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Shopping free 2014 – lessons from last year

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I have now completed one year without buing any new clothes from high street and decided it was time to take a look at the lessons I take with me from this eventful year. I love organising, so this post is also divided into main topics that are on the most prominent ones from last year. I really hope that my experiment would inspire other also to try a shopping-free time in their life or to consume more ethically or even see second-hand as a viable shopping option. I will add some pics from my favourite styles to make the post a bit more interesting.

1. Easier than Expected

I have said this several times during 2014 and still the same theme is the first one to come to mind when looking back to 2014: the ease of this challenge. Initially I had some serious doubts on how I could ever go through one whole year without buing nothing new except stockings and underwear. But I realised after Christmas that the year had passed so quickly and Ishould really write a recap of the challenge. So now the year has officially finished and I feel my wardrobe is much more interesting than in the beginning of this year. I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything, almost on the contrary. So I really recommend anyone to try this.

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2. Journey to Creativity

This year has been also a journey back to creativity in variety of ways. DIY – and sewing projects have been so inspiring and I feel I have regained back my enthusiasm to sew clothes myself, a trait that has been missing for almost two decedes now. I have never been the best or neatest sewer at school so I could have hardly ever imagined to be blogging on DIY. I’m so glad I got my hands on a book by a Finnish Trashionista Outi Pyy. She convinced me that it was ok to do DIY sewing even if I wasn’t the perfect seamstress. And because I let myself do this in my own good-enough way, I am much better at sewing and DIYing than I was a year ago. Little by little, I have tried my hand on a more complex projects and learned new techniques. So if someone reading this is wondering, could I do that too, I can now safely say: You definitely could! The jkey is to start from the easier projects and give your self time to learn and get better. My initial aim was to do 12 DIYs, but I finished doing 35 projects, so almost three times as many as planned.

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One thing that has really fuelled my creativity is the use of recycled materials. It is so awesome to make something new and usable out of something that has already been doomed to be binned. You kind of blow a new life into it. And this did definitely not finish 31st December 2014, but will continue with (hopefully) better resluts as I get more proficient in what I do.

3. Redeeming Back my  Personal Style 

I have written about this before, but this theme is something that thrills me. For years I have been settling with the seasonal trends that the international clothing brands have produced without giving it that much thought. I would always pick the clothes I liked from the styles available, but often my own visions of a certain style never materialised when the stores only had certain types of clothes available. Now I feel I am free from the trend dictators and free to express myself with clothing the way I want. Not the way they want me to.  About time for a woman in my age, huh? I have rediscovered my own style and I can safely say that my clothes feel like my own now. It has also been liberating to take all my  bad shopping choices to the flea market. Felt like confessing my sins in that area 😀 Of course I will make bad choices and buy stuff I’ll never use in the future, nobody’s perfect. However, if I keep buing second-hand mostly, my mistakes won’t cost me that much or feel that bad. And there’s always DIYing 🙂

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4. Clothing Care and Underwear 

How can someone live almost to their 40s without realising the importance of clothing care or underwear?? During this year I have learned NOT to wash my clothes so much. Might sound disgusting, but if the item is not dirty, there are other ways of refreshing it, like airing for example. I have also tried not to was my children’s clothes if they are not dirty. Previously I have done it out of pure obligation. Of course if clothes get dirty and smelly they blong to the wash, but for those worn a few times and smelling ok, I would still wear them after airing. And jeans… haven’t really washed them at all this year.

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Another matter is the well fitting underwear. I realised my old clothes looked so much better when I had a good bra under them. Such a basic thing and I have known this in theory forever. I just haven’t put this in practice that much until now.

What Next?

One big question is how my life will continue after this fasting on high street shopping. My husband was asking me in December whether I would go out on the January sales to fulfill all of my shopping dreams and buy all things I wasn’t able to last year, because of my challenge. Well, I haven’t yet and will not in the future either. In fact, curiously enough I haven’t really missed going out shopping for myself that much. I have been walking through nice department stores without feeling sad about not being able to buy anything. Instead I have been getting inspired for my DIY projects on the clothes I have seen.  Somehow it feels even better than just going and buying theitem I want.

Of course there are some needs I have and I do intend to get a quality pair of leather boots to replace an old pair. I also need some basic tops to wear underneath my clothes, that I haven’t found second hand.

In general, I think I will continue pretty much the same way I have done during this year. I will be buying shoes, sportswear and some of the ourdoor gear new, but will keep checking the second hand stuff and getting most of my clothes from there. I would also like to go to a more ethical direction with my purchases. I have no idea how I became such a hippie, but that’s the wai it is now 😛

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In short, this has been the best year for me regarding my wardrobe and self expression through my styles. I think this ecological and ethical way of living and DIYing is quickly becoming a lifestyle for me. But I still want to do it without being too absolute and fundamentalist about it. I still want to look great and trendy, but I also don’t want someone (like a textiel worker in Bangladesh) to have to pay a price for me looking cool.

I will also keep blogging, so I hope you stay tuned for 2015 as well. Happy new year my dear readers and thanks for following my journey 2014. My New Year’s resolution is to make 2015 equally exciting as last year was in discovering the world of DIY and style.

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