October 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

Thanks to all those who offered more suggestions for “shopping support structures” to help encourage mindful and wise shopping.   We’ve accumulated such a wealth of ideas that I’m sure you’ll find a few tips that will work for you if you take the time to read the post and the comments.   There’s still time to add your suggestions to the mix if you have not already done so.

It’s coming up on the end of October, 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).

Shelter Island at twilight

Shelter Island and the San Diego Bay at twilight, my favorite time of day. 

As in most of the recent useful links editions, the photo above is one of mine.   I periodically share my photos over on Instagram.  If you want to see my photos there, you can follow me at debbie_roes.  You can also check out my previous “photography interlude” blog posts.

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 this month’s links:

On Shopping and Shopping Psychology

  • Trade Shopping for Self-Care and Everything Will Change” – Do you shop when you feel stressed, tired, bored, angry, sad, stuck, or uncomfortable? I know I have done so many, many times.   This post from Be More with Less suggests that we listen to our feelings and heed their message instead of pushing them away through shopping or other compulsive activities.
  • The Case for Expensive Clothes” – If you find that you buy clothes just because they are cheap or a “good deal,” this article from The Atlantic is a must-read for you! The writer challenged herself to spend at least $150 on each item of clothing and found that she made much better choices as a result.  You can set a lower target price if you wish, but the objective is to push yourself to really consider how much you want something before you buy it.
  • Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator?” – This excellent article from Gretchin Rubin helped me understand in very clear terms why “shopping bans” have never worked for me. It’s because I’m a “moderator” rather than an “abstainer.” When moderators try to abstain, we feel trapped and rebellious (definitely me!) and we do much better by following the 80/20 rule.  In contrast, abstainers tend to do just fine with hard and fast rules and aren’t tempted by things they’ve decided are off-limits.  Also check out this related post on whether you’re an over-buyer or an under-buyer.   We already know which one I am and I’m sure I’m not alone in that…

On Wardrobe Management

  • Declutter Your Wardrobe: Lessons from People Who’ve Done It” – This CNN article follows two people – one man and one woman – who have decided to take on ambitious wardrobe challenges.  Most of us have heard of the woman, Courtney Carver of Project 333 fame (she gets dressed with a wardrobe capsule of just 33 items every three months).  But in case you don’t think that’s challenging enough, Matt Souveny opted to dress with only ten items of clothing for a year!   See photos of what they wore and read about what they learned.
  • 9 Easy Tricks to Maximize Your Wardrobe” – Many of us would like to better utilize the clothes we already have in our closets rather than continue to buy more and more new things. A lot of the suggestions in this LearnVest article have been mentioned in my blog posts, but I got a few new ideas, including “follow the rainbow” and “first in/last out.”  Simple, yet brilliant concepts that I believe can really help!
  • How to Update Your Wardrobe for Fall” – I know it’s not fall (autumn) for everyone reading this, but these tips from The Blissful Mind applies to any seasonal change and are similar to what I shared last week. Perhaps this post will give you a few more ideas that you can use. There are some great photos included along with the tips.

On Style

  • 10 Rules to Transform Your Personal Style” – I feature an article from Imogen Lamport pretty much every month because her content is always so good. This post is especially excellent because in addition to the ten “rules” outlined, Imogen also includes a number of links for those who want to learn more about each given topic. This is definitely a resource to bookmark and return to for future reference.
  • You Can Get More From Your Wardrobe. You Just Don’t Know It” – It’s a rare month when Bridgette Raes isn’t included in these links round ups, either.  This post is fascinating because Bridgette lets us in on an actual styling session with one of her clients and includes lots of photos.  She creates a multitude of outfit combinations for the client using just a small number of garments and some key accessories.
  • Five Different Stylists Dressed Me in ‘Flattering’ Outfits and Here’s What Happened” – This post from BuzzFeed is both fun and thought-provoking to read. The writer went to personal shoppers at five different stores and asked them to dress her in “flattering” outfits.   She posted the various ensembles and shared which ones were her favorites and why.  I thought a lot of the looks weren’t very flattering, but so much of style and what’s attractive is very subjective, so I doubt we would all agree on the best and worst looks.

