Somehow I’ve converted myself from an impulse buyer into someone who can barely commit to a cart. Why I shop less and how I broke the habit.
MY RELATIONSHIP TO SHOPPING
Years ago, I would go shopping on Friday’s with my best friend. We would meet up, get a coffee then hit the shops, generally perusing but more often than not coming home with at least one new dress. Boutique clearance sales were also a weakness we went in for. After packing up and moving across the country more than once, I realised how bad the habit had gotten. I just had so much more clothing than I needed and could not wear it all.
These days, I have zero desire to go out to shop. I rarely ever do it. Even when my Mum visits, she always wants to go out shopping. I’ve heard her say many times that I just ‘don’t look at anything anymore or seem interested’. That is because I am not. Sometimes I’ll see something and get excited about it. But rather than impulse purchase something I don’t actually need, I put it on a list and see if I am still keen a few weeks later. Come to think of it, I can’t actually think of any times I’ve gone back and purchased any of those items.
So, how did I turn it all around?
MY CAPSULE WARDROBE & WHAT I ASK MYSELF BEFORE A PURCHASE
I’ve shared this many times. If you haven’t read it, here is a look at what I learned having a capsule wardrobe. Though not a strict capsule, having a guide, has meant I really question anytime I am tempted to bring in something new. The following are some questions I always pose to myself when weighing up a wardrobe purchase:
Would I wear it over many years or just for a season/ single occasion?
Would it go with a bunch of other items I own or would I have to buy something else to go with it?
Is the quality worth the cost?
How is it made?
Is the piece or brand sustainable?
Do I own something similar already?
Could that money and space in my wardrobe be put to better use?
Do I really need this or do I just want it? etc…
Asking all of these questions usually comes up with a few negative reasons not to invest. In considering all of this, I find I just shop less. Maybe asking questions like this takes the fun out of shopping. Sure, I guess that is true. But sorting through mass amounts of wardrobe items you come to realise you don’t need isn’t fun either.
WHY I DIDN’T NEED TO HOLD A BIG CLOTHING SALE THIS YEAR
This weekend last year I co-hosted a big fashion blogger garage sale as a part of the Garage Sale Trail. For the past six months, I’d been asked if I’m keen to host another one this weekend. The answer was always a solid ‘no’. The reason being was that I’d donated a lot prior to that sale last year, then either sold or donated half of my wardrobe over that weekend. I talked about how I halved my wardrobe in one weekend back here. If you are looking for tips on how to do that, click over and read my suggestions. It’s brutal but it works! That post also contains tips on how to host a sale yourself. It’s a great way to rid yourself of unrequired items.
THE ITEMS I BOUGHT THIS YEAR & NEW BRANDS I TRIED
In the course of a year, I have barely shopped. Actually, if I don’t take into account press samples or items gifted to me through my blogging collaborations I have bought nine items. All of which were 40-70% off on sale, including swimwear and two sets of hair clips. Most were things to fill a void in my wardrobe (namely summer pieces like cotton skirts/ swim tops) or to cheaply update my outfits with hair clips.
Given I have this platform, I do like to try online stores & brands to recommend. This year, I ordered from Pixie Market to try them out- I like their styles, and I wanted to see if the quality was worth the cost. Overall, for the record, I liked the quality, the styles and I feel like the prices aren’t so bad. Their postage took a long time, had little tracking updates and I’ve since heard that you can buy their pieces in Singapore or Hong Kong (I don’t recall which) for a lot less than the retail price online. So, I would still recommend them but only if you think the prices are within your budget. Besides this, I ordered from Australian brands She Made Me and With Jéan. Both of which had fast shipping and the pieces were excellent quality for the price. They are also both companies who manufacture in limited quantities with a sustainable focus.
*A NOTE ON BRANDS I RECOMMEND
In touching on press samples, (given my job) I’ve accepted them from around fifteen companies over the course of eighteen months. Some of these brands I’ve accepted multiple items from, some just the one piece. In comparison to previous years, that is a lot less. A lot. Most of the time I feel like I am politely declining working with brands that just don’t align with my values, namely due to their manufacturing, non-sustainable fabrics, value for money or that they simply don’t seem that they will be helpful to me or you.
Finding fashion brands through all the noise that I feel are worth your wardrobe space is a priority for me. It also means I have a lot less coming into my wardrobe and as such have a lot less I’d need to sell or clear out. Though the same thing still goes, I do on occasion end up with press sample pieces I like but that don’t fit well. For example, the outfit I had on in my last post (see it here) both the jeans and the top are bigger on me than I’d like. So, I have a bag of items to donate from the past year that didn’t fit me well enough to keep. That is decidedly less than half of my wardrobe!
WHY I SHOP LESS THAN I USED TO
Overall, what I am getting at is that I shop less than I used to because I am so conscious of what I do and don’t need. In going from one extreme to the other (over-shopping to barely-ever), I’ve learned along the way that less is more. While I do have new pieces from brands I love working with coming in, I take a long time to decide on the pieces I accept from them. I even have a gift card from Christmas that I’ve still not spent because I can’t decide what to get!
My point is, I don’t need as much as I thought. And in the year just gone, I’ve not missed that other half of my wardrobe. It’s been a big learning curve! So, nope, there will not be a big sale this year.
Have you gone through anything like this? I’d love to hear how you overcame a habit like this one and how? Do you need to learn to shop less? Was there something that worked for you? Send us your tips below!