Image credit: Koen Dries CC by 2.0

Image credit: Koen Dries CC by 2.0

Today I went shopping for a pair of blank leggings to replace a now deceased pair (RIP). In my head I also wanted a pair of white jeans, a chambray or denim shirt, and another work-appropriate tops. I walked away with nothing because for the first time maybe ever I couldn’t justify the money. It wasn’t that the items were particularly expensive or that I’m not making anything – I just didn’t like the idea of spending $150 on three items that were probably not worth the average $50 each.

A lot has changed in my life over the last few months, most notably I got engaged. With an engagement comes a wedding and with a wedding comes a cost. We have finally set a budget which means we can search for vendors with that number in mind. So when I went shopping to find a pair of white jeans I didn’t see white jeans. I saw a dress. And flowers. And a photographer. I saw all the wedding things that my mere $150 could be sent toward.

Full disclosure: I love to buy clothes. I watch for trends, I read the blogs, I follow fashion bloggers on Instagram. I like to be fashionable and “in-style” while maintaining my own personal taste. That being said, I have always known my limits. As much as I would love to own everything Cara Delevigne wears when she goes to 1 Oak or wherever, I am well aware that I can’t afford it. So rather than moaning that I don’t own a Louis Vuitton or can’t possibly afford the $400 Kate Spade skirt, I shop smart. I don’t spend a lot on trends and what I do buy I wear the ever-loving life out of (just ask every pair of shoes I’ve had to send up the river. By the time I’m done with them they look like they’ve been through the trenches in France circa 1916).

At the end of that shopping trip, with nary a bag in my hands, my fiance and I went to do our weekly food shop. We added the usuals, got the essentials, and splurged on the good coffee. In the drinks aisle I saw Skinnygirl Sparklers on sale, 4 for $5 and I bought them. That was a cost I could justify, not just because it was only $5, but also because I hadn’t bought the jeans.

In the car ride home I asked my fiance if I should have bought the clothes.

“Honestly,” he said, “they didn’t seem worth it . You have a lot of clothes so you didn’t really need them. Maybe wait until Christmas or something and get some giftcards.”

“Do you think I can not by clothes until January?” I asked.

“Do YOU think you can do that?” he challenged.

So here it is: I challenge myself to not buy clothes until January 2016.

And here are the caveats:

  •     My wedding dress does not count.
  •     I have $100 cash left over from my birthday. I am free to spend that on clothes, but not a penny more, and will put nothing on my credit card.

Over the next four months I will have to stare longingly at Vogue and InStyle and “manage” with the closet I’ve built over the last few years. My journey (to my closet and back)has begun.