A quick run to Target, always seem to turn into a shopping spree: a pair of work pants here, a cute top there, and oh let's not forget about a chic jacket. I love that their clothing pieces are of quality especially this new line that Target is featuring called "A New Day" and the prices are very affordable! This works for me because I am a proud bargain shopper! I can make a pair of $10 jeans look like $80. To be honest, the clearance section is my first stop because there are always some good finds lurking on the rack. So, don't let anyone ever make you feel bad for trying to look stylish while on a budget because it can be done.
Now even though my "quick run" would turn into an unexpected shopping spree, I always made sure to be a conscious shopper and purchase what I needed as opposed to what I wanted. But I started to realize that when it came time to go out, I too would struggle and find myself saying "I have nothing to wear" which of course was not true. So, I decided to not buy any shoes or clothes for the next 30 days. Why? Because I wanted to really start wearing the clothes I already owned and I was tired of spending money. Even though I'm an Organizing Consultant, I too am guilty as charged for getting sucked into the land of Instagram fashion and saying to myself, "oh that's cute" and then start side-eyeing my current wardrobe in disappointment but truth be told, I had to hold myself accountable because I purchased the items - its not like they just magically appeared out of thin air.
So, I challenged myself, that for the month of June, I wouldn't go into DSW, Nordstrom Rack, Target, Tj Maxx and Marshall's (some of my favorite places to shop) or any clothing or shoe store to make a purchase. Was it hard? Ehh - not really. I was up for the challenge and really anxious to see what would transpire from forfeiting shopping for a month. So, here is what I learned:
Use What You Got
Please wear what you have! I realized that I have stylish clothes in my closet because if I had not liked them then I would not have made the purchase. Fasting from shopping for 30 days, encouraged me to wear the clothes that I already own and to get creative by pairing pieces together that I normally would not have considered. When I did go out, besides work, I would mix and match colors and prints which was fun and it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. I definitely enjoyed getting dressed up and even doing my make-up a lot more. Unfortunately, I don't have many pics support this claim but just take my word for it - I looked cute [lol]. However, if I had to describe my sense of style, I would say that it is simple - but not basic, and that pairing a basic top with jeans and cute heels is my staple outfit. I came to the realization that I have clothes that can create great outfits but I just had to think outside of the box.
When you aren't constantly adding to your wardrobe then it's easier to actually visualize and take inventory of your current possessions. You're able to quickly gauge what you tend to go for in regards to color, pattern and style and what you dislike. For instance, we're all guilty of passing over an item inside of our closet that we initially liked or thought we needed; but weeks turn into months without putting it on and so it's easy to conclude that it isn’t something you want to wear. That's why taking a fast from shopping can really impact your wardrobe in a positive and financial way. How? Well, the next time you see that shirt or a similar style, in the store, then you will be able to quickly recall how the former shirt sat idle in your closet for months without being touched. You're able to save money and use those funds towards something of better use or maybe a better looking shirt, dress, skirt or jeans.
So, what did my shopping cleanse teach me? Well, it turns out that I love the color black, gray and more black! I own quite a few black and gray pieces and there's nothing wrong with that because black is timeless and gray is a neutral color that can be dressed down or up. However, I took a mental note, that adding pieces with some color and pattern, will allow me to create a more functional wardrobe. I was also able to determine that I didn't wear my high heels as frequently as I wore heels that had a strap because I don't know about you - but being over 30 requires some serious ankle support. So, this showed me that purchasing heels that are stylish of course, but with ankle straps is preferred than heels without the strap. This shopping fast really allowed me to think about what pieces I needed to buy, so that I could continue to develop a wardrobe that organically represents my personality and my sense of style.
To be honest, I purge a few times a month. But when I didn't buy shoes or any clothes, it revved up my urge to purge. At this point, I was creating outfits and stepping out of my comfort zone, so if I put on a piece of clothing and it didn't give me that "wow" feeling then I tossed it into the donation pile and didn't think twice. I even started going through other items within my space and started purging. Make-up, jewelry, books, shoes, hair products - you name it; if I wasn't using it, didn't intend on using it or just didn't care for it anymore then I let it go. Why? Because what is the point of holding onto something if it's not being put to use? I don't like to feel overwhelmed and that applies to my physical space feeling cramped of cluttered. I don't consider myself to be a "minimalist" and not that there is anything wrong with that but I do believe in the motto that less is more! I purged items that I no longer could benefit from and made the intention that whatever replaced it would serve me better.
Personally, I like to donate my items as opposed to selling my clothes because it feels good to give to others. For the items, that were in good condition, I gave away to friends, people I work with and charitable organizations.
Honestly, I didn't miss shopping, because I remained disciplined and I wanted to see if I could really complete this challenge. Not only did fasting from shopping for 30 days allow me to save money but it reinforced the importance of giving back and donating to others while also helping me to clear my space. I learned that I definitely need to add more color and pattern to my wardrobe because my closet looked sad [lol] but I also became more confident and stepped out of my comfort zone by mixing and matching pieces. My apartment turned into a little mini-fashion show at times which was fun! I will continue to take risks because the reward is always bigger!
I challenge you to try this for one month and see how you feel at the end. Once you complete the challenge, then leave me a comment below!
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