The 10 Truths of “6 Months No Shopping”

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Forgive my absence. Instead of rushing to recap my no-shopping challenge, I went on a little vacation to San Francisco (sans kids/avec shopping!) and kind of put the post on the back burner! But, I’m all in now!

My loyal followers know I didn’t technically “not shop.” I need to clarify since someone (who will remain nameless, but I may or may not be married to him) accuses me of being shady for accumulating a few things for free during the 6 month challenge. But as I mentioned when this challenge started, my goal was to not spend money on clothes and not repeat any outfits. I achieved both. Yes, I was able to accept gifts and shop with coupons and gift cards, but I did not spend any money! And yes, I repeated clothing items, but I did not repeat any entire looks!

So, this “no shopping challenge” I loonily gave myself was quite the eye-opening experience. It was strictly self serving–a mission to curb my spending after going on a bit of a shopping binge in December and January. But things evolved from it that I never expected…some good, some bad.

1. I didn’t save money like I hoped. So, you’d think I’d be rolling in the dough with all of that “no spending” I was doing, right? Wrong. (insert sad face emoji here) It’s pretty shameful to admit, but I didn’t really save money by not shopping. I did, however, spend more money on other things. I took the kids out to eat a LOT more than we usually do and that adds up REALLY quickly.  I’m not in denial that I’m more of a “spender” than a “saver.” So, I need to figure out a way to reign that in and be more responsible. If you have faced a similar struggle and have rehabilitated yourself, please feel free to share!!

That pretty much sums up the bad! While it’s only one thing, it’s a doozy. I should probably do a “6 months no restaurants challenge,” but honestly, I know I’d fail miserably at that!

2. I was an inspiration, apparently. I hate to type that out because it sounds like I’m Oprah-tizing myself, but it is one thing that came out of these six months that I did NOT expect. But people on Instagram and other bloggers were extremely uplifting and gave me so much positive feedback! Some said I even inspired them to go on their own “no shopping” challenge! I can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support and encouragement along the way! I particularly want to recognize my IG friend, Tess (IG: @thague611)! She joined in for the last three months and she did AMAZING! Thanks for joining!

3. I learned how to be even more resourceful! I utilized coupons, rewards, gift cards and holidays (Mother’s Day) to get some swag. I thought for sure I’d go through all of my gift cards and Banana Republic rewards in no time. But, I actually left several gift cards untouched during the six months. Everything I got, without reaching into my own bank account, is pictured below.

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4. My closet is deeper than I thought. I had several people tell me they’d never be able to go 6 months without repeating an outfit, so I started to become a bit concerned that I’d be able to pull it off. I don’t have closets full of clothes. Just one 😉 And I never did a full tally of items in my closet. I just dove in, hoped for the best and monitored what I wore on Facebook and Instagram.

I did have a close call for a couple of potential outfit repeats, though.

 

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5. The Goodwill pile got attractive. I guess it’s like how some girls dump a guy out of boredom, so they toss the guy to the side, but continue to string him along in case nothing better comes along (not that I’ve ever done that!)! Then you realize he’s not so bad after all and you bring him back in! Poor guy. That poor guy was my trusty Goodwill pile. I realized there were some things lingering in there that were worth a comeback, at least for now: the sheer “snakeskin” print top on the left and the black bolero/shrug. I also resurrected a couple of other tops that I wore after the challenge ended: the green top and the off-the-shoulder top.

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6. The Goodwill pile needs to expand.  Believe it or not, there were still some things in my closet that never got touched! So, if I can go six months without wearing them (on top of not repeating outfits), I probably need to cut those strings and let those pieces go. The items I didn’t wear are either too tight, totally dated or they are just simply too boring. We all have those things we just can’t seem to let go of for some reason, and it’s time for this girl to get a reality check! It’s time to Let go and Let Goodwill.

7. I have a decent stockpile of classics. By classics I don’t even mean black pants, black pencil skirt, black pumps and white blouse. I realized I don’t even own a simple, black pencil skirt or a classic, well-fitting white blouse! I barely even wore my black pants. I’m talking about more classic silhouettes with more of a “wow” factor because of their not-so-basic color or pattern. Take my yellow pencil skirt, for example. The style was versatile and classic enough to pair with a myriad of other different tops, but the color was interesting enough to keep the look from being boring. Same goes for my red, wide leg trousers and white blazer (that I actually wore more than my black blazer!). I would get Instagram comments on how my looks still seemed fresh despite repeating several items and I attribute that to the “unique” factor of timeless silhouettes. I did a post a while back on “non-essential essentials” that I feel expand a closet exponentially.

 

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8. Layering was my best fashion friend. There is no better way to maximize your closet than to layer! Obviously, you can throw on a blazer, cardigan or scarf to a sleeveless dress and freshen up the look, but there are other ways to layer, too! That sleeveless dress can take on a whole new look if you pair a top over it, so you are now wearing it as a new skirt! I did this a few times.

