Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Busting out the cards again - well, thawing them. This is actually more symbolic than anything else given that the stores could easily look up my credit card information these days just by using my Social Security Number.
Today, I plan on hitting the mall before heading to a Superbowl Party in the late afternoon. I plan to make one purchase at Banana Republic using my gift card, and that is it! I'm certainly feeling a bit of a pinch after the car purchase yesterday, so what better way to keep me in line than a whoopin' car purchase that is now going to be an additional monthly expenditure?
More to come - I'll report how "good" I was at the mall.
Okay, Day 1 after the challenge has ended and here is a report on my current psyche: I am somewhat cured, but am amazed at how quickly the urge can come back. So, Mike and I entered the mall through the opposite end of Banana Republic and while he headed to Borders, I bee-lined for BR. As I walk through the mall, I give the hand to Express, the Gap, Forever 21, H&M, JCrew, Ann Taylor, and New York & Company, because I was determined to only shop at BR and use my $100 gift card. I had high hopes of incurring no cost and keeping my purchase below $100, but to no avail. My first few minutes in the store were filled with apprehension - fear of even picking something up and draping the hanger over my fingers to signify to the sales associate that I had intentions of trying it on. But that quickly wore off, and within 5 minutes, several items were hanging off my finger - and were too quickly grabbed by the salespeople and whisked to the fitting room. So, I ended up with about 15 articles of clothing to try on and, to my horror, was put in the dressing room with the super skinny mirror (see picture below). Okay, I know I am not obese by any means, but I also do not look like this! That would be the image of one of those itty bitty petite people who have been posting their clothing reviews on their blogs (here's the URL for a couple of them: http://www.extrapetite.com/; http://www.reallypetite.com/). Anyway, this too skinny mirror invoked strong buying urges making it hard for me to say "no" to articles that likely do not look as great on me as the mirror might have suggested. To combat this issue, I opened the door and found a 3-way mirror right across the hall and forced myself to confront the reality of my body - which thereby put some sense back into me and led me to pick a white wraparound blouse, a button down stripped work shirt, and a skinny belt that stays on my upper waist (an item that I had listed as a "need" in my previous blog). I was very tempted to purchase a military jacket that was super cute, but rationalized not buying it because 1) it's still freakin' winter out there, and 2) likely cannot be worn to a client meeting - I need versatility!
I have learned a great deal throughout this process - I will list out 12 of my biggest A-Ha's! (for some reason, that seems like a good number).
1. I had a shopping problem (admitting it is the first step, right?).
2. I had way too many clothes - probably still do!
3. There are so many other things that I can be doing with my time that are cheaper and likely to bring greater fulfillment into my life.
4. It's kind of nice not seeing your bank account zero out each month (until you buy a ridiculously priced bag or car).
5. I have a style - or I must choose to have a style if I want to maintain a reasonable clothing budget. I have decided that my style should be "classically sophisticated" - which will likely entail buying pieces of clothing that are less trendy, more expensive but longer-lasting.
6. My husband loves me even if I'm not wearing the latest jacket from Banana Republic. In fact, I think he loves me more when I'm not. 7. Thawed out previously-frozen credit cards have no problem working as soon as they have been dried (I just learned this lesson yesterday - see image above).
8. Banana Republic does not throw a welcome back party for you when you walk through their doors after not spending a penny with them over the course of a year. They don't even send "we missed you" cards when your once weekly spending habit suddenly disappears.
9. Don't believe the store mirrors - they lie to you. They don't have to walk back out into reality and realize that they spent too much money on something that doesn't look all that great on them!
10. If you control your weight a bit better than I did this past year, you really don't need to shop all that much.
11. I am not the most photogenic person. Either that, or I just have not come to terms with what I really look like!
Well, that's it followers, I have officially met my goal and have blogged (sporadically) for about a year about my experience. I hope that whoever reads this has found some enjoyment in my posts and if they have a shopping problem, are encouraged to give this no clothes for a year thing a try. If I can do it - so can you!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Brass Plum Jacket, Black BR sleeveless top with side waist ruching, Express Jeans, Ann Taylor loft necklace.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Jimmy Choo for H&M Dress. Used to be longer but I managed to shrink it when handwashing it recently - so, though worn here without leggings, would not be okay to do this outside of the comforts of my own home! Definitely my go to "girl's night out dress"
H&M taupe (?) belted dress. Good for going out or under a blazer for work. Almost makes me look tall!
