The Best of Recovering Shopaholic 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a full year from when I started this blog on January 2, 2013.  Since that time, there have been 122 posts (including some fabulous guest posts!) and countless comments and emails from my wonderful readers.

I’ve grown and learned a great deal during the past year and will be sharing some of my insights in my upcoming yearly “wrap-up” posts.  But for today – the last post of the year – it’s time to look at “the best of 2013.”  Below I highlight the most popular posts of the year, as well as some of my personal favorites. I also revisit my most clicked outgoing links and share a few timely links you’ll want to check out as the year draws to a close.

The Best of 2013

A lot of people do top 10 lists at the end of the year, but I decided to buck with tradition and do top 12 lists instead.  After all, it’s a nice round number that corresponds to the months in the year, so I’m going with it!

The 12 Most Popular Posts

The following 12 posts received the most visitors this year.   Some of these posts are also among my personal favorites, including “What is a Normal-Sized Wardrobe?” and “Stay True to Yourself.”

As you’ll see, a number of the most popular posts relate to the Project 333 minimalist wardrobe challenge, a frequently searched topic that is intriguing to many.  If this is a topic of interest for you, you’ll be happy to learn that I will be revisiting Project 333 beginning in January.  Stay tuned for a post about this very soon…  If you’d like to join in on Project 333, it’s not too late!  Check out the rules for getting started or purchase the $15 “Dress with Less” course for more information and support.

  1. What is a Normal-Sized Wardrobe? – Reading an Oprah Magazine article and auditing my husband’s closet had me questioning what constitutes a “normal-sized” wardrobe and what is the optimal frequency for wearing our clothes.
  2. Project 333 Week One Update – I share my overall impressions, insights, and challenges from my first week of doing the Project 333 “dressing with less” challenge.
  3. Useful Links on Tailoring Your Clothes – Alterations have the power to take ho-hum garments and transform them into amazing wardrobe workhorses.  In this post, I link to a number of helpful resources related to tailoring.
  4. Useful Links on Wardrobe Minimalism & Capsule Dressing – Learning to create an easily remixable wardrobe can help us to streamline our closets and dress well using fewer pieces.  I share some excellent resources from my fellow bloggers to help you dress with less.
  5. My Top 8 Lessons from Project 333 – After completing my first term of the Project 333 challenge, I share the top 8 lessons I learned from dressing with less.  These lessons relate not only to my wardrobe, but also to the rest of my life!
  6. Stay True to Yourself – I share some insights on my style journey, how I became a wardrobe stylist, and how I lost my way through trying to “measure up” in that role.  This post was instrumental in my decision to get myself out of limbo and move on with my life.
  7. The Reasons We Shop Too Much – This article briefly highlights some of the main reasons people overshop, including boredom, avoidance, depression, loneliness, insecurity, and more.
  8. The Cold, Hard Facts:  What I Have – In one of my earliest posts, I share the results of my closet inventory.  I break down my closet excess into numbers by category and ponder my eventual wardrobe goals.
  9. Off and Running with Project 333! – As I kick off my 3-month term of Project 333, I share my selection process and photos of my capsule wardrobe items.  I also offer my thoughts about the challenge and some “coming attractions” for my upcoming Project 333 updates.
  10. Why I’m Skipping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – For many years, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was my favorite time to shop, but this year I decided to skip it.  In this post, I highlight my five reasons for sitting out this blockbuster sales event.
  11. Why I’m Taking on the Project 333 Challenge – I share my reasons for taking on the Project 333 minimalist fashion challenge and invite readers to join me in dressing with less.
  12. Mid-Year Closet Inventory:  What I Have Now – In early July, after completing the Project 333 challenge, I share the progress I’ve made in paring down my wardrobe.  I share my new numbers, along with how they compare to what I had at the beginning of 2013.

My 12 Favorite Posts

While the numbers determined the most popular list, I had a very difficult time coming up with this list of my personal favorite posts.  The good news is that I really liked a lot of my posts, which is a wonderful thing for a writer to be able to say!  If there’s any “bad news,” it’s that it took me a long time to weed through my many, many posts to determine my favorites.  But in truth, I didn’t really mind that much; it was actually fun to rediscover some of my musings months later.

