August 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

It’s the last day of August, so it’s time for the latest 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). 

Lake Tahoe sunset

Perhaps the best sunset I’ve seen – Incline Beach, Lake Tahoe (September 2015)

This “grab bag” of useful links presents the perfect opportunity for you to sit back with your favorite beverage and enjoy some quiet time to read, learn, look within, and maybe even laugh a time or two.  As a reminder, I certainly don’t expect you to click on all of the links in these posts.  Just explore the ones that most intrigue you.

As in all of my useful links posts, the photo above is one of mine.   This one is especially meaningful, as I will be traveling to Lake Tahoe tomorrow to visit family and friends.  I hope to see another sunset as beautiful as that one!   If you want to see more of my photos, including some from my upcoming trip, I invite you to follow me on Instagram.   I haven’t been posting there much lately, but I have a nice archive of previous images there and plan to get back into regular posting beginning with my Tahoe vacation.  You can also check out my previous “photography interlude” blog posts, in which I have shared photos from some of my favorite locations (see my Lake Tahoe photos here).

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

  • Why Shopping for Clothes Makes You Want to Scream– Even for those of us who love to shop, shopping can be a frustrating experience, as we have no control over the colors, shapes, sizes, and styles that are on offer from retailers. But there are ways in which shopping can be made an easier and more fulfilling process.  Imogen Lamport of Inside Out Style offers eight tips to help streamline your shopping experience, some of which have been discussed on this blog previously, including maintaining a shopping priorities list and having your clothes custom-made.
  • Planning My Fall Shopping– The seasons will soon be changing, so this is the time of year when many of us are planning and shopping for our fall (or for those down under, spring) It’s all too easy to just rush out and buy lots of new things, but that doesn’t always result in our making the best decisions and purchases. Janice of The Vivienne Files always starts with an inventory of what she already has and then browses the Internet for some potential buys.   But rather than pulling out her credit card right away, she organizes her “objects of desire” in an interesting way that we can all use to help us make better choices.
  • My Best Shopping Tip: The Deal Breaker Question That Can Save You Money” – Personal development guru Tony Robbins says that if we want better lives, we need to ask better questions.  Well, the same can be said about shopping! Wardrobe stylist Brenda Kinsel gives us one question we can use to help determine whether an item should come home with us or remain in the store.  She also shares a few examples of when this question was put to the test, as well as a few additional questions to ask when shopping for clothing and related items.

On Wardrobe Management

  • Why You Should Imagine Your Body is a Room– Do you have trouble letting go of clothes that just don’t work for you? Imogen Lamport suggests that this difficulty is because our clothing feels like a part of us since it is right next to our skin.   Thus, we become emotionally invested in garments both for sentimental reasons and because we feel that we “should be able to make them work.”  For most people, it’s far easier to purge and shop for items for their homes.  Accordingly, imagining our bodies as rooms in our houses can help us to detach from heavy emotions and make better choices.  I know this sounds strange, but if you read Imogen’s thought-provoking article, it can lead to a powerful attitudinal shift.
  • Loving Style vs. Minimalism– Grechen of Grechen’s Closet recently saw the following question posed on another blog: “Can you love styling and still subscribe to a minimal wardrobe?”  As someone who did an entire series called “The Minimal Closet,” such an inquiry was right up Grechen’s alley, as it is for many of us.   I could identify with Grechen’s answer to the question in some ways, plus her insights provided me with some great food for thought.  I’d love to get your thoughts on this question as well.
  • The Power of a Cohesive Wardrobe– Deborah of Stylish Murmurs recently had a stressful few months, which led her to realize how much she appreciates her wardrobe. As she wrote, “When life is happening all around you, you just need your wardrobe to work for you.” I agree with this sentiment, as well as the other thoughts expressed in the article.   I really like Deborah’s style, too, as exemplified by the four outfits she included (she’s in Australia, so they are winter ensembles).  She always looks lovely and we have the same favorite colors!

