When is Enough Enough?

When is Enough Enough?

I am giving up buying new clothes for a year.

There, I said typed it.

I have done this before. A number of years ago when I realised I had far too much (despite giving clothes away to charity) and I did not like the niggling urge I had to buy even more so I decided not to shop for 12 months. It was difficult. Actually, it was punishing in the beginning but once I my mind adjusted, the lack of ‘retail therapy’ became part of my normal life.

Since that time, I do not enjoy physically going shopping the way I used to and the few things I do buy are usually online purchases. Wandering around shops is definitely a thing of the past for me and not my idea of fun. The reason why I have chosen to embark on the journey again is because I have too many clothes. In fact I have too much stuff in general (hoarders raise your hands).

I have known this for a while but marriage and combining one’s life with another person magnifies my hoarding tendencies tenfold. Thus, I want to downsize and given how attached I am to many items in my wardrobe, I know I need time to do this properly.

“We live in a world of scarcity. Which means we feel like we never have enough.”
– Brené Brown

When I was at University, my wardrobe more than doubled in size because I started shopping to fill a void. I was unhappy and thought that accumulating things would make me feel better. I was wrong. If anything it just increased my stress levels because packing / moving, something I already find arduous, became a traumatic event.

Irrespective of my vast wardrobe, I know there will always be something I can add to it. However, I have learnt that the problem with scarcity is that it cannot be abated with things. This sounds ridiculous as the opposite of scarcity is abundance but in this context, it makes sense – at least it does to me.

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I read somewhere (I’ve forgotten where specifically) that the answer to scarcity, rather paradoxically, is enough. What I own, is enough. Who I am, what I look like, how I sound, think and feel, is enough. Advertising and well-intentioned meddlers may tell you otherwise but more often than not, it isn’t true.

Back to my point; I am not buying any new clothes – not even thrifted clothes, until January 2019 with the exception of the aso ebi* for my cousins wedding this summer, tights and underwear and even those will be as needed.

Anything new I may wear in 2018 will either be a gift or one of the unworn items of clothing in my wardrobe that still has tags on – of which there are a few so I’ll effectively be shopping in my own closet (see why I need to downsize?).

I like a challenge and this certainly will be one given that I have four more weddings to attend this year (I have already been to one). Admittedly, I am pretty excited about the prospect of conjuring up outfits from what I own. I am sure that I will write about this journey as the year progresses so feel free to follow (or even join in) if you want to see how it goes.

If I am honest I am most worried about the summer and when we go on holiday but I will deal with those wardrobe woes when the time comes. Have you given up shopping before and is there anything you could stop for 12 months?

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*Aso ebi is a uniform dress that is traditionally worn in Nigeria and some West African cultures as an indicator of cooperation and solidarity during ceremonies and festive periods
Photographs by Writerz & Scribes

6 Comments

  1. January 31, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    During my second year of Uni I lived off 10GBP (soz, don’t have a pound button on my aussie computer lol, just a dollar sign) a week for 9 months to raise money for charity, so didn’t buy any clothes for the whole nine months. It was challenging and I wore a couple of items of clothing so much they developed holes! I saved soooo much money though and also raised over 2000GBP for charity, so it was all worth it!

    Like you I have heaps of clothes that are hardly ever worn and some still have tags on, and I always feel awful about the sustainability of buying new clothing so often. I’m definitely trying to be more conscious this year of whether I actually *need* something or not.

    C x

    • metodayyoutomorrow
      February 5, 2018 / 11:39 am

      I read about that time in your life. It’s amazing how much money you save. I still don’t know how you managed £10 a week?! That’s insane and highly commendable. x

  2. February 2, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    I hate shopping, restrict to catalogues or online but prefer not to bother and still feel I have more clothes than I can mix n match. I keep items for years and love to revamp with a new mix n match. Look after your wardrobe and or looks after you. Only by what is wow and what you can’t bear to put back on the rack and walk out of the shop…that’s the perfect test. Try it!

    • metodayyoutomorrow
      February 5, 2018 / 11:41 am

      Thanks for reading Jane. Funnily enough I don’t buy fashionable clothes and keep my clothes for a long time – I still have items I wore over 10 years ago. The problem is I add more every so often so they accumulate. This is why I’m stopping so I can prune! I’ll let everyone know how I get on through the course of the year. 🙂

  3. February 7, 2018 / 10:36 pm

    I hate hate hate shopping in the shops like seriously!! I wish i could do this but this will inspire me to reduce small small….thanks for the encouragement. x

    • metodayyoutomorrow
      February 8, 2018 / 8:47 am

      I’m with you on physically going into shops! I am not a fan at all. I’ll update how I’m getting on. So far so good. x

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