I found that many of my favorite posts were those in which I was the most open, honest, and revealing.  Such self-disclosure does not come naturally for me, so I feel proud for having putting myself out there to all of you.  Many of these posts also generated the most comments and emails, so I must have touched a chord with a lot of you through my honesty.  I will definitely continue to share myself, my process, and my learnings with you in 2014.

Here are my 12 favorite posts from 2013, listed in order from oldest to most recent.  If you are new to “Recovering Shopaholic,” you may not have seen some of these posts the first time around. But even long-time readers may enjoy re-reading what I consider to be my best work from this past year.

  1. Sometimes Cheap is Really More Expensive – Buying cheap clothing, shoes, and accessories may actually be more expensive in the long run when you consider the cost per wear ratio and how long things last.
  2. Tried and True vs. Shiny and New – Looking at my Project 333 capsule items and 2012 “wardrobe all-stars” taught me some powerful lessons about what works and what doesn’t in my wardrobe.
  3. Buyer’s Remorse – Where Did My $50,000 Go? – In this post, I share my compulsive shopping numbers, my buyer’s remorse, and how I wish I’d spent the money instead.  I also offer some shopping tips we can all follow in the future.
  4. Shopping for Acceptance – Compulsive shoppers often over-buy to try to gain acceptance from others – and ourselves.  This post looks at this phenomenon through my personal shopaholic story.
  5. What is “A Full Life”? – The tagline for “Recovering Shopaholic” is “trade your full closet for a full life.”  This post looks at what it means for me to have a full life and provides some tools for determining your own answers to that important question.
  6. Same Place, Different View – On an overnight trip for my anniversary in July, I visit one of my previous “shopping haunts.” I notice how my perspective has changed and how I’ve begun to value people and experiences over things.
  7. Fear and the Opinions of Others – Fear of what others think of us can hurt our relationships and our health as well as lead us to shop too much.  After years of worrying too much about the opinions of others, I take some big steps to turn things around.
  8. Decisions, Decisions… The Keep or Purge Question – When you have a full closet, it can be difficult to decide what to keep and what to purge. Here are five powerful questions to ask yourself to help you decide.
  9. How Many Clothes are Enough? – Many people wonder how many clothes are “enough.”  This post presents some tips to help you decide the optimal wardrobe size for your unique lifestyle.
  10. Do You Save Your Clothes “For Good”? – I explore the concept of saving clothes “for good,” why we do it, and why we should start wearing the clothes we love often and for all occasions.
  11. Wanting Less and More at the Same Time – Many people say they want fewer clothes, yet act in a contradictory manner.  In this post, I share how I want more clothes and fewer clothes at the same time.
  12. My Beefs with the Fashion Industry – Over the years, I’ve built up a lot of “beefs” with the fashion industry, including lack of variety, low quality, poor ethics, and inconsistent sizing. Be sure to check out the comments section for more “beefs” shared by my readers!

Most Popular Links from 2013

Although I fully intended to share most popular and favorite posts from 2013, I wouldn’t have thought to include this last category had it not been for Becoming Minimalist’s year-end post.  At the end of his post, he shared the most popular outgoing links from his blog this year.  Since I have a theme of 12s going on, why break it now?  Here are the 12 most popular links from “Recovering Shopaholic” in 2013 (many of them are from the same sites!):

  1. The Power of Alterations (
  2. Which are the Easy Alterations? (Inside Out Style)
  3. My Ten-Item Wardrobe Fall/Winter 2013 (The Daily Connoisseur)
  4. The Ultimate Mix and Match Fashion Guide (Bridgette Raes)
  5. Simple Wardrobe:  33 Things for More Happiness, Less Stress (Fair Companies)
  6. Desperately Seeking Simple (Une Femme d’un Certain Age)
  7. How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget (Inside Out Style)
  8. How to Determine Your Style (
  9. Project 333:  My Clothes, Step by Step (The Vivienne Files)
  10. Building a Wardrobe from Scratch Series (Putting Me Together)
  11. Most Women Don’t Want Workable Wardrobes (Bridgette Raes)
  12. Building a Remixable Wardrobe (Putting Me Together)

A Few Timely Links Before You Go…

Many bloggers have been writing excellent year-end posts and one of my fellow bloggers is presenting a great course to kick off the New Year.  Here are a few timely links for you to check out as the year draws to a close.

