Find Out What Gems I’m Finding While Shopping My Closet Instead
I’m embarking on fashion spending freeze challenge called No Buy July. While I might not be ready to become a full out fashion minimalist, I’m feeling good about shopping my closet and finding forgotten fashion gems like my favorite fancy pants and I have a little extra moola put in my pockets.
Want to know how I’m jumping on board this challenge and what I’m gaining from it? Keep reading.
I’m Purging More Than Clothes
If you follow me on social media, you might have seen an Instagram story with me in near tears during a recent closet purge. It was more of an emotional purge and it wasn’t because I was getting rid of stuff, but because of the overwhelm of accumulating so much in the first place.
I’ve come to realize that progress is messy and there’s a ton of work both physical and emotional that go into releasing our hold on THINGS. Along with the big mess one makes when reorganizing, it was the perfect storm to send me on a quest for less-is-more wardrobe inspiration.
This post might contain affiliate links. If you purchase from a link I will make a commission but you will pay no more for the product.
The Inspiration Behind No Buy July
I came across a capsule wardrobe pin on Pinterest which led me to an article that included the idea of a No Buy July challenge. It’s always easier to embark on a challenge when other people are doing it also, so I hopped on the living-with-less bandwagon to buy no clothing, shoes or accessories for the entire month of July. Eeks!
My shopping had gotten out of hand. Kind of like a sickness. It wasn’t always like that but I can tell you the exact moment it started and why it escalated.
When Shopping Becomes A Drug
Ten years ago or so I experienced an emotional breakdown over a situation with one of my adult sons. Peeps, being a parent never gets easier. It may not have been a big deal to other people but a personal decision he made sent me into a week of screaming, sobbing, waking up crying, and not being able to answer phone calls or leave my house. After the week, I was enticed out to have lunch with my other son during which he did his best to soothe me but he kept saying, “it’s not about you Mom”. (It’s not his fault, he’s a man.) 😉
He was right and his intentions were loving but I felt like everyone was against me. So, what’s a mom to do? Get up and head to Marshalls, that’s what! I bought anything I wanted and it felt great! The feel-good hormones from that purchase were like a drug that numbed all. the. things. for a minute.
And that’s how it started!
Keeping Up With the Cyber-Jones’s
Then three years ago I started blogging. This space wasn’t originally intended to be solely a fashion blog, although a great outfit can make you feel wonderful. But you guys LOVE fashion and I want to create a space for the fluffy girl who likes fashion too. However, I fell into the trap of always having to have something new to photograph and blog about.
Too Much Shopping Leads To An Unwanted Career
And there you have it. That’s how I ended up bawling in my overstuffed closet and running what felt like a shipping and receiving center out of my guest room. I’ve decided that managing clothes sucks all the joy out of getting dressed for me.
It’s not been easy, but for now, I’m having fun shopping in my closet. Not having an embarrassing amount of boxes arrive at my door on the reg is pretty nice too.
Don’t worry, you will still find fashion inspiration here as I shop my closet for clothes that fit and flatter a curvy body. I want to encourage you to dig into your wardrobe and find those most loved items and create multiple outfits with fewer pieces too.
What I Might Gain By Shopping My Closet
I’ve already been tempted to succumb to the marketing machine. And I don’t know why I chose the month of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Amazon Prime Day and Target’s Deal Days to do this No Buy July thang. But even though it’s a challenge, so far, I’m not shopping has felt liberating and quite literally like a vacation.
I guess I’m like Bob, in What About Bob – I’m taking a vacation from my (shopping) problems.
If I can make it through this month of fashion deals without purchasing anything, I may continue the shopping hiatus through August. Whenever I do start shopping again, I plan to be more strategic about what I buy.
For instance, based on my love of this white blazer, when I do start shopping again I’ll be looking for a classic black blazer to add to my fall/winter wardrobe. And I’ve found I need at least one more fitted tank top to go with this type of wide-leg pants.
Finding Fashion Gems and Fancy Pants Buried In My Closet
But let’s not get too far ahead of the season, because it’s blazing hot here right now and I’m finding fashion goodness right in my own closet. These fancy pants I scored at Target a couple of years ago are a perfect example.
The high waisted cropped palazzo pants are made of silky fabric, they fit well and can be dressed up or down as I did here with a Madewell Whisper Cotton Tank and a beloved pair of comfortable FitFlops.
But, most importantly I feel good wearing them!!!
Where I’d Wear This
I’d wear this ANYWHERE. I actually ran errands and got groceries in them. They are a wonderful, cool alternative to shorts.
What I’d Change
I have worn these with a pair of pointed-toe flats, also from Target and an off-the-shoulder top (to visit someone in the hospital). Tuck in a denim shirt or wear a pretty blouse or fitted tank top and add a pair of wedge espadrilles and you’ve got a date night, church or brunch covered.
Find more of my style and body measurements for size reference here.
Do You Need a Vacation from Shopping?
