I thought I was immune. I thought, “I won’t get sucked into the Fall mania, shopping for jeans and sweaters and boots.” But I did. Yesterday, I was at Nordstrom Rack, looking at all of them. But, I did not buy any! I tried on 2 pairs of denim from Madewell but they didn’t look right. And the few sweaters I tried, including a super soft black cardigan, were also no-go. Lastly, I looked at all the boots. Craving some clog boots, or possibly some Doc Marten or Blundstone boots.
Honestly, I have yet to really embrace Fall, I mean style-wise. I’m not putting much effort into getting dressed. Maybe that’s a good thing. I keep meaning to spend some time putting together outfits and getting inspired but I’ve been busy working, doing home reno and running middle schoolers around. Today, with those jean-craving feelings still lingering, I decided to try on all my denim. And non-denim. Are you excited? Well, here they are: my 17 pairs of pants.
lucky black jeans
gap black cropped jeans
gap gray jeans
ag skinny jeans
coh girlfriend jeans
h&m boyfriend jeans
madewell boy jeans
h&m vintage-style jeans
gap white jeans
I’m really happy with all my jeans especially the Lucky black ones. All the GAP jeans are faves as well as the Citizen of Humanity and Madewell pairs. The H&Ms don’t get chosen often but I think they look good. The one pair I might retire are the J. Crew ones, mostly because they’re so thin and rip more every time I wear them. Also they’re a little too low rise. I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of them in the 4 years I’ve owned them. The AG jeans are also starting to show wear and are a little too big (Skinny jeans aren’t supposed to be baggy, right?) I documented all my pants with the same white GAP t-shirt and my Lotta from Stockholm clogs, but many of these would look better with boots since they’re fairly cropped. I think the only addition I could make would be a pair of medium wash skinny jeans that really fit.
NOT JEANS (AKA CHINOS & TROUSERS)
old navy wide leg chinos
gap army green chinos
nordstrom camo cargos
maison scotch chinos
old navy chinos
topshop black trousers
jcrew tartan trousers
Now the “slacks”. Don’t you love that word. Or trousers. The first pair is from a great brand Scotch and Soda or Maison Scotch for the women’s line. They look good but are tight. They are a beautiful thin chino fabric. The Old Navy chinos are a lot more comfy. And then the Top Shop trousers are really too big and never get worn, but they seem so ideal. IDK. I’m torn about the Old Navy ochre-colored chinos. They feel good and are a nice change from all the blue and black. Definitely look better with different styling. The army green chinos are an old favorite, too big now, but can’t give them up. I’m warming up to the camo pants but don’t wear them with a tuck because they do a weird are-you-pregnant thing. And those plaid pants! Can’t wait for the holidays! Some of these won’t get worn much in Fall and Winter. Not sure what’s missing here.
What do you think? Should I add a new pair of jeans or stick with my Low Buy Challenge and wear what I have?
Keeping in mind the Low Buy Challenge, I have not been shopping very much. I avoided shopping ‘because it’s Fall’ and reminded myself that I don’t need any more clothes. I don’t need the new styles. I know what’s “me” and I have so many items in my closet that are tried and true. I pulled out my fall/winter clothes and integrated them back into my closet. Hello sweaters and boots. Definitely don’t need any more of those. Jean? I’ve got plenty. It feels really good to realize that. If I do add something, it’s been on my wish list for a while and I only purchase what I truly need. Here’s what I’ve gotten over the last few months:
J Crew black watch Crimson plaid tuxedo pants (thrifted)
I bought this pair of plaid pants at a consignment shop I recently found. It’s a great place to sell clothes as well! I love extending the life of old items.
The best addition was these Old Skool Vans. I finally caved into Pinterest influence and got them! They look so cool with so many outfits, I’m so excited to wear them. Also very happy I found them for a great price because they are kids’ (I’m a youth 7/Womens’ 8.5) and they were on sale.
I LOVE these shorts. They are decadently HIGH-WAISTED and that is everything to me right now. I want them in white but they’re sold out now. I sized down a size. My original inspiration was these by The Great.
I’m such a minimalist. I go for solid black… or white. So explain to me why I chose these crazy patterned shorts? Other than they had them in my size and they were flattering. Uh, also, they match the weird sports bra I bought back in June.
