October 2014 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it!   Since it’s the last day of the October, it’s time for another installment of “useful links” on a variety of subjects.   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).

Happy Halloween with pumpkins

Yes, there are a lot of links in these posts, but I don’t expect you to click on all of them! 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 book, “UnShopping:  Recovery Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic.”   And as an FYI, I’m hard at work on my second book, “End Closet Chaos,” and plan to release it before the end of the year.  Stay tuned!  Okay, here are the links:

On Shopping and Shopping Psychology

  • Surviving Sales – It wouldn’t be a useful links post without a link to “Grechen’s Closet“, one of my new favorite blogs. Just today, Grechen shared lots of insights and tips for navigating the holiday sales season.  We’d all do well to adopt her personal sales rules!   If you like this post, another great one you might enjoy is “What is Minimalism?
  • The Devious Devices Home Shopping Shows Use to Make You Buy – Do you like to watch programs on the home shopping networks? Jill Chivers is fascinated by these shows and the tactics they use to get people to buy.   In this very informative post, Jill outlines six pillars of influence and gives examples of how the shopping networks use some of them to manipulate buyers.   This is an interesting read even for those who never tune in to QVC or HSN, and Jill’s compelling conclusion is applicable to all of us.
  • Almost Buying – Kali from The Nife en L’Air is in the midst of a six-month shopping fast. While she’s committed to not buying any non-essential items during this time, there have been a number of things that she’s almost   In this post, she writes about some of those items, why she almost bought them, how she stopped herself, and what she learned from the experience.   Reading about Kali’s shopping motivations can help you to better understand your own.
  • For the Love of Shopping – I enjoy being able to introduce you to new blogs that you might not otherwise find. “Everyday Small Stuff” is one such blog that is written by fellow recovering shopaholic Andie, who is also an aspiring minimalist.  In this powerful post, she shares her own overshopping story, how she’s received help thus far (I’m honored that she mentioned my blog!), and how she’s finding happiness without shopping.

On Wardrobe Management

  • MOderate Wardrobe – This is a brand new blog from Mo, a frequent commenter here at “Recovering Shopaholic.” Like me, Mo is fascinated with the topic of wardrobe management and loves to crunch numbers and statistics related to clothes.   Since there are only a handful of posts on this blog thus far, I recommend reading all of them, but of particular interest to you might be “A Shopping Plan” and “Budget Breakdown”.
  • 10 Principles for Creating a Workable Wardrobe – If everything in your closet disappeared overnight for some reason, what would you include in your new “start from scratch” wardrobe? After years of shopping her closet and being mindful about new additions, Jill Chivers knows a thing or two about wardrobe building.  She shares her top ten tips for cultivating a workable wardrobe in this very insightful post.
  • Closet Detox Cheat Sheet – If you’re at all familiar with “Into Mind,” you know that the cheat sheets presented are exemplary. Since so many of us struggle with having too many clothes and not knowing what to do with them all, this easy to follow flow chart is a great tool to use.   I recommend that you try it with a wardrobe “benchwarmer” or two and see how it goes.   I promise to do the same and report back in a future post.
  • Styles of Closet Organization – Lisa of “Shopping Brake” is closing in on a full year of shopping her closet and curating her wardrobe. Along the way, she’s tried several different types of closet organization methods.   In this post, she outlines four different options that she’s tried and some pros and cons of each.  You just might learn some new ideas for better managing your closet!

