Question for SYC participants

Hi, everyone! I have a question for those of you who joined the SYC challenge. 

How is it different from usual for you? 

Do you typically buy an item or two every month? Or does "looking"(i.e. online or in-store browsing without purchasing) also count as shopping, and you want to reduce that behaviour, as well? (And if so, why?)  

I'm curious because as a seasonal shopper, I regularly go months at a time without purchasing, just as a matter of course. I do continue to look at things online (mainly in the Finds here) but generally I do so in a mood of pleasant abstraction, without any strong desire to buy the things... even if I like them a lot. I sometimes file away ideas to my list of items I might want later in the year. 

My main shopping months, it seems, are May-June (for spring/ summer). This is late in the season -- I know Angie shops in February/ March -- but so far, I have found I don't really know my needs for spring/ summer things until closer to the time when temps really rise.  I shop again in July (NAS, which for me includes Basics) and September-October for fall/winter. I sometimes refresh knits or gear in January at the post-holiday sales. And that's pretty much it, except if I have a gift card or I need to travel to a place where my existing clothing won't really work. 

I might go into a store and try things on...and if I find a HEWI I might make a purchase between seasons. But it's relatively rare. Even if I do find something I've been longing for, I tend to wait on it if I find it outside my usual shopping window. For example, although I really want a long military style navy coat and loved the Mackage I tried on in November or December (not sure the timing any more) -- I didn't buy it. I might still buy it next year. Wait and see. 

Please know, this is not meant in any way to judge any one or to suggest that seasonal shopping is the only way to go. For one thing, if you're primarily a thrifter, it's important to hit the stores frequently, and in most cases, if you find something great at thrift, you're not going to want to hit "pause."  (My pattern of seasonal shopping might explain why I only have limited success at thrift and consignment, in fact!)

Also, my typical pattern means I tend to buy a lot in a short period of time. (Because, ahem, as you know, I don't exactly have a minimalist wardrobe!) For some, that might feel overwhelming or be impossible to manage financially.

And then there are the people who experience a lifestyle change or significant weight change between seasons and need to get clothing to work in their new environment or for the body they have. 

I've enjoyed reading the posts of all who participated and I see some interesting benefits (depending on reasons for joining in.) Some people took a really good stock of what they had, some figured out new ways to use what they had, some felt good about the financial savings or reduced environmental impact, etc. All of that seems great. 

Anyway, would love to hear from you about your usual shopping habits and how it is different to SYC. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Kari replied 8 months ago

    I’m SYC from start of the year until late summer and yeah, I’d normally look for items between now and then with intentions of maybe buying if it’s something I want, or a replacement I need. Or more often, I see an ad for something exciting and decide to get it.

    Right now, there are so many good items in my closet. No major wish list items. Nothing that’s aging drastically and will need replacement aside from running shoes and a running/hiking rain jacket that I seem to have lost. So I don’t need to be looking at anything to add.

    I also have a rather maximalist wardrobe and don’t plan to change that, but I do want to more carefully assess what’s not working for me, or what’s become orphaned, and find new homes for them.

  • Kari replied 8 months ago

    (For me, shopping my closet wouldn’t make a difference to my shopping habits if it was only for a month. That’s like a pause button. A longer cycle - in this case, 7-8 months and possibly longer - will have a bigger impact and hopefully reach me how to reduce churn when I do not need to replace anything.)

  • Sal replied 8 months ago

    I didn’t participate this time but I like to take 2 breaks a year for about six weeks. It helps me manage my budget and put a halt on endlessly looking.

    For me - I often shop through Feb - June and then again Sept to Nov. I don’t plan on advance but pause after a burst of shopping.

    The forum challenges make me wear what I have - even the less popular pieces and help me find gaps. I guess be more intentional.

  • kkards replied 8 months ago

    I don’t have a defined shopping period. I generally have a yearly budget and shop accordingly.
    I will be honest and say that I find shopping relaxing and enjoyable, and for me it’s a stress reducer. So it’s not something they I’m looking to cut out, but I am looking for ways to reduce and refine and reflect. And that’s what the January Syc did for me

  • Cardiff girl replied 8 months ago

    I tend to shop as I go along.l go to charity shops regularly and as you say it depends what you find there.l have a list of things that if I find them I will buy but I won t be actively hunting for them.I have a natural shopping “appetite” .By that I mean if I have been through a spell of purchasing l will not feel like shopping again for a while .This  seems to work ok for me but I know that it wouldn’t suit everyone.l can quite happily browse without buying and enjoy the looking for it’s own sake.

