November “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

To my readers in the United States, I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy happy times and good food with family and friends.   For everyone else, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.   The holidays are now officially under way whether we’re ready for them or not!   They always seem to sneak up on me, probably because we enjoy warm weather in my neck of the woods into November.  Although my friends down under are used to hot and sunny holidays, I still haven’t gotten used to it. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending upon one’s perspective), the cooler weather has finally arrived here, so I’m ready to feel a bit more festive.

It’s almost the end of November, 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).

Harbor Island Twilight

The San Diego skyline from Harbor Island at twilight. 

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Alterations – Pros, Cons, Successes, and Failures

With today’s post, I’m kicking off a new series for the blog.  I have often written about alterations in my various posts, but only once have I dedicated an entire article to that topic.  While that post was fairly comprehensive, it was also published almost two years ago, so it’s high time for me to revisit the subject. In addition, I have received a few questions from readers that I would like to address more fully than I can in the comments section of the blog.

Alterations Tips and Resources

Do you tailor your clothes? Why or why not?

In the coming weeks, I will share some of my personal alterations successes and failures with you (including before and after pictures wherever possible) and I will respond to the reader questions I mentioned above.   But before I delve into those matters, I decided to ask my private Facebook group how they feel about tailoring their clothes and how they approach alterations – or even if they do!

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October 2015 Accountability Update

Well, it’s more than halfway through November, so this post is a bit overdue…  However, I wasn’t putting off writing it because of overshopping like last time. I have just been dealing with other things, so some of these more time-consuming posts had to be postponed somewhat.  But better late than never!

For those who are new to the blog, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet and how I did with my shopping budget.   Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping.  It also contributes toward my being more deliberate, which is my theme for 2015.

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Pre-Purchase Structures at Home and on Vacation

The following is an email I received from reader Jamieson, who wrote to me in response to my recent post on shopping support structures.  Jamieson shared some of the structures she has in place to prevent overshopping, and she also related a recent success story of how she shopped more consciously while vacationing in a location that is known for its incredible shopping. I was inspired by Jamieson’s story and asked if I could share it with all of you.  Thankfully, she not only said yes but also sent me some fabulous photos to accompany this post. 

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired and you don’t have to be 100% recovered), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.

I have been working on my own version of “pre-purchase structures” and I thought maybe you might be interested in hearing about them. Your blog has definitely informed my journey away from “grasp-y” consumerism, so thank you. My biggest pre-purchase structure I now have in place is that I pretty much always check in with my husband first before buying anything. I was resistant to do this for so long because it felt too much like I had to ask permission or something weirdly patriarchal. But really, it’s more about being honest with your life partner and best friend, and surprisingly it feels more like a relief than anything else.

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November “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI) Update

We are getting near the end of the year and this is my second to last (penultimate, if you will – great word) “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI) update.  At the end of the year or early next year, I will do a full wrap-up of the challenge and what I have learned from it.   But today, I am going to do my usual numbers updates, as well as share some thoughts about my summer wardrobe since that season pretty much just wrapped up for me.   I will also highlight a few other things I have learned from the challenge and what I plan to do to finish out the year.

Love It, Wear It Challenge

An Overview of LIWI

But before I dive into my update, here’s a quick reminder of what LIWI is about (read more here).  The objectives for the “Love It, Wear It” challenge are to wear what we love and to have the right types of clothing, shoes, and accessories for our lives… our real lives.  By this, I mean the lives that we are actually living in the here and now – not imagined, wished for, or previous lifestyles.

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How to Determine If a Purchase Was a Good One

Last week, I posted an analysis of all of the purchases I made during the first half of this year.   I discovered that over half of these items could be considered smart buys in that I still love them and have worn them regularly.   Another 18% of my purchases were basically mistakes and have already been purged from my wardrobe, as well as five pieces (13%) that I was able to return for refunds. Rounding out my analysis were an additional five items (13%) for which the proverbial jury is still out.

Good purchase or not

How do you decide if a purchase was good or not? 

I learned through my analysis that many of my mistakes stem from settling for just okay when I should have held out for stellar, especially in terms of online purchases.  It’s definitely better to make returns, even if they can be a hassle, than to keep e-commerce buys that didn’t live up to our expectations.  Returns are often a necessary evil for those of us who like to shop online, as colors and fits can be distorted by monitor variations and strategic clothing placement on models or in displays.

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Photography Interlude – San Diego Area Piers

I continue to love the new photography hobby that I took on earlier this year.  I usually go out to take photos at least two or three times per week, sometimes just taking a quick walk down the street to the bay to snap a few shots and enjoy the outdoors for half an hour or so.   Occasionally, I will do a longer photo jaunt to one of the many scenic areas of San Diego.

While I enjoy taking photos in many different locales, my favorite places to visit are the beach areas.   There are also a few piers in and around San Diego that are fun to photograph.  In today’s photography interlude post, I will show you some shots that I took of the four main piers in San Diego County.  Soon I’m going to venture a bit north and photograph beaches and piers in Orange and Los Angeles counties. I will share the best of those images in a future photography interlude post.

Debbie Roes on the Crystal Pier

Me on the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach this past May. 

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