Ha ha. I bought this to go with the above shorts. Only it’s not a sports bra. It’s a swim top. I actually found the matching bottoms but they were a no-go. So, I figured, this was a two-fer. I can wear it to workout in or to swim. (I had not yet realized I had already bought the matching Icon Clash Bra.)
That’s it! One pair of shorts and one workout outfit. And workout clothes don’t even really count when we’re talking wardrobe additions, right? Right?
I keep looking through my closet and browsing online and I keep coming back to the thought that: I DON’T NEED ANY MORE CLOTHES. Sorry for shouting. I could have just bolded or italicized that. Maybe I’ve just been too busy to shop. Cleaning out the basement, going to the beach, kids starting back to school, training a puppy. I’m just living my life, you know?
But, here are a couple very carefully selected items I might buy this Fall.
I’ve been wanting these for a while. It would be a splurge. I’ve heard you can give them your measurements and they will work with you to find the perfect fit. Did I hear that from another blogger? Or did I dream that?
It’s amazing how well my #lowbuy experiment has gone so far this year. I first heard about the idea from Signe at UseLessWardrobe.dk. The goal is to commit to a year of limiting clothing purchases, to buy second hand, sustainable or not at all. It has really changed the way I think about new purchases and how I spend money in general. Here’s everything I’ve added this year:
Leopard Sweater | J. Crew (used from Poshmark) $39
I bought this sweater over a year ago (full retail: $89.50) and decided I didn’t love the way it fit so I returned it. Then, in January, I found it on Poshmark and decided it was a good deal and would be a good addition to my wardrobe. I had been wanting a leopard sweater for a while. It turned out that the seller had machine-washed it (on gentle, but it was hand wash only) and had shrunk it. I decided to not make a big deal out of it. I kept it and never wore it. I’ve since donated it. Such a bummer, but it really reinforced the idea that buying clothes does not me happy.
These clogs were a really good purchase. I already had one pair of clogs, low heel, in navy and wanted a higher heel in a lighter color. I waited a long time before finally decided to buy this second pair of clogs. I really adore clogs and wear them all the time. It feels good to choose something you love even though it isn’t necessarily trendy, and to learn what your true style is. This was my first time purchasing from Lotta and I would highly recommend them! #cloglife
Okay, so, as soon as stores opened up, I went shopping with my daughter and although I had previously pinned this on my wish list board, it was kind of an impulse buy. Did I need another dress? No. Another navy colored dress? Definitely no. But I love it. And I reach for it all the time, which in my opinion is the best indication that something was a good choice.
The Haul | Nordstrom Rack $86
So, everything had been going great… then I went to Nordstrom Rack with a friend when they first opened back up. I grabbed a bunch of things, then learned I couldn’t try anything on, so I decided to just check out and try them on at home. I paid for my haul and then they stamped my receipt, “FINAL SALE.” I could have died. I had no idea they were having a clearance sale. I wasn’t paying attention. I was not happy. I didn’t feel excited that everything was 50% off. I just felt sad, like, I didn’t need any of this stuff and I don’t even want it in my closet. So, I accidentally added a Nike sports bra, a Calvin Klein bralette, 4 Madewell t-shirts, a white Madewell cardigan and a pair of camouflage pants! They all fit me fine and I will use them, but I wish I had never gone on that shopping trip.
That’s all. That’s what I added. I am amazed how little I bought, and more so, how little I wanted to buy! It has been such a transformation. (Granted, the pandemic was a big contributor to my not shopping)
I now know, that when I really focus on what I truly want, and what clothing is really me, it’s very minimal. I enjoy the good choices, and I enjoy what I already have.
A follower once told me, “As long as you repair the soles before it wears through to the wood, and take good care of the leather, they will last forever.” The fact that this person was Swedish just further convinced me. After wearing my Troentorp DaVinci clogs for about a year, I knew they would need to be resoled soon. Not wanting to be clog-less, I waited until I had a back-up pair. I purchased my Lotta from Stockholm High Heel Classic Clog pair in February, right before COVID-19 hit. At that point I didn’t go to the cobbler because I thought they were closed. I had actual real fear of dropping them off and the business closing down for months, or forever, with my beloved clogs trapped inside. When I finally did take them in to the oft-recommended Camody Shoe Service, I learned they had been open the entire time. Shoe repair, considered by many to be archaic or obsolete, was deemed “essential.”