  • kellygirl replied 8 months ago

    I'm a bargain shopper so my biggest shopping times are at the end of the seasons. That's when I feel like I can "try" new trends without making a huge financial commitment and it's also when I stock up on basics. End of winter sales and end of summer sales are my big shopping seasons and other than that, I look but can go months without making a clothing purchase. I feel like I've purchased more this year than previous but that's mostly due to a role change at work. I'm pretty well set now. I don't anticipate any upcoming purchases as I've had a busy year and funeral, wedding and dressy capsules are in place.

  • nemosmom replied 8 months ago

    I am SYC because I felt a bit (ok, a lot) out-of-control at the beginning of Fall (around August/Sept) last year and felt like I needed to put the breaks on. After I moved (spring of 2018) I've found myself going through periods of purge/panic/replace cycles that also needed to be broken. 

    The move to a new climate came at the exact time I started a new job, came out of SAHM'ing and toddler years, and had 3 of my nieces/nephews being mitvah'd within a few months of each other. Every time I looked in my closet, I panicked that I didn't have what I needed to dress for any occasion.  I knew I needed things - and I did - but, I went shopping without any strategy... so I had lots of clothes but no clue as to how to wear them. Then, overbuying left me feeling like I had TOO many options, that were all wrong, so I would try to thin out my closet again... The cycle kept going.

    Since joining YLF about a year ago, I've been trying to re-train my brain on how to get dressed. Figuring out my essentials, making sure I have good balance of essentials v. statement items, and trying to identify wardrobe holes has been really helpful.

    My biggest challenge is breaking my tendency to save things for good, so I hoped SYC would help with that, and in the process, help me identify REAL holes (instead of my perceived ones).  I don't want to keep mindlessly adding, for SO many reasons. I also don't want to keep things for the wrong reasons - if they don't/won't work, I need to let them go.  But, I won't know what works until I wear it. I want to focus on SYC more this year, while I spend more time and effort on identifying the RIGHT pieces to bring in. I don't feel as panicked as I have in previous years, so hopefully I am off to a good start.

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Thanks, everyone. This is helpful. Cardiff Girl, I think I must be similar...I go through a spell of shopping and then stop for a while. I like the "appetite" metaphor. Stopping in a thrift shop is a simple way of getting a shopping "hit" even if you don't buy (and don't intend to buy) -- it gets the juices going. :) I can see doing that more often in my "in-between" phases. 

    kkards, what you say makes sense. You also work (broadly) in the industry and I can't help but think that would increase one's appetite -- just as I have a huge appetite for buying books! :) 

    Sal, I can see that as a real virtue of a deliberate SYC. Not being deliberate about it this month, I may not have shopped, but I also tended to wear my same old boring combinations more often than might have been fun! 

    Kari -- I think it's similar for me in terms of the time frame I'd need to derive that benefit. I could learn to have more fun with what's there in a short period but for broader or deeper understanding, I'd probably have to stop shopping for longer. 

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Nemosmom, that makes so much sense. A big change in climate and role at the same time would have anyone spinning! And I saw from your end of year posts that your closet has some gorgeous items now -- it's a question of figuring out what really works and what doesn't. 

    I should add that when I was building a wardrobe from scratch due to big weight change, I shopped all the time. I had so many wardrobe holes that I was buying just about every month. 

    Kelly it sounds like we have a similar pattern except I don't usually wait for sales except for specific items. (Though I do buy on sale from BR and places like that -- I mean, why pay full price?) 

  • nemosmom replied 8 months ago

    Back to add: I love satisfy my browsing=shopping urge by filling up my finds :D  If I am still thinking about a piece later, it's nice to have a reference and way to shop for it. I don't have FOMO anymore!

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    I find Finds perfect for that, Nemosmom! It's great to be able to go back and see, did I really need it? Do I still want it? 

