Like many people, I struggle with constant urge to shop. So for my New Years Resolution, I resolved to give up shopping for an entire year. Stick with me as I go through the trials and tribulations of giving up [new] clothing for the rest of 2011. For more information, check out: The Great American Apparel Diet link below. Thanks for stopping by!
Four weeks seems like a tiny kilometer on the road to recovery when you look at the whole grand scheme of things doesn’t it? I always find that once you put a timer or clock on something, it seems as though time goes slower; creeping along at a snails pace. Then each day, afternoon, hour becomes an accomplishment; a countdown really.
As triumphant as I feel, I can’t help but think about these last four weeks and how I’ve dealt with them. I’ve been alright, I guess. Have I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs in agony?!? Rip out my hair in desperation? Have i wanted to binge, purge, binge and purge once more for good luck?? [clothing wise, of course]. WELL, Im not going to dignify those questions with an answer. A pictures worth a thousand words right?
Okay, okay let’s be honest; it’s been painful!! I miss online window shopping SOOOO MUCH! I use to spend so much time looking at beautiful clothing, shoes and jewelry; daydreaming about endless outfits. Wait..whaaa? “I use to spend so much time looking at clothing, shoes and jewelry; daydreaming about endless outfits.”?
WOW. No wonder I never got anything done. No wonder there was never enough time for laundry, knitting, scrapbooking, cleaning, spending time with the bf, sports, social life and weekends. It was always wasted in front of the computer; all of it taking a back seat to my shopping addiction. I would literally spend hours trying to find the best bang for my buck.
So, I say: It’s time to start doing something a little more proactive with all those extra hours in the day! Get off your computers, stay outta those malls!
I have this tradition: Every year on my birthday, I like to treat myself to a little present. And why shouldn’t I? I get up and go to work every day, be as good a person as I can be, I do my best to be eco-conscious, feed my dog, keep up with current events, floss my teeth on a regular basis…so I believe that as an outstanding citizen of the world [that’s right, I went there. I can be outstanding!] I should at least be able to buy myself something on my birthday. I certainly don’t expect anybody else to buy me a present. Don’t get me wrong – I love gifts, and as grateful as I am – for some reason I cringe at the idea of other people buying me things. I don’t know why, but having to open a gift in front of someone makes me feel SO awkward. Does anyone else share this odd behavior?
Anyhow, back to presents.
Right, so every year I like to buy myself a little gift.. Sometimes it’s expensive, sometimes it’s not. But it’s absolutely, 100%, pure self indulgent. I like to think of it as buying little pieces of luxury. If it makes me feel like the most beautiful person, then I’ve succeeded. [Not that I need nice things to make me feel beautiful, but you know what I mean.] It’s just nice to have nice things, whether it was $10 or $100. I figure, if you’re going to love it now & love it in 10 years from now, then why not? Agreed?
I guess if I’m being really honest with myself; I don’t need anything per se. BUT it’s my birthday, and I’ve already told the boyfriend NOT to buy me anything….and there are these wonderful little boots made by Quoddy® that would last a lifetime and they would look fantastic with the perfect skinny jeans and I know they’re expensive, but they would last a LIFETIME PEOPLE!!!!!…………………Really, a lifetime. I checked. They replace the soles if they ever get worn out. Which is awesome!
I understand TGAAD is what you make of it, and technically shoes are acceptable… However, the more I think about it, the more I’m swayed towards the conclusion of not buying them. They are a wee bit pricy and besides that, I can’t seem to shake this enormous cloud of guilt hovering over me as I contemplate the idea of spending money. Oh well. I shouldn’t be buying boots anyway, I need to save up for bigger, more important things… and trying to justify a $400 pair of boots won’t help me get there any quicker. Hmmph…I think I’ve just talked myself out of it. Hooray!!! Hi5’s all around!! Thank goodness my birthday isn’t for another 3 months! Whew!
What is everyone else’s take on buying yourself birthday presents while on TGAAD?
I’m so thankful for TGAAD! Being on this diet will help me focus on the bigger picture and personal financial goals.
