Shopaholic Signs, Reasons, and Recovery

I was recently interviewed by a journalism student in the UK for a piece she was writing on compulsive shopping.   That article, titled “Retail Therapy or Shopaholic,” was recently published on a site called Self London.   The piece also includes feedback from two other women, as well as a consumer psychologist and a researcher who studies shopping behavior.   The article concludes by outlining three different types of “retail therapy.”

As is often the case with journalists, I was asked quite a few questions and most of my input didn’t make it into the finished article. However, I thought that what I had to say might be of interest to the readers of this blog.  Read on for my thoughts on shopaholic signs and reasons, shopping influences, my top tips for recovery, and some highlights of my personal journey. This post is a very good encapsulation of the things I’ve been writing about on this blog for over three years now.

shopaholic causes and recovery

Does this image resemble any of your recent shopping experiences? 

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How to Determine If a Purchase Was a Good One

Last week, I posted an analysis of all of the purchases I made during the first half of this year.   I discovered that over half of these items could be considered smart buys in that I still love them and have worn them regularly.   Another 18% of my purchases were basically mistakes and have already been purged from my wardrobe, as well as five pieces (13%) that I was able to return for refunds. Rounding out my analysis were an additional five items (13%) for which the proverbial jury is still out.

Good purchase or not

How do you decide if a purchase was good or not? 

I learned through my analysis that many of my mistakes stem from settling for just okay when I should have held out for stellar, especially in terms of online purchases.  It’s definitely better to make returns, even if they can be a hassle, than to keep e-commerce buys that didn’t live up to our expectations.  Returns are often a necessary evil for those of us who like to shop online, as colors and fits can be distorted by monitor variations and strategic clothing placement on models or in displays.

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How Shopping Support Structures Can Help Us Shop More Wisely

I was apprehensive about posting my most recent accountability update, as I definitely purchased far too many new clothes during August and September.  However, the comments I received on that post were very supportive, encouraging, and helpful.   Although I could use many of these comments as launching pads for new blog posts, there was one in particular that stood out for me.

Shopping Support Structures

What tips and tricks do you use to help you shop more wisely?

Wise Words from Ellie…

A commenter named Ellie wrote the following:

  • “How can you start using your analytical approach before making purchases and maybe model for us a process of managing our shopping? I remember Jill Chivers said that setting up support structures for success was crucial in going through a shopping ban (see her guest post here). I am wondering what the support structures for success are for shopping with a purpose.”

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Cool Weather Wardrobe Planning 2015 – Part One

Within the next couple of weeks, the cool weather season is going to start for me.   I know that many of you have been pulling out your warmer clothes for weeks now, but the seasons are a bit “off” where I live.  Our summers don’t typically start until sometime in July and they generally last until late October or early November.   As such, I don’t even think much about my cool weather wardrobe until right about now.  I say “cool” instead of cold because anyone who has ever been to San Diego knows that the temperatures never really drop that low here…

In today’s post, I’m going to share the process I’ve outlined for reviewing my cool weather wardrobe and planning for any updates I need (this process can be used for any season).  In between today’s post and my next post, I will follow this process and report back on my findings.  I’m going to “walk my talk” and put my method to the test.   I hope that perhaps a few of you will do so as well so we’ll have more input on how well this works.  I’m definitely open to changes to make things easier and more successful, so your suggestions are welcomed as well.

Cool weather wardrobe planning

What process do you use for seasonal wardrobe planning?

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Does a “One In, One Out” Policy Work?

One way in which many women try to maintain a manageable wardrobe is to institute a “one in, one out” policy.  This means that each time they bring something new into their closets, they need to let go of an existing item.   In some cases, this item must come from the same category as the new piece (i.e. a dress for a dress or a long-sleeved top for a long-sleeved top), but it can also just be one for one from any wardrobe area.

one in, one out policy

When you buy something new, do you cull an existing item?

I have loosely tried to follow this policy since I started the blog, but I haven’t been very strict about it at all.  What usually ended up happening was that I noticed “closet creep” had occurred, so I spent some time going through everything and getting rid of enough items to level things out again.   But doing that doesn’t feel very deliberate, which is my theme for the year.

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