On Style

  • Evolve Your Style – My Reflections and a Review – Mette from “The Yogastic Shopping Planner” recently completed a 31-day style exploration program called “Evolve Your Style.” She learned far more than she anticipated and recaps her primary lessons in this fascinating post.   She also shares lots of photos of the new looks she tried along the way.   Very inspiring!
  • Change Your Style, Change Your Life – Did you know that changing your style can help you feel more confident, optimistic, and happy? Well, that’s what Sally from “Already Pretty” contends, and I think she’s right.   Plus, it’s often far less scary and intimidating to change the way we dress or our hairstyles (although that one is difficult for me!) than it is to switch jobs, end a relationship, or move to a different location.   Sally recounts some of her personal journey and offers hope and encouragement to those who are feeling restless and dissatisfied with their lives.
  • Outfit Journal – Reader and frequent commenter Meli decided to take my recommendation to start an outfit journal this summer.  On her own blog, “Mejorar(which means improve), she recaps what she’s learned from journaling about her outfits over just one short month.  I was very impressed by all of the powerful insights that Meli has gained and realized that I share some of them myself.   Meli is also doing Project 333, so you may want to check out her posts on that topic if you’re considering taking on that challenge (read what I learned from Project 333 HERE).
  • How to Use Accessories to Get More with LessBridgette Raes is the Queen of accessorizing, which is why I always feel compelled to include one of her posts on that topic in these link round ups. Many of us think we need to buy more and more clothes in order to achieve the variety we crave in our outfits, but accessories are what really give us the power to change our looks.   Bridgette provides visual proof of this assertion in this post, as she shows a multitude of different ways to wear a simple navy skirt.   She even showcases one of the outfits on herself, a rare occurrence on her blog.

On Other Topics

  • Minimalism: A Beginner’s Guide – Anuschka of “Into Mind” veered away from her usual topics of style and wardrobe management this week to share her thoughts on minimalism.   My favorite part of this article is the list of questions at the end for anyone who wants to get started on living a simpler life.   The following day, Anuschka offered 9 easy ways to start living a simpler, more intentional life.    If you’re at all interested in simplifying your life, I recommend that you try at least one or two of Anuschka’s tips.
  • When Things Build Up – Sometime we manage to cut back on the excess stuff in our lives, only to find that the number of things we have starts to creep back up again. It may be our clothes, jewelry, books, blog subscriptions, to-do list items, or a whole host of other possessions, information sources, and commitments.  This post from “Be More With Less” suggests three steps you can take to reduce your build-up and get back on track.
  • Why You Don’t Need to Run with the Cool Kids – No matter how old we are, we often feel a pull to be one of the “cool kids.” But within us, there’s often an even stronger desire to be ourselves and hold true to our own feelings and preferences.  This short post from “Becoming Minimalist” was meaningful for me and may resonate with you, too.  It was a good reminder to me to listen to my own inner voice more than the opinions of others and the ever-changing trends being put forth by the fashion industry.

From the “Recovering Shopaholic” Archives

  • The Reasons We Shop Too Much – This post from March 2013 presents a brief overview of the many reasons for compulsive shopping. Although I expand upon some of these reasons in later posts, you may find yourself nodding as you read these ten reasons, all of which have been true for me at one time or another.
  • The Tried and True vs. the Shiny and New – During my first stint of Project 333, I realized that many of the pieces I selected weren’t even close to being new. That led me to explore some of the wrong reasons for buying things, as well as the characteristics of my tried and true wardrobe items.
  • Shopaholic Lies and Covert Operations – This post wasn’t easy for me to write, as I had to reveal some less than flattering behaviors in which I engaged related to shopping. Such covert operations included lying, hiding, creative accounting, and other means of covering my tracks.  As the saying goes, the truth shall set you free, and I took some steps toward freedom by opening up about my not so stellar past.
  • Buyer Beware – The Dangers of Fast Fashion – This was the very first guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” way back in May 2013. Reader Deby shared a powerful story in the comments section and I asked if she would be okay with my using it as a guest post.  Deby recounts a shopping story that highlights the decline in garment quality and the negative side effects of “fast fashion.”   If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I highly recommend that you read “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline.


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.

Have a wonderful weekend!  I’ll be back next week with my October accountability update and more posts related to wardrobe management, shopping, personal style, and other related topics.   If you have a suggestion for a future post, please share it in the comments section or contact me via email or social media.

22 thoughts on “October 2014 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

  1. I love these posts I always find something so inspiring. I don’t comment often but I enjoy your blog and it is helping me towards a new path that is both hard (too many emotions connected to clothes/stuff) and enlightening (the sense of freedom I have when I don’t allow those emotions to get in the way).

    • Thanks, Charlotte! I’m glad you like these posts and my blog in general. Yes, there are definitely a lot of emotions connected to clothes and stuff for many of us, but freedom IS possible! It may take some time to get there – and lots of ups and downs, but if you keep working on building awareness and new ways to cope, you’ll get to a better place. I appreciate your taking the time to comment today and I wish you all the best.

