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. Today it’s those who were successful. Tomorrow, those who fell a little short. Here’s how they did:
What was your first purchase after the month was up?
Ahren (IT/Librarian): Still haven’t bought anything new yet! I will probably take care of the leftover stuff on my x-mas wishlist soon (belt, jeans and 2 pairs of shoes).
Danny (Fundraising Researcher): Still going.
Jeffrey (Health Policy Analyst/Adviser): J Crew’s slim cotton-cashmere v-neck sweater in caspian.
Aaron (Strategy Consultant): I’m still on the No Spend Wagon.
Conor (Photographer/College Student): My first purchase has yet to happen, although I did just take a shirt to the tailor. Not sure if that counts.
Victor (Consumer Electronics): A pair of on sale Levi’s. Happened on Feb. 2nd.
Did you ever find yourself in a store browsing despite making the resolution?
Ahren: Yes, a couple times.
Danny: Yes. Initially I didn’t set out to go the whole month without buying anything. Also, I had a Nordstrom gift card I was looking to use and still haven’t.
Jeffrey: I tried to avoid going to stores/malls, but I did from time to time stop in just to take a look at any new lines.
Aaron: No. The key for me was to not go into a store no matter what.
Conor: Not in a store, no, but I definitely browsed the online stores A LOT.
Victor: Yes. I was in Vegas in January, and couldn’t help looking in hat shops, watch shops, and nearly made a purchase – but didn’t. Budget matters.
What was the most tempting thing you didn’t buy during your one month off?
Ahren: Everything that was on mega-clearance!
Danny: A pair of the Unis Gio pants when they went on sale for 50% off.
Jeffrey: The plaid topcoat from Banana Republic. It was on sale and they had one in my size.
Aaron: A new suit from Banana Republic. But, like I said, I stayed out of the store and wouldn’t allow myself to even go in and try it on.
Victor: I nearly bought a hat. And cufflinks.
What did you do with the money you didn’t spend?
Ahren: I paid off x-mas. I’m finally solvent again!
Danny: Spent it on a couple of nice dinners with my wife, and a couple of nice bottles of wine for the house.
Jeffrey: I’ve been saving up for a while to get a condo or row house in DC (it is a buyers city not a renters city) so it all went into that fund.
Aaron: I just bought a condo. So painters, refinishing the hardwood floors, new linens, stuff for the kitchen, etc…
Conor: Food food food! That, and I actually SAVED it. My checking account has never been so full.
Victor: It went into other good things like resources around the house for my children and flowers for the wife.
Do you think this is something you’ll try again in the future?
Ahren: Probably, but some of those clearance sales are pretty tempting.
Danny: I believe so. It’s good to show some restraint every now and then, and I like having tangible goals and ways of measuring.
Jeffrey: I recently did a wardrobe purge so I feel like I have a really good collection of work/lounge/play so I might go a while until I get anything else. Although the new dress shirts at JCrew look phenomenal.
Aaron: Yes. I’m planning on keeping it up. I’ve got way too much clothing already and it’s not a bad way to give to charity.
Conor: Certainly. If anything, I almost forgot about the fact that I hadn’t really purchased anything for a month, so it might happen again by accident!
Victor: Very likely. Pacing one’s self is good.
Why was taking a break from shopping for clothes/shoes/etc relevant to you?
Ahren: I bought a lot in November and received a lot of gifts in December, so taking a break in January was pretty easy and I really didn’t want to spend any more money.
Danny: I like to think that I don’t need to buy myself things to stay happy. It’s true, but sometimes I find myself shopping, either online or in person, just out of habit.
Jeffrey: My closet was bursting and I finally realized that I had so many things that I just did not wear anymore that I wouldn’t get anything new until I finally got that situation under control. I feel like I am at that place right now, but every now and then I come across something that belongs in the donation pile.
Aaron: Impulse purchasing is something I need to control. Also, the feeling of not taking advantage of a good sale hurts but you can get through it after you do it a few times.
Conor: As a 19-year-old college student, it often seems like a tough lifestyle to validate. I’m thankful for the Dappered site, as it helps me satisfy my “GQ” cravings with the wallet of a college student.
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?
Ahren: In the past I’ve been more of a spree shopper. I tended to shop once or twice a year and try to make things last as long as possible. I try to shop more often now, or at the very least I try not to put off buying new clothes. Nice clothes are expensive and in the past I always wanted to spend my money on other things. But recently, I have gotten a lot more aggressive about weeding out stuff I don’t/shouldn’t wear anymore and replacing it with stuff I like that fits well. I’m getting more comfortable spending my money on clothes and part of that is owed directly to Dappered.
Danny: I spend a fair amount, but I don’t feel like it’s too much . I don’t carry a balance on a credit card, I still manage to put away a good chunk of money each month into my retirement account, and I have some money saved up. I did rebuild my wardrobe in late 2011 and I think I am in a good spot with it for now. Clothes, etc., are definitely where I spend most of what I spend on myself, but my wife and I enjoy eating out (we’re in S.F. and lucky to have lots of options), and that is our single biggest joint expenditure outside of rent and bills.
Jeffrey: I started keeping a closer eye on my finances since I decided to buy a place and I think I spend more than I should. I put a lot of priority on the fit off the rack since my tailor, who is great, is just really expensive. That said, it is not like I only buy expensive brands, in fact I get most of my sweaters from Target since they actually fit really well. I also love the Alfani Red suit separates from Macys. But I do find that getting new clothes is a guilty pleasure of mine since I try to always dress my best. Travelling is really the only expensive hobby/activity I do, so I think getting a nice outfit/accessory/pair of shoes every now and then is a treat for me.
Aaron: While I subscribe to the “thing” theory of spending lots on a certain thing… I have a lot of “things.” Gourmet cooking, long distance cycling, and now my house. My goal for 2012 is to spend more time on maintaining my clothes. Meaning, more trips to the tailor and finding a shoe guy to keep what I have looking nice and lasting as long as possible.
Conor: I spend way too much money and time on clothes and accessories and “style research” – but I love it!
Victor: The next step really has to be, ‘what to do with the old stuff that hasn’t been worn in a while’ – with each new piece, I think about what occasion I’ll wear it in. That’s the question that I ask before purchase, and it’s one that stands a decent chance of stopping an unnecessary purchase.
Tomorrow, those who tried but didn’t reach the one month goal. We’re looking for those who have the guts to own up to it. If your one of those and want to participate in a short interview, just send an email in here. Top Photo credit