Friday, 25 May 2012

enough is enough

Back in January, I said my fashion New Years resolution was to buy only one item per month, so I could focus on only buying things I really loved and also not spend all my time thinking about shopping (not that I do, but anyway). I'm officially calling this resolution off now. The thing is, I actually unofficially started it back in August of last year, so it's now been ten months and I'm sick of it, some of my clothes actually need replacing, I'm sick of the rest of them, and also it's summer. Summer is the most tempting season for me, clothes-wise, and well, I'm weak.

Here's a little recap though, with lessons learned and so on.

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August: Boutique by Jaeger skirt: not the best purchase, simply because it's a size too big. I think if this skirt fit I'd wear it a lot, but as it is, I'm considering selling it on (I don't think it's practical to have it tailored.
September: H&M jumper: I desperately wanted a corduroy jumper, and this one was there in my price point. The fit is a little awkward though, unfortunately, and I left it in Canada at Christmas.

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October: H&M trenchcoat: I desperately needed a jacket for the rainy month, and this one was there in my price point (seeing a pattern)? I really wish I could have afforded a nicer trenchcoat at the time though. This one has served its purpose and I wear it all the time, but the collar curls when it gets wet and it drives me nuts!
November: Kling dress: Such a good buy. I love this dress, it's so completely me in the winter. And I wore it at least twice a week all winter, so it may have been the best purchase of the year.

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January: Camper shoes: I needed black shoes, and scored these in the January sales. And yeah... they're awesome. The only heels I've ever had that I can really walk in for long(ish) periods of time.

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December: Nadinoo dress: My first "splurge," of the year, and I actually almost never regret splurges. It's a lovely dress. I'm a bit sick of it at the moment, since due to my silly resolution I couldn't actually buy any work clothes and ended up wearing it to work for half the winter, but I'm sure by next fall I'll be all over it again.
February: Zara coat: I didn't want to count this towards the resolution at all, because I bought it to wear to job interviews. But I ended up wearing it all the time in February and March, so I forced myself to count it. ;)

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March: vintage dress: This was a nice reminder that I should stop drooling after dresses at the top of my budget all the time (like April's dress, which hasn't been photographed yet) and remember that a lot of my favourite ever dresses were bought on ebay for $10-15. Like this one. Really looking forward to wearing this to summer barbequeues.
May: Mango dress: The day I bought this, I decided to break the silly resolution, but I actually didn't that day, because after going through all the shops in the city centre, trying on a whackload of things and almost buying four of them, I found this dress, and it was just so much better than everything else I was considering combined that I only bought it.

Which I suppose is a good way to conclude: I need/want some new stuff and I'm going to buy it now, but these kind of shopping bans are still a great thing to do: they make you pickier, they make you analyze more what exactly it is that you want. Some of my purchases in the last several months were decided by necessity (trenchcoat, shoes) and some by sheer wantonness (Nadinoo dress, and April's upcoming dress), but all the decisions to click the button or hand over the cash were made after a great deal of deliberation, and I think that's a good thing.

If you're still reading--I'm amazed! Cheers for sticking round!

P.S. judging by the fact I'm wearing the same blouse in three of these pictures, that's maybe what I should put on my list...

28 comments:

Closet Fashionista said...

I don't think I could ever do the 1 item a month thing. When I first started my blog I did a monthly budget but then I stopped doing that and now I shop too much. But I do wear almost everything I have bought all the time. (the only thing I don't really wear is a dress because it's too dressy for every day wear...but I wore it to a HP premiere so ;) )
But I think its a great exercise to help you find out what pieces you do wear all the time and what types of items just aren't for you.
[I LOVE that Zara coat and the red dress!]
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

steffy said...

I just started following your blog, and so this recap really fascinated me because I got to see what you've been doing. What a great resolution!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@ClosetFashionista: I have a couple of fancy dresses that I've worn a maximum of twice... but I keep them around and occasionally wear them at home on New Years Eve and so forth, so I don't mind. :)

@Steffy: Thanks! I think it was a good resolution but I'm just ready to buy a few new things for a change! And there will be another round-up of outfits for my blog's anniversary in a few months. :)

Carrie said...

Congrats on making it this long. I think a lot of people would be a lot better off if they took a moment to think before they clicked a button or handed over their cash/card. I know that's something I've been working on. In the meantime - I splurged this spring and got a new cashmere-blend winter coat in a camel color. But...I'd been eyeing it since last fall, and when I went to look again last month, it was 50% off!! Score!! :-) Splurge...but at a savings!

Sierra said...

This is such a great idea, but I must admit, I'm not so sure I would be able to do it. I'm pretty good at not going over my monthly clothing budget, but it would be nice to put that money towards something else (vacations, tattoos, etc.), so perhaps I will have to give this 1 clothing item per month thing a try :)

http://viennawaitsblog.blogspot.com/

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Carrie: That's completely justified! I think, especially with things like coats, that it pays to buy quality (on sale).

@Sierra: Yeah, budgeting (not not overspending) has never really been a problem for me--this was more about training myself not to think about clothes too much and not to go into shops. It worked! And yes, I definitely think there are worthier (or equally worthy) things to spend the money on!

Rebecca said...

Interesting post. I have been semi doing the same although a little differently. I have been good and only bought really considered high street items but them i go crazy at jumble sales and buy as much vintage as I can get! So in a sense this is good - less cash being spent but bad - more unnecessary items. It's good to see your point of view on the fashion consumption though.

Alicia said...

