Saturday, April 21

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Last year I swapped at the age of 20 my children's cabinet for a built in closet with the result that I finally got enough place for all my clothing and had even a lot of extra space.  Unfortunately that extra area shrinked in no time and now that poor big closet is already crammed with clothes. I can tell you and I'm probably not alone: I love clothes. Even more, I love new clothes. The only thing is that I have already everything I need.

Still every time I announce that I'll take three months off from shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories everybody stops breathing and stares at me like I'm an alien. Or just crazy. 

"You, Renée, taking a break from shopping? You'll never be able to bring this to a good end. And why would you? Is this really necessary?"

Well, actually, it is. 

Some weeks ago I became more and more aware of my shopping habits. I live in Antwerp and am surrounded by stores 24/7 and even though in my head I know there is nothing in this world that I must have, still the enticement is too big for just passing them without even giving them a single glance. 

Most days I just wanted to buy something, anything at all because I had a stressful day or because I felt overwhelmed by life, just to celebrate something and most of the time out of boredom. I rationalized a desire to just spend. What's horrifying because, really, imagine what else you can do with saving all that money you normally waste on clothes you don't need: a week's groceries, a month's rent, that new camera you want for ages, a weekend away with your love or maybe even a trip far away! 

Besides that I also do shop online. Nothing better than sitting inside my apartment clicking through web pages like asos, topshop and riverisland, checking out their new items with a glass of wine (or two). And order a dress (or two).

Shopping had become a pick-me-up when I was feeling down and a way to celebrate when I was feeling great. And so it happened I was starting to feel bad about all the new things I was buying. A new emotion was creeping into my heart; guilt. 

Two weeks ago I stood in front of my closet and got the classic "closet full of nothing to wear", and I was so tired of it. Looking in my wardrobe, I realised how many flimsy summer dresses I have. The only thing is that I live in most of the time rainy and grey clouded Belgium, what makes that all those lovely dresses sit in my wardrobe all year, waiting... Waiting for me to wear three of them a day to get through them when I am on holiday. It's sad, isn't it? And so it's time to make a change.

I don't believe that the urge to shop will go away. But I hope that after this detox of three months I will be able to make sure that what I buy really counts. Shopping is emotional but I need to get my head involved too. I do have what I need in my closet, and if not, I will get to know what's still missing in the next couple of weeks. 

This weekend I'll take a look in my wardrobe and make a list of all the things I have and maybe make a sort of wish list with things I really do need. I want to check that list after 3 months and see if I still think the same about those items. If yes, I'll buy it but probably it will be a 'No'. Because I hope to become a pro in mix'n match and get a little more creative with what I've got. I hope to get more out of my wardrobe.

In 3 months I want to see myself strolling around the shopping streets while keeping my shopping addiction in check and see the difference between 'need' and 'want'.

What do you think about taking a break from shopping? Did you ever do it? Or are you one of those girls who can keep it under control?
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