Ok so I have caved in. I promised myself I wasn’t going to post one of those New Year resolution kind of posts, partly because I couldn’t be bothered to make any. Now as I start to read everyone else’s new year resolutions, I keep think ‘I want to do that one too’ or ‘perhaps I ought to…’. I now seem to have a steadily growing list but instead of rehashing everyone elses ideas again in a ‘My New Years Resolutions’ kind of post, I thought I would share with you some ideas which I came up with and that worked for me during last years shopping ban.
Feel Positive About It
For those who have imposed a shopping ban for the new year for either financial or environmental reasons, there is no need to feel down in the mouth about it. I actually found my shopping ban last year incredibly enlightening and surprisingly enjoyable. As a result, I have really changed my shopping habits (and set up this blog!) because I realised just how pointless it was buying lots of badly made clothes that didn’t seem to enrich my wardrobe at all or make choosing a stylish outfit in the morning any easier. If you have imposed the ban for financial reasons, just think about the positive impact of all that money you will save.
Evaluate Your Wardrobe
A shopping ban is the perfect time to evaluate your wardrobe. Try wearing every single item of clothing in your wardrobe at least once over the next month or two (depending on how many clothes you have). If you can’t wear anything, it is time to think about why and if it really deserves that precious space in the wardrobe. This is also a great way to work out where the gaps are in your wardrobe so when you begin shopping again, you buy what you are most likely to wear.
During my shopping ban, I realised how many of my clothes were impractical for day to day wear (whilst looking after 2 children), I actually don’t wear a lot of it most of the time yet when I used to go shopping would buy more of the same. Now the majority of clothes that I buy (and I don’t buy many) have to be practical and wearable.
Think About Why You Shop
If you go shopping because you are bored, stressed or fed up, surely it doesn’t really help. You may get an initial buzz when you make a purchase but how long does the buzz last? I am guessing it is not very long and in cases has ended by the time you get home and decide your buy was not such a great choice. Is that short term shopping buzz really worth it, surely there must be a better way to deal with your emotions? Once you recognise what it is that makes you want to shop, it is much easier to combat it.
Avoid wandering around the shops or browse online stores. You are only putting temptation in your way and making life more difficult for yourself. If you feel like you might be missing out on something amazing that you just have to have, remind yourself that there is nothing that you desperately need and the shops will always have a ready supply of amazing stuff to buy. Reading fashion magazines and blogs is also a form of browsing, you will be bombarded with advertising and persuaded that you need all sorts of new stuff. I rarely buy fashion magazines anymore, instead I concentrate on reading blogs by those who inspire me by making amazing outfits with what they already have or vintage or charity shop pieces.
Do Something Different With Your Time
If you are a serious shopaholic you can take your mind off shopping by trying something different with your time instead. Check out a museum, go for a walk or invite a friend round for coffee or lunch or take up a hobby. None of these activities cost much money, but are probably much more enjoyable than shopping. I rarely had time for going to the shops but online browsing was my danger zone, my ‘me’ time is now spent going for a run, baking cakes or listening to music rather than spending hours trawling the internet.
Look After Your Clothes
Pretty obvious I know but worth a mention. If you look after your clothes, you will have less need to buy new ones. Stick to the old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and you can’t go far wrong. As soon as the soles of your shoes start to look worn out get them resoled. If a button falls off sew it on straight away before you loose it.
Some times limiting your choice can be a good way to be much more creative with your outfits. I put together some of my favourite outfits whilst on my shopping ban because I was forced to think creatively and look into the depths of my wardrobe rather than buying another new piece of clothing. If you are bored of a piece of clothing in your wardrobe, you could also try turning it into something new or ‘upcycling it’. If you are stuck for inspiration, there are loads of blogs with ideas and tutorials. Also check out Ethical Fashion Bloggers.
Swap, beg or borrow
If you really need a piece of clothing that you don’t have, try swapping or borrowing from someone else. Clothes swap parties are great fun or you can try a clothes swapping website to find what you want. www.closetswap.co.uk is a useful tool for swapping, lending and borrowing clothes with your friends.
If all else fails try shopping in your local charity shop, it will have much less impact on the environment than buying new stuff but be warned, whilst it may feel more virtuous, it is also highly addictive!
Are you on a shopping ban, how are you finding it so far? do you have any more tips?
With warmest wishes