I have a confession to make.
If you have followed along with me, then you know that I do a seasonal capsule wardrobe, which means that I only shop for clothing about four times a year. One of the tenants of a Capsule Wardrobe is that you spend several bliss free months fasting from shopping. That way when you get to the new season you can do your shopping with a clear head and with focused intention.
Okay, well… here’s where the confession comes in: when I shopped for my fall capsule back in August, I was immediately transported back to the “I want all the stuff” feelings.
I thought that they had gone away during the three months that I had refrained from shopping while I lived with my first capsule, but turns out they were still there.
It’s almost as if I had bottled those feelings up only to have them come rushing back the minute I started shopping again. It got me thinking, maybe they never go away?
Maybe minimalism isn’t the perfect answer to an unbalanced view of shopping?
Maybe I’ll never be 100% content with what I own?
Here’s the thing: about 5 years ago I decided to fast from shopping for an entire year. It was such an amazing year! I felt like I grew so much and learned so much about myself. I honestly felt more content that year than I can remember feeling in a very long time.
And you know? When the year was over, for awhile I felt like my shopping was more self-controlled and not as emotionally driven, but then as time went on and I distanced myself from that fast, I started to fall right back into shopping as a means to fill a void.
If anything, I was worse off than when I started. It made me realize that fasting from shopping isn’t the answer.
Fasting alone won’t cure an unhealthy attachment, it really only creates space between you and the thing you’re fasting from. What I began to realize is that it’s what you do WITH that space that makes the difference.
The first time around, I hadn’t filled up that space with tools to help me survive once I was done with fasting so as soon as I was done, I fell right back into my old patterns. But even though I have found a great way to lessen my impulsive urges to shop, a minimal Wardrobe is not a end all solution.
Because here’s the point: I don’t think we can ever totally get rid of our “Kryptonite“. You know why? I don’t think humans are able to self actualize with only our desire to do so (that may make some of you mad, but it’s how I truly feel). I think that each day we can strive to be better than the day before, but no one is perfect.
It just makes sense that I’ll never perfectly be able to totally resist associating emotions with shopping, but hopefully I will grow, mature, and find a place of balance of being intentional with my wardrobe. A Capsule Wardrobe does give me a strategy for working with my own humanity, but it can only take me so far.
Internal transformation happens much more slowly and it’s much more complex than just slapping a set of rules on a problem.
But we’re all in this together right? You all have been so encouraging to me on this journey and I hope that I’ve been able to encourage you as well. I’m so thankful that we are all together in our humanity.
What about you? Do you find yourself still falling back on your old patterns, even though you have been able to successfully do a capsule wardrobe?
Until next time,
Photos taken by Olivia Holloway
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Disclaimer: Most of my clothing is thrifted/consigned. When I show you one of these thrifted pieces, I try to find items that are as similar as possible in a variety of price ranges.
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