On a Self-Imposed Shopping Ban

It’s already a year since I gave myself a (modified) clothing shopping ban. It was that time when I came to the realization that I didn’t want to work in an office anymore. It’s been almost a year since I quit my job with that fancy job title. I jumped into the abyss of working random bits as a freelancer.

With that transition, I wanted to change my ways (a little). Being a freelancer meant I won’t have a steady paycheck that would come on a set day. That also meant I couldn’t afford shopping sprees. On the flip side, since I’m a freelancer, I don’t need to be dressed to the nines at all times. I could just wear whatever unless I have in-person or face-to-face interviews for projects.

After I quit my job, I cut my wardrobe in half. I moved my dresses and other clothes for work or those that I rarely wear to the spare room. I wanted to do the capsule wardrobe, do the Project 333, or the 90/90 rule. However, I didn’t have enough willpower to do that. I was still trying to navigate this new lifestyle and I didn’t want to push myself too much that I’ll fail. I thought I’ll miss some of those dresses and I’ll be grabbing them back to my closet. But, I never even thought about them truth be told.

Within the year of that ban, I only bought two pairs of swimsuit, a pair of yoga pants, and some underwear. I controlled my urge to buy other clothing items. Heaven knows how much I want to buy some Topshop Joni jeans right now.

Even if I halfed my closet, I still have quite a lot of clothes that I rarely wear. I default to a few of my go-to clothes. I know I have to downsize my closet some more and stick to the basics that I like wearing.

One of my realizations with this shopping ban is that I have a lot of clothes. I discovered that I don’t really need more. What I have is enough. Although I still kind of want to go buy that fancy top from Zara, I just stop in my tracks and think that I can’t afford that right now. I started to get a clearer picture of my personal style that’s not affected by the trends. In my mind, I finally knew what I wanted and needed. Not being able to buy clothes even if I wanted to made me realize that I don’t need to act on every urge.

I also started to appreciate the gifts I got from people, like my Havaianas slippers from my boyfriend and the graphic tee from my friend, Debb. These are probably among my most worn and used items and I love them. The little things that people give to you start to matter and you just swell with gratitude.

I have to work on it. I’m not quite there yet with having a good wardrobe that I could say every piece is something I get a lot of wear. My goal is to have all of my belongings fit my backpack and carry-on luggage. I think that would be one of my greatest achievements. For now, I’m still trying to downsize as much as I can and build a good wardrobe of basic clothing. I’ve seen some people do it drastically and succeed in the process. I know I don’t have the willpower to do that. So far, taking it slow has worked for me. I’m enjoying the process of making rules and readjusting from time to time. Can’t wait until everything fits in my bags and I can just pack and leave whenever.

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