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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Could you live with 100 items?

Falling right in with my current wardrobe and shopping dilemma, this NY Times article popped up on my reader just before I was about to start writing this post. The article discusses a couple who decided to slowly start giving away their possessions until they reached 100. (They didn't mention if that was each, or between the two of them, but I'm going to assume each.) Now, this couple is out of debt and very happy.

Meanwhile, I think I've got about 100 things on my desk alone.

All I can seem to think about is how this woman must not care about fashion, at all. She probably has four outfits, two pairs of shoes, one bag, and her wedding ring. I know I would never want to live like that. I'm sure I could, but would it make me happy? At the end of the article they do recognize us fashion lovers:

"Of course, some fashion lovers beg to differ. For many people, clothes will never be more than utilitarian. But for a certain segment of the population, clothes are an art form, a means of self-expression, a way for families to pass down memories through generations. For them, studies concluding that people eventually stop deriving pleasure from material things don’t ring true." 

The article also discusses the idea that if you save up for a purchase, think about it for a while, anticipate it (sound familiar?) that you will gain much more happiness from it, than something you buy on a whim.

So, after thinking, and reading all your great comments, here is my plan:

Shop my own closet.
Have I had my eye on that cute pink $42 skirt from ModCloth? Yes. Do I have a pink skirt in my closet already? Yes.

Chartreuse and Salmon

The Rundown
Skirt Free People - Top Kohls - Sandals Nine West - Belt NY&Co. - Bag Jessica Simpson - Necklace (made from clip-on earring) Earrings, and Bracelet The Cavernous Jewelry Box

bottle necklace

The reason I haven't worn this skirt is due to it's unfortunate length, hitting me mid ankle. Fortunately I had the bright idea of folding it over and hiding the bunchiness under the belt.

Learn to let go.
I'm always thinking I need to hold on to things for all the usual reasons...
"As soon as I get rid of it, I'll need it" ...
"This might be really trendy again next year"....
"If I alter the length and the bust and the waist it will fit and then I can wear it again"...

If I'm not wearing it, it needs to go.

Consider purchases more carefully.
I consigned some items at the thrift store and made $8. I was tempted to spend it all again in that same moment. There was a silk polka dot dress for $5 and a woven straw cross body bag with faux leather trim for $3. But I told myself I already had a polka dot dress and more bags than I have room for, so I passed.

I've decided I don't want to ban myself from shopping, I enjoy shopping!! I just need to cut back. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see just how bad I've been this summer. 
May - $76
June - $289
July - $146
August - $158

Based on my average spending, I've decided an acceptable monthly limit is $80. I'm even going to be really nice and allow myself $40 for the remainder of August. Hopefully I will be able to stick to this and be happier for it.

Getting right into my new challenge, here is a top that I've never worn with anything but jeans, and as a result, has been sitting unworn. (I wear jeans so much less than I used to before the blog!)

Back of the closet

bracelet and belt

The Rundown
Top Gap - Skirt TJMaxx - Sandals Frye - Belt Forever 21 - Bracelet Etsy

Have you entered the 200 Followers Giveaway yet?

45 comments:

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Way to go! Since going through some financial difficulties I've been learning to live with less. It can be really hard but I think in the end I will be happier.

maggeygrace said...

Your resolutions are inspiring! You make several good points. I'm sure if I were to add up all the money I spent on clothes every month...it would depress me to no end. But maybe I should! Good luck!

Shelley Ann said...

that would be so hard to only pick 100 items! and setting a budget will be hard, but im sure youll do fine :)

missvinylahoy said...

I swear, we must be sharing a brain lately. I was just reading that article and thinking about posting about it!

I totally understand what you're talking about.

Here's to shopping our own closets!! :)

I don't think we need to live with less to be happy, but I think we forget what we have and that's where the "less" part comes in.

I love, love, LOVE a certain dress of mine because it was my moms and she married my dad wearing it. But I don't wear it as often as I'd like to, because I have so much other clothes! It makes me happy to see, much happier than a bunch of other clothing I own makes me feel, yet I don't wear it. Urgh. Welcome to my dilemmas!

Iris said...

That is a pretty interesting article. I'm all about shopping your own closet! Good luck sticking with it :)

La Fille D'or said...

This is cool Lyddie- because you have a lot of wonderful items. And yes shopping is fun- but it is worth it to save up for an item you really love. I have a monthly budget that I use to buy items sometimes I have to save a couple months to get something I really want- but its worth it. I think that this really helps just de-stress your life. And that money you don't spend shopping can go to many other things like travel...or blostering a savings account.

