1.0 – FAST – Findings

02.01.15

Woo! We made it a full 30 days without shopping!

Pat yourself on the back, high five the mirror, fix yourself a fancy drink or do whatever celebratory thing you’d like because that was no small feat! There were definitely some high points and some low points but overall I’m coming out of it feeling great. My resolve to buy fewer things and live better with less is stronger than ever. So I thought I’d share a few of my findings from the experience and how I plan to implement what I’ve learned about myself and shopping habits. Then I’ll quickly break down the outfits I wore most because a big objective was to take note of the pieces I go for most and where my closet could use a little refreshing.

Biggest Takeaways:

  1. I wear WAY fewer clothes than I thought I did. I barely touched 1/3 of my winter closet. This means I can absolutely live better with less and that was really reassuring. Even items I thought were ‘essential’ ended up resting on the shelf until my true essentials were in the wash or at the cleaners.
  2. What I don’t know about can’t stress me out. I know I’ve mentioned this before but unsubscribing from retail newsletters (especially those I barely shopped at to begin with) and unfollowing some major ‘buy buy buy’ influencers on Instagram really helped. My inbox is much less cluttered and I can get straight to work in the morning without feeling like there are 100 things I ‘need’. Now when I seeing the occasional lookbook or outfit post it’s refreshing and inspiring, rather than anxiety inducing.
  3. Money looks better in my bank account than on my feet. I owe Sofia Amoruso (Author of #GIRLBOSS and NastyGal Founder) for that bit of wisdom but the fast forced me to see it’s validity. I often use the excuse that “I’m in my prime now, this is when the great style matters!” but that’s nonsense. My prime is far from over and being careless with how I spend money is definitely not chic.
  4. Living with less requires more creativity. Which is great! I love using my creative talents in any way possible, so having to be clever and more thoughtful about how I put together outfits and mix and match pieces is a great outlet for it. Buying something new because I’m too lazy to use my brain is just a cop out.
  5. Shopping less = doing more. I hadn’t realized just how much time I waste browsing. I use it to distract myself from things I’m putting off or unsure of how to start. Not shopping as much means I can allocate my time to things that will actually bring me satisfaction. Like planning for our renos, putting finishing touches on the rooms we’ve done so far, making headway on some career goals I had been afraid to tackle.

Biggest Temptation:

I allllmost caved last week when Everlane restocked their leather loafers. I have been desperate for the black pair, but I held off and sure enough there is a wait list and a restock coming in March, so no big deal! That fear of missing out is a pesky devil!


 Most Worn Outfits

The end goal on this mission is to achieve closet contentment and knowing what I really LOVE to wear and the pieces that make getting ready a breeze is paramount. So here are my most worn outfits for the month of January.

Outfit #1

Style Bee - Shopping Fast FindingsStyle Bee - Shopping Fast Findings

Acne Cardigan My #1 winter staple! (link to dark grey version) || Rag & Bone high rise dark wash denim || Cuyana Simple Black Tote || Acne Pistol Boots || Zara blanket scarf || Another Feather Necklace || Everlane U-Neck Tee (Style Mint tee pictured)


 Outfit #2

Style Bee - Shopping Fast FindingsStyle Bee - Shopping Fast Findings

Zara Oversize plaid shirt || Aritzia Camel Coat (on sale in black) || J Brand White Skinny Denim || Chunky Knit Infinity Scarf || Primecut Neutral Textured Cross Body Bag || Biko Chunky Long Necklace (link to similar) || Madewell Boots (link to similar)


 Outfit #3

Style Bee - Shopping Fast FindingsStyle Bee - Shopping Fast Findings

Everlane Chambray (link to short sleeve version) || Rag & Bone Black Skinnies || Neutral Peacoat || Paisley Scarf || Baggu Bucket Bag || Sperry for J.Crew Boots (these have been life savers!)


 Missing Ingredients 

I was actually quite relieved about how content I felt with my winter wardrobe options but in a perfect world a few little extras would go a long way. A few I’m keeping in mind are:

  • A high waist denim skirt. This will give me all the same options as pants but add a little femininity to my vibe. It’s also a great way to dress things up a little.
  • A grey cashmere crewneck sweater. Would be great for layering and looks perfect paired with both light and dark wash denim.
  • Chic black dress for dinners/nights out. A dress that makes you feel great is key and that’s something I’ve been missing.

