5 things I’ve learnt from not buying new clothes

  1. Mostly, we shop because we can and not because we need to. It’s easy to go out and buy something new when you feel as though you don’t have anything to wear. But also, it’s been quite easy for me to put something together from what I already own. After a “but I have nothing to wear!” meltdown, it takes about two minutes of looking through my wardrobe to find something that I do have to wear. I’ve learnt to stop and think like a rational person, trust my style (rather than faddy fashions) and that throwing money at a problem is not always the best way to solve it.
  2. It’s easy to hide behind new clothes. The times that I’ve broken or seriously considered breaking my no new clothes resolution is because I’ve had a date or a job interview i.e. an occasion where I’ve been trying to impress somebody. Obviously people do judge on appearances, but real confidence comes from your self-esteem and not from a hot new outfit. Within a few days it will become an old outfit, and then you’ll have to buy another to get a new boost. Having to show up in old clothes has been good for building a new kind of confidence.
  3. It’s easy to fix things. Without the option of replacing them I’ve adjusted clothes that didn’t fit anymore, sewn up holes and basically done all the mending that’s been on my to do list for years. It wasn’t as difficult or take as long as I thought it would. It’s quite empowering to realise you don’t have to pay someone else to do this, or pay to replace something. Consumerism is a choice.
  4. Less is more. Weirdly, not buying new clothes has led to me giving more stuff away. It’s as though not constantly adding to my wardrobe has given me the space I needed to evaluate it properly. Instead of solving my lack of inspiration by buying something new, I’ve had to answer the question “why don’t I want to wear this?” Slowly, I’m getting rid of the things I’m not excited about wearing and feeling as though I have more to wear and not less (I guess because I now just see all the good stuff).
  5. You can convince yourself you need anything. But most of the time we just don’t. Not buying new clothes hasn’t been an inconvenience at all. I’ve managed to find myself outfits every occasion that’s come up. Not shopping for new outfits has saved me time, money and headspace – instead of worrying what I need to shop for I know I don’t do that and make do with what I have. There might be something I do need eventually, but having to make do with what I have has made me realise that I could probably keep making do indefinitely. Which is actually a little bit surprising.
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