Two countries, so far still true

I vowed to buy no new clothes in 2009 as part of a resolution to use everything in my wardrobe and also remind myself that in the apparel department I have more than enough. As my father once said, surveying the walk in closet in a previous apartment, "You have more shoes than Imelda Marcos." Hewas exaggerating of course, but my husband would agree with the principle behind that comment.

Yet I do give things away – jeans, trousers, dresses – recently I gave all my favorite spring dresses away to a friend’s mother who runs a second hand shop in Uruguay. They were easy to part with because I no longer fit any of them comfortably – a fact that became apparent at my brother in law’s engagement party when I hurriedly slipped on a favorite in the hotel room, only to realize, far too late without any other options at hand exactly where I tend to store excess fat.

Excess has crept into my life, sight unseen over the past four years. Expanding both my waistline and my closet, I, Walmart shopper and 100 pound twentysomething, have transformed into a slightly rotund thirty year old clotheshorse.

Traveling has always been a major reason to shop: nothing beats clothing mementos to evoke a foreign land. But here it is, February, and I’ve resisted the bargain sales on calf high leather boots in Ireland and the urge to find another pair of wonderful black pumps in Egypt ala  my 2005 visit.

One month down; only 11 more to go.

No new clothes in 2009

In looking back over the history of this blog, I realize the most successful and interesting entries are those that do two things: 1) engage readers to offer their feedback and 2) relate to a particular topic or theme.

I’m considering a book proposal a la Elizabeth Gilbert, on one year in my life. This time not on travel, but my renewed vow against commercialism. I say renewed because in 2005 I said I was not buying clothes for an entire year. I was going to go item by item and wear every single thing in my closet. That vow was broken because in summer of 2005, I got a new job and moved to Qatar. I did manage to make through 5 months – about May – before my unplanned life changes took over and I found myself half way around the world from North America.

This year, I hope to make it all the way to next January. And you can share the journey with me.

No clothes – as my husband so kindly reminds me means – no new shoes, pants, sweaters, shirts, or exercise goods.

Looking around, I’ve also decided to add perfumes and cosmetics to this list. But the need for lipstick means that I have to go back and scratch cosmetics off. But perfumes is on.

Of course I struggled tremendously after New Year’s day and closed my eyes against the tempting screaming red headlines of retailers desperate to recoup losses of the lowest holiday sales record in history. Usually they made their fortunes off of bargain hunters like me. But not this year. I closed my eyes and kept walking, hugging my husband’s arm close.

He says he’s rooting for me but doesn’t think I can do it.

Blogging about it will certainly help with accountablility and also to see if this idea is interesting enough for a book as Gilbert’s was.

So here we go.

Have you ever tried to go a year without buying clothes and think I’m being silly?
Or do you have any advice since you’re a stalwart non-buyer yourself?