There’s a side effect to not buying any new clothes – you lose weight. How is this possible? Is it cause and effect? Is it magic? Is the universe rewarding me?
No. Simply put you lose weight because you have this epiphany, “I can’t gain weight because I can’t buy different sizes.”
Ok so maybe I don’t have the science to back this hypothesis up, but it’s what has started happing to me. I put on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a while (cause remember I need to start wearing ALL of my wardrobe) and they were tight. And not just slightly tight but more like “Oh Dear Lord I Am In Pain” tight. And then it occurs to, “I need to wear these jeans for the next year!” Dang.
That’s how it happened. I made myself wear those jeans the whole day and it was a painful reminder of my commitment to not buying clothes this year (and a reminder of how lazy I’ve been with food lately).
But isn’t this something we ALL do? Raise your hand if you have more than 3 sizes in your closet right now. Have you started to add a 4th size in there as well? I don’t know about you but I REFUSE to do that anymore! I’m NOT buying any new clothes this year and I’m NOT buying a larger size again!
Say this with me, “I will wear the clothes I have and if they get snug, I will skip the donut for breakfast!”
I don’t say all this to make you feel about yourself (or to make me feel bad about myself), I’m saying it because it’s something we’ve all been “trained” to do. If it doesn’t fit, then go get a bigger size. Easy. But what size are we now and what size to do we buy? The clothing industry has gone SO crazy with vanity sizing that we don’t even know what size we truly are anymore. Here are some cold hard facts for you:
A size 8 dress today is nearly the equivalent of a size 16 dress in 1958. And a size 8 dress of 1958 doesn't even have a modern-day equivalent — the waist and bust measurements of a Mad Men-era 8 come in smaller than today's size 00. There is NO industry standard today and manufactures define sizes as they see fit. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/08/11/the-absurdity-of-womens-clothing-sizes-in-one-chart/?utm_term=.3ea58b2df963)
While Americans are getting bigger or clothing sizes are getting smaller. Does this make any sense??? I know there are several of you who have decided to take this year off from buying new clothes as well and I’m curious if you have come to this weight/size conclusion yet. If you have, let me know. I’d love to hear if you’re diet has been effected by your buying restrictions.
On a side note: I’ve worn those jeans 3 times now and they have been a little less tight each time. I feel like this has been a HUGE win for me and I’m excited to see what other pieces of my wardrobe I’ll be fitting into by the end of the year.
I’m assuming most of you are just like me – normal. We don’t shop ‘high-fashion’ and the closest we’ve been to a fashion show is when we watch Project Runway. And since I’m not buying the latest trends from Paris it’s always been difficult for me to state “this is my style”.
So what IS my style?
Is clearance a style?
I was reading a really interesting blog recently about creating a capsule wardrobe and I could relate to much of what the writer was talking about. I don’t shop out of NEED, I shop so I can get a mood boost. I shop when I’m bummed or sad and new clothes make me feel better. But for how long?
How many times have we passed over our recent wardrobe additions and decide to wear a long time favorite instead? I know I do it. Like today, I’m wearing a sweater that I have owned for 5 years. I love this sweater. It’s comfortable, fits great and it’s a classic look. So why do we keep adding cheap emotional pieces to our closets?
I love the way this writer puts it:
“Hard day at work? Shopping! Not feeling very pretty today? Shopping! Frustrated with my family? Shopping! No wonder my closet didn’t make any sense. It reflected my emotional stress, not my style.” (http://www.un-fancy.com)
Her theory is (and it’s the theory of most people who have capsule wardrobes) is that when you narrow down your closet to just 37 pieces, you will filter out the “filler items” and what you’re left with will be YOUR style.
My style?! You mean it’s been trapped in my closet this whole time?!
Now I’m excited! Now I can’t wait to go through everything I own and find the 30+ items that I LOVE and that make up MY STYLE! That's what I'm doing this weekend and I'll make sure to post photos - so check back!
I don’t know if I’m quite ready to give up on the rest of my closet since I’m not buying any new clothes this year, but I believe filtering out items now will keep me motivated and will help me rediscover some of the lost treasures hiding in my closet.
