May 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

It’s almost the end of May and is the start of a long weekend for those of us in the U.S., so it’s the perfect time for another installment of useful links (see previous editions here). Included below are links to articles I hope 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). 

This “grab bag” of useful links presents the perfect opportunity for you to sit back with your favorite hot beverage or glass of wine and enjoy some quiet time to read, learn, look within, and maybe even laugh a time or two.  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.

Sunset view from PLNU

Sunset view from Point Loma Nazarene University

As in all useful links editions for the past year or so, the photo above is one of mine.   If you want to see more of my photos, you can check out my “photography interlude” blog posts or follow me on Instagram.

If you’d like, you can always go back to this post later via my Archives page.   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.  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

  • I Can’t Stop Spending!– This is a link for a podcast instead of an article. I’ve been into listening to podcasts lately, especially when I get ready each day.  Why not gain some useful information during that time?  When I learned that Susan B., who wrote a guest post here on the value of Debtors Anonymous, had started a new podcast geared toward compulsive spenders, I was in!   I’ve only listened to the first few episodes thus far, but I’ve enjoyed them.  Topics include spending plans, accounting for cash expenditures, disputing some advice from financial “gurus,” and how to achieve and maintain “financial sobriety.” Susan has asked to interview me for a future episode, so stay tuned!
  • When You Feel Bad About Buying Something New– If you’re anything like me, you sometimes experience guilt and regret after shopping. In this post from Be More With Less, you’ll find concrete advice for managing these emotions and turning things around. My favorite tip is to keep a running list for 30 to 60 days of the things you want to buy, without actually buying them.  At the end of that timeframe, you can decide if you still want those items or if you’d prefer to use the money for something else instead.
  • 7 Ways to Demand Supply Chain Transparency & Put an End to Fast Fashion– “Fast fashion” is still very prevalent and popular, but as people are becoming aware of its negative effects, that’s starting to change. If you want to play a role in transforming the fashion industry, Eco Warrior Princess recommends some small actions you can take, including voting with your dollars and passing on important information to others.  I also suggest that you check out the recently published “Ethical Fashion Guide(via Stylish Murmurs).

On Wardrobe Management

  • What to Pack for Memorial Day– For those in the U.S., this is a long weekend, which means many people will be traveling out of town. Although this post from Putting Me Together has “Memorial Day” in its title, it’s really geared toward any type of casual warm weather vacation.  You’ll see how you can put together eight stylish outfits using just nine pieces (seven garments and two pairs of shoes). These outfits will work well for many types of weekend activities wherever you may travel.  If you don’t have the exact pieces shown, no problem. Simply adapt the list for your specific wardrobe and style preference, as the basic principles are the same.
  • A 36-Hanger Wardrobe Idea– This time of year is transitional for many of us in terms of the weather and which season we need to dress for. Janice of The Vivienne Files came up with an eight-step process to make it easier to get dressed without having to consider your entire closet all at once.  Using this method, you can gradually and relatively painlessly switch your wardrobe over for the incoming season.  Another approach you may want to consider is the “rolling capsule wardrobe” Dianne shared here last month.
  • When Should You Get Rid of Clothes? Here’s a 10-Step Guide to Figure it Out– Although I have pared down my wardrobe considerably since I started this blog, I’m always looking for more closet audit tips for myself and to share with you. Some of these guidelines from StyleCaster are things we’ve all seen before, but a few of them gave me pause.  My favorites were numbers 4, 6, 7, and 9, the last of which especially applies to those “wardrobe benchwarmers” most of us have in our closets.

On Style

  • Five Secrets of a Well Dressed Woman– What makes a woman stylish? After spending the past 14 years dressing women, Bridgette Raes has come to solid conclusions on this topic.   Hint… well-dressed women don’t typically have jam-packed closets or wardrobes full of clearance buys.  Not only are the tips in this article excellent, there are also links to previous posts from Bridgette for those who want to delve deeper (including this classic post).
  • What Belting Can Do For You– While I have a large jewelry collection (recently pared down via “KonMari”), I only have two belts and I almost never wear them. But after reading the tips and seeing great examples of belting from Already Pretty, I think I may be missing out! Included are seven ways in which belts can improve our outfits, including bringing up or down a waistline.  Perhaps I will embrace belts yet…
  • How to Dress for Summer – My Top 10 Tips & Tricks– For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, summer is either underway or just around the corner. This can be a challenging season to dress for many women because clothes tend to be more revealing and it’s often too hot for layering.   But 40+ Style shows us how we can still look stylish and sufficiently covered up even when it’s hot outside.   Included at the bottom of the post is a video that offers even more summer style secrets.   I’m going to use some of Sylvia’s tips to mix up my summer style a bit this year.

