I don’t think I’m up for writing an outfit round-up for this year like I did with all my 2019 looks. I’ve got to admit that I spent 10 out of the 12 months of 2020 in my pj’s or looking like the monster out of my bed. Zero will to look at least decent! So this year I’d rather talk to you about something that happened to me in regards to fashion that I totally didn’t expect (or, well, I kind of did because the lack of income and a steady job kind of pushed me into it): I didn’t buy new clothes for 1 year and this is what happened:
I’m not going to lie to you. The first couple months of unemployment I fell into the therapy shopping trap. I admit this is something I need to do some serious work on (as it is still there) because letting this take control of your life is dangerous; you can either end up 1) wasting all your available money, 2) spending more than you should be spending, 3) or accumulating a ridiculous amount of clothing you never end up wearing out.
I realized that I couldn’t keep on doing this by the end of 2019; I was jobless, living on my own and it was also proving to be really hard to land a job (in Argentina back in those days we were going through one of the scariest elections in our history, so employers were waiting for the results before even considering hiring people). My last purchase was on October 6th for my birthday. From that moment up until December 2020 (>1 year!) I didn’t buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories.
T-Shirt from Yagmour
Short and sneakers from TEX Carrefour (Argentina)
- That 90% of my purchases of the last 5 years were motivated by anxiety and not a real need or desire for acquiring new goods.
I won’t be a hypocrite: I have desired certain pieces. You know there is always that piece you like a lot and imagine in at least a dozen outfits. The one that is always in your head. The one you REALLY want. And that’s okay! It’s not a matter of punishing yourself for wanting things.
My problem was that I didn’t desire anything in particular. I didn’t need anything specific either. No. I’d go out shopping without any real purpose, “to let the mall surprise me”. And you know what happens when you have no clear goal in mind: you come back with 3, 4 pieces you didn’t really need in the first place. It’s like the supermarket list but more dangerous: clothes are A LOT MORE expensive than edibles and it’s not like you will finish them up in 2 or 3 days like you’d do with, dunno, bread. Nope. It sits there. In your clothes. Stored in a shelf or a rack. And I can bet my eyelashes you don’t wear it more than 3 times a year.
- I never ended up wearing down any piece of clothing or pair of shoes.
I can’t remember when exactly was the last time I had to replace a piece of clothing because the previous one had turned into a rags — you know, that moment someone tells you “gurl, you can’t keep wearing that” 😂
The result of not wearing down what you have is alarming because you end up accumulating more and more stuff in your wardrobe that you never have a chance of actually breaking in. This way, to me, you’re 1) not making your money’s worth, 2) and you’ll never have control of the size of your closet.
- I could have saved up SO MUCH money.
And this doesn’t only apply to the period where I was jobless. The experience of not buying clothes for 1 year made me think of the amount of money I could have saved up the last 5 years, money that would have helped me out be closer to my major dreams.
Just because I have the money available in my bank account doesn’t’ mean I HAVE to spend it.
- I’ve got a versatile wardrobe and I don’t need anything new.
I’m sure I’ve got enough clothes in my closet to come up with outfits without repeating garments for an entire year, I’m not lying. Yes, it can happen that in the future something doesn’t really represent my style anymore and I’ll want to replace it with something newer, but let’s face it: everything has been already invented and has existed sometime in recent history. The trends of the last 10 years haven’t surprised me at all and it’s all a comeback of the ’60s, the ’70s and so on.
- I was stuck in a vicious circle of compulsive consumerism.
If I wasn’t window shopping when I was hanging out, I’d be reading newsletters. When I wasn’t reading newsletters, I was checking the Instagram profiles of the brands I liked most. I was being bombarded with advertising everywhere: 30% off this weekend! 15% off your first purchase!
It was so tiring.
Quarantine made it clearer than ever that half the time we dress-up for others
This can be both positive and negative.
We can state that this tale of “I do it for me” isn’t as solid as we thought it was. Many of us were in our pj’s 24/7, hair a mess and in slippers, just because no one was actually seeing us or we weren’t going out. Many others tried to do some make-up here and there to get a sense of the ‘old normalcy’ at home.
This global situation we’re going through has definitely shaken my foundations and I find myself wondering…
- Am I dressing-up at home to feel a sense of/not let go of the ‘old normalcy’?
- Or am I trying to learn a new way of connecting to the act of dressing?
- Are these changes permanent or are they just provisional?
- If I had to work from home forever, could I go on dressed in just my pj’s and slippers?
- If that was the case, would it make sense to have more than just 2 pairs of jeans, 3 tees, and 2 pairs of shoes?
I still can’t find the answer to these questions. It will all be a matter of revisiting this post when we’ve left this sinister TV series called “Covid-19” behind.
My 2020 goals in regards to clothing
- Keep working on my issues with therapy shopping — so that it won’t become a problem when I have a steady income.
- Don’t save clothes for ‘special ocassions’ — except the only 2 formal/party dresses I have LOL.
- Limit my shopping to only 1 piece a month; 12 new things in 1 year.
- Become an ‘outfit repeater’: I’m going to prove to myself (and you) that I (you) don’t need more than we have — also, just so you know: no, you don’t need a winter AND a summer wardrobe.
- No more hanging out to shopping malls or streets full of fashion stores — there are plenty of other places to hang out.