Reflections on a year of no shopping

a year of no shopping

<image via jostel on flickr>

It’s official: I don’t give two shits about fashion.

Of course I wish I was more hip, thanks to the infinitely more stylish ladies in my office. (Still has nothing on the time I worked in the office of a fashion magazine.) But the thing about maturity (ha) is you come to realise what your real priorities are – and clothing and accessories are not among mine.

I set myself a no shopping challenge this year, and I can’t say I’ve missed it. I don’t miss malls. I had no idea what ‘peplum’ meant when one of my best friends dropped it into a conversation, and I didn’t care (I’m googling it now).

Basically, I was only allowed to replace things I actually needed. And my trip to Sydney in July proved the perfect time to do so, where I picked up two pairs of flats, a bag, and a wallet (the latter not strictly being essential at the time, but everything else was definitely a need).

The canvas shoes (Ked-style ripoffs) that I put through their paces walking all over the city got waterlogged on the first (or was it second?) day, and while I could handle the squelching, I could not deal when the sole actually cracked – it literally split across the middle. So off I headed to a cheapie shoe place – I forget the name; we don’t have it here in NZ – and bought two pairs of ballet flats for $30. Expensive flats have never worked out for me, so I stick to the low end. Boots, on the other hand, are a different story. (That reminds me – I got my one pair of black leather boots resoled this winter, but they’re not going to last another season. Sigh.)

Elsewhere, I’ve been lucky in that I scored free moisturisers and makeup through work, and the goodie bag at Semi-Permanent included a full-size tub of my holy grail: Trilogy Everything Balm. It almost made up for the fact that lunch wasn’t provided on either day, forcing me to go out and buy food.

The one thing that’s still on my wishlist? A killer leather jacket. Unfortunately, I have neither the budget nor inclination to find the perfect one, unless it falls out of the sky. Cloudy with a chance of leather jackets? Yes please.

What’s your shopping philosophy? Any standout purchases this year? What’s on your wishlist?

18 thoughts on “Reflections on a year of no shopping

  • Reply cantaloupe December 21, 2012 at 00:53

    I haven’t bought anything new in forever. I miss shopping, definitely. And there is something really fantastic about wearing a cute new top. But it’s just not possible right now. In a month or two, I will actually have some extra money to spend on myself (yay IBR!) and I will likely splurge on a new shirt or two, maybe a dress if I find one. And I’m finally going to get a new bathing suit, for the first time in years. And it will be fantastic!

  • Reply Michelle December 21, 2012 at 02:18

    I’ve been trying to avoid the mall, stores, etc. Once I go into them, I can’t help myself and will buy anything and everthing. I have been good with no shopping a lot lately though.

  • Reply Mochi and Macarons December 21, 2012 at 02:28

    Killer leather jackets are hard to find, let alone fork over the money to buy. I’ve been realizing they’re in the $300 CAD > $1000 CAD range for ANYTHING I want to buy, although I will admit I have expensive taste.

    I cannot say the same thing for myself in regards to not shopping and not missing it. December has been the most shopaholic-y month yet, although I am returning almost an entire order…….

    GAH! I wish I had some of your indifference and self-control.

  • Reply krantcents December 21, 2012 at 05:48

    I have been doing this for years. My wife says I am stuck in the sixties. I admit I like certain things that are relaxed and casual. I wear tee shirts and jeans to work, I wear collared shirts and khakis when I need to dress up a little. I bought a new suit at severe discount 4-5 years ago. I think I am fashionable, but I adhere to my philosophy. I am also old (66 y.o.) enough to not care!

  • Reply Girl Meets Debt December 21, 2012 at 06:24

    Free moisturizers and makeup through work? Lucky gal! I’m trying the no clothes/shoes shopping thing too unless it’s to replace a necessity. You make it sound so easy. Wish I could say the same for me hehe.

  • Reply Budget & the Beach December 21, 2012 at 13:26

    I’m not a big fashionista, but I would like to be able to spend more on clothes. I just don’t have the budget. Luckily things like my job (I work from home) and living in Southern California (no need to swap items per season) so that makes it a little easier, but my wardrobe is looking a little bla. I do hate the shopping process though. It always seems like I find things when I can’t buy anything, but when I’m actually looking can’t find anything.

  • Reply The Asian Pear December 21, 2012 at 14:20

    I want to be more fatshionista… But I usually end up settling and buying stuff I can live with. My personal goal is to dress for success and only buy items that I truly love. That being said, I tend to be pretty frugal so I probably won’t buy it. And I’m pretty lazy about putting effort to dress uber-nice to work. It’s too much of a pain for me to wear heels… I wear black sneakers. XD

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies December 21, 2012 at 14:21

    I’m probably a lot like you, but without the fashionista co-workers. If I could have a clean pair of jeans and a cotton shirt just appear every morning for work, I’d be set. I wouldn’t care much what they looked like – just as long as they were clean =)

    But when I think about it, I’ve probably bought almost as many pairs of running shoes this year as I have any other article of clothing! So I guess I just buy what I use the most…

  • Reply Marnelli December 21, 2012 at 23:34

    I wish I didn’t care about fashion but….it’s so hard not to. Sometimes I wish I had your attitude.

  • Reply Aloysa @ My Broken Coin December 22, 2012 at 07:59

    I spent thousands this year on shopping. I need to do something about it. In fact, I was thinking about making 2013 a no buy year for myself because my shopping habits are really out of control.

  • Reply Tahnya Kristina December 23, 2012 at 05:17

    Wow this is awesome. I am going to share this post next Friday in our roundup on Dinks Finance. I tried to give up shopping but it didn’t work out. I definitely spend a lot less of money on shopping but I can’t say that I have totally cut it out. I have a few places that I am going to visit on Boxing Day such as American Eagle, The Body Shop and La Senza but I shouldn’t spend more than $50 at each store. Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Manda December 23, 2012 at 12:56

    I’m pretty sure I need to put myself on a no-buy ban for eyeshadows next year. I love eyeshadow palettes too much and until I make a dent in what I’ve already got, no point in buying more! But they’re just so pretty…

  • Reply Stephany December 23, 2012 at 16:55

    This is something I really want to try in the new year! I don’t go overboard, but I definitely buy things I want all too often, not things I truly need. And with extra expenses happening in the new year (thanks to having to buy a car, bleh), I really need to tighten up my budget.

  • Reply Worth Mentioning #19 - Happy Festivus! | Planting Our Pennies December 24, 2012 at 00:01

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  • Reply Pauline December 24, 2012 at 05:23

    Good job! I hate the mall and shops in general so shopping is only when I need something, and I love online shopping for that. Now shipping to Guatemala is another problem… Customs love to open packages and tax you heavily. I like classic clothes and I think I have enough for next year, or until my next trip to Europe or US. Good clothing here is pretty expensive, but if I really need something I can get cheap clothing that will last for a few months in between trips abroad.

  • Reply K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! December 24, 2012 at 08:14

    Good for you! I honestly can’t stand the malls anymore. I have been spending little on clothing purchases over the past 3 years and I have been able to use my wardrobe effectively and only replace things once it’s really needed. I’m able to order the majority of my clothing with a super discount rate from the company I contract with so that really helps. I used to be so label/brand conscious and constantly wasting money on buying clothing I really didn’t need in my twenties. I’m glad I was able to get off of that train.

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