I'm sure you'll do well and I'm always checking back to see your styling : )

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous skirt, I love your idea of folding it over and hiding it with a belt. Genius! You need to be a stylist, girl!!

Rad_in_Broolyn said...

Hey Lyddie, I've been thinking about your dilemma and I'm glad to hear that you're taking steps towards new spending goals! Bravo!
Also, you are looking amazing in that grey and purple top with the skirt. Yeay for remixing and fabulous waist cinching!

Heather said...

i totally agree....ps love love loveeee the belt!

Melissa said...

I really like this post -- that's a very reasonable resolution to make. I look forward to reading more about these goals!

Lorena said...

Interesting article.
I have always thought that money is comfort, not happiness.
I am happy that you have come to terms with what you want to do with your closet )

Frances Joy said...

You did an amazing job of shopping your closet with these two outfits. You look wonderful!

closet365 said...

I love this. You always impress me with what great pieces you have, so of all the closets to shop...I'd say yours is pretty tops.

Love the remixing. The last outfit is gorgeous. Well done!

this free bird said...

This is such a great post. I'm challenging myself to something similar and have myself on a level of wallet restriction b/c I, like you, have 100 things on the desk. Add a zero to the closets. It's just too much. And if I just shop my closet I find so many good things I've forgotten about. It's a damn shame over here, Lyddie.

Anyway. Enough about me. Back to you.

Love the post. LOVE the top outfit especially!!!! You look soooo good in bright colors and it was brills to roll that skirt and tuck with the belt. It is so pretty!!

I'm going to enter that giveaway and get ready for Teen Mom.

xoxo,
Carrie

Modesty is Pretty said...

Wow! Two wonderful outfits! ANd I do applaud your idea of wanting to control your spending, I'm glad I'm not alone! That pink skirt is wonderful! Like you I had not only one, but 2 pink skirts! My reason for wanting another one was that I wanted a solid color one (since both ones I have are striped). Welcome to the group of bloggers on a fashion diet. =)

Lynzy said...

I absolutely adore your pops of color in that first outfit! You are making me want to take control of my spending :)

xo Lynzy
http://fromskirtstoskillets.blogspot.com

jamie-lee said...

I'm not sure I could live with 100 items. I am now actually curious as to how many items of clothing I have in my wardrobe! x

http://pagesixxx.blogspot.com

MeredithW said...

Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy your blog? Anyways I was looking around at some other blogs after I saw your Sunday post. You should check out this girl

http://newdressaday.wordpress.com/

She gave herself a $1 a day limit!! So $365 dollars for a year.

It's a pretty fun blog. Makes you want to take up sowing xx

MeredithW said...

Oh and also I've given you an award on my blog!
http://fo-mw.blogspot.com/

a bit coquettish said...

Amazing - braaaaavo!

I think I could live with just a 100 items - I always go for the same favorite pieces, as they are basics and easily versatile! But actually committing and doing this challenge? That may be another story (;

bises!
Kimberly

eek said...

great post. shopping your closet is a great way to go!

I adore both of your outfits - that 2nd top with that skirt is gorgeous!

p.s. I agree - since I started posting my outfits, I wear jeans so much less!

Fashion-Resort! said...

Your outfit is so great. love the colorcombination you choose!<3

Aynna banahna said...

Good for you! setting a budget is new for me and my hubby too and we are better for it. Love these outfits, especially the pink skirt, super cute!

Daniela said...

love your outfits! I've been writing and rewriting a post just like this for the past 2 days. I'm seriously thinking of doing 'inventory' on my closet and really forcing myself to work with what I have.

jesse.anne.o said...

That article was good food for thought and I thought the woman sounded familiar (turns out I'd read her blog before)?

Strangely, $80 is actually my budget for clothing monthly so I think it's possible and reasonable.

I think I just hit a point where I have so much "extra", I have a hard time even managing my clothes so I *can* "shop my closet" lately, which is part of the reason that I am laying off spending even that $80/mo 'til Dec. (theoretically)

Erica said...

That was a great article!

I am unfortunately in a lot of debt, but it's not my fault. (really, it's not). My dad was rear ended twice, and had to have back surgery twice. He was out of work for two years. I was still in school...so I maxed out a credit card to help my parents pay bills. That's the reason why I am in so much trouble now! Things have gotten better though. You learn to live without certain things. I'll be debt free in a few weeks, and then I can finally start saving up again!