Here’s the fun part. My $99 clogs cost $61 to resole. I didn’t have a choice. The repair man tried to dissuade me. I don’t think he had any idea how much a person could love a pair of clunky old shoes. Clearly he was unaware of the wildfire that was the hipster phenomenon of #cloglife. I left them with him, not at all confident he would return them to me the way I imagined. We agreed he would sand down the wood to remove the scuffs and marks but would not varnish them with shiny shellack. But what if he used some weird colored rubber? I did not feel sympatico with the gentleman but decided to trust him anyway. Two days later I retrieved them and was thrilled! They looked perfect. It still seems crazy to have paid so much but isn’t it better to repair and reuse? To commit yourself to the stewardship of a good pair of shoes?
Around the same time I bought my second pair of clogs, I made a purchase from Nordstrom: a pair of white Classic Dr. Scholl’s. My mom wore these when I was a kid and I had at least one pair back then and I’d been thinking about getting a pair for a long time. The only question was, “What color?” I decided on white. A few days later, a Nordstrom box arrived in the mail, (my new Dr. Scholl’s!) as well as a box from my mom. “What is this box from my mom?”, I wondered. An identical used pair of Dr. Scholl’s. I am not kidding. I had mentioned that I wanted them and she said she might have some and I forgot all about the conversation. The new ones are the photo on the left. The used ones (only a few years old, not form the 70s or anything) are on the right. Same color. Same size. Came on the same day. Like the universe was telling me, “You don’t need to buy new stuff. There’s plenty of perfectly good stuff already out there.” It was freaky. But so cool. Such an affirmation of my commitment to #lowbuy. I sent the Nordstrom ones back.
This year has been a complete 180 on shopping for me. The less I buy new clothes, the less I want them. I have been so completely content with what I have. And more and more I am really clear on what I like. Having less and maintaining a minimal, curated closet is so satisfying.
My only purchase this year: a J.Crew sweater from Poshmark
I don’t know exactly what day in January I officially committed to doing the “Low Buy Challenge” but here we are, one week into February and I feel like I’ve done well so far.
In my last post I talked about why I was doing it, who inspired me, and what clothes I currently have in my Fall/Winter closet. (Spring/Summer items are packed away.) I think the next step is to discuss the rules I’ve created around when and if I add something.
Wait. That’s right. Try it on in store or look at it on line, but don’t buy it today. Pin it on my Pinterest “Wish List” board. If I still really like it in a week or a month, I can get it.
Ask myself if I need it. Will it fill a hole in my wardrobe? Do I already have something similar? Is it truly my style? Will it get a lot of wear? Is it on my list?
Try to buy second hand or get it from a friend.
Shop sustainable brands. Consider spending a little bit more to support more responsible manufacturers, and invest in a quality item that will last longer.
Don’t shop to avoid uncomfortable feelings or boredom. Find an alternative outlet.
Setting this goal for myself has been surprisingly freeing. I thought it would be harder. Some of the things I’ve done have made it easier. For one, at the beginning of the year I did massive email clean out. I unsubscribed from all unnecessary emails, especially clothing stores. I threw away coupons and sales flyers and any other enticement to buy stuff (when I don’t need stuff!) Another thing that helped: resisting the urge to get rid of clothing I don’t wear. I know now that this can create a vacuum that makes me want to run out and get new items. If I think I should get rid of it, I put it away in my off season bins. If I still feel the same in the Spring, I’ll donate it. The third thing I did was spend less time looking at fashion blogs and social media in general. If I read posts, it’s from people who encourage slow fashion. This growing online community is like a support group and it really helps! Check out #2020wehaveplenty and #useless_lowbuy2020
The longer I go without buying clothes the more I feel like I don’t need to. I like the clothes I have. I don’t need new ones. Besides, I like knowing I have a stash of allowance money that keeps getting bigger. The more I have, the less I want to spend it.