Once again, I've been a long time away from this blog. I found it quite interesting to return and notice that the last time I wrote, it was about a no buy and I'm coming back again because I want to journal about another no buy, this time for all of Fall Term, which started this week.
2021 has been a tough year for me, both on some personal levels and also sharing in the collective stress of the ongoing pandemic as it permeates new and more frustrating aspects of our lives. This year, the old 1980s consumerist mantra still rang true: "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!"
At times this year, the only connection to creativity and self-expression that I had the energy to maintain was tending to my wardrobe. Rather than forming ambitious sewing plans, participating in Instagram outfit challenges, and going on thrift store shopping dates, I turned to organizing and caring for what I have and unwinding by perusing eBay or combing through the Old Navy website for the perfect garment or accessory to combine with my existing pieces to complete imaginary outfits. The possibility of fashion in the future seemed to keep me going when things were really hard in the present moment.
That was well and good throughout the Spring and Summer, but as Summer wanes, I realize that I have finally - for the first time in all my 40+ years - achieved a Fall wardrobe that is "done" before the Autumnal Equinox even rolled around. How novel! How satisfying! How odd. What will I do now?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Stop shopping and enjoy my clothes for a season.
So that's what I plan to do. I'm going to play with my clothes and track what I'm wearing. When the urge to shop visits me and I can't turn to mending or making or organizing... I'm going to write about my experiences because I think that helps me stay in the present and also unwind in the same way online shopping does. If you want to follow along, I welcome you to my Fall no buy journey & lots of ruminating about garments, shopping, and mindfulness.
Rereading my last post, I found it so interesting to look back on the items I purchased when I was emotional shopping in February vs. the thing I was really really wanting then - some Big Bud Trousers. I did end up buying the trousers later in the Spring and the fit was awful on me and the whole experience of planning for a big purchase was quite disappointing. Nothing bad to say about the trousers or the company, just my body is hard to fit. Since I really like the mission of the company and they have a pretty limited return policy, I ended up giving the trousers away to a stranger on Instagram who makes amazing content I really appreciate as sort of a thank you. In the end, the emotional impulse shopping (ala Frisky Gatos' Listen to your Lizard advice) actually yields better purchases for me than larger premeditated purchases.
If there's anything I've learned in 2021, it's to be curious and patient with yourself the way you would a dear friend. I've also started to form a theory about how lots of the minimalist capsule wardrobe approaches in fashion are similar to dieting and eventually lead to binge shopping in the same way that dieting on food often leads to disordered eating. With my Sun in Cancer, I have a rather emotional relationship to lots of things I do, eating and shopping being no exception. Ditching dieting and restrictive ways of eating and focusing on intuitive eating has been a gift to myself over the last few years and I think I'm starting to develop a sort of intuitive shopping approach too. I'll be musing on that in the weeks ahead.
A bit about me:
My grandmothers grew up in the Great Depression and their stories, skills, and resourcefulness made a beautiful mark on my heart. I am always making something, usually with fiber or textiles. I love scraps and reusing things and rescuing overlooked treasures. I think about a lot of things while I am making. Here is a record and, hopefully, a connection to the thread of my story.