On Other Topics

  • Do You Feel That Everyone is Noticing Your Flaws?– We’re often our own worst enemies when it comes to our real or imagined physical flaws. Although we believe that everyone notices them, research on something called the “spotlight effect” shows that very few people pay attention to specific aspects of our clothes or bodies.  As written in this important essay from Inside Out Style, “If you don’t point out your perceived flaws, nobody will notice them!”  Even if others do notice these attributes of our appearance, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll place as much importance on them as we do ourselves.
  • Why an Intentional Life Requires EditingMy 2015 theme was “deliberate” and this year’s is “balance(I’ll give an update on that soon – see the last one here), so this newsletter edition from My Best Year was right up my alley. In order to live an intentional life, it’s necessary for us to edit our stuff, relationships, and schedules. The article includes a great exercise to help you sort through what’s really important and what is worthy of your time and energy.  I plan to do this exercise soon and will report on what I learn in a future post.  If you decide to take it on as well, please share your insights, as I’m sure they will be helpful to others.
  • How to Waste Tons of Time and Not Accomplish Anything– Piggy-backing on the last link is this article from Yes and Yes. It’s possible to be super busy but accomplish very little that truly matters in the grand scheme of our lives.  This is definitely true for me at times, which is why I’ve been working on being more deliberate and cultivating balance.  There are many great tips here, all presented in terms of how we waste time and what we can do instead. If you adopt even one of these suggestions, I believe you’ll be more in control of your time and feel a lot better at the end of each day.

From the Archives

Each month, I share a few early “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that I think you might enjoy reading (you can see all of my past posts on the Archives page).  The articles below were published in May 2013, 2014, or 2015. It was fun to revisit these posts today and I hope you enjoy them, too. If you resonate with what I have written, I’d love to get your thoughts.   I wish I could leave comments open on old posts, but I have to close things out after two weeks due to spam issues. Please feel free to share your views about the archived articles in the comments section of this post instead.

  • The Nuts and Bolts of Wardrobe Tracking– I’m often asked how I’m able to come up with all of the wardrobe statistics I share on this blog. The answer is that I track virtually everything when it comes to my wardrobe!  While this may seem daunting and time-consuming to do, it actually takes me just minutes each day.  See what I do and how I do it in this classic post from May 2013.  Of course, you don’t have to track everything I do, but even if you take on just one means of tracking, you’ll gain valuable information that can help you shop better and more effectively manage your wardrobe.
  • How Many Basics Do We Really Need?” – Although style experts often tell us to invest in basics, I found that many of those pieces ended up becoming “wardrobe benchwarmers.” This led me to question in May 2014 how many such items I really needed.   What I learned is that I had too many basics and not enough special garments (or as one Facebook group member said, “too many bones and not enough skin”).   I’m still working to get the balance right in this respect, but this post helped me to change course.
  • What Are Your Wardrobe Do’s and Don’ts?– I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to take time to write lists of your wardrobe do’s and don’ts. I did just that back in May 2015 and plan to revisit these lists this year (although I don’t think a whole lot has changed).  I outlined the overall characteristics, colors/patterns, and specific types of items that I wanted to incorporate into my wardrobe and those I preferred to leave out.  Many readers followed suit in the comments section and their feedback is well worth reading.  Having our lists of wardrobe do’s and don’ts on hand when shopping can help us target what to buy and what to avoid.   Used consistently, these lists can save us from a lot of buying mistakes!


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.

Have a wonderful weekend!  I’ll be back soon with an update on my 2016 balance theme and more posts on smart shopping, wardrobe management, personal style, and more.

8 thoughts on “May 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

  1. I love to follow your blog. I really wanted articles to read something on wardrobe management. I liked the article “36 hanger wadrobe ideas” as I am really bad at managing my wadrobe, it always look messy. Thanks for sharing such useful links.

    • I’m glad you liked these links, Smaira! If you enjoyed the 36 hanger article, you may want to browse that site (“The Vivienne Files”), as she has a lot of wonderful articles on wardrobe management.

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