Sunday, 28 December 2014

Wardrobe reflections for 2014

At the beginning of the year, I wrote the following:

In 2014, I resolve to simplify my closet. Simplify as in cut it in half. Or maybe by a third from what it is right now.

I am not sure that I have halved my wardrobe - I do not see much empty space. All I can say is that everything fits a lot better in the space that I have available (which is not much), and I can do with further improvement for 2015. I have donated a lot of clothes, particularly the ones that were ill-fitting and/or of terrible quality. And equally important: I have stopped buying a few low quality items and chose to buy one high quality item that excited and inspired me.

I discovered that editing one's wardrobe is a skill that can be learned and refined over time, with a lot of practice (surprise, surprise). I started out having very little clue as to how to do this, all that I had was a vision, and even then, this vision wasn't exactly crystal clear. I am still working out the details as I go along. And I make sure that all the things that I do is getting me one step closer to this vision.

Another discovery: this vision is not static - it is in fact rather dynamic in nature. I am mostly ok with this because I don't expect this to be static. People change over time, I change over time, it is only natural that what I want change. All I can say is that on the big picture, what I want hasn't deviate much from the original vision. The details (that are largely still vague) are the ones changing, quite possibly because I am getting more specific with what I want, so the things that I thought I was previously okay with ended up being the things that I did not want. This revelation is useful because it prevents me from making acquisition mistakes.

So what happened in 2014?

January: I travelled and perhaps got a lil bit too carried away with shopping. I liked (and still like) all that I bought, they were essentially ticking off a lot of things from the lust list. I tend not to include holiday purchases into the acquisition tally, but I guess I really should given that I have identified that shopping while travelling is one of my Achilles heel.

February: I articulated my wardrobe resolutions for this year and also implemented a one month shopping ban. The goal was to concentrate on what was in my closet, focus on getting rid of things that are not comfortable and do not make me feel good. This is kind of hard especially if they were a favourite and/or comfortable once upon a time. However, given my current living situation, space is a premium and I want to have space instead of things that I don't use.

March: I noticed that when shopping ban ended, I always found it that much more difficult to control my shopping urges in the aftermath, which led me to conclude that having a shopping ban is mostly a terrible idea for me in the long run. It was, for lack of a better description, a band-aid solution to a more serious issue. The weather was quasi warm, and I purchased items for the upcoming winter (boots, sweaters and dresses), including this blue satchel that has been an unexpected favourite, all of which got a lot of use during the next few months, so all in all, I am glad that I bought them.

April: April was a no spent month despite having no shopping ban in place. There were a lot of things that tickled my fancy, but I resisted the temptation to shop. It wasn't easy, but it did got easier throughout the month.

May: I found that resisting the temptation to shop got easier with time. This month, I replaced worn under garments and replaced a couple of new jumpers for winter (the weather was getting colder). I had been putting worn out items to one side, but didn't go on a full force decluttering spree because I didn't have the time to do so. I figured that slow and steady was better than nothing at all.

June: June was a successful acquisition month thanks to the end of financial year sale here in the land of oz. I did not blog this month because ... err... too busy shopping I guess? I added a brown tote and a pair of black boots into the mix, as well as replaced a couple of dresses. At this point, I panicked because this was going in a completely different direction to what I wanted to be at the beginning of the year - i.e. severe deviation from this year's wardrobe resolutions - so the decluttering spree started.

July: There was this jacket that I had been eyeing since last winter - the superdry windbreaker. I was in the middle of a decluttering spree, getting rid of mostly worn out items that were just there, unworn by me because they were worn out. Either that or they were a terrible fit. My body changed ever since I decided to exercise regularly, and whilst I had been purging, I never did it to this extent. I devised another shopping ban after purchasing the jacket with my bonus money from the boss. [Bonus money is one of those unexpected pleasures in life that I spend freely and happily, mostly in the form of food, and occasionally, clothes.]

August: I implemented a self-imposed shopping ban with the aim of letting go 20 items before purchasing anything new. The black wedge sneakers that I had been eyeing went on sale on and I got to action straight away. I got ruthless. I got rid of 2 bags worth of clothes and shoes, combination of stuff given by other people and stuff that are too worn out for swap, not because of wear but because of low quality. I think I behaved this way because I wanted those shoes - and they did not disappoint. I loved (and still love) them to bits, and I feel like it was one of those purchases that are worth every penny.

September: September was a no spent month because I was too busy downsizing my closet. I donated a lot of things - another 3 bags full of clothes and accessories (incl. shoes and bags) to St Vinnies. I also did a major edit of my lust list, essentially successfully convincing myself that there were items in the list that I did not love, and so they shouldn't be on the list. Seriously considering to rename the list as love list, but did not because, well, lust list sounds more raunchy.

October: I got rid of more things that were terrible fit, and this process is getting easier the more I do this. I upgraded my black skinnies (because my current pair was jaded, which is an inconvenience when I wanted a jet black, sleek bottom) and black sandals in preparation for summer. At this point in time, it feels like my closet is coming together and it is easier to get dressed every day because everything is more cohesive. I purchased the black bag that I had been coveting for a long time and have been using it on a regular basis.

November: Still primarily in downsizing mode, I wanted this month to be a no spend month, and was about half way across the month before the orange dress happened. I loved (and still love) this dress, and have been wearing it on average one day per week. Orange is a colour that I am traditionally not drawn to, so it came as a bit of a surprise that I liked this dress that much. I am also surprised as to how easily orange integrates with my wardrobe, and subsequently, I entertained the idea of getting an orange bag. The shape of the bag doesn't matter so much, but the colour does because I just want to have a little fun with colours. I have gotten this bag thanks to a very generous friend who let me chose my own present.

December: December has been a successful acquisition month. I happily upgraded a couple of dresses, added more silk items, and introduced two new colours: orange and yellow. I spent a lot more this month, largely taking advantage of the various sales (mostly online) and also braved the crazy Boxing Day's sales, walking away with not buying anything for myself (I bought a gift for a dear friend). I am drafting a few acquisition analyses entries, and will post them once finished.

Wardrobe resolutions for 2015

In 2015, I resolve to refine my style concept. Refine as in making (minor) tweaks to bring my style up a notch. This refinement process comprises:

Removing unwanted elements - the decluttering continues (and perhaps will never stop), constant editing is something that I probably have to do to ensure that the state of my closet is inline with my (evolving) style concept.

Cleaning up messy closet - my closet is not messy per se, but it can do with some regular organising. This is beneficial in two ways. First, it assists in the first goal of removing unwanted items. Two, it makes me more aware of what's in my closet. And needless to say, it promotes clarity and organisation: I will know where everything is.

