Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Changed Woman

I spent all of this past Saturday shopping in my new home of downtown Boston (see updated profile), and only walked away with a $14 red and chrome egg-timer from Black Ink, Inc. on Charles Street, which I have honestly been eyeing for months now. In fact, I am a changed woman.

Further, my husband, who initially pushed me into this endeavor by doubting I could accomplish such a feat, said to me, "I have noticed a change in your shopping habits. You are much more selective now."

Selective, indeed.

Being that my year of fasting was such a success in my own life and pertaining to my own habits, I am thinking I need to attack another vice in my world and stave it off for a year.

High Fructose Corn Syrup?
Looking in the mirror?
Email? (I wish)


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And She Shopped

It was overwhelming and I was a touch skittish, but I shopped. On Saturday, a loyal pair of friends accompanied me to a vast shopping center in upstate New York, which has nearly 250 stores. Not only was the experience a lot to digest, but completing my first shopping consumption endeavor-- after not shopping for a year-- made me a little uneasy.

I felt so much pressure to make the right choices when shopping and labored over my decisions. After all was said an done, and after nearly 9 hours of perusing, I walked out with three pairs of flats, one pair of pumps, one t-shirt, two belts, three skirts, and a dress. Fortunately for me and my pocketbook, I didn't spend nearly as much as one might think on those goodies.

Will have photos coming in the next little while....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Let Down

So, it can be said that I have gone a year and a day without shopping.

I had every intention of purchasing something online yesterday or running to Barney's and buying something terrific, but it never happened. I got caught at work and, thus, have yet to make my first post-fast purchase.

I will keep you posted. Perhaps an extravaganza this Saturday? Or maybe a fashion fast extension?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Eve Before

I don't know what to expect tomorrow. I don't know what levels of liberation I will feel in being able to shop for fashion items again. Part of me wants to attack every sample sale in town and the other part of me doesn't want to do anything in commemoration of this achievement.

In the cab ride home this evening, I was thinking that I would wake up at 12:01 a.m. this coming morning to make my first purchase right away and usher in a new shopping code of conduct. But I can't decide if I really feel the need to shop that badly.

It's been a year and I still don't need anything. In fact, about 75% of my wardrobe is in storage right now and I don't miss any of it. Not to mention, there are things in the other 25% of my closet that I have only worn once.

What does this craving to shop say about our culture? It's a habit and not a good one. I will let you know how I fare tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

8 Days to Go!

Not that I am counting or anything.... But it has been almost an entire year and I have not purchased one fashion item. It feels like a great accomplishment, and although my blogging has dwindled over the past few months, I have been keeping true to my promise.

I have been really thinking about the lessons I have learned since embarking on this adventure and, for the most part, the experience has been terrific.

But back to those lessons:

1. Sales Come and Go.
When I was shopping previously, I would come head-to-head with a sale, see something that seemed like a great deal, and then rationalize the purchase by saying, "Well, I will never find this product at this price, ever again. Not true. Most stores, designers or not, have sales at least twice a year. And while the product might not be identical, it's usually very likely that you will find something just as great at another time. Don't get sucked into the sale mentality of "I have to get this now, or I may be missing out on a great deal."

2. Don't Impulse Buy.
Be patient when shopping. If you are unsure as to whether you really like a piece, don't purchase it. Ask the sales associate to put the item(s) on hold and go home or elsewhere. If you can't get the product out of your head, go back to the store and buy it. Don't buy something if you aren't 100% sure you can "own" the piece.

3. Think Long-Term.
Most fashion magazines will hate that I am saying this, but don't feel inclined to change your wardrobe to meet the current fads. Fads are fads because they don't last forever. Style is classic, enduring, smart. Find your personal style and stick to it. When shopping, ask, "Would I wear this in five years? Or is it something that is only appealing for this season?" Go with the piece that you will still love putting on in the morning five years from now.

4. Remember: Quality, not Quantity.
American women tend to think, "Okay, I have X amount of cash, so that means I need to get as many articles of clothing possible with my limited funds." On the other hand, most European women think, "Okay, I have X amount of cash, so that means I need to find one, good quality item that is perfect for me." Blowing your fashion budget on clothing that will literally fall apart at the seams in 3 months is not worth your money or time. Spend your energies on a piece that is gorgeous, durable, and works just as hard as you do.