Thanks for writing a follow-up on your resolution; I really enjoyed reading it! I was so fascinated when you first posted about it that I decided to completely steal your idea and adopt it for myself. It's been working out really well so far. I think you've purchased some really lovely things that suit you to a "t" (except maybe the Boutique by Jaeger skirt - though I personally am guilty of buying things a size too big or small if an item I love is sold out in my true size, so I can understand. It rarely ends well). I can't wait to see April's dress!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Rebecca: Yes, note I didn't start on this resolution when living in London with its charity shops and jumble sales! I feel strongly about consumerism, and part of me is still torn over breaking this resolution, but my work wardrobe says otherwise!

@Alicia: Awesome! And I'm glad it's working out for you. It was for me too until the last couple of months. :) And yeah--stupid too-big skirt.

dusanabotswana said...

One thing I love about you is seeing your remixes, how you work w/ a limited wardrobe. It really inspires me to work w/ what I've got (although the cheap thrift stores are always all to easy), so to me your resolution just fit you perfectly. I love what you learned from it though, I'm still doing a only handmade/secondhand pledge, but am def trying to go toward quality I really love than just price. & esp love hearing you check ebay. & of course I don't think it's a bad thing buying new sometimes... like those little black boots, comfortable w/ a heels is generally pretty impossible for me to thrift and I'm trying to get away from shoes uncomfy shoes but anyway I'm rambling, long story short I loved this recap post and the lessons you learned and shared, thanks! and what a pity about the corduroy jumper...
http://dusanabotswana.com/

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@dusana: I feel like such a lame-o ethical blogger sometimes because I do often buy new; on the other hand I try to buy from independent designers when I can...
As for the jumper: that was my fault. I was determined it was going to work because I wanted it to!

Nina said...

You have amazing restraint, I just can't help myself when I'm out shopping however I think realistically I'm going to have to give myself a shopping ban. I'm moving back home from France with far more clothes than I arrived with and will be combining it with my wardrobe in the UK. Result = far too many clothes that I don't actually wear.

You bought some really gorgeous things and they seem to have been worth their money!
xx

Chaucee said...

That's pretty amazing that you have stuck to this challenge! I always end up caving when I make such long term goals. I usually stick to baby steps. I think you made some great purchases! I think my favorite is the white striped dress and the Jeffery boots.

Laura said...

I applaud you for making it this long! I feel as though I need to have some sort of cutoff for buying new things...I'm working full time and I think I've been a bit too free with my new-found "wealth" :P

thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

Terri said...

I had forgotten that you were doing this. I'm trying to imagine just thrifting one piece a month and it would have driven me bonkers. You did well, I'd say.

Jessicat said...

Man, I think you were pretty bold in doing what you did. This is because for me, I might go months without buying a thing, but then I have a sudden crave for change and I'll get 4 or five things in one go, or if it happens to be a thrift shopping binge like 20 things.
I think it's fine to go out and buy more than one thing at a time, just as long as we are conscious as consumers. And after what you've been doing it will be impossible for you to not be aware of buying things that don't fit or fit funny or aren't even something we would even wear.
Go new blouses!!

Jessicat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NRIGirl said...

I agree with you enough with these shopping bans. Good luck for great finds!

Shybiker said...

Love the Kling dress -- it's really special.

Norbyah said...

congratulations on sticking to your resolution for so long. i definitely don't think i could do it....the items you bought are absolutely gorgeous. what i love about your blog is that you are able to style your clothes in ways that make them different each time. i should do more of it.

in the mean time, i'm lusting after your shoes....again. just like i did when i first started reading your blog. sigh.

xo
n

Maria said...

What an inspirational post! The way you've styled each outfit is beautiful and it's so nice to see you incorporated so many unique items and also tested your styling skills. My favourite outfit is the last picture. That striped frock is so classic and your hair looks so romantic :)
xx Maria
http://avenuemaria.blogspot.com
P.S: You remind me of Mandy Moore :)

Miss Tallulah Porkchop said...

Do you think this has changed the way you shop in the future?

The first few months were heart-breaking: too big curly collar etc.

Shopping for me is ALWAYS hit and miss. Some of my best buys are online vintage el cheapos. Then I average it out with a $50 high street cardigan that doesn't match with anything, or a pair of $100 shoes that just aren't comfy. Soe mistakes just can't be avoided.

I do love things like this, I actually think they make fashion fun, interesting and they force you to get creative. I think you always look amazing.

x

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Miss Tallulah: Absolutely it has had an effect on my shopping habits. It's not the first time I've put up restrictions for just that reason: in early 2011 I went on a 1 month (turned into 2 month) shopping ban. The whole point of these things, I think, is to make you consider carefully the value of something pretty. I agree, there will always be successful and unsuccessful purchases; the interesting thing to me is WHY the unsuccessful ones didn't work. If it's because the shoes aren't comfortable, that's one thing. If it's because I stupidly bought something without really thinking about whether it was my style, that's something else! All the things I bought this year were "my style" and if some of them were unsuccessful, it's because I made compromises in other areas (fit, price, etc) and well, it happens.

Virginie BĂ©langer said...

The mango and Kling dresses are my favorite!

I says props for making it almost a whole year but mostly learning something along the way that makes you a better shopper, which is a bit of a life long journey isn't it?

Virginie xo

Rebeccak said...

I love this idea! I have been trying to do a similar sort of thing - but failed a couple of weeks ago when the thrift store had a half-off sale!

Aliya said...

Am so glad I found your blog! I adore you style!! Such lovely outfits! I can't take my eyes of that birdcage skirt of yours!!

xx Aliya
hillsidestory.net
Win $50 to Shabby Apple!

Annebeth said...

this is like my favorite post of you ever, keep doing this! it's awesome! You're so smart and relatable and I love your clothes.

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