-Erica
Classy and Delicious

Krystal said...

i'm constantly torn between being happy with what i have but wanting to buy more clothes. i have more than enough which leads me to believe i need to work on something about being content! but...maybe i could just buy cute v-necks in every color until a 100 and call it good?!

Kristin said...

I wanna shop your closet lady! You really have some amazing pieces!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Yikes! I'm not sure I could live with just 100 possessions. I know it sounds materialistic but some things are pure necessity and others are too sentimental. Haha!

I loved this post. I adore your outfits too, especially the first one. You look gorgeous in bright, happy colors! xo

Amanda said...

Okay so I'm dying over that necklace! It is amazing!

Ali said...

Ahh! Great post. $80 is really reasonable per month, with my paycheck I think I could do $40 per month, boo for pool job that doesn't need as much working on during the nonsummer months. :D

I do get happiness from buying clothes, but I think that there is a limit as to when that happiness starts to decline. I don't get the thrill as much as I wish I could.. so maybe just one or maybe two shopping trips per month?? I could do that now that school is back up for me!

Btw, your pink skirt is way cuter than the modcloth one. The modcloth one reminds me too much of what you see at those cheap online half store/half lingerie stores. ;P Yours has class and is a much prettier color, in my opinion! And I love that necklace, too!

BenchesandChandeliers said...

i'm all for recycling my own closet :)

btw check out my giveaway of $100 worth of A'GACI clothes & accessories!

http://www.benchesandchandeliers.com

wonderfelle.com said...

I have been reevaulating my purchases over the summer as well... there's no way I can give up shopping but blogging has definitely made me do more of it and that needs to calm down! I'm impressed with your shopping budget - I don't think I can set a firm number, more like resolve to buy less, but buy better (only things i REALLY need).

Mimi said...

these are great guidelines when it comes to taking control of what we buy. i love your yellow top/pink skirt combo! :D

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

Mochachocolata Rita said...

you can also consider a garage/clearance sale ;)

a friend did it on facebook and it was a huge success!

Closet Fashionista said...

I should really do this too...my shopping could easily get out of hand so I need to watch it XD *makes mental note to do this*
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com/

monica said...

so inspiring, the article - although i would not be able to do that or want to. i like all my stuff lol

ari said...

LOVING the color combo on the fisrt outfit, and the belt on the second!
xo
ari

this free bird said...

Lyddie I am with you on the potential for peace with a purge. Wish you lived closer to help me weed through...

xoxo,
Carrie

à la Modest said...

I have the hardest time letting go of my clothes. I have items in my closet dating back from middle school... that's even after countless of times moving from county to county, city to city, and state to state! Oh geez. I do think of those things you have listed. I am guilty of this, too. Hey... we're fashionistas! We care so much more about our clothes than regular people. We can probably cut back on other things too like eating out a lot, salon expenses, etc.

gospelofstyle said...

I know it's so hard to think about getting rid of stuff--I have the same problem, but I find that I really never miss it if I can just bite the bullet.

I'm so inspired by articles like this one, but truly the clothes horse in me couldn't do it. I'm all for purging knick knacks & clutter, but clothes and books tend to be my weaknesses.

I love the pink and yellow together! And that skirt looks great belted!

Diana Mieczan said...

That is so intersting...I like to believe that I could do it but sometimes I feel like I want more and more all the time:)

Great post,sweetie:)

Kisses

The Fancy Teacup said...

I'm going through the same process over here too...I just donated about half of my closet and ready to go through one more round. It's a bit hard because I think something might be trendy next year or can be altered. And obviously I don't wear it. I am much happier with lesser stuff. Seems strange, but I would rather have less stuff, but stuff I actually LOVE, than a ton of stuff I just "like" and forget.

You look fabulous in those colors in your first photo. And that necklace is incredible. Love it.

Melanie said...

Such fantastic points. I definitely need to shop my closet more, too.

BTW, both outfits look gorgeous. That knotted belt is uhhhmazing!!!

Melanie@UnravelledThreads

Asta said...

Gee, I've really been out of the loop lately: how could I possibly miss such great outfits?! Love the poopy-dress-light-yellow-cropped-cardigan look, yet again, it made me want ti raid my closet in search of something similar (I have a poopy-flowers dress but definitely not enough cardigands:)) Love the second look, too, those turqoise shoes add such an unexpected twist to it (want to try this out too)! And the belt... it's simply divine!