Fashion Rehab: How to Stop Compulsive Shopping

November 4, 2010

Yes I know, it’s pretty common these days to take the “no shopping for tot days” pledge… but it looks like it’s a necessity for lots of us!

I obviously have a serious problem: I can’t save any money at all, nor for buying myself a designer piece or something… I just spend everything I have in my pocket for as many things I can grab with that money.
It’s awkward.
I have tons of fabrics, do it yourself supplies, things I buy from flea markets and I say “I’m gonna do this this and this to this garment!” and I unfailingly do nothing at all.
How to avoid this?
Many tried before us. There are many initiatives, like Wardrobe Refashion, the 30×30 remix challenge, or the Uniform Project: I think the secret is sharing. Do you know when something works only because there are people like you, or friends who support you, and avoid you give in to temptation again, like when you are on a diet.
The real problem with the addiction to shopping is that you actually think YOU NEED that something, and THEN your wardrobe will be finally complete. WRONG! After that thing, your ChicNova, Asos, Shopbop and whatsoever will tell you that there is this other little thing which finally will complete your (collapsing) closet!
It’s the exact thing that I did when thinking about starting a rehab myself. I said ok I can handle that, but first I need those couple of things that my wardrobe is lacking. I can’t help but thinking about these things now that I want to start the rehab! Does it happen to you?
I feel upset about it. It seems to me I can’t “manage” myself.
Edit 01/08/2011: Gala has just posted an article about Shopping Detox. I find this very useful and interesting, you may want to give it a look!

Some tips I find useful for myself as well:

  1. Stay away from Ebay, Amazon, Asos and whatsoever! 
  2. Stay faaar away from department stores, shopping streets and such.
  3. Tide up your wardrobe! Pull everything out, put everything in order! You’ll see there’s much stuff you didn’t remember and ideas on how to wear it will come!
  4. Prepare your day outfit on the evening before you go to sleep: having more time and calm to decide will help not to fall in “I have nothing to wear” thought you always have when you’re in a hurry and outfits don’t jump out of the closet wearing themselves out!
  5. Do a list of basic things you REALLY need, and do scheduled shopping like: bring a very little money with you so you only buy what you really need, and buy one thing per time!
  6. Leave your bank card and credit card at HOME!
  7. Do something creative: use your diy skills and create something yourself from yourself; it’s amazingly rewarding in terms of self esteem and money saving.
  8. Do lots of things in your spare time: watch movies, tv serials, read tons of books, draw, do diy projects… it helps to not think about false needs.

Do you have some other suggestions that worked for you or that you think could help?

photo credit: Aaron Webb | Cláudia*~Assad via photopin cc


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Hey, it's Elisa, the woman who founded in 2010, when it was called styleBizarre. I gave this blog to another awesome woman and she's now running the whole thing: Cynthia. If you want to follow me on my website or social media please click on the icons that are probably showing somewhere around this text box :D

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Maya • Fashion Illustration blog

oh I keep my fingers crossed this goes well. I personally dont have a shopping addiction, but do have my little " habits" I go into when I need to cheer myself up and all that.
Hope you do great on this! 🙂


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Merry Makes..

Vivian- about those really well-worn black leggings: well-worn means they are good quality, that they fit you, and you wear them in comfort. It also implies that they contribute to many outfits that you love wearing. So, until you throw away one of these well-worn, well-loved, multi-tasking black-leggings, you do NOT NEED a replacement. That's it! 🙂

As for colour-matching issues with your 'must-have' suede bag and boots – if you downsize your 'need' in your mind, you're bound to come across even better ones which will have all the qualities you like in these AND you will end up the proud owner – and much more importantly – user, of a genuinely fantastic bag/boots with additional gratifying attributes 😀

So tell me: are you even starting to feel persuaded to pass-up on these items..? Because if you are, I can offer some very persuasive arguments for why you don't NEED the other items as well.


Ahaha Merry, are you applying to be my personal analyst? That would be great ahah!
Anyway, about the black leggings: by "worn out" I meant that they're actually ruined, some have holes, some have all those annoying "dots" that come out of fabric when you wash things many times and so on! So Buying new ones was actually needed, I did it in fact XD I've also bought the brown suede boots, that was not needed, I used them twice since I bought them. I never wear brown. But I will use them I promise! 😀
And the grey bag, I actually did not buy any, since I own many black ones I can match!
Actually, I'm doing pretty good about my (forced) shopping rehab, I haven't been shopping anything in the last couple of months! Which really is a lot for me! I'm afraid of the moment I'll have my next salary into my pockets though. 🙁


That's funny, Vivian 🙂
Not a personal analyst but I can totally relate to some of your dilemmas as I've been there myself. I find it helps to focus on convincing myself of why I don't need to keep adding to my wardrobe, hence the arguments against your must-have items. Think of all the other things in life we'd love to have a little extra cash for..

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