When I was expecting, I was at a Christmas party where a woman I didn't know very well, but who had three kids, kept repeating to me that once you have kids, you never get to buy anything for yourself anymore. There would be no more clothes, shoes, fancy vacations. Apart from thinking that was terribly rude, and tuning her out completely (like when I did when my mother tried to tell me how tired I was going to be for the next, oh, 15 years), I noticed this woman was carrying what appeared to me a very pricey leather bag. I dismissed her immediately.
Turns out she was right, though. Even if you find a way to save money on the essentials like diapers and wipes (Amazon subscribe and save) and you have ample hand me downs, day care will kill you. I really think in lieu of buying gifts this year I'm going to wrap up cards that say I wanted to buy you something nice this Christmas, but instead I paid for day care. Because that's the reality.
So I've said goodbye to cute trendy clothes and fancy shoes and designer handbags, but I do have a job in an office where I need to look presentable. I don't have to wear suits (thank god) but I do have to dress up Monday through Thursday and unless you want to wear cheap polyester crap, it's hard to afford even the basics off the rack. For example, here is a basic, brown pencil skirt from Ann Taylor Loft:
It costs $69.50.
They only way I can afford that is if the skirt becomes my entire outfit, and trust me, no body wants that.
Luckily for me, Milwaukee has a Retique. Does anyone else have one of these? It's an upscale Goodwill, which I thought was a silly concept until I stepped inside. It's a small store, about a quarter of the size of a regular resale shop, but everything in there is a brand name. You can find jeans from the Gap, sweaters from Old Navy, pants from J Crew and hooray! Skirts from Ann Taylor Loft!
I picked this one up yesterday. It's a brown, basic pencil skirt. It looks like it's never been worn and it has adorable stitching around the seams and two buttons on the front: