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A Few Good Habits

Organized-Closet-450x489

Streamlining my personal style helped pick up a few good habits along the way. I will admit, I am still a long way from making them permanent ‘muscle memory’. Slowly and surely, we all get there, don’t we? Here is my list of good habits:

  1. Keeping a track of my clothes: I might be a little intense about tracking my clothing inventory. It is just the kind of person I am! Each time I start a tracker, I love to build a few metrics and pie charts around them (Price, Monthly Spends, Items in each category, Number of times worn, Do I still like it? What don’t I like about it? etc). I update the details once a week.  Frankly, I find the process very soothing. Maybe it is just the research analyst in me. It is almost like taking readings in a science experiment. The tracker helps me understand my purchasing behavior, my successes and my not-so-good decisions. Ultimately, it is to know myself better.
  2. Understanding Cost Per Wear: For someone who keeps such diligent clothing  and accessories tracker, I still believe cost per wear is a PHILOSOPHY, NOT A SCIENCE. Cost per wear doesn’t mean you have to wear your luxury handbag to death, or the same bridesmaid dress to every party. For instance, I have a few jewelry pieces which I bought for my wedding day. They are worth a substantial amount of my earnings. I don’t wear them often. But they are still some of my most cherished items. If and when I buy an expensive item,  I am not in a hurry to wear it to death. Sometimes one may buy an item with an ‘eye-watering’ price tag to mark a milestone in one’s life. As long as you are not eroding your financial and mental health with that purchase, all is well.

    david-webb-jackie-kennedy

    David Webb

  3. NOT reading fashion blogs DAILY: I no longer read the typical fashion blogs. In the past, I used to love checking out a few famous bloggers. There was something new to checkout everyday, right? Slowly, all their outfits started to become too crazy or too formulaic or too sponsored. It started to bother me that many of them never repeat an outfit as if it was a thing of shame. I couldn’t honestly subscribe to the madness of building bottomless wardrobes. Also, most outfits did not fit a traditional office or a normal body type or even a normal life! Now, I only read a few blogs – mostly the ones I have listed in my LOVE section. Some of them are no longer active, but I still check on them time to time, hoping to see if they will come back.  My eyes are more critical now.
  4. NO MORE Online Shopping at night! : This is the best thing I am doing to my body, skin and mind. I used to consider online shopping a stress buster after a 16 hour work day. Last year was one of the crappiest years in recent times for me. The general unhappiness combined with instant high of chasing down a particular piece of clothing or shoe was bad for me. Not anymore. It is such a buzz killer and frankly I have other things to take care of. Having said that, it is still a work in progress. The online shopping devil rears its head once in a while. I am learning to tame it!
  5. Donating or selling things I don’t wear or use any longer: There is so much less clutter in the house. I love it. I am still cleaning out and finding things that I could wear more, give to a friend, sell to a consignment store or just donate. It is such an eye opening process. I am slow to acquire and slow to dispose.
  6. Giving up ‘The Hunt’: Somehow, we women (and perhaps stylish men too?) make shopping a hunt! We want to find the best deal for the most spectacular piece of clothing. Frankly, It is exhausting and hard to keep track of what goes on sale when, and what website has a better price. Understanding that anything I miss out on will eventually turn up on eBay / consignment stores Or will come back into fashion Or will be forgotten within 10 days is the simple truth that I am constantly drilling into my head now.                                                                                 
  7. Unsubscribe for Fashion Magazines: During the course of 2016, I unsubscribed from all Fashion and Lifestyle magazines (Digital and Print). The pages are filled with ads. Some times, I am not inspired by even one look in a given monthly edition. I am feeling the itch to subscribe to Porter again, but resisting it strongly. Instead, I read more books – style or otherwise. I watch more documentaries. I enjoy reviewing clothes in movies.audrey-hepburn-reading-by-mark-shaw

Are there any new habits (style or non-style ones) you are working on right now? Are there any habits that you worked on in the past and reaping their benefits now? I would love to know!

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. These are all great habits. I’m working on a few of these myself: the wardrobe inventory seems like it would give me a better perspective on my consumption and my tastes in clothing, and I also need to remind myself that The Hunt is probably not the best way to approach shopping. One thing that I noticed is that as moderate as I normally am with shopping, I will occasionally fixate on a specific item out of the blue, and really want it. I usually don’t act on the impulse to actually buy it, but the cycle of really intensely wanting something, reining myself in, and letting that interest fizzle out is not something I want to feel as regularly as I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 18, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you! I am glad that the habits are doctor approved! 🙂 I think a wardrobe inventory can be very eye opening. It just gave me a better sense of what I buy vs what I really wear. I actually go in and make notes about each product as I keep using them – what I don’t like, what I love etc. It just makes me realize more about myself. Of course, on the financial side, I compare the prices for a favorite items. Interestingly, most of them are modestly priced. The expensive items are not really my favorites. I also like to see how many of those shoe pairs really get used. I could go on! 🙂

      On the hunt, I hear you: At the beginning of the year, I was slightly obsessed with this really beautiful denim dress. I wanted it to go on sale. At some point, I realized how I would not get enough wear out of it, with my current lifestyle. I went from being very interested to no interest at all. It was so not worth my time to track it.

      Like

      September 19, 2017
  2. Katrina #

    Your clothing tracking really interests me! I’d love to see a post with more details of it…

    Liked by 1 person

    September 19, 2017
    • SA. #

      I’ll definitely try to show something. But, I think it is just excel sheet with a lot of notes and a few simple charts or graphs.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 19, 2017
  3. Yes to the fashion excel spreadsheets! I love it! It’s satisfying to get rid of things isn’t it? My friend has been getting a goodie bag from me (makeup, skincare, accessories, clothes) everytime we get together lately. lol! I implemented a 1 in-1 out heels policy several years ago, and it worked well for me in curbing the purchase of heels that I rarely end up wearing.