Future Fasting

Going forward I’ll be making shopping fasts a more regular part of my life. It felt so good to just cut myself off from the pressure and constant barrage of ‘buying’ and ‘must having’ that’s become so standard in our consumer culture. So my plan is to start each season with a fast. January, April, July and October are hereby declared no shopping months! I’ll admit this is a big change for me and a bit frightening (ok, downright terrifying) but I’ve got big plans for the year ahead and saving money is going to be integral to seeing them through. I’ll be sure to announce my next fast and try to wrangle a few of you to join me!

So tell me, how did your fast go? Did you pass with flying colours? Did you cave? Was it pointless since you’re already a pro? If so, please impart your ways! 

I hope you’re excited for part 2 of the closet mission, which is already underway (first post here). It’s time to really dig in and define our style! 

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Chabo says:

    Nice idea to do a month of “fasting” four times a year. But instead of starting each season with a no shopping month, I think I’ll end each season with a fast. That way I don’t miss out on the new stuff and I’ll be prepared an satisfied each season.

  2. Echo says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful articles, i really enjoy them. Especially this one on “shopping Fast”, i’ve been trying to do it this month(and months before) but failed fantastically. I said to myself “this is my time, i am not getting younger, why shouldn’t I enjoy it when i can?” haha…and you are so right! while there are fabulous instagramers out there, the more i look at them, the more i feel like i need to shop! in fact, several of my most recent shopping are indeed direct results of spending too much time looking at fashion sites/blogs/instas,etc. your article is really inspirational, i guess it’s never too late to start the shopping fast 🙂
    my problem is, I get bored with outfit easily, i don’t like wearing same thing, i try to do more mix and match, but i just don’t like wearing same piece often(meaning in a week or 2). I will try to be more inventive and creative. in the mean time, Do you have any advices?
    big thanks to you!
    echo

    • Thanks for your comment Echo! It’s definitely not too late to start a shopping fast, especially if you’ve felt overwhelmed or as if your recent purchases have been hasty. In terms of not wanting to wear the same things often, it might be worthwhile to evaluate the items you really enjoy wearing and discern what it is about them you like. Maybe it’s a matter of getting the same piece in a couple colours or dressing certain items up more and pushing the limits as to how dressy or casual they can go. I’m a bit of a repeat outfit offender so that’s my best bet! xo

  3. Katrina says:

    Gorgeous post, Lee!
    I completely caved and bought leather pants from Zara AND a J.Crew bag I found on Ebay that I was convinced would be gone asap and was my soul mate bag, and then they sent me the wrong color! A very disappointing, frustrating experience, and I felt so guilty for failing in my fast. February is a new chance though! You’ve really inspired me and I’m determined to make February my chance to explore my (extensive) closet and use some creativity in what I have!

    • Thanks Katrina! I totally understand where you’re coming from, trust me. I tried shopping fasts a few times last year but never made it through. Being more public about it helps me stay accountable. February is a short month, you got this! xo

  4. Jodie says:

    I will definitely want to join in your shopping fasts. I love that idea. I have unfollowed a lot of people on IG bECause their accounts are too much about all the stuff they’re buying, instead of all the life they’re living. Thank you for your honesty and being on this journey to leaner closets. Best wishes xo

  5. Jodie says:

    This is one of the best posts this year Lee! I absolutely love your top 3 outfits. I literally wear the same ones weekly as well. My go to’s are: black denim skinnies, gray/ black/ marled/ tan sweater or cardigan, chambray, black or tan booties, black shiny hunters, black and white striped tee, chunky infinity scarves and the same black and white Zara blanket scarf and a pair or denim skinnies that Gap gave me from their new true resolution denim. Which is amazing and high quality- way better than their previous stuff, it’s designer quality. I wear stud earrings and rotate between 3 Madewell bangles, and one long necklace. I also own only one belt, leopard printed one.

    Some things I think my (spring) wardrobe needs is: Ever lane u neck tees and maybe one of their new sweatshirts. Gray d’orsay Madewell flats. A Watch and new wallet. White skinnies. A long necklace, like yours in picture two. Black cardigan.

  6. Laura says:

    Great post, your ideas are great and very true! I have had a capsule wardrobe (35 items, including shoes and bags) for about a year now and you’re right it is a struggle to keep away from that ‘need’ to shop or to ‘have’ something immediately. I have found that unsubscribing and un-following certain people or companies that encourage this ‘you must have’ culture is a great thing for me. I shop less and I live more. I am so excited for you and your journey and look forward to more posts.
    Laura xox

    • Hi Laura, I’m so impressed by your discipline! 35 pieces all in is pretty darn lean but “Shop less, live more,” is such a great methodology. Thanks so much for the encouragement! xo