Do you have a wardrobe overstuffed with clothes yet you feel you have nothing to wear? Well, let me tell you a story…
Last year I found out about this lady, Jill Chivers, who had embarked upon one year without clothes shopping to address her shopping addiction. She retraced her experience in her blog, describing how she created a life of abundance out of “deprivation”, and eventually tapped into her experience to develop programmes to help women in the same situation. Well I am not here to tell you her story, all details are on her website, but to tell you how her experience has influenced me to look at my own wardrobe in a different manner.
My husband and friends were quite surprised at first that I was even giving some thought to this idea. After all, I am known for not being a big spender when it comes to clothes and accessories and for having a wardrobe, neatly contained and organised, made of clothes I mostly use and love. Yet I felt compelled to try something similar on my own. And as I couldn’t figure out what exactly I wanted to do – whether having a complete year without shopping or just a few months, or establishing a lower budget for shopping, etc., I decided that I would stop shopping from the next day onward and see where this would take me.
After a couple of months, I realised that the temptation to buy clothes was not because I didn’t have enough clothes but because I was wearing them in the same way over and over again. Also, the absence of season without the need to rotate clothes was probably adding to the feeling of boredom. So I did some research on how to mix and match a wardrobe. I started combining colours differently using the colour pallet concept and accessorising the same outfit in different ways.
The 80-20 rule applies pretty much to the way we make use of our clothes as we tend to wear 80% of the time 20% of the clothes we own. In my case, I realised it was more towards 80% – 60%. But interestingly the 40% I was wearing less often was primarily made of clothes I was saving for special occasions, occasions that were not always happening. So I decided that there was no better time than now to enjoy them. After all, fashion trends change, fabrics deteriorate and colours fade. I also took the time to get clothes that did not fit perfectly altered so I had no more excuses not to wear them.
Eight months down the road, I think I am making the items in my wardrobe work harder for me than before without feeling deprived. I also came to realise that my best asset was actually having a bit of a sun tan. And this can’t exactly be obtained in a shopping mall, can it?
Now I am sure you are eager to know whether I have resisted temptation so far! Well, truth be told, not exactly… I have bought a formal dress that I needed for a very specific occasion – I guess I could have worn something from my existing wardrobe instead but I really wanted to make an impression on that specific occasion. The other purchase was a cardigan that I bought after doing some research on how to maximise my wardrobe to allow me to wear some of my dresses in different ways. Honestly, I could have delayed this purchase, but I am not going to beat myself up with this, overall I feel pretty satisfied with what I have achieved so far.
Regardless of whether you want to say no to shopping for a period of time, I highly encourage you to start de-cluttering and organising your wardrobe. Just keep what you use and make you feel good, the rest just takes up space. You will be amazed of how a streamlined and organised wardrobe will save you time and make you feel more confident. And if you need help, get in touch, I love de-cluttering and organising wardrobes!