  2. Woah! I wondered why my blog traffic tripled overnight LOL. Thanks for the link.
    I can’t wait to dig in to some of the others you have listed. LOVE the monthly links post 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Mo! I’m sure lots of people will enjoy reading your insights. I’ve always appreciated your posts on YLF (and I’m sure I didn’t see even half of them) as well as your comments here. I hope you like this month’s links and I hope all is going well for you back in Tahoe!

    • You’re definitely up to the task 🙂 You have a lot of good things to say and I know others will appreciate your words of wisdom.

  3. Debbie this is another great grab bag of helpful hints and thank you so much for posting them. You are very generous to give your time to share the many articles you find on every aspect of shopping/closet therapy/etc. for whatever wardrobe problems your readers may have. We are all vulnerable to the pressures that our present Western society imposes, especially the idea that you aren’t “enough” unless you have “more” of whatever is being advertised.

    • Good to hear from you, Megan, and thanks for letting me know that you appreciate the useful links posts. As I’ve mentioned before, I read a lot of articles, so it’s not hard for me to find things I want to share with all of you. Deciding WHICH articles to share can be a bit more challenging, though 🙂 Yes, we are all vulnerable to the pressures you describe and I can definitely resonate with feeling like I’m not “enough.” It’s been a major uphill battle to combat that, but I know I’m not alone in it, which helps a lot.

  4. I enjoyed reading Mo’s blog. Now I have another to add to the ones I read that I found through regular commenters like Meli and Lisa’s blogs. I always appreciate another voice on the subject of moderation.

    • Me, too, Tonya! I was very happy to see that Mo had started a blog and I’ve really enjoyed her posts thus far. I love Meli’s and Lisa’s blogs, too. If you ever decide to start a blog, I will definitely promote it, too. 🙂 Learning to practice moderation in shopping, wardrobe, and many other areas of life is a challenge, so the more perspectives we can get on the subject, the better!

  5. Debbie, I have a request. Would you consider doing a post on how to select a winter coat? I have spent my entire day shopping for a new winter coat. I have been to: Macys, Nordstrom, Dillards, Eddie Bauer, LLBean, Lands End, Ralph Lauren, TJ Maxx, QVC, J Crew, Banana Republic, and American Eagle Outfitters. The more I shop, the more I am confused. I need a coat that is stylish, knee length, extremely warm but not bulky, sturdy, and in a fashionable-but-not-bright color. I need to wear it for all aspects of my life, including walking the dog in inclement weather, running errands, and wearing for business. At the present time, I have a 3/4 length black down coat from Eddie Bauer that I purchased about 5 years ago. It used to have a faux fur trim on the hood, but I accidentally destroyed it by washing (the coat itself is washable), so the hood is minus its fur trim.

    Outerwear is THE most difficult thing for me to purchase. Either its not warm enough for my lifestyle, or its too preppy in style and color, and if its puffy, I always feel like I look like the Michelin Man. I tend to choose a black coat EVERY time, which I think makes me look like a walking blackcident. I would like to try a color, but I am clueless.

    You have often stated that you are fond of outerwear, and collect coats. What words of wisdom can you offer? I could wear my coat another year or two, but it would be nice to have more that one coat, especially if I want to look a little more updated. Thanks!

    • Deby, I’m another who LOVES coats and jackets! I like to have options for various weather scenarios, like a lightweight jacket for early fall, moderate weight jacket for cooler fall, thigh-length wool coat for cool winter, heavy parka with hood for cold winter, etc. I also like to have different color options for each as well, and colorful scarves and gloves to go with them. I think I do have “coat disease” as I’ve been told. I’ve been unable to pare down my coat and jacket collection nearly as much as I have done with the rest of my wardrobe. I just had an “aha!” moment that perhaps I have multiple coats because I don’t like wearing multiple layers and thus need different coats depending on the warmth I need. Hmmmm. I can’t wait to see Debbie’s response to your question and I wish you luck finding your best coat ever!

