A Seven Month Shopping Fast

36 items of clothing, 9 pairs of shoes, 4 bags

After a traumatising house move, I had performed a cull of my wardrobe. At 126 items of clothing, 19 pairs of shoes and 8 bags, I realised I had enough clothing to last a lifetime. I had decided it was time to undergo a shopping fast.

This idea did not seem too foreign to me. In my younger, more sustainably minded years, I had shopped very rarely. I usually made my own clothes and only bought things occasionally, considering every single youthful penny precious.

This had changed as I found financial stability. As my income grew, my spending grew. Shopping had become a hobby. I ended up donating hours of my time and hundreds of dollars to the fashion industry.

I had last gone shopping a month before I’d decided to start the shopping fast. I had in one day bought these three things:

  1. A pair of shoes I’d worn once.
  2. A pair of ripped jeans that did not last as they continued to rip down the leg.
  3. An ill-fitting top which ended up in a charity bin.

These were ultimately the typical fates of most things in my wardrobe. As a result, even though I was spending a lot of time and money shopping, I still had nothing to wear.

The shopping fast was hard at first. There was a withdrawal process. There were hours of restlessness. I had to admit that shopping had become a distraction from uncomfortable emotions. To fill the time, I began to discard more of my things.

I tackled discarding my clothes and belongings with the same fervour that I had for shopping. My busy mind began to identify all the things I did not need, and bags and boxes of things started to make their way out of my apartment.

With time I forgot about shopping, and I began to enjoy the space and time I had opened up by giving it up. In fact, I had originally intended to stop shopping for six months, but lasted an extra month after my fast had ended.

When I came back to shopping, I arrived with a completely new attitude. Over those seven months I had analysed which of my clothing worked for me and which didn’t. I had a list of specific items of clothing that I wanted in my new wardrobe. I had rules about where and how I would obtain these items.

Strangely, I realised, that my wish list contained items I had wanted for years. All this time, shopping distracted me from having the wardrobe I had always wanted.


9 thoughts on “A Seven Month Shopping Fast

  1. Great post! A seven month shopping fast sounds good to me… I’m on a similar journey right now, and I’m excited about the benefits I’m already experiencing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just started a spending freeze and I completely understand about how buying stuff gives you a dose of endorphins and there definitely is withdrawal when you stop feeding that addiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A great post!! I’ve always wanted to cut down my wardrobe and have more of a ‘minimalist’ style wardrobe, where nearly everything goes together and you don’t have those awkward items that you can never match with anything.. But I’ve always been too attached to things, like, there’s nothing wrong with the clothes, so I just keep them, even though I hardly ever wear them.. Thinking that they might come in handy one day? Someday? Ahaha I really like your blog though, you’re giving me some new year’s inspiration 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For years I would look at my wardrobe and think about those few nice things I had that looked great together, and thought how nice it would be if I only had those things. Of course I didn’t even consider that was a real option. Then I did it, and the changes of the last year are life changing! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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