Friday, November 1, 2013

Six-Month Fast from Buying Clothes - One-Month Progress Report

One month down, five to go.

This first month wasn’t all that difficult, for two reasons. First, I had shopped quite a bit in September, so I have been spending this month wearing several new pieces. Second, with the change of seasons, I’ve brought out the fall/winter clothes that I pack away every spring. Not wearing or seeing something for about six months makes it feel sort of new. With all of these options, the fact that I couldn’t buy anything new this month hasn’t been all that devastating. I definitely haven’t even come close to running out of ideas for what to wear.

That said, this month has taught me a lot about my behaviour toward shopping. I kept catching myself innocently perusing Joe Fresh when at Zehrs or the Superstore, scrolling through Pinterest’s fashion category only to repeatedly tap away to get to the sites the images were posted from because I wanted to know what brand those amazing distressed jeans were, or whether that “site with reasonably-priced decent dresses” actually did have nice stuff, or how much that killer dress cost. I’ve been to the mall, and I have felt the occasional sweater and flipped the occasional tag—you know, just to stay in the “know” of what is out there.

Anyway, all of this to say that October has been a month of noticing my shopping behaviour and then working to train myself otherwise. I’ve had to constantly remind myself that I can’t buy anything, so why bother look? I’ve steered myself out of stores and forced my index finger to click the mouse on the “x” and close the tab of the clothing sites I started searching through online. I’ve also had to train my thought process about clothes a bit. Instead of seeing something, wanting it, figuring out whether it’s a viable option and then going on the hunt for it, I’ve seen things, wanted them, and then had to stop there.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that while I haven’t bought clothes for myself this month, I have bought clothes for everyone else in my household. They basically needed everything I bought them more than I would have needed something new, so I felt kind of good about shifting my focus to the rest of my family instead of myself.

Lastly, it was only one or two days into the fast that I started to feel the urge to spruce up my basement and make some improvements in my living room and kitchen. Instead of spending hours online looking at clothes, I have been looking at fabrics and pillow covers and throws and curtains until my eyes crossed. Interestingly, my quest for improvement and for the best option for the best price seems to have moved from my closet to my home in general. I rearranged our bedroom. I even bought new salt and pepper shakers and a new can opener—both of which I can totally justify buying; these purchases just amuse me because I never really cared about the state of either item until I stopped focusing on my clothes. That made me feel a tad gross.
One teeny confession: I bought two pairs of socks. My excuse: Most of my socks are getting holes, and I didn’t even realize I needed any until October hit and I started wearing socks and boots. I started to justify the socks with the logic that socks are more of a necessity thing than a frivolous clothing purchase. Either way, I bought socks.

There’s Month #1 in a nutshell. So far, so good!

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