At the end of July I decided to go on a shopping fast for the remainder of the year. I was so nervous when I shared this because I’d be completely accountable for my decision. I did give myself a $20 monthly budget to fall back on if absolutely needed.
Today I wanted to share the four epiphanies I’ve had since I stopped shopping.
1. Capsule Wardrobe Perfectionism
I’d love to say that creating capsule wardrobes ended all my bad shopping habits but I can’t. Creating capsule wardrobes taught me how to design a cohesive wardrobe, yet also made me a perfectionist in how I look at clothing, and kept me shopping. I would feel that what I purchased wasn’t working out as well as I hoped, then I ended up back in the stores.
I ranted about quitting capsule wardrobes awhile ago. Although it was a good break for me, the capsule wardrobe is still very helpful. Now looking back, my issue was not the capsule wardrobe, but my lack of patience creating it.
2. My Downfall With Thrifting
Thrifting truly is the most ecofriendly and economical way to shop. Since I’ve been on a shopping fast, I’ve become aware that I’ve treated my thrifted finds similarly to when I used to shop fast fashion. I’d get bored quickly, and because I didn’t spend a lot, an item would remain in my wardrobe for no more than one or two seasons. This way of shopping adds up quickly, and is a perfect example of poor financial literacy! Since shopping consignment stores is often hit or miss, I would often make purchases too quickly because there is only one of that particular item.
3. Slow Ethical Fashion
When the time comes for me to renew some of the pieces in my wardrobe, I’ve decided not to thrift them. There is nothing minimal about having a constantly revolving closet door of thrifted finds. Instead I’m going to seek out quality pieces that are sustainably and ethically made. This way I can carefully select what I want without fear of it not being there when I’m ready to purchase it.
4. A Huge Blessing
I donated or sold much of my pre-pregnancy and maternity clothing with the desire for creating a wardrobe for my new lifestyle. While I’ve been very aware of the gaps in my current wardrobe, this shopping fast has been a huge blessing, and I’ve been making what I have work anyway. It’s given me time to reconsider how I did things in the past, be gentle with myself as I learn from my spending mistakes, and slowly decide on a few pieces to tie everything together.
Living with less is always a journey, and you will learn so much about yourself along the way. I’m more aware than ever that worrying about what’s in my closet is insignificant. Looking presentable is being respectful to myself and others, yet I don’t need a lot to do so, and everything doesn’t need to be perfect.
Have you ever done a shopping fast? For those who said they’d join me, how are things going for you?
(Images by Dawn Michelle)