Transforming my outfits by extending its integration capabilities - this means including things like combining accessories, playing with colour mixes and purchasing new things with the purpose of elevating existing closet items.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

December Wardrobe Reflection

if i could be a poem, then this is it. 

Hello December.

I quite like December. It is the last month of the year, it is the holiday season and there is just so much love everywhere!

November purchase I bought a grand total of one item at the end of November: an orange dress. I have worn this dress at least once a week since I bought it. It is a good dress for spring/summer and given that I got rid of a bunch of summer dresses earlier this year, this is really just a replacement of those. That said, this purchase was from, my shopping achilles heel, during their additional 20% off. This made the dress ridiculously affordable. Granted, it is not the best material nor construction, but it is pretty good for the price that I paid for.

Somewhat off topic, asos recently changed their free shipping minimum (from no minimum to $30 to $40) and their additional discount minimum (from no minimum to approx $120 minimum). I told le husb that this just made it more difficult for me to do some impulse shopping, which is actually a good thing! I get that their logic is to get people to buy more things in one transaction, and I couldn't help wondering how many people are in my shoes: they find one thing they like, and can't take advantage of the further sales and free shipping and subsequently decide not to buy anything. Both my wardrobe and my bank account are very happy (and me too).  

Wardrobe observation I have dresses, they are mostly black. Nothing wrong with that, except when it's stinking hot outside, and I was literally melting. Thus the orange dress purchased above. I am quite drawn to orange these days, which is a surprise for me, given that I never stop to consider the colour before. It integrates nicely with my existing colours, and is especially nice when paired with blue. I find that wearing black in summer is rather impractical. I should have known this, but somehow it just escaped me. So I am working on integrating more lighter colours to wear for the next few months. Generally, I struggled to look good in summer, dressing during this time of the year takes more effort than any other season.

December purchases so far A red dress, a pencil skirt in yellow and .... a black dress. I know, I know. I have a weakness for black dresses. They are wearable for about 70% of the year (late summer through to early spring), and are also wearable when the weather dips into the lower temperatures during the 30% of the year. I sound like I am contradicting myself. Black dresses, when chosen well, can last a long time. I bought this black dress because it's silk! These three items, well, two are still in transit (at the time of writing).

Other random observation A few people pointed out to me that there are some days in which I dress like someone that I am not. These people are brave people and I love them a lot, and more importantly, they make me re-think my whole approach to dressing and all that. Lately though, their criticisms had been centred around my foot wear of choice. I am battling a recurring running injury, so I have been staying away from my heels collection. While this is a very good excuse, it makes me realise how a pair of shoes can make or break the outfit.

I did say during last month's wardrobe reflection that it is very unlikely that November would be a no buying month because of Black Friday. I bought one dress in November. So far I have bought three items in December. I don't know how many I would buy this month. Whilst I would like to have a "rule" that says "maximum of one item in per month", I am not too sure that such rule would be useful because the chance of me adhering to it is in December (and also January) is pretty small. And no, so far this year, I have bought more than one item per month; I have exceeded this by 100%.  

I have so much more respect for those people who are able to exercise a very high degree of wardrobe discipline and still look good. The way they are able to buy the best items that would fit their lifestyles and then come up with different ways to wear them and invest the time and effort to maintain their clothes - that is quite something.

I hope to get there one day. One step at a time.

Coming up: acquisition analyses on the stuff I bought so far this year. I find this to be personally useful, they just take a lot of time and effort to write up. As we are nearing the end of the year, I would like to do an evaluation of my wardrobe resolutions for this year, and of course, think of a few resolutions for next year.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Quick wardrobe reflection and dealing with FOMO

It is now November.

I updated my wardrobe spreadsheet. Two observations.

(1) I tallied up the total items purchased since July (4 - that's on average 1 item per month). Wardrobe $ spent is so far less than 5% of net income. This 5% figure is the percentage that I gather what most people would allocate to their wardrobe spending, so I am just using this as a loose guideline. My own stats - this percentage varies depending on the stage of my life (and other financial goals at the time), so I don't have a definite number (or even range) that's representative of my wardrobe budget. So my approach when it comes to this budgetary allocation is this: if you can afford it, then go for it. It's your money, your choices, your decisions. Live life the way you want to, spend your money in accordance with that.

(2) September was a no spend month. I bought two things in October, one of which was this beauty. I toyed with the idea of November being a no spend month - we are a third of the way into the month and I haven't come across anything that's enticing. Then again, my lust list these days looks different from my lust list in prior months, so that's probably an important factor. In some ways, I think I am being unrealistic in the sense that I would like every single item that I acquire from this point forward to inspire me (instead of just being functional). But I don't need anything right now, so I am okay with proceeding with this mindset until it is proven to be unsuitable for my lifestyle.

I am not sure if November is going to be a no spend month because of Black Friday. Previously, I have been enticed by the great bargains to be had during this time of the year, right through to post Christmas sales. I was easily enticed by the idea of scoring a bargain without much consideration as to how each acquisition would fit into my current closet. This is something that I would like to change since a couple of years ago, but somehow, I still fall into the same 'trap'. This brings me to:

FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out.

How many times do we let ourselves decide to do something out of FOMO?

Why do we let fear rule our lives when we know that it usually brings us dissatisfaction eventually?

Recognise FOMO for what it really is: fear.

Fear is the stage you are in. It's ok to feel fear, feeling something is part of the human experience. And what you do while you're feeling that fear is important.

How to move past living in fear?

When you are living in fear, and you want to stop living in fear, your response is firstly going to be most likely living with courage. This happens when you're doing something despite the fear.  So, when you come across a pair of jeans, your size, your favourite brand, on a steep discount and you choose not to purchase them because you know that you already have too much jeans despite feeling that you are missing out if you don't buy them right now - congratulations, you are living with courage.

Courage, I find, is like a habit. If you make a habit of being courageous, you would attain a state of mindfulness, you understand why you do the things that you do and this understanding makes it easier for you to stay true to yourself. And staying true to yourself brings this quiet sense of satisfaction that people call peace.

It always begin with yourself. The first step is to look deep down within yourself. It is when you have enough courage to listen to yourself that you discover who you really are.

My problem is that sometimes I forget who I am, especially when I am tempted by so many beautiful things.

