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When Shopping Your Closet and DIY Refashions Become The New Norm

Do you like to shop? Does it take up a lot of your time? It might be an easier habit to break than you think, and I’m proof that we can create new habits that fill our bank account and fuel our creative spirit. 

Last week, I got the urge to refresh my closet. I rarely find interest in shopping, which is a far cry from my M.O. five or six years ago. Before transitioning to a (somewhat) more minimal and ethical closet, I regularly perused sale sections and racks at discount stores. I collected loads of clothes that didn’t go together and I didn’t know how to wear. Style does not come naturally to me.

I eventually discovered thrift shops, consignment stores, and online resale sites. I outgrew the discount racks but still enjoyed the search for that diamond in the rough at an amazing price tucked among the secondhand stacks.

Over time, as I started really focusing more on the clothes I wanted to wear, shopping became less interesting to me. The less I did it, the less I wanted to do it. Eventually, I arrived where I am today, and shopping is more of a hassle than a pleasure. I have exactly zero interest in wandering a mall, and want to be in, out, and done when I need something. In fact, I’d much rather buy something online after getting to know a brand and hearing what others (often other bloggers) have to say about it. Shopping just isn’t my jam.

Closet Refresh And No Desire To Shop The Malls

All that is to say that when I felt the urge to freshen up my closet last week, I had no desire to shop. I hadn’t a clue what gaps I had to fill nor exactly what I intended to buy. The prospect of entering a mall seemed overwhelming and a giant waste of my time.

Instead, I immediately wanted to inventory my dresser and closet. I set aside a box of things to donate or send to my sisters. I also gathered up a small pile of potential refashion items. I felt much more enthused about turning something old into something new-to-me than scouring shelves to find something brand new.

Starving Bad Habits

It’s funny how old habits die when they aren’t fed. It all started when I took on a year long 90/10 challenge during which I ensured 90% of my purchases were secondhand items. It taught me the wealth of things I could find in secondhand stores. It forced me to quit relying on new purchases to fit a gap. Further, a thrift shop wouldn’t necessarily have exactly what I wanted or needed at a particular moment, so I learned to make do with what I had. I got to know my closet a whole lot better and discovered so many things that had been buried for months (or even years), some of which I never wore even once.

Leaving my shopping habit to shrivel up and die when I chose not to feed it for a year resulted in the habit ceasing to exist by the time I finished my challenge. And honestly, if you’re considering something like it, it really wasn’t very hard. I don’t think I have the will power for (or interest in) a complete no-spend or 100% secondhand challenge; those seem much harder. Instead, I gave myself space to learn, but had enough guidelines to suffocate the bad habits.

New Styles For Spring

Because I keep pretty close tabs on items in my closet (and don’t often keep things I don’t wear), I finished a scan and clean out of my closet in less than an hour (and that included interruptions from my boys). I found a few things with which I was finally willing to part after not wearing at all in the last year or two. I set aside a handful of items that might be good refashion candidates. I also determined that I could use a couple pairs of shorts as well as a couple more warm weather shirts for the summer.

I glanced through thredup for a bit but didn’t find anything particularly satisfying. They have an enormous inventory, and I typically like the selection. As I clicked through pages though, I had a much stronger interest in trying some DIY reafashions than buying something new outright. I happened to find out about the Mystery Boxes offered by thredup. These boxes are significantly discounted and include 10 items in your selected size and with a certain theme you choose (dresses, pants, shirts, etc…).

With my heart wanting to get back to some DIY projects, the boxes intrigued me and I purchased a dress box. It just arrived today, and I’m excited to start playing around with what I received. In the future, I’ll be sharing a post about what I received, my thoughts on the program, and how I refashioned some of the items I received.

So… if you’re looking for me over the next few weeks, there’s a good chance you’ll find me at my sewing machine, scissors in hand, breathing new life into something old.

P.S. My four-year old picked this bouquet for me from our yard on his volition. One afternoon, he sprinted out of the house (leaving the front door open, of course) and let me know he would be right back. He returned with this bouquet, handpicked from our front yard and comprised of his favorite color flowers. So sweet, right?! I just had to brag. 

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