On Style

  • Business Casual Capsule Wardrobe– Capsule wardrobes are still quite popular and can make our lives a lot easier. Most contemporary professionals don’t really need to wear formal business clothing anymore, so “business casual” reigns supreme. If you struggle to strike the right note with your business clothing, this how-to from Putting Me Together is a great resource.    Thirty versatile pieces are shown – tops, toppers, skirts, pants, dresses, and shoes – that can be combined to create at least 60 professional outfits.  You may also be interested in the “Building a Remixable Wardrobe” series from this prolific blogger.
  • How to Hone and Develop Your Personal Style– Do you feel like your style is a bit of a “hodgepodge” and lacks cohesion and a clear message? If so, you may find this post from Already Pretty helpful. Included are four style exercises to assist you in gaining clarity.  I’ve done variations of all of them at one point or another, but I think I’d like to do the third and fourth exercises again to help me refine things a bit further.
  • How to Get Out of a Style Rut and Be Excited By Your Wardrobe” – Most of us have experience a style rut at one time or another, and it can be difficult to escape this block and move forward. This article from Looking Stylish is similar to the previous one in that it focuses on doing style introspection.  Activities are recommended to assist you in gathering information, doing analysis, and taking action on what you learn.   If you feel at all stuck in terms of your wardrobe and style, I think it would be worth your while to spend a few hours or a weekend day to get yourself back on track.

On Other Topics

  • The Only Remedy for FOMO– I’ve written about FOMO (fear of missing out) a few times on this blog (including HERE and HERE). It’s a big problem for many people and has been a significant issue for me related to my wardrobe, information overload, and life in general.  Courtney Carver of Be More With Less suggests that the only way to overcome FOMO is to be present, and she tells us five ways in which we can stay peacefully present in a crazy world.  I love all five and have already been taking some of them on (especially getting away from my devices and “playing” more), but I’m going to challenge myself to embrace Courtney’s fifth suggestion, “choose deep vs. wide.”
  • 10 Life-Changing Tips for Highly Sensitive People” – This link won’t apply to all of you, but it will be especially meaningful for those who are “highly sensitive.” This term includes a hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing, and high emotional reactivity (learn more and take the HSP test here).  I am such a person and this article from Marc and Angel resonated so much for me that I had to share it for my kindred spirits who may be reading.   The tips I feel I need the most are #6 (treat yourself with compassion) and #7 (create healthy boundaries, not rigid walls). I know that I need to be nicer to myself and stop being all or nothing in my relationships with others.
  • My Grandpa’s Matches and Why You Shouldn’t Save ‘The Good Stuff’” – I’ve written before about the common practice of saving clothes “for good.” Sarah of Yes and Yes shares a personal story that drives home why things are meant to be used and why we shouldn’t save “the good stuff” for some imaginary, perfect time that may or may not happen. Why not enjoy the things we love now?  I know it’s not always easy, but when I push myself to wear things instead of worrying about wearing them out or other concerns, I’m usually happier for it!

From the Archives

Each month, I share a few previous “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that I think you might enjoy reading (you can see all of my past posts on the Archives page).  I usually select posts from the current month in past years, but this time I’m doing something different. I’m sharing a few legacy posts that I feel may be particularly meaningful for you.

I enjoyed revisiting these posts and I hope you will benefit from them as well. 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.

  • Why Do You Overshop?– There are so many reasons for compulsive shopping. Over the course of writing this blog, it has felt like peeling an onion as I discovered more and more contributing factors for my shopping problem.  April Benson, the author of “To Buy or Not to Buy(a book I highly recommend) has outlined 11 main reasons for overshopping.  While all of these reasons don’t apply to everyone, I found that eight of them applied to me when I first read them three years ago. In this post from September 2013, I elaborate on my personal reasons for shopping too much.
  • How a Shopping Hiatus Can Help– There have been quite a few discussions on “shopping bans” on Facebook as of late. So I thought it would be a good idea to highlight this excellent June 2014 guest post from Jill Chivers of “Shop Your Wardrobe.” Jill is a former shopaholic who completed a full year without clothes shopping and went on to create an online membership site to help women learn to shop consciously. If you’ve ever considered taking a break from shopping (it doesn’t have to be for a year!), this article will teach you the five key factors that help make a shopping hiatus work.
  • Avoiding the 3 Most Common August Shopping Mistakes– I mentioned Dr. April Benson above. She is a psychotherapist who specializes in working with compulsive shoppers. Back in August 2013, she and I teamed up to lead a teleseminar focusing on the most common mistakes shoppers tend to make during August and how to best avoid these pitfalls. This post is a summary of the key points discussed in that teleseminar and includes lots of tips for smart shopping and wardrobe management.


