of Primark. I nearly bought another plaid shirt, all reduced to £6, but I've been plundering Uniqlo for them over the last few months and have now got every colour including mustard yellow, so I resisted that temptation and went with a pinstriped blue work shirt down to £4 and a silk tie in violet for a fiver.
Speaking of Primark, I paid a visit to the massive one on Oxford Street in that, there London the other week, I was swept along by the crowds of Japanese tourists. They used to want a photo standing next to a Beefeater or punk rocker, now they're all posing in front of Primark!
My curiosity was to investigate the two cotton hooded jackets I'd seen in the window, the style of jacket I've been buying ever since I was a spotty youth in G Vilas.
On closer inspection, one was clearly modeled on the Albam one with the big white buttons, the other was adorned with duffel coat toggles, I believe they're calling this 'heritage' fashion. Now Primark are doing it kids, I'm guessing it's time to jog on. £19 for the jackets, by the way, looked okay on but obviously way out of my price range...
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