Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Woudl You Go Two Months Without Buying Clothes? by Gail Carriger

Yes indeed, Fashionable Reader, you read that title right. Two whole months! Without meaning too, (because I did bring home 2 leather jackets, summarily rejected, and then returned) I have spent nothing on clothes in 2014. I broke my fast this weekend with a black sun hat, because I was away, intended a hike, and I already freckle beyond acceptable parameters.

Sonoma Hat Co. Black Ribbon Sun Hat, collapsible

It's sort of more like buying sunscreen, right? Nevertheless, this made me go check and realize that yes indeed I haven't bought clothing this year. How bizarre for me. I guess I made two more clothing-related New Year's goals without meaning to...

via FB

1. To spend less on objects and more on experiences with people I love. This is part of my ongoing effort to free up time for others. As much as I relish my life as a writer, and I feel fortunate to have this profession, it has rather eaten me from the inside out since 2009. My career has been nurtured enough for now, and it is time for me to gather in the other parts of life that are important.

2. To not buy any tops at all, knowing that next year I'll most likely be getting a reduction. After all, what is the point in buying when I know it won't fit in a year or so? And since tops are more necessary than bottoms in a wardrobe, and I have plenty of bottoms, I just haven't bought anything.

 Hopeful Before & After: 1905-1907  The FIDM Museum; 1910  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I did visit Target recently because my fashion spies reported in that they have a rainbow selection of skinny belts right now. I have a great love of the skinny belt. (Yes my belt series on this blog will continue soon.) But I had a careful list of the four I actually needed in my wardrobe (thank you StyleBook) and none of they ones they have were exactly right.

1872 Godeys Nov

However, if you are in the market, $15 will get you pretty much any color (except chocolate brown, emerald green, blush pink, and dove grey).

I walked out empty handed. You know, there a certain kind of power in that.

I wonder how long I can keep this non-spending habit up, especially with my trip to NY next week.

I am curious, amongst my fashionable readers, have any of you intentionally done a clothing fast? Unintentionally?

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.


  1. I go on clothes binges, and then dont buy anything for ages. I buy my smalls in bulk from BHS on my trips to the UK, along with t-shirts from Marks and Spencer and generally a couple of nice shirts/tops from M&S or Next. So thats only every 2 years.
    Dresses - I have 4 that I bought over an 18 month period from the sadly no longer Marci Mai.
    Jeans - I only ever buy one sort (Levi Curve ID) and then only every couple of years.
    I am in need of new work trousers, so that will be my next binge - probably at RM Willams as 1. I have a 500 dollar gift voucher that I won that needs spending, and 2. I have a friend who gets me a good discount.

  2. I often find that I go for long periods without buying clothing. Usually it's a financial consideration. Sometimes I go on a search but can't find anything that works. Women's clothing is in a very "fitted" mode right now, which really blows when you're looking for long sleeved and/or button down shirts, especially if you're possessed of thick upper arms.

    But then I'll find socks or underwear on sale. Or the occasional shoe sale. But then I go through my closet and realize that there's a positively stupid pile of clothes that I cant wear anymore and it feels like I'm falling behind. Again.

    And every now and again, I give up on buying bras. Aside from being an exercise in frustration, they don't survive long enough to justify their high prices. Granted, stretch would be one thing. But between inferior materials, persistent discomfort, and weight fluctuations that lead to increasingly impossible to find bra sizes I just don't have the patience, the energy, or the money to keep up.

  3. I have a $40/month budget for clothes, and it pretty much all goes into thrifting. Some months I go a little over, some months I'm a little under, but I rarely go long periods without going to the thrift shop to decompress.

    1. I do have a weakness for thrifting as well, many of my costumes have been made over thrift store pieces!

  4. I'm in a middle area right now, having just gotten out of almost three years working in a clothing store. I had to wear in-season colours and styles so I was buying about 8 days worth of new clothing every 2-3 months (usually two pairs of pants, a skirt, and 5-8 tops, depending, and sweater-like things included). Since changing careers completely, I've only bought pajamas, socks, and one sweater. I was giving away my out-of-season items pretty frequently too, since I spend most of my time at work and didn't want to keep things I couldn't wear (Bedbug sprays kind of helped. I really didn't like packing up 3 102L bins of clothes every 6 months. Grf.) but now I'm hanging on to what I've got. I'll probably look at replacing a few pieces later this year, after I get into my summer wardrobe. I also had a stunning realization today that I could make some of my wardrobe too and actually wear it! Yay!

  5. not buying clothes is not a problem for me. not buying books, on the other hand, is.

    1. Ah yes, but I can't think of a good reason NOT to buy books!


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