June 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

As I write this, it’s the last day of June and just before the long Independence Day 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).  But before I delve into the main topic of this post, I’d like to share a recent article that was published about me, this blog, and my books on DealCrunch.com.   The writer interviewed me a few weeks ago and I’m very pleased with the finished piece.  It’s called “Confessions of an Ex-Shopaholic:  How Debbie Roes’ Blog & Books Help Shoppers Kick Their Buying Addiction.”   While I consider myself to still be a recovering shopaholic rather than a full ex-shopaholic (as I believe that recovery occurs on a continuum), I’m glad that my insights along the journey have been helpful to so many people over the past 3.5 years. I hope you enjoy this feature!

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.

Coronado Island, San Diego

A beautiful summer afternoon near the historic Hotel Del Coronado. 

As in all of my useful links posts, 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.   I don’t post very often there (it’s not so convenient since I take most of my photos with my camera rather than my phone), but I have a decent archive in that location if you’d like to check it out.

As a reminder, you can always come 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

  • How to Tell if Clothes Will Be Comfortable– So often when we shop, we find clothes that look and feel great at the time, but will they really work for our lives? This post from Already Pretty offers some useful tips to help us make that determination.  I know I could have saved myself a lot of substandard top purchases if I had only lifted my arms straight up in the air as she suggests.  Your fitting room contortions might look a bit silly, but they could save you some money (and give you a few good laughs as well).
  • But I Love Shopping– The next season of minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 starts tomorrow and it’s an excellent way to help you pare down your wardrobe and become comfortable with owning less. This article addresses one of the key objections people have to taking on the challenge, their love of shopping.  I took on Project 333 twice and benefited from it in multiple ways.  If you think you might want to give it a try, the “Dress with Less” microcourse can help make it easier to get started.  You might also consider a “rolling capsule wardrobe,” as Dianne wrote about here back in April.
  • 14 Expert Ways to Tell if Clothes are Well-Made or Super Cheap– I was interviewed last month for this BuzzFeed story on clothing quality. They also referred to reader Dottie’s helpful guest post on this topic from 2014.   This is a great quick read with lots of helpful tips and graphics on how to shop smarter and find clothes that will last longer.

On Wardrobe Management

  • Ten-Item Wardrobe Help! Reader Q & A(video) – You may have heard of “the ten-item wardrobe,” a wardrobe management concept frequently discussed on the blog, The Daily Connoisseur, and in the “Madame Chic” books.  Even if you’re not interested in dressing from a small capsule wardrobe, the concepts discussed in this video can still help you, as they apply to cultivating a more cohesive and workable closet in general.
  • 12 Must-Have Items? Let’s Consider…– We’ve all seen those “must-have” lists put forth by fashion experts.  I remember diligently going out and buying all of the wardrobe pieces recommended by Stacy and Clinton on “What Not to Wear” and then not wearing many of them because they didn’t suit my style or my life.  However, if you’re willing to think outside the box a bit, you may be able to glean some value from those must-have lists after all.  This article from The Vivienne Files can help us to see such lists in a different light.
  • Clothing Care Favorite Products and Resources” – We all want our clothes to last longer and give us more value for our money. While buying quality pieces in the first place is of the utmost importance, so is taking good care of them. This list of comprehensive clothing care resources from Putting Me Together can help you to extend the life of your closet favorites.  I can vouch for a few of her favorite tips, as they have helped me, too.   For one, I air dry most of my clothes and that has added to their longevity.

On Style

  • How to Create the Perfect Outfit– The phenomenon of standing in front of a full closet and thinking you have “nothing to wear” is quite common. This can result in wearing the same uninspiring outfits over and over again.  If you’re looking to up your style quotient and get more creative with what you wear, check out this article from 40+ Style.  It includes some helpful questions to ask yourself before getting dressed, as well as an easy to follow formula for putting together a polished look.  If you like this article and want more in-depth guidance, you might want to check out the style courses from 40+ Style.
  • How to Find a Style That Sparks Joy– It turns out that even a seasoned stylist like Bridgette Raes can benefit from the “KonMari Method.” She recently took on this process and was able to let go of three large bags of clothing from her already streamlined wardrobe!  Bridgette recommends Marie Kondo’s book and offers some additional insights to help us find a style that sparks joy.  I’m going to revisit the KonMari Method soon myself (read about my experience with it last year HERE), so I’ll keep Bridgette’s tips in mind (and will report on my process in a future post).
  • Dressing for the Heat” – Many of us in the northern hemisphere are experiencing some pretty warm temperatures right about now. This can make getting dressed all the more challenging, especially for those of us who want to look well put together.   Angie of You Look Fab has learned that dressing for the heat involves wearing specific wardrobe items and adapting our grooming regimens accordingly.  She shares her best tips in both areas in this very timely post.

On Other Topics

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 June 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 all of my 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.

