March 2016 Accountability Update

I was a bit delayed in posting my January and February accountability updates, so I thought I’d be timelier with the one for March.   Also, I don’t have as much to share this time around, so this won’t be as epic a post to write (or read).

For those who are new to the blog, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet, what I wore, and how I did with my shopping budget and item limit.  Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping goals.  I’m also going to update you on how I’m doing with my theme for the year, “balance.”  I want to make sure to at least check in on my 2016 theme each month, but I also plan to share more in-depth thoughts from time to time.  I think it’s important to keep our goals “top of mind” as much as possible.

Full Honesty and Accountability

Being accountable to others can help you stick to your goals.

Since I will be packing so much into these monthly updates, I’ll go into less detail in each section than I did in past years.  In many instances, I’ll just give general summaries of what I bought and what I purged rather than doing an itemized account.   However, when I feel it’s valuable to do so, I’ll elaborate more on particular items or in certain sections.

What Left My Closet and Why

I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month. During March, I removed five items from my wardrobe:

  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 2 jackets
  • 2 tops

Here’s a look at the items I opted to pass on, along with some notes as to why:

march 2016 purged items

           I purged these five items from my wardrobe during March 2016. 

I wrote about four of these five items in my post on using the “coin toss method” to help make wardrobe culling decisions.  The shoes, long blazer, and grey tank were wardrobe “benchwarmers” that I just didn’t love and wear, so I’m happy to be passing them on, along with the feelings of guilt that were associated with them.   For a while, I second-guessed my decision to return the black moto jacket, as it’s difficult for me to find jackets that aren’t too short on my tall frame.   However, after subjecting it to the wardrobe “first impression test” recently, I ultimately decided that returning it is the best course of action.   Something better will come along that I won’t hem and haw over.

As for the white tee, it was a mistake purchase from last December.   At the time, I thought I’d finally found a white tee that wasn’t too sheer and fit well, but I found that the neckline was too high and the top was just too long and drapey overall. Fortunately, I found a better white tee (perhaps the “holy grail” at last?) in February, so I’m passing the one above on.   I may keep it as a sleep tee, but it’s no longer in my “out and about” wardrobe.

I’ve already designated some more items to purge from my closet this month, so look for this section to be longer in my next accountability update.  Later this week, I will share another exercise that has helped me to gain deeper insights into my wardrobe.  I look forward to encapsulating what I learned for you shortly and I hope some of you will opt to take on the exercise yourselves.

What Came Into My Closet

This part of my accountability update is usually divided into the following sections:

  • “Out and About” Wardrobe (to be included in my item limit for the year)
  • At-Home / Workout Wardrobe
  • Shoes and Accessories

This month, however, it’s not necessary to make such a division, as I only purchased one new item:

black and grey striped cardi

When I saw the above cardigan in a resale shop with the tags still attached, I was very happy.  Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows of my affinity for stripes, and I love this cardigan.   It’s soft and cozy and is a good layering piece.   I’ve already worn it twice and love it (you can see one of my outfits featuring this cardigan below).   While I’m pleased with this purchase, I plan to stop buying long open cardigans now, as I already have quite a few and would like to add some alternate style and shape toppers to my wardrobe this year.

Item Report

I’ve decided to purchase no more than 36 “out and about” items this year (see this post for more information), as I already have a lot of pieces in this area of my wardrobe.  I would like to focus more on my shoes and at-home clothing this year.  Each month, I will list my “out and about” purchases, when I bought them, and how many times they have been worn thus far.  For the sake of completeness and comparison, I will also share the at-home items, shoes, and accessories I have purchased and include the wear numbers for those pieces as well.

