October 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

It’s almost the end of October, 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). 

Pacific Beach sunset

A beautiful October sunset in Pacific Beach at the historic Crystal Pier. 

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 smile or 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, from a recent evening in Pacific Beach, which is about 15 minutes from where I live.  I will be posting more photos from that beautiful night shortly.   In the meantime, you can check out my previous “photography interlude” blog posts, in which I have shared photos from some of my favorite locations.  I’ve also posted over a hundred images on Instagram and hope to get back to sharing my photographs there again soon, so I invite you to follow me if you’re interested in seeing more.

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 on responsible shopping and wardrobe management. 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

  • Style and Focus– One thing I love about the blog Mejorar is how open and honest the writer is in sharing her wardrobe and shopping issues. Although I’m much older than her, I identify with much of what she has to say, including this post about style, comparing ourselves to others, and feeling inadequate.  This blogger is lovely, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling “less than” in her clothes, which often leads to shopping binges. While she has been able to shift her focus in a positive direction as of late, she’s found that she cycles through phases with both her feelings and her shopping.  In this post, she captured so much of how I feel and I’m guessing a lot of you will also relate to her sentiments.
  • Giving Up the Fantasy Lifestyle – One reason why many of us have unworn clothing in our closets is that we shop for a fantasy lifestyle. I’m definitely guilty of this in that I purchase lots of “out and about” clothes when I spend most of my time at home.  Like me, Tartan Brunette set a goal for this year to dress more for her real life, as well as for the weather where she lives in the UK.  I enjoyed reading her thoughts on fantasy versus real-life wardrobes and I think you will, too.
  • How to Set (and Stick To) a Clothing Budget” –In many of my posts, I have mentioned my clothing budget and how I’m doing with sticking to it, but I don’t think I’ve ever outlined how to set one for yourself. This article from 40+ Style does just that and also provides useful tips for making sure you can adhere to your budget over the course of the year.

On Wardrobe Management

  • 30-Day Closet Confidence Challenge” – Anuschka Rees of Into Mind was recently asked in an interview why so many women are unhappy with their closets. She replied with one simple word, “confidence.”  Many of us just don’t want to attract attention to ourselves because we don’t feel pretty or thin enough.  To help counteract this wardrobe self-esteem issue, Anuschka created a 30-day challenge, with a closet confidence assignment for each day.  If you like this post, you’ll likely love Anuschka’s book, “The Curated Closet.”  I recently started reading it and am really enjoying it thus far.  I’ve read a lot of books on wardrobe and style and this one is definitely at the top of the heap.
  • Shop Your Wardrobe First– Before we rush out to buy new clothes, we should first take some time to review our closets, as we often already have what we need and have simply forgotten about it. In many cases, our “wardrobe holes” are imaginary and we end up purchasing duplicates without realizing it.  This article and video from Inside Out Style expand upon this topic and underscore the value of shopping our wardrobes first and foremost.  If you want more tips and information on this topic, check out my dedicated useful links post from 2013.
  • How I Pack Light” – Janice of The Vivienne Files travels frequently and has become a master at packing light. While she has written quite a few posts on mastering which clothes to take along on a trip (see her packing archive here), this article focuses more on the rest of the stuff we include in our suitcases, including our toiletry items, make-up, and shoes.  Also featured are packing cube options for keeping our travel items well-organized.

On Style

  • How to Motivate Yourself to Dress Cute Even if You are Just Going to Be Around the House– If you’re like me and spend a lot of time at home, you may find yourself falling into a wardrobe rut. The topic of at-home clothing has been explored here before (see Terra’s and my posts from last year), but this article from Unfancy adds some new points to the discussion.  I like her suggestion for dressing in “levels” to make it easier to close the gap between the way we dress at home and when we go out.
  • 5 Steps to Building Your Style from Ground Zero– Even if you have a pretty good sense of your personal style, you can still benefit from this comprehensive article from Inside Out Style, which also links to additional resources on the topic. This post is an excellent go-to resource for anyone who is looking to improve their style quotient. I especially like the first tip on selecting style words, but I also suggest choosing some “anti-style” words like my guest poster Barb did when overhauling her style a few years back (see her Phase 2).
  • What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You?” – This fun infographic from College Match Up outlines key characteristics that are associated with eleven different colors. I checked out my two go-to hues, black and blue, and saw some resonance in the personality traits that were mentioned, so maybe there’s something to this.  Also included are favorite colors by gender (now where is the love for black?!) and a few random facts about different colors (I’m glad I have the safest car color!).

On Other Topics

  • GPS from the Twilight Zone” – We all have an inner critic inside our heads who tells us we can’t change and that what we want in life is impossible. Geneen Roth calls this saboteur “The Voice” and gives us some excellent advice on how to free ourselves from its grip.  I really resonated with this article, as I tend to be overly harsh and critical towards myself. While Geneen Roth is known for her work with compulsive overeaters, many of her concepts and solutions can be successfully applied for other compulsive behavior issues, including shopping.
  • The Benefits of Minimalism– Minimalism isn’t just about decluttering and getting rid of “stuff.” Sure, downsizing our possessions is an important part of embracing a minimalist mindset, but there are many other valuable benefits we can receive.  The Minimalists highlight five of the most important side effects they’ve noticed since beginning their life simplification journey almost seven years ago.
  • Maybe This is Your Wake-up Call– Ten years ago, Courtney Carver of Be More With Less was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which served as a powerful wake-up call for her to transform her life. However, a life-threatening illness is not the only type of wake-up call we can receive.  Sometimes the inner nudge is more subtle, but it can be just as transformative.  Courtney offers some examples of potential wake-up calls and challenges us to take them seriously.  

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).  The articles below were published in October 2013, 2014, or 2015. 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.

  • Decisions, Decisions… The Keep or Purge Question– Even those who don’t struggle with overshopping often have too many clothes in their closets and are looking to pare down. This October 2013 post features five powerful questions to help you decide what should stay and what should go.  There are some helpful questions from readers in the comments section as well, so be sure to check those out if you’d like additional advice.
  • Life’s Too Short to Settle and Wear Things Out of Guilt!– Have you ever had a night out ruined because of what you were wearing? That has happened to me far too many times! After one such occasion in October 2014, I shared my thoughts on the experience and what it taught me.  I also made a vow to only wear things in which I feel attractive, comfortable, and true to my style.  I haven’t adhered to this vow 100% since that time, but I am recommitting to it now because it makes such a big difference.  I hope you will join me in this pledge!
  • How Shopping Support Structures Can Help Us Shop More Wisely– A year ago, I shared some excellent advice from blog commenters and members of my private Facebook group on practices that we can put in place to help us shop smarter, make better buying decisions, and avoid going on shopping “binges.” The suggestions included are so varied that I’m sure at least one or two will resonate with you.  I’m going to choose a few new tips to try for the coming months, as I’m basically staying away from shopping for the rest of the year.


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!   Some upcoming posts will include tips from readers on where to buy quality t-shirts and knits (a follow-up to my last post), an update on my gray hair transition, another photography interlude, and an update on the most popular post ever published on this blog.  Stay tuned…

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