It’s been almost ten months now since I last purchased a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes or a bag or a piece of jewellery, and the exciting part is that I still have no desire or inclination whatsoever to actually buy anything. This has been seriously liberating and it’s also helped our family finances immensely.
I have not always been like this. In fact, ever since I started earning money back in my late teens, I’ve been guilty of spending way too much money on clothes and accessories, often racking up unnecessary credit card debt and sometimes making plain bad purchasing choices.
The funny thing is that I didn’t start out by consciously imposing a year-long spending freeze on myself. Instead, I just decided that I didn’t need to buy anything new and that it would be nice to stop spending money on clothes and other stuff that I didn’t need. From there on, I simply found that the more I didn’t buy anything, the more I didn’t want to buy anything. Eventually I discovered that I automatically stopped looking at clothes at the shops, and I even stopped logging onto online stores as well.
Honestly, I can’t tell you how nice it is to not have to feel nervous about receiving packages at home and having to explain to Rick why I needed yet another different pair of shoes or pants. You ladies with husbands know what I mean, right?
But most of all, I’ve loved feeling content with what I have. I love not looking at my wardrobe and thinking to myself that I need this and this and that to make my wardrobe ‘complete’. I love just being happy with the clothes and the other things that I have now.
It’s hard, though, especially when we’re bombarded every day with all the new things that we can and “should” (supposedly) buy. Here are some things that I’ve worked out along the way that have helped me to be happy with what I already have:
It’s actually socially acceptable to wear the same outfit.
You don’t need a new dress for every single event that you attend. Sounds like a no-brainer but when I was younger, I seriously used to think that I needed something new to wear for every special occasion. Uh uh. Turns out this was a self-concocted myth and when you think about it, quite egotistic of me to think that anyone would care that I was wearing the same thing more than once! I am no celebrity, after all. These days, I just wear the same outfit for 1-2 weeks in a row (unless of course they get really dirty). Saves washing, saves having to come up with something new every day, and so far, no-one has complained… (Edit: Rick has since read this post and would like me to clarify that I do change my ‘under things’ and that because I sit at my desk for a lot of the day, I do not get sweaty. Oh, and that I will wash my clothes more frequently in summer. Thank you husband, for upholding my reputation.)
‘Classics’ and ‘essentials’ are actually not essentials.
You know all those pieces that fashion magazines tell you that you ‘have’ to have? The ones that supposedly never go out of style? The little black dress, the white shirt, the black blazer, the grey shift dress, the leather jacket, the trench coat, the skinny jeans, the leather boots, the red heels…. I could go on and on. Well, I used to be totally convinced that I ‘had’ to have all those ‘essentials.’ In fact, I had a list of them, and would check each item off as I finally made such a purchase. (Sad, right?) It meant that I was always aspiring to ‘complete’ my wardrobe in a sense, and I was never content with what I already had. But quite frankly, these so-called ‘essentials’ are not essential at all. Sure, they may be among the more versatile items of clothing out there, but that doesn’t mean that you have to own one. Nor does it mean that it’s something that might actually suit your style! I’ll be the first to admit that I have a plethora of black dresses as they’re one of my staples, but in the last year, I’ve purged black blazers, leather jackets, trench coats from my closet because I finally worked out that I don’t like wearing them. The key is to work out what you like and make them work for you. Don’t be deceived that you really ‘must have’ all those ‘essentials.’
Pinterest can offer too many temptations.
I think Pinterest is a great way for cataloguing and sharing things with other people, but if you spend too much time on there, you can end up wanting too many things. And more often then not, they’re things that you don’t actually need.
You don’t need to sport a hundred different looks.
Every season, retailers and magazines bombard us with ‘the new looks’ for the season. And every day, fashion and lifestyle bloggers tantalise us with all the different outfits that they so creatively manage to pull together. It can be easy to be sucked into all this, and feel like we need to get into the new season looks or that we need to copy what all our favourite bloggers are doing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of some life/style bloggers and like reading what they have to post every day. A few in particular have really helped me to work out my own personal style. But now that I know what I like, I’ve become quite immune to all the other different looks and styles that I encounter online every day. I can read a post and be able to enjoy/admire it and not feel like I need to go out and buy similar pieces to recreate the same look. Which leads to my next point…
You need to just be you.
Just because something looks good on someone else, it doesn’t mean it will look good on you. (Trust me, I know.) And even if it does, it doesn’t actually mean you need to have the same thing. Let them be them, and you be you.
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Do you have any similar tips to share?
p.s. Because it’s now spring here in Sydney, I’m going to start purging my closet once more. Who’s interested in purging along?
You can read all of The Happy Closet posts here.
(Linking up with Grace.)