Well first let me say I am gobsmacked at how many of you sent me such lovely birthday greetings!
As Mr. GSL said it so eloquently (does he say anything NOT eloquently? I don't think so!) - it was a party that spread across 6 continents, multiple time zones and there is a rumour that disco balls sold out world-wide.
But as is the case with all excessive things in my life, I must eventually come back to the real (virtual) world!
I have been thinking about clothing and shopping for about a month now and my shopping "moratorium" is a product of that contemplation and not vice versa.
Many of you have been along for the style ride, as I neared 50, and then suddenly left work - there were so many life transitions that I began to feel and act like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
I've gotten some absolutely fantastic things from the internet and the blogsphere: friends, opportunities to learn things, easy access to shopping when I need it. But as is always the way, there are dark sides to every light side, a Mount Doom to my Bag End.
Before the internet and blogs, I had no idea what was considered "covetable". Suddenly I felt weird that I didn't know about this expensive shoe or bag or article of clothing. I always considered myself to have nice clothing and style, but here was a whole other level of shopping and price point that I had never even considered.
And then the online sales. I like a bargain as much as the next person, but was beginning to feel that each new rollout from every retailer, each new "sale", suddenly had me behaving like a bloodhound at the hunt. And since I needed more casual clothing last year, it was fun. And then it wasn't fun. Not because I couldn't afford the things I bought - in fact I spent far less in 2013 than I had in the previous ten years.
No - it wasn't the cost. It was the feeling that I had been sucked into being a consumer, acquiring things I did not really need but felt I should buy because it was such a deal or because someone else had bought it and it looked fabulous on them. I was buying a couple or four things a month and I was sick of it.
Hence the cold turkey.
And today, I looked into my closet and it wasn't pretty (this is fall/winter only):
Cluttered and unworn, a lot of it forgotten about or not loved enough to wear.
So I began to pull out things I didn't love. I pulled out 50 things. I can still do more, but this is a good start and tomorrow I am going through scarves. I am doing a Janet, getting rid of 100 things this week.
Things should buoy you up, not weigh you down, and exorcising the demons from my closet is already lightening my load. And I don't miss buying at all, because I am simply not looking.
No consignment this time - the things I don't love will all go to charity to be enjoyed by someone who needs them, which is not me.
No shopping for me to replace things gone.
My shopping plan for 2014 will utilize a completely different strategy: a set amount in April/May, a set amount in October/November.
I am not shopping sales. During my approved shopping period, if I see something I REALLY love on sale, of course I will buy it, but otherwise I will gladly pay full price from now on, since if I am unwilling to pay full-price, I should be unwilling to buy the thing in the first place. Obviously there may be the odd stray outside this time frame, but they will be rare and because of something unanticipated.
There will always be something pretty. I will not miss ANYTHING. And I will buy my things together so that I buy things that all work together, as opposed to the orphans I have in my closet. I will, in 2014, be shopping exactly like my mother shopped in 1974.
And I am pulling a page from Dani's book and dressing up a bit more starting this week. I don't want to dress corporate anymore - been there, done that - but I do miss dressing prettilyy, so will be putting on the good stuff to walk the dog. After all - if it's still in the closet, it's cause I love it...
Like yesterday's birthday outfit, LBD and creamy jewelled cardigan.
So I don't know if this will be of any help to anyone, but it has helped me to sort through all of my feelings about shopping and my wardrobe.
And I still love all your blogs about your great deals and they will give me lots of ideas so when I am ready I might know what I really want, what I really need and what I really love. Cause at 51, I ain't just going to buy something on a whim anymore or because some sales clerk tells me I look fabulous in it!
Would love to know how you instill discipline in your shopping habits?
Have a great day out there and stay safe!