  • What is a Full Life?” – The tagline of this blog is “Trade your full closet for a full life.” That sounds good and all, but what is a full life?   Six months into the blog, I ponder that question and define what a full life means to me.   I also share my five top life values, as well as some great resources to assist you in identifying yours.
  • A Simple Shopping Rule – Buy Once!– How often do you settle for less than what you truly want when shopping? Do you end up buying several versions of an item on your shopping list before you find one you’re satisfied with?  We often end up spending more money in our quest to be frugal with our shopping.  The bottom line is that we need to love what we buy and not feel like we’re settling!  Buy one, buy what you truly want, and buy the best that you can afford.
  • Lessons from a Clothing Swap– A year ago, I attended my very first clothing swap event. While I had high hopes that I might find a few gems among the veritable “treasure hunt,” I was sadly disappointed with the low quality of what was available for the taking.  All was not lost, however, as I learned some important lessons from the experience, which I encapsulated in this post. I also share a few of the photos I took at the beach after leaving the clothing swap prematurely.


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 and for those of you in the U.S., Happy Independence Day!   That day is actually my 15-year wedding anniversary, so I always get to celebrate both my country and my marriage on July 4th (plus, there’s always fireworks!).   It’s hard to believe I’ve been married for that many years (and that I’m almost 50 – a “one month before” post will be published soon), but I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful, loving, and supportive husband.   Just for fun, here’s one of our wedding pictures. We certainly look a lot younger there!

Wedding Day - July 4, 2001

My husband, Mike, and me on our wedding day on July 4, 2001.

I’m not sure yet how we’ll be celebrating our special day, but you may be interested in checking out the essay I wrote about our 2013 anniversary, “Same Place, Different View.”  It’s one of my favorite posts and really highlighted the recovery progress I’d already made just six months into starting the blog.   I have had lots of ups and downs since that time, but the general trajectory has definitely been positive.   I believe that as long as we keep working on ourselves and learning and growing from our mistakes, we will move forward. Each day can be a new beginning if we’re open to forgiving ourselves, gaining insights, and applying them to our lives.  Wishing you all the best on the journey!

9 thoughts on “June 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

  1. Love the links posts! I thought it was funny and cool that Bridgette Raes benefited from a Konmari session! I love Marie Kondo. Her little book really changed my life.

    Beautiful wedding photo. I reread the “Same Place, Different View” essay you did on your wedding anniversary in 2013 (thanks for the link) and it was a powerful reminder of how an addiction can take us away from the people we love the most, but if we diligently work at removing ourselves from the addiction, we see results, like your quality time on Catalina Island with your wonderful husband. Kudos.

    • Marie Kondo’s book was very influential for me, too, Jane. I am planning on “KonMari’ing” my closet again this weekend if all goes well. Yes, an addiction can definitely take us away from our loved ones. I shudder to think of how many great days I missed out on with my husband, family members, and friends because I was so obsessed with shopping. I am not “recovered” yet, but I’m very happy not to be so wrapped up in shopping that it overshadows everything else. That’s something about which I am very grateful!

  2. I always enjoy your link roundups. And congrats on your anniversary, how fun that you were married on a holiday!

  3. Thanks for all of the kind words and anniversary wishes! We had a nice day overall. We stuck close to home this year, as we did last year as well. We got married on an island (Catalina, off the cost of Los Angeles) and vowed to spend every anniversary on an island thereafter. We have stuck to that promise thus far, going to Hawaii a few times, the Caribbean, and back to Catalina probably every other year. When we weren’t able to venture too far away, we visited Balboa Island (Orange County) or Coronado (very close to where we live). This year was a Coronado year and the weather was beautiful – warm and breezy. We’re hoping to go back to Hawaii next year if possible.

    Tara, thanks for saying that I look like Julia Roberts in my wedding picture. That’s a very nice compliment! It was fun to get all dolled up for the day. It must have taken me half an hour to get all of the pins out of my hair! Lots of wonderful memories 🙂

  4. Thanks for including my post about the KonMari method. My closet is soooo organized!

    I really liked your Buzzfeed post. The only thing I questioned was the French Seams comment. I remember back in design school having to learn and execute every seam finish. I can’t say that French Seams are the only way to tell if a pair of pants are of good quality. Typically, you only see that finish on jeans and I can’t recall the last pair of pants I saw with that finish. Speaking of pants. Did you know that unlined pants are more expensive to make than lined ones? Everyone thinks the opposite. They see lining and figure they are better made. The truth is, it takes more in labor not to line a pair of pants because every seam has to be finished, whereas with a lined pair of pants the seams don’t have to be finished and the cheap lining is just dropped in.

    • Thanks for commenting here, Bridgette! I’m glad your closet if super organized now (although I’m sure it was pretty good before, too). I just did the KonMari method again this past weekend and will post about it soon.

      I appreciate your clarifying the French Seams issue. The comment in the article about that came from this guest post on my blog which the writer found before contacting me for an interview: https://recoveringshopaholic.com/how-to-tell-if-a-garment-is-well-made/ I actually didn’t know much about this myself, so I’m glad to learn more about it from you! Very interesting about lined pants being more expensive to make than unlined ones. I never would have guessed that, but it makes sense now that you explained it. I learned a few great things from you today and hopefully my readers did, too!

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