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.