& How a No-Buy Season and a Strategic Shopping Plan Could Give You the Best Wardrobe Ever!
I stopped my shop and lived to tell about it! No-Buy July was a success in my eyes, and I’m sharing a few things I learned about myself and my closet along the way. Although it’s said that there are no mistakes, just lessons, I’ve got a plan for how to start shopping again without making the same mistakes that led me to quit buying in the first place. And in the end, I hope to have a better wardrobe for it.
I did it! No-Buy July (& August)!
My friend, I made it almost two full months without buying any new clothes! And I would have made it all. The. Way. Except for a shopping trip with my mom. (She has a way of making me buy stuff.) 😉 But, I’m still calling it a success because I was only a couple of days shy of two months without purchasing any clothing. Boom!
But much like the “end of a diet,” it’s all too easy to go hog-wild and get right back into the bad habits that caused the closet-overwhelm in the first place.
Lessons from a Shopping Fast
While it wasn’t always easy to say “no” to good deals and pretty fall clothes, No-Buy July was so successful and liberating that I decided to take it through August. It was like a cleanse.
Here are Some Benefits of a No-Buy Season
- I didn’t have packages arriving at the house on the daily
- No long & sweaty try-on sessions
- Rest from the new item “decision fatigue.”
- I wore more of my clothes, more often
- Finding out I don’t need every new thing to be stylish
- I had more time for other things – I refinished a dresser
- A complete halt to the “buy, try-on, return center” I had created in my guest room
Even though I’m pretty sure my UPS man and the post office thought about issuing a missing person report for me, 😉 it was a very refreshing summer. But, I’m not going to stop clothes shopping forever, so I’m going to tell you how I plan to move forward with a smaller wardrobe, but more outfits and I’m doing it strategically.
Seeing the NEED for a Strategic Clothes Shopping Plan
We’ve all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
In my head, I knew how I intended to start shopping again after the shopping hiatus was over. But since I didn’t put the plan in writing, it started a little like a trip to a pasta factory at the end of a low-carb diet. (I took or sent most things back.)
Find Your Motivation to Plan
However, I don’t want to jump right back into my same old spending habits, because it felt too good not only to be spending less on clothes but also to be wearing more of my clothes more often. They say most of us only wear 20% of what we have, and I’d like to be someone who busts that statistic.
Find Value in Your Creativity
It was also a fantastic way to see my creativity come alive as well as help me better hone in on my style. I’ll be talking more about that in an upcoming post on closet organization.
(Long story short – I filmed a closet organization video many weeks ago, but I tried to get too fancy and use two cameras… let’s say I was going back a forth talking to both cameras. I don’t even think a professional could edit it to make it look right. Next time, I’ll K.I.S.S.)
What Happens When You Go to the Grocery Store without a List?
Strategic shopping is a fancy way of saying – Have a plan! I can liken my old way of clothes-shopping to going to the grocery store without a list or having planned my meals ahead of time. I might be able to come up with a few snacks on the fly, but what I end up doing is spending way too much money and having a pantry full of food I don’t even remember why I bought it. Sound like your closet (or your pantry)? 😉 I know it does mine.
Instead of having a wardrobe full of fabulous clothes but very few cohesive outfits (a.k.a. nothing to wear) we have to do a little fashion prep. I will admit, I haven’t sat down and planned out every outfit I’ll wear for the fall/winter season. But, I’ve been prepping and have come up with a list of items I’d like to add to my closet throughout the next two seasons.
I’ll tell you what I’ll be shopping for in my next post. (Subscribe to my blog, so you don’t miss it.) I decided to split one long post into two shorter ones. But first, here’s how I’m “fashion prepping.”
1 – Pay Attention to Your Style
I’ve been paying attention to what I actually wear, not what I want to wear, meaning; I need to have clothes that fit my real life, not a life I wish I had. Most of us have a daily uniform. We might have one style for work and another for play, but most of us have a style we feel the most comfortable in.
My uniform usually involves comfy pants or jeans, a white tee/top and a jacket, sweater or kimono. I’ll also LOVE dresses that can be worn dressed up or casual. So, the foundation of my wardrobe will be built around pieces that make me feel great and fit my lifestyle.
Another example of my uniform: Kimono Style, My Summer Uniform
I need to have clothes that fit my real life, not a life I wish I had.
2 – Research Capsule Wardrobes
Think of browsing Pinterest for capsule wardrobes that fit your style as you would browse for a recipe. When you find one that matches your taste, you can peruse the “ingredient list” and add the items you don’t already have to your Strategic Shopping list. Brilliant, if I do say so myself!
Not Sure What a Capsule Wardrobe Is?
A capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. Source: Wikipedia.
*NOTE: It’s easy to feel intimidated by the thought of a capsule wardrobe because we can’t imagine purging our closet down that much. However, I believe a capsule wardrobe can be as big or small as you want it to be, especially when we’re starting. For instance, I own three pairs of dressier black pants in various styles (wide-leg, slim, & cropped knit, wide-leg). They each fit well and can be worn dressed up or down. I see no reason to get rid of them merely for the sake of getting rid of them as they are classic and easily meets the capsule criteria of “essential” items.
3 – Planning for Special Events or “Just Because” Pieces
Having a “basic wardrobe” doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. If our closet is filled with classic essentials, we can put together outfits for almost any occasion. For instance, those black pants I just talked about and a pretty lace blouse would be appropriate for nearly any special occasion.
Before You Buy a One-&-Done Outfit
However, there are times when we have a special event coming up, or we want something “just because” and that’s perfectly fine. But to get more mileage out of our closets, unless it’s a black-tie affair or a mother of the bride/groom dress, consider these things when purchasing a unique piece:
- Does this fit my style?
- Will it go with things I already own?
- Can I think of more than one way to wear it?
- Will I wear this again?
An example of this would be, One Sequin Skirt Styled Three Ways
4 – Put It In Writing
I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep a running list in my head anymore. Having an “idea” of what we want to buy and having a written plan are two different things. Remember our grocery shopping analogy?
Start by jotting down a few pieces you’d like to add to your wardrobe on a piece of paper or your phone. It’s straightforward, and I don’t know why I haven’t done this before. SMH
Until Next Time Start Thinking
We’ll get into more detail about creating our strategic shopping strategy next time, and I’ll share exactly what I’m shopping for, what my timeframe is and the scariest part of this entire plan, the BUDGET.
Until then, start doing a little self-styling “research.” Look at outfits you’ve already pinned on Pinterest (follow my fashion board to see what I’m pinning) but get real about what you will realistically wear. For example, lots of the outfits I have pinned are worn with heels, but on most days I’m most comfortable in a sneaker or a low heel, so I need to make sure most of the clothes I own go with that style of shoe, or they’re not much good to me.
Do you already do this? If you don’t, do you think it would help you get a handle on not only what you spend on clothes but could it help you to pinpoint your personal style? Think about it, and I’ll see you in a few days!