“Out and About” Purchases:

  1. Burgundy polka-dot long-sleeved top (January, worn once)
  2. Burgundy waffle top (January, worn three times)
  3. Teal waffle top (January, worn twice)
  4. Black straight leg cords (February – not yet worn)
  5. Black lightweight trousers (February, worn twice)
  6. Dark wash straight-leg jeans (February – worn twice)
  7. Black blazer (February – not yet worn)
  8. Cobalt/black tunic (February – worn once)
  9. Black/grey print reversible puffer vest (February – worn twice)
  10. Black long vest (February – worn once)
  11. Denim vest (February – not yet worn)
  12. Black knit pants with zipper details (February – worn once)
  13. White crew-neck short-sleeved tee (February – not yet worn)
  14. Black and grey striped cardigan (March – worn twice)

NOTE:  The black knit pants were originally placed in the at-home category, but they fit so well and look like regular pants that I have decided to use them as part of my “out and about” wardrobe.  Thus I have moved them to item #12 above.   Also, since I opted to return the black woven moto jacket, it no longer appears in the above list.

At-Home Purchases:

  1. Blue-striped long-sleeved top (January, worn seven times)
  2. Dark green long-sleeved top (January, worn four times)
  3. Purple striped long-sleeved top (January, worn seven times)
  4. Light green/teal short-sleeved workout tee (January – don’t track wears)
  5. Sheepskin slippers (February – worn daily, don’t track wears)

Shoes:

  1. Burgundy ankle boots (February, worn five times)

Accessories:

  1. Bright blue scarf (January, not yet worn)
  2. Purple beaded earrings (February, don’t track wears)

Here’s a summary for the year as of the end of March:

  • Items Added:  22 (14 “out and about” garments, 5 at-home items, 1 pair of shoes, 2 accessories)
  • Items Purged: 15 (1 jacket, 4 tops, 5 pairs of shoes, 2 scarves, 3 pieces of jewelry)

Please note that returns are not included among the purged items count.  I also don’t report on returns made within a given month.

As you can see, I’m wearing my new at-home items a lot more often than my new “out and about” pieces. This is a big reason why I’ve decided to limit my purchases in the latter category.  It may not be as fun to buy things to wear at home and for walks and workouts, but those are the items that truly end up earning their keep in my closet.   Of course, there’s some cross-over between the categories and I’m aiming for that to be the case more often, but there are some garments that I’m just not going to wear when I’m sitting around the house.  Some of you might do so, but I know myself and what I will and won’t wear at home.   I think I look a lot nicer when I’m at home than I used to, but I want and need to be comfortable!

March Budget Report

My clothing budget for 2016 is $2500, the same as last year’s budget.  Like in 2015, I am working from a quarterly budget, but I’ve opted to allocate my money based upon my traditional shopping patterns:

  • Quarter 1: $750
  • Quarter 2: $375
  • Quarter 3: $1000
  • Quarter 4:   $375

My first quarter budget was $750.   As of the end of March, I had spent $736.42 on clothing and related expenses (clothes, shoes, accessories, alterations), so I came in under budget by $13.58.  If I didn’t opt to return the black moto jacket, I would have been over budget by about $50, so it was actually a good thing that the jacket didn’t work out for me (at least in terms of my budget commitment).

As it stands, I have a fairly small budget set aside for the second quarter.  I’m going to see how it goes and may decide to increase the number somewhat.  I have some items that I’d like to purchase this quarter, including one or two lightweight toppers (one for my at-home/workout wardrobe), a few workout tops, a pair of lounge/workout pants, a belt for jeans, some new underwear, and at least one pair of shoes (see my 2016 shoe plan in this post).   If I find all of these items this quarter, I may end up increasing this quarter’s budget and reducing my allocation for the third quarter.   My third quarter shopping will mostly be for my warm weather wardrobe, which I generally don’t start wearing until mid-June or early July (save some unseasonably warm days).   I like to take advantage of summer sales, as well as the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so that’s why I’ve designated so much money to quarter three.

I’m still working on shopping more deliberately and making better purchases.  I’m going to continue reviewing what I bought last year and how successful it was (see my first post in that series here) and will share my April 2015 update very soon.

