We’d like to give a warm welcome to our very first guest blogger- Kate Elliott. She has committed herself to ‘no new clothes for 2016’. She writes:
My top tip, if you want to try the challenge of not buying clothes, is not to go shopping. Either in person, or on the internet. It will be much harder to resist that pretty top, those bargain jeans, those perfect boots, once you know they’re out there. In your size. With your name on.
But if you resist browsing, you can be relatively content with your existing wardrobe. I’ve rediscovered several items, now that my choices have narrowed. And in a way that makes choosing what to wear easier. Less choice makes it more simple. (If you want to take this further, check out ‘capsule wardrobes’ via the internet.) As I sit here, I’m wearing a cardigan I’ve had for at least 10 years. I nearly gave it to charity. But one day I wore it, wanting a change, and since then I’ve enjoyed wearing it again.
So, why have I decided to do this, for a year? Well, I tried it in 2014. I fell off the wagon a couple of times, but I bought very few clothes. My shopping habit was arrested, and although I did allow myself to buy clothes in 2015, I had broken the buying expectation. I only bought what I really needed. Or wanted. Every purchase was carefully considered. No impulse buys. And no spur-of-the-moment – and often costly – mistakes.
I tried it then – and am doing it now – to buck the consumerist trend of buying stuff I don’t actually need. L’Oreal and its ‘because I’m worth it’ ad campaign has a lot to answer for. A treat is no longer a treat (dictionary definition: ‘an item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure; a delightful surprise; a special occasion.’) No, a treat is now a daily right. Why should I save up, or wait for that dress, those shoes, that mini-break, that cappuccino, that new phone? I can have it right now. In fact I deserve it. Right now.
Matthew 6: 19 cautions against this: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy…”
I’ve had my share of moth-eaten scarves and jumpers. And in the end, my wardrobe is only so big. There is only one of me. I can only wear one set of clothes at a time. So, I will try to practise self-control with regard to buying clothes. Which could mean that in the post-Christmas sales at the beginning of 2017, shopping may be a real treat again, and anything I buy, properly special.
And in the meantime, I have more time on my hands. This week’s (9 March) House of Commons defeat of the government bill to relax Sunday trading hours – and Labour’s ‘Keep Sunday Special’ campaign – indicate that many people, including the majority of MPs, think Sundays should indeed be protected.
So, if your shopping habit (replace with your own vice: technology; eating out; sports gear; books; cars; holidays – anything that has taken over your spending) needs to be re-set, why not have a go? It could give you a whole new perspective. And a lot more free time – what’s not to like?