Sunday, December 21, 2014

The (Slow) Process of Learning to Buy Less

I am still in the very early stages of my journey towards being a more thoughtful, possibly minimalist, consumer. At this point, I am still far from anything resembling a minimalist though I think I've come a decently long way in terms of being more thoughtful about my purchases in just the last three months or so. I am starting to think about the ethical and other problems surrounding fast fashion, though because of my budget and other considerations, it is likely that some of my shopping will continue to involve fast fashion retailers and products or companies with problematic practices. If nothing else, I generally intend to use my clothes for several years even if they come from Forever 21 or H&M and for the most part, I succeed. 

Still, I thought I would write about my thought process now when I ponder a new purchase, particularly as this is the season for sales and discounts, when I find temptation to be particularly acute. I have a long, long way to go, but I think the journey is worth talking about.

I have mixed experiences with Joe Fresh. I like a lot of the designs there and the brand's general propensity for the use of bright colors and prints. I have a lot of favorite pieces from there, including a marled open cardigan from around two-years ago that is still in great condition and would be very on trend if it were sold this year. I had a lovely printed sleeveless top which was suitable for both business casual and casual wear and I was devastated when I accidentally left it in a hotel somewhere at some point on my summer travels. I have also made some mistakes while shopping there, including buying a tweed-texture miniskirt I never wore before I donated it months later. 


I find a few of their sale items very tempting right now, not least because they happen to be on very deep discount. These are not really items that would fill holes I have already identified in my current wardrobe, but they would add to my work wardrobe in a way that could probably justify the price ($9.94 each).

They're both in the general genre of things that I enjoy wearing and that I put to good use. I like printed tops and silk tops like the one on the left, even ones from affordable brands like Uniqlo, and it looks like something I could tuck in a pencil skirt at work or wear casually, including on my upcoming summer trip to Asia. It isn't my favorite print, but is one that I could wear with a lot of things I own. The one on the right is polyester, but that has not historically been a problem for me, and I really do love the print. It would primarily be for work, and would require a camisole underneath, but I already own those for wearing with other clothes. The wrap top silhouette might not, however, be as flattering on me, particularly as it seems quite blouse-y and not at all fitted on the model. In the end, I think the one on the right could be eliminated. Shipping would also cost $8.00 and I really don't need more tops... For now, I've decided to stick to my goals of only buying things I planned rather than giving in to impulse.

Full disclosure, I cannot absolutely guarantee that I won't still make a purchase. Having gone through this thought process and given that they don't seem to do free shipping, I do think that this is very unlikely, and that it would just be the silk shirt if I change my mind. 

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