  • Synne replied 8 months ago

    I love how Kkards named it Style Your Closet. It's exactly that. I have been shopping WAY to much recently. But haven't really gotten any further with my wardrobe or style. Just more... stuff..

  • Synne replied 8 months ago

    Oh, and I have a major weakness for thrifting. It's the perfect storm of "this doesn't count as real shopping", environmental friendly, frugal, treasure hunt. But is it really beneficial to hoard up on stuff I will never wear? No.

  • torontogirl replied 8 months ago

    For me, this was mostly just fun - I am much more 'team wear' when I am doing some sort of challenge! So, it was more about the shopping my closet piece rather than the not shopping in the mall piece (that said, I only shopped for basics that I couldn't wait on).

    In terms of my shopping habits, I suspect I am mostly seasonal, with the odd purchase here and there outside of that. But I'm not really sure as I've never really tracked! I'm not a constant shopper, but don't think I'm super-structured about the whens and why, either.

  • Molly Mac replied 8 months ago

    I have a set monthly budget for clothing purposes and probably add at least one new item a month. Sometimes these items are a need and other times just adding a fun new update. I have a "maximal" wardrobe and I am OK with wearing something only once or twice a year. I try to buy classic styles so I hold onto items for years if they wear well. In joining the SYC challenge, I focused on wearing things I like but had not been worn recently. I also tried to wear different combinations than I usually wear. I want to be more thoughtful about how my shopping habits impact the environment and SYC seemed like a good way to reset.

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Molly, that makes total sense. For someone with a fairly large closet, it can be fun to combine things in new ways and ensure you're getting the most out of items you already have. Point well taken!

    TG, I'd have pegged you as a mostly seasonal shopper, too. Obviously there are occasions (like your trip last summer) that invite shopping outside the typical times, and how fun is that?! You keep a fairly streamlined closet so any extras can easily be justified (at least in my book, LOL.) 

    Synne, this makes absolute sense. If I've been on a shopping "feast" I need to pause and remind myself to wear the heck out of my clothes, too! It's good to take stock. 

    Thanks, everyone, for helping me understand. What I take from this is that participants had varied motivations and goals and different needs from the exercise -- some not really related to shopping at all, but more to wearing what is there. Makes perfect sense. 

  • kecisme replied 8 months ago

    So, I SYC'd in lurking status, because I don't feel comfortable enough to "participate" on the forum fully yet. :-) Like Synne, I have a weakness for thrifting.  I LOVE it.  BUT, it's easy to fall into the trap, as she says, to buy something because it's not "really" shopping.  I've gotten much, much better (especially this last year) about being super picky, and I now will only get something that I either really need, and it fills a hole, or it's a spectacular piece that I KNOW I will wear the heck out of.  But I stayed away from the thrifts for January, 'cause I still have way too much stuff.  I seriously admire those of you like Runcarla that have super-tight wardrobes.  I should join Kari and SYC for at least 6 months!  I'll just try February, for now....  Not really answering Suz' question, though!

  • Runcarla replied 8 months ago

    @Suz - I shop all the time, but I don’t ever feel compelled to make a purchase.  Actually, my habits are similar to yours, except I have a bad habit of deferred gratification and parsimony.  :-)   I need enablers!  Shopping is not an ‘addiction’ that has posed a problem where I need to exercise controls on my spending habit.

    I DO love a challenge, and for me the SYC challenge (which I will continue through February) is more about rotating through all my clothes.  I could conceivably wear the same Boden multi stripe and my favourite jeans 2-3 days every week, and one or two other favourite combinations, while ignoring the other stuff in my closet.  The SYC challenge ‘forces’ me to wear all my clothes.  Button downs are my nemesis ATM!

  • JAileen replied 8 months ago

    I’m doing a no shop year.  So far so good.  For me, I meant purchasing rather than looking at things, and in my case, I mean clothes and shoes.  I did buy a vintage Coach bag in January that I had had my eye on, and used some money I was given for Christmas.  I am still looking at things.  I have seen a few things that I might have bought had I not come to the realization that I have plenty of clothes.  I especially don’t need any grey sweaters or grey boots.  

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Oh, and Carla, I LOVE how you look in your buttoned shirts!! They are so great on you. Your body type was made for them. So I hope you'll wear them! 