And I really really want to be especially mindful this month.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

acquisition analysis: black bag

[at the time of writing] i had just received the above bag. historically, the trend is that i purchase a lot more often than i walk away. this one is different though: i have an irrational lust for this bag on first sight, something that doesn't happen very often. there are a lot of things that i find beautiful, but very few that i am strongly attracted to.

i have always maintained that a good handbag has the ability to elevate an outfit, and is a pretty good "investment" because it's independent of one's fluctuating shape. as in, even if you lose/gain weight, your bags would still be there for you, you know. i recently did a purge of all the handbags of my younger years (some of which makes me cringe), in an effort to have with a relatively clean start. the goal is to have a collection that stands the test of time. this is a rather ambitious goal on my part because i dont know what i am going to like in ten years time. point is that i try to stick on the classic side whenever i can.

i have been wanting a black bag that's relatively small/medium in size for the days that i don't have to carry around a tote (i rotate two different-styled totes on a daily basis). it needs to be small enough and big enough at the same time (annoying, i know) because i want it to perform double duty: for work on the days that i carry light, and for fun on the days that i carry more than usual. i decided that the max size would be 30-35cm, anything over that is just to big to be practical to be considered small. (this paragraph is very hard to write because the points are difficult to articulate. if you've been in my position, you would know that there are some days in which a tote is just too big for all the stuff you need to carry. not that it matters, a tote still functions while slouchy, which can serve as a point of interest to the outfit. however, it is nice to have a bag that's small enough for those days, because sometimes, it's not just about function. function is important, of course: if something doesn't function, then it's useless. yet when form and function meet, man, that's quite something.)

and the usual acquisition criteria apply - good material and construction: leather, durable; affordable for its quality. i have to mention the last point because there are a lot of seemingly good quality options out there (whether they really represent good quality of not is another discussion another time) at prices that i would rather not afford. i take care of my bags (and everything else i own), but i don't exactly "baby" them either, so they can't be too high maintenance, else i would be spending more time maintaining them than using them.

i have this debate with myself over and over and over again before settling at a price point that i deem reasonable for a bag for my current lifestyle. this is a very personal decision and i would not even dare to recommend this to anyone else because the price of something, anything, needs to be evaluated based on one's current lifestyle. i get that this is made even more complicated due to the fact that i expect the bag to stand the test of time. but this is not a financial analysis whereby one does an NPV analysis, rather, this is a value analysis, whereby one gets to assign a dollar value in terms of what one deems to be appropriate in the item's contribution to one's life. it is definitely arbitrary in nature, and in arriving at this value, you just need to remember the trade off between quality and dollar value, and also that just because something is expensive does not automatically mean it represents good quality.

Furla has been around for as long as i can remember, but i never paid enough attention to anything inside the store, until i saw the Piper bag. i am normally not attracted to dome-shaped bags, although admittedly, i did look at a Coach patent leather dome bag a few months ago (and didn't purchase). either the shape was growing on me, or i just want a variety of shapes, or perhaps it's something else - the Piper stole my heart at first sight. it was one of those things that you just knew you would love. (side note: there is nothing else in the collection that caught my attention the way the Piper did, i do acknowledge that aside from their Candy Bag collection, Furla actually errs on the classic side, which explains why it never appealed to me previously.)

i haven't felt this strongly about an acquisition for a long time, so i am rather curious as to why. i went back to my wardrobe spreadsheet and looked at the items that i've acquired this (financial) year: a jacket, a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans (replacement pair for two current pairs that i retired due to being worn out) and a bag (this bag). all of these items have been on my lust list for a long time and the jacket and the shoes have gotten quite a lot of wear considering their relative new-ness, which is to say that they integrate seamlessly into my wardrobe. that said, it is probably because i have a relatively clean state because i have been donating quite a lot of stuff. it is somewhat rather funny that given that when i first bought the shoes, i admitted that i was being irrational. i rationalised the decision by letting go of the shoes that i didn't wear often. i end up wearing the new shoes more often, and became happier as a result. perhaps the key is to actually let go of the things you don't love, so that you don't have to waste so much emotional energy, period.

i guess it is the planning, the research and everything else in between that somewhat contributes to this sense of euphoria. i hate to admit this, but when something is acquired mindfully, it is way more satisfying than something acquired on impulse.

image is from here (you can also buy the bag there - click at your own peril!)

ps. in the case of the shoes, it was one pair in, and 6 pairs out. in the case of the bag, it is one in and 5 out. pretty good for someone who's trying to downsize and stay stylish at the same time!

acquisition analysis is a series of entries that centres on the practical side of how to maximise your marginal utility when spending your money. it is not primarily directed at the financial side of things, rather, on refining my buying skills, specifically on how an item would fit into my life. after all, if it is true that i get to design my life, then it follows that i need to be more critical in both adding and subtracting what's in it. furthermore, i personally believe that in order to maximise one's resources, acquisitions (or purchases) have to be of a strategic nature, instead of a mere time-filler. i admit that at this stage, i am yet to formalise an acquisition process, so one of the goals would be to come up with my acquisition process after i analyse a few of my past purchases. this should make for an interesting exercise because i note that some of my acquisitions do not necessarily stand the test of time. some items that i purchased turn out to be of a terrible quality, despite meticulously taking care of them. lots of lessons to be had!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

why i think the shopping ban is not for me: what really curbs my spending

i do not do shopping bans well. i think after doing it about three times now, with varying degrees of success, it's pretty evident that i suck at it.

this is because: i dislike not being able to shop (even when i don't want to shop; i am weird, i know). i guess i don't do well with this sort of restriction in my life.

i agree that this sounds like an excuse, and is definitely a terrible thing to write out in a blog post. but, in the rather off chance that you are like me, this is perhaps something worth pondering about. for a lot of people, the shopping ban works because it removes a choice from their lives. for me, it doesn't really work because i like having that choice to purchase if i want to.

i keep a spreadsheet of wardrobe spending, meticulously tracking this aspect of my life for the past 2 years. so far, the trends for total wardrobe spending ($) and items (no.) are falling, which is what i want. i don't keep a record of the things that i donated, but i have been donating a lot lately, which is also something i want. i cringe at the monetary value of donated items, which is something i don't want to, but do. i come to the conclusion that in terms of monetary value, rarely worn clothing is a terrible investment.

observing this spreadsheet in the past few months reveals that even in the presence of a choice to purchase, i don't always purchase. i manage to talk myself out of it. most of the time, after lusting after a particular thing, i come to the conclusion that i don't need the said thing, so why purchase. my bank account is very happy with this decision.

i think there is also a reverse psychology happening here - when you tell yourself not to do something, you end up thinking about doing it, and then actually doing it. so instead of telling me not to shop, i tell myself to pause and think about why i purchase. this pause is very important because this is the time and space to evaluate the desire to purchase, not just the item to purchase.

so, in summary this is what works for me right now: exercising a critical eye when purchasing, pausing and asking why i purchase, and once purchased, hopefully wear my clothes to death.

or in short, my goal is to be a smart and conscious consumer.

(this is one of those posts that make me feel so grown up. dont ask why.)

