Going cold turkey

Christmas is a time for spending time with the people you love, eating way too much food, watching all the cheese on TV… and shopping.

I’ve set myself some pretty strict rules when it comes to shopping the sales. I started out OK, with a Whistles parka that been on my must buy list for a year, since the snow last winter made me realize I need a warmer coat!

I also Cos black dress in comfy jersey but smart enough to wear to big meetings as my Autumn capsule tracking showed that I have to be work smart more often than is ideal for my wardrobe, and I replaced a grey jersey long sleeved top that I had to chuck earlier this month because it had a hole in it.

And then I got sucked into a mini Mango haul… A pair of black skinny jeans with red side stripes (continuing to build out my jeans collection but not the washed black sensible option), a black v neck t-shirt (definitely needed but not til later in the year) and a really great blue chambray shirt (this was on my missing capsule items list).

I’m cool with what I’ve bought so far, but I still find myself thinking a lot about how I have the time to do some serious wardrobe enhancing and how the sales are there so it’d be rude not to explore. The minimalist trainers I’m coveting have just gone on sale, as has the Hush dress I’ve pondering and I’m watching the perfect pair of boots in John Lewis just waiting for them to be reduced…Argh. I think I might have to actually go cold turkey.

The struggle is real. So I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can redirect this energy into activities that won’t end in me buying new things but will still a) go with the urge I have to think about evolving my style and b) stop me directing this one obsession to another unhealthy one (chocolate, wine…).

Here are the 3 tactics I’m going to try which might also work for you too…

Get into the detail

I’ve been documenting every outfit and counting item wears for the last season and a bit. To help me better understand my style, identify the workhorses I need to build out or move away from and the things I’m never wearing. This has taught me some great lessons like – jeans are an absolute staple but they don’t need to be black and skinny for me to feel comfortable. Some of my most random outfits have been my favourites. And I need a second pair of trainers.

This approach can also be really useful in identifying the pieces in your wardrobe you’re not wearing – spend some time scoping out outfits around those items and you’ll effectively feel like you’re shopping without buying anything at all.

Pinterest distraction

I love Pinterest. I use it to create seasonal mood boards and also to build out style files to support wardrobe edits and capsule creation for others. But much more often I find myself searching websites for new clothes than turning to Pinterest for inspiration.

What if every time I got the urge to explore what bargains are out there I focused on exploring images and styles I love and building mood boards that represent the look I want to achieve? This doesn’t then need to automatically lead to me buying the things that I’m missing. I can use the inspiration to begin thinking about the next season, to identify looks I can create from what I already own and just generally to see visually how my style might be changing over time.

Find some great bloggers

I’ve found some brilliant bloggers and youtubers in the last few weeks, people who everyone else is probably familiar with already but who I’d never come across. I’m trying to focus more on following bloggers who focus on sustainable fashion and minimalist style rather than those who promote for tons of brands. The 3 I’m loving most at the moment…

Use Less DK Signe’s blog and youtube channel is a gorgeous mix of scandi style, super helpful capsule wardrobe tutorials and minimalist lifestyle advice.

The Anna Edit Beautiful style and lots of really interesting content. Anna also has a book out soon which looks incredible.

Style Apotheca Great, grungy look and again, lots of really interesting content.

I’ll spend time exploring their blogs and watching their YouTube videos if I get the urge to shop. This will distract me and remind me that the sustainable style path I’m on is a good one.

Have you ever gone cold turkey? What techniques do you use?




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