After posting about my post-shopping ban binge (here), I realized that the shopping ban essentially didn't change my shopping habits for the better. I didn't actually learn anything from doing a so-called shopping ban and in fact it just caused bingeing in other areas of my life and post ban.
But what I haven't mentioned before is that I've actually tried a shopping ban like this before, back in 2014. That year, I was a lot more successful and I was able to change some of my shopping habits (sort of). I did buy less for a couple years, but during the shopping ban (which again was for just clothes, not everything) I ended up buying a lot of beauty products. I got really good at doing my own nail polish and makeup, and I also bought a ton of nail polish and makeup. So I see now that my actual impulsive spending was just funneled to a different area (what was "allowed"). And then with the start of the blog, I ended up going back to my old spending habits. So that first ban didn't do much.
But I'm going to try to learn from my second failed ban of 2017. Here are some of the lessons I've learned:
1) To quit shopping fast fashion (which was one almost-successful thing I did during this shopping ban), you just have to stop walking into those stores and going to malls (if you can help it). Don't even look into their display windows. Just walk straight past it like a horse with blinders. No one needs fast fashion in their life (there's well-priced sustainable clothing, just look at the second hand market). Shopping is not a past-time, it should be treated as a rare treat or an action taken when something specific is needed.
2) Never going to do a ban again. Instead I have to learn how to make more mindful purchases and less impulsive ones. I'm still not quite sure exactly how that evolution is going to come about but if I learn how I'll let you know, lol. Anyone have tips on how they make more mindful purchasing decisions? The StyleBook app has at least helped me see how much I've spent on my closet and how much of the stuff I'm actually using. As I've been adding to my digital closet, I've been selling items that I don't want to bother entering into the app. This has helped me bring the number of things in my closet to a more manageable range (slowly).
3) I will never quite be the minimalist that I envision myself capable of becoming. I've tried to be that person, and have at times had a pretty minimal closet. But then I would end up filling that closet back up again. Instead of trying to be someone else, I'm going to try to be me but better. If I continue to want to buy (which I've come to accept is me) then I should be focusing my research and dollars to purchasing better and possibly upgrading things when it comes time to replace them. I feel like I've definitely made progress in my closet in this aspect, but I can buy better in lots of other things as well (home, beauty, kitchen, etc.). As for my closet, going to keep trying to do the one-in-one-out rule. I'm going to try to designate a function for each item and when something new is purchased in that function category, the old one will be sold. For example I don't have anything exactly like the Jamie+the Jones sweater up top, but I do have a light colored textured knit from TopShop which will be heading out of the closet soon. And if the new replacement isn't as good as the old one or I don't want to sell the old one, I'll not buy the new item (that's how it would work in theory anyway).
A binge shopper, much like a binge eater, needs to learn how to do things mindfully. I see that now and that's the path I'm going to strive to find and stick to.