So here’s my challenge to you this week – go to your closet and pick out your 30+ items. It’s ok if you’re not ready to make the 3 month commitment, but still pull those items out and hang them together in your closet. Try dressing from those items as much as possible over the next few months and let me know how it went!
If nothing else we'll be one step closer to discovering our "style”.
Let me state again that I am NOT a shopaholic. (I’m sure my sister just busted out laughing when she read that and is thinking, “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.”) Yes, I DO like to shop but I don’t break out into cold sweats if I’m unable to shop. But shopping does make me happy and cheers me up when I’m sad. Hmmm….
Oh God, I do have a problem.
One of my ‘happy places’ has always been Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. There’s no department I won’t go to and browse when I go there. I think it’s safe to say that 50% of closest has come from those two department stores. And I knew it would be a REAL challenge to shop there and completely avoid the clothing section. Does that mean I have to give up those two stores for the entire year?! Surely I’m stronger then that! I don’t want to give up my happy place!
Well, this last Sunday I needed spice jars. Why? Because my boyfriend freaked out when I cleaned out the pantry and threw out half of his Indian spices. Let me just say that I was COMPLETELY justified! They were all open, messy, and expired! Sorry, but I can’t live that way.
I told him that he could keep every Indian spice under the sun if they were kept in nice spice jars, and I would even go get him some. He agreed to the compromise and a few hours later I found myself in the parking lot of the TJ Maxx near my house.
I’m going to be real honest here and let y’all know that I was feeling real concern as I walked into the store. I don’t think I’ve EVER walked out of that place without some sort of clothing in my bag. My game plan for this trip was to not even look at the clothes or shoes. I would just put on my ‘mental blinders’ and head straight for the kitchen wares in the back…no side trips! I figured if I didn’t even look at the clothes I wouldn’t be tempted.
And…it worked. J
I went to the kitchen wares, found six really nice spice jars and headed to the checkout. I will admit that, like Lot’s wife, I did turn back and gaze at the racks while I was standing in line. Ugly – Don’t Need – Not My Size – Too Expensive…these are the titles I gave to the clothes I could see and strangely enough, it worked.
I felt really proud of myself as I walked to my car with my six spice jars. I didn’t impulse buy and I had no buyer’s remorse, and those are two items I always have when I leave that store. I usually walk to my car and start justifying the items I have in my bag. Really! I do that EVER single time!
I have found a great piece of advice on what to do if you cave to a moment of weakness and find yourself impulse buying. It’s called “If you slip, Save the slip.”
If You Slip, Save the Slip: If you buy something you didn't plan to buy, make sure you hang on to your sales receipts. Often, impulse purchases lead to buyer's remorse. http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-10-2010/savings_challenge_tips_for_impulse_shopping.html (check out the full article here)
Save that receipt! Hang that new dress/sweater/shirt up for at least a week (or two) and see if you’re still in love with it at a later date. If the love is gone, then return it! I promise that the buyer’s remorse will be gone and you’ll feel better about your decision. And isn’t that what we’re doing here? Working on making better decisions?
Let me leave you with bit of advice if you start to feel overwhelmed and think “I can’t make a yearlong commitment like this!” Just keep reminding yourself that your life is not going to change with one BIG decision at the beginning of every year. Your life is going to change by the thousands of LITTLE decisions we make every day, every week, and every month. You might slip and not get all those little decisions right, but there are plenty more coming and “you’ll do better next time”.
We lock eyes from across a crowded floor. My heart beats faster, I start to smile involuntarily. I make myself walk forward in a normal pace. “Don’t trip.” I say in my head. I’m there, I reach my hand out and gently grasp the hanger. I lift the black ruffled skirt from the rack and think, “LOVE! I have to have this!”
Fast forward three years.
It’s New Year’s Eve 2016 and I’m trying to decide what to wear to the big party. I pull out my dresses one by one. Too small, too big, too plain, too skimpy, too fancy, etc. I pick three to try on, one of which I have never worn before.
I hold a little fashion show for my boyfriend and he picks his favorite dress (not the one I would have picked – typical). I’m happy with the choice and I start packing up my overnight bag. I step back into my closet and go to hang up my runner up outfits.
