Let's start this post with, when did it become May?! (Am I alone in sometimes wanting to press the "freeze" button on life, momentarily step off the hurtling train of time, and spend an entire day with my favorite people on Earth eating waffles, wandering art museums, laughing at our own jokes, sipping fine wines, and not thinking about Retinoids and project plans? Sorry, I digress.)
Anyway, now 5 months into my "No New Things for a Year" challenge, I'd like to share what's on my want list for 2017 along with some key learnings:
1. The "Want List" hasn't grown
When I started this challenge in January, several of my friends asked for my list of the top things I wanted to invest in after the challenge was over. The above image that I so dutifully created with my dubious PhotoShop skills summarizes what was on that list back in January (and the links to these items are below if you're curious). The flats are something I've wanted to invest in for more than a year, and finally found a good consignment deal on them so they're checked off this list!
- The Dolce dress of my dreams
- An amazing, crisp white shirt dress
- A classic bag that my granddaughter will someday carry
- Fancy, yet practical flats
- The original trench coat
If you have feedback on this list, feel free to comment. (My friend Ashley says cut the bag and go with a more original pick. Still pondering that...)
2. The loopholes are dangerous
And I need to press re-set. Because, quite frankly, slowing the flow of new was the original intent but it's starting to feel like an easy addiction-transfer to "used" and I've taken a couple liberties with my loopholes that will be stopped going forward. But if I find that Dolce dress used on eBay, no promises people.
3. Resale value is tiny for almost everything
Resurrecting my eBay selling habit has reminded me how much we pay in retail markups, as well as what truly holds value. Classic designer pieces hold some value (~25% return on original price paid). Fast fashion - Banana Republic, Zara, and the like - don't. It's starting to make me think that not only do we need to think long and hard about value before spending, but also whether I will ever shop at a traditional "fast fashion" retailer again.
4. Anyone can be a luxury shopper
Granted, there are some socioeconomic statuses where disposable income does not exist. This argument applies to anyone who currently participates in the consumer marketplace. Two of the designer pieces currently on rotation in my spring wardrobe (a vintage patent leather Gucci bag and a pair of Chanel ballet flats) were purchased used, for a tiny fraction of the price of new and the exact price of similar items at "fast fashion" retailers ($40 for the bag, $200 for the shoes). Added bonus is that they're way better quality, and timeless pieces that I'll use for years. The primary obstacle to shifting shopping behavior to this model is finding a way to get past the need to have it now, versus waiting for the right piece to pop up in the hunt.
5. Limitations have improved my personal style
This is obviously a very subjective statement based on how I feel about my own personal style, but this challenge has given me a way to structure my thinking about how to assess my wardrobe, build an outfit, and be objective about what I really love about a piece. It's helped my creativity flow, made me more adventuresome, and has also helped me get past some of my fears such as wearing vintage '90s turquoise silk Ann Taylor pants out in public.
Some of you have joined this challenge over the past several months, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this list and anything else you've taken away from it!