November “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

To my readers in the United States, I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy happy times and good food with family and friends.   For everyone else, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.   The holidays are now officially under way whether we’re ready for them or not!   They always seem to sneak up on me, probably because we enjoy warm weather in my neck of the woods into November.  Although my friends down under are used to hot and sunny holidays, I still haven’t gotten used to it. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon one’s perspective), the cooler weather has finally arrived here, so I’m ready to feel a bit more festive.

It’s almost the end of November, 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).

Harbor Island Twilight

The San Diego skyline from Harbor Island at twilight. 

As in all recent useful links editions, the photo above is one of mine.   I also periodically share my photos over on Instagram (I need to be more proactive about it, so this will serve as a reminder!).  If you want to see my photos there, you can follow me at debbie_roes.  You can also check out my previous “photography interlude” blog posts.

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 this month’s links:

On Shopping and Shopping Psychology

  • 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Something Expensive” – Although this article from StyleCaster centers around the potential acquisition of designer clothing and accessories, many of the questions can be applied to all As a “sneak peak,” the first question is, “Do I already own something like this?”  I know I tend to be drawn to items like what I already have, so this question could potentially save me from too much “sameness” in my closet.
  • Vendors and Brands with Sustainable, Conscious, or Worker-Focused Practices” – Many of us would like to make better choices for both the environment and garment workers when we shop, but it’s hard to know where to look. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there and so many factors are involved in ethical and sustainable shopping.  Fortunately, this guide from Already Pretty makes things much easier for us.   It’s broken down into categories for clothing, shoes, and accessories with links and basic information for each brand.   Be sure to read the comments, too, as there are a lot of additional recommendations there.
  • If You Hate to Shop for Clothes” – I know that many of those reading this blog have the opposite problem of what this article’s title implies, but the suggestions from stylist Nancy Nix-Rice can actually help all of us. She’s been helping clients shop for 25 years and she lays out the ways in which her shopping strategy differs from what most women do. I picked up a few good tips from reading this post and I hope you will, too!

On Wardrobe Management

  • Clean Out Your Closet Without Feeling Overwhelmed” – While the seasonal switch-over is often a good time to declutter our closets, the tips in this post from Frantic but Fabulous are useful all year round. A number of methods are offered, including having an item “bake off,” using one criterion, the 80/20 rule, and trying out a remix.  She also presents two different wardrobe editing methods and suggests which of her tips are appropriate for each.
  • How to Rebuild Your Wardrobe When You Have to Start Over” – Bridgette Raes recently spoke with a prospective client who had lost almost all of her clothes in a fire. That conversation got Bridgette thinking about how to efficiently and effectively rebuild a wardrobe.  This post is the result of that thought process and highlights three basic tips to do it on your own, including lists of the clothing and accessories you might want to buy for a good starting wardrobe.
  • Lessons from a Closet Audit” – Here’s another great article from stylist Nancy Nix-Rice, this time on how to pare down your wardrobe and better use what you have.  Using a recent closet audit session with a client, Nancy outlines some tips on accessorizing and upgrading current pieces to make them more workable for you.

On Style

  • Top 6 Ways to Choose Shoes to Go With Your Outfit” – Just yesterday as I was getting ready to go out for Thanksgiving, I must have tried on five or six pairs of shoes before finding one that I felt looked right with what I was wearing. Perhaps if I had read this article form Inside Out Style, I would have had an easier time of it.   While I don’t have Imogen Lamport’s impressive shoe collection, I could certainly apply some of her tips to my wardrobe.  I also got some ideas for shoes I might want to add to my shopping priorities list, as upgrading my shoe collection is in my plans for 2016 (I need more than a sea of black!).
  • Is There a Big Difference Between Dressing for 45 or 65 or 85?” – Sylvia of 40+ Style doesn’t believe that we need to change how we dress much as we age beyond 40. While she doesn’t think 40+ women should dress like they’re 20, an 85 year-old women can pretty much dress the same as one who is 45.  She presents more thoughts in this article, as well as photos of style bloggers of various ages and links for other blogs to explore.
  • Fall Packing Mini Capsule Wardrobe” – This time of year, many women have trips planned to see family and friends for the holidays. Packing is often a challenge for many of us, so I always enjoy these travel capsule wardrobe posts from Putting Me Together.  In this article, we’re shown how we can easily create 15 stylish outfits using just 10 garments and a handful of accessories. What’s also great is that the outfits are shown on the blogger herself so it’s much easier to conceptualize them.  The concepts presented can be easily adapted for different colors and silhouettes, as the principles remain the same.

On Other Topics

  • The Place Called Enough (A Life of Thanksgiving)” – Enough is a concept that is not only difficult for overshoppers to grasp, it’s challenging for pretty much anyone. This powerful essay from John Pavlovitz addresses many facets of this common issue and closes with a prayer that I think I need to recite every single day.   Here’s a taste of it:   “May we believe presently that we have enough, that we do enough, that we are enough.”
  • Gratitude to Cure the Impulse to Buy More Stuff” – Do you ever find it ironic that Black Friday, a day focused on excessive acquisition and “amazing deals,” immediately follows Thanksgiving? I know I do and so does Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.   He suggests that we can counter the abundant marketing messages to buy, buy, buy with our gratitude for what we already have.  He also offers some tips for other ways to show our love besides buying things.
  • How to Tell if Someone is Asking Too Much of You” – Most of us have felt conflicted over requests from people in our lives for our time and attention. Eleanore Strong shares three questions that we can ask ourselves to determine whether or not we should acquiesce to such requests.   As someone who loves to help other people and sometimes becomes drained in the process, I definitely appreciated Eleanore’s ideas.  I need to revisit this post regularly to help prevent myself from becoming depleted by my giving nature.   I hope it helps some of you, too!

From the Archives

Each month, I share a few early “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that I think you might enjoy reading (you can see all of my posts on the Archives page).  All of the articles below were published in either November or December 2013. If you resonate with what I have written, 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 your comments about the archived articles below instead.

  • The Holidays and Shopping: The Not-So-Perfect Storm” – This post from two years ago offers some tips for dealing with Black Friday (which was today, but seems to be extending much beyond one day now) and Cyber Monday, as well as some thoughts on the practice of gift giving. I close with some alternate gift suggestions for those who don’t want to break the bank with their holiday shopping.
  • Step Away from the Computer” – Online shopping is a problem for many of us year-round, but this time of year it can be especially problematic. It’s all too easy to buy things with just a few mouse clicks and the holiday sales only add to the temptation of e-commerce sites.   I provide a few tips for dialing back your online shopping a few notches, including some questions you can ask yourself before you click “buy now.”
  • What I’ve Learned from Shopping My Closet” – It’s been almost three years since I started this blog! This post recaps the challenges I took on during the first year, including Project 333 and my “Wardrobe Benchwarmer” Project.  Both of these projects shifted my focus more toward shopping my closet than buying new things.    I highlight what I learned through the process.  It was fun to revisit these lessons two years later!


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 another photography interlude, a second installment in the alterations series I introduced earlier this week, and a look back at how my style has evolved over the years. Stay tuned for those posts and more articles on building a workable wardrobe and cultivating a meaningful life outside of shopping.     Have a wonderful weekend!

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