For a while now, I’ve been talking about doing a shopping freeze and I’ve been so grateful for all of your feedback & support surrounding this because I know it can be a sensitive topic. I’ve honestly been a bit bothered by the level of consumerism within the blogging industry lately and it’s something I’ve felt very conflicted about. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve fallen into the trap of contributing to it. But, I have never wanted for my site to become a revolving door of advertisements or for my readers to feel like I am pushing them to buy, buy, buy. If you have ever visited my site & felt that way, I want to offer a sincere apology. I believe it’s my responsibility to be honest with you about my lifestyle, to share with you ways to be smart about your purchases and to help you save when you are buying.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my husband & I are both self-employed and, due to some recent financial changes, we haven’t had much extra spending money each month after our bills are paid. We owed far more in taxes than we ever could have predicted this year (partly due to an error that our former accountant made on our 2017 filings). And we also have a daughter who will be heading to college in 4 years – though we set up a college savings account for her when she was born, we are suddenly feeling the pressure to start aggressively saving to build that up.
If I’m being honest, when I pulled my spring & summer clothes out of storage and began arranging my closet for the season, it was clear to see that I have MORE THAN ENOUGH. Sure, I may want new things, but it is definitely not a need. And because we have made commitments to cut back our spending in other areas of our life, it’s only right that I do the same…even if this fashion blog is my job! So, given all of these factors, I have decided to take a hiatus from shopping for June & July.
Even though my personal life circumstances have changed, I do understand that many of you are still shopping and I still want to be a good resource for you during this time. So, my regular posts like Steals Under $30, Weekly Top Finds and Deals Under $20 will continue + I’ll also begin some fitting room try-ons (one per month) to show you the latest new arrivals at some of my favorite stores. I will still be partnering with brands on sponsored posts as well, so you’ll be able to see new pieces that have been gifted to me. And a few of you also mentioned that you’d love to see multiple ways to wear one item/how to mix and match staples from your closet so I’ll be doing that too!
In anticipation of my shopping freeze, I have begun to really think more purposefully about the pieces I’m buying. I don’t need any more off-the-shoulder tops, statement earrings or any trendy pieces in general. So, I wanted to share with you the items that I have acquired over the last couple of weeks & the reasoning behind my purchases. Read on below for details about how my thought process is changing when it comes to shopping & adding new pieces to my closet!
Banana Republic Striped Top
I like to think of this as a modern take on a classic striped top – the square neckline is so flattering & it has an easy fit that makes it ideal for pairing with jeans & shorts. I also appreciate the 3/4-length sleeves, because I always push mine up anyway! This also comes in navy/white stripe and a solid white – definitely recommend sizing down!
Banana Republic Cork Sandals
I have a pair of higher block heel sandals in cork that I wear all the time, so I knew that a lower heel option would be a great addition to my closet. These have subtle flecks of rose gold throughout the cork & they don’t hurt my feet after several hours of walking (would be a great vacation shoe!). I’m typically between a 9 and 9.5 in shoes and the size 9 worked best for me, but if you have a wider foot, you may want to go up half a size.
Ralph Lauren Anorak
I already own a bright red rain jacket (which I love), but I’ve come to realize that it isn’t the most versatile option due to the bold color. So I went on the hunt for a longer length anorak in a neutral hue and I set a budget of $100 for myself (I personally don’t mind spending a little more on timeless, well-made outerwear). When I came across this one on sale, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. The muted olive color makes it endlessly versatile & the leather accents give it a more sophisticated feel. I also like the hidden adjustable waist, which creates a flattering silhouette. I’d say this runs true to size (I ordered an XS) and it also comes in petite!
Topshop Buttoned Camisole
I’m a big fan of the button-up trend for spring, but I wanted to find a way to embrace it that would extend beyond just this season. I wear camisoles so much year-round, so I like that this one has a modern look & can be layered under all my favorite cardigans, blazers & jackets or worn alone with a cute skirt for the hot summer months. Their sizing can be a bit confusing so I ordered two to try and ended up keeping the US4 – however, if you have a larger chest, you may want to size up! This also comes in pink & blue here.
Marc Fisher Slide Sandals
I have a pair of black sandals that I wore more than I anticipated last year, but they are a suede finish with ankle straps so I wanted a more casual style that I could easily slip on and go. The woven texture of these makes them so comfortable because they have a nice give to them and the studded accents on the side gives a high-end feel. I went with my usual size on these & they fit perfectly – they also come in navy & a pretty metallic silver/gold.
As you can see, all of the items I bought this month are versatile neutrals that will easily incorporate into my current wardrobe. I took a look at the things I wear the most in my closet & purposefully chose to add these based on that. I always recommend waiting for a sale if you don’t feel the pieces will sell out quickly. I was able to get 30-50% off most of these by simply being patient and watching them closely.
We all legitimately need to update our wardrobes from time to time, but sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in that mode of buying. I certainly don’t want to portray myself as someone who has the means to constantly be acquiring new things (because I don’t). I don’t think that is realistic for most of us and, even if we had an abundance of income to cover it, is that type of consumerism really healthy? I will admit that I’m not perfect – I’ve made my fair share of impulse purchases & bought things I really don’t need, only to donate them the following year. For those of you who are, like me, looking to break this cycle, here’s what I’ve found works quite well:
1) Evaluate your spending habits & identify what’s driving you. Are you shopping to fill a void? to find joy? as a means of escape? to impress others? to maintain status?
2) After you’ve determined your motivation, try committing to a monthly budget and removing temptation as much as possible – this means not wandering into the clothing section when you’re at Target & unsubscribing from those relentless sale emails that fill your inbox.
3) Once you’ve solidified a plan, here are some questions to ask yourself before you do take the plunge & purchase something new. Obviously there will be exceptions, like when you’re searching for a special occasion piece, etc. But, this is a great guideline to use that should help cut down or completely eliminate unnecessary impulse buys.
I know this post was a lengthy one, but these are things that I’ve been contemplating for a long time and I wanted to share all of it with you in the hopes that it will encourage you & give you some suggestions to take to heart. For those of you who are interested in joining me for my 2-month shopping freeze, please comment below & let me know so we can help hold each other accountable!
If you have any other ideas for blog content that would be helpful for you during this time, feel free to email me directly. Thank you so much for allowing me to be honest & share my heart and for following along with my journey. I will always be honest with you & I can’t tell you how grateful I am for every single one of you and for the ways you’ve supported this site (& my family!) throughout the years.