Money & Style,  Musings & Miscellany,  Wardrobe 101

3 Reasons to Consider a Shopping Fast

Clothes Shopping, That Is!

Happy day, Reader Most Dear!

I hope your December has been filled with fun and meaningful time spent with those you love!

For many, the end of the year is time to take stock.

To look back.

To look forward.

And often, to make resolutions, set goals or determine a focus for the coming year. Overall, I’m not much of a resolutions person. The big three: lose weight–save money and get organized–don’t move me, but a Style Resolution? That I can get behind!

Note: I’m a firm believer that resolutions can be made at any time, especially Style Resolutions!

This coming year, my big Style Resolution is a Wardrobe Shopping Fast. A fast has been jiggeting about in my brain for the past few months. When I mentioned it to Mr CP, he reminded me that I’d already brought it up three or four times. That cemented it. The best part? Simply making the decision felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I suppose after a season of excess, I need…

Permission to Stop Consuming

Maybe that’s not a thing for you, but the relief of making the choice made clear that I feel stuck on a consumer treadmill. Getting off will be good for my spirit. And hopefully my pocketbook. (See more below!)

Just for kicks, I’d like to share a few benefits of taking on a Shopping Fast.

1. Save Money

Not purchasing clothes and accessories can be a great way to save money, especially if you shop for entertainment or without a budget. I already limit (often poorly) my purchases and budget my wardrobe spending, but if I’m only purchasing my exceptions, I expect to see more money available for other goals we have.

2. Appreciate What You Already Own

In our hypervisual consumer economy, it can be much easier to see what you lack than what you have. I’m as guilty of that as the next person. We are bombarded with thousands of ads (the numbers range from 3,000 to 10,000) daily, far more than we did 50 years ago (500-1,600 ads daily). No wonder we are buying more and liking it less. They say comparison is the thief of joy and that much comparison, whether we are aware or not, is not good for our happiness.

TIP: Unsubscribe from emails and SMS (text) messaging to limit the number of ads you see daily. (PS: I apologize for the ads that show up while you read my posts. Advertising helps keep the lights on here at Closet Play.)

3. Hone YOUR Style

It may sound counterintuitive, but by not shopping and keeping a wish list, you can get a handle on what really defines your style and what is just spur-of-the-moment-trend-driven lust. You’ll clarify what pieces and combinations you rely on on-the-regular, and what items aren’t seeing the light of day. The time you save not shopping can be spent playing with your wardrobe and discovering YOUR unique personal style!

TIP: Keep a wish list, do a Working Wardrobe Activity and take selfies to help you see your style more clearly!

Bonus: Spur Your Creativity

It’s so easy to click a button and poof… In two days, there’s something new on the doorstep. I don’t find addition drives creativity. Samin Nosrat says, Constraint is a gift in the kitchen. When you are looking at the odds and ends in the vegetable drawer and some containers of leftovers, you need to get creative to get dinner on the table! Combining and recombining what you have on hand is a way to use your creative human nature. Think you aren’t creative? You are! Creativity is built into our human nature. Look at children with sticks, rocks and dirt. Everyone is creative in his or her own way. Those skills are transferrable to your wardrobe.

TIP: Looking for inspiration? Feel free to use my Copycat Style process!

The Plan

One year. No buying new (to me) clothes or accessories. (Exceptions: Running/PT Shoes, Underwear and Basics that become unwearable due to damage. Jeans for example.) Alterations and repairs are allowed. Toiletries and makeup replacements can be purchased when current supplies run out. Clearly, I still need to shop. Food. Gas. Vehicle mainenance. Gifts for others.

TIP: It can be hard to stay accountable at big box stores… Set yourself up for success. I’ll be doing more drive-up pickups. When if I’m feeling tempted, I’ll save the in person trip for when I can take Mr CP with me. (To keep me on the straight and narrow!)

How About You?

Have you ever done a wardrobe shopping fast? How did you find it? Why did you choose to fast from shopping? Was your shopping fast intentional? How long did you set? What did you learn from it? What temptations did you run into? If you’ve never done a shopping fast, would you consider one? Why or why not? Do let me know… There’s plenty of room on the interwebs for your thoughts and I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,


  • Mary Jean Cunningham

    I know what you are proposing is a good idea. Two things are stumbling blocks for me when it comes to not making purchases – one is the desire for something new and the other is buying or wanting items that don’t necessarily fit my life as a retired person who does not need much clothing at all, truth be told – I am involved in many pursuits, but some casual clothes and something nicer for church are all I really need in the course of a week. I follow blogs such as yours to try to maximize and use what I have but it is fun to shop and try to find something new – maybe there is also the thought that the next thing I purchase will be the thing that makes life better? Anyway, I am on board with your idea and looking forward to how it works for you! Happy New Year!!

    • Liz K

      Ahhhhh, Mary Jean! We call that Wishful Wardrobing–buying items that don’t fit our lifestyle. There’s a place for some of those items if there’s a future for them! I’m trying to ask myself, Do I want this blouse/trouser/etc or would I rather have the $$$ in our travel account. (Or whatever makes your heart sing account!)

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