Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What I Learned When I Gave Up Clothes Shopping

Breaking News...Florida woman survives six weeks without buying any new clothing!

Okay, so I know its not that big of a deal, but it was a bit of a challenge...for me. I love shopping. I love adding pieces to my wardrobe and hunting down a good deal. Most of all, I love the thrill of breaking out something new.

Ever have one of these days?
I like to think of shopping as my hobby/therapy (embarrassing as that is). It's similar to how my husband likes to fish, actually. The thrill is in the hunt and the exhilaration of hooking a great deal or great-fitting piece. 

I am by no means a shopaholic. I go browsing maybe once or twice a month...and usually end up purchasing at least something.

I decided to give up clothes shopping (for myself only) last spring for six weeks and here's what happened:
  • I made up for it in other ways. I redirected my shopping urges by shopping for my home instead. I finally purchased great new lighting in my kitchen to replace the black fan (shudder) that had been there since we bought our house. My husband scored a few new things as well.
  • We saved money. I think. Well, I feel like we did, but maybe not with the new home accessories.
  • Window-shopping online helped me get my fix. I could shop to my heart's content and add things to my cart without ever purchasing anything. Interestingly, I never ended up buying them afterwards.
  • I wore things in my closet that I kinda forgot about. Which is also when I realized not to "save" the nicer things for nice occasions. By "nicer," I mean anything that's not a cotton shirt and jeans/shorts. Even if I wasn't going anywhere special, I would throw on a shirt from a hanger or a casual dress. (This inspired my post How do you really look?)
  • I really didn't need anything new. Whoa. What?
    Do you ever wander into a store or a clothing section because you're just there? Then you end up buying something. It's the basic principle of want versus need. I want something new. Most of us do. We are constantly barraged by ads, catalogs, etc. showing us how we should look and what we should have. But when you give yourself a rule that you're not allowed to shop, there's no getting swayed into it. It was kind of nice to put it on hold for a while and reset that mindset.
  • I figured out what I really needed, I mean, wanted. I had a short list of items I wanted to get once my moratorium on shopping was up. The main one being new running shoes because the pair that I wear on non-running days was really making my feet ache. I didn't even run out to the mall after my time was up. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later, when I was in the vicinity.
  • It also changed my perspective on what to buy when I was shopping again. Instead of going for deals to get a quick fix, I decided I really need to invest in more quality pieces that have longevity.
So would I do it again? Absolutely. I'm actually thinking it's the smart, new way to shop. Go dry for six weeks, figure out what you can wear that you already have, what few things you may want, then have "open season" for a month or so.

What do you think? Are you a fellow shopper and could you do it?