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9. Pattern Mixing was my second best fashion friend. Another way to maximize the closet–combine items you may not have combined before. I felt like I was on a fashion adventure whenever I mixed patterns. These are some of my favorite combinations: floral/stripes, dots/dots, stripes/dots, stripes/dots/animal, plaid/stripes. I’ve read different “rules of pattern mixing” but I’ve also seen the rules be broken. I try to be mindful of proportions and colors, but ultimately, it’s all about experimentation and what just flat-out seems to be most cohesive to your own eye. Go with your gut.

 

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 10. The Aftermath On August 1, 2014 I was able to shop again. I already told you how it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to fill my shopping cart and actually pay for the contents. That was unexpected! Another thing I didn’t expect to feel was uncertainty and maybe even a bit of anxiety! This challenge had defined my wardrobe for 181 days and I almost felt like I was having a bit of an identity crisis on day 182. For six months, I had woken up (or gone to bed) thinking about how I was going to change things up for the next outfit. At the end of the challenge, I didn’t feel the pressure to be as creative with my wardrobe.  I had no closet obligations. At first, I felt like a zoo animal who is suddenly back in the wild and doesn’t know what to do in the world! That may be a bit dramatic, but hopefully you get what I’m saying. It definitely took me a few days to get acclimated to the shopping world again. But, I’m happy to say I’m experiencing a Celine Dion moment of sorts… because it’s all coming back, it’s all coming back to me now! 😉

Thanks for following me on this journey! I can’t wait to show you some of my first purchases and great deals I’ve already racked up!

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15 thoughts on “The 10 Truths of “6 Months No Shopping”

    acroom90 said:
    September 18, 2014 at 3:17 am

    #5 happens to me all the time, but I still always think #6. My problem is that I often give stuff away and then a year later I’m looking for it b/c it is perfect from something… I’m trying to learn the art of minimization. I really enjoyed reading this post girl!

    Like

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 18, 2014 at 4:38 am

      I know! there’s a fine line! I’m wearing something today that used to be in my goodwill pile. it can be hard to pick the right things to part with!

      Like

    lovestreetfashion said:
    September 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    When I quite smoking i was also thinking that I will be a millionaire in few months. No I wonder only – where all this money disappear?

    Like

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 12, 2014 at 5:43 am

      seriously!! what is wrong with us?! haha I can always seem to find something else to spend money on unfortunately. thanks so much for reading!! xoxo

      Like

    Fashion Tag (Dana Cristina) said:
    September 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

    wow Vanessa! really enjoyed this post 🙂 what you did was so inspiring and also unique and you pulled it off big time. Every. Single. Time. Loved your looks. Can’t wait to see your new stuff and how you style it!!! keep em coming, kisses xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 4, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Dana, that is the sweetest comment ever! thanks so much for all of the encouragement! You really just made my day and gave me the blogging boost i needed right now! xoxo

      Like

    Rachel said:
    September 4, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Go Vanessa! I never could have done it myself, I’m quite the “shopaholic”. But I love number 6. I’ve read if you don’t wear something for a year it’s time to let go but even though my “eBay” pile is quite huge I could make it a lot bigger.

    Like

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 4, 2014 at 5:24 am

      yes, and I had stuff that had gone unworn for AT LEAST two years, but decided to wear them again. And then the stuff that i didn’t wear at all during the 6 months, i think i need to get rid of. stuff that just doesn’t inspire me at all! Thanks for reading, girl!! xoxo

      Like

    michelle said:
    September 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I love this post! Still thinking about doing my own no-shopping challenge. You and this post might be just the inspiration I need. Love it how you took a step back and got creative with the items in your closet. You rock girl!!!!

    Like

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 4, 2014 at 5:25 am

      thanks so much, Michelle!! I’m still waiting on you to bust out something with color one day and just shock us all!! haha! thanks for reading! xoxo

      Like

    Amy Ortiz said:
    September 3, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Loved this post!!! You rock!

    Like

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

      Awww!! Thank you! And thanks so much for reading! Love ya, girl!

      Like

        Amy Ortiz said:
        September 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        Love u! XOXO

        Like

    Baby T Fashion Diaries said:
    September 3, 2014 at 1:55 am

    omg mid way through your post…I had to stop and start commenting…Had so much to say and I’m not even close to done reading! lol I will be writing a financial/budget post in the near future. Hope to hear what you think!! ..You got soo many great stuff.. its pretty amazing!…welcome to my world with the never repeating an outfit. I don’t think my closet is that big either- and since I post every outfit..it takes a lot of creativity not to repeat!…your comment about pieces not being used in 6 months was such an eye opener- there are defintinitely things in my closet that need to go! …ps LOl that end of your post was beyond adorable! beyond loved your post

    Like

      Budding Fashionista responded:
      September 3, 2014 at 4:47 am

      Loved reading your comment! so glad you enjoyed the post! and yes, i definitely need to do some closet cleaning! thanks so much for reading! xoxo

      Like

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