Have you ever experienced that moment of uncomfortable clarity when you look around and feel nauseous about how much "stuff" you have? Given the popularity of Marie Kondo's new Netflix show I'm gonna guess more people are feeling that than ever before. So tell me: how many boxes have you shuttled to Goodwill at this point? Are you living your best KonMari life?
I've never seen the show or applied the KonMari method. But I DID have a brake-screeching 'whoa' moment during the holidays when my eyes actually saw all the shit I have. Isn't it funny, how we can look at our piles of crap on a daily basis and not really even register them. And then one day it all sinks in and you're like how, when did this happen?! I don't want to be that person buying excessive, unnecessary things just to forget about them the minute they come in the house!
Let's just call it what it is: we love the thrill of the hunt. You know as well as I do that the pursuit of most of our "stuff" is the fun part. Then you wear it once or twice and it becomes just another piece you breeze by because it's not new anymore and it didn't really fill a void in your wardrobe anyway. It just scratched an "in the moment" itch. The allure -- be it the brand, a person you saw wearing it, the idea of who you'll "be" when you wear it -- fades after it leaves its tissue-wrapped cocoon and gets squeezed in between two items you haven't touched in months.
Who's with me so far?
I'll let y'all in on a little behind-the-scenes blogger talk. There's a GINORMOUS amount of pressure on fashion bloggers to buy buy buy to make sure they're always sharing something new to inspire their audience. Makes sense, of course; bloggers are supposed to offer up new ideas often enough to keep you interested. Brands want bloggers to buy and share, rinse and repeat, to fuel sales; it's why they partner with them. Followers can get annoyed if they can't buy the exact item they see in a blogger's post. So bloggers buy buy birdie to stay players in the game. It's a do-si-do that gets expensive, quickly.
This blogger played the game, trying to figure out the fashion blog-o-sphere and do what I thought I was supposed to do. Then I found myself staring at a pile of "stuff" I wasn't even all that into.
I've done it all the ways. Bought something because an influencer shouted "Run, go get it while it's restocked!" Bought something because it was cheap. Bought something because I wanted to support a friend. Bought something because it would photograph well. Bought something so I could link it and promote sales (because that's one way I can actually make money at this, these are just facts).
It feels SO cathartic to type all that out but also so shameful. These are typical blogger behaviors but they are NOT wardrobe stylist approved behaviors. I've let my convictions as a personal stylist fall by the wayside as I try to figure out what blogging is, what it takes, what it looks like for me, and LET ME TELL YOU RIGHT NOW all that bullshit is over. Even when this no-buy shopping shutdown ends. I can't just talk the talk to my clients during our closet edits if I won't walk the walk myself in my own life.
So I initiated my no-buy at the start of the new year. I'm now 21 days in and it's....amazing. Downright liberating.
With the money I'm not spending shopping, I'm getting my skin care game on point. Buying the products I need and treating myself to the services I've been wanting to do and never could afford. Or I could but couldn't because I shopped my fun money away.
I'm rediscovering items in my wardrobe, coming up with new ways to wear them, and feeling more motivated to get dressed. I still find inspiration in other bloggers and style icons but rather than looking to buy whatever it is they're wearing, I create a similar look with what I already have. Bonus: it makes the look more 'me' that way anyhow! And side note: don't ever believe that stylists shouldn't look at other people for style inspiration. That's actually the opposite of how it works. Fashion has been and always will be inspired by what and who is around us, or came before us. Right now my style inspiration board is very French girl feminine-minimal.
But sometimes the people around us shine a mirror on our own shortcomings. For instance, a fellow fashion blogger I really love for her authenticity and cute everyday style is legit worrying me to no end with her incessant, expensive shopping habit. There are like ten new pieces a week, and that's just clothes! I rarely to never see her wear the same piece twice. And I can't help but wonder, how great are those pieces you swear are so "amazing" if you wear them once to be able to link them in a photo and then never come out in them again? It's the great fashion blogger hypocrisy that I want no part of.
Rethinking my behaviors as a shopper and a blogger, and reestablishing my wardrobe stylist principles, feels much healthier and balanced. It probably helps that in the doldrums of January, right after Christmas, there aren't many things a girl feels the need to treat herself to other than books, naps, and bottles of wine lol! But seriously, the urge to shop isn't even there. I set my goal to no-buy through January but I'm going to keep going as long as I can, maybe even until spring when shopping for new things will feel fun and maybe even necessary.
Have you ever thought about going on a no-buy? If so, did you talk yourself out of it? Do you wear most of what you have in your closet or just a few key pieces? I've found that no matter our individual personal style many of us are affected by similar bad shopping habits.
If you are, do NOT feel bad about it -- look at me, I'm a professional wardrobe stylist and still got caught in the trap! It happens. There's also this thing called 'retail therapy' we turn to in tough times and I don't know about you but 2018 was roooough on many of us, including yours truly. But Miss O'Hara reminds us that tomorrow is another day and we can start fresh!
New year, new habits.
No buy, no sweat.