Confessions of a Shopaholic

Apparently there’s something in the water because I’m not the only one who feels compelled to talk about clothes right now. (Don’t miss my dear friend Kayla’s newest post!)


Like Kayla, I too feel like I have too many clothes. The anxiety tends to mount at the times of year that I usually feel more compelled to purchase (looking at you, fall season), especially when I find myself shoving sweaters into tightly packed drawers or struggling to find a certain skirt in my wardrobe.


Excess stuff has always given me anxiety. Excess clothing makes me feel anxious and materialistic.


The most embarrassing part is that even when I feel like my closet is full to bursting, I can still be tempted by the latest J. Crew email in my inbox. After all, what’s one more sweater? And at 60% off? It would be a waste not to take advantage of such savings, right?


One thing I’ve tried to be more aware of in the last couple of years: If you have to spend money to save money, you’re not really saving money.


In the last few weeks, I’ve actually hit a point of shopping saturation. I have plenty of clothes, and I’m finding it easier and easier to ignore deals. (Because, let’s be honest, there is always a sale going on somewhere.)


Two other things that have helped? A more organized closet and limiting my options.


I’ve said before how much I like getting rid of things. (Part of my aversion to stuff.) I try to prune down my wardrobe at least a couple of times a year, and it gets easier and easier the closer I get to truly identifying my personal style.


Because, yeah, 26-and-a-half years later, I’m still working that out.


This past weekend, I filled two large shopping bags with items to sell or donate and put all my summer clothes to keep in a plastic bin for storage until the temperature warms up. The result? A neat, color-coded wardrobe with room to actually sort through each item. (Okay, the color-coded part doesn’t happen naturally. I’m a freak, okay?)


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I even convinced the hubs to let me go through his closet…though we’ll see how long the color coding lasts.



It might sound weird, but I actually feel calmer looking at my clothes now. Okay, yeah, it definitely sound weird. BUT I AM WHO I AM, GUYS.


As for limiting my options, I’ve decided to only wear about seven colors.


Hear me out.


There are few things more irritating to me than making an impulse buy — or a “yes, this will be my style” buy — only to realize after a couple of wears that an item just isn’t me. Now I’ve wasted money and space in my closet on something I don’t even like.


So I started to think about what it is that I always like, and basically it translates into anything J. Crew/Ralph Lauren/preppy-esque. And more specifically, it almost always comes in a shade of black, white, grey, navy, green, red, or camel.


And thus, a new shopping rule was born.


And so far? It seems to be working pretty well. I definitely feel like I’ve curbed the excess spending.


What about you guys? Do you have any shopping rules? Another of my unofficial ones is that I rarely buy anything full priced. And, of course, I always use Ebates. Share yours in a comment below!

6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Shopaholic

  1. Ok, first of all, YES. Second: GIRL, thanks for the shout out! Blushing.

    “If you have to spend money to save money, you’re not really saving money.” That’ll preach, my friend. That. Will. Preach.

    Someone told me about the $1 rule once. If a shirt is $10 and you wear it 10 times, than you have met the $1 rule. If you spend $100 on a shirt and wear it once, you definitely have not met the $1 rule. Obviously, it doesn’t work with everything, but I keep it in mind when I find deals and I’m tempted to buy because it’s a “good deal” but I know it’ll stay in my closet with the tags on for FOREVER.

    Maybe we should collaborate on a series about clothes. We can get Madison in on the action, too. 🙂 (Is there a way to tag people in comments?)

    Ok, long comment. But good stuff, as always! 🙂

    • Ooh I like the $1 rule. I think some you, me, and Madison collab action needs to happen. (I’m linking to her in the hopes that she’ll see this ha)

  2. completely with you on the colour coding clothes. I have skirts, trousers, dresses, and tops, all organised in colour order. I’ve managed to keep it fairly well maintained since my last big sort out and it does make the getting ready in the morning panic slightly more manageable. I try and buy good quality basics these days, and try and make it a rule now not to spend on lots of “too cheap to leave it” things, and buy fewer better quality pieces that I feel much better about wearing. I rarely shop anyway, but it (in theory) means that I feel good in what I wear. Honestly though, some days only the cookie monster hoody will do!

  3. Hey Justine,
    I can’t remember how I found your blog, but you totally inspired me to do a no-shampoo week on my hair. It worked out pretty well.
    About the shopping thing: have you ever looked into your season? I think back in the 80s or 90s it was really in. My mom used to talk about getting her “colors done”… figuring out which season you are based on skin tone, hair and eye color. She’s a winter, so shopping is easy for her because she only shops for the colors that suit her. I wish I could go to a professional, but my own internet research has led me to believe I’m a “deep autumn”. I wonder what you are!

    • I love that! I should definitely do a google search. I’ve always wanted to get a stylist at least once to see what kinds of colors they would recommend too.

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