Sunday, September 8, 2019

#noshop19 Update

It has been 8 months of the hardest challenge I've ever given myself. NOT SHOPPING. Effective January 1st of this year, I vowed to not shop for myself. Period. (see this post for the rundown) 

I've been asked for tips and advice for others who are debating the challenge so here's a quick rundown of how it's gone, what I've realized so far, and some advice I wish I had prior to starting. Hang onto your seats, it's about to get real honest... 


Like REALLY hard. Know this going into challenging yourself to not shop for a year. Accept it, truly accept it, and know there will be days where all you want to do is go to Home Goods and buy a throw pillow. But you can't. In all honesty, try it for a month and see how it goes. Most people can't even make it a month, let alone a year. I'm stubborn as all hell so I'm gonna make it. But so many of my friends have attempted one month of not shopping and didn't make it. Why? Because it's hard. 


It's true. It is. I swear. Shopping calms you down and distracts you from reality and your problems and emotions. It makes you ignore everything else going on and allows you to focus on something completely different. The hunt for a deal. A great new pair of shoes. Fun jeans that you didn't think you needed but one more pair who cares.  


This is a huge struggle for me. Because, well, I do. I own plenty. If I didn't shop for another 5 years, I'd be fine. I'd have enough clothes to wear. Enough accessories to tweak my outfits to be different. Plenty of shoes to rotate through. You do. You own enough. But doesn't everyone want something new, something fresh, something they saw in an ad or while scrolling Instagram?! 
In all seriousness, do I really need another striped tee or pair of jeans? No. I have enough. And so do you. Thank me later.  


Do. Not. Swipe. Up. 
There. I said it. 
All of these bloggers and influencers just want you to swipe up because you "have to have it" and it's "the best I've ever seen" are full of it. They want to make $1.47 off of you buying a pair of leggings or a new razor. 
Don't fall for the social media pressure and confuse that inner feeling of wanting to be part of the cool club with the knowledge of what you really need. Take a step back and just say no. 


Part of this resolution on top of not shopping was to also purge. I had a teacher wardrobe, an admin wardrobe, a pregnant wardrobe, a mom wardrobe, and a whole bunch of nonsense mixed in (including numerous gowns from black tie events over the past 25ish years). My biggest piece of advice: purge baby PURGE. I swear, you won't miss it. You won't even know it's gone. You can go all Marie Kondo on your closet if you want, but I'm all for baby steps so you don't have a nervous breakdown. Because I totally would've lost my s-h-i-t if I used her method. 
Take everything out of your closet. Look at each item of clothing (no need to thank them or hug them) and immediately decide keep, sell, or donate. I guarantee you'll find pieces you forget you even bought that still have pricetags on them (happened to me), you'll find pieces that haven't fit you since you were 17 (happened to me), you'll find pieces that spark memories (happened to me), and you'll find pieces that make you question your sanity (happened to me, that damn crop top from 2002) 
Part ways with the things. They're just things. And you have to get over how much you spent on it or what a great deal it was or where you were the last time you wore it. It doesn't matter. It's just clothes.  
Put back everything you decided to keep and sort it. If you find a plethora of a certain style (for me it was button downs and striped tees) really look at each of them and see what you L-O-V-E and what flatters you. I bet big bank some don't even fit or flatter. Then say buh-bye to them and stick with the best of the best because when you wear them, you'll feel and look like the best of the best. 


This helped me soooo much. It gave me my fix. My best friend hates to shop. Hates, hates, HAAATES. So I do it for her. And it gives me my shopping fix when I need it most. 

Also, one of my other besties is obsessed with shopping like I am so she sends me links almost daily. So I shop vicariously through her, and her wallet! Win Win. 


This is a struggle. Do you really NEED it or do you just WANT it? 99% of the time you want it. Take a step back and really decide one way or the other. 


I have always been clean cut and preppy. Always. Wearing a uniform for a chunk of my childhood might have had something to do with it but regardless, that's been my style. Over the years, I felt I needed to be trendy and cool and hipster. Why? Who knows really. But I felt that way. So I shopped accordingly. A hippie dress here, overly distressed denim there, a floppy hat over here, cutout booties over there. For no other reason than I thought it would help me fit in. But why fit in when you were born to stand out? Seriously though. Figure out your personal style and shop accordingly. Look at your closet and see what works with YOUR style and what doesn't. Don't try to be someone you're not. You do you boo. 


THIS. This has been game changing for me. I was raised to believe it's all about the bargain. I'm a deal hunter. I love a good sale and I LOOOOVE a bargain. But when I wash it once and it fades and wash it again and it falls apart, I flushed my money down the toilet. Take a step back and look at what you're buying. For a few dollars more you could get a similar item in a better quality then go for it. Think about your bang for your buck. People often are shocked when they hear I spend $100 on a pair of shoes when I could get a knock off at Target. While yes, that is true, my $100 pair will last me 5 if not 10 years while my Target pair might only get me one maybe 2. Buying that Target pair every other year for 10 years and I'll actually end up spending more than just the one pair for $100. The quality items are most often worth the investment. 


Online shopping is the worst. Scroll your phone while on the couch at night, think "that's cute, I like that" and click add to cart then bam, four days later it appears. And there's the regret. The thoughts of I didn't need it, I don't love it, and so on. 
Open the Notes app on your phone and start a list of things you want to buy. Revisit it each week. If what you want stays on that list for a few weeks, then you really want it. Otherwise, delete it and don't look back. 
My list from this year is quite long but most of them are wishlist investment pieces. I have added and deleted more times than I can count and I actually don't even remember most of the ones I've deleted. So I didn't REALLY need them now did I...


If there's one thing this resolution has taught me is that I have been much more reflective on what I buy. I have realized that cheaper brands fall apart and don't last while sustainable, classic brands stand the test of time. 


Find something else to do instead of shopping. Especially boredom shopping. And online shopping. I can't even tell you how many books I've read this year because it's been my little escape. I think I've actually spent a pretty penny on books (that's a whole other issue of mine, but I resell them!) Adult coloring books have been a good hobby too. And also therapeutic. 


After purging so much and keeping classic, well-made pieces in my closet with some fun pops of print and trendy pieces here and there, I've realized why the capsule wardrobe is such a good idea. Now, I'm not saying cut down to 30 pieces. Nope, no way, no how. But I am saying a capsule wardrobe with intentional pieces makes sense. Plus, it's a heck of a lot easier to get dressed in the mornign with fewer options in front of you. 

And in case you're wondering about what I've added to my closet, here's what I've added along with WHY and HOW MUCH in 2019.

- a black sequin blazer from ThredUp for 53 cents. I had expiring credits and a black sequin blazer has been on my wardrobe wishlist for a few years. I didn't break my resolution. I found over $4 in change under the seats in my car to cover the 53 cents I spent. Ha! 

- a pair of Birdies slippers from Poshmark that I traded someone a necklace and bracelet for. No money left my pocket and I was able to get rid of two things I'd been trying to sell for a while. 

- a yellow raincoat from JCrew that cost me nothing- I had 2 coupon codes that I stacked plus JCrew rewards. They ended up owing me 6 cents. I kid you not. 
Plus, I needed a raincoat, the one I wear doesn't keep me dry. So it was a necessity even though it was free. 

- a new pair of work out sneakers because my old ones ripped. I was all set to just get a pair that was on the clearance rack at DSW but did some research for a few weeks instead and tried on multiple pairs and ended up with a pair of Brooks and couldn't be happier. Definitely worth the price and after discussing it with several people, they are one of the best brands around! These were a necessity. Therefore, it didn't break my resolution.

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