I’m committing to a no-buy 2019. That means no buying clothes, accessories, or shoes for myself.
Lately I’ve been feeling extra ragey toward my closet. Ever since the weather changed—meaning my five dress capsule wardrobe is out of commission—getting dressed in the morning has been super irritating. I know, I know, #thisisnotarealproblem.
After four years of a body in constant flux (pregnant, postpartum, nursing, pregnant again, postpartum again, still nursing) I’m in spitting distance of fitting into my pre-kids clothes, and Levi is (hopefully) in spitting distance of not spitting up all over me all day every day, I’m seriously bonking.
That finish line of being able to confidently wear my own pants, and be able to wear them all day without getting covered in spit up, looks impossibly far away. That frustration has led me down more than a few internet rabbit holes looking for a uniform, the perfect pair of pants, any kind of solution to the way I’m feeling.
If those internet rabbit holes have taught me anything, it’s that buying things isn’t the solution. In fact, I’m tired of buying conditional items—things I don’t love but that check important, temporary boxes like maternity clothes or nursing, spit-up, and babywearing friendly options.
What I really want is to get back to clothes I haven’t worn in literally years, and to get reacquainted with what I already own instead of grasping for something new that inevitably will only fuel, not cure, my closet angst. I also want to clean house on all the makeshift items I picked up along the way, along with whatever else is just taking up space.
So I’m jumping on the no-buy year bandwagon. I followed a few friends who have done it in the past, like a stylist (yes! A stylist!) who has gone a year and a half without buying clothes, and a grad student who bought nothing except groceries for a whole month, then followed that with a year of no buying clothes.
With the luxury of being able to plan ahead, I’ve set myself up for this well: I used holiday sales as an opportunity to fill a few holes and refresh some of my basics, like long-overdue new running shoes, and replacing my ancient, well-loved gray cardigan (one of my closet workhorses). This one is my new one and it’s so dreamy soft with arms that are actually long enough. I die of happiness.
Back to not buying things. Here’s what I’m planning.
My no-buy 365 is entirely about apparel. No clothes, shoes, or accessories. I’m still going to blow my budget every month on coffee, no question.
On top of not buying anything, I’m going to use this opportunity to really weed out my closet. Here’s how I’m approaching that:
- No purging, yet. I hate a lot of my clothes because they are just sooo close to fitting but not quite there yet. I’m not allowed to purge anything just because it buttons uncomfortably tight. I have to wait until it fits to make the final judgment.
- The first pass. To save myself big regrets and emotional hangups, I’m sorting my clothes using this method, and storing the ‘maybes’ in my garage. If at the end of 2019, I haven’t longed for any of them, they’re getting donated.
- The second pass. I’m going to turn around all my hangers on 12/31/18, and when I wear something, the hanger goes back the correct direction. Any hangers that remain unturned as of 12/31/19 get donated.
For those things that remain, I’m going to take better care of them:
- Rotating my shoes. I tend to wear one pair of shoes every day out of habit, then switch to another pair for a couple weeks. Giving shoes a day off between wears supposedly helps them last longer.
- Washing for longevity. I started using WIN Detergent for my athletic gear and appreciate how precisely it knocks out the stink while still being gentle on my precious leggings (disclosure: WIN is a Fit Approach client). I’m now using it for all my clothes, and I think everything is better for the wear.
- Bras. Chances are high I’ll wean sometime in 2019, after which none of my bras will fit. I’ll allow myself to get new bras if / when that happens.
- Truly functional gear. Let’s say I have the opportunity to hike on a glacier or scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef before it dies, and I need gear to enable that adventure. If not having the gear means I can’t have that experience, and if I’m not able to rent, I can buy what I need—and no more—so that I can participate.
- Gifts. Gifts are allowed. I can accept gifts from friends or family or as part of a brand campaign. I’m also allowed to buy gifts for others, no restrictions.
What I hope to gain
Time. I do a lot of late night nursing and lately that has led me down aforementioned rabbit holes of late night searching for the perfect uniform / muffin-top-hiding-pants / nursing-friendly shirt that also conceals spit up. It’s usually just browsing but what a colossal waste of time. Better to not be looking at a screen, or at least be reading something useful.
Time. As I’ve written before, I’m constantly trying to streamline my morning. Working with a finite wardrobe will force me to be pragmatic (I hope).
Money (duh). I’m curious to see what difference I’ll see in my credit card statements when I compare 2018 to 2019.
Want to join me? I’m already nervous.
Now excuse me while I go spend the last two weeks of 2018 shopping. 😜