Shop, shop shop! Enough already!

(41 Posts)
escargot Wed 29-Jan-14 10:39:00

Since I've been here I've spent a fortune on the 'next best thing'!

It has left me feeling inadequate, a bit of a sheep and frankly vain and self-obsessed. My life hasn't been the same since I was HoC'd.

My remedy is to have February off. No more shopping for me, no more winterness and no more bloody lipsticks.

I do have a couple of days of January left though.....grin

Anyone else hitting the brakes for February beauty/style-wise or are all the new must-have Spring things making you itch?

I always buy a lot more in the sales, so have gone a leeetle bit crazy this month.

I usually have a pause now until about April.

escargot Wed 29-Jan-14 10:51:53

Glad to know it isn't just me. I have 5 cleansers on the go blush They will last the whole of 2014.

FrugalFashionista Wed 29-Jan-14 10:52:02

Yep I'm in for a shopping-free Feb!

MissScatterbrain Wed 29-Jan-14 10:52:11

There is nothing in spring for us Winters wink

escargot Wed 29-Jan-14 10:53:22

Yippee miss I won't even be tempted!

well done frugal smile

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Wed 29-Jan-14 11:05:33

Good idea! I'm in!

Saurus72 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:43:29

I'm kind of considering a new approach to shopping that won't necessarily save a huge amount of money, but I think may result in a wardrobe full of clothes that mean I don't have a panic about having nothing to wear when my wardrobe is literally bursting open it's so full. I've been on a year long declutter effort, and have sold clothes via dress agencies (which I think I will continue when I get my Summer clothes out a realise how much I don't wear), a car boot sale and also have given a lot to my Mum and charity shops.

I think this year, I'm planning on buying one nice item of clothing per month, as long as it is in my budget. This is as opposed to my former effort of bargain hunting, and shopping became a bit of a game of the biggest bargains I could find, instead of what I really wanted/needed.

Will be a big challenge...

escargot Wed 29-Jan-14 23:45:42

Good plan Saurus and welcome to you and green! I'm so bored with "needing" yet more STUFF!

Hopefully Thu 30-Jan-14 06:34:20

I always get quite acquisitive in Jan - even though I'm not a lover of sales shopping, I always pick up the odd bit, and something about the new year inspires me to revamp a little bit.

Saying that, I'm 7 months pregnant and the temptation is reasonably limited anyway at the moment! The only purchases for Jan have been a dress for after I give birth in the sales (the joy of colours and style means I know it will work) and a pair of maternity harem pants. Style central.

I actually don't love shopping and my wardrobe tends to go in fits and spurts, where I buy anything i need, wear it till it falls apart, then rebuy everything. I'm not a massive fan of shopping. So I'm actually planning on doing what Saurus is (on item per month) as a way of forcing myself to actually have enough clothes, rather than as a limit!

Snowdown Thu 30-Jan-14 06:39:58

I gave up shopping in October - I need new clothes now to refresh my wardrobe. I tend to binge on clothes twice a year, beginning of spring and beginning of autumn....I get all obsessed, shop shop shop, Pinterest board gets filled, live and breathe clothes and then I get bored, I've filled all the gaps in my wardrobe and I go and do something different. Attention span of a gnat - that's me.

scarlet76 Thu 30-Jan-14 07:09:39

Last year I started to make big changes to my shopping habits. I aimed for quality rather than quantity and aimed to buy clothes that I needed rather than clothes I thought I should have.
This year I'm taking it a step further and limiting myself to a maximum of 3 purchases per month. January has been relatively easy as sales shopping holds little joy for me. My 3 items for January all came from Topshop: a blue shirt, a black dress and a navy jumper. They have all been worn already and I seem to have avoided buying and just sticking things in the wardrobe which never get worn.
I am enjoying window shopping and browsing much more and am considering my 3 purchases more carefully. Up for consideration in February is a navy mac, a stripe jersey skirt and a satchel bag.

Floisme Thu 30-Jan-14 07:15:58

Well I can't promise but I won't see anything I like anyway as spring and summer clothes are rubbish. Does that count?