1. Save, save, SAVE for a down payment on a house.
2. Be financially stable. Being able to stand on my own two feet is very important to me.
3. Start a travel specific savings account. I don’t want to go into debt just to see the Eiffel Tower.
In the last year and a bit I’ve completely changed [most of] my spending habits. Sure I still lust after clothing, and It’s definitely been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride, but nonetheless, worth it. I went from online shopping pretty much every day, to cutting myself off cold turkey, budgeting down to the last penny, paying off my VISA™ [finally], saving money, falling off the wagon and binging once or twice, getting back on the not-so stable wagon, paying off my VISA again, to finding TGAAD. So it’s been a pretty bumpy ride and shopping will always be something I struggle with, but as long as I can rationalize with myself and decipher needs vs. wants, I think I will be ok.
It’s funny, I‘ll have really good days when I’ll think “I am SO done with shopping” and truly believe that I have conquered this whole ideology of wanting “things”. I love those days. Then there will be a wave of bad, oh-so-terrible, self-indulgent days where shopping controls my life and is literally all I can think about… followed by the inevitable binge; and furthermore – buyer’s remorse. Bleh.
What’s the moral of the story? Today is a really good day.
If anybody knows that slogan, you can feel my pain.
So: There’s this gorgeous Lululemon sweater that I, ABSOLUTELY. MUST. HAVE. You know the kind; It’s a: my-life-wouldn’t-be-the-same-without-it kind of sweater… It will complete me; people will start referring to me as “the girl in the neon sweater”. BUT!!… I can’t buy it. Ughhh!! Ugghhh..bleh..blahhh..blarrrgg. If I weren’t on this diet, I would have totally snapped it up like 5 days ago. Instead, I slipped a not-so-subtle hint to the BF that if he evvverrr wants to buy me anything, this would be it; in a size 4. That’s allowed right? Rigghhtt?. ..hmm..I’m going to say: yes.
For those who aren’t aware of Lululemon, it’s a FANTASTIC store from Canada that sells all sorts of athletic wear; mainly specializing in yoga apparel and accessories. They even have men’s clothing! Not to be biased or anything, but once you go Lulu, you never go back… Their design team really knows how to make clothing that is not only technical, but figure flattering [4 way stretch is amazing], breathable, and they also have a number of organic cotton pieces, which is a great alternative for those looking to lessen their carbon footprint.
Anyhow, I’m proud of myself for not breaking down [especially this early] and not so proud of myself for whining incessantly to the BF about said sweater…
So what did I learn? I learned that I need to restrain myself from online window shopping.. Le Sigh…
So today, I looked at my clothes with fresh, bright, optimistic eyes.. Until I was snapped back to the reality which is my closet. Oh well, it was worth a shot. In the end, I decided on a pair of jeans [my staple go-to pant;the new AE ones I was talking about..I can't believe how much I like them!], a flowy embellished chiffon tank, and a sparkly festive cardigan from Madewell. Lovely if I say so myself.
..and then a thought creeped into my head: Kind. Of. Predictable. “Why?” might you ask?
Well, right now it’s VERY winter where I live. There’s tons of snow ..and coldness.. like, I have to wear ski-pants on-a-daily-basis-type-coldness. There’s definitely no cute winter outfits going on here or in the near future. Theres no doubt that I lose most of my style ”mo-jo” during the winter months, since the main focus is to stay warm..
…Which ultimately leads me to no other choice but my tried and true outfit: Jeans [of course..], a flowy tank of some sort.. paired with a cardigan.
At least I can take solace in the new clothes I ordered pre-diet that have yet to arrive and as each day gets warmer, I will slowly swap ski-pants for skirts, winter boots for high heels, and sweaters for sleeveless tanks [not to be worn at the same time, mind you] and hopefully I can get the creative juices flowing.
Three days in, and I feel GREAT!!! I’m feeling a lot more positive, and now truly believe that i can do this challenge. I guess it helps that I went on a mini shopping binge before the diet began, and now I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my closet for the rest of the year!
