I am officially on month 8 of not buying clothes.
I opened up my closet a few months ago and complained that I had nothing to wear. And then the clouds somehow parted and I saw through my tantrum that my closet was full of clothes.
Remember the last time you wore out a pair of jeans? I would have said “no” 8 months ago, but these days it is another story.
About four months ago I realized it had been a few months since I had actually gone shopping, so I decided to make it a habit and I committed to a full year of no shopping.
My rules are:
1. I am allowed to accept gifts (but not ask for anything)
2. Accessories and underwear don’t count. (I rarely buy accessories, but when I do it generally is because something I had broke, and underwear is underwear…)
The goal has been to save the money I would have spent on clothing and donate it, and that has been a really positive part of this experience.
But…it’s not over… Like a crazy person I decided to add to this challenge and committed a full year of not highlighting my hair (I guess I kind of gave up on my hair after my first haircut from Brian). I have a lot of friends who don’t color-treat their hair, but I am not like them, so this was a big one for me. I think the most pathetic part was that I had no idea what my natural hair color was until it started significantly growing out (my last highlight was in February).
So for me, the challenge was picking things that I could hide behind: fancy clothes and super blonde hair. It has been great that this has allowed me to save money and use it for other things that are important to me, but the biggest part of this has been my own reaction. I thought I would feel vulnerable especially in social situations where designer clothing and hair are valued, and maybe I did at first, but surprisingly I feel it has had the opposite effect. I don’t feel obligated or stressed to “keep up” with the world. My hair is just fine the way it is and my clothes may not be what they are selling this season, but they don’t have any holes and I have found a new appreciation for the resilience of certain fabrics.
I know this won’t last forever. I eventually will buy new clothes, and perhaps one day I’ll want to highlight my hair again. However, the next time I go shopping or take a trip to the hair salon it will be either out of necessity or because whatever I’m doing is pleasant, not because I am doing what is expected of me from society.
Some of you reading this may rarely buy clothes and have always let your natural hair grow wild. I understand we are all different, but the reason for this post is to challenge you to think about your own “unnecessary necessaries”. Do you think you have any?