Nothing new has entered my wardrobe since last year. No new underwear, no fancy dresses, no handmade earrings or gifts from friends. No bags, no belts and no epic finds from the Ōrewa Hospice Shop. Nothing! On January 1 this year, in an effort to boycott consumerism and confront my desire for new things, I began a Wardrobe Freeze.
I’m six months in and have yet to waltz naked to dinner or wear my underwear inside out because I haven’t done the washing! Hitting the halfway mark was a reflective milestone for me and this is what I’ve learnt:
1. Pausing purchases takes away stress Walking into a shop and not having to make any decisions is incredibly liberating. We make thousands of decisions every single day, so with the possibility of buying something completely off the table, I enjoy scrolling through social media and walking into shops a lot more.
2. You don’t have to own something to enjoy it This is my favourite learning from my Wardrobe Freeze challenge. Now that I know I can only wear what I already have in my wardrobe, I find great joy in admiring other people’s outfits and treating clothes in shops like art instead of possessions.
3. I already have what I need My wardrobe isn’t as full as others I have seen (I own around 74 items of clothing), but I am also not a minimalist. I have more than enough clothes to suit many different seasons, but my love of fashion and the rush of turning my hard earned money into something beautiful has meant ‘wants’ were often disguised as ‘needs’.
The more I lean into this Wardrobe Freeze, the more satisfied I become with the wardrobe I already have. I have been more creative with my outfits than ever before. I wear new combinations of clothing most weeks and I have a lot of fun putting completely new looks together that I have never worn before.
You don’t have to commit to a Wardrobe Freeze, but having reaped so many benefits over the last six months, I would encourage everyone to stop and think before they next buy something. Ask yourself, “What am I buying this? How often will I wear it? Could I spend that money elsewhere and wear what I already have?”