When I decided on my no shopping challenge back in January, I had no idea what to expect. Would I feel a crazy impulse to buy buy buy? Would I unlock some magical, zen approach to getting dressed? Would I get so tired of the same pair of jeans that I’d go nuts and buy 15 new ones? When I initially wrote the post, it seemed like a lot of you felt the same way I did about shopping, that you were totally spent and needed a shift in attitude toward the entire idea of buying. I wanted to check in with you guys to not only update you, but also to share some anecdotes about these past 4 months of going without buying clothing, accessories, or jewelry.
Let’s start with a full disclosure, shall we? I’ve bought things. When I first set my intentions for this challenge, I allowed myself 1 item a month. I want to be totally transparent, so here’s what I’ve bought and why:
- 1 sweater — this was the item that almost broke me. It’s the most perfect shade of pumpkin orange, oversized, and handknit. I spotted it at a local boutique, tried it on, put it back, and thought about it for a week. So I went back and let it be my 1 item for the month. I’m happy to report that I’ve worn it at least 15 times since I bought it!
- gold sandals — I was a bridesmaid, so I had to get shoes to coordinate. I tried to pick out a pair that were affordable, but also would be wearable beyond the wedding, too.
- vintage denim smock coat — this was my moment of weakness! While I was in North Carolina last week, I went vintage shopping and feel in love with this piece. It’s got that cool-girl-artist vibe that will pair so well with a lot of things I own already. Also, the sleeves are actually long enough for my gorilla arms, which is so hard to find. Because I was flying out the next day, I didn’t have much time to think about it, but I have the feeling I’ll be wearing it a lot this summer.
- a pair of white Converse sneakers — I wanted a pair of clean, crisp sneakers to wear at High Point. There was a ton of walking, but I had to look sort of nice, so I figured a fresh pair of sneakers would do the trick. I have no idea where my old pair went, so I know that these ones will definitely be in high rotation.
so, 4 items… not bad!
One repercussion of this no shopping challenge that I’ve noticed of late is that my impulse shopping has found a new outlet… beauty and skincare. I had this a-ha moment when I was staring at a burgeoning Sephora cart, wondering what the hell I was doing and why I needed all of these masks, serums, etc. I emptied the cart and went about my business, but that moment still lingers in my mind. I don’t want this challenge to evolve into another sort of bad behavior where I’m suddenly hoarding skincare products instead of sundresses. That would negate the intent of the challenge on so many levels. It just goes to show that I am still working through my habits and trying to put into place stronger thought processes as I shop.
If anything, this project has really raised awareness in my own brain while I’m shopping or even perusing the internet. I still think to myself, ‘ohhhh I want that,’ but I no longer have a knee-jerk reaction to add it to my cart and hastily make a purchase. I like to think I’m rewiring my brain when it comes to how I shop.
I’m going to keep checking in about my ‘no shopping’ challenge every few months and sharing what I’ve learned. If you’re doing a similar challenge, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you and what you’ve found along the way! And in case you missed it, catch up on my ‘no shopping’ challenge here.
Photography by Meghan Klein.