WHAT I LEARNED FROM ONE MONTH OF NO SHOPPING

one month no shopping
one month no shopping
one month no shopping
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It’s been my experience that girls love to shop. My guy friends have asked when I’ll be adding more men’s gifts to the boutique but (while we’ve added a few great guy gifts here) I know that my target audience has been and likely always will be women. We women love clothes, decorating, shoes… Boys just don’t shop the way girls do, myself included.

But I do live in a teeny tiny apartment and sometimes I get bogged down by all the stuff. (How is there no more hanging space in my closet?) I should preface this by saying I don’t have a shopping addiction, have zero credit card debt, etc., but was simply up for a challenge (#5 on my 101 in 1001 list) to see if I could go thirty days without buying a single thing — no new arrivals on J.Crew or Shopbop, no sale finds, no spontaneous purchases while out with friends. The month after Christmas shopping overdrive seemed like as good a time as any.

Two things: 1) I made it and 2) I kind of loved it! Yes, I missed the feeling of waiting excitedly for the UPS guy to show up. Yes, I felt like I had “nothing to wear” for outfit posts on the blog. And yes, shopping with my girlfriends was a little less fun knowing I couldn’t act on anything I fell in love with. But it forced me to rediscover a few old favorites (like a pair of suede jodhpur leggings from Rugby, RIP) and it made me think about which pieces I tend to wear over and over (blue oxford shirts, this navy blazerthis silk shirt). By the time the month was up, I was much more excited to add quality items to my repertoire of tried-and-true wardrobe favorites than any impulse purchases I’d truthfully only wear a handful of times.

So the verdict? Totally in favor. I felt like I proved something to myself, my checking account felt a little cushier at the end of the month, and I think I could totally do it again (maybe even once a season!). It’s made me think more about each purchase since then, contemplate new items in terms of cost-per-wear (I’m dying to invest in some of these perfect everyday shirts), and hold off on one-off purchases for special occasions (this site is a huge help for that).

Could you go a month without shopping for clothes, decor, or makeup? Have you done it before? Tell me everything!

29 thoughts on “WHAT I LEARNED FROM ONE MONTH OF NO SHOPPING

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  1. I’ve been sort of doing this—I decided at near 25 it was time to grow up, financially, and be more responsible with what I buy & when I buy it. Now, when I do shop, I notice I tend to be able to put down things or walk away from things that I would have impulse-purchased before, and I’ve also noticed what I really gravitate towards in my current wardrobe, too, which helps me identify what I should stock up on and what I should stay away from!!

    Blonde in this City

  2. Yay! I have been trying to dedicate an entire month without shopping, but keep failing. My excuse is that my clothes from last year are 2 sizes too big now, and that I need to replace a lot of stuff. Although, in retrospect I realized I should have bought a few staple pieces instead of everything in clearance (hello $13 Banana Republic skirts!). It’s a hard thing to do, but if you have the motivation, I’ll really give it a go!

    -Katherine
    http://scallopedandbows.blogspot.ca

  3. I just did the same thing! From Jan 7th-Feb7th (today). It was hard and easy at the same time. In my head, I think I made it harder than it really was. I decided to do it for the same reasons as you,saving $ after Christmas and just wanting to prove that I can because I have so much excess. No more hangers, no closet space, so many pieces I haven’t wore in ages. It saddened me to see so much excess and I am still constantly wanting more and more and more while so many others in the world cannot even pay for food. It really puts things into perspective. But not shopping really was not that hard. I stayed away from stores like Target, Old Navy and easy buys so I was not tempted in the beginning, but by the end I was okay with going into stores and telling myself that I do not NEED anything new. Now that all the new pretty Spring season items are arriving- that is when I think this challenge gets harder. I want all of the pretty new striped and anchor items! But I rest that clothing is just material possessions and while none of that is bad, I know my only true happiness comes in God and not how many clothes I have or what I can and cannot buy. =)

  4. I was so excited to read this Mackenzie, as for the first three months of 2014 am taking part in a Contentment Challenge, that is, not spending money on things I do not need. No cute tees, no pretty necklaces, no more books (I haven’t finished reading the ones on my shelf!) No lipsticks, no scented candles, etc. I have posted about it on my blog and where the Contentment Challenge came from. I will be moving into a small apartment later this year so I guess I am practicing living with less!
    Ashleigh xxoo
    The post – http://cravebylustcreative.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/the-contentment-challenge.html

  5. I actually did a “shopping cleanse” in January as well. Just like you, I missed the excitement of waiting for a package in the mail and of putting together a new outfit with a fun, new piece.