    Interesting...your reason for doing the challenge is a bit different from some but even some who do feel a bit addicted to shopping enjoy the challenge of wearing everything that is in the closet. 

    Weirdly, I don't feel any such compunction. I mean, I do in fact wear most items in my closet -- but some -- maybe 10%? at a guess -- I wear only once a year. And I'm okay with that. If I feel like wearing the same outfit 4 times a week, that's cool. I know I'll want to wear something different by next week. So I guess I wouldn't need the challenge so much for the "wear what you have" challenge. Or I'd rebel against the challenge. Or something! ;)

    kecisme, thank you for joining the conversation! What you say about thrifting so much you don't know what you've got makes a ton of sense. I can really see how thrifting can catch up on a person -- the thrill of the hunt is real and it's awfully hard to say no to something that only costs a few dollars and has such potential! 

  • slim cat replied 8 months ago

    I didn't participate in the challenge however all the great outfits posted on the forum pushed me into more creative mode. I already have favorite combinations - the challenge for me was not to repeat the same ones but look for different combos, use things I forgot I had in my wardrobe. 
    I do "wish" lists for some brands, take a lot of time waiting for the right price ( tight budget ), keep receipts, return things if they not 10 in my book. Sometimes the item is gone and I'd say: "It's for the best, I can do without it anyway." Clearance items are my fav hunt - with mixed results :) .

  • nuancedream replied 8 months ago

    I freely admit I love thrift, vintage and consignment shopping. I usually visit my favorite stores several times a week. On the other hand, I feel no compulsion to buy something even if it catches my eye or garners compliments from others. I have a pretty well curated closet with items that make me look and feel great. However, I do tend to buy myself something special around my birthday in October.  The only items that are off limits this year are tops because I have too many that have become closet orphans.

  • Gaylene replied 8 months ago

    I’m such a seasonal shopper that the SYC exercise really doesn’t fit my wardrobe situation. My shopping “times” are almost always linked to my biannual wardrobe assessments—usually March/April for spring/summer and late August/September for fall/winter—because these are pretty much the only time I really focus on my wardrobe.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m largely a B&M shopper so I usually book into a hotel or stay with family in Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal for 2-3 days so I can visit a number of different shops and, more importantly, have time to think over my purchases. I have a tentative list, but I mostly I just try to stay flexible and focus on what makes me happy when I see the item on my body. 

    Since I spend 90% of my yearly wardrobe budget during these two major shopping excursions, I guess you could say I shop my closet for the rest of the year. Mostly, though I think that my twice yearly shopping blowouts are my way of having fun with fashion without allowing my shopping to become a constant (and costly) habit. 

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Gaylene, I think it's similar for me. I stay (more or less) within budget and get to focus on other stuff between seasons. Plus, enjoy my clothes, of course! :) But I have to admit that I grew up doing this, so there is an element of nostalgia also. My mother always shopped (and sewed) this way, so I feel connected to her when I do my seasonal shopping, especially if it involves a trip to the big city. :) 

    Nuancedream, I'm sure that regular attendance at thrift/ consignment is the way to find the real winners. I have had a bit of luck in Vancouver simply by popping in on the way back from the dentist, etc. If it's in my walking path, I can explore it. But like you, I don't necessarily feel an urge to buy. Only if something is truly perfect. 

    Slim cat, that is really a wonderful side benefit of the challenge! So great that you were able to make use of it even from the sidelines! 

    JAileen, you can't be serious. No new grey shoes or boots????  ;) 

  • DonnaF replied 8 months ago

    I shop year around because I prefer to buy discount and Petite sized items are relatively rare and straight sized and Junior sized items that fit are a gamble. I collect items that appeal to me, and then when they are marked down or sometimes before that I decide whether I really want to order. Generally, about 90% of what I buy is from Nordstrom, and most of that is 40% off.

  • bonnie replied 8 months ago

    Last year was a real different year for me. I moved to a new climate and cut down on going out and about (both in a positive, enjoyable way). Now I live in a small town where it is cool weather most of the year and instead of needing Out and About clothes 6-7 times a week, I need them 3-4 times a week. My closet was very unbalanced so last year I shopped a lot. I feel good about my purchases but now it seems like the right time to review and make a plan for the future. I did join SYC for a month with the intention of also doing a non shop month but it didn't work out because on 1-19, I saw a need and a sale and bought 2 sweatshirts for my casual life. To answer your question, "How is it different than usual for you?", I can only say that every year is different for me and that's a long story.  

