On shopping less...

This year, one of my resolutions is to shop less.  Which really shouldn't be hard because last year, I shopped a lot.  Like way too much.  (Remember once when I tried budgeting for like two months.  Yeah, that worked...)  As a blogger, it's so easy to get caught up in the notion that new clothes are required for new content.  While they aren't, it is certainly easier that way.  New items help dictate what outfits you style and share based on availability of the new pieces, and I certainly know I'm more 'inspired' to style and share new items.  Plus, I totally get a thrill out of getting mail, trying new things on, and planning outfits around them.  Maybe I just need to find other excitement with which to fill my life.  But seriously.  
So, since I like to set goals I can actually accomplish, I have a strategy around this less-shopping-effort.  
  1. Actively maintain a Can Buy and Can't Buy shopping list.
  2. Kick off a new blog series "If Just One".
  3. Share more remixed outfits on the blog, featuring pieces that may no longer be available.

Can & Can't Buy Shopping Lists

I started my Can Buy and Can't Buy lists back in January, and it's actually been a really successful strategy.  It's nothing complex, I just have a note on my phone containing two lists.  One list contains Can Buy items I have noted need to be replaced due to wear or age, and items I have wanted to complete outfits on multiple occasions, but didn't own.  Can't Buy items are items that I have SO many of already that simply don't get enough wear, or items I know that I impulse buy with frequency.  And, because I know myself and my impulsive shopping habits, an item has to go through a 2-week probation period before it makes the Can Buy list.  If I still think I need a ______ in my life two weeks after jotting it down initially, it earns a coveted spot on the list ;)  While these lists don't dictate every purchase, they definitely make me think twice about something that is isn't on either list, and seriously ponder whether it's worth buying something from my Can't list.

If you're curious, my current Can't Buys include scarves, flats, sneakers, and sweatshirts.  My Can Buy list is comprised of destructed boyfriend jeans, a mini wallet that fits in small cross body bags and clutches (because my current wallet is the size of a clutch...), a spring colored pursereleased hem skinny jeans, an embroidered jacket (vying for this one), and studded flat black booties (adore thesebut yeahhh hahaha).  

Ultimately the lists serve a few purposes...
  • Encourages more thoughtful purchases.
  • Allows me to spend a little more on the items I really will wear vs. buying more pieces justified by lower price points.
  • Stops me from opening every marketing email sent my way. (For instance, J.Crew Factory isn't going to have studded booties, so I can just hit 'delete' when they email me to tell me they're doing an additional 95% off and giving away free puppies with purchase.)
  • Keeps me from over buying certain items in my wardrobe.

To share how this works in practice... I know I own more scarves than any human being needs.  I don't wear them all that often, and I find myself buying new ones before I've even worn the last new one.  (I blame flatlays.  F'real.)  So, scarves are on my Can't Buy list.  Last week, when I was at the mall and holding onto a scarf in a novel print, I thought about my list and realized I really didn't need another scarf in my closet and passed.  Alternatively, my Can Buy list served as a justification to buy a $60 jacket at H&M the other day.  I've been hunting for a new, perfect olive utility jacket for a long time, seriously over a year.  Then I encountered one unexpectedly at H&M, and winced a little at the $60 price tag (that just seems high for H&M, no?!).  However, I know I really want one and will get a ton of wear out of it, so I bought it anyways.  I've already worn it at least 4 times, and I've only had it about 3 weeks.

If Just One

"If Just One" is a new series I'm going to be kicking off soon on the blog.  Basically, I'll be sharing about if I could just have one ___________ (skinny jean, v-neck t-shirt, jacket, necklace, pair of leggings, sweater, striped tee, lip product, etc) which it would be and why.  I'll include styling ideas and options at alternative price points as well, because I recognize that while I may deem my favorites perfect, some are a little pricey.  (*cough*Alexander Wang tees....) 

More Remixing

Sharing more remixed outfits seems kind of self-explanatory... but is something I'm not very good at. I tend to plan my posts around new pieces in my wardrobe because it seems more useful to share items that are still available, and let's be honest, finding "similar" pieces to link is a lot of work.  I'm kind of anal and hunt to find pieces that are not only visually similar, but also a comparable price point.  (I don't know about you, but when I click into a link for something "similar" on someone's blog and discover they've linked their Forever 21 booties to a $600 pair, I am not amused...)  

Hopefully my strategies lend to shopping a little less, while still providing plenty of outfit inspo on the blog.  If you have any other tricks that have worked for you to spend less and more thoughtfully, let me know in the comments :)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh my gosh I love this so much! Can't wait till you start your Just One series. And the can't buy and can buy lists, great idea!

  2. I definitely feel you regarding the pressure to constantly be posting new items! Luckily I think I've done a fairly good job at not always buying-buying-buying for that reason. I have a very long list of outfit ideas on my phone, many of them containing old pieces. I also decided to do a no-buy this month since I maxed out my budget last month and focus on the outfits I have in my list. :) It's been fun so far (though a bit challenging; any new thing I want during this time I'm forced to think about for at least a couple of weeks before I can actually buy it!).

  3. I like your idea of can and can't buy. I've been implementing something similar, but just in my head :) A little more structure would make it easier.

  4. I feel you Jenna on shopping less. I restricted my shopping last year and I think it lasted till Feb! I have been super busy at work so that helped with me not going to the mall during lunch and leaves me no time to go and make returns so I shop less.

    Good luck with your shopping strategy and keep up posted on how you are doing.


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  5. I can so relate to this post. I hate styling clothing I can't "sell" on my blog b/c invariably people want to know where to get it, and they don't usually want a similar item. They want the exact one. I am really struggling with my clothing budget this spring b/c I went waaaaaay overboard last fall/winter, and I need to reign it in. But then I do make a considerable commission off the things I buy that are new. Do you ever wear and return things, just so you can style for the blog? Am I overthinking? LOL!!

    1. Right!? People usually do want the same item, but I'm hoping that providing outfit inspiration rather than shopping inspiration will suffice(?) I think because I had a really good blogging Fall/Winter, I justified shopping more. Except when businesses have a good quarter, it's not like they just spend all the extra profits :-/ oops! I have worn and returned things in the past, but not intentionally. Sometimes I'll photograph something new for the blog and then realize it's not as flattering as I thought, was way harder to style in an outfit, etc. I can definitely see the temptation to do that though! I've noticed some small-medium bloggers that literally post a new head-to-toe Nordstrom outfit 5x a week though, and it just feels a little disingenuous... Nobody has 25 new dresses every month lol. Hahah so I guess while its tempting, and would be fun, I'd rather show a handful of ways to style one sweater I own than play dress up sharing outfits that aren't really my "everyday" style. Sigh, when did fashion blogging get so complicated?! Lol

  6. If Just One seems like it will be a really cool series!

  7. What a great mentality - CAN and CAN'T buy. I should try this one out... Stopping over from the link up and your blog is so cute! Hope you check out mine as well =0) Have a happy Friday!

  8. Loved reading this post, and can't wait to read your upcoming series! I love the idea of a "can" and "can't buy" list. It can be so hard to budget clothes as a fashion blogger!


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