July 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

I love all of the wonderful comments I received on my last two posts about closet downsizing and wardrobe minimalism (here and here).  Clearly, many of you have thoughts on these topics and I’m glad you decided to share your words of wisdom.   Since the post consolidating readers’ comments seemed to be popular, I will feature comment round-ups again in the future when it seems appropriate to do so.   As one reader mentioned, even though she regularly reads comments, she often doesn’t remember which post a comment was on, so she appreciated having many of the best ones aggregated in a follow-on post.   I’m glad I thought to do that…

It’s coming up on the end of July, so it’s time for me to share my latest “grab bag” of useful links (see previous editions here).   Included below are links to articles I think you’ll enjoy on the subjects of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development.  I’m also sharing a few previous “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now).

Ocean Beach Pier

A warm summer’s evening near the famous Ocean Beach Pier.

As with the past few useful links editions, the photo above is one of mine.   I have also started to share some of my photos on Instagram, at least a few each week.  If you want to see my photos there, you can follow me at debbie_roes.

As a reminder, I certainly do not expect you to click on all of the links in these posts.  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 two books.  Also, if you’re new to “Recovering Shopaholic,” I invite you to visit my Start Here page, which contains useful information about the blog, as well as links to some of my most compelling and helpful posts.  Okay, here are the links:

On Shopping and Wardrobe Management

  • 10 Ways to Help You Stop Shopping for a While” – There are points in our lives when we want to stop shopping for a period of time, perhaps because we have spent too much money, feel we have too many clothes, or various other reasons. But it can be difficult to resist temptation, as many of us well know.  This post from Be More With Less offers some concrete, practical suggestions to help you stick to a shopping hiatus.
  • Before You Throw it All Out for a Minimalist Wardrobe, Read This” – Capsule wardrobes have become all the rage in the blogosphere recently, as the concept of minimalism takes hold in all walks of life. While a minimalist wardrobe may be the right answer for some people, it’s certainly not for everyone.  If you’re considering radically downsizing your wardrobe and want to determine if it’s a good idea for you, check out this post from Inside Out Style.  It includes some great questions to ask yourself to help you make the right decision for you.
  • How Many Pieces of Clothing Do You Need?” – Wardrobe size is an extremely popular topic when it comes to internet searches. Two of my most viewed posts are on that topic (this post and this one).  Janice of The Vivienne Files recently shared her simple process for determining the right number of clothing pieces for an entire wardrobe, a given season, or packing for a trip.   Her method includes asking four powerful questions.  See what they are, as well as three examples for how they can be applied in your life.
  • 10 Pieces, 15 Outfits – Summer Packing 2015” – Speaking of vacation packing, that’s a topic on many people’s minds this time of year. Putting Me Together has featured a number of excellent packing-focused posts and this one is no exception.   If you’re looking to take a trip this summer and don’t want to over-pack, check out this easy guide for how you can achieve maximum style with minimal pieces (see previous packing guides here).  Your style may not match Audrey’s (she’s definitely younger than me and many of us…), but her basic tips apply to everyone. And she always includes lots of fun visuals to illustrate her points.

On Style

  • 11 Ways to Up Your Style Quotient” – Many of us are looking for ways to improve upon our personal style. Well, Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style can help with that!   In this short but powerful post, she highlights 11 things we can do to be more stylish and confident.  The tips are excellent as written, but if you want to delve deeper into any of them, Imogen links to previous posts where you can explore additional information.  This post is well worth reading and bookmarking for future reference!
  • How to Wear Bold Prints(video) – From time to time, I like to include videos in my links round-ups. Jennifer of The Daily Connoisseur posts a new and informative video each week.  Jennifer is the author of “Lessons from Madame Chic” and champion of “The 10-Item Wardrobe.”  In this video, she presents tips for those who want to wear bold prints but don’t want to stand out too   For each tip, she highlights one of her own outfits, which is great for the more visual thinkers out there (I’m one of them…).
  • How to Wear a Belt – Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of This Accessory” – Are you “belt-challenged”? I know I am… Sometimes I think a belt would help one of my outfits look more pulled together, but I never know which types of belts look best on my body and with certain types of looks.   This guest post on the 40 Plus Style blog helps fill in some of the gaps and includes photos to illustrate the points presented.  Lots of belts styles are featured at the end of the post, with links to purchase them if desired.

On Other Topics

  • Embrace Simplicity and Ease Through the Art of Subtraction” – Many of us keep adding more and more new things to the “plates” of our lives and then wonder why we feel so overwhelmed. That’s because we often don’t think to subtract anything from our overly scheduled lives as we keep adding.  Find out why subtraction is the path to ease in this thought-provoking post from Always Well Within.
  • 16 Decluttering Tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”- The “KonMari Method” is taking the world by storm and has been written about on many blogs (including this one – see here, here, and here). If you’re intrigued by Marie Kondo’s process but don’t want to take the time to read her book (or simply want a review), check out this post from Going Uncomplicated.  If you implement the 16 decluttering tips presented, I believe you’ll see a dramatic decrease in your clutter – and an increase in your satisfaction with your stuff and your living space.
  • What the Dying Want You to Know About Life” – The dying have much to teach the living, as this poignant article in The Huffington Post Written by a former hospice nurse, it includes some powerful words of wisdom from those whose time is short and who know what truly matters in life.  Hint… it’s not the way we look, our job titles, or how much money we have.  I think I need to bookmark this article and read it at least once a month, along with this one.

