Happy New Year everyone! We hope your festive season was wonderful and you’re bracing yourselves for whatever 2017 brings. Regular readers will know we don’t really do New Year Resolutions here at TWR, but this year I am breaking with tradition. This year I’m going to buy no NEW clothes.
No, I’ve not gone mad, but I AM a little mad (with retailers), suffering from Peak Stuff and ready to shake up my attitude to buying with some action.
Firstly, I’m fed up with retailers still not taking us grown up women seriously. There are a few wonderful exceptions, but Fashion still sees the 40 plus woman as novelty factor, we are in a world where an older model on the runway still makes the news. Next year we will have been writing The Women’s Room for TEN years and in a recent JD Williams report on women of 50+, 58% of us said we still felt the high street was just catering for the younger market. Get a move on, brands!
I was also pretty disgusted at the retailers we read about in 2017 who are abusing their staff. We have ALL the power as consumers, if we don’t like retailers who buy yachts instead of funding pension plans for their workers, then don’t buy from that brand. We all have plenty of clothes (ahem, more on this below).
And I’m bored with shops. This is extremely serious coming from me, because I LOVE shops, but retail is going through a weird moment, it doesn’t know if it should invest in making shops experience-driven (yes) or plough it all into web design and Instagram. Meanwhile, the chances of finding a range that is beautiful, modern and affordable for us grown ups moves even further down the job list.
But mostly I’m puzzled at my own behaviour, I still buy clothes even though I (clearly, see below for numbers) don’t really need them. I’ve got a wardrobe full of lovely things and yet I still buy more. What am I searching for? Am I addicted to acquiring? Am I buying because I’m bored even though when I start shopping in stores I end up getting cross with what I DON’T find? Is it filling a gap in my life that could be filled more creatively? As someone who studies consumer trends as a job, I need to find out more.
So while most of my family went to see Chelsea v Stoke on New Year’s Eve, I went recorded my entire wardrobe. Have you ever done this? I’m slightly embarrassed with the results but in the name of research I’m coming clean with you, so try not to judge! I own, in no particular order…
29 shirts, of which 17 are in regular action. A ridiculous 31 scarves (every colour option covered except useful navy) and 9 coats, of which half are sheepskin (Half. FFS). I have 36 dresses (I love a dress….) of which 2 are specifically ‘for funerals’ (cheerful) and 14 skirts which I pretty much never wear (recently bought vintage maxi kilt excepted). There are 26 pieces of knitwear, even though before Christmas I’d have sworn I had no wearable jumpers, but in comparison I only have 8 T shirts, which hints at daft purchasing.
I have 21 pairs of jeans, 5 of which I am too fat to squeeze into and 2 are kept for gardening. None are ‘skinnies’. There are 10 pairs of trousers and 26 jackets. Goodness knows what I was thinking buying 26 jackets, it’s not as if they wear out is it? Well, they certainly don’t if you have 26…Oh, and shoes, 54 pairs of shoes (I’m not even going to start on how many are from Grenson).
All these clothes are lovely, I buy only nice stuff and (weird maxi kilt excepted, again) most of it is stylish rather than on-trend-therefore-likely-to-date fashionable. I have enough stuff to last me my lifetime, let alone for just a year. So for 2017 I’m going to start my research and buy no new clothes.
This will be hard, I am so wired-up to love buying things.
Possibly like you, I’ve been buying new clothes for so long – despite not needing them – that it’s turned into something I just do. It’s going to be a hard habit to break, although as there’s not enough out there to tempt me and finding it’s becoming a bore, maybe not as hard as I think.
To make it a bit easier, I’m going to allow myself to ‘swap’ stuff on eBay, so sell something I currently own to fund buying something second hand on eBay or at a charity shop. I think this will stop me getting bored with my wardrobe and make the actual process of buying a lot more considered even, possibly, more interesting.
Luckily I have the blog to satisfy my interest in fashion, I will write about clothes we discover and love as usual, hopefully this will give me my fashion-fix, but I’ll be applying a new editing tool, the Tempter Alert, is it something good enough to tempt me to break my Nothing New rule?
I’ll be keeping you posted on how I get on with my year of Nothing New with regular posts on how it’s going. Anyone want to take bets on how long I last? My family doesn’t hold out much hope for me lasting past January but I am determined to succeed. And do join me if you fancy it, we could have our own whatsapp support group…!