The year I gave up clothes shopping

July 5, 2017

 

Anyone who knows me will tell you I never wear the same outfit twice.

 

This isn't strictly true but it gives you an idea of my relationship with clothes. I'm not really into my designer brands or disposable fashion but I do have a lot of clothes, many of them from charity shops (but you wouldn't know - I hope!)

 

Christmas 2015 I was totally stressed out by the state of my wardrobe because there was no more room! It also took ages for me to decide what to wear as I had so many options, not all of them good ones!

So as my new years resolution for 2016 I decided I would "give up clothes shopping for a whole year." That includes charity shop purchases, accessories, shoes, bags and underwear.

 

When I told my friends they thought I'd lost my mind but wished me all the best, probably secretly thinking I'd make it to mid January then go on a huge shopping spree.

 

Here's how it went

  • I made it to April before I bought anything. It was super sensible though, it was a coat with a hood (believe it or not I didn't own one!) and it was raining.

  • By the end of the year I managed 9 months with no purchases (5 of those consecutive.)

  • I bought 12 items during the whole year. 5 of those were replacement items for stuff I wore out and I threw out the original 5 items so I only had 7 more items of clothing than I started with.

  • All of my purchases were made when I was on holiday. Dublin, Saint Tropez and Florida.

I logged my progress on Instagram throughout the year. The gallery at the bottom of this posts shows all 12 posts from the year. Clicking the images will show my thoughts each month.

 

What did I learn?

You make better choices when you switch your brain on. Who knew?

I didn't regret any of my purchases because I actually stopped and thought about them. There were lots more items that I stopped and thought about but didn't buy!

 

3 simple questions can make a huge difference

Theses are the questions that I now ask myself before I buy an item. Sometimes 1 is enough to decide not to buy it:

1. Do I already have something similar that I could wear instead? If the answer is "yes", I don't buy it.

2. Where/when/how often could I wear it? If the answer is "I don't know" or "not often" then I don't buy it.

3. Can I wear it with other items I already have? "No, I'd have to buy shoes to go with it" I don't buy it.

 

Clothes can't change your life

Turns out that item you've fallen in love with on a rail won't change your life when it's in your wardrobe. If you don't buy it you're still you!

If I hadn't posted about this challenge on social media I don't think anyone would have noticed I hadn't added any new items to my wardrobe for months. At no point did I feel like I wasn't stylish, I just mixed up what I already had.

 

Saving money gives the same buzz as shopping

Slowly but surely, my bank balance started to feel the effects of my shopping ban. I wasn't in debt before the ban but during it I found myself with more money to transfer into my savings account at the end of the month. That gave me the same buzz buying a new top did (maybe bigger as there's no guilt attached.)

 

 

My year in pictures - Click on the images to show my thoughts on each month

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I've made this website for fun in the hope that it will inspire people to live more and worry less by taking on board some ideas to simplify their lives.

 

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