Happy New Year!

This is my last post of 2013, so I want to take a moment to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  Thank you so much for reading “Recovering Shopaholic” this year.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of you and have appreciated the comments and emails I’ve received, but please know that I am grateful for each and every one of my readers regardless of whether or not I ever hear from you individually.

I look forward to continuing the journey to trade my full closet for a full life in 2014 – and helping many of you do the same.  I will be back later this week with another new post and will be doing a series of yearly “wrap-up” posts over the next couple of weeks.  These posts will touch upon accountability, purchases, closet inventory, wardrobe “benchwarmers” and other pertinent topics.

If you have any suggestions for upcoming post topics, I invite you to share them in the comments section or connect with me via email or social media.  Although I have many ideas for future posts, I always welcome input from readers.  After all, this blog is for you at least as much as it is for me!  I want what I write about to be useful for all of us.

Thanks again for being a part of this online community and my recovering shopaholic journey.  Here’s to smaller closets and fuller lives in 2014!

16 thoughts on “The Best of Recovering Shopaholic 2013

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary. You have made some great progress and I have learned a lot here. I am not a shopaholic, but have spent too much on the wrong things plenty of times. So there are pearls of wisdom here for me. Happy New Year!

    • Thank you, Cornelia! It’s been a happy surprise for me that my posts also resonate with non-shopaholics. I originally wrote my blog for fellow recovering shopaholics, but am very happy to have connected with a wider audience. Thanks for following me for the better part of a year. I always appreciate your support and insights!

  2. I am so glad that I found your blog this year. I look forward to your new posts. They help to keep me on track and focused. Here’s to more progress in 2014!

    • I’m so glad you found my blog, too, Tonya. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and reading all of your wonderful comments. You’ve definitely made a great deal of progress this year! I’m glad my blog has been helpful during your journey. Yes, I’ll toast to more progress in 2014!

    • Thanks, Kali. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts this year, too, and look forward to more! I loved your “why blogging?” post and was glad to see you decided to continue with your blog in 2014.

  3. Congratulations on a successful year Debbie! Thanks for all of the above links. I just reread most of your “Top 12’s” and some of the other ones. It has been so helpful to me to follow you on your recovery journey.

    I’ve decided on 2 words for 2014: Enough and Simplify. I want to continue to pare down my wardrobe and household items too. I just need to remind myself I already have enough and do not need more.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed re-reading my posts, Kim, and that my blog has been helpful to you in your recovery. I love your words for 2014! I was considering Simplify as my word, as it applies to many areas. I may end up choosing two words, too. Will share what I decide. Happy New Year!

  4. Wonderful to have all the favourites listed and enjoy reading again Debbie!
    May this New Year bring you even more success with your closet and the full life that awaits you.

  5. Wow, you’ve accomplished so much this year on your blog, Debbie! I’m so inspired that you’ve been able to be more self-disclosing and to feel good about. How wonderful that the process has helped you connect with your readers. We all have the same kinds of challenges, don’t we!

    Thanks so much for including the link to my course. I can’t wait to get started on the journey to more ease and less stress once again.

    I’m so happy for you, and I wish you the very best in 2014. May it be your best year ever!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Sandra! I was very happy to share information about your wonderful course. I look forward to revisiting it and I hope that some of my readers decide to join in as well. I wish you all the best in 2014 as well!

  6. Your blog is fantastic and I’m so happy you are continuing this year! Looking forward to reading your future posts!

    • Thanks so much, FrugalFashionista. I’ve appreciated your readership and comments over the past year. Best to you in 2014!

Comments are closed.