This month, I decided I'd put myself on a bit of a time-out from said stores. I made a couple Athleta purchases, truth be told, but I work out 4 days a week and technically needed more pants. Today makes day 27 of no Gap and Banana, and I feel pretty good! I actually, to add to my little experiment, would add things to my cart any time I liked something; as of today, I have about 19 items, or about $945 worth of clothes in there. No lie! Can you imagine if I purchased them as I probably previously would have? Ooph.
I recently discovered this blog, Un-fancy, and came across a post where the blogger Caroline gave some excellent advice:
- Take intentional breaks from shopping. I’ll carry this idea with me forever. If I’m not careful, one shopping trip can bring on an avalanche of shopping trips. Every season, I loved how I felt when I took an intentional shopping break. It helped me make smart buying choices, and it helped me feel more content and more present in life.
- Buy fewer, better things. It seems almost flippant to just throw this one out there. It’s such a short phrase, but it’s impacted me in the deepest places. We often hear this mantra tossed around, but there’s something that shifts inside when we try to live it. It’s powerful.
- When things aren’t adding up, start subtracting. So often, when I’m faced with a problem, my first reaction is to think I need to add something to my life to solve it. Like, if I’m disorganized, I should buy more storage containers. Or, if I’m feeling stressed, I should go shop for a new dress to make myself feel better. When the answer to both of those problems could be to subtract something from my life.
I suppose that will be my next step, starting to pare down. I am, full disclosure, a bit of a hoarder. I have so many clothes that I wear maybe once a year, but hold onto because of that justification. I've gone through phases before where I want to focus on quality versus quantity, but never stick with it. Maybe now I have the motivation I need to focus less on passing trends and purchase more quality, timeless pieces. Fingers crossed I've kicked my habit for good!