Buying clothes can be a hassle. “I see it, I like it, I want it, I buy it” may be an approach that works for Ariana Grande her A-Lister buddies, but those on minimum wage find it hard to imagine such a lifestyle. Not only is it expensive to buy clothes, but you quickly end up with a closet struggling to shut.
In 2018, I decided that enough was enough. I would buy clothes no longer. I had compulsively shopped for the last time. No matter the sale or coupon deal, I was going to detox myself for a year. I had no idea what to the outcome would be, or if I could even make this promise last.
1. My Closet Is A Jungle
So, what was I going to wear in 2018? I guess I should re-open that closet and have a investigate. Much easier said than done. Once I had finally dug myself out of the clothes-avalanche that had ensued, I found quite a lot of pieces I had forgotten about. Tacky t-shirts, jeans with far too many holes in them, and skirts I hadn’t seen since the mid-2000’s. These items were forgotten for good reason. Luckily, items you don’t wear can easily be donated. The “Konmari” method is always useful. Just yeet away anything that doesn’t “spark joy” to your local charity shop. Make sure you check the guidelines for the store before you do. One man’s junk isn’t always another’s treasure; no-one wants your old socks. Alternatively, get together with your friends and have a clothes swap. It’s a great way to get new items without spending a cent.
2. …But I Still Don’t Know What To Wear
What remains after your clothes cull is your new wardrobe. They should present a good reflection of how your individual style, as well as some items that you just can’t bear to part from. These much-loved pieces can be up-cycled into new outfits you haven’t tried before. A dress you bought a size-up could be saved by that belt you forgot you owned. Or if in doubt, wear some very large earrings. These will draw attention to your beautiful face instead.
3. Cash Money
The most significant difference you’ll see are the dollars sitting in your bank account. Prior to this experiment, I would buy clothes that were cheap, mass-produced, and dated rapidly. I thought I was saving money, but the costs add up. Taking a year off buying clothes may seem like a short-term solution to saving money, but it changes your attitude to buying clothes in the long-term.
4. Quality Not Quantity
I began to keep in mind clothes to buy once my ban was over. They were clothes that I needed, or items that I loved the look of, regardless of what was trending at the time. When your favorite shoes get holes in them, you begin to plan to purchase an expensive yet high quality replacement, rather than a cheap set. I want to buy clothes that will last. This approach to shopping is less wasteful, and ensures everything you buy is something you love and have worked hard for, rather than something in clearance that caught your eye for all of two seconds.
So, what has changed after a year? I can finally go window-shopping without feeling compelled to buy clothes or shoes. I can “see it” and “like it“, but I don’t necessarily “want it”. Maybe some have never struggled with this issue, but I’ve saved money, reduced my wardrobe, and every outfit I wear is now composed of items that are of quality and I’ll still be wearing for years to come.
I would highly recommend a shopping detox to anyone who’s struggling to open their closet, or check their bank balance without weeping. Tag your friend in the comments below if this applies to them!
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Hi, I'm Kelsey! I'm studying a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne. In my spare time, I like to read, get distracted by YouTube videos, and browse Instagram all day long.