I did it!
I went four whole months without buying one new article of clothing. In fact, I ended up only going shopping for secondhand clothes twice, spending a total of $50. From October until February, I spent $50 on clothing. Booyah.
It was, surprisingly, ridiculously easy. I avoided clothing stores, because there was obviously no reason to be there if I wasn’t going to purchase. I realized the usual culprit of impulse clothing purchases was surprisingly…Target! But by simply walking past the clothing section each time I entered Target, I was able to develop a habit of not even entertaining the idea of checking out the clothing.
In January, I attended a wedding in upstate New York. I own no formal dresses that are winter-y. Had it not been for my secondhand-only rule, I would have probably sought out a brand new winter-ready dress. And looked adorable. Instead, I rummaged around in my closet and paired an a-line party dress with thick tights, booties, and a cardigan. I might not have looked as fabulous as if I'd bought a brand-new winter dress, but really? Nobody's paying attention to how cute a random wedding guest's clothes are. I learned perspective these four months. And how easy it really can be to not purchase. I felt more in control of my shopping habits than I ever have.
It was pretty awesome.
Only once did the desire to purchase clothing cross my mind, thanks to Whoorl . When I would think, “Oh, I really, really want an open cardigan! I need an open cardigan! How cute would I be?” I’d remind myself that come February, I could get myself one. And my little inkling for something new quickly faded. Here we are, nearly a week into February, the thought only crossed my mind yesterday that I could, in fact, purchase a cardigan if I so choose.
In fact, in the past four months, beside adding very little to my wardrobe, I've actually gotten rid of a mountain of clothing (and hope to scale back even more); which makes me examine the root of why I really purchase clothing:
It’s something to do - Whether I'm with family or friends, it can be a social activity. A very fun social activity. (That costs money. And clutters my closet.)
For the thrill of buying - New clothes make me feel cute. Shopping makes me happy. It's really as simple as that.
I "need" it for work/an event - This "need" can be real or perceived.
I am bored with my clothes - Probably the number one reason I get new clothes. I just get tired of wearing the same things, so I think a new outfit will spark my creativity and enthusiasm in my wardrobe. And it often does.
After these four months, I'm not left feeling deprived or with shopping-suppression. (Possibly because I've never been a crazy wild spendy shopper.) I am proud of myself. I am committed to living more simply. I am determined to live with even less clutter. I am dedicated to buy only clothes I absolutely adore.
I am happy.