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.

As I mentioned above, I’m about to head out for a trip to Lake Tahoe, where I know I’ll see a lot of gorgeous scenery and share some good times with my family and friends.  I’ll also be spending a few days in the San Francisco Bay Area, the place where I grew up but haven’t been back to since 2010. While I’m away, I won’t be blogging, so I’ll be taking a hiatus for the next two weeks.  But I’ve given you some great things to read and explore, so hopefully you’ll enjoy digging into them in my absence.

Although I mentioned in my last post that I would be publishing the second half of my wardrobe and shopping goals update this week (a review of my shopping priorities in line with what I have purchased), I ran out of time to put this post together.  Thus, it will have to wait until I return from my trip.   I have a few other posts waiting in the wings as well, including a follow-up on a previous “story of recovery” (check out the whole series here).   I wish you all a wonderful two weeks during which I hope you’ll spend less time shopping and more time doing those things that make your heart sing (here are some ideas if you’re looking for new hobbies and interests).

12 thoughts on “August 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

  1. Somewhat similar to the idea of clothes being so psychologically and physically close to us and therefore to think of a room, I really love this idea of Lisa Pippus’ about looking at interiors, instead, to get a better picture of what you really love. I’ve been working with that, keeping a folder on my desktop of interiors I like. It is easier, somehow, to think of what interior styles evoke in me than clothing itself. I’m no kind of entertaining hostess so I thought of how I’d feel in those rooms vs what others might think of me if they visited!
    Though the link begins with an idea about curvy figures, it’s the method of style preference analysis that I wanted to link to.

    • Thanks for sharing this, Vildy! I think it would be helpful for a lot of people to look at interior styles rather than clothing. I remember Into Mind writing about creating “mood boards” and including interior and scenery images on them as well as clothing. I haven’t tried that, but it’s a good idea.

  2. What a great “grab bag” this month. Thank you for putting it together. I especially liked the “Best shopping Tip” and “Grandpa’s matches” articles. The sunset picture is so beautiful, I feel more relaxed just looking at it.

    • Since I was on my trip when these comments came in, I totally forgot about responding to them – sorry about that! I’m glad you liked the articles and my photo, Lori. It was my Facebook cover photo for many months, as it’s one of my absolute favorites!

  3. I always love the grab bag! The two that really spoke to me were the FOMO and Grandpa’s matches.

    In the FOMO, I loved the hell yes concept. I am almost always over-committed because I want to see everyone and do everything. I often end up doing things I don’t want to do. although, sometimes I do them because they are my husband’s hell yeah thing, even if they make me yawn.

    I need to dig out some of my grandma’s dishes and start using them. I have dozens of random drinking cups from both grandmas and I never use them. They’re stored in a cabinet, collecting dust.

    Enjoy your vacation!

    • I appreciate what you share your thoughts on some of the articles, Barb. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier… it wasn’t easy for me to do so on my trip and then it just slipped my mind. You know about my struggles with FOMO, as I have written about that quite a bit. I sometimes have to do yawn-inducing things that my husband loves, too. I don’t have too many family heirloom types of things in my house, but there are things I save when I should be enjoying them. That article made me think… I hope you have already started to use those cups and dishes from your grandmas!

  4. This has been very interesting. I found I’m a ‘highly successful’ highly sensitive person (via online tests including the one you linked). I employ most of the tips in the article you shared already without knowing!

    I enjoyed the FOMO article, it’s something I struggle with. I also loved the article that tells us to ask ‘can I wear this tomorrow’ when shopping. Thanks!

    • I’m glad you liked some of these articles, Meli. I haven’t heard of a “highly successful” highly sensitive person before, but I doubt I fall into that category, as I feel I’m still struggling a lot with my sensitivity. How great that you are already employing the tips in the article! Regarding “can I wear this tomorrow?”… I really need to start asking myself that. It would save me both money and the hassle of doing returns!

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