Friday, 10 October 2014

how i am weaning myself from mindless comfort shopping

confession: i have a problem

one: i hate admitting that over the last five years, my shopping has been mostly mindless and was done to comfort me from whatever discomfort i was trying to counteract. i had a shitty coping mechanism.

two: despite my reluctance to admit the above, admitting it is actually ... liberating.

three: i am a work-in-progress; i note that this does get easier with time, although i am not too sure why. i like to think that i understand myself better, therefore can cope better. or that it is simply getting rid of a bad habit and acquiring a new, better habit. or that it is simply an increased awareness exercise. or all of the above. i don't know.

but it does work.

[side note: my life is far from being classified as "edited" or "curated" or whatever adjective along those lines. the end goal is no where near.]

understanding the why

a lot of resources out there are devoted to getting you started on this stop shopping journey. starting is important, because for a lot of people, it is the one thing that kick-starts the journey. once you start, chance of you staying in the course is pretty big, or at least, better than if you didn't start at all. the key to sustaining this is to understand the why - why are you doing this? why is this so important to you? why are you willing to suffer for this?

the answers to these questions are different to each individual, so there is no right or wrong. personally, i want to be a more responsible person: intellectually, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, environmentally, socially (not in any order of importance). i also want more space in my life. i am a firm believer in space because having space allows you to grow, and growing is an important condition of living. put differently, part of living well is growing. i want to live well, so i grow and i am willing to suffer to grow.

the lifestyle you 'should' have (vs what you want to have)

part of the deal about living in a society is dealing with their expectations - these are what i call the 'should's of live. you should do this, you should do that. you should have this, you should have that. for a while, i avoided using the word 'should' in my sentences. it didn't last very long - i was too lazy to construct better sentences that i knew could convey my meanings better. sorry, i realise that this is a terrible excuse, but it was also the truth.

the key to reconciling how we want to live and how society thinks we should lies in this thing called validation, whether yours is externally derived or internally derived. i suspect for most people it's a combination of both, and for those who are comfortable with themselves, most of this validation is internally derived.

so it boils down to you designing the life that works for you. if you are someone who needs a lot of external validation, then make sure you surround yourself with supportive people. if you are someone who doesn't, then you perhaps don't need to do this, but can devote your attention somewhere else, like maybe, supporting those who need your validation.

is it hard?

yes it is. i got to a point whereby i want it quite badly, so i stick with it. of course i think it is worth it. my latest accomplishment is not purchasing anything during September, and i did this without a shopping ban in place! woot!

next i'll discuss why i think shopping bans don't work for me. until then. x

Friday, 3 October 2014

what does your dream closet look like?

we had just had another fashion swap at the office, except that this is more like a fashion dump. that is, things that we are eventually donating to charity. i took out things that don't fit me well, and did not pull anything for myself. major accomplishment. (total 5 items out)

in my latest round of culling, i have been applying the above checklist from in summary, i ask myself this question over and over and over again: does this item have a spot in my dream closet? i do have a picture of my dream closet in my mind, and while admittedly this image changes from time to time, there are certain elements that seem to persist. so i try to stay true to those things and get rid of the rest.

and another accomplishment that's somewhat major: did not buy a single wardrobe item throughout September! woo hoo! i guess being exposed to so much fashion week material really dampens my shopping urges.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Let go of (unnecessary) things to FOCUS on the important things

If you have a hard time actually letting go of things, especially clothes, and if you're like me, it really boils down to the guilt of wasting money if I were to let go of an item. This is particularly true if the item is relatively new and I have been trying to incorporate it to my wardrobe without much success (i.e. it doesn't get enough wear).

These are the summary of my thoughts process on the issue:
I have already spent the money to buy the clothes (or whatever item) and letting it stay unused is equal to getting it wasted, I am not getting any value from its presence in my closet.
I can convince myself that I am getting some sort of value – because of some irrational attachment or whatever, but if I were to be honest with myself, I am actually not because every time I see it, I am reminded of the mistake I've made and the financial costs attached to that mistake. We are all human, we make mistakes, it happens. Learn from it and move on. I don’t need a daily reminder, really.
The real cost of letting an item stay in my closet is more than its initial purchase price. It costs me some form of resources, be it financial or time or at least, mental capacity, to maintain it, clean it, store it, move/transport it.

The highest cost is this: having unwanted stuff amongst my wanted stuff distracts my focus. Lack of focus is dangerous because it makes me more prone of making mistakes. I am a big believer in making my life easier be creating an environment that’s conducive of clarity and light.

Since I am  not getting any positive value out of it, I have decided to let it go, cut my losses. Donate it and let it have a chance in someone else's closet; or sell it, if it's worth the trouble (read: if I can afford the time and resources). I have very little patience for these things and for the non-profit that I made from my last round of putting stuff for sale on ebay, donation works best for me.

I have been letting go of a lot of things from my apartment, I did not even realise that I had so much stuff. This has been liberating on so many front, primarily because it allows me to focus on the most important things: the things that you cannot buy with money.

Simple is not always easy, but it is a worth while exercise.

Friday, 12 September 2014

one step closer towards a fuller life: working on a new me

i signed up to a further 6 weeks of yoga this week, or to be precise, two lots of lessons. in first batch, we are given a goal, the crow, and in the second, we are working towards a stronger core, i.e stomach and lower back. yoga was previously fun and relaxing, but not so much these days. i think it's good because we are now in the next stage of improvement. as always i was being a wuss and ended up whinging and whining. then again, my right shoulder was playing up (it is weak, so...) and when there is physical pain, it is really hard to be positive about life.

i was tagged in an ice-bucket challenge by a dear friend who thought that "i could do it". and yes, i guess i could, and i am not doing it out of principle. it is not about donating to charity (although this is a different discussion altogether), it is the fact that i think doing an ice bucket challenge is just plain silly, not to mention wasteful. no offence to everyone else who participated or going to participate - you do whatever floats your boat. this does not float mine.

so in lieu of doing an ice bucket challenge, i am doing a no fried chicken challenge. as the name suggests, it entails me not eating fried chicken from Sep 2 till Sep 30. i am now in day 8 and have been experiencing 2 days (and counting) of fried chicken craving. this, coupled with a more challenging yoga routine, sound like a recipe for disaster. i honestly don't know how my will power will cope with this.

my yoga teacher said that we have to put in the effort towards a vision, while at the same time, not having an attachment to the outcome of our efforts. (she of course put it in much better words.) i am willing to put in the effort to do these in the hope that i will be a better person by the end of the month. don't know if i will be able to do the crow, only hoping that i become stronger in the next few weeks.

i guess in short, happy to report that this whole wardrobe simplifying slash mindful shopping principles have started to permeate to other aspects in my life. we'll get back to more discussion on wardrobe/closet/shopping stuff soon.

Friday, 5 September 2014

you have to have stuff before you can let go

... else there's nothing to let go.

