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!
Hey Jaana, thanks for this post! I’m constantly trying to stop being a shopaholic, but it is so difficult! Sometimes I realize I just sound like any other addict, and that scares me a bit… It gives me courage to read that you were able to stop buying useless things, and that you consider building a wardrobe a job. I love that idea!
if i could do it, you totally can!
Love this look! I’m obsessed with your bag! Do you know the style name of it? I’d like to see if I could track one down. I’ve been down sizing my bag population (that’s my vice) and would like to add this great neutral bag to my collection. I’m selling down my collection to only have great neutral bags and this would be perfect! I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I think most of us already wear a capsule wardrobe but have 10 times more than what we need in our closets. I do look at my purse collection as a separate entity and it’s own little capsule so I’m trying to organize it into it’s own capsule with only a few great quality pieces. Thanks for any help you can provide.
I thought I’d NEVER remember the name of this bag, but I found the order email and it’s called the
SOUTHPORT AVENUE MINI CARMEN! Good luck on the hunt :)
Thank you very much!!
I love this look, and wanted to share something about the bag (I have this bag in Orange)–and the real beauty of it is that the bag can be worn cross body. So, you can catch a cab, your kids, hands-free!
First off- this outfit is super stinking cute. I hope you’re getting to wear it often in the warmer SoCo weather. Secondly, this post completely hits home for me! While I haven’t had that quite that many jeans, I’ve definitely had that many shoes. Shoes, yep – those are my jeans.
However, the process of building a capsule wardrobe has definitely helped me curb, and at the same time – satisfy – my shopping habit as well. Thanks for sharing!
Oh girl. Shooooes. I feel ya. The beauty of shoes too is even if you gain or lose weight, they always fit. Tough habit to kick for sure.
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
I’ve definitely gone through a “shopoholic” stage in my life. I’ve donated a lot of clothes that I never, ever wear and unsubscribed to all those retailers’ emails that would convince me to buy more clothes. (Those are killer! I’ve saved so much money just by not knowing about sales!) My problem is buying basic grey/white/black T shirts instead of jeans! I probably owned one from every fast-fashion brand out there. Getting rid of all that and stopping my incessant shopping has made such a big difference in my happiness (and wallet!) Yay for us!
Same with the email thing! You just have to stop reading them to be able to ignore the sales and not run out and buy buy buy.
You are seriously soooo cute!!! I love this outfit!!!!!! =)
LOVE this. “Let your faith be bigger than your jeans collection.” Pure gold.
I started my wardrobe last summer. Prior to that, whenever I had an event to attend, I’d run to the GAP and pick up a new shirt. Maybe new jeans, and then I’d pop over to Macys for a new trinket in the jewelry section.
I went shopping with a friend and as we walked thru her section, she picked up every shirt that was her size, on sale, and a color she liked. She bought about a dozen shirts. All I could think about was how much I’ve changed my shopping habits. That habit was also me prior to my minimalistic closet.
I’ve changed my habits and I’m proud of myself.
When I was first dating my husband I’d buy a new outfit every weekend we he plans too! Proud of you sista!
1. Your hair. I salute you.
2. This color palette. I will be copying when I plan my spring capsule.
3. Your perspective and meme-ables. Hellah yes.
We recently moved as I am finding that the lack of things in our immediate possession has made me/us so much happier; from a tiny wardrobe to a tiny kitchen…it is just all “less” and it has left room for us to be “more”. Love all around.
I’m kind of looking forward to moving in the next couple years to REALLYNEVER get rid of stuff. :) Gld you’re enjoying the less!
REALLYNEVER? no, just REALLY. you knew what i meant, yeah?
I love your last thought of having less allows room for you to be more. Love love this idea. I am going to put on my post-it.
I feel you so much on this post! I am thinning the herd of shopaholic years from my closet right now. I have some GREAT pieces from that time… but they’re hidden by all the crap I bought that wasn’t so great. I am only allowing myself purchases that fit onto my predetermined list of must-have’s and once I find something it is often ridding me of 1, 2, or 3+ items that couldn’t do what one perfect item can.
