Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Reflections on shopping bans

I've been meaning to write about this earlier, but life got in the way. Instead of slaving away at the solitary rendezvous of this thing called blogging, I chose to go out and have fried chicken with my friends. Yes, I realise that I am blocking my arteries. Can we just leave my arteries alone?

So far, I have voluntarily submitted myself on two shopping bans. For the first one, I got a friend to join me and she just said yes without hesitation (gotta love her!). Prior to this, we were both on a shopping ban (she initiated it) and we both failed within 3 days. This time around, I am happy to report that while the temptations are still there, we both finished with flying colours! The second one is a step I took towards the fulfillment of my wardrobe resolutions for this year. It is easier the second time around, I must admit. I read some where that will power is similar to physical muscles - you gotta use it so that you get stronger. The more you practise, the better you will be. (Mental note: want to do a similar exercise with this virtue called patience.)

Temptation - the biggest of them all My Achilles heel is asos.com, I've said this over and over and over again, I am pretty sure a lot of people out there know this by now. It is even worst when Asos is having an additional 15% off all discounted items. Not participating in such a promotional event is ... devastating for my sense of being. Because, I have things on my wishlist that I do want to buy, and I would love to buy them at the lowest price possible, because I like to stretch the buying power of my limited resources like that.

Discipline - wardrobe and financial I think the whole point of a shopping ban is to practise this thing called discipline, both in the financial sense and in the wardrobe sense. In this respect, I am focusing more on the latter because ... as much as I hate to admit this to myself, I prefer a smaller wardrobe that is well-curated. It is not going to be small and well-curated if I do not practise wardrobe discipline. So, in an effort to better myself, I am giving my wardrobe more attention.

To put it differently, this is perhaps the first time that I am able to articulate this goal properly: I do want to dress better, and I want to do it based on a small, well-curated wardrobe. In the past, my goal has always been "dressing better", which resulted in an overflowing wardrobe, which I conveniently attributed to a very small closet space (that I share with le husb). I am exploring what it feels like to have a small, well-curated wardrobe that everyone seems to be raving about.

Worthy investment? I admit defeat on certain things more readily these days. Not so much because I do not want to make them work, but because I know myself better. I have donated and given away a shit load, and lately, as you know, been putting things up on eBay. I still maintain that it is a lot of hassle, but I do realise that it is actually beneficial for this whole wardrobe discipline exercise. My revelation is this: clothes, shoes, handbags are terrible investments. You can hardly recover your initial costs let alone try to make some money from them. The only good thing about them is how good they make you feel, and it sorta stops there. To everyone else, these things are worthless. This is perhaps because my wardrobe does not consist of couture and/or branded goods that are highly coveted, but let's face it, I have the wardrobe of the masses instead of the riches.

This takes an impact whenever I come across something I like, that is heavily discounted, and I subsequently purchase for value. Like seriously. I was probably one of the few people who saw value in the said item and no one else in this world does. How is that a good investment? It does not and will not appreciate in value. Take for example this Karen Millen dress that I recently sold on eBay for a grand sum of ... $10.50. Case closed.

So, am I a shopaholic? This question is bound to come up, right? Especially knowing me and my preference to over-analyse anything and everything. The answer is yes. I did experience withdrawal symptoms and I did have to manage them, and the only saving grace is that I was able to manage them. Do I like shopping? Of course, yes! Do I still want to like shopping? Of course yes!

What I do not want is to be a compulsive over-shopper; I want to be the thoughtful, mindful shopper. I don't think engaging in another shopping ban is going to help me to be a step closer in becoming a thoughtful shopper. Because I really think I should be able to walk away from things that I do not want and/or need, not because of a shopping ban, but because I just do not want to buy them. As I said previously, the real challenge is to exercise this discipline sans the shopping ban.

Okay, that was a long post. Congratulations you've made it this far! As always, any discussion, we need to conduct via twitter. If you want to see more stories in pictures, you can peek at my instagram. See my pretend geeky/nerdy self over at my other blog. Image is from here.

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