I’ve decided to give up clothes shopping for Lent for the following reasons:
1) I’m poor and I need my bank balance to stop giving me sadface.
2) I’ve proved my willpower when it comes to food restrictions (over the years I’ve given up chocolate, sweets, all sugar and salt, meat and fish. Not all in one go mind. How do vegans do it?). I need a new challenge.
3) My shopping instincts lead me towards Ebay, sample sales, vintage and charity shops. What can I say, I love a bargain and these are usually the best places to get me one. But that savvy streak is also slightly ruinous – at the risk of sounding like Tesco, Every Little does Help; what feels like a small spend at the time really adds up if you’re finding several ‘bargains’ every week. Add to that the fact that lower prices tend to go hand in hand with greater willingness to take sartorial risks (or is that just me?) and subsequently more of what we shall politely term ‘Ebay potentials’ nestling at the back of the wardrobe, and you realise that there’s a downside to all this thrifting. Or perhaps I just need to learn to do it better?
4) I’m slowly realising that the buzz of clothes newly attained is short and sweet; the older I get the quicker it seems to wear off. Sometimes I only need to wear the item once and then I’m happy to sell it on Ebay, even if it was never in the dud category and I really loved it to begin with. Odd.
5) I want to shop more wisely; no, that doesn’t mean sticking to ‘classic’ white shirts and tailored separates but it does mean thinking about whether I really do need another pair of shoes or a great new jacket (both of which I never seem to have enough of). So this’ll be like a cleansing detox before attempting the complete dietary overhaul.
6) I’m partly inspired by Shala Monroque - ‘I’d rather clothe my mind any day than clothe my body.’ I think by that she means the spending of money in the pursuit of less tangible but more, shall we say, influential, experiences, is much more satisfying than a trip to the shops. I’m thinking she’s right. Hopefully this year shall involve more time and money spent on great books, films, theatre (need to get some trips in whilst I’m still under 26 dammit); inspiring exhibitions; exotic travels; novel experiences and less spent on spangly dresses. Actually, I do myself a disservice. I would never buy a spangly dress.
7) As an added benefit, it makes me feel like I’m doing something rather good for the world in my own miniscule way. When I do shop, it tends to be secondhand, but that’s not to say I never buy new clothes and but I’m starting to feel a bit bad about the ecological impact of it all.
8) I’m enrolled in a sewing class but my attendance this year has been terrible. I really enjoy it but 2011 has been bloody busy. I’m hoping this Lent’s challenge will give me some added impetus in designing and making my own clothes outside of class.
I’m including make up in the challenge but I don’t anticipate that’ll be hard as I don’t really buy it anyway. Still I have roped in a friend for moral support (I fear that for her the make up moratorium will be harder than the clothes!). If anyone else wants to join the challenge, talk strategy or lend some words of support drop me an email or leave a comment. I may need to harness the power of the group mind here people.