Monday, 28 January 2013

Why I've Been Buying Less... And It's Not Because I'm Sensible.

The last major shopping trip I had was on 30th December. For me, this is incredibly unusual - normally the cravings to buy are kicking in all the time, nearly as much as the cravings that tell me to eat that next chocolate bar... but enough about my issues. The thing is, aside from buying some comedy bunting and a massive skull moneybox, I've been pretty - gulp - restrained. But why?

Vintage suitcases and luggage - black and white
 [Image via Getty Images].

I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions; in fact, New Year's Eve normally makes me feel pretty dejected, after realising all of the things I didn't achieve in the last 12 months, but this time it was different. As someone who works in travel and is currently focusing on several different projects, I'm finding that more and more of my time is spent checking out travel bloggers, lusting over photo spreads in Lonely Planet Traveller and getting envious. Things came to a head when I spent the early hours of New Year's Day chatting to several people who were much more travelled than I am - you know, the ones who have actually been to all of those places you see in the pages of Elle; the place behind the US Vogue shoot that made my heart skip a beat (it was a piece called El Dorado, in the September 2012 issue). It was then that I decided that 2013 would be the year I'd travel a hell of a lot more. 

What really sealed the deal was when I began to measure the cost of all the clothing I never get round to wearing, then I put that against the price of travel (after taking the stuff down to the charity shop, obvs). I dread to think how much I waste in a year, but already I've managed to cut down and actually think, then double think, about whether I seriously need what I'm buying or if I just think it's bloody hilarious and might be worth a laugh if I wear it for one night, which probably equates to 2/3 of the contents of my wardrobe. You could say I'm employing the kind of values championed by Mary Portas, to buy less and buy better, but I don't know whether I'll necessarily always make investment buys; the main goal is to just minimise the crap and put it towards experiences. 

I've also recently started a travel blog, so I don't keep bombarding you all with irrelevant content. You're welcome. 

Vintage women's case - Polaroid
Ready to travel.
[Image my own].

One of the things I did invest in recently was a JW Anderson paisley quilted t-shirt, in the Topshop sale. I'd had my eye on it for a while, but suddenly I had a real reason for buying it: I'm going to Iceland in early May, with one of my best friends, for a girly city break in Reykjavik. Perhaps JW Anderson didn't have whale watching and island hopping in mind when he designed the piece, but I'm sure it will come in handy as a practical layer for Iceland's early summer temperatures. In Reykjavik itself I doubt I'll be doing much shopping at all, as it's pretty expensive, but I'm hoping to treat myself to some more affordable bits and bobs from the city's flea market - as long as they're useful and not just impulse buys. Ditto my forthcoming trip to Rome - I have my eye on a few vintage stores, but fully expect to return empty-handed due to the not-so-pocket-friendly prices, but I've also done my flea market research too. 

I don't honestly know if I can keep up frugal shopping all year round, especially as we're only just ending the first month of the experiment, but hopefully in 12 months' time I'll be telling you about the fashionable destinations I've visited and not the bulging bin bags I've taken to the charity shop. Fingers crossed...

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