Hi friends! While #noshop19 is full steam ahead, I’ve gotten quite a few DM’s and emails about recommended classic items. I haven’t had much time to shop around (slash tempt myself) but I did get a quick preview of the summer ShopBop sale (extra 25% off sale with SCORE19) and rounded up a BUNCH of items I would confidently add to my closet.
Hello to many new faces who may have found me via my friend Julia! This is my third monthly update in my attempt to curb consumption and buy responsibly in 2019. You can find more about why here as well as my January update here and my February update here.
Chris will probably find quite a bit of satisfaction in this reflection but I have to give it to him – I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m really good at making rules that only I know to how to bend to my advantage (without technically breaking them).
March and April blurred into one with a busy few weeks at work (and now it’s May?!) so I’m combining those updates into one. I really struggled this Spring. I didn’t fail in terms of my rules as I sold six shirts, two dresses, two bags, two pairs of pants, a pair of shoes, two pairs of sunglasses and a blazer as well as a bunch of skincare. I also donated/gave away/threw away another two pairs of shoes, two shirts, three pairs of pants and a pair of pajamas. I literally cannot stop selling things.
I also can’t, however, stop replacing them. Hmm. If you’ve been following along since the beginning, you might identify this behavior as familiar (spoiler alert: this compulsion for finding the “perfect” item is a big reason I started #noshop19 in the first place).
While it’s disappointing to see this behavior resurfacing after what I’d consider a strong start to the project, I have learned a tremendous amount about my self in the process that’s made my relative failure worth it.
- I recognized the behavior immediately. I replaced a few things in January + February, but they were genuine “replacements” that I needed and I did controlled, intentional research before I purchased. This time, I sold sold sold and then shopped shopped shopped – browsing, ordering, returning, deciding I liked something and then that I hated it three weeks later and started the process all over again.
- I know why I’m doing it. The one big difference between Jan/Feb and March/April was a significant upswing in stress. My uncle passed away really unexpectedly, and I flew out to Utah for the funeral with Nell. The emotional stress of losing a family member coupled with the physical stress of flying alone with a baby really took their toll. We tried to make the most of our pre-planned vacation the week after when we met C in Florida, but I was stressed about getting behind at work and it took us a bit to settled in to a new routine on vacation with a toddler. I definitely tried to make myself feel better by “filling in the gaps” I had created in my wardrobe by cleaning out but I got a bit carried away. I can tell you that buying things will not make you feel better when you are sad or stressed. The power of consumption is always temporary. I look forward to reminding myself of this the next time I’m emotionally driven to shop online.
- Technically I didn’t break any rules. I didn’t buy any more than I have gotten rid of, the majority of it was purchased second-hand (a lot with Poshmark credits) and 99% of the items purchased are high-quality items I see in my wardrobe for years.
- Even four months in to this project, I feel SO much more confident about my personal style. I now know that I prefer:
o To invest on unique tops that make me feel polished but comfortable
o To limit the number of jeans/pants I buy as I tend to stick the few that fit best
o A wardrobe of neutral colors (white/cream/black/blue/grey/tan) that I can easily mix and match
o A well-curated and simple accessory collection that I can wear every day
o Well-made flats and sneakers – the extra expense is worth it to me
o To keep transition from only browns to more blacks in my wardrobe, allowing more of my closet to do double-duty at work and at home
o To think twice about adding more blazers to my wardrobe, I may love them but I hardly wear them
o The way I felt in January and Feb! Buying again made me feel even more stressed and started to confuse the confidence I’d been feeling about the wardrobe I’d already built.
- The good news is I believe learning is iterative. The best part of blogging about this is the opportunity to live, stop, reflect, and improve.
- I recognized the behavior while it was happening but didn’t try very hard to stop myself. It wasn’t until the boxes of returns starting piling up that I realized I’d gone right back to my old behavior.
- My rules were not made to be bent. I’m not doing myself or my planet any favors by pushing more donations and clothing into the marketplace and buying more stuff. This project is about more than myself and I need to remain cognizant of why I set out on this experiment.
- I’m really coming around to accepting that I need to take on less. I simply don’t have the headspace to manage all that I commit to – being a great mom and wife to my family as we learn our way into parenthood, a demanding job where I’m not willing to sacrifice performance or put my own responsibility on my team, a home to keep tidy and welcoming, and my health that requires a little extra TLC than the average woman. None of these are negotiable. I’m hard to pressed to keep all of this afloat yet I add on Instagram, occasional blogging, #noshop19, super restrictive eating plans…of COURSE I don’t feel like I’m doing anything well.
The mantra of this challenge was buying less, appreciating more, and doing my part to help reduce consumption and buck the trend of the fashion industry’s unsustainable pace. I have decided to give myself grace and acknowledge that despite these bumpy challenges, I am still succeeding at absolutely every part of this mantra. My progress may not be perfect but it’s moving me in the right direction and only motivating me to keep getting better.
So what now? I’m going to keep going. May has been purchase-free aside from a few makeup items I bought on a work field trip and I’m taking the month to re-center and focus on my family, my job, and my health. I know if I do that (like really do that), the distraction of consumption won’t be hard to ignore.
