The Great Shopping Plan of 2010

(my closet back in May)

After I wrapped up my five month shopping ban at the end of last year, I decided to take a break from any kind of ban during the month of January.  I knew that I wanted to have some kind of structure to my shopping in the new year, but I wasn’t exactly sure what.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to shop, what types of stores I want to support, and how much I need to be budgeting.  I’d like to create a plan that is sustainable – that I can stick to long term.  I know I need flexibility, because I hate being constrained and tend to rebel.

I had a couple of different ideas rolling around my head for a new shopping plan in 2010.  The first was choosing two big investment pieces a month, and buying nothing else.  But that kills the spontaneity and serendipity that can come from shopping, and I knew that I would be miserable.

My next plan involved restricting where I can shop, and creating a list of 22 items that were the only things I’d be allowed to buy (two for each month remaining).  Again, I decided this would be too restrictive.

Eventually, I came up with a plan that gives me room to breathe, but still keeps me focused and (hopefully) on budget.  It fits in with how I want my shopping to be.  Here’s how I describe it:

Explore local boutiques.  Find new consignment stores.  Re-learn how to thrift.  Get hand-made items custom made for you.  Discover vintage clothes that actually fit you.  Don’t buy something if you don’t love it.

Guidelines

  • $125 a month (will go up to $200 if I get a permanent full-time job) for clothes, shoes and accessories.  Stick to this number!!!
  • Shop primarily from wardrobe gaps list.   If I find something outside of this list that I want, then I need to make sure it’s something I truly love and actually need.
  • Shop at local stores, hand-made or second-hand (thrift, vintage, Ebay) primarily.
  • Gift money and store credit can be spent anywhere, on anything.

I’m calling this a Shopping Plan rather than a Shopping Ban because I’m not really banning any particular kind of store.  I decided not to completely ban non-secondhand and handmade stores like I did last time, mostly because I only really want to shop at a couple of them, and they are stores that I feel good supporting (Anthropologie, Boden, online retailers like Sock Dreams).  The majority of my shopping will be supporting local second-hand stores and boutiques, as well as hand-made items from Etsy and second-hand items from Ebay.  I really want to explore the local shopping that my city has to offer.  I’m quite frankly sick of the mall, and most of the time I try to shop there I feel miserable.  Shopping at smaller local stores means that I’m supporting my local economy and finding interesting and unique items that no one else will be wearing.

I’ve also written up a list of 50 items that represent wardrobe gaps I’d like to fill.  Because this list is a bit long, I’ll be posting it as a separate post later today.  I want to have more focus when I shop, so that I’m concentrating on things I really need, but I decided not to limit myself to only items on this list because I want to leave room for the unexpected, for items that I might not have thought of, for garments that I fall absolutely in love with.

I’ll be constantly evaluating and re-evaluating this plan to see if it works for me.  It may be a little too flexible, but for now, I feel that this will work best for me.

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About Diana

Style maven, knitter, crafter, seamstress, one who does not walk the beaten path.
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41 Responses to The Great Shopping Plan of 2010

  1. This sounds like a wonderful plan and one that really reflects your philosophy but doesn’t constrain you too much. Fingers crossed that you get a full-time job!

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  2. goldenmeans says:

    That’s a really admirable shopping plan. I sometimes try to go on a no-buy and it just ends up being catastrophic in the end because I just melt down and buy something extravagant in the last 2 days. I think having a budget and using it mainly to acquire goal/gap pieces sounds like a great way to go 🙂 And yay for shopping local/esty/vintage! I tried to do that for a couple months but Anthropologie is like some sort of drug and I could only go two weeks without a fix 😉

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  3. Struggler says:

    Fascinating! And I think you’re totally right to leave some flexibility for those joyful, spontaneous finds which can sometimes turn out to be the best, most favorite items in the closet.
    Very much looking forward to your 50 missing items list, too.

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  4. Bianca says:

    This sounds like a great plan. And Tampa has some WONDERFUL local shopping boutiques all over town! I was almost always regulated to shopping accessories due to lack of sizes 😛 but I think you are going to find some super cool things.

    Have you been to la Pink in N. Tampa? I think you might find some nice stuff there. There was another store I used to pop into in N Tampa over by the Publix on D. Mabry (near the Platos Closet) But I cannot remember the name for the life of me. (I used to work on Fowler and N Dale Mabry – that was a long drive from Plant City)

    I would love to see in conjunction with this some general comments about some of the local stores you visit, maybe photos if possible. I just think that would be really cool.

    🙂

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  5. Eyeliah says:

    good start on your plan. the only things I need are 1-2 jeans, 2-3 business casual pants and 1-2 comfortable dressy shoes or boots.

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  6. Theressa says:

    This is a great shopping plan. The guidelines are great and give you flexibility without feeling deprived or too constrained. I try to stick to a budget and a wish list, but I often find that my most loved and worn items are those serendipitous ones.

    Good luck!

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  7. Pingback: Smiles Go With Everything // What I bought in January

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  16. Sarah says:

    What a great plan!! I have been really thinking about this same idea of buying local in terms of clothing. I buy local produce from the farmer’s market and I buy local food from the grocery store. This is a great idea!! I may copy!

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  17. Pingback: Smiles Go With Everything » Shopping Plan: Week 13

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  21. I just found your blog today, and I love it! I understand where the need for this plan comes from (God knows I need one myself) and will use your blog to motivate me on my journey, or at least, try :o)

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  22. Pingback: Smiles Go With Everything » Blog Archive » Shopping Plan: Week 19

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