RTW Fast – Almost There…

So, I’m well over half way through my three month, self-imposed, RTW fast and it really hasn’t been anywhere near as difficult as I’d anticipated πŸ™‚ So, if you’re attempting the same yourself, or are even vaguely considering it, here’s what I’ve learnt so far:

  1. I’ve actually enjoyed it! Now this really has come as a bit of an unexpected surprise, but it’s been liberating just not even vaguely thinking about clothes shopping!
  2. It’s given me more free time, something I can’t be alone in craving more of. If I do have to pop into town (and I really have avoided it, unless it was truly necessary) it’s been so much quicker without so much as a quick glance in any clothes shop windows.
  3. My bank balance is looking far healthier, obvious but so gratifying! It’s amazing how a Β£20 pound top in the sales here, or a Β£30 reduced jumper there really do add up to quite a lot over a couple of months. And do I actually wear these impulse buys? Mmmm…
  4. I have indeed worn my me-mades more often as a result πŸ™‚
  5. I’ve enjoyed just slowing down a bit, having a good sort out (though slowly and thoughtfully) and considering the clothes I do have more carefully – what works and what doesn’t, what’s plain uncomfortable, what’s seen better days, etc, etc.
  6. What’s also pushed me to wear more me-makes is downgrading their status. I have a tendency to ‘save things for best’ (is this a typically Northern trait?) but I’ve enjoyed wearing some of my ‘best’ every day, either for work or just out and about with the kids.
  7. When I do allow myself to go shopping again, I now have a much clearer idea of what I actually need.

And here’s what’s helped me get through almost seven weeks of my RTW fast, with the exception of only an M and S reversible sports bra (reduced to the princely sum of Β£2.50) to dint my armour. Well, I never promised to be a saint, but for me this really is very good going πŸ˜‰

  1. Genuinely wanting to save some money really helped me stay focused, after our very expensive, family holiday to Disneyland this Summer.
  2. Being busy elsewhere in your life helps: new A-Level syllabuses at school have kept me incredibly busy reorganising and reinventing resources.
  3. Avoiding the shops, and all those pretty much all-year-round sales signs really worked for me to avoid temptation completly. Sales are my real downfall…
  4. Ditto, unsubscribing myself from the endless flow of marketing emails, and not even opening the ones that do manage to seep through.
  5. I have to do a twice-yearly changeover of my Winter/Summer clothes, so choosing to complete this fast during a changeover period was a useful distraction: being reunited with old favourites is just as good as buying new stuff. I still have a box of heavier, Winter stuff to unpack, but I’m saving it for a ‘treat’ later this month, when it gets really cold and I’m craving something new, although to be honest, I really haven’t felt like that too often.
  6. I’ve got rid of an awful lot of stuff, which has meant I’ve got more space in my wardrobes and have refound some new favourites that had been there all along.
  7. Less choice generally has meant that when I have made myself something, I can now ‘see’ it far easier and I’ve therefore been reaching for them more often πŸ™‚

None of the above is revelationary, of course (apart from maybe the first one), but I’ve found it really therapeutic to make myself do this. It’s so easy to get caught up in the consumer-led society we now live in, but the thrill of something new or mindlessly bagging myself a bargain really does seem to have lost a little of its shine for me. I guess it’s a bit like my annual, dry January challenge, which is never quite as hard as I think it’s going to be, but just forces me to reconsider my habits once a year.

So, this is what my wardrobes (weekend/leisure on the left, work stuff on the right) looked like once I’d cleared out the clutter and bagged up all the high-Summer stuff:

image image

Believe me, this is far better than they’ve been for a very long time! Clearly the bottom of my work wardrobe still needs a good sort out (next job on the list), but it’s now apparent that while I have a lot of neutrals, which is good, I can’t help thinking a little bit more colour and print would be nice… It’s just lovely being able to ‘see’ this!

Anyone else been having a good, wardrobe sort out or a RTW fast? Have you found it equally as satisfying or a little more trying?

Teresa

x.

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25 thoughts on “RTW Fast – Almost There…

  1. Well done! I think I’m the only one who doesn’t pack things away at the end of the season. I loathe sorting out wardrobes and organising clothes – dare i admit that I still haven’t unpacked my suitcase from when we came back from Spain in early June!!!!