Something ruffled and black catches my eye. I smile involuntarily. I take the party skirt from the closet rack and remember buying it three years ago, and then it hits me. I’ve NEVER worn it. Never, not once. This skirt that made me feel so much REAL love in a department store that I bought it without looking at the price – I tucked away and never wore.
You’re probably nodding your head up and down as you read this because you’ve done the same thing. I’m not alone in this sad story. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.
I remind myself of my goal for 2017 and decide ‘What better way to ring in this new year of change then by wearing this skirt. It’s time to start making use of EVERYTHING in my closet. I pull the skirt from the closet and pack it in my bag.
Dinesh and I get to our room and start getting ready for the big night ahead. I walk out in my skirt and gold sequined top (not the outfit he had picked out just an hour ago) and he smiles. He says I look great and wants to know where that skirt came from because he’s never seen it. I tell him it’s a long lost treasure from my closet.
I know “treasure” might seem like a strange word for a piece of clothing, but I paid a lot of money for that skirt, so it was a treasure to find...again. And I’m not the only person who has lost treasure in their closet - you ALL do!
A survey conducted by VoucherCloud in 2014 found that the average woman has $550 of unworn clothing in her closet. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/unworn-clothing-survey_n_5048486.html) Go ahead, I know you’re doing a mental check of what’s in your closet right now because you’re thinking there’s no way YOU have that much unworn clothing. Go look, I dear you.
Did you go look? It’s ok, no need to be upset with yourself. We ALL do it! Here’s some excellent advice from Jamie Feldman from the Huffington Post on how to avoid that kind of behavior in the future.
Next time you want to set out on a big shopping trip, take an inventory of the things you already have. Try and figure out what you actually need, and if there is anything in there that can be returned, given to friends or donated. That will give you an excuse to not only play around with the pieces in your wardrobe you may have forgotten about, but might even make you feel better about the purchases you do end up making.
I feel really good about the outfit I wore to the big New Year’s Eve party, not only because it looked cute, but because it was a step in the right direction. I know the slogan on January 1st has always been “Out with old, in with the new”, but I think in 2017 it should be “Make use of the old, and it will feel like new”.
Happy New Year! Here we are – day one of 2017 and I’m excited to see what this year has in store. Like most people, I’m confident and hopeful that I can keep all the resolutions I’ve made. I mean - who messes up resolutions on day 1? Not me! (But I almost did.)
It’s true – I almost bought a sweater today! What’s wrong with me?! Let me explain what happened.
I ran to the grocery store to pick up just a couple things and as I was walking down the Christmas clearance isle (hello – everything is 75% off right now) I spot a super cute and funny ugly Christmas sweater. I can totally wear that to the office next Christmas! I stop and look at the price (I love clearance tags), check out the size and hold two sweaters up beside each other to decide which one I like better. And then BAM it hits me! THIS is clothing…you’re buying NEW clothing. Ugh, my heart sinks.
No worries my friends, I put both sweaters back and made a bee line for the self-checkout. Whew, catastrophe adverted!
But this near shopping hick-up really hammered home the truth that buying clothes is so second nature that I even do it in the grocery store. The GROCERY store! Good Lord, who buys clothes at the grocery store?!
I knew I was going to write a blog today since it’s the first day of My Year of Hand Me Downs challenge, but I did not expect to have a near set back to write about. Yes, I do feel “irked” at myself, but I also feel worried. What if I have bitten off more than I can chew? As I was leaving the grocery store 2017 started to feel like it was going to be a long year...a very long year.
As soon as I got home I knew I needed to make some changes. I decided to delete some shopping apps from my phone. Good buy Amazon and Wish apps. Oh, I’ll still use Amazon but having it on my phone makes it SO easy to shop while standing in line or while I’m sitting in a waiting room. My last new top was purchased using my phone while I was waiting for my latte at Starbucks. It's just too easy!
I also unsubscribed to 10 store email lists. Got to be honest here – it wasn’t easy unsubscribing. My first thought was “how will I hear about sales and special discount codes?”. Omg, I LOVE discount codes. As I sit here and write this I’m still wondering what amazing discount codes I’m missing out on. Sad, so sad.
So there you have it. The journey begins. I admit it was a bumpier start then I expected, but at least I'm heading in the right direction.
Day 1: New clothing purchased - 0
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.