I did it! I officially wrapped my first no-buy month on February 1st and all I can say is WOW. Wow did I need it, and wow was it transformative. For those who don't know, I ceased all clothes/shoes/accessories shopping during January because frankly it'd gotten out of control. My shopping habits were impulsive and out-of-sync with my life, principles, and priorities. (You can read the whole backstory HERE.) I needed something drastic to get back on track. So I did the equivalent of running into the ocean buck naked in the middle of winter and stopped shopping for myself period.
It. Was. Life. Changing.
Melodrama notwithstanding, I never thought I had the willpower to follow through with a no buy. I just love clothes too much. I soon discovered that's a great reason to actually do one. The no buy reestablished my value for clothes. For what's worth my money and what's not. Not shopping for a month reset my mind so I could clearly see what I actually need, like to wear, and will wear.
What I Learned
I saved so much money. My weekly budget went so much farther without being drained by shopping. I made great progress towards my personal financial goals for the year and it felt amaaazing. Even though my no buy is technically over, I don't want to derail that progress or those feelings by going back to bad habits.
I got s**t done. All those obnoxious projects around the house that needed doing got done. Instead of shopping the affordable fashions at Target, I got friendly with the home organization section and got all of Harlow's toys under control with these clear stacked drawers. Likewise with my beauty product and jewelry drawer organizers from Amazon. Worth every penny.
I treated myself to other luxuries. The fun money portion of my weekly budget is only so much. Buying clothes usually took most or all of it. Once I stopped shopping I could treat myself in other ways like with skin care products, a fresh hair cut and color, an exercise class, and so on.
Voids in my closet became crystal clear. As time went by I became acutely aware of the pieces I kept thinking over and over I wish I had in my closet. That's the key: the repetitiveness of it. For example, I noticed I was pinning lots of outfit inspo with gray plaid blazers. When I would go to get dressed, I kept thinking "a gray plaid blazer would pull this together in a really fun way." Same thing with feminine lacy blouses. I hadn't even purchased the blazer yet and already I'd come up with several ways I could wear it. I knew where I'd wear it, that I would wear it, and how often. Now that I know it's a smart buy for me, I can patiently shop around for the piece with the right fit at the right price.
Volume became clear, too, for better or worse. Without new things constantly cycling through my daily wardrobe I could see which pieces I wear the most regularly. I gained a better understanding of which types of pieces, silhouettes, fits, and colors I gravitate towards the most. This will help me inform my purchases moving forward. On the flip side, I also saw what I have waaaay too much of: sweaters! I love how easy a cute sweater is with jeans or leggings and I do wear them a lot. That's rationalized many a sweater purchase. But do I need more sweaters? Absolutely not! And I've also realized I usually wear the same four or five on repeat, even though I have about 30 (no lie).
I don't want to part with my money. Full disclosure, I have already purchased two things now that my no buy is over: the gray plaid blazer and lacy blouse I talked about above. I know those are good buys for me. But still, even after I put them in my cart, I walked away for awhile to really think it over. I've gotten so comfortable having more money to save or spend on useful things that I felt weird shopping it away. Ultimately I decided to buy them because they were each on sale for under $60 a piece. And it's important to note that the sale prices weren't the deciding factor for me. I had extensively browsed for just the right blazer and blouse for me and those two happened to be the winners. Knowing the low prices made them likely to sell out I went forward with the purchase. Lucky for me they didn't sell out before February 1st!
A return to smart shopping. Patience and prudence win the day. Buying on impulse is not okay anymore. Taking time to understand what I like to wear and breaking it down in terms of fit, silhouette, color, etc. is crucial to not only making smart shopping decisions but also feeling okay about parting with my money. I love a good budget buy but now that I'm shopping less I can treat myself to more of a splurge if the quality and versatility of wear is there. Not getting wrapped up in a moment, a trend, or the need to fashion blog a certain way is much healthier!
AKA What's On My Shopping List
Don't misunderstand me. I haven't been chomping at the bit to shop. But if you read all my takeaways above you know I've had a few pieces jump out at me as worthy additions to my wardrobe. These are the five pieces I'd like to add to my closet over the next couple of months -- not rushing or forcing it!
PLAID BLAZER (Ordered)
Why I chose this one: I want gray plaid in an oversized fit. The ruched sleeves add a dash of femininity to the menswear vibe. It's long enough to cover my booty in leggings, but nipped in at the waist just enough to not overwhelm my frame. Oh, and it's on sale for $45. Size tips: runs TTS, may want to size down for a closer fit.
Also really liked these gray plaid blazers by Everlane and Express.
LACY BLOUSE (Ordered)
Why I chose this one: I just love the sweet simplicity of a lacy, feminine blouse with high-waisted, light wash jeans. It's a specific look, but one that's easy to put together. I have a longer torso and this Madewell blouse has more length for me to tuck in and define my waist. Plus the shoulder and back details are just darling!
Also in my online carts: this floral lace blouse and this eyelet stunner! That back is everything!
CAP-TOE SLING-BACKS (Wish List)
Why I like these: These Chanel-inspired shoes go with everything! That heel is just high enough to create a longer leg and still be walkable. Plus the sling-back will keep it on my foot -- regular pumps always slip off my heel and it's not worth it trying to force it anymore, even with Dr. Scholls products!
These sling-backs go with everything from sweaters and leggings to jeans and lacy blouses (see where I'm going here?). The versatility and timelessness is a big selling point. These babies won't go out of style any time soon if ever, and should be comfortable to wear.
The mid-range buy ($120)
The budget buy ($50)
VINTAGE BAND T-SHIRT (Wish List)
Why I like this: It's not a look, it's a lifestyle. I LOVE classic rock and have collected a few vintage band tees over the years. Led Zeppelin is one of my all-time faves!
Style wise, it's a graphic tee that'll stand the test of time. No quippy, bitchy slang that'll fall out of fashion by next year. I like to wear mine under a moto jacket and leggings, with a slouchy cardigan and jeans, or with a kimono and layered necklaces. Definitely a fave with denim shorts in the summer. Very in my lane. These aren't cheap, which is why I'd rather spend more money on the print/fit I really want instead of trying to get "close enough" and not loving it as much.
Obviously I don't need all these expensive band tees, but I really love these, too!
LEOPARD SKIRT (Wish List)
Why I like this: Leopard is basically a neutral by now in that it goes with so much. However, it's better than that IMO. A pop of leopard print makes simple basics look way more interesting. And I wear basics A LOT. Also, I own very few skirts so that's a void in my wardrobe. A skirt like this could be worn with tights and boots now or with sandals in the summer.
I would style this skirt with everything from a graphic tee (hello, Led Zeppelin tee above) to plain solid tees to sweaters to cardigans...you get the idea. I like the flowy silhouette of the first one but I prefer the print/warm tones of the second one. Will wait and see where I land on this, or perhaps order both to compare/contrast and keep the winner. Or keep evaluating to see if I still want one period.
This fitted silhouette and fabric of this skirt aren't right for my figure (or rather, I don't feel confident in them) but it's a fabulous skirt and meant for someone!
I cannot recommend going on a no buy highly enough. It's a fabulous way to reconnect with your personal sense of style and decide what you really need in your closet. This time of year is such a good time to try one so you can reset before spring hits!
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