Saturday, January 28, 2012

No New Winter Clothes Challenge

It all started with wanting some new clothes. But when I went to my go-to stores, not only could I not find any clothes I really loved, I hated the majority of the styles on the racks. It took me over an hour combing the JCPenney racks several times to find $35 worth of stuff so I could use up a year-old gift card.

Thrift stores are no help either, because for whatever reason I completely lack the ability to find anything worth wearing at thrift stores. I can find other purchases, purses, glassware, just not clothes.

So instead I started shopping my closet and you know what? Now that I'm not allowing myself the luxury of running to the store when I get bored with my wardrobe, I find I'm being a lot more creative with what I already own.

It's not like my tiny 1940s closet was overflowing with choices to begin with. Clothes shopping has always been more like a torture endurance test than a fun activity for me. Even so, over the years I've ended up with perfectly fine clothes and accessories that I've ignored. I've found the forced constraint of using what I already own has inspired me to mix and match in new ways. And I'm actually liking it.

So far this winter I've only added two scarves (one was a gift from my mommy), a sweater and a long sleeve t-shirt to my wardrobe, and that's where I'd like the acquisitions to end. At this rate, I'll be well under the 29 new items of clothing that the average American buys each year.

So the next time you grow bored with your wardrobe, why not try a forced no shopping ban instead and see what happens?


  1. I LOATHE shopping for clothes too. And I've done precious little of it in the past 5 years since I no longer have a job to go to.It makes a big difference when there's nobody to try to impress!

    I'm actually getting to the point that clothes don't fall out of my regular rotation until they've been worn to the point that they literally have holes in them and cannot be further repaired! I was totally distraught at the end of last winter when my favorite pair of jeans developed too many holes in the knees to be repaired. But then I realized that I could cut them off and make shorts, so I got to wear them all last summer!

    Have fun with your challenge!

  2. Wow, 29 items? That seems like a whole new wardrobe every year!

    I too love shopping in my closet. I'm thinking of raiding my husband's closet soon and pairing one of his dress shirts with a skinny belt and a pair of my own leggings. Shopping with small children is just too torturous, so I would prefer checking out Pinterest for ideas and working with what I've got already!

  3. I don't buy much new clothing, but I do get a fair amount of it used -- maybe ten or so new-to-me pieces a year. I hate regular clothing shopping, but I kind of enjoy digging through the racks at a thrift store! Kevin and I are considering downgrading to a smaller house, so the focus so far has been on getting rid of stuff, not getting new things. I've been eyeing things in my closet speculatively, wondering, "Do I ever actually wear that?" Ideally, I'd like everything in my wardrobe to be something I wear 10+ times a year.

    Good luck with your challenge! I think I'll join you.

  4. I saw notsoeasytobegreen's tweet and came over to check out the challenge.

    Go for it! You won't freeze if you don't buy any new winter clothes. And the chances are, no one will even notice that you aren't wearing new clothes. And beside, who cares?

    Like EcoCatLady, I hate, detest, abhor clothes shopping. I buy t-shirts, LS T-shirts, sweaters, and cotton turtle necks only when they wear out and that's my winter wardrobe. What else do you really need?

    Great challenge....maybe not for us but for the 29-items-purchaing average Americans, it will be.

  5. Not Easy - Come on in the water's fine! And thanks for the tweet love. I need thrift store lessons. I can't for the life of me find clothes there. Think I bought maybe four clothing items in my life, but not for lack of trying. I am a champ at used purses however.

    EcoKaren thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I'm still going strong and at the rate our winter is going it will be over, like, tomorrow. Am off to check out your blog now.


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