Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Twenty-Eight (and not shopping)


Works Cited
pants: gap
top: ruche
sweater: j crew
wedges: clarks
bangles: bought in new mexico

This is a simple outfit for a day polishing up my syllabus, sitting in a super air-conditioned office, and surviving some meetings. I am loving the versatility of this top, which I've been wearing like a tunic (like here) and tucked into skirts and shorts. This outfit isn't particularly exciting but I love the color combination of olive and teal--I like how the greens are in the same color range but the combination is a bit jarring.


I'm finally getting close to the end of the 30 for 30 and thus, close to the end of the ban on shopping. I went on a shopping ban once before--for four months or so in college. My reasoning in college was that I was buying items because I thought they would make me happier--I would tell myself "If only I had this sweater, then I could feel good about this outfit and be happy." Of course, clothes can't make you happy and once I realized that all I was looking for was contentment, it was easy to stop shopping and look for fun elsewhere.

This ban was far more fun than I anticipated. I don't have much money to shop with in the first place (thank you, public universities, for so generously funding your young teachers), but I do pick inexpensive things up every few weeks, which has resulted in a closet full of things I sometimes feel ho-hum about.

Seven weeks of not-shopping-at-all later, I feel palpable relief. After the first few days, I didn't think about acquiring new things. I didn't browse online or in stores; I occupied myself with different things--reading new books, backpacking, sorting through and purging the clothes I don't wear often enough. It was so liberating to work with fewer items in my closet that I've decided to purge lots and lots of what I don't wear, so that only items I love remain. And I think I'm going to keep going on this not shopping thing (with maybe a brief hiatus for the annual back-to-school outfit trip with my sister). I thought I would feel constricted being unable to shop, but in fact, it's the opposite. I feel freed by my resolve not to buy.

Have you ever gone on a not-shopping ban? How did you feel? I'm really curious!


Clare said...

I've been on a self-imposed shopping ban for a couple of months now, and I love it, to be honest. Once I realized that I was buying just for the sake of buying, and once I realized that there are very real, very big things happening in my life which my money could be better put towards, I don't even really have the urge to shop that much. Of course, there are occasional things that I wish I had (I had a dream about getting a gorgeous olive-colored silk blouse in the mail last night), but for the most part I'm pretty happy with not spending money on clothes.

Anyway, that was more lengthy than I planned on being, but I also wanted to mention how crazy I am about this color combination. You're right that it's a bit off-putting, but in a fabulous way!

Work With What You've Got said...

I hated being on a ban. Money or no, the ban made me feel super restricted and I just did not enjoy it.

I do love this look on you, top to bottom. I love all your wedges.


The olive & teal combo is positively striking! And I've never gone on a shopping fast, but it sounds like it's been positive for a lot of people, so I will have to try it when my lowly stipend kicks in. I'm cleansing right now, too, and it does feel good to get rid of closet waste (don't ask why I felt the need to throw all the diet analogies in there)!

S@sha said...

I really like the proportions and colors of this outfit.

I think being so rigid as to call it a ban can make not shopping hard. Just trying to become very conscious when shopping has worked for me. I try to think about how I'll wear something, what materials it's made of, how it will hold up, where and how it was made, etc. Thinking ethically & sustainably eliminates my desire to buy most cheap clothing and that's half the battle since a lot of things that I don't wear often I ended up buying because they were on super sale or just super cheap to begin with. Also, I pretty much let myself buy whatever I want when thrifting. Since its new to me and totally unique it satisfies all shopping cravings. Except that now that the seasons are changing I really want new lipstick! Can't thrift that.

Miki's scrapbook said...

I didn't know what a bangle was until today, haha. That top is amazing.



Plummy said...

I've been on two shopping bans. The first (about six weeks) I enjoyed, because I was at University in a small town and there weren't a ton of shopping opportunities anyways, to tell you the truth. My shopping and online shopping fell to the wayside as I spent more time with friends, truly went through my wardrobe, and re-evaluated what I wanted to lug around with me on my numerous moves. My second (three weeks) just ended and it was much harder and not as much fun. I just moved to a big city from my tiny college town and there are so many thrift shopping opportunities it was hard to pass them up. Added in the fact that since I just moved, I don't have many friends here yet and thrift shopping is a lovely way to pass the time when you are by I'm starting a new job and I've been having fun shopping for my 'professional' wardrobe...not as much fun, by far.

Lauren said...

I love this outfit - I think it's one of my favorites. I just really, really love that color combination and how it pops with the black pants - and that you paired it with grey sandals! It's so simply chic - just love it!

Small Time Style

Sidewalk Chalk said...

This is one of my absolute favorite outfits you've ever worn. That color combo is so striking and just so beautiful.

I went on a shopping ban during my Dress Project. At first it was really hard but then I stopped caring so much about wanting to buy things. Having to rotate through all my dresses really made me appreciate them more, too. My second ban was unsuccessful, however -- with the stress of the move and wrapping things up at my job location, I wanted to get more thrift/vintage items at my favorite thrift stores, which were near my now-previous apartment.

Major props to you for keeping a ban going on.

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

Yes, Joann I totally agree!
I'm with many of you that thrifting is a more acceptable form of shopping (though I've even refrained from that!). I'm very all-or-nothing so the ban has probably been easier than trying to limit myself.

eek said...

Fabulous outfit - I love the mix of the different colors.

I have been enjoying my pseudo shopping ban over the past 30 days (I have 12 more to go). I agree - having a limited wardrobe definitely makes it easier to get dressed in the morning. This challenge has also made me think it's better to buy something you love that can be worn multiple ways.

