September In Review

Hi Fab Ladies,

My month of no shopping is over and it has been a very productive
time and I have learnt quite a few things and believe I have managed to break
an old habit and hopefully foster a new one.

Firstly it was easier than I expected.  I think my mindset helped.  I decided I was going to try to not shop and I wasn’t going to beat myself up if I failed. 
Somehow giving my self the freedom to break the fast actually provided
what I needed to maintain it.

So how did I do? 

During September I purchased a black slip for under my dresses.  I also purchased a pair of slouchy black pants to replace an older tired pair, which you all kindly gave me permission to do as that was viewed as replacing a key item in my wardrobe.

The slip was $25.00 (Target), the pants were on sale at Portmans for $39.00 and I did buy one more thing, another replacement item.  I picked up a pair of skinny while jeans (Suzanne Grae) on deep sale for $10.00 to replace two other pairs that just are not working for me. 

So while I didn’t absolutely not shop, I feel happyvand satisfied with how I went, the difference being I made very intentional decisions and did not feel controlled by my shopping.

I did browse on line and I did look in store and even tried some things on but happily walked away keen to fulfil my goal, with a view to revisiting anything of interest at the end of the month.

The month helped me to clearly define my quest  for more intentional purchases, better quality items and a less is more approach.

Intentional Purchases

I have started a folder on my iPad which contains links to items I am
interested in.  I review, review again. and then some before I commit to purchase.  Over the month I had 7 items in this file.  The more I looked, the more I saw things that helped me assess the suitability or otherwise. 
By the end of the month, I had two items left in that file.  This is a good thing for me.  I need to not be too spontaneous with my purchases because I have a very strong emotional response to clothing and loose myself in the beauty of something and completely disregard the fact that
it is not going to suit my body, my style, or my life style.
 I need to take my time with purchases. 


Quality Items

I am not necessarily talking ‘expensive’ but rather items that are
affordable within my budget and are nice quality fabrics that wear and wash
well.  Cheap, of the moment items are no
longer welcome in my wardrobe:)
I am finding it easier and easier to walk
away from clothing that looks good
but is not of a quality I find pleasing. 
Metalicus has been quite a discovery for me.  Their styles work for me and are reflective
of my preferred aesthetic, the quality of the clothing is just beautiful and
the prices don’t require me to take on a second job;)


Less is More
I have always been someone who likes variety, but that has often meant a
lack of real direction in my personal style.  Discovering what feels like me, and how I want to look, has changed that.  I suspect that what I thought was a desire for variety was actually a lack of fulfilment in the wardrobe I had.    Truth
be told, I could wear a black skinny leg pant, oversized top and ankle boots
everyday of my life and be happy.   A month of no new goodies demonstrated for me that my wardrobe is just fine and I can find any variety I need through what is already in there.  A limited colour palette, and silhouette
works well for me.  At this stage I never tire of either and I find that the majority of my closet mixes and matches beautifully and most likely has the potential to create many more outfits than my even my  heart desires.  As I reach for most of these items of clothing, my heart sighs, I love them, I want to wear them all the time.  I can dress with ease and for any occasion.  I feel my wardrobe loves me:)

So what does October look like?

By the end of September I had put away a nice sum of
clothing money.  I also had a Metalicus
voucher. 

I ordered the Metalicus
Kahlo Jacket #1/#2
 in Navy and it’s lovely. 
I also ordered the Marlini Draped Skirt in black which we agreed was short and tight and that went back.  In its place I duplicated my Black Marlini
Draped Top
in … wait for it… Blood Red! (#3) 

I don’t anticipate any further purchases this month.  I would really like to reduce my purchasing to between 8 – 12  (or less) new items over a 12 month period.

And as far as
breaking a habit goes
, right now I don’t feel the need to be constantly
browsing clothing websites and searching for that illusive next great
thing.  Instead I am fostering an attitude of intentional shopping, maintaining my chosen style and  developing the habit of putting my clothes
money aside rather than ploughing thought it each month (we budget monthly) in order to purchase more quality and less items.

I know this has been a bit of a marathon read, so thank you if you made your way through all of it.  And some of it is a little repetitious of previous posts, but it's a good exercise for me to put my thoughts in writing. 

I would love to know your thoughts, opinions and experiences in relation to this exercise or similar experiences.

xxx Deborah

 

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

29 Comments

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    Bravo!!! What a fantastic read. Well written, and well thought out, Deborah. Love this. I am so glad to read about how this has worked out for you. I am an emotional shopper as well, and I love how you've figured this all out. I am, hopefully, moving in this direction as well, but without the well-thought-out road map that you have. 

    I cannot wait to see the blood red top on you. I am sure it is going to be out of this world. What a fun addition to your wardrobe.

    Thanks for writing this up. I almost want to print it out and post it above my computer it's that good, and rings so true to me as well :)

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Jackie, thank you!  I was a bit worried this might be incredibly boring for all but me lol.   I am incredibly excited about all of this because from my 20's right through to recent days I have felt I had very little control over my clothes shopping/spending. 