  2. I just cleared out my wardrobe actually! I’m a tween girl, so obviously I love shopping, so I go shopping way too much….but I’ve really enjoyed sewing clothes and I feel so proud when I wear something I made, even if it’s not my best:)

    • Must be the Autumn version of a Spring clean! It’s so impowering walking round a shop and thinking I can do that even better myself. Keep at it, you get better with each and every make, even the disasters πŸ™‚

  3. Well done! Your wardrobes looks amazingly organised – I wouldn’t dare to publish a photo of mine!

    Apart from the little cashmere slip-up from a few weeks back I’ve kept my slate clean too. Tbh I found it very easy, given that I had done a little RTW shopping while on holiday there wasn’t really anything that I would have wanted. (Yes, apart from the cashmere cardigans, but I do wear them almost constantly!) What hasn’t worked at all was the stash diet that I though I might go on… Fabric shopping has gone through the roof in recent weeks, but at least I make myself believe that I already have homes for all those fabrics. Well, those boys’ shirts don’t come from nothing, do they ;-)?

    • This is after a thorough clear out! Wouldn’t have dreamed of publishing a photo from before this point πŸ˜‰ And it’s probably got fuller since I unpacked the Winter stuff, but not too badly so. I much prefer it, so going to at least attempt to keep it less full… Amazed how easy I’ve found the RTW fast too, must have been time!

      • A friend of mine, who is into the frugal lifestyle, keeps saying that when we say we need something, we don’t really, we only want. In fact we do need very little. She must have a point, sandals and raw seeds aside, when an RTW fast comes so easy…

      • Think the mini fast is doing me good, and think I’ll probably consider another after a little break, but don’t think I could do it permanently – hopefully it will just shake up some bad habits…

  4. Well done so far. Enjoyed reading how you feel about it so far.
    I really can’t bring myself to buy rtw after my fast last year. The only exception has been a waterproof coat, 2 pairs of jeans and undies. Oh and 3 cheap vest tops from next. For my birthday tho hubby bought me a snuggly loungewear top from next that I just adore and wear all the time – I’d never have appreciated it half as much before the fast. I like to window shop still when I get time – it bothers me that my own style will end up being nothing like what’s in the shops and people will be looking at me funny in the co-op! 😳

    • It’s funny isn’t it? I really didn’t believe you and others who said it would be far easier than I suspected at the beginning…sorry! But you were right, granted I haven’t gone that long yet, but I already feel quite differently about it. Like you jeans, underwear and specialist clothing (waterproof or sportswear) will probably always be RTW, but I’m looking forward to them being treats like your snuggly top πŸ™‚

  5. Just had a huge clear out myself. We’ve just replaced some really out of date fitted wardrobes that came with our house. Emptying those awful wardrobes was a real kick up the a**e. I put aside everything that I didn’t love to wear. I feel I have more to wear now, not less! And I’m all for wearing my best stuff.

  6. Good for you. You did well! I didn’t find the start of my RTW fast very difficult but then I knew I had been sewing for a long time and could figure out how to sew what I needed. Also I don’t need any speciality items for a while yet. But I will purchase those, for example I can’t imagine being able to source waterproof material for less than the on sale RTW cost. We shall see. I am planning on undies soon, but never bras…. I just couldn’t do without all the underwire, etc, security I have with what I buy in the stores, besides what would be the costs? I think all of us should get aimless shopping out of our system for a bit, just to realize what we really need! πŸ‘

    • Thanks Linda, yes I’ve really surprised myself! πŸ™‚ I think I’ll certainly be asking myself if I could make it better myself when I do allow myself to shop again, and if I can then why pay more? But you’re right more technical fabrics are sometimes too difficult or expensive to source. How long has your fast been now?

      • It has probably been a year as I remember the last purchase I made was a pair of yoga pants I bought as I had dumped coffee on myself during a road trip. I just ran into a BIg Box store, bought them, put them on, and continued driving. That was last fall. Although the sign up for the RTW Fast was Jan 1/15. You have kids to take care of, and work too, etc. I don’t have young kids anymore, so I keep thinking I have lots of free time to do this! You are doing very well! πŸ˜€

      • Aha, I remember reading your blog post about that incident πŸ™‚ To be honest, I do have a lot of clothes to start with, but still pleased to have reconsidered my bad habits!

  7. I have been more or less Rtw fasting this year without planning to and found it easier than I expected. I also cleared out my wardrobe for summer and that really helped me to see what I have – I haven’t yet found the energy to redo it for autumn/winter though! It was really interesting to see how you got on

    Louise

    • Thank you! A year is very impressive πŸ™‚ I definitely needed to rethink my habit and it’s nice to wear more of my me-makes now that I can ‘see’ them more. I still have quite a lot more sorting to do though, but at least it will keep me out of the shops…

  8. Your “new” closet looks wonderful! Isn’t it a glorious feeling to see everything and find combinations you didn’t know you had?! HUGE congratulations for doing so well ! ! !
    (And yes, I also find myself hoarding the last garment made, although sometimes the weather’s much of the problem. Am only now wearing my last Renfrew, because it was too warm for summer, even it it is sleeveless.) xx

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