    • You’re right, Deby. I DO collect coats, although it doesn’t get all that cold where I live. I do use them for warmth, of course, but also as a fashion statement. I have coats in purple, blue (2 shades), green, grey, and black. It’s probably a bit of overkill, actually, but I really enjoy switching out my coats during the cooler months (and I love jackets and cardigans, too, as you’ve all seen).

      I don’t know how much of an expert I am at shopping for coats. I’ve basically found a primary silhouette that works for me and have stuck with it, but there’s been a lot of trial and error, too (especially in terms of fitting my “gorilla arms”). I bought quite a few coats online last year and ended up having to return almost all of them (I just kept one blue one). I have found that there are often more options for coats online than in the stores, but that may be pronounced in my case because I live in Southern California and most women here don’t find the need to accumulate the type of coat collection I have 🙂

      I will consider writing a post on this topic, but for now I’ll share a few links I had bookmarked (my bookmarks are like a library card catalog – LOL) about fitting coats and shopping for coats:




      Plus, here’s a coat link round-up posted by Angie of “You Look Fab” awhile back. Perhaps you might find some inspiration, as there are some brands in there that you didn’t mention:


      Hope this helps! Best wishes to you for finding a good coat!

      • Thank you for these links, and I will check them out! I am wondering why I am so averse to having more than one winter coat. I think in part its due to not liking the sensation of wearing heavy or tight sleeves. In years past, I often sported 3/4 length lightweight boiled wool coats in various colors, but these seem to have gone out of fashion. Its too bad, because they fit nicely and made a nice color statement.

        At present, I have two 3/4 length lightweight suede coats (black and purple) which hardly suffice as winter coat weight. I also have a reversible polyester raincoat (black/red) that is very lightweight. For the most part, in cold weather I wear wool coat sweaters if I dart from car-to-building, and when its really cold or I walk the dog then I wear the black down parka–but if I have to get dressed up in the depths of winter (when I wear it every day!) the parka looks quite out of place!

      • I hope the links will be helpful to you, Deby. It sounds like you have a good idea about what you like and what you need. The wool coat sweaters sound nice, but I’m guessing they’re just not warm enough for the depths of winter. Some of my coats are not on the cutting edge of fashion, as they are more fitted and oversized is more current, but I still wear them and always receive compliments. My first thought when reading your comment is that you should still wear the colored boiled wool coats if you still l0ve them. There’s a big grey area between “of the moment” and “what not to wear.” I don’t know about you, but I’m okay being in that grey area much of the time, especially since it’s so hard to keep up with fashion and trends anyway. If you really want your new coat to be more current, perhaps one of the suggestions in the last link I gave will resonate with you. You can also go to the “You Look Fab” website and click on the “Finds” button. I often find inspiration there, but I do have to be careful not to be tempted to overshop!

      • Well, you will be pleased to know that I’ve decided to be happy with what I’ve got in the way of coats. After reading Bridgette Raes’ article on choosing a coat, I realized that I actually had all my bases covered already. I was dreaming of a coat for a life I didn’t have, something more dressy, that I probably would have seldom worn had I even found the right coat. In reality, my black down parka is perfect for 90% of my winter life. The suede coats are good for not-so-cold days and dressing up a bit. Another unnecessary sartorial expenditure averted!

      • That’s wonderful, Deby, and I’m glad to have played a role in your coming to this conclusion. I think we often want clothes for “just in case” scenarios that have little chance of actually happening. Congrats on realizing that what you have is good enough. You’ve really come a long way in terms of your wardrobe and shopping and it’s been great for me to witness your tremendous growth!

  6. Thanks for mentioning my blog! And also for another recap of some great links. I have to sit with a cuppa tea and peruse them.

    • You’re welcome, Lisa! I loved your last few posts, too, so I’m sure you’ll be featured in my next links round-up, too. I hope you like the other articles. I know it can be tough to find the time to go through these posts, which is a big reason why I only do them once a month. A few bloggers I follow do them weekly and I usually only click on 2 or 3 links at the most (although all of them are probably valuable!).

    • You’re welcome, Meli. I’m glad you like my links round-ups and I was happy to include your excellent post in the mix!

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