  • shevia replied 8 months ago

    I guess I just shop everyone else's closets all the time :) . I love going to thrift and second hand stores, and go as many times a week as I can, facilitated by the fact that my favorites open early. I leave quite often with nothing and my habits have changed drastically from when I started, but sometimes I hit the jackpot and no SYC is going to stop me from purchasing a Muubaa boyfriend moto or a Dodo Bar Or blouse at a charity shop (latest finds, insert evil cackle). 

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Can't wait to see your Finds, Shevia! You get the best thrift items ever! 

    If I had thrifting opportunities like that, I'd be a daily shopper, too. Why not. 

    Bonnie, your decision makes perfect sense. It also makes sense that you'd need to shop more for a new climate and lifestyle. And when things in your life change substantially, shopping can be both necessary and soothing. Something (relatively) easy to get some control over. 

    Donna, sounds like you are able to use Nordstroms the way I sort of use BR (for some things). It's a standard place to look for essential items and if I'm lucky, fun stuff, too. 

  • Jenni NZ replied 8 months ago

    I did it because I have been building up to wanting to shop less overall since 2016- which is when I first started reading Recovering Shopaholic, which then led me onto YLF. For a few years before that I had been monitoring what I bought and how much it was costing, because I felt my clothes shopping was somewhat out of control.
    I think you’ll be aware that I always loved clothes since my teenage years, but then I think lost some of that love in those hard years of having 3 little children ( born when I was 29, 32 and 35) in the 90s and still trying to maintain a professional career. And then somehow got into a more fundamentalist church from 2001-8, and pressured myself to not spend too much when there were starving people in the world, etc-plus we had been through a poorer patch ourselves after the third baby when DH’s new business was doing poorly at the same time I was not earning due to ( unpaid) maternity time off. All of that sort of starved me (not literally of course) of the joy of clothes.
    So when we then got bullied in the church and left, also gradually losing our faith, which also coincided with menopause, weight gain, and children getting older so I could work more and have more for clothes... well let’s just say it truly was retail therapy! ( I did have proper therapy as well which helped a great deal). Of course all this was with very little plan or understanding of how to actually make a wardrobe work, but at least I regained the joy in it while also overflowing our then smaller home with a tiny closet space. Shopping has definitely been a way to make me feel better, much like Debbie Roes of Recovering Shopaholic describes. But then overflowing the house didn’t make me feel better either.
    I am in a much better place overall in my life and my wardrobe than I was in 2008. SYC is a reminder I suppose of having enough.
    This was probably TMI!!

  • Jenni NZ replied 8 months ago

    But maybe I didn’t properly answer the question. My habits since 2008 have been to buy something almost every month. I am at my favourite mall almost every week because my favourite supermarket is also there, and I love looking at what’s around, I find it relaxing when for once no-one ( work, family) wants anything from me. Maybe it’s my favourite supermarket because it’s in that lovely smaller mall. So I have still looked in the shops a bit, but not felt the same drive to buy as before. I still browse on the internet too, mainly shoes on Styletread :)

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Jenni, I can identify with much of what you write, having only recovered my love of clothes in my 50s and then (ahem) possibly going a bit overboard with my shopping for a while as well. But I've been happy to see that my over-buying has pretty much stopped and did so once the wardrobe was truly in working order (which it wasn't for a while because I really didn't plan well -- it took a few years on YLF for me to figure that part out). Anyway, I do understand the allure of shopping as relaxation and fun -- I definitely experience that as well. I have been trying to use consignment/ thrift stores or online browsing (as opposed to buying) for that little hit of pleasure lately. So far, so good. 

  • Mainelady replied 8 months ago

     I don’t have any firm timelines for shopping. My shopping is most often determined by the need to replace something, or opportunity.  I live in an area where brick and mortar options are limited and my favorite boutiques are seasonal (open late May/ June - Oct.). I do like to shop local, so I will visit those places and choose a few new items for each summer season.
      When I have the opportunity to travel and have multiple shopping options, I make a Do Not Even Go Near list and then fully enjoy seeing what steals my attention and begs to come home with me. 

