I've spent a lot of time considering this lately - well, for years actually - but even moreso recently because a) I have every item of clothing I could ever need to put together attractive and functional outfits each day, b) because the better I get at sewing, the less I feel like purchasing a finished product. I want to create it! and c) because there's a lot of waste in this world that I don't want to contribute to. The money I don't spend on clothes I don't need or that I could make, is money I can apply to other endeavours. Eating, for example.
Here's what happens to me everytime I decide to leave the fashion shopping alone for a while:
- I discover a great new boutique.
- One of my fave stores opens a warehouse sale location.
- One of my fave stores has the sale of the century.
- An item I cannot live without jumps into view.
- Every fucking thing looks great on me.
In light of this - and btw it started happening as soon as I decided merely to consider not shopping for the next couple of months - I have had to determine my core, legitimate justifications for purchasing new clothing in general.
Thing is, it's not good enough to say "I'll get a lot of use out of it". I'm a pretty experienced, dare I say talented, purchaser of clothing. I use everything I wear because I don't have so much of it that I can't get through it all - and because I don't buy things unless they are practical and desirable enough for me to wear them constantly.
Nor is it ok to say "It's on mega-sale". Yeah, a good deal is thrilling, but I'm starting to feel so awful about the cheapness of labour and how I contribute to the cycle (keep in mind, I am my own sweatshop lately). I just can't go there with abandon any longer.
The notion that I cannot live without something, so awesome is it and perfect on me, is a compelling one. Of course, it's one I wouldn't have so many opportunities to exploit if I weren't a stealth browser. But one could have umpteen such things, were she to find herself in a lucky patch, and at some point it's just more of the same.
So here's what I've decided - and this is for purchases after March 31 or whenever I decide I want to buy something next (see how I'm emotionally leaving my options open). I will not buy unless:
- It's totally useful.
- It fits very well.
- I love it to bits.
- The price is right i.e. I can afford it comfortably, whether or not it is on sale.
What's your take on things? I mean, we who read the fashion blogs are peeps who tend to love all elements of shopping as, if nothing else, a means to an end. There's the hunt, the feel, the kill, wearing, taking photos, collecting and the list goes on.
Do you feel controlled by your impulse to shop? Do you have new or standard systems in place to keep you confident that what you purchase is right for you and your lifestyle? Do tell.