    However, two of my girlfriends did the “cleanse” with me and at the end of the month, we all felt really great. It’s nice to take a break from the materialism and appreciate how fortunate we are.

    http://emsfashiongems.blogspot.com/

  6. I have, in fact, been actively trying not to do any shopping. I do have a bit of debt I’d like to chip away at and so that’s why. Second reason is that I really worked hard last year to put a lot of effort into purchasing closet staples and so I feel like i have a cohesive closet to work with. There is still a lingering wish list (as any girl has!) and so come “real” spring/may i’ll do some damage
    Glad you had great success!
    xo, Nina
    afterthe40barfinish

  7. You inspired me and I am just about one week in to my own “no shopping month”! I spend a few hours a day reading fashion/design blogs (yours is on top of my list!) and when there are links to all the elements of an outfit, it’s tempting to click a few times and buy them for myself. It hasn’t been that hard just yet but I know it will be. I am excited to save money, shop my current wardrobe and achieve a goal. Thanks for the idea! XO

  8. I kind of have the opposite issue. I approach my wardrobe like I am building an army to take the iron throne. I look at each new piece and consider how it will interact with the main characters already present, and carefully consider the pros and cons before acting. As a result I do have a great wardrobe, but sometimes I wish I could enjoy just going out and falling in love with something and buying it on the spot, rather than seeking out something very specific to fill a hole. But, I am almost never happy with impulse buys when I do make them! I have fallen in love with so many things only to take them home and realize they don’t play well with my wardrobe, so they go virtually unworn.

    — Alex at Brainy Girls Beauty

  9. Yes! I have enforced a no shopping rule in January for two years and love it. It feels like a cleanse after the extraneous spending in November and December. It really does make you appreciate what you already have and think twice about spending on frivolity. I am not too proud to admit that I did buy a new top for barre class and a lamp I’ve been dying to buy the morning February 1- ha!

  10. I gave up shopping for lent last year and a while it was extremely challenging it was definitely worthwhile! It also showed me just how much shopping I was doing before and allowed me to hit the reset button. Congrats on completing your month!

  11. I made far too many impulse purchases last year, so this year am going for reworking my wardrobe and trying not to buy new things (unless they are necessary!)But then as a student my ‘uniform’ is pretty simple at the minute… jeans, boots, jackets and a range of tops. I can’t wait until my summer wardrobe can come back out to play!
    Charlotte x
    La Vie en Gâteaux

  12. We started doing this last year in February. My husband labeled it “frugal February” and we don’t spend on clothes or eating out (anything not essential). We picked February since it’s the shortest month and it is such a challenge! Especially since the month just started.

  13. i live in a space even smaller than yours so every single thing in my closet has to be carefully selected. it took me awhile but i realized i only ever wear a few colors and shapes. i live in button downs, blazers and blue dresses. i love so many things in your closet. if you ever need to make room, you can sell to me!

  14. Love this post! As a fellow tiny studio apartment dweller, I too am looking to buy less during the New Year, like you feeling a bit bogged down. Most of what I buy is home related, but it’s time to take a break and just let my space be for a little bit! Congrats on having another thing to strike off your list.

  15. Bravo for you! I’m kind of the opposite right now. My sad sad wardrobe has been begging me for a facelift and it’s time mama got back into being stylish. I only went shopping a handful of times in the past 1 1/2 since I was pregnant and knew eventually I’d grow out of my clothes with my growing belly.

    Have you thought about parting ways with some of your things? If you so, you should post them on here or your shop! I know we would LOVEEEE to give them a new home 🙂
    Linh
    http://abeautifulrawr.com