This post is a little different as I wanted to cover a special event that I attended this last week. My last several posts have included information on my #30DaysNoShopping challenge and this has had a huge impact on me. For a person with a shopping addiction, this is a very big step, and those who suffer this same addiction will totally understand. Today marks Day 9 of the shopping ban challenge by wearing this orange and white tie dye hoodie and jeans from my closet.
I was first introduced to the challenge through one of my favorite apps on my phone: Stylebook. I had logged my clothing and planned my outfits for years (pre smart phones) on notepads, so when a co-worker introduced me to the app that let me take pics, plan visual looks, and organize them on a calendar, I was sold. It was like creating a mini design concept board just for me, everyday!
Anyhow, the premise of the 30 Days No Shopping challenge is to use the clothes you already have in your closet for a month. The idea of it was so appealing to me because I had just come off a little shopping binge due to a high anxiety moment in my life. When my dog of 13 years passed away the end of August, I spiraled out of control. She meant so much to me that I needed something to make me happy, and for me, it was shopping. It was that sweet feeling of finding something new that I kept trying to fill that sadness with. Unfortunately, it left me feeling guilty and unfulfilled. As soon as I would make a purchase, I would start looking for the next thing.
It was completely unrelated that I began Day 1 of this challenge on the same day that I went to listen to Nicole Longstreath of The Wardrobe Code speak at the Orange County Women’s Style Mastery Summit. Little did I know the significance it would hold.
Feeling completely confident in a python print dress and mingling with other women at the event knowing it was all about fashion, I anxiously awaited what type of information I could gain. After all, I am not a fashion expert, only a fashion lover.
The introduction was pretty much me nodding my head in agreement and then something unexpected happened. Nicole really started delving into a part of fashion that was beyond just the physical clothing and I was struck by some of her comments.
“Women are on a constant journey to define themselves.”
Wow, since venturing on this challenge of no shopping, it has made me really tune into what type of style defines me. With my 40th birthday coming up next year, I want a style that is mine and mine alone. I want something that reads artistic and funky without sacrificing sophistication. I want to look young, but not too young. I want to look older, but not too old.
She continued – “It’s OK to be concerned about your image.”
I never thought about this before so bluntly. A woman attending the event shared she did not want to get really nice items fearing it would make her look like she was being pretentious. As I looked at her facial expressions, she was so very genuine with her concern. She had a warm smile that invited you in and I could not see her in a fake or pretentious light, regardless of the clothes she wore. I often wonder if I ever do this, even though I put a lot of thought into my outfits. Am I vain if I start looking at designer items? Will it turn me into a snobby designer? The more I thought about it, I realized that I am who I am. I will always have a goofy smile and laugh with an occasional snort. I do however recognize that when I put on those higher quality items (of which most have been gifts) I already own, I just hold myself in a more confident manner, ready to conquer the design world, with a happy disposition of course.
Then the bomb was dropped on me.
“Why can’t everyone have a little Chanel in their wardrobe?” – she asked
All this time I had been thinking about my image when it comes to my business and what potential clients might think about me. I want to attract clients that take pride in their home, just as I should in my image. The money that I spent on those multitudes of cheaper tops that I actually wear and love could have been that beautiful Michael Kors watch I have been drooling over for the past two years. Does this mean that if I did that I would have no tops to wear? No. So what is stopping me from saving to get these substantial pieces I really would like to have in my wardrobe? Granted, there are less expensive watches out there that I have almost purchased similar in appearance to the MK, but they just look, dare I say it, cheap so I just could not pull the trigger.
Then the questions came:
Am I addicted to fast fashion?
Am I wearing a cheap version (costume) of what I aspire to look like?
This no shopping challenge has forced me to really look and analyze what I have in my wardrobe. I have already had anxious days of “if only I had gray jeans, it would allow me to make so many more outfits”. But really, after the gray jeans, then what, it will always be another item. I am not trying to say that shopping is bad because I fully intend on returning to the shopping world, but hopefully in a more enlightened and educated way. I am also not saying that brand name, designer pieces, and high ticket items are what quantify quality. This is really going to be an experiment and a huge challenge for me. At this time, with a growing business, I do not make a whole lot of money, so making smarter decisions with my purchases are what I need to do. Perhaps this is the shift I need to make to help me in my business. This challenge has forced me to see what I am actually wearing and to be creative with what I have, which is a lot.
So here is my conclusion:
- Beginning 2015, I am going to save money to purchase items that are higher in quality and pieces that really reflect who I am. It may take me a while to save up, but I believe it will be worth it. I believe that I am worth it.
- Slowly, I will purge my wardrobe of fast fashion items as I acquire items that are the standard that I hold for myself.
- I will seek out plus size clothing designers and brands that provide these types of items because I really do not know of any off the top of my head and that is kind of bad.
Just so you know, I am not associated business wise with Stylebook, just a super fan and I really have personally benefited from their app because it is so much cleaner than notepads. If you want to join me on the journey of the #30DaysNoShopping, I would love to see first of all what outfits you come up with, but also what mind set comes along with it. Just use the hashtag on Instagram and/or Twitter to post your looks.