I have not purchased a new item of clothing in six months and it didn’t kill me. I know, hard to believe, but here I am – breathing and walking around.
I’m officially halfway through my self-imposed One Year No New Clothes Challenge, and I’ve learned some very important lessons. It’s funny because this is the most I’ve learned from NOT doing something. Some things I kind of expected, but there are few things that were pretty eye opening.
Since people love “Top 5” lists (I do too), I’m going to list the "Top 5 Things I’ve Learned So Far." Here we go:
#1 My closet is like a 16-year-old girl’s Facebook feed – a diary of emotional highs and lows. I have really been digging into my closet over the last six months. I have pulled out items that were bought as recently as December 2016 and some that were 20 years old. And the one thing I’ve started to notice is that over half of my wardrobe was purchased during “pick me up shopping trips." Those are the shopping trips you go on because you're down or blue and just need SOMETHING to make you feel better. I’ve come to the realization that my closet (as of today) doesn’t really represent my own personal style, as much as it’s a testament to my lack of will power and shopping impulse control.
#2 Not looking into a dressing room mirror has improved my body image. How many times have we taken an armful of items into the dressing room with a smile and high expectations, only to walk out with messy hair and a resolution to start our diet on Monday? Nothing will ruin your shopping high as much as trying to squeeze into (what you think is) your size and looking like an exploded can of biscuits. That experience adds unneeded anxiety to our lives, and I don’t miss that feeling ONE BIT. It’s been great not trying clothes on! I pick an outfit out of my closet and I don’t worry about it fitting or if it looks good. For the first time in a LONG time I feel good about my body. Which is sad because I’m a size 2 to 4 and you’d think I’d never have to deal with a poor body image, but I do. We ALL do. Maybe we should stop trying to feel better in a new outfit and just start feeling comfortable in our own skin.
#3 Stitching up a ripped seam makes me feel like Martha Stewart. It’s silly but true. Since I can’t buy clothes, I’ve started repairing mine. I had a seam rip on one of my favorite sweaters. I stitched it up and felt SO accomplished! For one second the thought of making my own clothes popped into my head, but then I remembered I’m not actually Martha Stewart and there’s no need to start wasting perfectly good material.
#4 Four pieces of clothing can be worn 72 different ways. Ok, so maybe not exactly 72 different ways but pretty close. I think the problem most women suffer from is not a lack of clothing but a lack of imagination. I’ve had to get really creative with my outfits and it’s been fun to pair things together I would have never thought possible before. I follow some other women on Instagram who are also not buying clothes this year and I love seeing how creative they are with their outfits. Check out https://www.instagram.com/ melcurves - you’ll love her! Not only is she not buying clothes for one year, she’s posting all her outfits.
#5 No one cares what I’m wearing. Again, hard to believe but true. Doesn’t matter that I wore the same top twice during the work week – no one noticed and the world didn’t end. For so long I’ve been worried with how other people “see me” and if I was dressed “right." I think all of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. Wasn’t high school a never-ending question of “am I dressed cool enough”? Here I am, 20 years later, still trying to wear the same clothes the popular kids are wearing. But over the last six months, I’ve come to the most mind-blowing realization - the ONLY person who cares what I’m wearing is ME. No one else is spending their time pondering what Misty is going to wear to work today. Not shopping and not worrying about new clothes has allowed me to start working on the other areas of my life that need the attention.
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.