My no new clothes challenge: from shopper to stylist

Perhaps it’s not the standard time of year to make a resolution, August. Yet if there was one month I needed to squeeze my spending, it was this one. After an impromptu trip to the UK between jobs (not being paid) I’m planning my packing for next month’s ten day holiday to Japan (also unpaid, as I haven’t accrued the leave).

My budgeting app suggests I’ll save between around $4,000 over the next 12 months by not buying any clothes. And that number’s not a typo.

Forget doing my bit for the planet: that cash saving alone is enough to get me steering clear of the shops.

Temptation at Every Turn

Not to say that it’s easy. I walk the length of Auckland’s Queen Street on my way to work, so I pass the open doors of H&M every morning. One morning I clean forgot my resolution until I was almost inside, then had the sudden realisation that I couldn’t go in. Or rather, that there was no point in it.

When Liam was getting excited about going to Uniqlo when we’re in Japan, I started getting excited too, until I remembered I couldn’t buy anything on holiday.

From Shopper to Stylist

Instead of ‘pleasure shopping’ (browsing and buying without needing anything particular) I’m getting enjoyment from working with what I already have. Seaching and saving in Pinterest is one of my favourite activities now that I’ve deleted my social media apps and can’t shop. 

How can I style my green trousers in a new outfit? What should I pair this black jumper with? I’ve got a board for each season, where I’ll save my favourite looks that use clothes similar to things in my wardrobe.

No shopping: more clothes

I’ve also been making an effort to wear all of my clothes, not just my favourite 20%. It’s reminded me just how many garments I have; I’ve been in my new job for three weeks and haven’t yet worn the same thing twice.

What this challenge has flagged is the number of items that I wasn’t wearing, because they need mending or don’t fit properly. The trousers that are too long, the hems that have come undone, the shirt with a hole in the sleeve. This weekend’s task is to visit my local tailor.

One month down, 11 to go

One month in and I’m pretty happy with how quickly I’ve got out of the habit of walking into shops and browsing clothes online. Maybe it’s just the rush of excitement and it will get harder, but for now I’m feeling more optimistic than before I started the challenge that I’ll be able to go a whole year without spending any money on new clothes.

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