Stylist Lesley Martin Trims her Fashion Budget

Invercargill-born Lesley Martin, 61, who is a network stylist for Australia’s SBS, set herself a task to spend nothing on clothes for a year and record her 365 days of outfits, posting the images on Instagram. Australian Women’s Weekly chats with Martin about her fashion odyssey.

Martin prides herself on her personal style and in turbans, colourful silks and vibrant cottons the Sydney fashionista looks as if she’s really enjoying herself. “I think it makes you feel better if you make a bit of an effort,” Martin says. “It is my three-dimensional canvas. I guess it’s my form of creativity.”

Every day, she feels like a kid in a fashion candy store, but Martin admits the temptation to buy for herself is frequently too much to bear. This presented a problem. “I realised that my budget was not really working,” she says.

“I was doing my end of year tax and when I added up how much I had spent on shoes, clothing, swimwear, exercise gear … it was $10,000. I looked at my wardrobe and thought, I have to not spend $10,000.”

And so Lesley decided to spend her 61st year with what she cleverly terms a “zero wardrobe = budget”.

The site – lesleyhasmanyhats – soon gathered followers, all eager to see her daily ensembles. Lesley’s initial idea was to refrain from buying clothes all year. “My husband is retired and so I am the only income now,” she explains.

“I found that I was not making ends meet and I wanted to do other things like travel.”

Yet, as a self-confessed fashion tragic, she realised she wouldn’t be able to get through a year buying nothing. “I knew that I would be incredibly depressed at the end of 365 days if I had not bought one thing. So I decided that I had to have ‘zero wardrobe budget’ out of my working salary. If I wanted to buy anything, I had to sell something or do an extra job after hours.”

Original article by Juliet Rieden, Australian Women’s Weekly, January 2016.

Tags: Australian Women's Weekly  Lesley Martin  

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