The Rules of No Shopping

By Liz Klemt*

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In case you're just tuning in, I am NOT going shopping (clothes, shoes, accessories) for an entire year. In my first post, I laid it out for you, very black and white. But now for the details:

As we all know, life is the opposite of black and white. So I knew I needed to make several stipulations of my “no shopping” New Year's resolution. They are as follows:

  1. I may exchange or return items that I do not like or do not fit. The credit must be used the same day in the same store that I returned the item(s) to.
  2. I may purchase new running shoes (mine are two-years-old and currently have holes) and/or hiking boots that may be needed in the seasons to come (because this is Colorado, duh).
  3. I may not ask for clothes, shoes or accessories as gifts.
  4. If I do receive clothes, shoes or accessories as gifts, I may accept them.

So there I was, standing in Kohl's with my $13.96 credit that I had gotten from the return I just made. Make the most of this, Liz. Pick something really good. As I wandered through the racks of clothing, I wondered what would provide me with the most bang for my buck.

I searched though clearance racks and twisted through the aisles.  Until I found it. A chunky knit sweater. Soft and slouchy with a cowl neck.  The perfect weight, not too heavy, not too light. Goldilock's porridge in sweater form. Then I see that it's on sale!   But wait...$19.99. Thoughts start darting through my brain. Do I break my New Year's resolution over this sweater?! It's only been, like, a week; that's just pathetic. Well, I'm here alone, no one would have to know...

Then my phone rings.

Mom: What's up?

Me: I'm somewhere I'm not supposed to be...

Mom: What do you mean..?! *sounding slightly panicked*

Me: Shopping...

Mom: You BETTER be at the grocery store!

Me: Nope...

Interesting how you feel like you have something under control until you are thrown into a situation. Walking into Kohl's, I felt confident. I wasn't about to let some piece of clothing make me stumble on this resolution I made to myself. My headstrong attitude promptly crumbled after seeing what I COULD own and placing my value in that instead of who I am. That's what drives our society and shopping: the person that I will  become when I wear x, y, and z. No piece of clothing will ever complete you, make you or break you, or prove your worth the way our society alludes to.

I ended up using my $13.96 on a pair of wool socks for hiking and a pair of small silver hoops to replace a similar pair that had rusted up.  With $2.15 received in cash back, I exited the store, and I reflected on how no purchase is ever worth compromising who you are or what you have resolved to do.  I inhaled the fresh Colorado air and thought to myself 348 days to go!


Readers, are there any other stipulations you think I should add or take away? Do you feel like you've ever let purchases or material things define you or an aspect of yourself?

Liz is currently a social worker in Denver, CO. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @Y0LK_.

*Guest post. Contact if you are interested in guest posting.