FrugalFashionista Thu 30-Jan-14 08:04:03

I think it's a good strategy to sales shop twice a year if you are not overdoing it and if you are also buying more timeless items. The risk with sales-shopping trendy stuff is that it will feel dated by next year.

For me, limiting exposure to blogs, online shopping sites and department stores helps me to stay focused. It's really easy to get sucked into the hype qnd become a sheep sad

One of the online shops I use stores all my purchase data on their server and I revieved all of my purchases from the past two years there. About half of them were fantastic basics that I repeat-wear. About half were clothes that are not worn much and that just end up cluttering my wardrobe. Had I really listened to my subtle feelings of dissatisfaction at the moment I first tried them on I would have much less redundant stuff. I'm a lazy returner and tend to keep stuff that I know is not perfect for me. This is what I should avoid in the future

* clothes that are very specific (party dresses, highly seasonal items, boots that are hard to walk in, beautiful but totally impractical stuff)
* pattern
* very bright colors
* black and navy
* clothes that are high maintenance
* multiples - I never like the second item as much as the first
* clothes that I feel I should have but do not love

I also noticed that I find pattern and color very tempting when I shop <magpie> but I actually tend to wear neutrals much more.

I need to have once in a while a crazy, showy standout item - this winter it's my coat - but most of my purchases should be fairly neutral building blocks, made from best possible materials.

Anything anyone else here has learned from past excesses? wink

Snowdown Thu 30-Jan-14 08:33:19

My heart needs to beat a little faster when I put it on and I need to focus on the item, not the label or the price tag. I keep it for a week and if I still love it and it tones with my other clothes it gets a home.

But I order and send back masses of stuff - I have about £3k worth of stuff to return at the moment and it will all be returned today. I only kept about £100 worth of stuff.

Saurus72 Thu 30-Jan-14 09:42:26

Frugal, things I am starting to realise include the fact that, by now (I am 40), I know when I try something on and it feels fabulous that I should buy it disregarding (within reason) the cost, as I think that happens very rarely but is priceless when it does.

Also, dresses are a really easy win for me as I feel comfortable in them, they need less co-ordination in terms of putting an outfit together, and I think it is actually a more cost-effective way of dressing.

Thirdly, the absolute joy (and relief) that comes from having clothes that fit, make me feel confident and enable me to get dressed for a variety of different situations without going into meltdown while standing in front of my wardrobe in my underwear cannot be underestimated. Last Autumn, I tried out my 'buying less but better' approach and it worked really well. In September, I knew that in the run up to Christmas I had a lot of social stuff going on that I needed a really gorgeous outfit for - theatre, opera (first time ever, completely wonderful!), good restaurants etc - I thought about it carefully and bought one dress that I knew would work for everything. It was expensive (for me anyway - £160 with a discount code), but the absolute relief that I felt of having something that I knew was a good fit, kind of glam but not 'fussy' was amazing. Admittedly most of the times I wore it it was with different friends or DH so they didn't know I had worn it loads of times -not sure how I'd feel about wearing the same thing over and over with the same group of mates.

So what I'm ultimately realising is that instead of feeling enslaved to buying clothes, what I am actually seeking is clothes that work for me and my life, and make me feel good. What a simple thing to realise - what a shame it took 40 years and so much wasted money to reach that revelation wink

bunnymother Thu 30-Jan-14 09:53:27

I'm like many of you - Pin what I like, buy it in the Jan and June sales, plus the odd impulse bargain, then take it slow.

I do buy more than I need, but love my clothes, and make fewer mistakes than I used to. I am a ruthless returner, which helps. Although, arguably, wiser, slower shopping should result in minimal returns blush. I do pad my online orders for free delivery, which is probably stupid as it means I am not valuing the time it takes to return the excess item/s.

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 10:47:33

Thanks for sharing your shopping experiences, I'm understanding my habits a lot more as a result!