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    I know the feeling well, Deborah. But it really sounds like you have it all under control. I find it very inspirational and have been following your revelations closely. This is a great accomplishment - be proud :) (and not boring at all - I lap it up!!!)

  • bj1111 replied 6 years ago

    Wow Deborah...great insight and what a color to incorporate into your palette.

    I WANT that metalicus jacket and am SICK that i can't source from the states.

  • Elly replied 6 years ago

    Excited to see the blood red on you-- I love that color. I also think the jacket is a beautiful and interesting shape and am interested to see it on your shape. Seems like this was a very valuable exercise, my dear.

  • Dar replied 6 years ago

    Deborah, not at all boring! Very good advice. I especially love "Less is More". So often I will buy an item for variety and then realize it doesn't mix with anything else. I appreciate your explanation of how this helped you with direction for your personal style. Thanks!!!

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    I totally understand were you are coming from Deborah. It sounds like this was a very worthwhile exercise :) 

    My fewer & better mantra (along with a shopping list) is really holding my eclectic side in check; which is a very good thing for me.  

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Thanks ladies, I am greatly encouraged by your support:)

    bj, you can order from Australia and they ship to the US and shipping is very reasonable :)  Just saying..

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    This post is really insightful, Deborah. Thanks for gathering your thoughts here. You have me thinking about how I might whittle my wardrobe and be happier with it. I'm not confident in my whittling skills, though. For example, I thought I would get rid of a sweater that was uncomfortable because it exposes too much of my neck and feels cold, and when I cover up my neck with a layer underneath the sweater or a scarf over it, I feel I lose some of the style that I like about the sweater. I posted it, and the responses quite overwhelming in urging me to give it another try. I'm not saying I'm right and they're wrong, but rather, I think they're probably right--there are reasons I'd like to keep the sweater. This is just an example, but it tells me I need to gain a better understanding of what I'm looking for before I go getting rid of things, on a mission to have a closet full of clothes I love, love, love to wear.

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    Deborah, I enjoyed reading your post and will read it several more times. Congratulations on getting to this place of joy and satisfaction with your style and wardrobe and with a great shopping plan. You are where I would like to be, but I haven't distilled my preferences enough yet to be anywhere close. I especially like your thoughts on intentional purchases and taking time with them. I need to learn to do this. Staying away from sales would help. I had a return at the Rack and had to look at Clear the Rack with additional savings on markdowns. I came home with a couple of great deals but they are more spring/summer and not planned. Thank you for your excellent example.

  • thimblelina replied 6 years ago

    I love your posts! I think it is always a good idea to slow down and make very deliberate wardrobe decisions.

  • dashielle (Ann) replied 6 years ago

    Deborah, your post is inspirational and I for one will dig a little deeper into the relationship I have with my clothes and buying habits, which can only be a positive thing!

  • Lyn D. replied 6 years ago

    I have been looking forward to this post Deborah, and have so admired your efforts last month!
    8-12 items seems a big aim- would this include replacement items and basics, or just additions?
    My aim is around twice this, but all categories within the total number :)

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Good question Lyn. I think I am thinking the 8 to 12 items would be mainly additions...I probably need to give the numbers a little more thought. I may have to track it over the next 12 months to really get an idea of what is realistic.

  • carolbee replied 6 years ago

    This is a great post Deborah, seems you have really made progress. It does give food for thought. I do tend to browse shops that I favour even when I don't need anything and often end up buying something. I currently have about twice the number of summer tops than I need so I shouldn't need to shop at all (excluding new swimmers I need for next years hols). We'll see!

  • Elizabeth P replied 6 years ago

    Wow Deborah, I'm impressed.  You seem light years ahead of me... I've figured out my colour palette, and a few other things, over the last couple of years, but I feel like I'm still flailing around trying to figure out my best silhouette(s), and proportions. In other words, this:

    "I have always been someone who likes variety, but that has often meant a lack of real direction in my personal style. Discovering what feels like me, and how I want
    to look, has changed that. I suspect that what I thought was a desire
    for variety was actually a lack of fulfilment in the wardrobe I had
    "

    I also struggle with the balance between comfortable and frumpy (esp as right now, my weight is up, so things I normally like, feel icky).   I also think I get too distracted by what looks good on 6' 105lb models, and try to emulate them...  Well, not really, but I often find what I'm attracted to is not MY best look.

    I think this post has motivated me to take a hard look at what outfits made me happy at this time last year, and see if I can find some common themes on the good, the bad and the ugly.  Maybe this will help make some decisions in the right direction for the upcoming months. 

    thanks Deborah, keep sharing!!

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Inspirational post Deborah! I think you are in a wonderful place and I look forward to seeing you integrate your thoughtful additions as well as re-mix your current stuff!

