Style Resolutions 2012– The One Month Spending Drought
Remember the 10 Style “resolution” suggestions for 2012? #2 seemed to be what a lot of guys wanted to try to do. That was the resolution about going a full month without buying any clothes, shoes, or accessories. A cleanse for your closet of sorts. Or, a binge for your checking account.
Once January was done, we asked over Facebook and Twitter those who had attempted the challenge if they’d be up for answering a few short questions. Both those who were successful, and those who failed in this resolution heeded the call. Yesterday was all about those who made it to the finish line. Today, those who stumbled along the way were gracious enough to gives us the how and why they didn’t get there:
How far did you get?
Nick (Arborist): January 24th.
Shuang (College Student with a side job): January 20th.
Carlos (Project Manager at a non-profit): I think I made my first style purchase around mid-January.
What was your final undoing?
Nick: I put the LEC Inlet (what they call an outlet) on my to-do list that day, right after Taco Bell. I knew both stops meant the undoing of resolutions.
Shuang: A pair of wurkin stiffs for $7.50 from ebay
Carlos: J. Crew’s Cotton Shawl Cardigan in Grey and the Toggle Shawl collar sweater. I’ve always been shawl-curious and couldn’t take it anymore.
Were you disappointed that you didn’t make it?
Nick: What I bought was worth it – I’m wearing one of the shirts now, and I’m pleased with the look and the price. I’m generally disappointed in my own self-control which extends to this situation, but on the whole, it’s still moving my closet in the right direction.
Shuang: 50% disappointed, 50% glad that I caught the huge sales…like a J. Crew peacoat for $85
Carlos: No way. Love the sweaters.
Did you ever find yourself in a store browsing despite making the resolution?
Nick: Yes. Excuses that appeared were: I’m buying this as a gift for someone else. This is a thrift store, it doesn’t count. Honey, I was looking for our shopping cart and found it by the menswear.
Carlos: I did do some browsing, but it was mostly online, until I had to go to the mall to buy a birthday present for my boss. That’s when I stopped into J. Crew.
What was the most tempting thing you didn’t buy during your one month off?
Nick: The hardest thing was the LEC herringbone blazer that Primer Mag featured. But I know S/M/L sizing doesn’t work well with my tall and thin frame, so I used that to talk myself out of it. Plus I recently bought 2 Indochino suits – one came in December and the other should be here soon, so I had that to hold onto.
Shuang: Clarks Bushacres from DSW
Carlos: Black oxfords. I have some Calvin Klein black boots, but have been wanting some black oxfords for months.
Do you think this is something you’ll try again in the future?
Nick: No. I’m already scaling back spending since my wardrobe refresh (I say that, but I’m not really).
Shuang: Yes. Possibly for my birthday month (June).
Carlos: I need to. My wife and I have been trying hard to stick to our budget and be disciplined, especially because my daughter goes to private school and tuition is going up next year!
Why was taking a break from shopping relevant to you?
Nick: It was a ruse to get my wife off my back. I don’t recommend it.
Shuang: I think I had a shopping addiction, so I had to stop myself somehow.
Carlos: Because I spend too much on style items. It’s just too tempting.
Not to get too heavy here, but do you think you spend too much on clothes and the like? Are you rebuilding a wardrobe? Is it just your “thing” you choose to spend money on?
Nick: As a percentage of household spending, my clothing spending is about 2.5% more recently, up from about 1.1%. It seems completely reasonable to me to continue at this pace, and I’m pleased with the outcomes and the reactions from folks. Sales, thrifting, and lower priced retailers make up the bulk of the purchases with a rare full-priced item that’s usually a gift – all this helps to keep the costs responsible.
Shuang: Yeah, I definitely think I spend way too much on clothes, since most of my part-time work wage was spent on clothes. I just started rebuilding my wardrobe last September. I guess it is my “thing” right now since I use to spend a lot of my money on photography, and before that cologne. Hopefully I stick to clothes.
Carlos: I would say absolutely when you look at how much I spent last year. The thing is, over the last 3 years I’ve lost about 85 pounds. Finally, early last year I decided I was sick of looking like a slob at work. Shirts were too big, pants didn’t fit right, and all my suits were size 40 (I’m now a 36R). So last year was my “rebuilding” year when it comes to my wardrobe. I spent a lot of money on work clothes and suits, with a few casual items thrown in (i.e. a few pairs of jeans that properly fit). I’m hoping, and have been warned by my wife, that this year will be different.
Many thanks to everyone who answered the survey. Especially those who were man enough to own up to the fact that they didn’t quite make it. Here’s to hoping your resolutions, whatever they were, stuck. Top Photo Credit