Friday, August 8, 2014

My Year of No Shopping Insights

For those of you who regularly follow the blog you know I've just recently ended a year of no shopping. It was an interesting experience and I wasn't completely devout, I did cave a few times, but I was able to put my consumerism into perspective AND tackle some body issues.  The reason behind stopping shopping was twofold, first my credit card bills were getting ridiculous and I desperately needed to get them under control. Secondly, I wanted for nothing, I had more than enough clothes and found myself trying on/browsing garments that I already had similar versions of, OR the exact same item hanging in my closet, I was in a retail runt/haze so to speak. 

At the end of my retail fast I have gotten my debt under control, not completely paid off, but I'm out of the weeds and will be totally debt-free (besides like mortgage and student loans) by the end of this calender year, yeah! I've also begun to look at my wardrobe and my style in a new light. 

I recently read an article by Megan  O'Rourke in an issue of Elle (sorry I can't find it online) entitled "Goodbye To All That" where she details a recent closet purge/style overhaul. Like O'Rourke I'm coming into my (God I can't believe I'm admitting this) mid-30's.  Yep, I'll be 34 next month and I never thought I'd be this old, or feel this strange about getting older... I don't know, age and the concept of age/growing up/being an adult has changed so drastically in the past 10 years, don't you think? But that's a whole other type of post. Anyway, O'Rourke's article talks about her letting go of clothes and her younger style, and moving forward with a style that's more suited to her now, and that's more functional to her lifestyle. Not that she's all pantsuits and mom jeans, but she now feels she has clothing that works with her and represents her at this stage in her life. I feel that it is time to do something similar.

I plan on doing a major closet purge here soon. Unlike past purges where my mandate of getting rid of stuff depended on whether it fit and had I worn in the past two years, this time around I'll be putting my clothes through a style sieve. Even if the item fits and I have worn it recently, the question will be, how will I wear this as the adult woman I'll be in 2+ years. I'll also be looking more closely at quality, durability, and ease of wear.  It's time for my clothes to work for me, not me for them. If I can't make an item work without a lot of stylistic tricks, then forget it, who has the time. 

I mentioned above that this past year has seen me let go of some body issues. In the past when I was full-on shopping I'd order two sizes of things and keep whichever fit, or in some cases keep both sizes in the hopes that I'd lose enough weight to fit into the smaller size. OR sometimes I'd send back the size that fit/was looser and keep the smaller/tighter size with a goal of toning up to fit into. And each time I had to send the smaller size back or not reach the goal of the smaller size I was really hard on myself. A lot of negative self talk, a lot of feeling like a failure/loser/fat bitch.  That's just sample of said self talk. Without having that apart of my life for a full 12 months I feel better about myself all around. Sure, I'd like to lose a bit of weight (who wouldn't) but it doesn't play into my self worth as much as it used to. Maybe, that's one of the benefits of getting older in general regardless of one's retail restrictions. 

Coming back to shopping, coming up on my 34th birthday I've learned a lot about myself, about the need for quality clothing, and that outfits, while a means to express myself, are not the meaning of myself.  Whoa, that was deep shit right there! But seriously, thank you for reading this if you've made it this far. My blog is image driven which just a bit of copy, but I felt the need to include this "essay" of sorts. Thank you for following me in my outfitting adventures and through this year of no shopping. Happy Outfitting!  

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