Update: The Shopping Diet

Courtesy of 'They All Hate Us'

Courtesy of 'They All Hate Us'

If you read my article The Shopping Diet (which, of course, you all did) then you know that I challenged myself to not shop at all for the month of July.  And if you read my article The Headspace of a Problem Shopper (which, of course, you all did) then you know that this was a major endeavor for me.  And if you follow me on Instagram (which, of course, you all do) them you know that things did not go as planned.

I failed, dear readers.  Truthfully, I didn’t even come close.  I’m going to come clean here because I’m told that honesty is the best policy and confession is good for the soul.  I made it through the Fourth of July weekend sales successfully and felt pretty good about things. “Hey!” I told myself excitedly, “Maybe I’ll actually make it!”  I mentally high-fived myself.  Then around Day 8 I came across this picture posted by the lovely saboteur, Chriselle Lim, and broke one of the rules I had set for myself: I clicked on the link she had so thoughtfully included for the oh so dope Theory pants she was wearing and I was whisked away to Nordstrom.com.  “This is no good, Jen” I tried to warn myself. “Abort!” But I did not abort.  I scrolled down and discovered they were available in my size.  And on sale.  Done and done.

 Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor

 Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor

One little slip, I reasoned with myself.  In my defense the pants are fantastic.  They’ll be a work staple through fall and are cool enough to wear out for drinks and dinner.  I re-set my resolve and powered on.  I did pretty well for a while.  I managed to ignore links from there on out and I steered clear of dangerous areas like Old Town Pasadena and my local Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack.  I was proud of myself but it felt like a lot of work.  And it felt unnatural.  Like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet or watching Duck Dynasty.  But I really was committed to making it through the month.  Then one evening around the 23rd I found myself with time to kill in Belmont Shore in Downtown Long Beach.  As I strolled around waiting for my dinner dates to arrive I found myself walking by The Banana.  Republic, that is.  And they were having an additional 50% off already marked down items sale.  It seemed irresponsible not to see what they might have.  After all I work in a corporate-y environment and everyone knows that The Banana has great work wear, right? Right. Four button downs later I wandered out feeling satisfied if not a tad guilty.  But only a tad.

The real breakdown happened when Shopbop.com sent me an email a couple of days later warning me that items I had placed in my bag were about to sell out.  Although I had unsubscribed from most of the emails that I get from various shops to avoid this very type of temptation, there were a few I couldn’t bring myself to break up with and Shopbop was one of them.  I panicked and rushed to buy the Rag and Bone dress that I had planned to treat myself with come August (no longer available at Shopbop but on sale at Saks. You’re welcome.) It was pretty much on and crackin’ after that.  I dipped on over to TheOutnet.com and scored these sick Alexander Wang heels and the next day when I was in Old Town I did not speed up to rush past J Crew.  Instead I went in to say hey to the gang and pick up some new high-waisted jeans and sandals.  Game over.

 Alexander Wang 'Kai' heels

 Alexander Wang 'Kai' heels

So here is what I have learned:  Not shopping for a month is apparently not a realistic goal for me.  And I’m okay with that.  I am who I am.  Despite my failure, I still spent much less than I do during a normal month.  Progress, says I.  August’s goal is to adhere to an actual budget.  I had originally said that I would spend no more than 5% of my monthly income on clothes and such each month.  This was based on an article on WhoWhatWear.  However, I think I may be setting myself up for another failure with that amount.  So 10% it is.  And if something I want is more than that amount I will have to (gasp!) be patient and save up for it.  I’ll be honest, I anticipate some difficulty as fall is nearing and I historically do quite a bit of damage during September and October.  I’m giving it a go, though.  More to come. xoxo