I Didn’t Buy New Clothes for Four Months: The Results

My four-month spending freeze officially came to a close on September 1st. I learned quite a bit this summer about my shopping and general consumption, and I wanted to share some of the highlights:

At the end of the summer I finally said goodbye to this infamous yellow tank to which I dedicated this post.

 I saved about $120 per month

This was super exciting for me! It turns out I wasn’t spending $120 per month just on clothes, but once I started my freeze on apparel, it trickled over into other areas of my life. I bought less yoga gear, cosmetics, toiletries, camping gear, etc. I didn’t realize how much small purchases were adding up over the course of each month. As a grad student, saving $120/month is a big deal!

I used fewer clothes than I thought I would

I decided not to do a capsule for a few reasons, but I didn’t have my whole wardrobe on hand this summer anyway. I was living out of state so I only took what I could fit into a couple suitcases. I ended up having about 40 items on rotation, and I never felt like I was repeating clothing too often. In fact, there were two items I never wore (which are now being donated).

I Learned What my Go-To Outfit Is

That would be a button down shirt tucked into pants with a belt. I realized I needed to stop investing in dressy tank tops, and direct that money toward button down shirts – especially ones I don’t need to iron.

I never needed something I didn’t have

Well aside from that time I went to the corporate gym in the morning before work and forgot to pack a bra. That is the one clothing item I purchased during the freeze. I wasn’t going to go braless in a white shirt for the day, so I didn’t exactly have an option. It was annoying.

These pajama shorts were so sad. A hole (visible top left) and fabric peeling from the elastic. I finally parted with them.

I also acquired two clothing items during the summer – both gifts from my boyfriend. He got me socks to commemorate our trip to Alaska (awesome socks), and a t-shirt to commemorate our trip to Seattle. He’s a pretty nice guy.

So, in summary, I did a giant purge at the beginning of the summer and donated two trash bags full of clothing. During the summer I acquired three items, at the end of the summer I discarded/donated 21 items. Then just today I went shopping for the first time, and picked up six items that I needed. I still have a couple basics I need to pick up in the next few days (like a white shirt).

Moving forward I want to be more conscious of buying only what I need. For the next four months I intend to practice a “one clothing item in, two out” rule. In 2016 I will reevaluate the size of my wardrobe, and decide what I want to do moving forward.

Lastly, I’m excited to be taking a class on corporate social responsibility this semester, and I will be learning more about the perils of fast fashion! I’ll keep you all posted on anything I learn.

Anyone else on a spending freeze?

Did anyone start a new capsule wardrobe? How’s it going?

Anyone thinking of a spending freeze or capsule? Why or why not?


5 thoughts on “I Didn’t Buy New Clothes for Four Months: The Results

    1. Hi Jackie! I had to get a new wardrobe last year, too, because when I was a teacher I was rockin’ mom pants and baggy sweaters. I’m still not too high on the fashion curve (most women here are wearing lots of blouses, skirts, and cute dresses) as my go-to business outfit is a button down shirt tucked into black pants with black flats. BUT, it’s an improvement from saggy khakis, and I feel confident and comfortable!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh man, mom pants and baggy sweaters sounds so comfy! It’s really comforting to know that you’re making a basic business outfit work for you; I’m sure I’ll be emulating that when it comes time for me to dress like a real person!


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