"They are not tricks! They're illusions! Tricks are what a whore does for money." Gob, Arrested Development
I think I use that quote whenever necessary and I always crack up at it because I'm 13 years old. Lately, I have had several comments about admiration for how I am able to go an entire year without shopping. I wanted to address a few things so that people can understand why I am able to do this, and how you, yourself can go without shopping for however long you want to go.
So how am I able to do this?
1. I have a LOT of CLOTHES
No, really. I have a lot of clothes. I frequently edit my closet and give away things and sell things, but then almost just as quickly, I would acquire so much more. Currently, I have one closet full of winter/fall jackets, sweaters, and coats. The other closet is filled with summer and spring items. I have two underbed storage boxes filled with more jeans, sweaters, long sleeves. I have a lot of clothes, really.
Since my friends know that I am not buying clothing, they will let me sift through things they are about to take to Goodwill. If there is something that I like, I take it and see what I can do with it. I have acquired a lot of clothing this way.
I cannot stress how much borrowing has helped me. When I want to wear something that just feels "new to me", borrowing is always the best option. It is almost like shopping but without the commitment of it being in your closet and without have to pay for it. It mimics the excitement and confidence of wearing your new great dress that fits your great, but its not yours, and it still fits you great!
4. Mimic the joys of shopping
First off, I want to say that I do a lot of reflecting and journaling. It sounds weird, but shopping was and still is a pretty big coping mechanism for me. I try to outline and pinpoint a lot of what I love about shopping. When I did this I figured out that I loved trying stuff on and the thrill of spending money. Since the thrill of spending was something I needed to train myself to not use as a way to cope with a good or bad day, I decided to focus on the more positive joys of shopping. I love picking out things, taking them into the dressing room and seeing myself in something outrageous and awesome. I love bonding with friends and laughing over wearing something that doesn't fit at all or that looks the furthest from "me" as possible.
5. When your answer is always no, its a lot easier to say no.
This is probably the biggest factor for me. They are a few things that I have a firm grasp on that I just will not do. Things like, ya know, dropping acid, eating at Krystal's (or White Castle), smelling large men, or listening to Nickelback. Once you have made your mind up about something, and there just isn't an option of yes, its so much easier to say no. The thing is, I've just added shopping to that list. Yes, eating at Krystal's makes me incredibly sick, but shopping makes my wallet sick.
The best way for me to compare it is when you come to an intersection with a one way street, you know you can't turn right even if that coffee shop is right there on the corner. You know you will have to make the block in order to get there. Its similar to my shopping ban. I know I cannot shop, that is not an option. So if I want my wardrobe to feel fresh, I have got to think of other ways besides shopping to make it so. Whether its altering my already existing closet, accepting items from friends or companies, or full out sewing, I know that going out and buying a new black dress isn't an option.
If you are thinking about taking a journey in not shopping and need a friend, a life line, or just some advice... please let me know. I doubt I'm some expert on the subject, but I have definitely learned a few tricks to help me feel less helpless.
Finally, a little musical treat. If you haven't picked up the new album by The Black Keyes, you really really should.