Chai Chat: I’m on a (Self-Imposed) Shopping Ban


{This week I’m enjoying tea in my super-sized Twitter mug c/o McCafe, doing some painting, and catching up on some light reading!}

I’m on a Shopping Ban…..

As of January 1st, I’ve put myself on a shopping ban for 3 months. Let me preface this post by saying; I don’t have a shopping addiction, I’m not spending my grocery money on shoes, and my husband didn’t make me do it (in fact, he doesn’t even know about it yet). The problem I’m trying to deal with is a mixed up wardrobe that doesn’t play well together, and constant buyers remorse. 

For someone who blogs about fashion and daily outfits, I’m still pretty confused about what my personal style is, what I actually like and dislike, and how I’d like to look. Am I the only person who thinks it’s strange that we (people in general) don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the kind of image we want to create with our clothes. I’m not talking about trying to be someone you’re not, or pretending; I’m talking about showing off who you actually are. We spend months if not years decorating our homes to perfection, but run out the door in whatever we can grab because we don’t have time for ourselves. Or maybe we think it’s too frivolous to take the time to think about what we are wearing?

Whatever the reason; I’ve decided to stop buying new clothes until I’m a little more certain on how I actually want to represent my style. I was really inspired by Gala Darling’s Style Direction where she plans out how she’d like her look to come together for that year or season. She’s not making a lifetime commitment to that style – she’s just saying for this year I want my look to be like this. That’s an idea that works for me. I’m in a new-ish phase of my life right now; in my thirties, my kids are getting pretty independent, I work from home, and I’m moving my career in a new direction – all these factors play out in the look I’d like to have, but I’m sure things will change again next year. 

There’s also a second part to this resolution; educating myself. I’m suddenly inspired to learn more about my clothing purchases. Which fabrics are better than others, what cuts flatter my body, and what are actual investment pieces? It seems like I’ve been shopping on auto-pilot my whole life. You go to the mall with a vague idea that you’d like to buy something, and pick what looks and fits nicely (on you and in your budget). But what about supporting local designers and artisans that craft by hand? And on the other side; I’ve never bought an expensive cashmere sweater or tried on Christian Laboutin’s – maybe it’s what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. 

I’m hoping that by taking a break from actually purchasing wardrobe pieces I’ll have the time to think about my own style direction. During the shopping ban, I’m also going to clear out my wardrobe and purge ruthlessly. Over the course of the next few years I’d like to create a wardrobe that is well curated and full of pieces that I love – not like, not settled for, but love!

What about you; do you plan your purchases to fit into a “style direction” or do you shop on auto-pilot? I’d love to hear how you feel about developing a signature style!





  1. January 10, 2013 / 4:35 pm

    Sounds like you have a good plan.

    I never go to the store with a certain game plan or list. I end up scouring clearance racks and getting this or that if it’s a bargain, but I know it’s not the best way to shop. I can do better.

    Best wishes to you on your shopping fast.

  2. January 11, 2013 / 5:00 am

    I love this! Shopping bans can be so hard, but I think it also makes you realize everything you already have, and how to wear it differently so you don’t get tired of the same pieces.

    Thanks for the comment you left on my blog yesterday! I’m excited to read more here 🙂

  3. January 11, 2013 / 5:57 am

    This post is so awesome! I read through the ‘Style Direction’ post as well, and had so much fun trying to define my style with only two words (for me it’s Classic Hippie). Being mindful about clothing purchases and overall style is a wonderful thing to foster. I can’t wait to see how your style evolves!


  4. January 12, 2013 / 3:10 pm

    I went on a shopping ban for Lent last year buying only those things that I needed. When I felt like I needed to buy something, I took the money and saved it. What I found out was that after the 40 day ban, I have become more thoughtful about my choices without even realizing it. Instead of settling, I have bought things thatI truly love and need. Now, it’s extremely rare that I actually go into my closet and say, “I have nothing to wear”.
    The only drawback is that I am now stumped on what to give up for Lent!

  5. Pin Sandhu
    March 4, 2013 / 11:50 pm

    Great plan and best of luck! I always shop spontaneously (so it’s fun and leisurely and NOT a chore) BUT I *always* have a style direction 🙂 This includes: colors or shades, price, quality of garment (super important), fit *no work* pieces (I.e. tailoring or fixing is a no no), classic or trend (I think of this beforehand), COMFORT, once I find something I take a second to think of at least 2 pieces I already own that can go with it (versatility and wearability). That’s pretty much my mantra. Whether its reg price or on sale I wiegh the pros and cons of it on the spot and weed out “remorse buy”. The only “remorse buys” I have are pieces that I did not buy…haha. Hope this helps! I look forward to your style evolution!! 🙂

    • March 5, 2013 / 9:05 am

      Great tips Pin! I should take you shopping next time:)