Thanks for reminding me there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am totally with you! My mom has always been all about the sales, and because she’s not a terribly picky dresser(except with jeans that fit her long lean legs!), that’s always worked really well for her. But I get ideas of what I want in my mind, and I used to pick up anything off the sale rack that was somewhat close. Now I spend time creating a list of what I’m really looking for, and I shop slowly, not necessarily buying the first thing I find and still sometimes taking advantage of sales and coupons. My closet is much happier for it!
I absolutely love this! I’ve recently realized that I struggle with the same thing — “I’m feeling a little down. I bet lipstick will solve it!” This post was lovely and affirming. Thank you!
Kristin W says
This is me! I’m still working on honing in my skills in order to not go crazy with shopping when I start a new capsule. There’s definitely something to be said for searching out specific pieces I love instead of buying every single semi-cute sale item!
Andrea H says
‘Let your faith be bigger than your jeans collection,’ now there is a quote!! So true. I am still untangling my shopping from my emotions, and though somedays it’s really hard, in the long run I feel better. Love this post Jaana. I also love the booties! I bought them the first time you posted that they are on sale, and they’re are some of my favorite shoes!
I just went online and bought those ADORABLE 1/2 price aldo boots you are wearing!! You look great!
hope you love them as much as i do!
I love this way of wearing a cape. I don’t know why but I would not have reached for a shirt with a collar but it looks great. I’ve turned a new leaf and just purchased a new pair of jeans for the first time in years, but my shopaholic jean days are currently hidden under the bed. You may have just encouraged me to officially part ways with my ghost of shopping past.
P.S. You and your posts are adorable!
While I have not yet actually started a capsule wardrobe, I’m beginning to move in that direction since finding the Unfancy Blog. Like you, I like to shop, and I looooove to get good deals. What ended up happening to me is that I have all these pieces that I got for good prices, but no real outfits. I end up wearing things that I don’t feel great in because I feel guilty that they are hanging in my closet unworn… Anyway I’m beginng to think of things seasonally. Like, now I don’t feel bad that I haven’t worn a shirt in months, because it’s a fall shirt and it’s winter right now. And I’ve also convinced myself to buy a few things at full price because I love them and know I will wear them a lot. Better to invest in a couple great things than a bunch of okay things. I am loving the shift in thinking!!
yes Karen- my thoughts too. I’ve done two capsules- loved the Fall…. okay with my Winter. Loving the process and discipline the capsule affords me.
Love this post! Thanks for giving us your inner thinking and journey. It is inspiring and insightful. I enjoy your sense of style. Thanks for sharing it with us.
I have truly benefited from friends who were shopoholics. Some of my favorite pieces were hand me downs after they wore them once. I got to the point where I almost wanted them to shop for me. They knew my body type better than I did!
Super cute hair! I need to see different views!
Jaana, i LOVE your colours! Beautiful inspiration for my first ever capsule wardrobe. Do you have a blog too? I’d love to follow it! Please give me the info on how I can find and start following you.
Hi Ame! Her blog address is:
She’s awesome — enjoy!
For me its handbags. I have dozens and dozens. I can’t have just one or two because that just doesn’t fit every occasion. I think internet shopping really hasn’t helped. I press that button and tell myself I’ll send it back if it isn’t exactly right, but I never do!
It’s so funny I came across this blog and your guest post. I am in the midst of a jean problem right now. I thought to myself, “Instead of all of these pairs, you could own two or three that fit you really well.”
Love this post! I like to shop, but don’t like to over-shop. I’m new to the capsule wardrobe lifestyle, but for spring, I’ve really enjoyed hunting for the ‘perfect navy cropped pant.’ I know it’s one of the pieces I want for spring, but I won’t settle til I find the right one. In the past, any would have been ok and I probably would have bought 3 colors. The capsule wardrobe really hones in your shopping, which is MORE fun that just acquiring.