I have been enjoying your remixes. Can't wait to see the recap!

Sal said...

I know just what you mean about the relief. I did a six month ban, and it made me realize that I make CONSTANT tiny bargains with myself about spending money on clothes. It was nice to take a break.

Also, just loving this bright-and-dark mix!

The Coastal Chicster said...

i'm on a shopping ban right now. ever since i started my blog (and especiallly since i started posting outfits on my blog), i think i've gotten a little out of control with the shopping. in my defense, i've made a lot of money re-selling what i don't wear anymore in consignment stores and on eBay, but i'm trying to curb the shopping at least until October. i've already got a few new things for fall, and i'd like to stop buying new stuff until it gets cool enought outside for me to wear the new things i already have. :)

Bad Taste Toast said...

I love the bright cardi with the top, very cute! Oh my, I never put myself on a shopping ban, I think I'd die ;)

Sarah said...

When I was doing an Americorps year, I had a very small stipend and so did a shopping ban of sorts. I only let myself buy clothes at thrift stores. You're absolutely right; it felt very freeing to avoid the mall and get creative with what I owned. When I did let myself go back into "regular" stores, I was very choosy about what I would spend my precious pocket money on. After reading all the comments here I'm thinking it might be time for another ban.

tastymoog said...

i am very conscious of what, where and how much i purchase so shopping bans don't work for me because i already have certain criteria in place, and it all starts to feel like a punishment instead of a lifestyle.

after my most recent bout of unemployment, though, i did go a little overboard because i felt like i "deserved" some newer/nicer things, after being broke for so long. now, i'm back to my more discerning and frugal ways.

Beth Ellen said...

I'm on a partial shopping ban right now. It's mostly a ban of cutting out the frivolous clothes I don't need from my life. If I find a really nice classic piece I'll wear for years at a good price I'll buy it, but I have to wait at least a couple days and think of a bunch of ways to use it. I'm also a poor grad student at a public university in one of the most expensive cities in America so no matter what I only get about fifty bucks a month for clothes if I budget really well.

Melanie said...

Cute tunic! It's so pretty.

I don't shop thaat often right now. I feel like it's easier to just not go to the mall than make a concentrated effort on a shopping ban. I feel like the ban would make me just want to go to the mall or shop online in spite of myself.


La Historiadora de Moda said...

You look so pretty in this color palette and the tunic is adorable!

I was on a shopping ban for the first 3.5 months of this year, and it was hard but it was good for me in a lot of ways. My ban was quite restrictive (no clothes, accessories, music, books, etc.) so I think if I did it again I would allow myself a small budget for music and accessories or thrifted clothing only.

Rosiecat said...

I like all the discussion here today about shopping--or not! I've definitely found that when I am worried most about money, I want to shop more than usual. Last year was a really expensive year for me--finishing grad school, moving, doctor's bills--and worrying about spending all that money made me feel crazy. After finishing school, I felt I deserved some nicer things, but I was nervous about spending money. It was only after things calmed down that I was able to look at my budget realistically and make some good decisions about what I really wanted and needed. Stress and decision-making are a bad combination!

Healthy and Homemade said...

I'm in love with that top.

Good for you being on a shopping ban. I've never needed one personally since I'll go for months and months without buying a single thing. Then maybe when a new season rolls around I'll get a couple of new items that might be in style, or that I need to replace old worn out things.

It's happened before where I've gotten a little slap happy on and bought 5 news pairs of $15 shoes, but I've been good about not even looking lately.

Meg! said...

Damn, I wish I could voluntarily put myself on a shopping ban. The second I get a job, I'm banning myself from NOT shopping. ;)

I love that cardi and the top together, tho; you're right, the colors create an interesting combo.

Natasha xoxo said...

I would have never though to pair that green with the tank... but it complements so well.

natasha @ twenty-something blog

Jasmine said...

my 21 for 21 challenge was the only successful shopping ban i've been on and it went really well actually! two weeks after i've finished i still haven't gone crazy in stores or online, or writing long wish lists for myself in my head. it feels amazing and liberating to not be confined by all these wants but to finally be free to create outfits with things i already have :)

Carissa said...

you look sweet <3

Jill said...

I haven't been shopping on a regular basis in a long time, but it's not really a ban so much as simple necessity (tight budget). I'm in the middle of moving though, and purging so many of my clothes was really liberating. I'm inspired to challenge myself and only buy second-hand and vintage goods for the next six months, because not only is it better for my budget, but it's more green, and will force me to be more creative and mindful of how I spend my money. Don't worry--I'll be chronicling it all on my blog.

Looks and Books

heidiluxe said...

i've done a no shopping and a no sugar ban. both hard but great once i got into the swing of things. both helped me decipher my emotions, my reasons for buying and my reasons for eating. both are important and good in turn, but both can be self-medicating.

orchidsinbuttonholes said...

I love that color pairing - the green with that shade of blue. It's unexpected and gorgeous.

I love, too, that the break from shopping made you feel free, and that you want to continue it instead of rushing back to shopping. It sounds like your time away from shopping has given you a sense of balance, which is a wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing this with us - it's an inspiration.

Jinah said...

Love this shade of olivey chartreuse on you! And your thoughts on shopping bans have really got me thinking. Thanks for the insight!

Breenah said...

I haven't been clothes shopping in so long it feels like I'm on a ban!
LOVE the colors of the sweater and top together.

Kyla said...

I LOOOOVE that top! And combination of the teal and chartreuse is amazing! I don't think I have either of these colors in my closet. That needs to be remedied. This is great right down to your toes - the shoes are perfect!

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