Beka Bretherton, 20, who is from Chorley, is studying journalism at the University of Salford. She shares the stories behind two of her favourite wardrobe items with us.
MY BIGGEST BARGAIN
“As the song goes ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’, and like everyone else out there who’s buying presents for family and friends, I’m finding money tends to get a little tight.
“Alas, I’m a Christmas obsessive, and it only seems to intensify year-on-year, right down to demanding two Christmas trees in my parents’ modest-sized home for the past three years.
“If I had my way, it would look like Santa’s Grotto. My mum says her work colleagues like to joke that she’s putting up the trees in the east and west wings of the house.
“I’ve been listening to Christmas music since before Halloween, and that’s when I realised I didn’t own a novelty Christmas jumper.
“The key word here is ‘novelty’, since I have plenty of festive jumpers all in a stylish Fair Isle print, but not any novelty ones.
“In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever owned one, and if I have, well it was at the very least back in primary school.
“So the hunt began for the perfect novelty jumper. Surprising as it sounds a trip to Primark resulted in zero purchases, even though it has become known for its vast selection of Christmas jumpers over the years.
“Sadly, as with most novelty jumpers, all the ones I liked were over-priced and cost more than I wanted to pay. I am, after all, a student and don’t have that much disposable income.
“The next stop was Tesco and a similar thing happened. The ones I liked were either overpriced for what they were or weren’t available in my size.
“I started wondering if I would ever find my perfect novelty Christmas jumper.
“Last stop of the day was Asda and, thankfully, they rescued the situation.
“There, I came across a jumper that featured a Christmas tree – and not just any Christmas tree, but one with a gold sequinned star, sparkly coloured pom poms as tinsel and baubles, and completed with some jingle bells.
“You can’t get much more novelty Christmas than that!
“Best of all, it cost just £14 compared to others that were at least £10 more expensive.
“With a smile on my face, I was jingling all the way to the checkout.”
MY ULTIMATE SPLURGE
“On Christmas Day 2012, my uncle proposed to his girlfriend. They set the date for May 2015 and I was happy. Why? Because it meant I would get to go dress shopping. Okay, I was happy for them too, but I really couldn’t wait to buy a new dress.
“Don’t worry, I did manage to hold off... for about a year and a half.
“I am a sucker for a beautiful dress. I went as far as to order my high school prom dress from America. (I got free delivery, so it wasn’t that bad.)
“I buy dresses when I don’t even have an occasion planned to wear them, but it’s so much better when you do actually have somewhere to wear them to.
“What I wasn’t expecting however was to spend close to £100 on this dress.
“It is from a fairly new brand called Forever Unique, which was established in 2008. Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Nicole Scherzinger have been photographed in their creations.
“My dress is called the Olive dress and it is covered in gorgeous fuchsia lace detailing and what is described as a plunge mesh top.
“From the moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it.
“Then I saw the price tag – £247.50, I was crushed. There was no way I could afford that.
“With a little desperate searching I came across the same dress on ASOS.com, who were at the time having a huge sale on dresses, and it was reduced to £95.
“Now I know what you’re thinking, surely that’s a bargain – it’s more than half price.
“However, I’m the kind of girl who buys the majority of her clothes from New Look or Primark, so £95 on one dress was a lot of money to me.
“If I wanted it, I had to buy it by the end of the week. After that, it would return to its original £247.50 price tag and I would never be able to afford it.
“As I stared at the page for what felt like hours, I knew that no matter what I wouldn’t find another dress that I loved more than that one.
“So I took the plunge.
“It was a full eight months before the wedding. Over the top? Maybe just a little.
“I can safely say I’ve never spent that much money on one piece of clothing prior or since.
“Do you know what though? As I look at that dress in my wardrobe, the little Disney princess inside me rejoices and I don’t regret it one bit.”