How to Go a Month Without Buying New Clothes

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


So, I went on a clothes spending freeze last month and...

..I didn't buy any clothes. Didn't see that one coming, did ya? In all seriousness, though, I was actually surprised by how successful this endeavor turned out to be. I've never been a huge clothes horse and am usually pretty good about not spending all my money on clothes, but recently I started noticing a disturbing trend. I was buying new clothes as a "feel good" tactic or simply because I saw something similar on Pinterest, never because I actually needed it. It all came to a head last month when I was trying to use a coupon in one of my favorite stores in order to buy one specific item, but ended up buying more clothes that I didn't even need in order to meet the minimum limit for the sale. It was ridiculous.

So, I promised myself that I would not buy any clothes in the month of October and, for the most part, I succeeded*. (*I did buy one sweater, but it was from the thrift store on their $1 day so I feel like that deserves an exception.) Here are a few helpful tips if you're thinking of going on a clothes spending freeze yourself.

Don't open those sale emails
The "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy works really well for this kind of challenge. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up in a Loft store because I got a **STOREWIDE 50% OFF** email that I just couldn't ignore. Just don't click on them! Better yet, unsubscribe from them altogether. I used for the first time this month to clean up my Inbox and it was a game changer. 

Stop clicking on articles with sensational titles like, "Ankle Boots Every Girl Has to Have This Fall!" 
I am totally guilty of reading articles like this, and for what? They achieve nothing but send me on a Pinterest hunt for the perfect ankle boot and convince me that $200 isn't an unreasonable price to pay. And, while it might not be for a high quality pair of boots, the truth is I probably wouldn't have even wanted them anyway if I hadn't seen them in an article. You'll survive fall without buying into the philosophy that you have to have a piece of clothing.

Plan outings that don't involve shopping
This was a hard one for me, especially since I've been working from home for the last few months. At the end of the day, I'm ready to get out of the house for a few hours and we all know where I end up if I've got a few hours to kill and nothing particular to do. Target.

I learned that I needed to do things that didn't involve handing over my credit card for yet another gray sweater. Living in a new city helped, because there are endless places to explore that we've never been before. But even if you've lived in the same place for years, there are still things you can do that don't involve shopping. Mark and I started going to a local park together in the evenings. We were both able to get out of the house and spend some time together (plus fresh air, exercise, yada yada yada). This week, we went and got library cards together (awww!) and I basically checked out the entire library. Fo free!

I feel like I should stop here to say There's nothing wrong with buying new clothes. In fact, one of the reasons why I have been hesitant to jump on board with the whole capsule wardrobe idea is because I fully support the idea of buying new clothes. If it is something you can swing financially and it brings you joy, by all means, go for it! In my case, though, I realized that I had too many new things to even wear in a week (especially with the whole working from home business) and my world would continue functioning just fine if I stopped buying new things. And it did.

I'd love to know if you've ever undertaken a challenge like this or are considering one? Any tips & tricks of your own?

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