June 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

It’s the last day of June (how did that happen so quickly?), so it’s time for me to share my latest “grab bag” of useful links (see previous editions here).   Included below are links to articles I think you’ll enjoy on the subjects of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development.  I’m also sharing a few previous “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now).

Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach, CA

A sunny June day at the beautiful Fletcher Cove beach in Solana Beach, California.

As with last month’s useful links edition, the photo above is one of mine.  I previously used stock images for these posts, but I will now include my own photos in these useful links round-ups, as well as in select other articles.  I will also periodically feature some of my photos in standard posts, including this one and this one.   I’ve been taking photos at least two or three times per week, so I have lots to choose from!   I still plan to get into the routine of sharing photos on Instagram and I’m posting about that here to light a proverbial fire under my backside.  If you want to see my photos there, you can follow me at debbie_roes (some cat photos and a few other random images are posted already).

As a reminder, I certainly do not expect you to click on all of the links in these posts.  Just explore the ones that most intrigue you.   You can always go back to this post later via my Archives page if desired.   While you’re on the site, you might also want to check out my Recovery Tips and Resources pages, as well as learn about my two books.  Also, if you’re new to “Recovering Shopaholic,” I invite you to visit my Start Here page, which contains useful information about the blog, as well as links to some of my most compelling and helpful posts.  Okay, here are the links:

On Shopping and Shopping Psychology

  • “Movie Review: The True Cost– There’s a new documentary called “The True Cost” that delves into some of the negative aspects of the fashion industry.  I didn’t know much about the film until I read this passionate review from Grechen’s Closet, but now I really want to see it.   Grechen highlights the key takeaways from the movie and shares a few things we can all do to help turn things around. She also provides some links for those who want to learn more.  I look forward to watching “The True Cost” soon and I’m sure many of you will want to see it as well after reading Grechen’s excellent review.
  • How to Shop for Clothing and Define Your Personal Style – Learning how to shop successfully is an ongoing process and one that I am still navigating. That’s why I like articles like this one from Wardrobe Oxygen.  Included are eight concrete suggestions for how we can define and express our personal style without breaking the bank.  The first and last tips are definitely my favorites!
  • How to Assess the Quality of Clothing Items– The decline in garment quality is a frequent topic among commenters here on the blog. While it’s getting harder and harder to find clothes that are of impeccable quality, it helps to know what to look for when you’re shopping.  This article from You Look Fab outlines some guidelines for how to determine if the garment you’re thinking of buying will stand the test of time.  Also check out this popular guest post from frequent commenter Dottie here on “Recovering Shopaholic” on the same subject.

On Wardrobe Management

  • The Capsule Wardrobe Crutch– Capsule wardrobes are extremely popular as of late. The posts I’ve done on that topic and about my Project 333 experience are among my most viewed. But Alison of Wardrobe Oxygen strongly believes that a capsule wardrobe is not a quick fix for what is wrong in our wardrobes and our lives.  This thought-provoking article explores this perspective in greater depth and closes with some concrete tips for taking control of your closet.
  • Downsizing My Closet by 75% – Many of us have too many clothes in our closets and really want to pare things down. Well, Lauren Rains of The Mad to Live did some major downsizing by letting go of everything that she rarely wore and which didn’t suit her style or personality any longer.  She shares the five step process she used in order to accomplish this big task (while actually having fun in the process).
  • Free Summer Wardrobe Planner– Summer is just getting underway, but do you feel your wardrobe just isn’t ready for prime time? This worksheet from Into Mind can help.  Just take a few minutes to fill it out and you’ll be well on your way to increased wardrobe satisfaction. If you’re “down under” and easing into winter instead, you can easily adapt the worksheet for cold weather planning as well.

On Style

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Style– Do you feel like you’re in a style rut but don’t want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe? Sometimes a few small “tweaks” can make a big difference in how we feel about our clothes and the way we look.  The always helpful and effervescent Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style shares some useful tips that you can put into place right away using what you already have.  The tips are illustrated beautifully with outfit photos featuring Imogen herself.  It’s an easy read and fun to look at, too.
  • How to Make Your Black Clothes Look More Summery– This post is very timely, as it just went live yesterday! If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of black in your wardrobe, but black doesn’t exactly scream summer, does it?  Stylist extraordinaire Bridgette Raes  outlines nine great tips for making your black items work well during the warm weather season.
  • My French 5-Piece Wardrobe for Spring and Summer 2015 – Last year, I featured a guest post here about the five piece French wardrobe experiment. The theory behind this challenge is to add just five new items to your wardrobe each season (either two or four times per year depending upon your lifestyle and preferences). Janice from The Vivienne Files decided to purchase all of her new spring pieces from Eileen Fisher last season, and she showcases the amazing versatility added to her wardrobe as a result.

On Other Topics

  • Breaking the Influence of Consumerism– We are inundated with advertisements and marketing messages all day long. It’s tough to resist the rampant consumerism that is all around us, but this short post from Becoming Minimalist offers some simple but powerful tips to help you take your power back.
  • Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to the Caribbean and Scoop Ice Cream– This article from Esquire really stayed in my mind, so I decided to share it with you. Many of us have had impulses to completely change our lives and perhaps move to an island and live more simply.  Well, Noelle Hancock did just that and her story is very inspiring.   Sometimes what will make us happy is not at all what we thought it would be…
  • How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It)” – Clutter is an issue that affects most of us. While I have substantially reduced my physical clutter, digital clutter is still a major challenge in my life.   This article from Lifehacker highlights the adverse effects of clutter and offers four ways in which you can edit the “noise” and master your clutter (I need to focus on suggestions 1 and 4).

From the Archives

Each month, I share a few early “Recovering Shopaholic” posts (you can see all of them on the Archives page) that I think you might enjoy reading.  All of the posts below were published in either June 2013 or June 2014. If you resonate with these posts, I’d love to get your thoughts.   I wish I could leave comments open on all of my previous posts, but due to spam issues I’ve had to close things out after two weeks. Please feel free to share any comments you have about the archived posts here instead.

  • What is a Full Life?” – The tagline of this blog is “Trade your full closet for a full life,” but what does it mean to have a full life? In this post from 2013, I ponder that question.  I look at the three things we need in order to be happy, as well as how we can define and honor our highest values.
  • Shopping for Acceptance– I shared this post for “Throwback Thursday” on social media last week, but I think it deserves a mention here as well. This is one of those honest and raw posts that readers seem to really like.   I share about my history of eating disorders and body image issues and how my compulsive shopping has often been an effort to gain acceptance from both myself and others.  This post may resonate for those of you with similar issues and challenges.
  • Do You Have a Closet Set Point?– Many of you have heard of the “set point” theory in relation to body weight, but I believe we also have a set point for our closets.  If we pare down too quickly, we can often feel a sense of scarcity that leads us to rush out and buy things to fill our closets once again. I offer more thoughts on this theory and some tips for lowering your closet set point over time.

Conclusion                                        

I hope you enjoyed this installment of useful links.  Feel free to comment on any of the topics from this post and/or share links to articles that you’ve enjoyed recently.  If you have questions for me or suggestions for future posts, please share them in the comments section or contact me directly via email or social media.

I’ll be back soon with my June accountability post and an update on my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI – see previous posts here), and I’ll also share how I’m doing with my theme for the year.   Stay tuned for those posts and more articles on building a more workable wardrobe and a more meaningful life outside of shopping.


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