What Is “A Full Life”?

As you know, the tagline for Recovering Shopaholic is “Trade Your Full Closet for a Full Life.”  Thus far, the majority of my posts have focused on the first part, the full closet.  With a closet of over 300 items and an out of control shopping habit, I felt the need to begin by paring things down and getting a handle on my compulsive buying.  While both of those endeavors are still “works in progress,” I now feel the desire and need to give more attention to the “full life” portion of my tagline and mission.

A Full Life

What does it mean to have “a full life”?

In my recent post titled “Boring Wardrobe – or Boring Life,” I admitted that my life isn’t nearly as fulfilling as I would like.  I think this is true for many shopaholics, as our shopping behavior frequently serves to either fill the emptiness we feel inside or as a means of distraction from the painful feelings and situations we don’t want to consider (see “The Reasons We Shop Too Much“).

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Shopping for Acceptance

In previous posts, I explored “The Reasons We Shop Too Much” and “Why Continue to Shop?”  Those articles covered a lot of the reasons why compulsive shoppers continue to buy more and more, even when we don’t really need anything and may be in debt as a result of over-shopping.  Today’s post looks at another reason for shopping too much and one that I’ve determined is a primary driver of my shopaholic behavior.

“Normal” Shoppers vs. Shopaholics

When we visit the mall, a local boutique, or our favorite online store, we usually think we’re shopping for a new dress, pair of shoes, or fun accessory to add sparkle to our outfits.  For people who don’t have a compulsive shopping problem, the surface “need” is probably all that’s there.  They determine a gap in their wardrobes and shop to fill that gap.  Even if they happen to pick up an unplanned item on a shopping jaunt, there probably aren’t any underlying psychological reasons for the extra purchase.

Shopping for Acceptance

What if what you really need can’t be bought in any store?

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Project 333 Week Twelve Update

We’ve now come to my penultimate Project 333 update (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence!).  I’m now in the final week of my first term (but maybe not my last) of this enlightening and growth-producing minimalist fashion challenge.

Week 12 presented some problems for me, but they were more in terms of my life than my wardrobe.  My issues with my Project 333 capsule wardrobe have been well documented in previous updates, so I won’t belabor those points again here.  Suffice it to say that if I had it to do over again or if I ever take on Project 333 again, I would make different choices for what to include among my 33 items.  My thoughts on this and many other topics will be included in my full Project 333 de-brief, to be posted in early July.

But now let’s look at Week 12… This post includes my Week 12 outfit photos, the challenges I encountered during the week, some more thoughts on what’s next for me after Project 333, and a few useful links on Project 333 and other interesting topics.

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Tips for Successful Resale Shopping

In my last article, I highlighted the pros and cons of shopping at resale stores.  I hope that post provided some valuable food for thought for you.   While there are definitely pitfalls involved in shopping at thrift and consignment shops, many of you will decide that the advantages outweigh these potential drawbacks.  As for me, I will continue to shop resale, but as with all of my future shopping, I will endeavor to do it smarter!

Resale Shopping Tips

Do you know how to avoid the pitfalls when resale shopping?

In this post, I offer some tips for successful resale shopping.  If you never shop at such establishments, I still suggest you read on, as many of my suggestions also apply to retail shopping.  However, the “final sale” policy of most thrift and consignment stores makes it all the more important that we have a “game plan” when we shop resale.

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The Pros and Cons of Resale Shopping

For most of my adult life, I purchased all of my clothing at retail stores.  It wasn’t until about eight years ago that I discovered a new type of place to shop, the resale shop.  These stores are known by all types of terms – thrift, consignment, second-hand, opportunity (or “op-shops” for short), to name a few.   The common thread is that the items sold are not new; they were previously owned by someone else, or “pre-loved” if you will.

Resale Shopping Pros and Cons

Do you shop at resale stores?  Know the pros and cons!

Many people swear by the virtues of resale shopping and a number of bloggers have pledged to only shop at such stores for a year or longer.  I don’t think I’ll go that far.  For one, the availability of pants with tall inseams at such shops is in short supply (pun intended – sometimes I can’t resist…).   That alone gives me pause when considering a “resale only” pledge.  I also like to keep my options open, especially now that I’m aiming at being smarter in terms of what I buy and using my head more than my heart when shopping.

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Project 333 Week Eleven Update

With Week Eleven behind me, I’m now down to my final two weeks of Project 333.  In some ways, the time has gone by very quickly, yet it also seems like a long time ago that I was putting together my wardrobe capsule in late March.  I’ve experienced a number of wins and challenges in my eleven weeks of Project 333 and have learned a great deal about myself, my wardrobe, my shopping habits, and my personal style.  I will write a lot more about this in early July, as the growth and learning is still sinking in!

In today’s post, I share my Week Eleven outfit photos and a few insights, and leave you with some useful links to articles from other bloggers on their Project 333 journeys.  I also encapsulate a few of my thoughts on what’s next for me after Project 333 concludes.  I’m still formulating my plan at this point, so I’m open to your suggestions!

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The Ups and Downs of “Uniform Dressing”

Some people have to wear prescribed uniforms for school or work.  I remember my mom in her white nurse’s uniform during my growing up years.  She enjoyed the ease of getting ready for work and the fact that she didn’t have to put much thought into what she wore.  Conversely, a lot of kids who attend private schools lament the fact that they must wear a uniform, as they are unable to express their individuality through what they wear.

A Different Kind of “Uniform”

This post is about a different kind of “uniform.”  Many people come up with a formula for getting dressed that works for them, and they use this formula when creating their daily ensembles.  A famous example of this is Joan Rivers, comedienne and co-host of the show “Fashion Police.”  Not long after I started watching “Fashion Police,” I noticed that all of Joan’s outfits are comprised of the following:

  • Black top
  • Black pants (occasionally, she’ll substitute a black dress for the top and pants)
  • Colorful or flashy blazer
  • Statement jewelry (necklace, earrings, bracelets, rings)
  • Pumps or other closed-toe shoes (often colorful as well)

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