I recently discovered the wonderful blog Out of the Bag (and spent a good two days reading every single post on there from the most recent to the very first). Lin, who writes Out of the Bag, gave herself a challenge for 2011 - to only buy ten things. Yep, ten things, all year. I think it's such a wonderful idea, and - even if it's not 100% successful - it definitely provides one with a sense of perspective in terms of adding to your wardrobe. It also makes looking back at the year and being able to analyse what you've spent your money on much easier; if you've just been buying here and there and not keeping tabs on things at all it's very difficult.
As part of my wardrobe rehab then, I've decided to take a leaf from Lin's book and set myself a similar challenge: this year I will only buy twelve things for my closet, that's one thing per month. I'm hoping that this self set rule will not only help me in trying to keep my closet minimal and ordered, but will also work somewhat towards trying to maximise my meager income.
I have no idea how effective this will be. I've definitely stopped buying as much recently anyway, but when I think back to the hundreds of items a year I purchased during my first few years at university I do wonder whether or not I'll be able to stick to such stringent rules of shopping. I also can't decide whether or not to include the buying of basics in this scheme - I go through a lot of cheap plain black/grey long sleeved tees and plain knitwear like cardigans and turtle necks, and usually I partly restock these every three or four months. I suppose that should indicate to me that I'm buying too cheap: if you buy cheap you buy twice, right?
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image from Park & Cube
Onto January then: I've been incredibly naughty and already made this month's purchase. This coat was at Zara while I still worked there, and although I loved it I couldn't justify spending so much on yet another coat. I stumbled across it on Park & Cube though (see the photo above), and loved the look so much that I began seriously regretting dismissing it. Shin has styled it perfectly; with grey knitwear and delicate gold jewellery, love love love. It's boxy shape and popcorn-esque knit remind me of Isabel Marant's now iconic outerwear designs, don't you agree? Very very luckily the coat was still in stock on Zara's website. Not only in stock, but reduced by more than half it's original price in their sale. After a few days of umming and aahring about whether or not I could justify the purchase, it was reduced by another £10 and I snapped it up immediately, phew!
I was notified of dispatch yesterday, so I'm hoping I'll be able to go and collect it soon (did you know you can order things to Zara stores free of charge?) and I sure am excited. My every day uniform is very plain (jeans, crew neck, pumps) so coats are a good way for me to jazz up my overall look. Plus, I think I must wear some form of coat 75% of the year here in England (or at least have it with me in case of an impromptu cold snap) so I always feel like I get my money's worth. I have the slight nerves that always come from having ordered something online (will it fit? will I keep it even if it doesn't and let it sit at the back of the closet until it gets eaten by moths?) but my fingers are crossed for it looking as lovely on me as it does on Shin (it won't), and I've vowed to myself that I'll return it immediately if it's not right.
What do you think of this plan, do you think you could stick to only buying twelve things this year?