    I saw a david webb and a Kenneth Jay Lane museum exhibits several years ago. What a fun piece! You would like the fine jewelry/antique fairs that come into town in the winter, over the last several years I’ve noticed the sellers bring more of the vintage David Webb, tutti-frutti jewels down vs. art deco styles.

    I find the fashion ads have better styling, better models (bigger budget?), more creative/interesting than the editorials. I unsubscribed from certain youtube channels for the time being. I like them, but I realize that I have no interest in watching hours of reviews of eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, makeup techniques, etc… that I have zero interest in applying to myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 19, 2017
    • SA. #

      A fellow fashion spreadsheet fan! Yes, It is very liberating to get rid of things I don’t use anymore. Another by-product of getting rid / selling stuff is that it helps us clearly realize that many times one can only regain a quarter or half of what you spend (especially mid-tier brands). It just makes me evaluate my future purchases and wishlist with a more critical eye.

      Oh, I would have loved to visit that exhibit! David Webb is still out of my budget, at least the pieces I fall in love with. Lol! I am curious to know how vintage pieces are priced at fairs vs the prices I see online. Let me check out if there is a jewelry fair/exhibition coming our way in Arizona. I am so glad you mention tutti-frutti jewels!! Some of those Cartier’s tutti-frutti versions are so gorgeous. A girl can dream, right? 🙂

      Like

      September 20, 2017
  4. Totally agree about fashion ads being more attractive and better styles than editorial pieces. Magazines signed their own death warrant back in the 90s when they sold out to the markets by propke. There is hardly anything worth reading in magazine nowadays.
    I also have zero interest in watching complicated you tube videos about contouring make up or bag reviews ad nauseum..😄

    Liked by 1 person

    September 19, 2017
    • SA. #

      I am glad both of you mention magazines and editorial pieces! I feel the same way too. Many of the editorial looks are just that – VERY editorial (see through rain coats and patent leather pants!). With fashion ads, at least the stylists seem to be more tuned into what is wearable.

      I am also irked with some of those editorial articles. For instance, they showcase a little know American who just got married to a little known European royal family member. All of a sudden, she lives in this 16th century chateau. I find it hilarious that she is photographed in the latest Valentino dress, holding a pair of shears and standing on top of a ladder in the chateau grounds. We are all given a taste of how her bohemian style fits ‘perfectly’ with her new life. Such articles are so vague and obscure. I would rather see a little known person or even a little known royal who has a real job and doesn’t just prance around lawns. Sorry, rant finished 🙂

      Like

      September 20, 2017
  5. I suppose the habit that I am REALLY working on right now (and it isn’t a habit, per se) is to get to my various classes regularly (yoga, swimming, strength training, Tai Chi) and to not skip any due to inertia. Of late, it feels like my life has virtually exploded with a plethora of physical activities. I wasn’t this person before, and I am trying to adjust to her and her various pursuits. 🙂 Oh, I forgot spoken French, another class I joined recently.

    It is a lot of fun, and I find myself charmed and energized in equal measure. But inertia is a real thing. I tend to be a bit of a homebody who likes her solitary pursuits. But I am slowly getting into the routine of things, and hopefully, these habits will stick on for life.

    In terms of style/wardrobe/clothing, my mantra has been “mindful consumption” for a while now. Also, I really need to figure out a smart/easy way to make epilating part of my routine. I have a bunch of sweet skirts/dresses but I am always unsure if my legs stand up to scrutiny, so I end up not wearing them. 😦 Bugs me to no end. Now that winter is nearing, perhaps I can wear them with tights, etc.

    Like

    September 24, 2017
    • SA. #

      I love your choice of classes! I am a homebody too, and inertia against movement is indeed a real thing. I wish to go for permanent hair removal (laser) for my legs and then I keep retracting. I haven’t had luck with laser hair removal in the past. For now epilating it is!

      Like

      September 25, 2017
  6. Xin #

    I really like tracking things, whether it’s my budget or my wardrobe. (I haven’t been able to maintain one consistent wardrobe spreadsheet, however. I don’t quite have a system for that yet.)

    I’ve never been a magazine person myself. For the most part, fashion magazines just aren’t relatable. I suppose I’ve been using blogs for inspiration for a long time, though even then it’s rare for something specific from a blog to lead me to wanting to get something.

    Like

    October 1, 2017
    • SA. #

      You are absolutely right about fashion magazines! I used to be in love with some of the pictures and photography, especially those accompanying the cover stories. But, that interest has waned. Also, I love the written word so much that I keep hoping a fashion magazine would have some beautiful thought pieces to read. As a general rule I am disappointed. With the advent of so many online magazines and long reads, I have better avenues to look at.

      About keeping a consistent spreadsheet, it took me a while. Now I have a simple system in place. I use different tabs in the spreadsheet to track wishlists, CPW for Shoes, CPW for clothes etc. Some times I just open a new tab and write notes about what works on me and what doesn’t! I know.. a little too much 🙂

      Like

      October 7, 2017
  7. I so love reading this post! So helpful when sharing this kind of information. I stopped buying fashion magazines more than a decade ago. The single most important thing I learnt to do is track my things and for me this is best when I can see most of them. I have given myself a limit on twice yearly purchases – the second most important thing to me is making a shopping list and I can’t do that properly if I don’t know what I have and keep regularly checking.

    Like

    October 10, 2017
    • SA. #

      I admire your wardrobe so much! I am glad to hear that keeping a tracker does help indeed. Hopefully, I may end up with a collection as stylish as yours one day 🙂

      Like

      October 11, 2017

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