On my binge, I bought a few items [Jean skirt, High-waisted shorts, a Chambray shirt..which I wanted for like, eva!] that will make it easy to transition season to season..so, that gives me hope! Also, just the other day I ripped the tags off of a brand new pair of skinnys by Madewell and forced myself to wear them. THEN! I remembered that I have two boxes of new clothes that I bought online but didn’t really like at the time…so maybe I’ll pull them out and have a fashion show for the boyfriend…or dogs, whoever is more interested. Ha.
..soooo instead of buying 1 pair of jeans, which is what I totally intended to do…I..err..umm…kind of ended up buying 3 pairs of jeans and a really cool (if I say so myself) pair of red sneakers. Do people still say “sneakers” these days?? Whatever, I’m old okay. Don’t judge me.
This brings me to my next subject: Should I include not buying shoes and accessories into the equation? Or would that simply be too much to cut out of my life at once? I mean, It’s not that I go Cr@ZZYy over shoes and accessories.. I have some self control.. Its just that…I’m unsure that if I cut everything out all at once, will I be more likely to fail or binge? Perhaps it’s as simple as limiting myself to one accessory or pair of shoes a month.
Maybe this way I won’t have that lingering feeling of deprivation hanging over my shoulders..or at the tip of my fingers [hovering ever so precariously over that mouse button] …
Okay, so with my last week and a half of technically being able to shop, I am faced with this decision: To shop or NOT to shop?
I think it may be my nerves starting to catch up with me, however I’ve been thinking..should I use these last days to “stock up” on items I already have in my closet but can use more of? For example, in my last post I talked about a pair of jeans I recently bought from AE for $49. In the past, I have never really been a fan of AE jeans as they never fit me very well. But these jeans in particular fit so nicely that it has me questioning whether or not I should purchase another pair………………………….ugh decisions!
But wait, there’s more! You see, there’s this jacket.. and it’s beautiful. It’s something I most definitely don’t have a problem paying full price for and it’s in a wonderful tangerine-ish colour. It would be great for snowshoeing and other outdoor activities as its not too warm and bulky [which is what I'm struggling with in my current arteryx] so I’m playing around with the idea of buying this new one.
The Boyfriend thinks it’s a stupid idea since I bought my current jacket this April, but what do you think??
I’ve recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Ontario for a family visit with the boyfriend. Like I’ve said in an earlier post, I don’t have many shopping options here in my town and most of my clothing purchases happen online. So being in “civilization” kind of put me into shopping OVERDRIVE!!! Since I normally don’t have the luxury of being able to pack up and leave town whenever I want, being in any city with endless shopping possibilities is pretty exciting! Even the most minuscule mall can give me a rush!!
One of the reasons I chose TGAAD as my new years resolution was to ease myself into it without feeling too overwhelmed. Also, I figured since we had already planned this trip way far in advance, that I didn’t want to limit myself while on the second trip out of town this year…like I said, I don’t get out much.
So..First things first: Budget, Budget, Budget! I budgeted for the entire trip. I saved up a couple months in advance, made a list of things that I really wanted to buy annnd… I didn’t bring my credit card [that part was pretty easy since it's been sitting pretty in a block of ice in my freezer for the last year and a half].
So as soon as we got into the city[Day 2 of a 15 hour drive and at this point we had been up since 4:30 in the morning], we went straight for the mall. THE WEST EDMONTON MALL!! Oh the convenience! Oh the stores! Oh the humanity!!! Anthropologie! Victorias Secret! H&M! Lululemon!! Ahh there are too many to name! ShoesShoesShoesssssss!!! The one stop shop!
It was great and I loved it, and somehow I managed to buy more accessories [scarves, hats, jewelry, sunglasses..etc] and gifts than actual clothes. In the 17 days we were gone I came home with 2 sweaters; 1 cardigan – $12.99 at Old Navy; 1 long sleeved active shirt (perfect for under my hockey equipment) and a pair of AE jeans $49.50….Huh, go figure. One of the best purchases would have to have been the most darling of egg holders from anthropologie in this fab blue colour..it was something like $16 and I LOVE IT!