As was cleverly pointed out to me the other day, this whole notion of downsizing and letting of stuff happen for people who have had the luxury of overindulging in excess stuff. Just like any other kind of excess, once you've had too much, you don't want it anymore.

My overindulgence experience makes me who I am today, and I am pretty okay work in progress, I think. There are still moments in which I wish that I had the wisdom and vision of knowing this before it happens, so that I can skip over the wasting money/resources while unnecessarily overindulging. At times I am mortified at my former self and how I used to approach spending and shopping.

But I focus on the good and the other things on my list that I'd like to become and concentrate my efforts in that direction. I try to be kind when it comes to the mistakes I've made in the past, and just move forward. This is hard, and necessary for progress.

In my latest round of downsizing, I am letting go of the things that I am lukewarm about. These are things that are, you know, oh-kayy, which found their way into my closet because I was too lazy to look for the item that would allow me to realise the vision I had in my head more closely. Specifically, these are:

(1) red coat - holy fucking shit, I love red coats. This has got nothing to do with the fact that I attended a school whose winter uniform included a red duffle coat, that I secretly loved; I guess now the secret's out. This has a lot to do with the fact that I love the colour red, it has the power to make me feel better, instantly.

(2) dark gray anything - I am living in dark gray everything this winter, I have been doing this since last winter and I realise that I am growing to love the colour more and more. I am not alone in this, I know this because I find myself in colour-related conversations discussing my love for dark gray anything. My love for this colour is almost as intense as my love for red.

(3) black - I was never into black until I met le boyf whose collection was black everything, until he met me and started wearing a lot of... red. Need I explain more? The people you love often influence your sense of style because they like to see you in a certain way. Le boyf dresses better than me, and being with me has resulted in me being more experimental with the things I wear. His sense of style is very stable, whereas mine is more all over the place. People who see us tend to think that I dress sloppily compared to him, but I swear it's just a different style. Or to put it differently, I am not as classically inclined as he is during the weekends that we are seen together.

This weekend, while it is pouring wet, yet again, I am going through my closet and asking the question "Do I love it?" and if the answer is no, the item has to go. Funny how the universe has the ability to carve out some time in your schedule to make you one step closer to the vision that you didn't realise you have: every item that stays my closet, I want to love them because of their quality.

Happy weekend and stay dry. x

Friday, 22 August 2014

outfit: monochromatic (and some closet spending pattern analysis)

jacket: asos | shirt: saxony | jeans: uniqlo | shoes: nine west | sunglasses: prada
not shown - bag: the leather satchel co
borrowed from le boyf - scarf: asos

hey guys! 

(at the time of writing) it's been a productive weekend so far. wet, windy and cold weather is the best for decluttering and simplifying! further reduced the size of the closet by donating two massive bags of clothes and shoes. yes, shoes. these are the ones that were not comfortable to me. i have weird feet. i resolved to keep only the ones that i could actually walk in, without wobbling.

it still horrifies me that i have so much clothes, although perhaps at this point in time, i probably have reduced my closet by 30%. i've been tracking my clothing purchases since mid 2012, and i've been updating this spreadsheet in an attempt to understand my purchasing behaviour. so far, these are my observations:

(1) i always view myself as someone who exercises thoughtful spending just because i adhere to my budget all the time, but the data shows that i often buy things on impulse and most of these things are terrible quality that don't last longer than a few months. i hate to admit this: i waste a lot of money in the process. 

(2) i really really really do not NEED 90% of the stuff that i buy. if i were to be completely honest, most of the time i bought those things because it is too good of a deal to pass. ugh. FOMO much?

(3) i spent most of my budget during holidays. for some weird reason, my willpower goes out the window when i am in a different country. i love the things that i buy (and most of them survive the latest culling spree), i have worn most of them and love wearing them. can i buy them here? probably yes. if i were to do that, would i have gotten them for a better price? probably yes. so why couldn't i just wait? i dont know. 

those are my stories so far. yours? 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

is most of your spending rational, rationalised or simply reckless?

this post is inspired by this article by Gip Plaster, where he discussed when is it okay to buy something. this is a topic that is very useful when it comes to changing our purchasing habits. very often we think that if we've got the money, then it is okay, because at least, we are not turning upside down financing the purchase. i certainly adopt this way of thinking. i often forget that just because we can afford it does not mean that we are being responsible.

responsible purchasing is rational spending, we all know that. but why is it so easy to suffer from rationalised and/or reckless spending?

as someone who is intimate with spreadsheets, i maintain a spreadsheet for my wardrobe purchases. i thought that i have been thoughtful with my purchases, you know, practising the power pause, maintaining a lust list and deferring purchases as long as possible. despite all of these, it turned out that i have not been as thoughtful as i like to be.

because i haven't been rational.

i know that i have a lot of jeans and i know that i don't need another pair, yet so far this year, i bought two new pairs anyway because... errr i could? i could do so because (1) i liked them, (2) i could afford them, (3) i have waited for a while before i bought them, so you know, they are a meant-to-be.

if i was rational, i would have correctly pointed out that i did not need them and subsequently did not even consider purchasing them.

i was not rational when i bought my last pair of shoes. i definitely do not need a new pair of shoes. i rationalise this purchase by getting rid of 6 pairs of shoes, shoes that i didn't need when i bought them, and are now hopefully in the hands of someone else who would give them more love than me.

i don't know if i can be rational when it comes to shoes, but i will try to be rational with everything else in my wardrobe.

Friday, 8 August 2014

i bought shoes (shopping ban ends)

oh hi!

it's August. and i bought the above shoes. they have been on the lust list for a very long time. although given that they have been there for a long time probably mean love more than lust.

the story goes like this: this morning i browsed through (achilles heel) and came across these babies on 30% off. i took a gamble with the size, i either got it right, or a size too big. no matter. i can never tell with asos's size conversion to be honest, i wish they don't convert them and just say whatever the tag says.

long story short, i kept thinking about them the whole day and purchased them. shopping ban be damned!

but the real question is, did i get rid of 20 items?

answer is yes.

the funny thing after the great closet clean out is that i develop a more critical eye. i basically got rid of things that i thought i wanted to wear and have not worn for the past year or so. this is probably not a big deal for other people, but it is somewhat of a big deal for me.

because i realise that my style changes. i no longer want to wear those things, not because i don't like them, but because i don't want to do that style anymore. i used to like it and i used to think that it was 'me'. it is not 'me' right now.

i dont know how long this version of 'me' would last, i hope it would stick around for a while. i like changing my style, and i think it's good that it happens - but at the same time it somewhat means i don't really have a signature style.

i dont know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, all i know is that, well, it works for me, for now.