  • Lynne replied 6 years ago

    Wow, Deb, what a thoughtful and insightful post.....I love that you came away from the experience with a new appreciation and satisfaction with your own wardrobe! 

    I'm so glad you got the jacket, it's quite special, and that top will be the perfect foil for your black and white pieces. 

    I always find if I shop from a place of having everything I need I am much more deliberate in my choices.  If I shop from a place of want I end up with all sorts of odds and ends that I then need to find ways to use to justify the expenditure.

  • Alassë replied 6 years ago

    This was a great post, Deborah. Thanks for writing up your experiences & thoughts.

  • Kimberley replied 6 years ago

    Hi Deborah ~ this is a great post.  Your insights and experiences very helpful!

  • Windchime replied 6 years ago

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughtful post, Deborah, and getting an inside peek at your thought process, as I have huge admiration for your style. It seems you made a quantum leap toward some of your goals--to not be impulsive in your purchasing; to have a smaller, more carefully-curated wardrobe which exactly suits you and your lifestyle; and to invest in quality pieces.

    Great job during September, and I'm looking forward to seeing the red top on you. I bet it looks smashing!

  • texstyle replied 6 years ago

    Well done Deborah!  Loved reading your post (and other related posts) on this topic. I think taking a shopping holiday is really a great way to focus in on our real needs and wants. I'm so glad this was successful for you. Love that new navy jacket and red top - both seem perfect for you!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Deborah, this is such a thoughtful summary of where you are at now. I can't wait to see the blood red top -- it is going to be stunning on you! Wow. 

    You really have found shopping mecca with Metalicus. It is perfect for your style. I'll bet just knowing that the store exists helps you to become more mindful. You don't have to worry that you will never find the items you want or need. You know that every season they will present a line that is exciting to you and will allow you to add to your wardrobe bit by bit. 

    I've often wished to find "my" designer or store. It has never happened quite like this, but I do have some that work better for me than others and they are absolutely becoming my "go to" retailers. I don't need to shop around a lot elsewhere in a restless way because I know that their items will fit reasonably well (most of the time) and fit my aesthetic reasonably well (most of the time.) It really, really helps! 

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    For me, the best way to go is one-in, one out.  Currently I still need more "outs" though, so I am purging one item per day for as long as I can find things.  Yes I have that many clothes.  But I have also come to accept that I love to shop and wear new things.  I feel a constant need to refresh my wardrobe.  I'm not in debt, drive an ancient car, don't have a mortgage or kids… And I work extremely hard.  To deny myself my greatest hobby and pleasure, is too hard.  

    And the things I purge, whether I eBay them or donate them, do find new homes!  I think of the items I've received from friends, and how I've loved them, it makes them feel great that the item that didn't fit them right or look right, became a workhorse for me.

    I hope that didn't just come off as one big excuse/rationale to continue shopping.  For me if I decided to keep something, it is going to have to come at the cost of something else.  If I cannot find anything to purge (it can come from a different category), it has to go back.

    And I totally hear you on the quality thing.  Quality does not always have to cost $500, I'm learning.  But, I'm trying to avoid the trend items from places like H&M or Zara or Kohl's that are almost always made with inferior artificial fibers (there are superior artificial fibers out there).  These pieces hold stains and look shabby and cheap after one wash in my experience.

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Thanks again for your input ladies.  It is much appreciated.

    Elizabeth, weight fluctuations can play havoc with my wardrobe.  I am carrying some extra kilos from winter but I have to remind myself that my wardrobe is still fine, it's me that needs some work in this instance. I find it easier to shed the kilos in summer.

    Lynne, I agree, shopping from a place of having all you need allows slow deliberate choices and the opportunity to add those special pieces.

    Suz, the scary thing of course is what if Metalicus changes??  I used to buy a lot from another store here (Jacqui E) but they must have changed designers and their clothes are no longer than appealing to me.  Having said that Metalicus do seem to have built their reputation on particular elements so this could be a long term relationship.

    Denise, you certainly don't sound like you are making excuses :)  We all have different personalities and gain enjoyment from our wardrobe in different ways.  This too, is my greatest hobby.  I have no other vices in life, this is it:)  And I agree with you on quality, it's available at many price points, we just have to find it.

  • shedev replied 6 years ago

    Very inspirational post, Deb.

  • christy replied 6 years ago

    Deborah, I really enjoyed reading this post. It appears this was a truly helpful exercise for you! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that jacket and think it will be a fantastic addition for you. Can't wait to see that red top in rotation also!

  • amiable replied 6 years ago

    What a terrific post!  I love reading your thoughts and how you're processing your purchases.  And blood red WOW!  I too wish I could order some of those metalicus items from here in the States.

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Very inspiring post to read.  I have changed my shopping habits dramatically over the last 3 years due to a number of reasons.  I feel much more in charge of my wardrobe.  When I read posts like yours it helps me to clarify what I need to work on.  Looking forward to seeing your new clothes on WIW posts.

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