Friday, January 3, 2014

Six-Month Fast From Buying Clothes: Three-Month Progress Report

As of January 1, it’s been three months since I’ve bought any clothes—apart from a few minor exceptions (socks and some clothing I bought for myself but were technically gifts).

The period of time since just after Christmas has been challenging. Usually, Christmas events, Boxing Day sales and Christmas money all converge in the form of new items hanging in my closet. This year was very different. To go shopping with my husband after Christmas and not buy any clothes for myself was a foreign situation. I even found several justifications surfacing into my thoughts:

“I could buy something right now—who would really care?”

“I’ve done this for three months now, which is pretty good; I could stop now if I want—nobody is really stopping me from stopping!”

“I could technically ask Joel to buy me something, which would constitute a ‘gift,’ not me buying something myself, right?”

Does that sound desperate to you? Maybe a little.

I have, as I mentioned in my One-Month Progress Report, still been shifting my attention from buying new clothing to other areas. Last month, I focused on hair and beauty, and invested in a set of new makeup brushes, a really great eyeshadow palette (Stila – In the Light) and the best mascara I’ve ever owned (Benefit – They’re Real!) and lastly, had my hair cut to a long bob and purchased a great flat iron (to replace the under $30 Conair one that was given to me and I’ve had for at least 7 years). You could say that I have a problem with shopping in general, and to nix that habit, I’d have to refrain from buying anything for six months, or you could say that I’m rounding out my shopping to some areas that have been neglected in favour of buying clothes (such as home décor and hair/beauty tools and supplies). I’ll leave that up to you to decide!

In my initial post about this clothing fast, I described the sword fight of opposing feelings that I felt about not buying clothes. I’m still feeling those swords clanging. As challenging as it has been not buying clothes, even when I’ve really wanted to, the worse I feel about not being able to go shopping, the worse I ultimately feel about myself for so desperately wanting to buy something. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not the end of the world; I ought to keep going and break through the fast’s finish line (and then sprint right into my favourite clothing stores). I mean, sure, I could just start buying things and just give up, but then where would I be? How can I better myself if I can’t overcome a challenge as “first-world-problem-y” as not buying clothes for six months when I really do have plenty of clothes to wear during this period of time? By March 31st, I want to be able to say that I "did it" - I didn't buy clothes for myself for six months.

So the months continue, I spend just as much time on Pinterest looking at outfits, but maybe a little less time actually on clothing store sites and in stores (because what’s the point)—just enough to keep up with what is going on out there, to get new outfit ideas and to stay inspired about style. That’s the major idea here: I’m not going to keep recycling the same looks all the time; I’m going to keep switching things up to make it interesting, which is a more significant feat when I am using what I already own instead of buying something new to create a new outfit.

There you have it—the facts, thoughts and feelings I’ve been experiencing at the three-month mark of this six-month fast from buying clothes.

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