Whether you’re already participating in No Buy July or not, try slowing your roll on fashion purchases and get ruthless about the fit of your clothes until you have only the pieces you absolutely love in your closet. Know exactly how you want to feel in your clothes. These are the types of pieces I want to inspire you to find and keep in your closet whether they are new or not.
Be cute, comfortable and confident!
shop more like this look
– wp:paragraph –>
I don’t think I’m totally ready for a minimalistic closet yet, but I’m quite ready for fewer pieces. I’ll be sharing some of my closet organizing ideas in an upcoming post including an idea for a “perpetual closet cleanout”.
If you’re an organizing junkie like me, you won’t want to miss it. You can subscribe to get the latest post sent right to your email. See the subscribe box in the sidebar.
I’m trying to be better about this too. Although I did stop by Charming Charlies because they are going out of business…EEK! But I have been purging with our upcoming move. And it feels so good.
I purged before we moved too Jodie and vowed to continue once we were in the new place… I didn’t. 🙃 But I’m doing so now … tiny bits at a time
I have been getting much more careful about what I buy, only buying what I love and need. I have found a hole in my wardrobe of a few tops I can wear on hot evenings to sing on church worship team. So Marshall’s and tj max I go! I still have clothes I don’t love that I can’t get rid of. I need therapy for that!
It’s baby steps Anne! I also think you might LOVE my grace filled closet purge method. 😁 Stay tuned. 😘
Oh, my goodness! This post is rich! I have been on this same struggle/journey for a bit now. Things make us happy for a second and then they weigh us down! It is so emotionally difficult for me to get rid of the things I don’t wear because of my childhood.
I started following minimalist. They will make you want to lighten your load of stuff for sure! It doesn’t make it any easier, but it gives inspiration! Selling on PoshMark is a much healthier addiction!
Good for you Kim! I don’t have the patience to do the Poshmark thing. And I thought it would only deepened the overwhelm of “managing” my clothes. I take my clothes to a local consignment shop though. It’s less money for me, but I only handle the clothes as a bundle and one time only. 😁 Either way, we’re both getting rid of stuff that’s weighing us down. 💃🏼
Bravo! 👏 I’ve said this to you in 2 other posts of yours but I’ll say it again… I’m THRILLED to see the changes you are making on your blog. I’m so sorry to know that such an emotional Mama-event is what really kicked your butt further into the addiction of shopping but out of the dark often comes light! I had a huge life event that did the same for me and I went into the dark beyond of needing those packages delivered daily and needing to check every sale rack and more. My closets and my house were stuffed. I now live full time in an RV with my husband and dog and, while I wouldn’t say I have a capsule wardrobe (I’m close!), I’m certainly limited as to how much I can actually have. Tiny living is actually where my heart has always been even as i purchased more and more. My favorite posts from bloggers is the “shop your closet” posts. And I’m an organizational nut so I can’t wait to read more about your discoveries and helpful tips! Good luck with your challenge! And thank you for sharing so much of yourself through this process. I can really relate!
Sarah, you’re an I inspiration to me, both in your encouragement and in living “small”. Actually, this process is helping hone more than my fashion style, but it’s redirecting the direction of the blog. So many good things to come. 😬
I love this look. I don’t try to mix patterns. But I look at these photos of you and it’s great. You have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone! Thanks! Wish you could come over and help me shop my closet( just to put some outfits together I wouldn’t think of!). Next time I pick out an outfit my family might here me say well Paula would try this!
HaHa! Rule of thumb: stripes go with most anything without geometric prints (like florals, leaf prints, camouflage etc.). But I’ve seen them work with plaid, checks and other stripes. But that may be advanced pattern mixing. Maybe start out in “beginner mode”. 😘
Paula, I love your blog! I have only one other blog I follow, Tania Stevens, which is how I found your blog. I guess I somewhat live vicariously through both of you, lol! I don’t like shopping, but I do like looking nice when I go out. I just turned 60, weigh more than is healthy for me, been married for 42 years to my favorite person, have two great kids (who have given me 3 almost 4 most amazing grandchildren). My world feels much smaller than it use to be when my children were young, and I love how this much smaller life feels until I compare my life with others. Then I have to self talk myself down from briefly wanting to: want more, do more, even though I know, for me, that’s not how I want to live. I love not having a mortgage & living in a 1978 ranch style house in a bit of a run down neighborhood. The two, I don’t care, neighbors use to really bother me, but I have learned, everything changes, and since we don’t host work Christmas parties anymore, I don’t feel embarrassed for my husband’s co-workers to see how simply we live. It was the one time of year, I wanted a new house—lol! We do also have a house on the lake that we have renovated ourselves. Yes, I was on a scaffold scraping popcorn ceiling off, at the age of 53, sanding, priming & painting the entire house while my husband was at work. One afternoon, he left work early to help with the entry which was too high for me to reach, and he commented, “This is harder than I thought. Whose idea was this?” Anyone seeing my expression, would know the answer to his question. We got the house liveable, & it still has a “to do” list that we tackle as energy & funds become available. The list is getting much shorter. We love going there & just finished a week of Camp Grammy & Poppy with our 5, 7, & 10 year old Grands. We have been doing this since the oldest was 2. The Grands are on the go so much in their lives, that they seem to love just hanging out with us, whether it is at our home or lakehouse. Most of the time, we don’t understand why they want to hang out with us, since we describe ourselves as boring. So in a nut shell, this is one of your followers: living simply, close to retirement, close to being debt free for retirement, love God, a grand parent, eating healthy for the past year, & loves your down to earth, fun, honest blog! Best Wishes!