What I Wore

In each accountability update, I do a quick recap of the items I wore the month before. Here’s a quick look at what I wore during March:

  • Clothing items worn:  47  (note that some items worn only at home or for walks/workouts are not shown):

march 2016 clothes worn

As an addition to these updates, I’m going to share how many items have been carried over from one month to the next to see how my wardrobe continuity is going and how versatile my items are.   Close to half (22) of the garments that I wore in March were also worn in February.

  • Shoes worn:  5

march 2016 shoes worn

Most of these boots were also worn in February. The only ones that weren’t were the black boots at the top left.  I know that it’s kind of overkill to have three pairs of black ankle boots.  The new ones at the top right are the pair that I usually wear (8 times last month), but the other two pairs also have their usefulness for wearing with certain pairs of pants.  The boots in the top middle (5 years old) have a very low heel, are the most comfortable, and look good with boot-cut jeans.  The boots at the top left (6 years old) were my go-to before I added the new pair to my closet at Christmas.  I still wear them occasionally and plan to keep them for the time being.  My cost-per-wear for those boots is probably in the pennies at this point!

  • Scarves worn:  5

march 2016 scarves wornWhile I have some solid scarves as well, I’ve found that the printed ones are worn more often.   These five are probably my favorites out of my current collection.

  • Necklaces worn:  3

march 2016 necklaces wornI really should wear necklaces more regularly, as they have a great capacity for adding visual interest to otherwise simple and potentially boring outfits (those “chicken outfits” that Bridgette Raes writes about).  The three necklaces above are definitely among my favorites.

I don’t track my earring and bracelet wears, as I have less of an issue with using those items regularly, especially since I have pared down my collection considerably over the past two years (see my most recent jewelry inventory in this post).

  • Purses carried:  1

black studded purse

I have been carrying the same purse for the past two and a half months now.  While I don’t need a lot of variety in my handbags and still love this one, I think I’m ready for a change this month.   I plan to switch out my purse soon and will bring the one above back at bit later.

Here are a few of my favorite outfits from March 2016:

march 2016 favorite outfits 1-4

march 2016 favorite outfits 5-7

Please excuse the poor quality of a few of the images.  My husband usually takes my outfit photos, but I occasionally have to take “selfies” when he’s not home and the lighting by my full-length mirror leaves to be desired.  However, since those were two of my favorite ensembles, I wanted to include them in this post.

I didn’t get out and about last month as much as I did in February, as I have been experiencing more health challenges and haven’t been up to it.   When I did get out, I sometimes had to wear outfits I didn’t like as much due to the significant bloating that I’ve been having on and off (not sure why, but both my hormones and my digestive tract are seriously out of whack).   This issue really underscores the importance of having a versatile wardrobe, which includes some bottoms that have “give” to them and can accommodate weight fluctuations.  The black pants at the left in the second photo are the ones I originally thought would be for at home and workouts only, but they actually work quite well for days when I’m feeling bloated and am not up to wearing jeans.

I’m quite pleased with the new reversible puffer vest and long black vest I bought in February.  Both are comfortable and give a new look to some of my basics, such as jeans and knit tops.  Between those and wearing more of my scarves and necklaces again, I was pretty happy with the majority of my March outfits.

Balance Goal Update

I’m not going to go into too much detail in this section this month, as not a lot has changed since my last update.   I’ve still been hit or miss about going to bed at the desired time (12:30) and I’m still spending more time on Facebook than I’d like to some days.  One thing that has shifted, however, is that I periodically have days when I spend little or no time on Facebook, which helps me to get a break and feel better about the time I do spend there.  I’ve also been doing well at working on key tasks before logging onto social media or doing activities which I don’t consider priorities for that given day.

I continue to make progress on decreasing my backlogs, but I also realize that I need to stop them from accumulating in the first place.  I’m happy that cancelling my magazine subscriptions and instead using the Texture app has dramatically cut down on the time I spend reading various publications as well as my feelings of “FOMO.”  I just read magazines when I feel like it and if I miss some issues of my favorites here and there, I’m okay with it. I need to do the same with blog posts and online articles, as I still want to spend more time reading books and less time on other types of reading.