  • Kathie replied 8 months ago

    I’m not officially doing SYC, but am planning a long pause on buying work and casual clothes, likely through at least April. (I refreshed underwear, and bought ski boots in January, but I’m not counting those.) My main reason is that a significant climate change 5 years ago resulted in essentially a complete overhaul and rebuild of my high summer work and casual wardrobes. I’ve done a lot of buying (for me) over the past 3 years, but I now have that part of my wardrobe in good shape, and I wanted to not spend for a while. During this pause, I’m taking the time to assess my style direction, and how I’d like to build my wardrobe for the future. So, I’m certainly browsing, reading YLF, and occasionally trying things on, but I have no plans for any purchases until later spring, when I will be looking for a couple dresses, due to wear and tear on some older ones.

  • Lesley replied 8 months ago

    Suz, your question raises exactly the reason I have not participated in SYC. I shop twice a year--March and August--so there's not really any shopping going on the rest of the year. I do it primarily for budget reasons; I release some money to myself twice a year. But I find that the pause of the whole rest of the year is what allows me to really refine a wishlist/needlist so that when I release the kraken I'm buying things that will really be useful to my wardrobe and get me closer to my desired looks/replacing things that really need replacing, rather than just coming home with 9 pairs of fabulous shoes that are impractical for my lifestyle and climate.

  • Angie replied 8 months ago

    Suz, I shop EARLY in the season. That way I get the best stuff and IN MY SIZE:

    • Jan, Feb, Mar & April: Usually done by May.
    • June: I don't shop.
    • Jul: I always have a great NAS :)
    • Aug: I don't shop.
    • Sept, Oct, Nov: I shop a little in Nov - but sometimes not all all.
    • Dec: Unless I travel, I don't shop in Dec at all! I am soooooo done!
    So usually: June, Aug, Nov & Dec I don't shop. Seldom shop in May. This strategy works well for me. 

  • La Pedestrienne replied 8 months ago

    Suz, like you, I found that once my wardrobe was fully functional for my current climate and lifestyle, my shopping tapered off significantly. I've been in maintenance mode for the past year or so. I don't take conscious SYC breaks, and when I buy a non-essential item it's usually secondhand, a "know it when you see it" type situation and often a long-standing HEWI.

    My shopping "seasons" are very similar to Angie's. I don't shop much in the summer (June - Aug), or during the winter holidays (I sometimes make an exception for Black Friday if I need a big item like boots or coat and want to take advantage of the discount).

    Starting on Boxing Day, I try to do any gear and basics replacements needed for the upcoming year. And making spring/summer additions in Jan/Feb/March helps me get through the depths of winter. I also still enjoy the "back to school" shop in early September, although I usually make some fall/winter additions in October as well.

    A strict ban would be stressful for me because I'm such a list-driven shopper and also like to take advantage of thrift stores and clearance sales. It's very rare for me to make a truly spontaneous purchase (that would also be stressful!), so I think the SYC challenge suits a different type of shopper. I do like to challenge myself to wear languishing items, but it's hard to do that in midwinter, as low-wear pieces for me are usually the ones that require elusive transitional weather.

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    LaPed -- that's really interesting -- I think my own reasons for failing to wear some pieces often must be similar to yours -- all weather related, really. Well, except if it is occasion wear. (And even then, it's often weather driven, i.e. I might have had two occasions for dressy wear but the item in question would not have worked for the weather so I pick something else.) 

    Anyway -- it makes sense you don't need/ don't want a SYC challenge. 

    But your note about early shopping for spring season along with Angie's make me wonder if I could move my own spring shopping up a bit earlier. I'll consider that. I do have a longer spring season than I used to and more need for transitional items than in the past. Hmmm. Good thoughts, both of you. 

    Lesley, it sounds as if you are a super-organized shopper! Way to go! 

    Kathie, it sounds as if a pause is a great idea in your situation -- you've done the purchasing work and now it's time to reconsider and prune where necessary while getting ready to add what is also needed. 

    Mainelady, this also makes sense. When there are few opportunities for B&M shopping you take the ones you can get! I can understand that, having lived in a similar situation for many years. You also get a huge boost from your shopping sprees with your sister, and those probably keep you going for a while afterwards! 