BR pink sleeveless silk top, BR grey wool belted skirt with rusching. I haven't actually worn these together, nor would I to work without a blazer on top, but I do like pink & grey together. PeeWee the cat making a guest appearance.
Forever 21 jumper. This is one of those articles that you curse yourself for wearing when you need to use the bathroom. But nonetheless, I like it and it makes my legs look less dwarf-like. Uniqlo faux fur red belt-also a favorite!
Black Ann Taylor Loft sleeveless dress. Yes, one of my many little black dresses, but (in my opinion) by far the most flattering. not sure what does it - the cinched waist, the almost racerback sleeves, or where it hits on the knees...regardless, it's comfy and I like it!
BR blue rayon dress. A more recent purchase (last January). Though somewhat plain looking worn here, would like nice under a blazer or with some accessories - both of which I need to get better at wearing!
- a belt that is small enough to stay put around the top of my waist (currently, all belts I own either drop down to the hips or end up having a very long tail that just hangs out past the buckle)
- Jeggings - yes, they are all the rage these days and the best part about them is that they are stretchy! So, I could supposedly do yoga in them (according to one Jegging infomercial that I saw the other day - of which I do not intend to buy, but it sold me on the concept!)
- a new pair of jeans that I can wear with heels - my favorite fat-jeans are now shredded at the bottom of the pant hem because after stretching them out a bit, they drag on the floor if my heels aren't high enough
- a new pair of jeans that I can wear with flats - I only have the one pair - yes, I'm sure you know which they are, the ones with the stripes going down them. I need something a bit more tailored and good for going out
- a few new cute jackets that can be worn for work and casual events - again, inspiration from the petite fashion bloggers. Jackets make you look so much more put together!
Though this list may seem long for those of you who did not have to put yourself on a 1 year shopping fast because you had an uncontrollable problem, this is actually a pretty reasonable list given that I have not shopped for almost 365 days! Notice that I did not list little black dress, black work pants, or any type of shoe! So, in my mind, this is progress!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
As I reflect on some of my "best of's" from my year of blogging (okay, it's a bit ridiculous given that I've only really posted about 100 times or so), I can't help to think of all the comments I got when I was nearly arrested for speeding. Well, sadly, though I have been pretty good about not shopping, my lead foot has managed to get me into trouble again. Mike and I were in St. Louis a couple of weekends ago and we were a bit lost, so I was paying attention to my GPS telling me that I just missed a turn and suddenly saw lights flashing in back of me. This truly was one of those moments chocked full of innocence where I had no idea I was going over the speed limit - hell, I didn't even know what the speed limit was. So, I pulled over, sucked it up, took the $125 penalty and (sadly) was thankful that I wasn't told some additional bad news like "we're going to need to take you in ma'am because your license plate is expired" or some other ridiculous reason to penalize an upstanding citizen like me! I was very deflated, though, as I do feel like I've taken great strides at using my cruise control to counteract what I truly believe is a lead foot - perhaps somewhere in one of my right foot bones, there hides a magazines of lead bullets. Oh, I know! I know! It goes back to when my brother stabbed me in the knee cap when I was 6 years old with a pencil!!! I'm certain that the lead coming from that broken tip has grown into a large wad of heaviness in my foot causing me to unknowingly apply greater pressure to the gas pedal than others!! Okay, I hope you're at least snickering at this because this may be one of my last little quips (sniff, sniff).
I decided to test my willpower today by cleaning out the cobwebs between my Internet Browser and some pre-challenge websites that were often frequented (even bookmarked!). I am happy to report that browsing through Banana Republic, JCrew, White House Black Market, Ann Taylor, and Blue Fly did nothing to my shopping appetite. At no moment did I click on an item and add it to my shopping bag! I guess the real test comes when I am physically close to the latest fashions, can easily grab something and - gasp - try it on!! That is what always did me in in the past - it's one thing to see something hanging on the rack, it's another to see your skinnified self in the mirror (because, as I've posted before, they have those funhouse mirrors that make you look like a runway model) and to deny what you at the moment think is going to be that one piece in your closet that you'll keep going back to. An then, one year later, that article of clothing either stares at you unworn or taunts you for buying it when it didn't look nearly as splendid as you were lead to believe while in the store and high off of new clothing fumes.
