If you’ve been following me for at least the last 3 years, you might remember that in November 2014, I embarked onto a shopping diet. There was not much planning involved, just the decision that from the next day onwards, I’d stop shopping for clothes and accessories. Sharing the account of my little “experiment”, which turned out to last for over 14 months, is always received with a mixture of incredibility, curiosity and fascination. The thing is, I’m myself surprised by the unexpected way in which my shopping diet has impacted my life.
But let’s back track 3 years ago…
I began my experiment by simply asking myself why I was buying new clothes. I had a somehow comprehensive (and of course organised!) wardrobe, yet I would regularly add new items to buy onto my shopping list.
I came to the realisation that I was buying new clothes out of boredom from the contents of my wardrobe, and this was due to the following factors:
- A tendency to wear clothes in the same way, over and over again;
- A habit to save clothes for special occasions, as such limiting the contents of my day-to-day wardrobe;
- The absence of seasons, hence of clothes’ rotation.
Easy fixes without feeling deprived while on a shopping diet
Having diagnosed the source of my “problem”, I explored ways to make the items in my wardrobe work harder for me.
I first learned how to mix and match my wardrobe, working on different colours combinations using the colour pallet concept and accessorising the same outfit in different ways.
I progressively started incorporating the clothes I was saving for special occasions into the outfits I was usually putting together.
And I got those clothes that were not fitting me perfectly altered so I had no more excuses not to wear them.
Nothing in (almost!), but quite a fair bit out…
Interestingly not only I didn’t add any items into my wardrobe during that period (well, ok, except for 2 items 😊) but I also let go of a fair amount of clothes. Looking at all the possibilities offered by mixing and matching the items I had, I realised that some pieces were serving only one purpose (think dresses!) and were a kind of distraction when putting outfits together. Out they went!
Three years down the road… A more conscious shopper and a happier me
The experiment had eventually to come to an end – I really needed a new pair of work shoes! And that’s when the real transformation started to happen.
First of all, I’ve become much more discerning when it comes to buying new clothes. With less clothes in my wardrobe, it’s easy to visualise its contents and pick up items that will bring value to it, instead of random pieces that won’t match anything.
This, in turn, has given me a new sense of confidence. I no longer feel guilty when buying new clothes because I know I’m going to make them work hard for me.
But above all, the realisation that I had to get rid of clothes that I had saved for special occasions but hardly worn because the fabric had deteriorated, the colours had faded, or I just didn’t like them anymore, was a big eye opener. What a waste! Since then, I’ve made it a commitment to live in the now and this had changed my mindset in many areas of my life beyond my wardrobe. Who would have thought that going on a shopping diet would trigger something I had been desperately aspiring to for so many years?
I’d love to have your feedback on this post. Maybe you’ve been through a shopping diet yourself? If so, how has this been impacting your life? Or maybe you’re considering it but feel it’s too drastic for you? Whatever your situation, please comment below so we can encourage each other!