guide to a shopping ban, and why you should try it

Are you feeling overwhelmed with your closet and know you are spending too much money on clothing but never have anything to wear? I feel you! I’ve been there, but I can’t tell you how much a shopping ban helped me gain control of my spending and my closet. Well actually I can, that’s why I wrote this post!

My Story

The years before pairing down my wardrobe to what it is today mostly consisted of me buying mismatched items that I loved in the moment. But then I would come home to find they didn’t really match anything else in my closet. I had all kinds of pattern tops and bottoms but no true basics to pull everything together. 

I had no clear sense of style or how to build a cohesive wardrobe. Mostly I struggled with the classic “I have nothing to wear” but had a closet full of clothes. When we buy mindlessly we are not building a wardrobe, we are just filling a closet.

Out of desperation to break my shopping addiction and not live pay check to pay check I decided to stop shopping to “detox” myself of the habit. Saying no to yourself as an adult is a muscle that you have build. This helps you avoid mindless spending and ending up with a wardrobe that doesn’t do its job.

Dressing in the morning shouldn’t be difficult it should be something easy and enjoyable. The problem for most of us is that we have too much in our closets! We get overwhelmed and black out and end up wearing the same ole’ thing time and again.

It doesn’t have to stay that way! Trying out a shopping ban is definitely a great place to start gaining back control of your closet.

The Why:

Listen, not buying anything for an extended amount of time is hard! Especially if you are a frequent shopper. You need to understand the WHY behind it before you dive in. Ask yourself, what is it I am hoping to learn. Is it to save money? Get dressed easier? Practice self control?

When you’re doing your shopping ban, it will force you to get creative with what you have in your closet. You will start to see you clothing in a new light and find different ways to wear that frilly top you have had for forever.

TIP: Take some time with a close friend and work on building outfits with what you already have. Try all your clothing on, and pair you clothing together in ways you never tried. It can be hard to imagine an outfit if it only sits in your closet or in a drawer. Make you sweet friend a drink while they help you get creative!

You will also start to find the true gaps in your wardrobe. Why do I not own a simple black tee? Write those items down, when the shopping ban is over, go over the list you made and see if you still feel the same way and these items would really help you round out your wardrobe.

Pay attention to what isn’t being worn in your closet and ask yourself why? Do you see a pattern in the clothing that just hangs in you closet but doesn’t see the light of day. Are you holding on to a version of yourself that you “think” you should be? Let that crap go, its just clogging you closet up and making getting dressed in the morning harder than it needs to be!

Let go of the unrealistic expectations and get rid of that tight pencil skirt that makes you feel uncomfortable even though you say a girl online look amazing in one. Be you, know what YOU feel good in and own it!

The How:

Pick a realistic time frame

New to this? Try it for a month, and promise your self that you will not buy anything new for that dedicated amount of time. Feeling bold? Try it for a year and imagine all the money you will end up saving! Maybe even enough to take that trip you have always wanted to go on. 

Find new activities to fill the time you use to spend shopping

Go out side and take a walk or bike ride, go bowling, work out, or even cook. You will be surprised with how much free time you have when you are not constantly shopping. 

Since you will now have this new free time, use it for a hobby or project you have always wanted to do. Like a pottery class, yoga, or try underwater basket weaving.

Take away the temptation

Unsubscribe from all the emails from companies you shop at. Unfollow the shops and bloggers that make you want to spend. You can always follow them back!

Love reading?

One book that inspired me a ton to try out a year shopping ban was Cait Flanders “The Year of Less”

spoiler alert! I only lasted 6 months of no shopping, BUT I’m still super proud of that!

Have you ever tried a shopping ban? How long did you do it for and what did you learn?