I haven’t bought clothes for 6 months here's what I’ve learnt

No word of a lie, it’s true (Though let’s just disclaim this post before we begin)
I have very kindly been gifted clothes from Traffic People in this time and Jay gifted me a bag and a few tops at Christmas. But I, myself haven’t bought any clothes in the past 6 months.

Why you ask? Well, there are many reasons why- money being at the forefront of it however there are a lot of other reasons why I decided to stop giving into temptation, hide my debit card as far away as possible from my line of sight (only to have to find it every time I need to pop to Tesco to buy some dairy-free milk, another thing I've changed this year) ditch 'buying for the hell of it' (though I like to think I wasn't awful with my buying habits) and embark on the lets work with what I have policy. 



If you remember a couple of months back I wrote a post titled 'Can we stop buying clothes for the hell of it?' a post I wrote having previously watched Stacey Dooley's 'Fashions Dirty Secrets' Documentary and wanting to make some small steps in, not completely saving the planet- there's a long way to go in that aspect but at least whilst I'm not in the most financial state and don't physically have the ability to spend a lot of money on clothes doing this was a way of playing a small part in something that, in turn, may make a tiny bit of difference.
I'm not saying it has but like I said small steps. This planet ain't going to save itself, yano? 

I'll be honest in saying I didn't set out at the beginning to say 'Right 6 months, no clothes lets go.' It was more, budgeting and being more aware of my incomings and outgoings I began to realise that actually I hadn't been actively buying any new clothes. I started to think, okay how long could I push this for? How long before I caved in and found something I truly needed to drop the ban for? 

It's been tough I'm not going to lie, giving up anything is hard to do. But being in the fashion industry and surrounded by bloggers and influencers alike either having been gifted or having bought new clothes each day on my feed, affiliate links, wishlists and collaborations the temptation has been R-EAL as you can imagine. But I have (I like to think) learnt a lot during this time and worked more actively on the changes I can make and continue to make into the future. 

It's been a long 6 months but I have learnt many lessons and tips and tricks. 
Have I bought any clothes after that 6 month period? That I haven't. Maybe I'll be pushing 7 months at this rate? But purely I haven't because there simply isn't anything I need right now. Though I have recently caved in and bought a hat and bag- I'm first to cave when it comes to accessories. I like to think accessories I invest in continue to be used with different outfits, looks and seasons so they aren't 'one off's' or something I'll use and never use again.
It's about being wise about what you are buying.


"I began to realise that actually I hadn't been actively buying any new clothes. I started to think, okay how long could I push this for? How long before I caved in and found something I truly needed to drop the ban for?" 



I want clothes, I don’t need them

The biggest lesson for me was that I found the items I had previously been buying were things I bought because at the time I liked them- and most still do but I didn't need them. Honestly, you won't die if you don't get a piece that almost looks as though it's speaking to you across the shop.
Don't get me wrong if you regret not buying it and it's on your mind say 2-3 weeks from when you saw it, it's okay to go back. I'm not saying I'm about to quit never buying clothes again because I won't but it's thinking about what I need, or not necessarily need but have been lusting after for a long time and by buying the item it will bring joy or happiness into my life- clothes do that right? 

Wait what's on trend again?

I have always said I don't follow trends- to an extent. I usually pick and choose from what is currently on trend and work it into the style I like. Being fashion orientated I do like to see what's on trend what's coming next that kind of thing but putting a holt on my spending on clothes I made an active decision not to look. I like to keep a mental note of some pieces I'd like to eventually pick up, some key pieces I'd like to wear next season (which I still did do) but I tried less to think about them so much. So a couple of days ago when I browsing ASOS as I had a voucher I needed to use I found myself going: 'Erm actually what do I want?' and do you know what I actually gave the voucher to my boyfriend to order something he wanted.
Yeah, I don't know who I am either.


"If there are ways to eliminate the temptation, do it. Out of sight out of mind always works."



It pays to wait 

This is a tough one for most but regardless of the last 6 months, this has always been a rule I've tried to follow. Though it is certainly a gamble sometimes- not for those who like to impulse buy.
I prefer to save an item when shopping online for later. A lot of the time when I have been browsing for clothes it's on my phone to pass the time or because I've seen a blogger wearing a said piece on Instagram and I've gone digging for it. I like to save the item as a bookmark or keep it on open on my tabs to keep an eye on whether the price fluctuates at all in the time I have it saved. Sometimes it doesn't and that really depends on what it is you're shopping for. This rule definitely doesn't apply for 'it' pieces because quite frankly they aren't worth risking if you know you'll regret not buying if you waited. This is more for the pieces that you know aren't going anywhere or end of season pieces that you know will more than likely go into the sale.
 Sometimes it does really pay to wait, it could either be luck or patience on my side or both but I have found a few times a piece I've gone looking for or have been comparing to find the best price after mulling it over for a few days I find that the price has decreased on one of the items and then I take my chance when it happens. 
Even regardless of fluctuations in price I found that waiting or taking my time over buying it made me more aware of what I was buying- whether I needed it or for what purpose it would serve. Did I have a similar piece in my wardrobe already? or do I have another piece that will go with this? Asking myself those questions just allowed me to take a step back and really access whether buying the item would make a lot of difference. 
Like I said it is a gamble to wait, the risk is yours to take but truly nothing is worse than a 'ASOS is doing 20% off' a day after your order.  