other observations

timing - as soon as it hits August 1st, i got to the next stage of culling. i dont know if this is because i want to have the option to shop or whether i was in downsizing mode, or both. but i knew that getting rid of 20 items was harder when my closet was relatively 'clean' to begin with; yet a cleaner closet allowed me to step up to the challenge. in short, it was a ruthless exercise that is deeply satisfying.

process - a lot has been written about the process of decluttering, downsizing, shopping ban and the like. i dont have further to add at this stage other than to reiterate that it is an on-going exercise, and i don't think i will ever be done forever. i am happy with my closet right now primarily because it reflects my lifestyle and i am excited to refine it further in future.

the latest purchase (above) - these babies are the nike sky high dunk in black with snake skin effect. i wanted to purchase them at full price about six months ago, and did not because, errr... i was being Asian. they were on sale, of course, and so i gave in to temptation. i am stoked. like stoked. i don't know how long this high would last; i do hope they stick around for a while.

i consider this a great start to the weekend!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

so why 20 items

we had our very first fashion swap event at the office yesterday. a lot of 'swapping' happened. it is so good to see someone else walked away with your stuff happy. it was truly a case of being happy making other people happy.

i took home 3 items. (yes, 6 items went out of the closet.)

why 20 items?

there is no concrete reason. i took that number out of thin air. i wanted to say 10, which would be a more realistic number, but thought that doubling that would make the experiment funner. that's all there is to it, there was no further thought involved in coming up with that number. or the twist in the shopping ban design (quantity instead of duration).

i admit that i like fashion, well, some what. i enjoy dressing up and all its associated process, including shopping and budgeting (side track: my neighbours are having sex and i can hear them through the wall!!), but fashion is something that i cannot take seriously. i cannot talk about this in real life without bursting into laughter one way or another. this is not to say that this is not a serious matter, because there are people who take this seriously; this is to say that this is a fun pursuit for me.

have a nice weekend - it is wet, windy and cold. talk to you through Twitter. stay warm and dry. xx

Friday, 18 July 2014

another shopping ban

hey guys!

i am going to embark on another shopping ban. yes, i know i've said previously that the real challenge is to practise disciplined purchasing sans the shopping ban. but i am intrigued, perhaps a more accurate diction is inspired by Kali Vine, to do this all over again (Kali calls it shopping fast, but shopping ban or shopping fast, they are pretty much the same thing in practice).

but first, since the shopping ban back in February, how was my shopping activity?

yes, i have been a consumer. on average, i purchase 2 new items per month - these are in the form of clothing items mostly. they are not my needs, although if required, i can convince myself that i need them. i have been practising the one-in-two-out rule loosely, as in, if i purchase say, a jacket, it doesn't always follow that i would be getting rid of two jackets, it can be other items. the jacket pictured above was in my lust list for the longest time, ok, exaggeration, since two winters ago. i have been in and out of the superdry store trying out all sorts of jackets and not purchasing anything because i seemed unable to find the one at the right length. i decided to stick to my standards and not purchase until i see one that fits the bill. oh, it also helps that my boss kindly gave out a big fat bonus at round about the same time.

needless to say, my wardrobe size is shrinking, i am still an active consumerist, and i am terrible at documenting this journey. sorry :(

i derive this unexplainable, odd pleasure out of window shopping - both in the virtual world and the physical world. i guess this is partially because i am Asian, and we quite literally spend a lot of our leisure time hanging out in the mall (stinking hot outside, okay). i've worked on raising my wardrobe standards so that i can make it smaller over time. it is a lot smaller today than a year ago, and i want it to be smaller by the end of this year.

which brings us to this shopping ban. my lust list is not empty, there are items on that list that have been outstanding for the longest time. there will be temptation for me to shop. but what i'd like to try is to resist this temptation. i would like to succeed, of course, but acknowledge that there is a very real possibility of failing. i will still practise the one-in-two-out rule as i currently do, it is just that the item that comes in is not something that i purchase (or le boyf purchases for me).

i will try to document the process better this time - in particular, blogging once a week detailing all the temptations and how i deal with them. they say that will power alone is not enough, and i tend to agree, so there will be my tips on how to survive the journey altogether. as a starting point, i have every intention to stay away from ASOS, Shopbop and Net-a-porter.

this shopping ban will end once i have gotten rid of 20 items from my wardrobe, excluding the ones that go out because of the application of the one-in-two-out rule. what this really means is if i get rid of two items because another one is coming in, those two items out do not count towards the 20. i will try to document these too - this is largely inspired by Debbie Roes. i am currently in the middle of a closet clean out, and i don't want these items to count towards the 20, so the counting of the 20 will start on August 1st, so that they will, one way or another, represent the items that have survived the current decluttering spree. the idea is to purchase new things once i've gone through another round of closet clean-out, of if there are 20 items that are worn out.

ok, i hope that the above twist should make things a little bit different. post this current clean-out, i will have no intention of getting rid of 20 items, but will say that i can probably function and dress better with 20 less items, so let's see.

happy weekend. please comment through Twitter.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

This morning

This morning, we witnessed the above. It's not visible from the pic, but the area surrounding the front of the bus was blocked so that it is hidden from public view. Le husb said that the barrier was put up because someone must have been injured. More info on the story here.

Life is fragile, peeps. Our time is limited. Tell those you love that you love them. Be kind.

Friday, 25 April 2014


This post is inspired by this post by Sam of Financial Samurai, one of the blogs that I frequent. Click on the link, it is worth reading, I promise!

I love my jeans. True story: my Dad made that remark to me when I was little and I remember thinking: really? I love them that much for him to notice*? And then a few seconds later: what else do I love this much? I have always been a bit of a tomboy at heart, so my preference deviates towards the 'boyish' look (another word that I grew up with).
My collection of jeans has been with me through thick and thin. Recently, I did a mini overhaul and took off the pairs that didn't fit that well. Somewhat rather thankfully, most of them survived the weight loss that I had since I've decided to become a runner. Well, ok, only the low waisted ones did. I've since bought a few pairs of mid-rise ones in one or two sizes smaller.

And (small-ish voice) - there are some mid-rise ones that were too loose that I still hang on to. I know, I know, I am irrationally attached to my clothes.  

I hesitate to use the term investment when it comes to clothes, but if there's anything worth "investing" in, then for me, it would be (and has been) jeans. 

So, what's your favourite wardrobe item? Tell me via Twitter, okay! For more of my irrelevant musings, head over to my other blog. For random snapshots of the good moments in my life, peek at my instagram. Prepare to drool! You've been warned!

*My Dad is one of those people who cares about what I wear and how I look. I attribute a lot of my approach to looking good to him. Thanks Dad, you really are my inspiration!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Letting go

One thing that I openly struggle with in this life is this thing called... patience.

