Purchase pause; falling at the January sales hurdle

In my last update about my clothing purchase pause, I identified a key potential stumbling block in my six month plan to pause buying on clothes; the January sales. The January sales can be one of two things; a bargain hunters paradise, or a minimalist’s nightmare. If done carefully, it can be an opportunity to buy key pieces and get more for your money, so actually it could be both.

However the January sales were two months before my challenge end. I was determined to avoid them at all costs, and sail on through the the start of March having only gone off course for a winter jumper.

Then I made a rookie mistake, and one I have been telling you guys how to avoid all along. I opened a sale email. Bang. Right into the rush of ‘up to 70% off’, ‘last few remaining’, ‘grab a bargain’ and it was like I was in a fever. Of course I had to buy things in the sales. How could I live without a 50% reduction on a shirt that I can of course buy in March. It felt like a no brainer.  I feel I should also say here, this wasn’t an easy thing to do. I’ve set up filters in Gmail to move all clothing emails to a specific folder that bypasses my email. This does actually help in slowing down that impulsive buying nature I still have for clothes. At no point did I think to myself ‘what about my purchase pause?’I did thankfully look at what I had on my list of items I wanted once my pause was over, so there was some rationale there. I also think that there’s still something in me around the way society views fat women and it’s otracisation of them. Of me. Somewhere in the back of my corrupted thinking, there’s an item of clothing that will make me feel so good about myself I can bypass all the work I need to be body positive. Job done.

So I bought a shirt, and a pair of jeans and a dress. I did want some jeans like this for a long time; dark indigo rockabilly types. That’s my sole argument. They’re ten a penny and could have waited until March though.  The problem is at this point, breaking the purchase pause then snowballed into three more buys. It was if I’d broken the seal and so I was not going home any time soon. Luckily I haven’t bought huge amounts. I purposefully have a small wardrobe so this can’t happen, although that hasn’t stopped me before! However on reflecting back I was surprised by how quickly my purchase pause fell apart. All over one five minute clear out of emails over a coffee.

So what could I have done differently to avoid this meltdown? I think in all honesty looking at an email designed to make me buy impulsively when I had time on my hands to shop was a bad idea. So if I take a purchase pause again I won’t clear out my emails during sale time. Out of sight and out of mind and all that. Secondly I think the reality is I need to join the body positive movement in a bit more of a committed way. I follow tonnes of women on Instagram rocking their bodies on a daily basis and yet still I court the demons of my body that tell me a new dress will make me feel better about how my body looks.  I think this is why clothing is the last post of minimalism I haven’t conquered, because it’s embroiled in much deeper issues. So although I sucked at this purchase pause in the end, I am going to keep it going until March because it’s been good for me, it’s definitely helped me buy less and I’m so thankful because it’s helped me realise why l find it difficult to stop buying clothes. Cue a body positive blog series for me coming up. Hope you’ll join me. I know very few people who don’t have hang ups about their bodies and actually it’s all in our gift to be able to love them for what they are; bashed up, wrinkly,  chubby, fat, skinny, scarred, full of life and free to get out there and live.



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