I had the bare bones of a wardrobe at the beginning of Autumn and bought a few good things (I call £100 a 'very good' thing) and was really happy but as Winter went on and I got colder I bought two very cheap cardies from EWM plus a crew neck jumper because I had nothing to wear indoors to stay cosy. They were all £15 each in the sales, lambswool and a bit itchy but they are nicer than hoodies for indoors.

I also bought three 'fine' knits from CC so now my wardrobe is fuller but they are not items I LOVE, which makes me a bit cross.

I like Hopefully and saurus's method of 'not much but planned and good quality'

I would rather have a cashmere sweater in 'my' colours that fits perfectly than these misshapen woolly mammoths but the cat ends up sitting on me most evenings anyway and they're disposable grin

So, now you can see how I go from 'wardrobe that I love and fits me' to 'making do, it's cold, the cat sheds all over me'...

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 10:48:35

frugal I feel like a sheep too at times, I didn't know I 'needed' so much stuff sad In truth, I don't!

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 15:07:31

I didn't know I had so many things 'wrong' with me until S&B! I'm only half joking.

I know it's my own issue and I shouldn't compare myself to others but if someone puts up a pic of their skin saying how bad it is or whatever, I can't help looking at my own and wondering if I should be more concerned with mine if that is what constitutes 'bad'.

I do find S&B really helpful though and enjoy it 95% of the time. Just wish people would stop saying how awful they look. wink

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 15:09:05

Sorry. I know that wasn't the point of the thread but it was following on from your 'sheep' comment.

Spending wise I have managed to stop buying the latest must have the past couple of months. The babyliss shite hair cured me of that.

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 15:15:18

I feel the same at times coumarin Mostly I feel inadequate and needy and after that I feel vain and self-obsessed.

Maybe a break from all this is required - surely my main goal of finding a lipstick that suits me is a tad fluffy in the grand scheme of things!

Trouble is I become obsessed by it, spend a lot of time and money and still feel inadequate because I'm sure there's a better one out there angry sad

FrugalFashionista Thu 30-Jan-14 15:23:01

The point of the beauty and fashion industry is to make you feel inadequate and to make you feel that just buy purchasing a few things everything will change.

I knowingly know this but still get sucked in.
<sigh>

Someone earlier suggested getting offline, taking a walk, reading a book or getting immersed in a box set of DVDs or something. It does help wink

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 15:32:15

Sounds like a good idea frugal smile

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 15:58:43

Escargot it can be a nice shallow escape from more serious problems sometimes. Browsing make up, musing over which shade of pink you like the best or pottering around a make up counter where everything is beautifully packaged, glossy and perfect looking. It's a harmless distraction.

I think the problem starts, with me, when my anxieties about serious stuff get projected onto the little things so I can get overly invested in finding the perfect cleanser. As if that'll make everything ok again. If that makes sense? It's not a conscious thing but I do become aware if it sometimes and that's when I back off the beauty forums and shopping sites and do something else.

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 16:02:24

Sorry if that was a bit deep. smile

Pinterest is a great way of getting a shopping fix without parting with any cash. I've got an amazing wardrobe on there! (And a gorgeous house, perfect meals and fantastic holidays. grin )

kerstina Thu 30-Jan-14 16:12:55

Coumarin I think you were spot on actually. I lost my dad just before xmas and my online shopping has got a bit excessive lately. I realise it is a form of escapism and addiction. I had decided no more and then a day later I was sucked in by the concealer recommend on here that I just had to have. I wouldn't mind if I was rich I would not beat myself up over it but I am not so really need to stop. Excellent idea about pint interest am off to add to mine. smile

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 16:18:53

coumarin and kerstina I totally agree. My hounding of beauty forums is because I'm bored and I think if only I looked 'just so' then I'd be ok.

In truth, I'm about to be 50 and am totally obsessing over having the right hair/skincare/make-up and wardrobe in place. That's totally nuts though as it evolves over time and rightly so. I just NEED to have it all in place and then I will stop in theory.