  • Janet replied 8 months ago

    I'm not on any strict SYC, just like I don't do strict diets. Deprivation makes me nuts. My hat is off to those who have that kind of discipline, but I know myself better than that.

    I'm working on simply being more mindful, in many areas of my life. Not letting momentary whims drive my behavior. I'm trying to be pickier about what clothes I buy, so I spend less, add fewer things to my closet, and I spend on more thoughtful choices that are useful to me at this phase of my life. 

    I shop throughout the year, but a few times a year, I seem to go a month without buying much of anything, and then have a bit of a surge as seasons turn over and new merchandise comes out. And sometimes I just cruise through the retailers and stumble upon something that I fall in love with, that will play well with my wardrobe and be useful to me. I find that fun and don't want to stop doing that, but again, I don't want to do that too often. 

  • SarahD8 replied 8 months ago

    I didn't participate in the SYC challenge, but I'll add my own info as a data point. These days I shop mostly secondhand and mostly online at that, so I shop more or less constantly. 

    I do see this as a downside of my shopping strategy: the fact that shopping -- and chasing the next thing -- is always taking up headspace. For now, the tradeoff feels acceptable; all shopping strategies have their pros and cons. But I would to get to the point where I felt confident pressing "pause" for some period of time. (I haven't thought about it enough to say how long that period of time would be.)

    A couple of changes that I would like to make in the near future:

    -When I find something, stop looking. Saved searches on Ebay etc. make it easy to just keep browsing by default. I need to be more mindful about deleting a search once I've filled a wardrobe hole.

    -Be more deliberate about outfit labs. I know that finding new ways to wear what's already in my closet is really satisfying, and probably more so than adding more. But it's hard to make time and space for outfit labs. Much easier to browse online during a moment or two of downtime...

    So, uh, I guess where I've come round to after all that is that I would like to do more shopping (or styling) my closet!

  • FashIntern replied 8 months ago

    I'm glad you asked this. Reading this weekend while I was logged out & thus couldn't comment, I came across someone's comment that it was really "style your closet". That made sense to me, because just wearing what I have and not buying anything new is what I generally do. Synne's recent challenge to wear everything in her closet would be a new thing for me--but not one I'm planning to take up, because I keep things that don't fit or that otherwise are not "of the moment". The comments here explain a lot more to more about what people get out of it.

  • Laura (rhubarbgirl) replied 8 months ago

    I sometimes take breaks from browsing/looking, but if I am browsing it’s because I’m open to buying if the conditions are right. It’s pretty rare that I find something I like, that doesn’t duplicate anything else, suits me, fits well, and is in my budget, so the vast majority of my looking doesn’t turn into buying.

    I actually wish I could be more of a strategic once a quarter or similar shopper like you and Angie and others here, but I’ve tried it and I just end up buying things that aren’t a 10 because of the time constraints and then a month or two later finding the perfect thing I should have waited for.

  • lisa p replied 8 months ago

    This has been fascinating reading, and I'm sorry for being late seeing this post!  Working in the fashion and related areas for much of my adult life has meant that I'm in stores literally every day . It's been in turns ironic, a bad thing, a good thing, and frustrating, as I shop for many different reasons. All discussed before ad nauseam here on the forum ;)  

     This all means that my shopping is not strategic, rarely planned, can often surprise me with great finds, but also brings out the impulsive side of me.  That said, I almost NEVER shop end of season sales;   and  rarely bring home new merchandise in February , March,  much of April , and August. January is often a non-buying month too - as I'm deep into wearing what I have at that point and losing interest in constant acquisition .2019 was my first real foray into NAS , and one I won't repeat as getting those pieces so early in the season didn't work out for me.  I was a lemming during NAS - which never serves we well. I buy stuff I normally wouldn't.    As you mentioned Suz, I often don't really know what I want or need until I have access to that season's clothes and have had a chance to sift through my usual resources to decide what look I'm after.  

    Ideally - I'd do it the way you do. Shop in a couple of major blow-outs, and then get back to life.  

