Three Weeks & Counting...


Guest Grit by Amanda Gilbert


{Amanda Gilbert has accepted a challenge: NOT to buy clothes for an entire year. This is the second of four posts that track her endeavor (read the first and second here). The Virginia native moved to Charleston in 2007, and currently lives with her husband in Mount Pleasant. A speech-language pathologist and board certified behavior analyst, she's the co-owner of Aspire, LLC, a clinic in the Goose Creek area that provides therapy to children with autism.}


I’m three weeks away from my “no new clothes for a year” challenge being complete.  It’s certainly gone by quicker than I’d feared, and been surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. That’s not to say I didn’t have times when I was tempted to purchase just a little something, especially around the four- to five-month mark, but after that, the urge wasn’t quite so strong. I do have a few strategies that made this year more bearable. 


Part of the excitement of getting a new garment for me is the hunt, especially finding on-trend pieces for less. So since I can’t look for myself, I’ve been helping others find great items, like this $65 sequin jacket I found for my friend who spotted a pricey one at Nordstrom ($590).


Nordstrom                                              Piperlime


I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that trends often cycle around through the years, and I’m fortunate that my grandmother saved many of the things she wore when she was my age. It’s all been carefully stored, and digging through hope chests when I visit my family always results in a great find. 


This is a purse she carried to her prom (I also carried it in my wedding).


She made this crochet collar (along with two others she passed on to me...)


This was her wedding dress.


One more helpful strategy has been beauty trends. Fashion and makeup trends go hand-in-hand, so I can wear the new colors of the season and jazz up even a basic tee.



A few of my favorites: (from left) L’Oreal’s Cotton Pink, Maybelline’s Shocking Coral, Maybelline’s Are You Red-dy, NYX Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink


As much as I love fashion, I have enjoyed using a bit of creativity to find new ways to wear pieces I already own and ways to feed my urge to look for new things.


So what are my plans once the year is up? First, a massive closet-cleaning and reorganizing is in order. I think it’s safe to say if I didn’t wear it this year I can part with it. My friend, who did the challenge with me, and I have been contemplating where we could go for a fun mini vacation as a little reward. Surprisingly, we haven’t been too concerned about where the best shopping destination would be. We assume it will be like it always is when you save up to look for great pieces; you never find exactly what you’re looking for. I always find the best things when I stop by a store just to browse in the middle of my errands. I do plan on some shopping; top on my list is a chambray shirt. I’ve been eyeing this one by Madewell. I realize that seems like such a basic, unexciting purchase after a whole year, but aside from helping friends, I haven’t been spending a lot of time looking at new apparel in stores or online. I’m sure once I actually get back in the game I’ll find plenty of items worthy of considering as additions to my closet; however after this year, I’ll be a little more thoughtful in my purchases.