365 Day Challenge
*Feel free to join me in this test of will power, or if you don’t feel the need, sit back, relax and take the journey along with me as I try to make it through the next 365 days successfully!*
As I hung yet another new shirt in my already overflowing closet the other day, I stopped and took a good look at what stood before me. A small room that, when built, was thought to be plenty of space for both my husband’s clothes and mine. Yet, somehow I’ve managed to pack the closet of my dreams full of more clothes than I will ever need. Not to mention the two coat closets I’ve filled, as well. And, believe me, it wasn’t hard to do. It seems that every time I open a catalog or ad, look online, or walk into my favorite clothing stores, I see something I’ve never seen before that suddenly I can’t live without. Forget the fact that I’ve survived over three decades without it or even knowing it existed, but once I’ve laid my eyes on it, it seems as though my world will end if I don’t purchase it. Once I purchase this beautiful item, this piece of clothing or accessory I couldn’t live without gets packed in my closet, and I wear it maybe two or three times that year…and sometimes less than that 🙂 I have a feeling many of you can relate. Rather than searching for just the right piece that we absolutely and unmistakably love, can wear with many different things and for many different occasions, we, as women, have been trained to buy impulsively. It makes us feel good, better about ourselves, happy, and then…we feel guilty and wonder why we ever made that purchase. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to feel great after all of your purchases? The way you feel when you actually do get that perfect piece at a great price. Shopping should be fun and exciting, especially if you love it, so you should feel energized and thrilled when you’re done, just like when you get done doing any other hobby or activity you enjoy. But we have to know how to do it right, and that’s where our society and media has trained us all wrong.
As I stared at this monstrous mess before me, I realized that something had to change. Now, don’t get me wrong, as I’ve stated, I LOVE fashion. I LOVE clothes, period. I just think its sad that I buy so many of them that there is no way to get my money’s worth out of all of them because I could never wear every single one as much as I’d like. As I thought about this, an idea came over me. Why not take a year off from buying clothes and accessories, that’s right, a year. To many that love clothes and accessories as much as I do, the idea of this could cause you to have a major panic attack. However, I’m looking at it differently. I think a lot can be learned about fashion and being a talented shopper (meaning shopping smart) through this challenge. Here’s what I plan to do with these 365 days. 365 days that I think will actually embrace my love for fashion and help me create better habits when it comes to purchasing clothes and accessories:
1. From March 1, 2013 thru February 28, 2014, I will purchase no new clothing or accessories. Throughout these 365 days, I will explore my closet and make the most use out of the things I have, trying to find different ways to wear the clothes I already own. This will also force me to use the pieces I already have and love for major events we attend. We have a few coming up this summer and it always seems that rather than wearing clothing I already own and adore, I think I need to go out and buy something new only to be worn once, because when the next big event comes along, I’ll buy something else. I have so many outfits I love and this will allow me to get as much use out them as I can. It will also encourage me to be more creative with the pieces already in my closet and explore new and creative ways to make use out of what I already own.
2. The picture below is my closet. I have turned all the hangers around backwards. After I wear an item, I will hang it back up the right way. On my shelves I have created piles of unworn clothing and have created room for new piles after I wear each piece. At the end of the 365 days I will donate everything that has not been worn within the last year. This will prevent me from hanging onto things because I “might” wear or need it someday, even though I survived a year without ever needing it. I’m hoping to take this habit into next year by donating what I haven’t worn at the end of every season to make room for new, more up to date pieces. Also, if I wear something and don’t love it, I vow to get rid of it right after I’ve worn it.
3. On my posts I’m going to start something called, “Fabulous Finds Under Forty,” where I’ll search for items online that I’d love to purchase, are good quality, and are under $40. Every Wednesday I will post what I have found that week that is under $40. I’m hoping to develop good habits so after this year is up, I can use $40 every month to find fun outfits and/or accessories to add to my wardrobe. This will force me to look for great bargains on good quality pieces I’d usually pay extra for (which often times is necessary to get good quality) at a much better price.
4. The first Wednesday of every month will be used to feature a “splurge” item I’ve found that I would buy if I could. I think splurge items are important because there are certain pieces that you pay good money for that are definitely worth it. Again, I’m hoping to take this idea into next year, where I’ll be allowed three splurge items a year (this does not include running shoes or golf shoes). Pieces I love and know are worth the extra money I pay for them.
5. Every Friday I will do a post called “What I found in my closet this week…” where I’ll feature an outfit or item I found in my closet that I love. I’ll then try to find comparable items that are on the market now that are under $40.
I do have a few exceptions to the rule of no purchases within 365 days because there are things I may actually need, however, I will only be allowed to purchase them if I absolutely need them:
1. Running Shoes
2. Golf Shoes and Gloves (We golf a lot!)
3. Socks and other such apparel 🙂
4. Sunglasses if mine were to break (I couldn’t survive without a pair, but again, only if mine would break, which has been known to happen to me!)
I’m actually really excited to take on this challenge. I think Mike might be even more excited 🙂 It will be a great way to explore my already wonderful closet, create new shopping habits, and discover new places to buy quality, and even designer clothing, at bargain prices. Believe me, it won’t be easy. I think since I decided I was going to do this, I’ve spotted about ten pieces of clothing “I can’t live without!” 🙂
Wish me luck! Hopefully going through this journey with me will help some of you do the same and help many of you discover Fabulous Finds Under Forty along with me that will fit perfectly in your own closet!