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Last year I decided to try not shopping for 1 year for several reasons. I was moving around between 3 cities and didn’t think buying clothes would help with the moves. Also, I just had a mini-mid life crisis, and that changed my perspective on my purchasing habits.

I guess I used to care a lot more clothes when I was in high school. But back then, it wasn’t something I was conscious of; I was just doing it without questioning it. Transitioning into University, I became really self-conscious and started wearing clothes I thought would hide my body – that meant a lot of baggy clothing and a lot of black.

My mini mid-life crisis revealed to me that everything I was doing was based on pleasing people and avoiding judgement and rejection (I still fight it) whether I was conscious of it or not. I realized that a lot of things I cared about didn’t matter any more. Everything we do is with an intention, whether we are conscious of it or not, I wanted to be more aware of this and be more purposeful about it. I didn’t want the way I dress to influence people to think that clothing and looking nice was the sole purpose of my life.
Post University/Post mini-mid life crisis? I’m just trying to stay in the middle of a good balance, not to care too little or too much. They are just clothes; they are just tools to hep us do what we need to do.

Here are some things that I have learned in the process:

I was able to focus more on others than myself. Because I knew that I wasn’t going to be shopping anytime soon, whenever I was asked to tag along to go shopping with friends, I would be able to keep an eye out not for what I could use, but what maybe friends and family needed. I probably was able to keep up to date with birthdays the most this year.

I was able to be more giving. All that extra money I would have used to purchase things for myself, I was able to reallocate into random gifts for friends and family. That year I did a bunch of mini projects or donations for friends, family and for causes.

I was able to be minimal. Twenty percent of clothes in a wardrobe are worn eighty percent of the time (Pareto’s Principle).The less clothes I had, the less stress. I decluttered and got rid of more of my wardrobe realizing that eighty percent of what I had I never wore. The more choice I had, the more stressed I was. It’s an interesting paradox which I won’t go into further detail about. You can check it out here.

I was able to do more things for myself. I stopped going to the mall for the sake of it and to kill time. I used that time to go for more walks, to paint or to write more, basically things that made me feel more satisfied in the long-term than a short-term purchase. Check out