5. Live Simply.
You don't need to fill your closet to the point of combustion. Over-consumption is a major issue in the United States and Americans need to start, not only living within their means, but also start learning when to say, "Enough is enough." Having too many possessions is not a status symbol, it's only indicative of someone who cannot practice self-restraint.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Three Post-Fast Visits I Intend to Make

Doyle & Doyle
Specializing in vintage jewelry, I first heard about this gem from a co-worker in my office's fashion closet. A pair of sisters created this chic and classic vault that sells all types of pieces, many now one-of-a-kind, from necklaces to earrings to rings. A majority of the items for sale were with picked up at an estate sale or other type of antique sale and Doyle & Doyle allows you to reap the benefits of their scouring.
What I am Drooling Over: Citrine and Gold Studs or Garnet and Gold Studs
Located at:
189 Orchard Street
New York, NY

Eryn brinié
This South Korea-based design firm consistently produces one feminine article of clothing after another. Every piece is simple and classic, yet modern and fancy, with ruffles, lace, and quality fabrics. Somewhat like the Gap of Korea, Eryn brinié is going to transform American shopping, with its low price point and exceptional design.
What I am Drooling Over: The Long Ruffle Cardigan
Located at:
501 Broadway
New York, NY

Madewell is another brand created and run by a team of designers, similar to Eryn brinié. With denim, cardigans, and t-shirts, they focus their lines on casual, comfortable items that can be worn until you've worn 'em out. Basically, the pieces alone will never go out of style, so each is a wise investment.
What I am Drooling Over: Any one of their scarves
Located at:
486 Broadway
New York, NY

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Could I Have Single-Handedly Prevented the Recession?

The Fashion Fast began as an attempt to do some good--reduce waste, consume less, give back to a charity, and enhance my personal will-power. But now I am beginning to feel bad about my non-shopping habits. Due to the recession, retailers are having a difficult time meeting their sales quotas and saying afloat financially (who isn't right now?), and most are blaming these trials on the fact that the money Americans once spent on shopping has now been tucked into mattresses.

A few Fashion Fast followers have questioned me on this paradox, "Don't you feel bad about not shopping? Don't you feel bad about not injecting funds into a hurting economy?" The answer is no, I don't feel one once of remorse. (And, it's been nearly 10 months!)

First of all, I began the fast before the mass downfall of the economy. Yes, America was already experiencing a recession, but the financial sector collapse didn't happen until a few months after I engaged in my anti-shopping habits. Second, there is no way that I would have bought enough clothing to help curtail the deficits that retailers are seeing on their balance sheets. I used to buy a lot, but not that much. Third, given the economic climate on my own micro level, my funds for shopping would likely have been limited anyway, just like everyone else.

When I think about the empty storefronts and the folding of multiple retail chains, I can't feel bad. The fashion world has been so bloated with retailers trying to sell the next person the same thing as the person before, that it's probably a healthy thing to trim the retail fat.

I want to know though, how have your shopping habits changed over the past year?

Monday, April 13, 2009

My First Post-Fast Purchase

The finish date for doing The Fashion Fast is quickly coming up, so it's only natural that I would be thinking about what my first post-fast expenditure might be. After a year of no fashion or clothing purchases, it will be really strange to start buying for myself again. I don't know how it's going to feel to enter a store, browse, try things on, and check out after not doing so for so long. Sometimes I think that I could go without shopping for longer than a year.... (Someone dare me.)

But after realizing the limited nature of my shoe selection, I have determined that shoes are the items that I miss purchasing most. Not because I have any sort of fetish, but because a pair of uncomfortable shoes can ruin a gal's day. There have been some moments during the fast where I would give anything to run to the closest boutique and pick out a new pair of cute flats, for this simple and sole (!) reason: my feet are killing me.

So, to celebrate the closing of my fast in just a few short months, I intend to purchase a pair of nude, super-comfy, but entirely chic, pumps. Believe it or not, there are designers out there that make a comfortable heel, and I intend to find them!

Of course, this will all happen after my July 15 anniversary date.

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