On Other Topics

  • Minimalism, Myths and the Art of Living” – The minimalism movement is very popular right now and is receiving a lot of press, but not all minimalists are the same. Terra Trevor considers herself a minimalist and in this post, she explains what this means to her and how minimalism has changed her life in many positive ways.
  • Choose One Thing to Simplify Your Life (just one)” – There are many ways in which we can simplify our lives and we often think we have to change a lot of things in order to make a difference in our life experience. This post from Be More with Less suggests that changing even one thing can make reap sizable benefits.   Twenty two ideas are presented that we may wish to try, but it’s recommended that we do just one of them at a time.   I definitely saw a few that I feel could impact my life in a positive way.
  • The Myth of No Regrets” – This post from Everyday Small Stuff is short but powerful, as it addresses something that isn’t often talked about. Sometimes we actually do regret some of the things we get rid of, but that doesn’t mean that decluttering is a bad idea.  What’s worse, regretting a few things here and there or keeping everything and having your house overflow with stuff?   The answer is very clear to both me and the writer of this article.

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 October 2013 or October 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.

  • Applying the Wardrobe First Impression Test” – I often say that I get the best ideas from my readers. One of these great ideas is what reader Deby uses to determine which items get to stay in her wardrobe.  Last year, I applied the “wardrobe first impression test” to my entire closet and shared the results.  This simple method helped me to pass on quite a few things and it can work for you, too!
  • Decisions, Decisions… The Keep or Purge Question” – It’s often really difficult to decide whether certain pieces in our closets should stay or go. In this post from 2013, I share five questions you can ask to help streamline the decision process, and I show photos of some items that I was able to get rid of as a result of answering those questions.   Using either these questions or the tips in the previous link can really help you to downsize your wardrobe.
  • How Many Clothes are Enough?” – This is a question that many of us ask, but there is no hard and fast answer that applies to everyone. However, some guidelines exist that can help you figure out the best wardrobe size for you and I share them in this article. I also introduce the concept of the “closet set point,” which I explored in greater detail in a later post.


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 another photography interlude, an update on my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI – see previous posts here), as well as my October accountability update.   Stay tuned for those posts and more articles on building a workable wardrobe and cultivating a meaningful life outside of shopping.

14 thoughts on “October 2015 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

  1. Hi Debbie. I’m sitting in my kitchen, in the dark & frozen because I’ve just fallen down the rabbit hole! I somehow arrived at – The Dark side of style redefinition. It’s my favourite post & I love the reply to Tonya where you mention the shopping habits of stylish woman with wardrobe control. The description perfectly describes the way I aspire to be. I’m a lot closer than I’ve ever been thanks to you.

    • I know that falling down the rabbit hole feeling well, Sharon, but I’m glad it was a good experience for you this time. I still aspire to that same thing that I mentioned. I’m not there yet, but inching closer as I continue to work on this process. I’m happy that my blog is helping you to get there, too.

    • You’re welcome, Imogen! I’m always happy to include your posts, as they are very helpful and informative. Your site is a treasure trove of style information!

  2. Thanks for the links – so far i’ve read just one, ‘the case for expensive clothes’ which I’ve realised meshes well with the 5 piece French Wardrobe Plan that I’ve been attempting, and which we discussed a few days ago (20 x $150 is around my budget). In fact looking back over this year the purchases I regret are the least expensive ones, with one exception. Had I forgone these I could have bought one really good piece instead, and I wish I had done that. Definitely something to carry forward to next year’s goals.

    • I really liked that article, too, Alice. When I look at what I’ve bought (I’m about to post a purchase analysis), I come to a similar conclusion as you. It’s usually not the more expensive purchases that I regret, probably because I put more thought into them. It’s more often the “deals” that I impulsively pick up that I regret later. There’s a lot of truth to the author’s philosophy!

    • Yes, it really can, Sarah! I have never thought of that before, but you are SO right. There may be a blog post in that…

  3. I enjoyed the post about the woman who went to 5 different stores and got flattering looks.
    There was one pair of pants I thought didn’t fit her very well, but otherwise I thought she looked pretty good. As someone who shops similar mainstream stores and web sites I think the looks were representative of the style that the different stores promote. She got a more neutral minimal look from some higher-end stores, kind of a Macy’s look from Macy’s, and more frill from ModCloth.

    • I really liked that article, too, Ginger, and had similar observations. When we can find stores that echo the type of style we want to reflect, we don’t have to shop the entire mall (or web) anymore. It’s great to find a few “go t0” shops or brands that work for us.

    • You’re welcome, Terra. Your writing is always so thoughtful and makes us think. I think many people believe that minimalists are all cut from the same cloth, but as you wrote, that is definitely not the case!

    • You’re welcome, Catherine! I was excited to find your wonderful blog and I have added it to my feed. You have some really interesting and helpful posts!

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