I have no new outfits to report this time around, as I've been lounging around in my fleece pants and jacket - ridiculously watching the weather reports in hopes that tomorrow will be a snow day. I think it will! All the reason to blog more tomorrow!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Had to post a picture of one of my favorite yoga outfits-something about a shirt that says "Little Miss Lucky" just makes me happy...
This dress is going to the consignment store or given to a friend who looked much better in it than I. Maya, if you're ready, this dress is yours - I don't quite fill it out!
Christin Louboutin Shoes - to commemorate my promotion - every girl needs her "bitch" shoes!
Soccer pants and workout top - needed for our Soccer-themed 4th of July Party
Red sheath dress, black suit jacket, houndstooth coat - all purchases using my birthday money and the "ultimatum" that I had to buy clothes with it by my wonderful husband :)
Purple Pashmina and a White Gold Ring in Dubai-I mean, come-on! I was in Dubai! I had to buy something to remind me of my trip to the Middle East!
Bear Claw winter boots (Ugg-like) - forgot to pack a pair of warm shoes while on a weekend visit to Detroit and therefore succumbed to buying a pair of shoes at TJMaxx so I wouldn't freeze. Mike saved the day by buying them for me, but I still chalk that up to a purchase
Argyle knee-high socks - same story as the Bear Claw boots - forgot to pack socks when on a trip to Chicago, so I purchased these to keep my feet warm in the single digit weather as we trekked around the city.
And, finally...drumroll, please...my last illegitamate purchase of the year...(consider this a confession)...a Louis Vuitton bag. I was in Chicago last weekend and did not intend on buying the bag but rather to try a few on to get a sense of what I would ultimately buy on Superbowl Sunday of this year while Sommerset mall (a good 1.25 hour drive from our home). Then, I thought to myself, why the hell not buy this bag and keep it in my closet until the glorious day when I can lift off this self-imposed ban and shop? So, I bought it - trekked around Chicago with it in it's dustbag and sturdy Louis Vuitton shopping bag (hiding it in a beach bag so I wouldn't be mugged). So, it has been idly sitting on the top shelf of my closet, getting to know my Louboutin's, waiting for me to pull it out and fulfill it's destiny :)
It's odd, this past week, I've been thinking about shopping and am almost scared to buy something. I fear that, like anyone suffering from an addiction, just a taste of what I loved so much will unleash this irrepressible urge and the shopping monster will be re-released. I guess the true test will come on Sunday when I make a trip to the mall and make a small purchase (I hope it's small). I feel like I kind of have to do this to measure the behavior change in me. I've got it all figured out though - because I am a bit set back financially from the Louis Vuitton purchase, and because Mike and I are trying to save up for our summer trip to Italy and Slovenia, I am going to use a giftcard that my dear friend Rita sent me for Christmas. It, happily enough, is an all-purpose Banana Republic, Gap, Piperlime, Athleta card which means I can spend it anywhere. I guess I could go online and browse on Sunday, especially since we're likely to attend a Superbowl party later that day, but to me, the true test to immerse myself in Banana Republic, surround myself with all the signals that used to release that uncontrollable urge (smell of new clothes, sights of all kinds of clothing, sound of the cash register beeping away as people make purchases, etc.), and with exercised control, make a purchase only if I really need to have the item I am purchasing, and if it makes me look FABULOUS!
Yesterday, on a drive from Moline, IL to Chicago, my sales partner and I passed an amazing outlet mall in Aurora, IL. It had a Kate Spade store, True Religion (which I've never even heard of but was told by my colleague that these are the "it" jeans of today), Theory, Banana, etc. I felt a sudden spike of excitement as I realized that I'll be just down the road from this outlet in late February for a training session. Oh boy - perhaps that is the true test!!! Help - I'm feeling the crazy urges coming back again! Must...not...give...in...
Friday, January 7, 2011
It's freakin' cold out there - so I do wish I wore these with Ugg boots - but what kind of a fashion statement would that be??
I just posted on Facebook that the 30 day countdown begins - so now I'm guessing that there might be more readership than there has been in the past few months. Blogging is such hard work!
Okay, off to Happy Hour!