So for the past few months, I’ve been holding out on you guys about a little experiment that I’ve been doing. At nearly three months into the year, I haven’t bought a single item of clothing, a pair of shoes, a piece of jewelry, or any sort of fashion accessory (belts, bags, scarves, etc.).
This really all came about in December of last year as the new year was approaching and I was thinking about resolutions. You should know that I’m not good at setting goals since I tend to set them too high and end up feeling overwhelmed by them to the point that I give up. Instead of setting goals for this year, I put my focus on coming up with “lifestyle tweaks” that I would like to make.
One aspect of my life that I was thinking could use some revamping was my shopping habits. I’m not sure where to place the blame exactly, but in the second half of 2011, I had become a major consumer. There was a constant feeling of “want” from my end. Packages were showing up on my front doorstep too frequently and I found myself justifying more and more purchases with the “sales and deals” that I was getting.
I did quite a bit of reflection on this in December and narrowed in on some contributing factors to my problem:
- I was being bombarded with emails from at least ten different retail stores letting me know about their 20-50% off sales. It really became too much to bear around the holidays as each store was sending me daily emails. Enough already!
- Pinterest had opened up a brand new world of clothes, shoes, and bags that I just absolutely had to have. I never knew I needed a pink ruffle pea coat until I saw it on Pinterest.
- I was spending more than intended just to qualify for free shipping from websites. So many sites offer free shipping once you spend $50-75, meaning that I would have to find something else to add to my cart if I wanted to get my $40 sweater shipped for free.
- Facebook must have given me a celebrity complex, because I hated the idea of photos popping up on Facebook that would show any evidence that I wore the same outfit to two different events. Baseball game? Birthday party? Thanksgiving dinner? They all required new outfits in my mind.
- Catalogs and magazines were constantly telling me that I wasn’t hip if I wasn’t staying up with all the latest trends. How dare I try to wear my bubble dress circa 2008 when maxi dresses was the new dress of 2011!
I’ve always enjoyed shopping, but I could tell that it had really started to get out of hand in the Fall of 2011. I had bought into every single trend that I saw. Leopard print everything. Red everything. Lace everything. I realized that I owned enough trendy items to carry myself all the way through Winter without buying anything else. And with that, an idea was born.
Could I cut myself entirely off from clothes shopping until the summer?
So that is how my “lifestyle tweak” was born. Starting January 1st, I wouldn’t buy a single piece of clothing, a pair of shoes, or any accessory. To mark the occasion (morn? celebrate?), I planned a last hurrah of sorts. Do you remember my shopping trip to the outletswhile I was in Florida? Well, that was all to mark my last shopping trip for a long while.
Now, how long is a while? Well, here’s where things get confusing (and my blonde roots start to show). My birthday is at the beginning of June, so I thought that would be a good milestone to end my shopping ban at since (as previously said) I had enough trendy clothes to get me through winter and part of spring. By lifting the ban in June, I would be free to get in on whatever the latest trends were. Knowing that June is the sixth month out of the year, I began to tell people that I was going on a six month shopping ban. Well, considering that my ban will end at the beginning of June, it’s technically a five month ban (which I didn’t realize until two months into this experiment – I’ve never felt like such an idiot before). I considered going the entire six months, but most likely I will end at five months.
So now that it’s been three months and I’m over halfway through the ban, how am I doing? Well, I haven’t broken down and bought anything yet, but it hasn’t been easy. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll cover all the unexpected side effects of the shopping ban and what has been helping me get through it!