I didn’t buy clothes for a whole year, and I survived.


A whole year has gone by since I made an online promise to not buy any new clothes for 12 months. It’s been a fun experiment opening up countless conversations with a whole range of people. It made attending a clothes swap slightly strange, though turns out drinking wine while advising your friends on their purchases is quite fun! I’ve had to straight out avoid certain shops (particularly during the Fatface sale!) and found myself nearly running through charity shops to get to the kids books without being distracted by clothes!

Here’s a few things that surprised me over the year;

1. I’ve realised I wear less than I think

Right at the beginning of the challenge I had a huge clear out. I thought I was done. I was wrong! Over the year it became really clear that I wear less than I think. I turned around all my coat-hangers, only returning them the correct way once an item had been worn. Some of those coat-hangers are still facing the wrong way. In a society that generally encourages more, excess and a wardrobe full of ‘just in case’, I’m enjoying space, less and a wardrobe full of ‘just right’.

2. I kicked my impulsive internet shopping habit

In every area of my purchasing I found myself slowing down, asking ‘do I really need this’ and taking a day or two to ponder. My one impulse buy of a (way to large) train set early this year quickly reminded me (well actually my husband reminded me!) why slowing down has it’s benefits! Early on in the challenge I unsubscribed to lots of marketing emails, this stopped me getting sucked into the rabbit warren that is online shopping and it prevented the kind of ‘quick it’s in the sale’ purchases that I tended towards. I also ‘unfollowed’ various facebook selling groups for the same reasons.

3. My kids ended up with less. They’re naked only half the time

Before the challenge started, I stockpiled kids clothes, being ready for every situation, no matter how many mud kitchens were visited during the week. But cutting down on my clothes naturally resulted in cutting down on my kids clothes. The result has been that over the year I’ve streamlined their wardrobes which (as long as I wash things regularly) has been a space, money and time saver as less choice generally means less clothing battles (or does that only happen in our house?!).

4. My jeans have holes in them, and I’m not ok with that

Four weeks before the end of the challenge my much loved and well worn jeans gave up the ghost. This week I bought a new pair but after getting them home I realised that they weren’t perfect, so I took them back. Before this year I probably would have kept hold of them, worn them but never been totally happy then eventually bought another pair. But not anymore, I’ve realised that I’m now much more picky about what I bring into my home, it needs to serve a purpose, I need to love it, it needs to belong. That perfect pair of jeans is still elusive but I’m holding out!