January 2015 marked the start of a self imposed 12 month clothes shopping ban.
It’s now the end of January 2016.
We made it!
Given that I didn’t have the blog for the journey, let me give you a quick backstory.
My Husband and I spent 10 days in Hong Kong late November to early December 2014.
It had been 24 years since I’d lived there as a teenager. It seems prices have gone up somewhat since then. We found that buying clothes in the markets was cheaper than the hotel laundry bill by far and we didn’t have time in our schedule to find a laundromat. So we came back with new clothing and a credit card debt.
We had to pay off the credit card and one fast way was to stop buying anything that was non essential. We had enough clothes and shoes for the next couple of seasons so we agreed that we would not buy anything new for the whole year.
Hubby got an A+ and myself an A-. I fell off the wagon once with a pair of black ballet flats that were a third of their normal price. Can you blame me? Practical and a bargain!
Not injecting anything new in our wardrobe turned out to be a real learning experience.
Here is what we found:
- It was easy. I expected that for my Husband, because he hates shopping anyway. I buy most of his clothes for him and he is perfectly happy with that arrangement. Unless we are overseas, then he finds it fun. I found it hard at first and my slip up was early on in the piece. The more time passed the more on board we were, especially because we told everybody.
- Shopping centres lost their appeal. I used to lose hours “just browsing”. It didn’t take long for me to give them a wide berth and just stick to the supermarket, fruit & veg and petrol station. This also meant we bought less electrical goods, books and other things that reside in massive malls.
- We noticed what we wore a lot and what we hardly ever wore. We both wore things often that were a bit daggy or old over something nicer just from pure comfort. The older we get the less we care about fashion and the more we care about what we feel ourselves in. This will make de-cluttering the wardrobe easier and will make it easier to choose new clothes in line with what truly suits our style.
- Sometimes we felt like we had nothing to wear even though that wasn’t literally the case. We are serious creatures of habit and it took this experiment to start mixing and matching things we hadn’t tried before to get more outfits from the same old stash.
- I noticed I chose to wear uniform into the office on days when I couldn’t decide what to wear or felt bored with my choices. Andrew’s uniform is compulsory so he didn’t have the same decision on weekdays. He did however find he tended to wear the older work shirts first because he preferred the material they are made from. So, there was still choice even if you thought there wasn’t scope for it.
- We aren’t racing off to the stores even though the shopping ban has been over for a couple of weeks. We’ve had discussions on what to buy first and what we really need (underwear!) TMI? 😉
- We’ve become very choosy. We’ve noticed what held up well and what didn’t in terms of brands, fabrics, styles etc. This will inform our choices going forward.
- We didn’t pine as much for the things we thought we needed in our wardrobes but didn’t have. Occasionally I really wished I owned some navy boots…still do!
- We’ve agreed to make a list of the things that we would like to add to our wardrobes before we go shopping. As we haven’t raced into doing that…it’s looking like we are going to hold out for a bit longer.
- We weren’t at all tempted by internet shopping. Neither of us have bought more than the odd thing from the net in the past. I think we are old school. We still like to try things on physically and couldn’t be bothered with the idea of having to send things back and swap them over.
Just in case you were wondering…the ban did deliver it’s original intended result…we paid the debt off from the trip.
So, have you ever tried something like this or keen to give it a go? Let us know.
From my heart to yours,