I recently went on a shopping “spree”, which for me means I bought three very well-researched items in one afternoon. It felt extravagant. As I walked home with my unusually “full” bag of goodies, I had the idea of sharing what truly comes in and out of my wardrobe and apartment in a given month to be even more transparent about my relationship with stuff.
My list would include anything I acquire that is for me and anything that I give away, whether by sharing, donation, recycling, etc. I use the word “acquire” to make sure to capture everything, whether it’s gifted to me or bought or found. The exceptions: the gifts I’ve purchased for others because they go instantly in and out (and I don’t want to give away surprises) and groceries or perishables because they don’t stick around for long either.
This felt really intriguing and rebellious. I can appreciate good “wish” and “want” lists, but they feel so unconnected to reality. A wishlist just creates in us a constant sense of envy and feeling like we have to catch up. But the nature of a wishlist is that it is things not owned yet – it doesn’t necessarily represent what a blogger can afford or that they’re willing to put their money where their link is. But what are they willing to really get behind enough to purchase?
At the other end of the spectrum is that terrifying trend of shopping “hauls” where people just buy loads of stuff and then show it all off. The emphasis is on quantity and the search for a deal. It is possibly one of the scariest things you can watch on YouTube.
And finally, nowhere to be found is talk of what people dispose.
So I thought I’d just do a coming clean post to share what I stand behind, where I’m imperfect, and how I acquire and share, even down to the price. I hope you’ll not only tell me what you think but consider making one of these lists for yourself over the course of a month. It’s amazing to see how much comes in and out of our lives.
– Bare Minerals Mascara, $18.
– Alternative Apparel Ecofleece sweatpants, $55. (*Though I wish they were more specific about the eco fibers in this blend.)
– Fabriano EcoQua spiral bound squared notebook, $4.40. I am obsessed with these and buy a new one every few months when I’ve filled up the previous one. I just learned from their website that they also print Euros and have lots of cool responsible practices.
– Two pairs of sunglasses: Persol, $70, Cole Haan, $20 (bought at a discount department store). I tried on every pair at Warby Parker, but I ended up returning the pair I purchased because I just didn’t love them. Instead I had fun shopping for the first time in forever while out with a friend and got these two, which I love wearing.
– Mercado Global clutch. It was a gift from their recent fundraiser event, but I made a donation after because honestly I know how much work goes into these artisan-made bags and I couldn’t accept it for “free”.
– Four sweaters and t-shirt dress from EILEEN FISHER that are mostly organic cotton and organic linen, purchased through the employee benefit program. At least one or two sweaters will become gifts, but this organic cotton sweater is definitely staying with me and I’ve already been wearing it nonstop.
– Signed copy of “Worn Stories” by Emily Spivack, $25, at the one and only Strand Bookstore.
– A big bag of donations to Goodwill, accumulated over many months, which included two pairs of jeans, a few accessories, two pairs of shoes, and odds and ends.
– A few tops and cold weather clothing given to visiting family members who never bring enough layers when they come North!
P.S. In doing this exercise, I literally sat down with my credit card bill and went through where my money went this month. And while I’m really excited about all of the above – no shoppers remorse here – I felt all warm and fuzzy when I thought about two purchases this month that not surprisingly had nothing to do with owning anything. One was a spontaneous after work cup of hot chocolate at the coziest café, which I enjoyed solo and could feel my heart fill with happiness. The second was a proper afternoon tea with some of my favorite people on a recent Sunday, having real conversations over cucumber sandwiches. Pure heaven. I will throw my money at those experiences any day of the week.