Believe it or not, it’s the last day of the month. Is it just me, or did September really fly by? It’s time for me to share my September installment of useful links (see earlier versions here). In response to my question last month, most of you told me you like the current format, so I’m sticking with it.
Included below are links to articles I think you might enjoy on the topics of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development. I’m also sharing a few early “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now).
Yes, there are a lot of links in these posts (and this time in particular), but I don’t expect you to click on all of them! Just explore the ones that most intrigue you. I’m learning to be better at doing that myself, as I work to reduce information overload and fear of missing out (FOMO).
On Shopping and Shopping Psychology
- “But it Only Cost…” – Many of us are bargain shoppers who feel proud of our “great finds.” However, we often don’t realize the trade-offs we’re making with our shopping. This excellent article by Jill Chivers explores how we tend to disconnect our small purchases from the collective amount that could have gone toward something we really want in life.
- “7 Reasons We Buy More Stuff than We Need” – The rate of consumption in modern society has skyrocketed, as has the average home size, the personal storage business, and consumer debt. Joshua Becker of “Becoming Minimalist” outlines seven lies we’ve come to believe that drive our spending behavior. I particularly resonated with numbers 2 and 6.
- “A Staged Life” –Cristina of “Unshopping… and Unraveling” doesn’t post often, but when she does, she usually knocks it out of the park. I found myself nodding along as I read this wonderful post about the façade of style blogs and how many shoppers fall for the fictions they perpetuate.
- “Four Common Shopping Fallacies and How to Avoid Them” – I didn’t realize that Anuschka of “Into Mind” shares my background in Psychology. I loved this post about the mental shortcuts we take when making shopping decisions and how they are often based upon pure fallacies. If you’re like me, you’ll recognize yourself in some of these descriptions. But the good news is that advice is given to avoid falling prey in the future.
On Wardrobe Management
- “Minimalism, Shopping, and Sales” – This interesting and thought-provoking video from “Hello Cathy” was shared by reader Leah in response to my resale analysis post. Among the many relevant points made was this one: “I had a feeling like I was never really satisfied – there was always more stuff I wanted to get. There was always a sense of ‘if I just get these few pieces then my closet will be complete and it will all be over.’ But that never happened for me.” Watch the 10-minute video for more “aha moments.”
- “Size, Transition & Sunk Costs” – This post from “Grechen’s Closet looks at two “size” issues related to our wardrobes, as well as how life transition impacts our closets. The final points relate to “sunk costs,” which we’ve often discussed on this blog. Simply put, “You can never get back the money, time, or angst all of those clothes cost you.” This is important to remember when going through our closets!
- “Managing a Massive Closet Purge” – Sally of “Already Pretty” has been going through a major style redefinition and recently purged a third of her closet. She offers some sage advice for readers who want – or need – to pare down their wardrobes. I liked her recommendation for doing it in stages, as that’s what’s worked best for me. Our closets didn’t become packed overnight, so it’s reasonable to approach the purging process as an ongoing project as well.
- “There is No Such Thing as Perfect” – I just had to share another post from “Grechen’s Closet”! Many of us keep buying and buying in search of the “perfect” top, dress, jeans, or whatever. This often leads to too many of those types of items, as was the case for Grechen with her 26 white t-shirts! She suggests a new way of approaching what’s in our closets – and in our lives.
- “Do Your Clothes Need to be Figure Flattering All the Time?” – Many style experts push us to always dress in a way that highlights our best features and plays down our figure “flaws.” But what if our personal style runs counter to that way of dressing? Sylvia of “40+ Style” enjoys wearing interesting silhouettes and asymmetrical styles that don’t always highlight her slim waist and toned limbs. She explains why that’s perfectly okay with her. I love her style and resonate with her message. Perhaps you will, too.
- “Rut vs. Signature” – We’ve all seen celebrities who have very distinct signature styles. But when does a signature style become a rut? Sally from “Already Pretty” presents four key questions to ask yourself if you feel you may have become stuck in a rut. These are also good guidelines to keep in mind to help prevent us from veering into rut territory.
- “Get onto the Style Highway and Out of Your Style Rut with 3 Essential Questions” – In keeping with the same theme, Imogen Lamport offers a way to use our closet favorites to help expand our style horizons. Imogen has also created a fun and inexpensive (just $5) e-course called “Evolve Your Style” which can help you to break out of a rut – or just shake things up a bit. This course includes membership in a private Facebook group where you can see how others are interpreting the various style challenges.