From the Archives

Each month, I share a few early “Recovering Shopaholic” posts (you can see all of them on the Archives page) that I think you might enjoy reading.  All of the posts below were published in either July 2013 or July 2014. If you resonate with these posts, I’d love to get your thoughts.   I wish I could leave comments open on all of my previous posts, but due to spam issues I’ve had to close things out after two weeks. Please feel free to share any comments you have about the archived posts here instead.

  • My Top 8 Lessons from Project 333” – I did minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333, for the first time in the spring of 2013. When it was over, I decided to encapsulate the key lessons I learned from dressing with less for three months.  More than two years later, these lessons have stayed with me and have been deepened through the follow-on activities I’ve done (including my outfit journal and “Love It, Wear It” Challenge).   I wholeheartedly recommend Project 333 for anyone who wants to downsize their wardrobe, improve upon their personal style, and learn more about themselves. Learn how to get started here or check out the “Dress with Less” microcourse.
  • Dressing and Shopping for a Life in Flux” – When one is going through a period of transition, it can be difficult to figure out how to get dressed and what to shop for. It can be easier when we know what we’re transitioning to, but we often have no idea where we’re going next in life.  In this post, I offer some concrete tips for how to manage your wardrobe and shop smartly during times of flux.
  • The Folly of It All!” – Last year, I went on a shopping excursion and noticed some things I had never taken note of before. Although I was still working to reform my own disordered shopping behavior (which remains the case…), I was able to see patterns in the actions of my fellow shoppers.   I noticed that most of them gravitated to the sales racks and didn’t seem to have a plan for their prospective purchases.  I write about that and some other observations I made on that summer evening in 2014. You may want to check out the comments on this post, too, as there are some real pearls of wisdom therein.


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.  If you have questions for me or suggestions for future posts, please share them in the comments section or contact me directly via email or social media.

I’ll be back soon with my July accountability post and an update on my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI – see previous posts here), and I’ll also share how I fared with shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year.   Stay tuned for those posts and more articles on building a more workable wardrobe and cultivating a more meaningful life outside of shopping.

8 thoughts on “July 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

  1. Hi Deb!

    Thanks so much for sharing my insight into shopping recovery here!
    And thanks again for all of your support and sharing! I truly wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you’re wonderful, organised and mindful approach to wardrobe management and shopping-less!


    • You’re very welcome, Jessica. I was happy to share your wonderful blog with my readers. We are on a similar journey and we both have voices that can help others. I’m glad my blog has helped you and now you are helping me, too, so it’s come full circle 🙂

    • It’s my pleasure, Imogen! Often the most difficult part is deciding WHICH of your wonderful posts to share. I’m glad you like my links round-ups. There are definitely lots of excellent articles out there that are well worth reading.

  2. Thanks for reprising “The Folly of It All!”. I see a lot of the behavior you describe as a I work in retail. I feel rather sorry for women who buy without any apparent plan. I try very hard to learn from the shopper what she’s looking for and how/when/what with she plans to wear a specific garment. Sometimes people know: outdoor wedding in August at 5 p.m. (this helps in narrowing down options and helps be better serve the customer). But a lot of people (un-recovered shopaholics, perhaps?) seem to have no specific goal in mind, not even “white t-shirt.” I suspect that their shopping may fall under “entertainment” rather than “wardrobe building.” I know, retailers with their abundant “sales” and “clearance” racks aren’t helping. It’s all so challenging when the focus is on price rather than on how suitable is the garment for your own personal needs. And very little of the “fashion” press actually focuses on real-life situations on how to build a cohesive wardrobe; to me, “fashion” mags seem to be peddling one trend or color or designer over another. What about the reader and her needs? Your blog is a gold mine in the respect.

    • You made some very good points, Dottie. I’m sure that retail salespeople see it all… That would be a good blog – shopping and retail from the perspective of a salesperson. I agree with you that many (most?) shoppers are more motivated by “entertainment” and finding deals than by building a workable wardrobe. Finding a good deal or a “hidden treasure” is exciting and sexy, whereas buying what you truly need for your life is not. But many of us have to learn our lessons the hard way. My excitement and escape driven shopping over many years led to a very bloated and haphazard wardrobe. It’s taking me years to turn it around. I hope that many others will see the “folly of it all” in their shopping ways and get on a better path. I’m glad my blog is playing a positive role.

  3. Thank you for doing the monthly grab bag! This month’s selections really resonated with me. I am still processing several of the new insights and suggestions I found. The “folly” article is really making me think of how my over shopping started. I had avoided shopping for years because I found it depressing… And your vivid description brings it all back for me. Basically, I didn’t start over shopping until online shopping. But the truth is, whether shopping online or in person, I am one of those middle aged women you spoke of trying to purchase something that is missing from our lives, not our wardrobes.

    • I’m glad you liked this grab bag post, Misty. I think a lot of people became overshoppers once it started to be so easy to shop online. I was a shopaholic long before that, but I definitely got much worse once online shopping arrived on the scene, and free shipping and free returns worsened things further. There is a big thrill involved in clicking “buy now” and it can give us an emotional boost for a period of time. But I realized that I was so often shopping for far more than just clothes, and I have learned that most of what I need in life is not for sale. I’m still navigating how to get my most precious needs met, but I think the hardest step for all of us is coming to the realization that we are really trying to fill our lives, not our closets. I wish you the very best on your journey to have a fuller life.

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