TenDays until the real challenge begins. EXCITED MUCH!?!?! xoxo
I live in northern Canada in a small Village called Fort Simpson. It maybe, maaybe, houses 1200 people…On a good day (and that’s probably pushing it). My community is on a small island where you can walk end to end in about twenty minutes. It’s fairly traditional with a good majority of the locals being First Nations people and the main economic contributors being the Territorial and Federal Governments.
With all this being said, you can imagine what type of shopping district we have here in town…I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with Hero…now replace the “H” with a “Z”. The closest thing we have to a clothing store is our own trusty “Northern Store”. It’s the main hub of 2, yes TWO grocery stores. Let me tell you, the type of clothing found in said store is nothing to brag about. Actually, I’m pretty sure the Old Navy changing rooms are bigger than the entire clothing section in this store.
Anyhow, that’s enough background info for the day. Yay for not shopping!
So, TGAAD is set to be my new years resolution so I figured, just like I weened my self off of smoking cigarettes, I would ween myself off of shopping until my actual cut-off date. There’s a little over a month until the real journey begins but I figured if I started getting into the groove now, it should be a snap come JanuaryOne.
I’ve been telling everyone I’ve come in contact with theses last few weeks and I’m so excited I could pee my pants!! Too much??…nahhh.
It all started with someone else's idea. I just decided to follow along..
January 01, 2011 marked the beginning of the end to my unnecessary shopping habits. It also marked the beginning of my journey [or struggle?] with www.thegreatamericanappareldiet.com/ [TGAAD] and a year without clothing. Actually, to be more precise, it's a year without new clothing. Huh? Say what? Pardon? Yes, yes it's true; I have pledged, promised and sworn up and down that for the entire year of two thousand and eleven, I, Susie Hanna, will not buy any new clothing, shoes or accessories. Eeeee!
At first my challenge started with only a diet against clothing and having the option to purchase shoes and accessories, but as these last couple of weeks went on, I figured, "I have plenty of everything" so why not just add the to the "do not buy list". So that means, no new shoes for me, no pretty rings or necklaces. I can kiss those Tiffany earrings goodbye.. It's alright though, my bank account will speak nothing but kind words to me by the end of this challenge.
I'll give you a little background info: I've joined this online group called "The Great American Apparel Diet" and planned to implement it as my New Years Resolution. If you have never heard of this website before, I highly recommend that you check it out and see if it's the right thing for you! When I began telling people what I was planning to do, they all seemed to have the same reaction. A few examples:
"Really, you're not going to buy ANY clothes?... for a whole year?!?" and my favorite;
"Hah, yeah right!" [lovely words spoken from my bf.]
Ha, yeah right, is RIGHT!!! I'll show you AND the world that I don't need to shop to have a meaningful and fulfilled life!!!!! I'll take up beading with my spare time, or better yet, soap making! I'll become a world renowned soap making connoisseur and Oprah will want to give me my own network or something. We would call it Soaprah! There, that ought to teach him to second guess me. [just kidding boyfriend, nothing but love!]
Rules, there must be rules! While on this diet, I will have to come up with a few rules of my own that will aid me in succeeding at this challenge. Most of the rules that I will be following will come from the lovely Sally & Co. of TGAAD who have already given members a list to live by while on this challenge.
So here are a few rules I will add to my existing list:
If I need something that will benefit my health, then I am permitted to buy it. Granted, I can't buy it unless I actually REALLY need it. Like a new pair of running shoes, golf shoes, yoga pants, etc.
Tailoring of clothing is acceptable, obviously.
I have a few beloved treasures such as: My beautiful bib necklace from Anthropologie, or the gorgeous pair of Orange Lava Hunter rain boots and my lovely winter Mukluks. If any of these coveted items shall perish in any way, I am obligated to purchase new ones. They would want me to.
Also, I will be uploading earlier post from TGAAD so they can all be accesed on this site.