I’ve been doing better at “batching” my health appointments and errands and concentrating these activities into two (or sometimes three) days per week instead of virtually every day.  This has helped to increase my productivity and decrease my stress levels. I’d still like to increase my “full life” activities such as walks, movies, photography, personal growth, and face-to-face get-togethers, so that is going to be more of my focus this month and beyond.

I continue to feel like my life is out of balance, but I’m glad that I’m taking time each month to look at how I’m doing with my 2016 theme.   For this month, I’d like to re-commit to going to bed earlier and staying off my computer late at night.  I’d also like to re-commit to daily backlog elimination and email times and setting my key tasks for the following day before I go to bed each night.   I think these activities will make a big difference in both my health and my level of life balance.   I sometimes sabotage myself and don’t do what I know is good for me, but each month (or even each day!) is another chance to change my actions and do the right thing.   I hope to have something better to report on the balance front next month, but I do feel I’ve made some positive changes already this year.

Your Thoughts?

So that’s it for my March accountability update.   Now it’s your turn to chime in:

  • How did you do with your shopping and wardrobe during March?
  • If you have one, how is your theme for 2016 coming along?
  • What successes and/or challenges did you experience in these areas?

I invite you to share your wins and setbacks, as well as any questions you have for me or others in this community.   Some of you have opted to share your accountability updates each month, too, which is great.  There is strength in numbers and in declaring our truth on a forum such as this one (many readers also share their accountability in the “End Closet Chaos” closed Facebook group).   We’re here to encourage and support each other, so please feel free to ask for help if you need it.   I wish you all the best for the month of April and throughout 2016!


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Comments

  1. I feel the shopping is pretty much under control lately, but I must confess my occasions to wear ‘real’ clothes is quite limited compared to most. What do I really need to buy if I only dress 2, maybe 3 times at the most, each week?
    I am happy with what I have and am looking more for the elusive just right white tee, etc, at this point.
    In March I bought an olive modal tee and colorblock terry hoodie, both from Nordstrom at $35 each. Then a 6 pack of socks for $7.50 at Ross. I’ve spent just under $350 for the year and then an additional $16.75 in returning some shoes. Better than a $70 mistake in the closet unworn! My theme was balance as well and I’m already committed to 2 days off each week from work this summer. Last summer I worked a few 2 and 3 week straight stretches (and missed out on the Reno rib cookoff, a Primus concert, and friends from England visiting). I will NOT do that again this year. I have twice gone to last minute invites (sometimes straight from work in uniform) and was not sorry either time. I may have been tired or whatever, but life is largely about those we share it with and I’m learning to make that a priority.
    Ditto going for a weekly run, weather permitting. I skipped it 2 weeks ago and was sorry I did. It gives me that balance, and I feel good getting the heart pumping.
    I’m trying to limit online time and spend better quality time with my significant other. He needs to do the same with TV time. Funny, but men tend to think watching TV is somehow time spent together. More like tuning out together lol. We’re doing better though. Progress, not perfection. 😉

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing your accountability, Mo. You’re doing very well with your shopping so far this year. Good for you for returning the shoes even though you had to pay shipping. So many people won’t do that and then they end up with “benchwarmers” that cost more than the return fee. I’m glad you have committed to more time off moving forward and that you are taking advantage of those last-minute invites. I know you’d rather attend those events in “regular” clothes, but it’s nice to get together with friends even if it has to be done in a uniform. Interesting what you wrote about TV time and men thinking it’s time spent together. I’ve been guilty of thinking such things, too. My husband and I are often both at home or even in the same room, but we need to make more of an effort to have non-distracted time, too. Yes, progress, not perfection…

  2. Carolyn says:

    Well done Debbie. I am on a self-imposed shopping ban and bought nothing in February and only one thing in March – a short denim a-line skirt for summer which would be gone if I waited till summer starts. It’s not easy especially with all the new season clothes arriving in the stores. But I want to save money , not spend. I am also banning makeup purchases – I really do have a ton of lipsticks and no need to add any more.
    I like your outfits and especially like the green scarf which really suits you.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Good for you for buying so much less, Carolyn. It seems your denim skirt purchase was a good one to make. Yes, it’s not easy to cut down our shopping when there is so much new stuff in the stores. I find the easiest way is to not put myself in harm’s way by going to the stores or even browsing online. There will always be nice things we’ll want to buy, but our goals should come first. Best wishes to you with the best of your shopping ban period.

