Sunday, February 6, 2011

I DID IT! It's like Christmas Morning!

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.

My bitch bag (a little reward for my will-power in 2010):

I'll post a more in-depth blog later on today or tomorrow, but I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID IT! I "technically" did not shop for a year. So, to commemorate this glorious day, I opened up my Louis Vuitton bag and transferred my purse contents to it - very happy with how everything fits into my upgraded bag. Oh, and yesterday - Mike and I bought a new, I guess that answers the question "what did you do with the money you saved from not shopping?"

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:; 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!

So, sadly, the shopping bug has not been exterminated within me, but I do think I have it a bit more under control. I think the best form of self-restraint I can apply on myself is to limit my trips to the mall. If I don't go, then I won't be tempted by the "buy me!" sounds coming from the hangers and will be able to resume a normal balance between buying clothes, and saving money for other exciting things (like a trip to Italy, or a new car, or a Louis Vuitton bag - hmmm, definitely already given into those urges, so to shift the balance back, must cut back on clothes shopping!).

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!

12. Blogging is fun but a lot of work - which is why this will likely be my last post.

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!



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