A Pragmatic, Multi-Phased Approach to a Workable Wardrobe

The following is a guest post from Barb, who agreed to share her “story of recovery” with all of you.  Barb is an active member of my private Facebook group, where she shared her story about downsizing her wardrobe and upping her style quotient via a multi-phase system over the past two-plus years.  I thought Barb’s pragmatic approach would be both educational and inspiring for readers of “Recovering Shopaholic,” so I asked if she would be willing to share her story and some of her lovely outfit photos with us.

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.


A 65% Wardrobe Reduction in 2.5 Years!

I’m so flattered that Debbie asked me to share my story of recovering.  I say “recovering” because although I’ve made great progress, I feel as though I’m not finished yet.  The crux of my story is that I went from 478 clothing items in mid-2013 to just 164 at the end of 2015.  I feel it’s important for me to mention a few things at the outset. This significant closet downsizing didn’t happen overnight; I started paring down in 2013.  In addition, an integral part of the process was defining my style and shopping strategy.  This post describes how I handled reducing my clothing.  Shoes are a different story altogether…  Finally, I don’t have clothes in multiple sizes to address.  I have worn the same size since 2011.

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From Compulsive eBay Buyer to Self-Trusting, Balanced Shopper

The following is a guest post from Tonya, a longtime reader of this blog who has agreed to share her “story of recovery” with all of you.  Tonya is an active member of my private Facebook group, where she recently shared her story about downsizing her wardrobe, shopping smarter, and honing her style.  I thought what she had to say would be inspiring for all readers of “Recovering Shopaholic.” I asked if she would be willing to expand upon her story and share some before and after closet photos.

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.


Getting My “Fix” Without Going Back into Debt

I first found Debbie’s blog in May of 2013.  Up to that point, the only resources that I had found were a couple of bloggers doing shopping bans, debt blogs, and questions to ask yourself to find out if you were a shopaholic.  I had gotten myself out of debt, cut my spending by about a third, had a closet stuffed with 500-600 items, and discovered eBay.  You can buy an awful lot for a small amount of money there.  I was able to get my “fix” without going back into debt.

Closet overload

Is your closet stuffed yet you keep buying more and more? 

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How Minimalism Helped Me Find My Authentic Style

The following is a guest post from Megan, who agreed to share her “story of recovery” with all of you.  Megan is a member of my private Facebook group, where shared comments about her wardrobe and style evolution that I thought would be inspiring for all readers of “Recovering Shopaholic.” I asked her if she’d be willing to expand upon her story so we could all learn from her experience, and this post is the result. 

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.


“I Hate Everything in My Closet!”

Minimalist Wardrobe

This wasn’t what my closet looked like when I started my journey!

My story started with a prolonged mental state of “I hate everything in my closet!” I remember that I was running late all the time because it took me forever to get dressed, and I still felt unhappy when I finally did get out the door. I melted down in the middle of great vacation trips because I was not wearing appropriate clothes. I was constantly in the “shopping cycle” but had no good outfits to show for it.

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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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Overcoming Debt and Improving Family Life in a Few Short Months

The following was posted in the comments section of my “August Grab Bag of Useful Links” post by a reader named Gabby, who shared her recent success with shopping less, overcoming debt, and reclaiming family life.   Although some of you may have read her comment, I thought it merited higher visibility as part of my “Stories of Recovery” series, especially since we haven’t had an installment in that series for a while.  I have done some light editing of Gabby’s words and moved things around a bit for impact, but the essence of her inspiring tale remains the same.

Summer family picnic

Gabby focused on summer fun with her family instead of shopping.

If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.  Since I’m taking a modified blogging break during September, I’m especially interested in any content you’d like to contribute here this month.

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How to Successfully Shop for Clothes on eBay

The following is a guest post from Margaret, who is one of the readers of this blog. Margaret lives in New York City and is a lover of style, fashion and interior design. She describes her personal style as an eclectic mix of menswear classic, vintage feminine, and quirky relaxed creative. When not studying for school, she enjoys lifting heavy things, watching interesting TV shows, anime, ballroom dance shows, and reading. 


Having grown up during the period of the internet, I have always been quite comfortable with shopping for items online. One of my very first eBay purchases was actually an antique early 1900s French-made chinoiserie wardrobe that cost me less than the price of an IKEA Pax system and is an item that I greatly treasure today for its function, craftsmanship, and beauty.

I want to begin exploring this topic by first providing some examples of advantages to shopping on eBay and shopping online in general versus shopping in brick and mortar shops. I will also provide a list of disadvantages to shopping on eBay and the ways in which I minimize those disadvantages.

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The Clothes We Wear at Home

The following is a guest post from Terra Trevor, author, essayist, memoirist and nonfiction writer of a widely published diverse body of work, who believes good humor is more attractive than good clothes that hang in the closet and are seldom worn.

Terra has cultivated a small workable wardrobe, with a spotlight on her full life and the clothes she wears at home. Visit her at terratrevor.blogspot.com.

Terra Trevor

Terra Trevor, enjoying her life and her workable wardrobe

It was one of those days. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and change my clothes. A heavy July fog rolled in and I was so tired I decided to put on my bathrobe. After dinner my husband sliced watermelon. It was my turn to wash the dishes. What could it possibly hurt, I thought, if I left the dirty dishes sitting on the table for a while? We generally kept our house clean, yet on this day the rest of the house was a mess, with sandy beach towels, the picnic basket and cooler from a pleasure-filled weekend strewn in the hall, so I decided to let the kitchen go, too. What I really wanted to do was read my book.

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