The other day, I turned to my husband and said “Hey, remember when I had like 60 pairs of jeans?” He dead-panned, “No. I’ve completely blocked that out of my mind.”
Rightfully so. It’s pretty embarrassing. It was in the midst of what I call the Shopaholic Years. Shopaholic was not an official diagnosis, but more of a self-proclaimed title. Shopping was my cardio, and I was all about the deals. There was no pair of $20 jeans in my size left untouched. They didn’t even have to fit great. They were just good enough for the moment. This in turn, left me continually looking for more.
I am the first to admit I still love to shop. And I definitely go through phases – extremes one way or another. At one point, I even gave up shopping for an entire year to try and get it under control. It was a good exercise in self-discipline, but about 2 months after the shopping diet ended, I began to relapse and fall into similar patterns. Mostly I find when my self-esteem is wavering or I am struggling in other areas of life, shopping temporarily fills a void for me. It’s that immediate gratification that feels so good yet solves nothing in the long run.
And here’s where the capsule wardrobe comes in and saves the day!
I think it works so well for me at this stage of life because I don’t have to quit shopping. It just forces me to really hone my shopping skills in a different way. And yes, I do consider shopping a skill. It has to be treated as such. Instead of just going and buying whatever catches my eye or whatever is cheapest, time and effort need to be put into building a wardrobe. There is joy to be found in it.
I personally enjoy the whole process – scouring Pinterest for inspiration, making lists of what I really want, finding those items in my budget that I know I will wear again and again. I still second guess some of my purchases, and experience trial and error with online shopping. And I still slip-up occasionally and get overly excited about a deal. But for the most part, I have found it so gratifying.
So what can we learn from the Shopaholic Years? No amount of jeans will solve your problems. Happiness is letting go of your jeans. Let your faith be bigger than your jeans collection. Breathe, they’re just jeans. Sometimes the right path is to steer clear of the jeans sale.
OK I could do this all day. Somebody make some memes already!