What I learned from not shopping

Background: After leaving J.Crew at the end of July, I have abstained from making any kind of clothing, shoe, makeup, accessory purchase in the entire month of August and thus far in September. This is really a first for me.

You get creative
You plumb the depths of your wardrobe and partly this means getting comfortable with repeating pieces. The pleasant (and surprising) result of this is that you develop new favorites, rediscover old ones, and deepen your connection with your clothes in general. You get pretty philosophical about it all, and very introspective: “What is my style, truly, and what do I want it to be? Or: “Who am I?!”

You still spend money
But this is done with such a lightness of conscience such as I haven’t felt in who knows how long. I know I still need to cut the amount of money I spend on eating out, but this is for another post. Anyways, you pay your bills knowing you have to and you have the money for them. You feel okay when you do spend because you know you haven't been wasteful

The questioning is valid
When caught up with the joy of discovering a great item, I never took the mind-space step back to ask myself the below series of questions. Although they seem to be directing the mind to relent on wanting to make a purchase, anything that passes this mental check is going to be something worth buying. So what I’ve been doing is enforcing the “come back to it with a clear head” approach. I’ll put it in the cart, but I no longer check out in the same session, and this has so far worked every time.
- Why do I need this?
- Do I already own something similar?
- How often would I wear it?
- How many different ways can I wear it?
- Is it worth the space it will consume?

You figure it out - (e.g. I am a collector)
Speaking of the question of identity, I learned from studying my patterns of becoming interested in items and finally not taking them home that I am quite the collector. Very often, I didn’t need it because I already owned something similar. Exihibit A: I own 10 pairs of J.Crew Mona pumps.

I’ve always been like this I think. When I bought suits as a banker I bought them quickly one after the other. Which is sometimes okay, but mostly it isn't, as in the case when I bought an ombre straw basket tote and nearly bought another one on 3 separate occasions. I stopped myself when it came to the straw bags, but went full steam ahead when it came to straw hats (I own 5 or 6).

But you know what? There's just no space for collecting. And when you only have one of something it gets the chance to become precious to you.

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