At the beginning of 2018, I introduced my intention to quit shopping for the entire year. After a few months, I shared an update, including the items I had purchased (one item a month is allowed—for the full set of “rules” see the original post). I’ve heard from so many of you that you’re tackling similar shopping freeze challenges, so I want to really dig in and share how I’m making my current wardrobe work a little harder. Luckily, I haven’t really felt the need to go on a binge and buy everything in sight, which is great. I have, however, had to spend time really thinking about how to make my existing closet work. I have a gazillion weddings (read: five) and personal events coming up, so getting creative is a must. So far, this what I’ve come up with:
Do swaps with friends
Before you judge this one, I’m totally aware that it may seem a little tacky. But if you have friends that are just as fried as you are when it comes to spending money on clothes and trying to keep up with society, then this is actually quite perfect. What looks like a boring old closet to you with the same five shirts you’ve worn a hundred times, looks like a treasure trove of new adventures to a friend (and vice versa).
Again, keep an open mind here. I’m not talking about whipping out the glue gun (although I’m not opposed). I’m thinking more like learning basic sewing skills. And learning how to take something old and make it new and exciting again. Because I don’t know about you, but most of the fun in shopping for me is the “excitement” and “rush” of feeling like I have something new. So if I can recreate that with something I already have, I’m game. For example, jeans. Distressed knees and raw hems are really on trend right now. If you don’t already have something like that in your closet, take a pair and do some experimenting. I do suggest making your alterations with caution though because you don’t want to ruin a good pair of denim.
Here are a few more DIYs from the archives to breathe new life into your existing pieces:
Reimagine what you already have
Something I need to get better at is taking time to plan my outfits in advance. I tend to wait until the last minute and, when I don’t see something I immediately like in my closet, that’s when I start shopping like a mad woman. That said, I’m trying to now look at things individually and imagine how I can layer it, tuck it, or wear it in a different way.
OK, this is a huge one. Accessories can totally change an outfit. I’m not a huge accessory person, but I have learned in that past few months that adding a simple pair of earrings or a necklace here and there can make me look (and feel, which is the most important factor) like I’ve got on a completely new outfit.
If you’ve got more tips on coping with a shopping freeze, PLEASE share! This is something I’m very passionate about right now and I really want this little experiment to have a lasting effect. Blow up my comment section, I’m all ears!
photography by Jojotastic.