After doing this for several seasons without fail, and after doing it for two children over the course of two years, I feel like a "seasoned" pro. I know what to look for, what to toss, what to keep, what to donate (or hold back for a yard sale.) I also have started a habit of purging directly out of the laundry. If a shirt or pair of pants has been run through, stain-treated, and is still looking sad, it leaves the house. I feel like a laundry mercenary sometimes; nothing escapes my watchful eye.
Since I did such a good job of stocking the kids' clothes during the off season, the only person I needed to really go shopping for was myself. During the cooler months, I bought on-sale shorts and shirts for Carrick at clearance prices and kept them in a bin for when the weather warmed up. Lily was the recipient of several hand-me-down bags from other moms who have young girls just a little older than her. (Even though shopping for little girl clothes is super-fun, I will gladly accept free clothes any day of the week.) In fact, Lily had so many clothes that I couldn't even store them all. I sent two shipments to a friend of mine who has a girl Lily's age, and gave the another bag to a friend of mine in town. With the kids' warm-weather wardrobes ready to go, I put the blinders on during my recent shopping spree and just focused on myself for a change.
I only needed a few things (mostly bottoms) to make what I already have really become an outfit. I own two denim skirts (from last year's spring clothing swap), and while I like to wear them with fleece-lined leggings in the winter, that idea just won't work for summer. However, I don't feel completely comfortable wearing them without something underneath, so I added tights to my shopping list. I also own several tunic-length shirts that are without summer leggings (tights are sheer, leggings are opaque.) I threw two pairs of leggings into the donation bin while purging because the waist bands were stretched out beyond fitting me anymore. They were in fact three years old, and certainly had their fair share of wear. They were also wearing thin, and just needed replacing (it would have been embarrassing to wear them in public.) So, leggings were added to the list as well.
I could also have some use for a really nice dress. I added a sun dress or a maxi dress to the list; something breezy and casual that I could maybe wear to the park, but also just dressy enough I could wear out to dinner or to church. Flip flops were also a must. I have a really comfortable pair that I wear most of the time, and a not-so-comfortable pair I wear in place of dress shoes (something I bought with Fun Dollars during my hiatus.) But I needed a pair that I could wear to the pool; a pair that could get wet and not get ruined. Capris were the last "must" added to the list. I needed a pair of classy capris that would go with my fancier shirts for summertime. White would be ideal, khaki could work, black would also do, but not as preferable due to the heat of summertime.
With my list made, I added a few items to the "if you see it" category. If I saw a small, light-colored purse that I liked, or a hat, or an extra-cute shirt (because I don't really need a shirt, but sometimes, there's a really good bargain that just can't be passed up), and a new pair of rubber dish gloves. They are not really clothes related, but the ones I have now are probably going to pop a hole in the finger any day now, so I didn't want to be caught with an excuse not to do the dishes.
With my list in hand, I felt empowered to make smart purchases, and not get overwhelmed by the "I wants" while shopping. It's way to easy to fall prey to the "I wants", especially when shopping with your best friend.
Balance this pay cycle- $200.00 (This is an exception to the regular $100 rule of Fun Dollars. I will not be repeating it next pay cycle. Corey agreed that since I was revamping my wardrobe this was an acceptable amount to withdraw.)