- “How to Make Unflattering Colors Flattering” – Of course I had to include something from the always interesting and helpful Bridgette Raes! Do you have something in your closet that you love but is in a color that’s not flattering on you? Those are usually the types of garments we pass on, but there are also ways to make them work. This post includes lots of photos to illustrate the points, as well as advice for determining your skin tone (warm vs. cool) and color “season.”
On Other Topics
- “Love People, Not Pleasure” – I searched out this New York Times piece after hearing the author being interviewed on the radio. The crux of this article is that many people search for happiness in all the wrong places. We set “extrinsic” goals such as fame and financial success, but these things often lead to more negative emotions than positive. The truth is that happiness lies more in loving people and using things rather than in the all too common inverse equation.
- “Why It’s So Hard to Make New Friends” – Many of us want to love people more and have deeper relationships in our lives. Yet it’s become harder than ever to make new friends. This Refinery 29 article looks at some reasons for this, as well as the consequences of living a more disconnected life. The article is a bit light on recommendations, but does mention new websites that are dedicated toward helping women to make friends (what will they think of next?!). If I decide to try one, I’ll let you know how it goes!
- “9 Lies that Keep Our Schedules Overwhelmed” – This “Becoming Minimalist” article begins with a poignant quote: “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” To how many people in our society does that quote apply? The reason people are so overwhelmed these days is because they believe nine common – but often hidden – mistruths. While I’ve done a lot to reduce overwhelm in my life, I could still identify with many of the points in this article, especially numbers 1, 4, 6, and 7.
- “Time is Money” – I have read this post from “The Nife en L’Air” multiple times and just had to share it with you! What is the definition of success? According to one French politician, if a person doesn’t own a Rolex by age 50, he or she is a failure. But is success really about being able to afford an expensive watch? I much prefer the alternate definition posed in this post, that time is a more precious currency than money. I’ve been lamenting my lack of “success” for many years, but perhaps I’m already more successful than I thought…
From the “Recovering Shopaholic” Archives
- “The Enemy of the Best is the Good” – I decided to share this post today, as it relates to the wardrobe “benchwarmer” update I posted last week. If we try to wear everything in our closets and hold on to pieces we don’t really love, some of our favorite items don’t get worn as often as we’d like. I offered some great advice in this post from March 2013 and I need to do more to heed it now, especially the part about only buying – and keeping – items that are at least “8”s on a scale of 1-10!
- “Sometimes Cheap is Really More Expensive” – How many times do we buy things just because they’re on sale or the price is low? We think we’re getting a “deal,” but often things are priced low for a good reason. I share my “tale of four purses” as a way to illustrate that we’re often better served by buying fewer, more expensive pieces. It was good to revisit this post after my resale shopping analysis last Friday. How many great items could I have bought had I just said no to most of those consignment store shopping mistakes?
- “Weight, Body Image, and Shopping” – When trying on all of my clothes in preparation for Project 333 last April, I noticed that I had gained some weight. The same thing was true this past weekend as I did a closet audit (which I’ll write about later this week). Many of us fluctuate in weight (I probably go up and down 5-7 pounds), but what do we make it mean about us – and how does it affect our shopping behavior? Do we shop as a way of having the clothes tell us we’re okay and attractive when we don’t feel that way inside? That has often been true for me and I share more thoughts in this post.
- “Buyer’s Remorse – Where Did My $50,000 Go?” – When I considered all of the money I’ve spent on clothing over the years, I felt remorse at the sheer waste of it all. I lamented the lost money and the experiences I could have had instead of pouring so much capital into clothing and related purchases. And I didn’t even get into the wasted time! I close the post with some tips for shopping smarter, many of which I’ve done well in heeding since I wrote them in May 2013. Of course, there’s still a lot of room for improvement, so I’m glad I read this post again today.
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 you’ve enjoyed recently. I also welcome suggestions for future blog posts.
I’ll be back later this week with the results of my weekend closet audit. Evaluating my wardrobe benchwarmers and resale purchases made me want to pare things down further. I’m still being mindful of my closet “set point,” but I’m happy to be gradually moving in the right direction!