Thursday, June 30, 2011

Breaking My Fast

Around the New Year, I read everyone's resolutions, sighed at the inevitability of failure and went on with my life sans resolution.  That is until a few weeks later when I got caught up with my friend Janet's blog.  Janet and her family resolved to not buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories in 2011.  There were certain allowances involving gift cards and such, but the idea was that they were in want of nothing and wanted to be content with what they had.  Though I didn't publicly answer her call to arms, I silently pledged to fast as well.  It was true.  I lack nothing.  If I felt like buying clothes before, I would just do it.  I didn't think beyond "That's cute, I want it."  Injecting thought into the process of accumulation in the area of clothing would be at best a life altering change in my attitude towards material possessions and at worst an interesting game of how long I can hold out.

Well, I lasted 5 and a half months.  In that time, I unsubscribed from all clothing store coupon emails.  I went to the mall once.  I paired new things in my closet.  I treasured gift cards I received for my birthday and carefully weighed items to buy including a pair of sensible black boots.  I really liked the way I felt free from advertising and countered the alluring siren calls with the retort, "I don't really need it anyways."  It was freeing and I spent nearly zero time pining after new items.

Then it became clear that we were going to make a big cross country move.  I looked at my shoe collection full of high heels that are sensible if you drive to work, sit at a desk and drive home.  I looked at the hills of San Francisco.  I convinced myself that I sorely lacked in the flats department.  I hemmed.  I hawed.  I spent two weeks searching online for the right pair of flats that were worthy of breaking my fast for.  Then I did what you shouldn't do, I bid for a pair of shoes that I was undecided about on eBay.  Turns out I was the only bidder.

They're not my favorite shoes, but I do find them attractive in an English Bull Dog sort of way - so ugly they're cute.  Thankfully, I didn't disobey my under $50 rule, so these flats came right to my door for less than 50 smackeroos.  

I haven't had the chance to wear them yet because they were entirely the wrong season for the sweltering Southern heat and now they're in a box on an 18 wheeler crossing Nebraska.  I have a bit of buyer's remorse though.  And not only because this purchase opened the floodgates to other weather related justifications for a few more items . . . I think another fast is in order.

Have you tried a fast on fashion or some other type of indulgence?


  1. Good for you for reevaluating what you really need! I think that the exercise itself has put you in an excellent position to really think about future purchases, which is valuable. I am also really trying to slow down on my clothing purchases, and it's more difficult than I thought it would be. I think your shoes are cute! I love tweeds and herringbones! I think its definitely okay to break the fast for certain items--I think the larger lesson you get out of it is more important!

  2. I've been on a fashion fast for awhile as a result of a pay cut and then layoff, but as I'm re-employed and in serious need of new clothes, it's about to end. Cute shoes, but might I recommend sneakers for getting up the hills, and flats to wear once you get to work. And you're going to need rain boots, too...

  3. I've been on a clothing buying fast for a few months too (it was budget-induced, though, and not self-induced), and it's hard for me! I loooove buying new clothes, and even though I know I have everything I need, new clothing is something that makes me really happy! Oh, and I think those shoes are adorable!

  4. @Mandy, Yes! I def. have a new thought process when I consider buying something - and that's what I want ultimately, to be a more thoughtful person.

    @Clair Thanks for the suggestion! I think for work, I'll be doing the sneakers and shoe drawer trick. My second break of fast was for some wellies on eBay! :)

    @Amanda In my single days I went on budget induced fasts and often window shopped, filling my online carts and then closing the window. I found with this fast, it was best not to look at all! And when I did make purchases it was as exciting as Christmas!

  5. I like them! I think the fact that it's still much to hot to wear them is throwing you off. They'll be adorable with chinos, a button down, a cardigan, and a belt :) I think JCrew and RL Rugby would be perfect inspiration for how to style them!

  6. They're adorable and classic and should serve you well. I actually think they're perfect for San Francisco (grew up thereabouts).

  7. I am in love with them and trying to restrain myself from finding my own pair! Good job with searching ebay first, I always forget that as an option!

  8. i love those shoes! in terms of the clothes purchases, i've actually been on the reverse. i don't buy new clothes that often, but this year i've been going through a wardrobe renewal. it has to stop sometime soon, though, for the sake of my wallet!