I think I was born with a severe patience deficit. I think my parents forgot to wish that I would grow up to be a patient person, but since they pretty much wished everything else, I guess I can try to live with this. They were also incredibly uncreative with my name, but that's another story, another day.

Ever since discovering that I dislike ballet flats with a passion, I have been vigorously evaluating my shoes. Le husb has been quietly telling me that our limited apartment is in no way, shape or form, capable of accommodating my ever growing shoe collection. [Side note: I do not, and have never, own 200 pairs of shoes at any one time. I do not have a problem.]

I have learned that in life I must pick my battles and this is one battle that I gladly win by actually losing. So, if you want my shoes, let me know please. As usual, chat via Twitter. More of me on instagram and my other blog.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Thank you for not judging

It dawned on me that the year 2013 was the year that I dressed incredibly terribly. So much so that I apologise to all the people who had to endure my terrible dressing on a daily basis. I don't have any reason (or more like excuse) that would justify this, ever; all that I can say is that, well, it happened.

(Does losing weight count?)

It rather ironic that I started this blog back in 2013.Perhaps on a sub-conscious level I sort of knew that I needed to dress better, despite my reluctance to admit it at the time. I realised that I must have been judged based on my terrible dressing sense. All I can say is, thank God for people who do not immediately write me off just because I wore something terrible. 

We live and learn. Thank you for being so kind.

If you want more of me, head over to my other blog, instagram and Twitter. Not in any particular order of excitement.

Friday, 4 April 2014

... in which I admit that I have an irrational obsession with hand bags

When it comes to hand bags. I have lost count as to the number of times I have not succumb to temptation. If money is no object, I am pretty sure I would have a whole wall in my walk-in closet devoted to this rapidly developing addiction. I have ceased trying to rationalise this obsession and admit that it is indeed irrational. Bless le husb's heart for putting up with my endless irrationalities.

Latest addition to the family is this china blue 11 inch satchel from the Leather Satchel company (not to be confused with the Cambridge Leather Satchel company). The colour is mesmerising in real life. The craftsmanship is impeccable. While it wasn't love at first sight online, it was truly love at first sight in real life.

And oh, did I mention that I have a soft spot for structured bags?

Let's chat via Twitter. Snap shots of my life is well documented on my instagram. My nerdy side tends to get out in my other blog. Have a nice weekend!

Why do we continue to buy things?

Curiosity ensues. How much people spend on their wardrobes is followed with how much does one donate/toss on a regular basis. What are these purged items. I have never seen any fashion blogger does a post on what gets tossed out, except for Debbie (but she's technically not a fashion blogger, she's more like a ... recovering shopaholic blogger, and her blog is aptly named so), although I get a feel every time they do a blog sale. I can only begin to imagine the volume of inflow and outflow they experience on a regular basis.

From reading minimalist blogs, I get a taste of how much people purge. Granted these are the people with a desire to own less, so it is very possible that they would purge more than the general population. Extreme as this may be, it does beg the question: why do we continue to buy things? Are we so powerless in the face of constant marketing that conditions us to buy, buy, buy without much thinking? What does that say about us as individuals and as a society?

And more importantly, why is it so hard to stop ourselves from buying things? When I put myself on shopping bans, I found it easier not to buy things because well, I was not buying things by default - I took away the choice. I noted then that the real battle is really about handling myself sans shopping ban. Not thinking about shopping is one thing, directing my thoughts towards other things related to wardrobe that's not shopping is another.

At the end of the day, my conclusion is this: shopping is a skill and most of us are not skilled in this department. This is why we buy so much - we have not learned how to buy well.

We gotta connect through Twitter. Any comments and discussions, you can @drbelles me. For other stuff head over to my other blog where I talk about random musings in life. Take a peek of my instagram for snap shots of my daily life.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

I hate ballet flats

[At the time of writing] This morning, I discovered that I hate ballet flats. I am not alone. I realised that they are perhaps one of the most deceiving pair of shoes. To me, they are not comfortable at all. At least heels would give you some sort of idea of how uncomfortable they would be, but ballet flats - uh oh, no. They are called flats, which makes me expect them to be comfortable, except, they are not, mainly because I could feel the ground when I walk in them. Plus they look hideous on my feet.

Why I did not realise this earlier still baffles me. Why I put up with the discomfort for so long is another baffling thing. Perhaps because I expect to suffer, to a certain degree, when it comes to fashion. But for someone who has said don't scrimp on shoes, albeit for health reasons... ironic much?

If I could walk around in heels all day long, I would. If I could run in them, I would too.

EDIT: ok, perhaps I was too quick in writing ballet flats off; perhaps I've been wearing terrible versions of these shoes. Perhaps another chance. Perhaps.
I have decided to pack up my uncomfortable ballet flats. There are a couple of pairs or so that are gently worn. If you want them, please contact me via Twitter @drbelles. Or you can just call me, if you have my number. On a totally unrelated thing, I was told recently that I should rename my instagram as drool-fest. For non-drooling stuff, visit my other blog, it is very wordy though. Until then.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Numbers Game

I admit that sometimes the nerdy side of me tend to get out and that's when I get irrationally excited seeing posts about how much people spend on their clothing, aka, their wardrobe budget. Like this one, for example. Or something along a similar line, like this one, or this, or this or this. Because, hey, building a well-curated wardrobe requires, amongst other things, money. It can be a rather expensive exercise, so I am curious to see how other people allocate their money towards this particular aspect of their lives.

I mean, it is only natural that a lot of people ask that question about fashion bloggers in general - what do you do for a living, like as in, your real job - because what they really want to know is how those bloggers can afford to spend so much money on their wardrobes!

But what I really want to know is this: what are their buying strategies? How do they navigate the overwhelming push to buy in a society whereby we've been conditioned to purchase without thinking? How often do they succumb to impulsive shopping?

Image is from here. More images like that, you can find on my instagram. My other blog, where I occasionally talk about money, can be found here. And let's connect via Twitter - @drbelles.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

I struggle to look good in summer

Despite growing up in a tropical country (at least for part of my childhood), I struggle to dress well in summer. The last thing I want to do when it's stinking hot outside is to dress up - perhaps because it is easier not to wear anything. Either that, or staying in an air-conditioned room. I feel like I have had enough summer for now, but I bet that as soon as the temperature drops, I will be whining that it's too cold. First world problems, I know.

Outfit above worn to a dear friend's birthday celebration, and is pretty much my go-to summer outfit, plus or minus the jacket depending on how hot it is (I was sweating when the above photo was taken!). Yes, I know that this is an outfit that most people would not wear past a certain age, I may very well have passed that age, but hey, #yolo. Plus I am not getting any younger.

Jacket is by Saxony AW2012 (if I am not mistaken). This is one of the best jackets that I have given the price point. Love, love, love Saxony for their minimalistic approach to fashion. 