Retailers love to shove offers down your neck every 5 minutes 

'We miss you, please come back here's £5 off your next order' the emails that became the bane of my life. I don't think you realise quite how many emails brands send, or how hard they try to get you to buy until you stop buying. The temptation is there every damn time you open your mailbox which like I can hear you yelling through your screen 'why didn't you unsubscribe??' I did. If there are ways to eliminate the temptation, do it. Out of sight out of mind always works. That is until you realise what you're missing but well you cross that bridge when you come to it.

People buy a lot, don't they?

Funnily enough during this time, the new Primark opened in Birmingham which I still haven't visited but on the week it did, I saw swarms and swarms of people armed with huge Primark bags. Okay, the new shop looks amazing but let's not forget too much about the effect fashion has on the planet.


"When I looked into my wardrobe I thought about those pieces I had previously bought and thought 'why did I buy that again?' Now I like to think I can mull things over for a bit longer and actually think into buying them before I do"



At times it really sucks

Like I mentioned above being surrounded by fashion a lot of the time and being in that whole game that we call Instagram it's hard to not feel like you're missing out, like you have to keep up to post something new or show off new clothes. When you like myself enjoy buying clothes and shooting them, say for my blog or just because I bloody love the piece it's hard to not think well what's the point in taking photos if I have nothing new- but that is a mentality I'm trying to move away from.
 I like to think I've always been honest with my fashion on my blog (I feel like I spoke about this last post, sorry if I did) but everything I wear on my blog I wear in real life perhaps just in a heightened version whereas I style it in a different way or more appropriately editorial- like I like my photos to look but other than that what you see is what you get offline too. So in that sense, I don't ever unnecessarily buy for the gram or for the sake of a photo.
During the 6 months though besides those other reasons sometimes I just enjoy buying clothes, trying them on, browsing online and waiting for the parcel to turn up on my doorstep I hold no shame in saying it's a process I just enjoy and not having that option there was a bit rubbish at times.

My willpower isn't strong but it's better than I thought

In relation to that last point surprisingly my willpower was stronger than I expected it to be. Like I said I didn't go into this with a set plan but found that the longer I had stopped buying clothes the less the temptation was there to. The shops I went into I found myself picking up items saying in my head 'you don't need that' I actually realised that before these 6 months I was a bit of a 'oh that cheap and I really like it, I'll buy it' type of person especially when it came to places like Primark, but I guess that's where the whole fast fashion comes into it. When I looked into my wardrobe I thought about those pieces I had previously bought and thought 'why did I buy that again?' Now I like to think I can mull things over for a bit longer and actually think into buying them before I do.


"Sometimes I find working with what you have is about looking at your clothes from a new angle, have I tried to put it with that before? What style do I want to achieve, why have I never thought to put this with that before?'"



 Work with what I already had

Believe it or not, I already have a lot of clothes. Yeah I know right??
You find working with what you already have allows you to find new pieces you forgot about, or rework pieces you were getting tired of. Sometimes I find working with what you have is about looking at your clothes from a new angle, have I tried to put it with that before? What style do I want to achieve, why have I never thought to put this with that before?' Don't get me wrong it is hard to do, especially if you're like me and hate every piece you pull out of your wardrobe. But this time I actually looked at the pieces I had put to one side and decided if I should sell them or begin to wear them again. I actually have a lot of stuff that needs to go, things I hold onto that I think 'oh they'll fit again, they fit me last year' when in fact that becomes incredibly toxic. Using the time I realised there are more pieces I'd like to invest in that will stand the test of time, staple pieces that are versatile and can be paired with different things. I'm quite notorious for buying patterned or bold coloured pieces that I love individually but find that actually, I can't make them work with anything else in my wardrobe it's just about thinking into committing to pieces more. 

I've saved money 

Ultimately from doing this, I have saved money. Not to say like I said before I spend a ton of money on clothes in the first place but just slowing things down and thinking before I buy I opted out of spending money on things I didn't need. 
Shopping second hand is definitely coming more to the forefront, spend some time browsing charity shops or going through Depop for reasonably/cheap prices, not overpriced pieces (depop can be awful for that) do a search on an item you really want and see if somebody has already bought it and decided they don't want it or it doesn't fit them you may find they are selling it for a cheaper price than you were originally going to pay. I often do that with things I've been after for a while and a few times now it has paid off.

In reflection I've learnt a lot about my willpower and thinking forward to the future I know to be more sensible about my choices. Am I going to buy any clothes in the next few months, we'll see more than likely but it will be because I've had an eye on something I want or because I need the said item.
This wasn't about beating myself up about buying, I'm not about to feel guilty if I do decide to go on a splurge, it's about doing it for the right reasons. Not just buying for the hell of it. I think it's something we should all keep in the back of our minds but don't get hung up on it.

What's your opinion?

I read and appreciate every single comment written, thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

@paige rhianne_