Before I dive into today’s post, I want to give you a heads up about my recent appearance on “I Can’t Stop Spending,” a podcast about recovery from compulsive spending, shopping, and debting. This podcast is run by Susan B, who wrote a guest post here earlier this year titled, “Debtors Anonymous is Not Just for Debtors.”
Susan and I talked about my compulsive shopping history, when and how I created this blog, some of the rules I follow to manage my shopping, and how I went from out of control spending to being able to stick to a budget for four years now. To listen to this podcast (it’s 42 minutes long), click here. I also recommend that you listen to Susan’s earlier episodes, as she offers a lot of practical tips and inspiration to help those of us who struggle with overshopping.
Many people struggle with shopping around the holidays – and all the time…
At the end of September, prior to attending Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour,” I decided to put together a hypothetical Project 333 summer capsule. I wrote a blog post about this and concluded that it would be useful to try out that capsule during October, as warm weather where I live usually continues until at least early November and sometimes longer (our cool weather started just a week ago!).
I reasoned that if nothing else, I’d learn some useful things about myself and my wardrobe through doing a short version of Project 333 (even if not the full three months that it’s intended to be). In today’s post, I share my thoughts on that experience, as well as about how I’m revisiting the “Love it, Wear it” Challenge (LIWI) that I did during the full year of 2015.
Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe challenge?
Most people don’t understand the damage the garment industry is doing to the environment and to the people in developing countries who make our clothes. The world now consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing each year, which is up 400% from two decades ago, and the average American throws away more than 65 pounds of clothes each year! Over 60 million people are employed in the global clothing and footwear sector and most of them make less than half of what’s considered a “living wage” in their countries. These are just a few of the staggering – and sobering – statistics I recently read about in an article that was posted on Facebook.
The current fashion industry model is not sustainable and urgent changes are needed, as explained in the 2015 documentary film, “The True Cost.” I recently learned of a sustainable fashion initiative called #30wears that was started by sustainable fashion advocate, Livia Firth (wife of Oscar-winning actor, Colin Firth). This movement strives to counter the wastefulness of “fast fashion” by focusing on buying quality pieces that we will wear at least thirty times before we discard them. Simply asking ourselves, “Will I wear this a minimum of thirty times?” while we’re shopping can help us to make choices that are better for the world at large as well as our closets.
Earlier this year, I started a new feature in which I review my purchases a year later to see how well (or not) they have worked out for me. Most of the time, these purchase updates will encompass two or three months, and today I’m going to look back at the items I bought from August through October of last year. I definitely bought far too many items last August through October, so there will be a lot to cover in this update!
How do you feel about the purchases you made a year ago?
I will share some basic numbers, let you know what I still own, and reflect on which purchases were good and bad and why. I’ll close this update by encapsulating the lessons I learned from reviewing the items I purchased a year ago. I hope that reading this post will inspire you to take a look at your past purchases to see how well they’re serving you – or not. Taking the time to do such a review can be quite eye-opening and is well worth doing.
A little over a month ago, I posted a long overdue update on my wardrobe and shopping goals for 2016. That update covered my budget, item limit, frequency of wear, a basic overview of what I bought, and my goals for the remainder of the year. I had also planned to review my progress with the shopping list I created back in February, but the post just got too long. As I feel that it will be helpful to look at my shopping priorities and how I have or haven’t addressed them, that will be the focus of today’s post.
How have you done with your shopping priorities for 2016?
A Cautionary Tale – Don’t Do What I Did
Before I delve into a discussion of my shopping list and what I’ve bought, I want to say a few things. First of all, I think that if we go through the trouble of creating a shopping priorities list, we really need to be reviewing it on at least a monthly basis. That way, we’ll be much less likely to get off-track with our purchases. Of course, it’s perfectly understandable that we may need to make some revisions to our list, as many things are subject to change in our lives, including our bodies, our lifestyles, and what we are and aren’t wearing. I would never be one to advocate rigid adherence to what one planned many months ago.