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    I definitely think that some jobs make it harder to shop seasonally (if you are in retail or the fashion industry, like you, Lisa, or Kkards, or Angie -- or if you are always walking past stores, like Christina or those who work inside terrific malls. I would be very tempted to shop all the time in that situation. Though I might still separate "shopping" (i.e. thinking about it, planning, making my lists) from buying. Even for someone who's regularly on the floor of the stores, it can take a few try-ons to decide, yes, this is the item I really want to take home with me. 

    Also, I want to reiterate -- when I was building a wardrobe, I shopped ALL. The. TIME. And while it wasn't great for my finances it was really the only way I could build up my wardrobe, and even then it took about 3 or 4 years. 

    Laura, this is where I really "get" what you are saying. Until I had a great set of essentials in my main neutrals, I was forever buying stuff that was "less than" ideal. Now, it's much less frequent because I don't have as many wardrobe holes. So even if I develop one, I can cover it with another item for a while. 

    Fashintern, yes -- style your closet has an entirely different connotation to me -- it is not a shopping ban but an invitation to wear what you have in new ways and rediscover things that you might have allowed to languish. Which many of us do, even with the best intentions! 

    SarahDB -- it's the headspace issue that is really important to me. I want to love my wardrobe and have fun with it and wear my clothes -- and I actually enjoy shopping now (never thought I'd say that) and find it somewhat therapeutic and fun! -- but I also want energy to devote to other areas of my life -- so I want to be able to get on with it. 

  • SarahD8 replied 8 months ago

    Yes, totally understand wanting energy to devote to other areas of life. I do find it hard to know exactly where to draw the line. In the best case scenario clothing (albeit not shopping, exactly) can be a creative outlet, and can even feed other aspects of creativity for me. It can definitely tip over into a time suck and an excuse not to focus on other work. 

    Still, this kind of thing doesn't happen by accident, you know:

  • ropeball replied 8 months ago

    For a while there, I never get what does SYC means?  After clicking thru a lot of post, I was still lost.  Your post sort of clarify that for me, but I am still not sure what does the letter C means in this case, but I’m guessing it’s either closet or clothes. 

    Anyway, I like to share my experience.  Usually I shopped year round, or rather I looked at it year round, and when a good sale come along, I buy them, as long as I feel it meet my needs and is decent price enough. Some years, I go crazy on tops, and some years, for pants. Usually, 3 quarter of the new items were replacements clothing, so nothing fancy there.  I must add, in the last 2 or 3 years, I bought way less because the clothes are still in good condition.  That said, my sweaters are pilling and look more worn out than last year, so I might look at sweaters in the fall.

    Which bring me to my current situation, I was let go a few months ago, and now mainly stay home.  My work clothes are taking a break, while my casual clothes comes out to play. I also stopped looking at shopping sites, which is quite refreshing because my mind is not thinking about shopping (but thinking about other things).  In a way, for now, I am shopping my closet. Then, a lot of my casuals stayed in the closet because I did not have the opportunity.  Now, they all get a chance and I wear them repeatedly.  In the process, I found out more about what I like, what fit better now, and what I would replace, when I do need to shop for replacement.  I am also sort of going into the minimalist look and behavior.  So, in a way, this is working for me, and my chance to work my clothes to their full potential, before I say my goodbye to them.

    One last thought, I never know that SYC is a thing.

  • Jenni NZ replied 8 months ago

    Hi Ropeball, you are right, it means Shop Your Closet. One of our members Nemosmom did a challenge for us for the month of January and a lot of us decided to join in.
    I think it was already a thing elsewhere?!

  • Suz replied 8 months ago

    Jenni is right-- it's shop your closet or could be style your closet, and ropeball, it sounds as if you are doing exactly that, which is great! 

    Also, Jenni, I think you are right that it was a thing outside this forum. I'm not much on other fashion sites but I have definitely heard the term elsewhere. As someone who likes to repeat outfits / items, I always wondered what made it different from just wearing the heck out of your clothes, but I guess for those who only wear something once or twice and then go shopping for something new, it might be a novel idea! :) 

  • suntiger replied 8 months ago

    I didn't participate in syc for January, since I did buy a couple things early in the month, but I will be through the rest of winter. Normally I shop a little each month, instead of a lot at once, to space it out in my budget. This year I want to change to 2 main shops though, as the wearing season is beginning- so May and October (as long as finances allow in those months).

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