  3. Debbie, this is a great article, and so inspiring, when I consider where you were this time a year ago, and again two years ago! And I can see a greater peacefulness and contentment in your face, in your photos.

    I know we say this periodically, but we can never say this too many times: thank you for sharing your life and your challenges with us! You motivate and inspire so many people!

    p.s. – I don’t think you have too many black boots, if you’re wearing all of them within a six-week period. I have multiples in several favorite styles, and I find that rotating my footwear on an almost-daily basis keeps my feet and ankles happy and strong.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I really appreciate your kind words, Mary Beth! I’m glad my blog has helped to motivate and inspire others. I never even knew if anyone would read it when I started, but I’m happy to have an audience and to have made a difference. Good point about the boots. I do like some better than others, but they all do get worn. I have pared down my shoe collection from 56 to 22 since I started the blog, so I’m okay with having a little duplication in there.

  4. Debbie, you are doing so well! Congrats! March was a big buying month for me as I needed to replenish my warm weather wardrobe but in the midst of buying, I got too excited and made some bad compulsive purchases. (Zara gets me every time!) I was able to return 2 items (purchased online) but ended up donating 3 (Zara items!) and one (purchased via ebay) I can resell. I’ve been very lazy about reselling on ebay this year. I have 9 items (including the recently purchased ebay item) that I can get pretty good money for and I just don’t have the energy to do all the photography and measuring. There’s no consignment shops in my country so ebay is the only resource to resell clothing. There’s still a few summer wardrobe holes but still have lots of time before I will really need them. April is a “take a deep breath” month for me, as March taught me the lesson that my compulsive shopping recovery still requires hard work.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I know what you mean about listing things on ebay, Wendy. I have a few items waiting to go on ebay myself, but it IS time-consuming to do it, which is why I usually just bring things to consignment stores (which brings me a lot less money, so it’s not the best solution). Best wishes with getting those listings done and with your “take a deep breath” month (we can all use one of those from time to time). Yes, compulsive shopping recovery takes work, but we didn’t get to where we are overnight. We have to try to be gentle and patient with ourselves along the way. We’re both making progress, slowly but surely…

  5. I’m glad you’re keeping your older black boots, because it’s always good to have a backup for main workhorse pieces, like your black wedge booties. Even in my relatively small closet, I have a backup pair of my booties (I also wear booties as my main out and about shoe) because I’ve had instances where the main pair had to go in for repair or I needed to reshine the scuffs with my shoe cream, but I had to travel and didn’t have time to deal with it.

    I love the fact that your choices seem to be more assured these days. The progress is fun to watch. Thank you.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      What you said about the boots is right now, Jane. I once got rid of my old pair of walking shoes when I got a new pair, but then down the line, the sole of one of my shoes ripped off and I had to scramble to get some shoes to wear! Since then, I’ve always been good at holding on to a back-up. Tough lesson to have to learn, but I got it. I’m glad you’re enjoying watching my progress. I’m happy to be making better decisions these days, even though I still make some mistakes.

  6. Sharon W says:

    Hi Debbie. You’re going to have to change your blog name to Recovered Shopaholic! You’re showing such restraint and shopping with real purpose. Well done. I love the new cardigan, it’s very chic. I’ve fallen off the wagon in the last few weeks. I’ve bought 5 pairs of nude sandals. I realize it’s the old issue of buying 4 lesser pairs on the way to the ones I actually wanted.
    Apart from this blip I’ve been doing well. I recently reflected on how easy it is to release items from my wardrobe that don’t fit my style esthetic. I’m getting better with the ‘sunk costs’ issue I previously struggled with. Very enjoyable post, thank you Debbie.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Oh, I think it may be a while before I consider myself recovered, Sharon, but thank you for the praise. Sorry to hear that you had some shopping challenges last month. I know very well about settling for less when shopping and how that can lead to MORE shopping and even spending more money down the line. Did you see this post from two years ago? http://recoveringshopaholic.com/a-simple-shopping-rule-buy-once/ It’s a good reminder. It seems you’re making great progress and should be very proud of yourself. Sunk costs can be challenging, but I’m doing better there, too.