FrugalFashionista Thu 30-Jan-14 16:23:24

I'm also looking for light relief, usually because I'm bored/tired/stressed out. Excessive purchases are a byproduct of the process. Winter is a bad time as you are stuck indoors.

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 16:44:03

Very sorry about your Dad Kerstina

Yes, when I miscarried after our fifth ivf attempt I suddenly became convinced my skin was awful and bought all kinds if things to try and correct it. I spent £££ on stuff that I'd use once and then decide it wasn't good enough and so on. Truth is my skin looked how it always did, just fine. But I guess worrying about that was easier than worrying about something I couldn't fix.

I do love make up and clothes and it's a brilliant way of taking your mind off things but if it gets to where it's vexing a stressful thing in itself then I think a step back is wise.

Again, apologies for getting so deep. wink

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 16:45:05

*becoming not vexing.

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 17:01:34

Don't apologise, these are all very valid reasons. I may choose to step away from these type of forums as well as not shopping in February

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 17:02:14

Sorry for your loss kerstina and coumarin.

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 17:10:06

You could still browse Escargot <enabler> wink

Window shopping and dreaming about what you'll buy if often the best bit. smile

(Thank you)

Saurus72 Thu 30-Jan-14 17:22:28

Coumarin sorry to hear you've had such a bad time if it. I've been through bad times in the past, and I do get tremendous feelings of anxiety, which is heightened by the fact that I'm such a control freak.

I've always liked clothes, but I can pinpoint the time that my buying too much became an issue. It was about 15 years ago, and I started to gain quite a lot of weight (started going out with someone and we drank a lot and ate out a lot - all quite decadent). I suddenly encountered clothes not fitting that well, and in fact was on the verge of being a size 16, which in my mind then equalled 'Evans'. So I clearly remember having the feeling if, if it is from a 'normal' shop, and it fits, I'd better buy it because god knows if I will be able to find anything to fit me again. I mean, that's kind if mad! My weight has stabilised, and I never actually did have to buy anything from Evans, and in fact there were enough clothes left in the world to still fit me. But I remember the almost panic buying if it, and I know it still affects me today.

I also have a much vaguer feeling of 'what if I lose my job in the future and can't afford to buy clothes any more?' I better buy this now just in case. When if course if I lost my job I would a) have sufficient clothes to keep me going for around 3-5 years, b) I would most likely get a new job at some point and c) if that didn't happen, and I was indeed jobless fir 3-5 years, clothes would have fallen low in my priority list.

I'm not going to pretend it makes sense confused wink

Coumarin Thu 30-Jan-14 20:53:47

Thank you Saurus Yes it was an anxiety and control thing.

That does make sense. Not sure I've bought things just in case but I know someone who does that. She has a really secure very well paid job too.

escargot Thu 30-Jan-14 21:23:21

I've decided to take a little break - it seems right for me to step back a bit - see you in march x

Coumarin Fri 31-Jan-14 00:24:12

See you in March with all the extra £££ you've saved. smile

EndOfThePier Fri 31-Jan-14 07:17:59

Wow escargot - are you me?! Reading this thread is like reading about myself. Turning 50 and fighting this compulsion to spend money on things I don't actually need in pursuit of something elusive/unnecessary that isn't me anyway. I'm not quite sure when I started being defined so completely by my clothes and I don't like this "crutch/obsession" in my life.
That said, I do like having a bit of money to spend on clothes for the first time in my life and I have taken on board all the points up thread re wise/investment buying. Same old adage of less and better for me with a healthy sprinkle of real life in between smile.

Eliza22 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:39:13

Courmarin thanks for expressing that sentiment. I'm exactly the same. I think is easy to be drawn in the "the counters" as I'm ageing (all at once, it seems) and it's so tempting. I really believe that this or that shade of lippy/blush will be the Grail I'm looking for. It never is. It does not exist.

Bonsoir Fri 31-Jan-14 08:52:03

Shopping is a creative outlet. It's very accessible these days, but the downside is that it easily empties your bank account and overfills your wardrobe/home.

If you want to stop shopping, you need to find some other way(s) of fulfilling your need to express your creativity.

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