Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How To: Make Not Buying Clothes Work For You

Source: amylouiseag

(As written in early April, while I was still a long way off my mad shopping antics of the last two weeks... Let's just say I went into Hawaii with a suitcase that weighed 15kg, and came home with one that weighed 23kg, and a new carry on that weighed 7kg, plus another bag filled to over flowing... Outlet shopping and the high Aussie Dollar are partly to blame.)

The last time I bought any clothes was a fortnight ago, when, horrified, the zip on my strapless top began to break in the middle of Queen Street Mall. I quickly dashed into the nearest open clothing store (Supre, unfortunate as that is) and searched for something that I might be able to wear more than once, while the girls I was with played the “shirt or skirt, shirt or dress” game. I bought a leopard print top (which it turns out is actually designed to be a dress. I don't think I’ll ever wear it as a dress…). This, a white cami (my old one went through the wash and came out a pink cami) and one other top is all the clothing I’ve bought since October. This is a big change from my uni days where I’d buy a new clothing item once or twice a week.

Whether you’ve made the decision to stop buying clothes for environmental reasons, spiritual lent-type reasons, or the decision was made for you by your pay packet, changing from shopaholic to new-cloth-aphobe can be a difficult and painful experience. Clothes are so pretty and nice and wonderful, and dressing yourself well is an important part of making a good impression and it’s an outward sign of your self-value.

So how do you maintain your image as a stylish and sophisticated young person when you’re conscience or bank balance starts getting in the way?
  • - Rediscover your wardrobe: Where are the old items you used to love, and why don’t you wear them anymore? If some of them need mending, hop to it! Chances are if you were to replace it the new item wouldn’t be as good as the original anyway. What about the items in your ‘drobe that you bought but have only worn once? I’m sure you bought them for a reason. Perhaps it’s time to let them have a second chance?
  • - Avoid going shopping for the first few weeks. At first you’ll love the new enviro-conscious/fiscally responsible you, but soon those old demons will come back to haunt you. You’ll feel as though any outfit you put together would be better if only you had some other item you haven’t bought yet, and wearing them as they are will seem like a boring let down, despite the fact that you wore them without the desired item many times before and it looked awesome anyway. Chances are that in the first two weeks of your new shopping attitude it will seem as though your friends will invite you to shop more than they ever have. But stay strong, and avoid when possible!
  • - Get into cooking. This might seem like a ridiculous idea for many of you, especially if “a big night slaving over a hot stove” results in chicken nuggets, tomato sauce, steamed peas and carrots and piece of bread. But cooking is a great way to temporarily shift your mind and creativity away from fashion. It’s a great skill to have and in this day and age of eating out and ordering in, culinary skill is next to godliness. If you’re a stranger to the kitchen start out small and work your way up! Borrow Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals or get your hands on an easy baking Women’s Weekly cookbook. And when people ask you if you wore that outfit already once this week, you can distract them with your mesmerisingly delicious crème brulee! Haha, foiled you again, fashion police!
  • - Focus on your body and skin care. After all, you can have the most stylish outfit in the world but if you don’t glow from the inside out, it’ll never meet it’s mind-blowing potential. Download a free meditation podcast, hit the gym, make your nails beautiful or buy a new hair or face mask. Focus on drinking lots of water to make your skin sing! Who needs new clothes when you look this good? 

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