  7. Wow, that sweater is great! It is clear from the outfit photos that you have really honed in on your own personal look, Debbie.

    In March, I donated two large bags of worn-out/unloved/ill-fitting clothes. At a rummage sale, I purchased two lightweight t-shirts and a crew-neck sweater, all of nice quality. It fit into my limited budget and everything has been worn repeatedly. I am an under-buyer and get anxious and overwhelmed when making purchases, so I count this as a success.

    I also was inspired to start a spreadsheet tracking what I buy / donate this year. 🙂

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks, cm. I’m quite happy with my new sweater and am feeling better about my style, too. That’s great that you donated two bags of clothes that were no longer working for you and found a few good pieces at a rummage sale. I agree that making a good purchase is a mark of success for an under-buyer (but can be for an over-shopper, t0o). That’s great that you started a spreadsheet to track what you buy and donate. It has helped me tremendously to track these things and I hope the same will be true for you.

  8. Marianne says:

    Hi Debbie just wanted to thank you for your blog. Glad to see you are doing so well. Glad you got that stripe card. It looks great on you. As does the puffer vest. I can tell you are shopping with intention and it shows in your “numbers”. Very Cool. I also wanted to thank you for the articles that you link to in your blogs. I too have had to wrap my head around “sunk costs” and the concept really helped me get rid of a lot of clothes recently. I also started a page in my journal dedicated to everything I purchase this year. Its been really helpful in keeping me accountable. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I appreciate your thanks and kind words, Marianne. I’m glad you like the useful links posts. The sunk costs article was a big one for me, too, and I have already read it several times. I think that tracking your purchases will be helpful for you. Awareness is very useful, as most of us have no idea how much we’re buying and what we’re spending. Accountability makes a big difference, even if the only one we’re being accountable to is ourselves. You’re welcome to share your accountability here every month, too, as some others do. Best wishes to you!

  9. Sharon (UK) says:

    Hi Debbie. Good job on buying just one item for the month! What a great cardy. I am sure you will find this cardy a wardrobe all star. I did well in March. I adjusted my budget from £100 (UK pounds) to £150 at the start of the month as I was finding £100 was not quite enough. I had £23 left! For the first time in two years I have actually stuck to my monthly budget. I also did another wardrobe purge and got rid of 33 items. I am now at 280 items which is a lot but about a year and half ago was 340! I include all items with the exception of jewellery, underwear and nightwear but it does include gym, swimwear, beachwear, handbags, scarves and gloves. I like to have choice as like you I run cold and layer up – the UK weather is all over the place. For April I have spent £136.99 and I am now attempting a shopping hiatus until June. My problem is often after a ban I tend to binge shop so I am determined to break this cycle and hope to just buy 1 item or 2 items in June. Thanks for taking time to write your blog, it is extremely useful.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Big congrats to you on sticking to a monthly budget, Sharon, and for purging more items. You have made some great progress in the past year and a half! Best wishes to you with your shopping hiatus. I have struggled with “binges” after shopping bans, too, but time away from shopping has its benefits and can be done successfully. I’m wondering if you have seen this guest post from Jill Chivers back in 2014: http://recoveringshopaholic.com/how-a-shopping-hiatus-can-help/ You may find it helpful in being more successful with what you have decided to do.