For more musings of my first world problems and #yolo manifestations, head over to my other blog. I document snap shots of the good moments in my life in my instagram. As usual, let's connect via Twitter - @drbelles

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Reflections on shopping bans

I've been meaning to write about this earlier, but life got in the way. Instead of slaving away at the solitary rendezvous of this thing called blogging, I chose to go out and have fried chicken with my friends. Yes, I realise that I am blocking my arteries. Can we just leave my arteries alone?

So far, I have voluntarily submitted myself on two shopping bans. For the first one, I got a friend to join me and she just said yes without hesitation (gotta love her!). Prior to this, we were both on a shopping ban (she initiated it) and we both failed within 3 days. This time around, I am happy to report that while the temptations are still there, we both finished with flying colours! The second one is a step I took towards the fulfillment of my wardrobe resolutions for this year. It is easier the second time around, I must admit. I read some where that will power is similar to physical muscles - you gotta use it so that you get stronger. The more you practise, the better you will be. (Mental note: want to do a similar exercise with this virtue called patience.)

Temptation - the biggest of them all My Achilles heel is, I've said this over and over and over again, I am pretty sure a lot of people out there know this by now. It is even worst when Asos is having an additional 15% off all discounted items. Not participating in such a promotional event is ... devastating for my sense of being. Because, I have things on my wishlist that I do want to buy, and I would love to buy them at the lowest price possible, because I like to stretch the buying power of my limited resources like that.

Discipline - wardrobe and financial I think the whole point of a shopping ban is to practise this thing called discipline, both in the financial sense and in the wardrobe sense. In this respect, I am focusing more on the latter because ... as much as I hate to admit this to myself, I prefer a smaller wardrobe that is well-curated. It is not going to be small and well-curated if I do not practise wardrobe discipline. So, in an effort to better myself, I am giving my wardrobe more attention.

To put it differently, this is perhaps the first time that I am able to articulate this goal properly: I do want to dress better, and I want to do it based on a small, well-curated wardrobe. In the past, my goal has always been "dressing better", which resulted in an overflowing wardrobe, which I conveniently attributed to a very small closet space (that I share with le husb). I am exploring what it feels like to have a small, well-curated wardrobe that everyone seems to be raving about.

Worthy investment? I admit defeat on certain things more readily these days. Not so much because I do not want to make them work, but because I know myself better. I have donated and given away a shit load, and lately, as you know, been putting things up on eBay. I still maintain that it is a lot of hassle, but I do realise that it is actually beneficial for this whole wardrobe discipline exercise. My revelation is this: clothes, shoes, handbags are terrible investments. You can hardly recover your initial costs let alone try to make some money from them. The only good thing about them is how good they make you feel, and it sorta stops there. To everyone else, these things are worthless. This is perhaps because my wardrobe does not consist of couture and/or branded goods that are highly coveted, but let's face it, I have the wardrobe of the masses instead of the riches.

This takes an impact whenever I come across something I like, that is heavily discounted, and I subsequently purchase for value. Like seriously. I was probably one of the few people who saw value in the said item and no one else in this world does. How is that a good investment? It does not and will not appreciate in value. Take for example this Karen Millen dress that I recently sold on eBay for a grand sum of ... $10.50. Case closed.

So, am I a shopaholic? This question is bound to come up, right? Especially knowing me and my preference to over-analyse anything and everything. The answer is yes. I did experience withdrawal symptoms and I did have to manage them, and the only saving grace is that I was able to manage them. Do I like shopping? Of course, yes! Do I still want to like shopping? Of course yes!

What I do not want is to be a compulsive over-shopper; I want to be the thoughtful, mindful shopper. I don't think engaging in another shopping ban is going to help me to be a step closer in becoming a thoughtful shopper. Because I really think I should be able to walk away from things that I do not want and/or need, not because of a shopping ban, but because I just do not want to buy them. As I said previously, the real challenge is to exercise this discipline sans the shopping ban.

Okay, that was a long post. Congratulations you've made it this far! As always, any discussion, we need to conduct via twitter. If you want to see more stories in pictures, you can peek at my instagram. See my pretend geeky/nerdy self over at my other blog. Image is from here.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

#ishall Saying no to shopping (for a while)

So last week I wrote about my wardrobe resolutions for this year. From this point onwards, it will be about how to get there.

Last I wrote about my shopping ban, it was, truth be told, something that I was rather scared writing about. Because I was not sure if I could do it or not. And because of this, I was not very open to sharing the journey on this blog. I spoke about it with my friend that I was doing it with, and our conversation goes like this:

Her: I nearly bought a new pair of shoes last night. Shopbop was having an additional 25% off sale.
Me: Really? OMG, I have to check it out.
Her: But we are on a shopping ban.
Me: I just want to look.
(half an hour later)
Me: Oh man, I was about to buy these dresses but I had to close the window.

I am obviously on the it's-okay-to-look camp. I find it fun to look, and I get inspiration on how to dress and what to wear, etc etc etc. My wish list is a very dynamic list, it hardly ever stays constant. I change my mind too often when it comes to what I want - which really means I don't really want them. Does that make sense? Does anyone else feel this way?

The whole point of this post is to say that I put myself on another shopping ban. It started on Jan 18 and it concludes today, Feb 18. I was still very much on the it's-okay-to-look camp. Funny thing about this exercise is that it gets easier with time. It's like, you get used to it. But the real challenge is to exercise this discipline sans voluntary shopping ban. 

Image is from here. Yes, that's my instagram account. If you want to connect with me, you gotta do so via twitter. Largely because I don't want to deal with spams in my comments, and because I am personally of view that in the world of social media, conversations (with strangers) are best conducted via twitter. If you want to read other stuff I write, then visit my other blog, where I pretend to be all nerdy and geeky. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

#ishall Wardrobe resolutions for 2014

In 2014, I resolve to simplify my closet. Simplify as in cut it in half. Or maybe by a third from what it is right now.

I shall wear everything in my closet at least five times during the course of this year. 

I shall give away the things that make me feel less than good, (which are mostly the things given by other people (!!!)). This is kind of hard especially if they were a favorite once upon a time. Le boyf husb reckons I am too attached to my clothes (and shoes and bags). I am starting to realize that he is right. Ugh.

I shall only purchase things that I need and want. This is already broken, unfortunately, by the purchase of the pictured bag, something I don't exactly need (although this is somewhat debatable), but had been wanting for over 5 years. To be fair, when I first coveted the bag, it was the yellow version and it was love at first sight. I did not manage to purchase it at the time. Last month, the beautiful coincidence was that I received a Mimco gift voucher for Christmas. In the true spirit of lazy shopping, I browsed the sale section of the website and spotted the fuschia cocoon bag. It was love all over again, and for once, money did buy love.