I had to laugh at ……”And I don’t know why I chose the month of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Amazon Prime Day and Target’s Deal Days to do this No Buy July thang. “
It really goes to show you I don’t have the fashion blogger prepare for the sale mentality. 😊
How good of you! I defenitely need a shopping vacation, but I’m buying more second hand now. Does that count??? Lol.
It totally counts Nancy! The powers that be, (I don’t who they are though) call what you’re doing, The Slow Fashion Community.
Your post may just be the inspiration I need to stop shopping for a while. It’s so hard to resist a good sale! Looking forward to your next post!
You’re right, it’s extremely hard. Honestly, it’s easier when you don’t look 👀 but I’ve looked a little and put a couple of things in an online “cart”. But maybe we should do a challenge together for August. I’ll try to write up a post for next week and see who’s in… should we call it, Closet Bust August? Ain’t Buying August? August Shopping Bust? 🤔
Hey Poogalicious! I sooooo need to get inspired and clean out my overgrown closet. I swear…..I do not wear about 75% of those clothes, but can’t seem to bag them up for donation!! After a giant refresh, maybe then I’ll be more motivated to “shop my closet” for new inspiration! Wish me luck and I’ll be looking forward to hearing more about your process. Have a great weekend………Poogalicious
Just start with one section of your closet at a time – pants, then shirts, skirts etch. Small bites!
Thank you for the inspiration! I’ll report back when the motivation overtakes me!
I love this outfit on You and this is so Inspirational! Showing us all that we can really shop our closet is such a good thing. I started the No-buy July with good intentions and was derailed when my Niece sent me $$ to shop for her summer wardrobe. All that started last week and of course I found me some stuff at Macy’s Last act too. Shopping on a budget is my jam and when clothes that fit my current style is at a steal . . . What can I say!!
Oh, that’s tough Neti! It’s much easier to stick with the plan if I don’t go into the store. But today I need to go out to return something … I’ll need to put blinders on. 😵
First of all, I am Loving this look! The pattern mix, the colors, the statement! Love.
I need to join you on a no-shopping month, or more. I will do ok for awhile and then decide to see what Loft has on sale and I am off to the races again. This morning I was struggling to decide what to wear. I was thinking, “This is freaking ridiculous. I have what amounts to a small boutique in my possession and I cannot find anything to wear?!” I think I can grow overwhelmed by all that is in my closet, so the idea of a capsule wardrobe appeals to me.
Best of luck on your No-Buy July!
Sales are stinking hard to leave, but I can tell you I feel truly happy not shopping. That’s not to say I haven’t thought of things I want or “need”. I trying to decide if I can go another month without purchasing fashion, accessories or shoes. Maybe you and I should start a “challenge” month. 😉
Good for you Paula! I like your idea of No Buy July.
Thank you Diane. It’s going pretty well, but my sister is visiting this week and it’s always fun to go shopping, so that’s a bit difficult.
Shopping the closet begins for me at the start of the week rather than in the morning before work. Ahead of the am rush, I was able to spot the neglected and overlooked pieces & put together outfits more innovative in mixing & accessories. There are complete outfits including scarf or jewelry in the morning to select in the morning making life easier and the wardrobe seem larger. Occasional flashbacks to laying out school clothes for the next day is a side effect (-;
Saturday I had a makeup makeover (free!!!!) with two friends. We went to lunch after and got to discussing home remodels. One friend has known me for 29 years and one for 13. Both know the size of my current closet. 13 years ago I probably did complain (to both) about the size of our master closet because that’s when I bought anything and everything that was on sale, cute and fit. I ended up with a whole of clothes but not many outfits. I’ve really discovered my style lately (I’m a late bloomer!) and the a – little – bit – less – is – great approach. I love clothes. I love color. But I want to be intentional and wear things a lot vs. having a lot and barely wearing anything. My oldest friend asked me if I was going to enlarge my closet. No. It quite honestly never crossed my mind. I don’t think I convinced her that I didn’t want a bigger closet – a bigger closet would only give me permission to buy more things – and I’ve work HARD to take away that permission! I think we all go in cycles and I’m really happy when I stay in my current comfort zone. Shopping my closet can be quite exciting! Great post!
Lisa, I love your perspective and will definitely be quoting you in a future post…. “wear things a lot vs. having a lot and barely wearing anything.