  10. I also had a good month. I finally replaced a worn out green cardigan I purged last year because it was too short. This longer version is just right. But spring and summer are typically slow shopping seasons for me, I prefer fall and winter clothes and colors. So I tend to shift my budget toward athletic supplies for the kids. Spring is the start of outdoor sports that demand new shoes and equipment. It also keeps me busy with their events, which also involve socializing. All things I enjoy more than shopping. So I suspect I will continue to minimize purchases. Meanwhile my purged item count is up to 37 for 2016. Moving in the right direction.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing your accountability, Misty. Seems like you are doing very well with your shopping and purging. It’s nice that you found a new green cardi that works well for you and good that you have allocated your budget toward what’s needed most for your family at this time. I hope you will enjoy the spring and summer socializing and that you will continue to move in the right direction with your purchases. You’re doing great!

  11. Hi Debbie. I really enjoyed your accountability post this month. I think your instincts regarding your style are are definately kicking in. Your colour palette for the month had no jarring ‘how did that get in there pieces?’ Each of your outfit photos presented a cohesive style but each look was a little different. After lurking around your blog for so many years I felt like I was finally seeing the you that I picture from your writing. My wondering is whether your ability to now focus on balance and other aspects of your life has become possible because you are sensing more congruency between your inner and outer self and no longer need to put so much energy into feeling frustrated by the discrepancy.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for “de-lurking” to leave this comment, Tracy. I’m glad you aren’t seeing questionable purchases in these reports and are seeing more congruence between what I’m wearing and who you see me to be. I’m not sure what is having me focus more on balance now. I think that after a very unbalanced year and some challenges in 2015, I’m seeing more and more how important it is for me. It helps that my wardrobe and style are in a better place and I don’t need to focus as much time and energy there. However, it’s definitely easier to work on my wardrobe than on the rest of my life, so I have to keep my attention on balance to make sure I make progress there.

  12. I have been lurking on your blog for about a year after reading some things on minimalism and wardrobe rebuilding. I wanted to say that you have made such incredible progress and I am so proud of you for only buying one item this month. I don’t have a problem with over buying, but I don’t like how much time I spend browsing. I’ve had to replace about 75 percent of my wardrobe in the past two years since many of my work clothes were 7-10 years old and were getting worn down (they were all from just after graduating college). Additionally, I lost about 15 pounds and hit my 30’s so some things just didn’t fit well anymore. My wardrobe is currently at about 55 items (excluding shoes, accessories, handbags, underthings, and gym gear) which works for me having to dress for a professional work environment and at home in a four season climate with temps ranging from -20 to over 100. I have replaced most of what I needed to, but it is hard to turn the shopping mode off after doing so much more shopping than normal to get what I needed. It is scary how fast something can become a habit!

    Going forward I really want to only buy 2 or 3 pieces per six month season (aside from tee shirts which tend to wear down faster than other things), because I want to focus not just on quality over quantity as I always have but ethically made as well. This isn’t a drastically lower amount than what I bought before I had to do so much rebuilding but many pieces going forward will have a higher price tag given my new focus on ethically made items. I have a good job, but am not wealthy so spending a couple hundred dollars on one thing is a big deal for me, but I see it as worth it for something of impeccable quality that is made in an ethical way. The unexpected downside is that I know mistakes going forward will be a much bigger deal which is causing me to over browse to make sure I get it right. I feel like reading your blog showed me how to really think about why some things work and others don’t which should help me be as intentional as I can. Now if only I can be reflective and thoughtful without becoming obsessive.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      It’s nice to see some people coming out of lurk mode in order to comment, Dawn. Thank you for your kind words on my progress and for sharing some of your story, as well as your accountability and goals for your wardrobe and shopping. I’m impressed that you are able to dress for a four-season climate and a professional work environment with 55 items. That’s a true testament to your ability to curate a working wardrobe. Yes, it can be hard to turn off shopping mode! I love your goal to shop ethically and focus on quality over quantity. I think more people are moving in that direction and I would like to do so as well. My fear of making mistakes (based upon my history) has stood in the way of my spending more on individual items, but I’m learning and doing better. You seem to have a great attitude and a firm plan and I’m glad my blog has been helpful to you in your journey. I wish you all the best!

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