Earlier this year I wrote about the elimination diet Josh and I went on to try and figure out the cause of some health issues. Well, not only did I find the cause, but the diet also resulted in some unexpected weight loss on my part (Josh lost 40! Way to go Josh!). I only lost about five pounds, but it was enough to drop me down one pant size, rendering all of my pants too baggy to wear. So, for the past few months I have been wearing pants that are at least one size too big, waiting to see if I'd gain any of the weight back. Well, I haven't and I can’t do it anymore. I’m tired of having a saggy butt.
But the problem is that I can't decide how I should shop in a way that is eco-friendly and budget friendly.
Now that I have a Pinterest account I want everything plus a closet the size of a bedroom to fill it up with. I am actually a bit ashamed to admit that, since I pride myself on not wanting a lot of things, but there are so many amazing outfits to be worn that I can’t help it. Sometimes I feel like my desire to own fabulous clothing is impure and worthy of a confession to my fellow eco-freaks.
But then, after a while, I snap back to reality and realize that I don’t want a 200-square foot closet stuffed full of clothes. I do, however, want to look professional and put together at work, and have appropriate clothes for other occasions. Is that too much to ask?
My old approach has been to shop second-hand. After all, I have friends (yes, I’m talking to you Nicole Amuzu!) who shop almost exclusively at second-hand shops and always seem to find high quality name brand items for half of the retail price. But the problem with shopping second hand is that you have to go often to find good deals and you have to sort through racks stuffed with mis-matched items. I always seem to buy things I don't need, which means my closet is always full of fun clothes but never practical ones. Plus, shopping second hand takes time and energy that I would rather spend doing things I enjoy, like blogging, cooking, reading or hanging out with Josh.
Once I have tired of second-hand shopping, I usually go to retailers like Nordstrom or Ann Taylor, where I know the clothes are made well and have petite sections with clothes that will actually fit me. But buying clothing at those stores can be expensive. If you didn’t know already, Josh and I are devoted budgeters so I watch what I spend on clothes very carefully. We set aside a decent amount of money each month but when I spend my entire monthly shopping allowance on one pair of practical pants, I feel guilty.
After a few months of this, I run to stores that are notorious for being cheap, like H&M or Forever 21 so I can get more for my money. They have a lot of really cute clothes, but I have learned that they tend to be cheap in quality and don’t last as long, which means I might find a cute pair of jeans but then a couple months later the zipper breaks or the threads come loose and I have to get rid of them and find another pair.
I may be over thinking this, but I can’t help it. I am constantly pulled in different directions.
|I buy lots of scarves because they are cheap and always fit!|
“It’s more eco-friendly to purchase second-hand, but it’s not always practical to spend so much time sorting through clothes.”
“You get more clothes for your money when you buy at cheaper stores, but they fall apart quicker and you have to replace them sooner.”
“When you buy well-made clothes they are more expensive, but they also last longer, meaning you don’t have to replace them as often.”
I hate to waste things, especially money. I think that’s why being frugal and eco-friendly is so attractive to me, because they usually go together. But sometimes it’s my downfall and I over think things, like I am now.
One of my goals for 2013 is to have an eco-friendly wardrobe. And I don’t mean that I want a wardrobe that is solely made of bamboo, organic cotton or fabrics that were not made by children in sweat shops (although I think those are all important and I would not turn down clothes made from those materials). I mean that I want a minimalist wardrobe made of quality materials that fits my clothing needs and that also didn’t cost me too much money or time to find.
So, friends, I need your help. Where do you shop and what do you buy? What pieces do you scrimp on and what pieces do you splurge on? What do you wear the most and what items do you never wear? Do you shop with intention or just for whatever you can find? Also, how do you budget for new clothes? Do you try to stagger your purchases or do you buy what you need at one time, knowing that if you buy it all now you won’t have to go shopping again for a few months? I need some advice here, because right now I am paralyzed with shopping indecision and I need help getting over it.