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.
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.
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