Shop ‘Til You Drop?

On Shopping and Blogging
A peek into my messy closet.

It’s clearance season, and I love a good sale — it’s sort of my thing. So far this month, though, I’m not really into it. And I think this is a very good thing.

From the past two clearance sale, I have been noticing that many online websites and applications are all relying on the use of AI to improve customer service. On further reading about it on the salesforce website, I realised that it’s an exceptional strategy to build goodwill with potential customers.

Before I dive into my personal nitty-gritty, let’s make one thing clear: fashion blogging is materialistic. Whether you’re a consumer or creator or both, at one point or another, you have been focused on these material objects, whether they be clothing, accessories or beauty products. And that’s okay — it’s inherent in the subject, no matter your budget. And while it’s nothing to feel guilty over (fashion and shopping are fun!), it is important to be aware of it.

When I was in college, I was pretty frugal because I had no other choice. I was living in New York City, and starting my junior year, I no longer had a meal plan and was commuting at least 2 times a week to an unpaid internship without a part-time job on the side. I got by with a $400 stipend each semester, as well as help from my parents, who were also awesome enough to take care of my room and board and book expenses.  (Tuition was covered by an academic scholarship, but I still have over $25,000 in government student loans.)

Once I graduated and started working, my money habits understandably changed. For the first time, I could expect a weekly paycheck. I started paying about $300 a month on my loans before my grace period expired. And I started shopping, a lot. Well at least “a lot” by my standards.

On Shopping and Blogging
A screenshot of my “clothing” transactions on Mint. I think we can see a pattern.

I had good reason for this: my wardrobe needed a serious upgrade. I needed clothing that was a bit more professional (though my current workplace has a pretty relaxed dress code), and my style had also slowly evolved. A few months ago, I also slowly started purging my closet, something I haven’t done in years. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m at a point where I like and wear most of my closet. I think.

Which leads me to my current lack of clearance rack perusing. I have a (slightly) better understanding of what I like to wear and what I want to wear than I did even 6 months ago. With this, I’ve realized I don’t need a lot of the clothing I already have, and I certainly don’t need to buy more. Do I still have holes in my closet? Of course. But now I’m more inspired to pare down my closet than add to it. And when you read over 70 blogs on a regular basis  with this blogger and that blogger touting their most recent, remixable purchase  that’s not an easy place to get to.

So while it does feel a bit strange to not be shopping all these great end-of-season sales, it’s a bit rewarding too. I’ve still shopped for clothes, but it’s been for very practical items — which you’ll see next Friday when I post my January clothing budget and purchases in a Budgeting Bloggers linkup. Shopping smart isn’t just about saving money, and fashion blogging isn’t just about sharing your favorite “it” items. I think it’s a totally cool way to share your individuality and creativity with others, or else I wouldn’t be a participant.

Has this ever been something you’ve experienced — being more drawn to shopping after reading blogs (or similar mediums like fashion magazines), even though you already have more stuff than you know what to do with? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~ Sarah