(my closet back in May)
After I wrapped up my five month shopping ban at the end of last year, I decided to take a break from any kind of ban during the month of January. I knew that I wanted to have some kind of structure to my shopping in the new year, but I wasn’t exactly sure what. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to shop, what types of stores I want to support, and how much I need to be budgeting. I’d like to create a plan that is sustainable – that I can stick to long term. I know I need flexibility, because I hate being constrained and tend to rebel.
I had a couple of different ideas rolling around my head for a new shopping plan in 2010. The first was choosing two big investment pieces a month, and buying nothing else. But that kills the spontaneity and serendipity that can come from shopping, and I knew that I would be miserable.
My next plan involved restricting where I can shop, and creating a list of 22 items that were the only things I’d be allowed to buy (two for each month remaining). Again, I decided this would be too restrictive.
Eventually, I came up with a plan that gives me room to breathe, but still keeps me focused and (hopefully) on budget. It fits in with how I want my shopping to be. Here’s how I describe it:
Explore local boutiques. Find new consignment stores. Re-learn how to thrift. Get hand-made items custom made for you. Discover vintage clothes that actually fit you. Don’t buy something if you don’t love it.
- $125 a month (will go up to $200 if I get a permanent full-time job) for clothes, shoes and accessories. Stick to this number!!!
- Shop primarily from wardrobe gaps list. If I find something outside of this list that I want, then I need to make sure it’s something I truly love and actually need.
- Shop at local stores, hand-made or second-hand (thrift, vintage, Ebay) primarily.
- Gift money and store credit can be spent anywhere, on anything.
I’m calling this a Shopping Plan rather than a Shopping Ban because I’m not really banning any particular kind of store. I decided not to completely ban non-secondhand and handmade stores like I did last time, mostly because I only really want to shop at a couple of them, and they are stores that I feel good supporting (Anthropologie, Boden, online retailers like Sock Dreams). The majority of my shopping will be supporting local second-hand stores and boutiques, as well as hand-made items from Etsy and second-hand items from Ebay. I really want to explore the local shopping that my city has to offer. I’m quite frankly sick of the mall, and most of the time I try to shop there I feel miserable. Shopping at smaller local stores means that I’m supporting my local economy and finding interesting and unique items that no one else will be wearing.
I’ve also written up a list of 50 items that represent wardrobe gaps I’d like to fill. Because this list is a bit long, I’ll be posting it as a separate post later today. I want to have more focus when I shop, so that I’m concentrating on things I really need, but I decided not to limit myself to only items on this list because I want to leave room for the unexpected, for items that I might not have thought of, for garments that I fall absolutely in love with.
I’ll be constantly evaluating and re-evaluating this plan to see if it works for me. It may be a little too flexible, but for now, I feel that this will work best for me.