How to Survive a Year Without Shopping by Catherine

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Hi, Clothed Much readers. I’m Catherine from FEST and I blog all about food, style, and travel. In 2012 I challenged myself to not buy any new clothes all year and still look fashionable every day. I’m happy to say that I DID IT! I survived all of 2012 without purchasing any new clothes. Whew!


When I began this challenge, I was extremely unsure of my choice. As someone who enjoys fashion and shopping and changing up my "look" everyday, could I really survive an entire year without new clothes? "Surely, this is a bad idea," I feared. But I knew that I believed in the philosophy that you don't need to spend a lot of money to look stylish, so I carried on.


Everyday as I looked in my closet, I pushed myself to see things in a different light and keep my outfits interesting and stylish. At times, it was a challenge to overcome the societal pressure we all feel to give into fashion trends (Polka-dots, neon, colored denim.. I wanted all of it.), but I found that once I focused on what I do have, I didn't feel so left out. Slowly, I started to feel more and more comfortable wearing similar outfits day after day. I realized that it's okay (and really cool) to have a "signature look" (Mine is jeans, a v-neck t-shirt, and a scarf.) I also learned that if you haven't worn something for a year, you probably won't wear it ever again, even if you're on a shopping fast. Things that started the year in the back of my closet are still there.


And the thing that surprised me most about this year-long shopping fast....
I felt more freedom in all aspects of my life. I never realized before how much of my mental capacity was used up thinking about clothes and future purchases. From online shopping to actual shopping to staring at pictures of fashionable girls in magazines or blogs, there are so many opportunities for women to think about fashion and compare themselves to other women. Once I eliminated the possibility of buying new clothes, my brain automatically expanded its capacity to think and talk about more important and practical matters like social issues, future goals, or building relationships with loved ones. Now, that is a gift I am truly thankful for.

If you’re interested in completing a similar challenge in 2013, click here for more information about joining the FEST Challenge.

13 comments :

  1. Wow. That is amazing! Will definitely check out her blog.

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  2. Wow that's a big challenge!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

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  3. That's awesome! Good for her for taking this on! I did it for six months a year ago, and that was tough enough- I think I would have really struggled with an entire year. Doing something like this really does teach you to look at your existing clothes in a new light though, and it teaches you A LOT about contentment!

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  4. Sweet! I may just do this next year. I'll need to start saving for future/school anyway!

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  5. I think I've already gone for more than a year without shopping for clothes, but that's not hard considering I have no fashion drive and zero desire to shop for clothes. This wouldn't be a sacrifice for me, but I recognize the sacrifice it was for you and am impressed. It makes me wonder what I am filling up my time with that may be distracting me from better things...

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  6. 3 weeks in and counting... {gulp}
    http://www.thismomsgonnasnap.com

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  7. Wow. If I were to do that, I think I'd have to do a major shopping spree BEFORE the year started! Which may end up canceling out all that money I was supposed to save...

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  8. I have the goal of going six months without shopping. So far so good, however, I am really disappointed that I am going to Paris and will not be able to buy clothes. Oh well, I guess it will mean that I will have to go back to Paris. ;)

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  9. Wow! Nicely done! I'm currently trying to be content with what I have...and save some money in the meantime. While I haven't formally declared a shopping ban, I'm very conscious about my shopping habits right now. I applaud you for making it through and learning from your experience!

    theoriginalbrynn.blogspot.com

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  10. You did amazing! This is inspiring. Especially for a girl on a budget. Thank you.

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  11. I will definitely do the shopping.... Style does not depend on price. It has to be original and express your personality.

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  12. that is amazing you went an entire year! good for you!
    what about shopping for other things though? I find I'm just as guilty as buying things for the house (picture frames, throw pillows, vases, coasters, coffee mugs) that I need just as much as I need another striped top.

    Chic on the Cheap

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  13. Amazing! Indeed, style can not be bought :)

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