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December 14, 2009

Amy’s New Year No-Shopping Experiment!

I have decided to conduct an experiment - a New Year's No-Shopping Experiment, which involves not buying anything new for myself from January 1st - April 8th (my birthday).

That means: no clothes, shoes or jewelry. I know, I know… there are some who might question this, asking: “what's the big deal?” or reminding me that there are people who rarely get to buy themselves something new.

But for me, it is a big deal. We live in a consumer culture and material goods and the lure of shopping is everywhere. Living in NYC and walking anywhere is like placing yourself in a mall in other parts of the country. Beyond living in THE greatest shopping city in the world, there is the onslaught of catalogues that come in the mail and the more frequent emails announcing that the new season's collection or the sale of the season has arrived.

Oh, and did I mention that I LOVE fashion. And that I think shopping is fun! I am the type of person who can travel anywhere in the world and it's as if I have a sixth sense about finding all the great areas to shop. And I don't discriminate - I will shop in the cities trendiest area and also rummage through the local artists and flea markets. It's the thrill of the find. What will I find that I feel I cannot live without? But that is precisely what stated my thinking about this experiment.

Last week I received the email that makes my heart flutter - the bi-annual Diane Von Furstenberg Sample Sale! As I waited in line for 45 minutes I saw women coming out with large overstuffed packages. And as they let me through the doors I was anticipating a wrap dress that had my name on it. But after looking through the racks, being pushed and shoved by other shoppers who were in a frenzy to find their "I can't live without this DVF find" and leaving empty handed, I thought to myself, "what a colossal waste of time."

As the day went on, I realized that I really didn't need anything new in my closet as I had spent the past two years since my second child was born thoughtfully re-building my wardrobe. Yes, while I am always able to find something new and adorable that would be great and fun - needing it is never really the question.

And so I wondered, how much time would I discover if I cut shopping out of the picture for a dedicated amount of time. What would I do with that time? Would I miss shopping? Would I see the hobby of shopping in a new light? Would I become more creative with my clothes? Would I discover the clothes that I really love and wear vs. the ones I like the idea wearing? All of these questions have intrigued me - most pronounced is the question of time. How much more time would I have and what will I do with it?

Stay tuned....
posted by Amy Abrams


Lily Iatridis said...

That's a long time not to shop in a place like NYC! Good luck with the experiment- don't start smoking or overeating- just kidding. Why don't you save up for a really great birthday present?



Marissa said...

OMG! Amy, I will give you utter props if you pull this off lady! Impressive and I'm sure that birthday present is going to be FABULOUS!

romigli said...

who is on the hook to buy you that extra special birthday present? you, yourself? your husband? your business partner? shouldn't they, too, be involved in this exercise in retail starvation then? :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, girlfriend!!! uh, oh, i would have to do that until my b'day.... July??? May the force be with us!!!

Jill Stern said...

Amy my friend join the club! mazel tov!