I’d love to know if anyone is still chugging along with me! Let me know if you have any questions – I will get right back to you in the comments, it’s much easier for me to respond there vs. DM’s. Thanks again for your support!
I can’t be alone in saying this winter has STUNK. Here in New England we had ice storm after ice storm, arctic blasts, and more moody grey days than I can ever remember. And if you’re raising a child(ren) like us, you probably caught every illness up and down the Oregon Trail. Seriously, what is roseola? Hand foot mouth disease? And as I’m writing this, we just got back from the pediatrician where Nell has not a single but a DOUBLE ear infection along with DOUBLE pink eye. Kidding me? Daycare life can hit you like a ton of bricks.
Anyways, Meg and I try to constantly remind ourselves that in the grand scheme of things we are so lucky. We have a home, awesome friends + family, working cars, careers and a beautiful 1 year old with all the sass we can handle. We are truly blessed. It’s sometimes tough to appreciate things that are going well, when everything seems to be going wrong for weeks and months on end. Hand up, I need to do a better job of taking a step back as we approach the new spring season. I need to refocus some of my thinking into solution-focused thoughts versus, “wahhh we don’t have any more creamer for coffee or ugh can you believe she has another fever!?!” Complaining about it really never helps the situation. (Meg comment: I fully support this)
I guess if anything, this winter has taught me to appreciate what we have, and not what we don’t. Taking some must need tips from Meg’s “no shop” challenge, my goal moving forward is to focus on the simple things that make me happy. Whether it’s the clothes on my back or appreciating the overall health of my family, taking the time to appreciate the little things matters. And aside from squeezing Nell until she almost pops from laughing so hard, one of the BEST feelings is saying goodbye to bone chilling temps, cracking open some windows and transitioning into comfortable, fashionable springtime attire. So with that, here are my menswear must-haves as we leave the winter behind and focus on greener, and healthier pastures ahead!
This retro anorak jacket has one of the better color blocking schemes I’ve seen. It’s super flexible and ML got it right by adding the side zippers to make it easier to put on or take off.
We all have that favorite pair of pants in our drawer and the Hill City Everyday Pant takes the top seed for my current favorite pair of pants. The stretch is unreal and quite frankly a game changer when constantly bending over to pick up Nell or run 10 errands in a row. There’s also a hidden sneaky back pocket with a zipper to secure wallet and other essentials. May sound like a minor detail, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Oh, and they come in SIX different colors. Go grab your new favorite chinos today.
Being honest, I feel sort of lame putting socks on here but these performance socks from Hill City are so.dope. I’ve been using them for workouts but also with a pair of vans. To me they’re at a very nice balance between fit and thickness. I have them in all colors. I suggest you do the same!
I’ll be honest. The color options for these hoodies sold me immediately. They remind me of J. Crew from the mid-2000’s when they had hoodies very similar to these. I love the “faded wine” and it actually looks even better in person. It is the PERFECT spring transition piece and I imagine it’ll also be worn during late night fire pit conversations with my neighbors well into the summer. Pricing is extremely reasonable as well (currently 30% off with code NEWNEW).
As I’m writing this there are some left in stock but by the time Meg posts this there very well could not be any left. If you’ve followed me over the years, you know I love my Killshots (4 pair club woot woot). The burgundy differs from the previous navy blue Nike check, and this time features more of a mesh foam material. At first glance I was hesitant because burgundy is not the easiest to match with, but will be an awesome pop of color with spring time basics. So throw on a grey hoodie, jeans along with the new burgundy Killshots and you’ll be all set.
Maine’s finest sure got it right this spring. I am probably most excited about their spring pieces since they’re pretty much all-year round items that just thrive best come this time a year.
This pullover defies gravity with how lightweight it feels. The fabric is constructed so that it keeps you warm when the temps drop but comfy when on the go. I just recently wore it on a 3-mile run and didn’t get too hot or cold, but just right. For reference, I’m 6’3 and hover around 210lbs. I take a Large, Tall.
I will most likely include this sweater in any and every menswear must-haves I write about because it’s one of the best, most appreciated items in my closet. Just your classic cable knit sweater that’s wearable all year long. It pairs really well with shorts on the beach, but also layers really well with an oxford button down even in the dead of winter. Even if this sweater came in neon yellow, I would consider getting it. I take a Large. (Meg note: if not for #noshop19 I’d be buying this for myself as I have a long torso and the women’s version runs short!)
All year The hand pockets and 3-point adjustable hood allows of a more custom-fit look to it. I am actually just a Large in this.
I needed a new backpack like crazy so snagged this. I use it almost everywhere I go whether it be commuting to work, running errands with Nell, and on vacations. This pack is great because it’s durable through all types of weather, has great padded space for my iPad, and the shoulder straps are comfortable for a change.
This is basically two of LLB’s most iconic items smashed together. It’s the bean boot and boat & tote combined to make the best of both worlds. Great for pool and beach days along with weekend visits. I got it in olive but also LOVE it in the camouflage look.
Many thanks to LLBean for sending me some new spring duds!