My “New” Shopping Habits

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you may remember me mentioning Meg’s #noshop19 challenge that she kicked off this time last year. The premise was to go a year without shopping for frivolous things (like clothing, accessories, home decor, etc…basics like replenishing empty toiletries and makeup were okay) and while I didn’t specifically participate in not shopping at all in 2019, I kept up with Meg’s journey and actively followed the corresponding Facebook group where many members chose to embark on #noshop19 and others–like myself–were generally interested in owning less and shifting towards having fewer, more high-quality pieces in our lives.

I wrote this post nearly a year ago and while everything there still holds true, I wanted to share an update of sorts because something unexpected has happened since then…I kind of got tired of shopping and buying. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good deal and relish helping others shop, but the idea of mindlessly scrolling through pages of products when a retailer has an “epic sale” and trying to find something for my own closet has turned wholly unappealing. I was literally going through a sale section last week and caught myself thinking “I hope I’m almost to the last page” versus the “I hope there’s a lot more to scroll through–more opportunities to find something good!” that I used to feel.

This isn’t to say I didn’t shop in 2019–I definitely did, and I probably spent more money than I should have. But I went into the year with a list of things I was planning to purchase and only added four things to that list for the rest of the year. Sure, that means that everything else I purchased wasn’t “planned,” but the biggest takeaway for me has been losing the urge to browse + buy. It’s really come about since the late summer and fingers crossed the mentality is here to stay. I think the shift comes from so many rounds of purging and finally getting our belongings down to a reasonable number given our apartment size, and now the idea of bringing almost any kind of “stuff” into our home stresses me out rather than brings me joy.

There’s the list I started this time last year. I’m now on the fence about Birdies, don’t see myself wearing the brown riding boots enough to justify the purchase, and have enough flats to hold off on the Margaux pair for the foreseeable future. I do still plan to purchase a Thom Kelly shirt (passed it up to snag her new sweatshirt instead!) and am still looking for the black heeled sandals.

While I didn’t keep track of every single thing I bought last year, here’s most of (if not all of) what I bought myself in the second half of 2019:

+ 3 Dudley Stephens fleeces (all purchased with a discount code)

+ Stuart Weitzman boots (got them 50% off in September–off-season is a great time to snag a similar pair from big box stores like NordstromLast Call, Nordstrom Rack, and their own site)

+ Another one of my favorite cotton sweaters (it was marked down to $20 at the time)

+ This sweater (to fill a longstanding gap in my closet–was marked down to $100)

+ These boots (a gift to myself after hitting a big milestone)

+ A pair of blue jeans and a pair of black jeans (filling another longstanding gap in my closet)

+ Another pair of my favorite pajamas (they only have two sales a year and I snagged these on Black Friday)

+ These earrings (I’d been wanting them for months and waited for the BF sale)

+ These joggers (filling a gap in my closet–my only non-legging alternative was a pair of 7+ year old yoga pants)

Most of these were an investment but nearly all are pieces I plan to have for years and other than this sweater, none were impulse purchases. The fact that I more thoughtfully planned my purchases and actually stuck with said plan was a first for me, and it’s much of why I’m putting this in writing. It’ll be a good reminder for myself, and if you’ve been hoping to adopt this kind of mentality when it comes to shopping, hopefully it’ll inspire you, too! We have a lot of expenses coming up in the next couple of years (everyone knows both throwing a wedding and attending them aren’t cheap!) and my hope is to build on the progress I made in 2019 and continue to make more mindful purchases. If you’ve had a mindset shift like this, I’d love to hear about your experience–leave a note in the comments below so we can discuss!

Top image by Charles via Unsplash

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  1. Erica wrote:

    I love the idea of putting together a list for the year. I’ve done it by season, but not for the full year. I’m going to try it! I usually do a month or two of no shopping throughout the year. Just last week I thought to myself how much I was looking forward to it – the constant looking through sales, buying and returning is so time consuming. As I looked through my closet this fall, I noticed my Everlane sweaters were the ones I reached for over and over so I’ve stopped looking for them
    at other retailers.

    Posted 1.3.20 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      The month or two of no shopping is SO liberating. I did it a couple times this year and found myself extending it without any thought! Totally agree with how time consuming the action is–both mentally and physically. And good call with the Everlane sweaters…I love them, too :)

      Posted 1.4.20 Reply
  2. Sophie wrote:

    I keep a running list in my head of what I need to purchase. I think keeping a list will help me buy items that match the rest of my style.

    Posted 1.3.20 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Totally agree–it makes a huge difference in not buying things that you’ll end up getting rid of after a few wears!

      Posted 1.4.20 Reply