Un-Minimalist Moments

I have been very un-minimalist the last couple of days and it kind of makes me cringe a little on the inside.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, there was the possibility of me getting a new job that would require a more corporate dress code. Well yesterday the job offer came through and I’ve decided to accept. I’m very excited, but it also means I need to update my work wardrobe a little since I’ve been wearing pretty casual outfits to work for the last 3.5years.

I’ve purchased the following online, but I know for sure I’m not keep all of these items (I won’t know until I receive the orders):

  • 2 x black work pants & 1 x beige work pants – I’ve traditionally worn jeans to work through autumn/winter so I currently only own 1 pair of work pants. Even if I like the pants I purchased, I most likely won’t keep all three pairs – probably just 1 black pair and the beige.
  • 1 x black handbag – for this new job I’ll be catching the bus to work rather than driving my car which means I need a bigger handbag to carry my things in. Right now I have a tiny handbag which only fits my phone, keys, wallet and a small cosmetics bag. Everything else I just keep in my car e.g. jacket, lunch bag, etc
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  • 3 x black high heels – I’ve been wearing black slides for the last year or boots in winter but I feel like they would look too casual for this new work environment. I won’t keep all three pairs of heels, probably just one – I bought 3 because I wanted some options to try on and to be able to pick my favourite.
  • 2 x flat shoes – again this is because I’ll have to walk and catch the bus to work instead of driving so I need some flat shoes to change into for the journey. Right now I actually don’t own any professional/semi-professional looking flat shoes. The only flat shoes I own are thongs (a.k.a flip-flops) or sneakers. Even though I am trying to be a minimalist, I refuse to be one of those people that is dressed in a pencil dress and wearing sneakers.

I also bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite. This partially had to do with the new job in that:

  1. I wanted to get myself a little gift to celebrate getting the new job
  2. I want something I can take with me on the bus to work

I feel a little guilty about buying it because I don’t need it, but I have wanted it for a long time and kept putting it off. However, to make myself feel a bit better about it and also to ensure I make use of the Kindle and read more, I am going to unsubscribe from Netflix. That eases my guilt a little because at least now I know I will use and love my Kindle and I will be saving the money from Netflix to pay for it.

Also following on from my ‘Minimising for Different Seasons‘ post, I’m now going to declutter some more sweaters since I know I won’t be needing them for work anymore. One in, one out – the Minimalist way, right?


Questions to Ask as a Minimalist

My weakness, my addiction, my love – shopping. If there is an opportunity or excuse to go shopping, I will find it in a heartbeat. Online, offline, sale or no sale, I will find a reason to spend money like a fish finds water.

For me, to change my habits successfully I need to stagger it into stages, with each stage being a further departure to what I am currently used to.

My current change process for my shopping habits – Step 1:

  1. Asking myself a list of questions regarding the item during the buying process.
  2. When I online shop, I try to cull my shopping cart as much as possible.
  3. When my purchases are delivered or when I bring them home from a store, I try it on with different outfits to make sure its versatile and complements more than one outfit.
  4. After all the above, I ask myself again – do I love it?
  5. Unless I have fallen madly and deeply for an item, I will return it. If I feel like I have fallen in love with an item, I will then wait a few days and if the feeling remains the same then I’ll keep it.

For this month alone I will be returning more than $900 worth of purchases which equates to roughly 95% of what I ordered. This in itself is a drastic improvement from the 50-60% that I’d previously return.

Questions I now ask myself when making a purchase:

Judging Criteria for clothes

  • Do I love it?
  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Does the colour suit me?
    (Note: this is different to “Is the colour pretty?” – just because its a pretty colour doesn’t mean it suits your skintone)
  • Does the material feel nice and look nice on me?
  • Does it fit me?
    (Note: this means ‘Does it fit me now?”, not some arbitrary date in the future when you’ve lost 5kgs)
  • Is the cut flattering on me?
  • Does it complement other clothes/outfits I already own?
  • Does it fit my lifestyle?*
  • On what occasions will I wear this and how often do those occasions occur?
  • Do I already have something similar to this?
  • Can I wait for another week/month before I buy it?
  • Do I need it right now?
  • How hard is it to clean and care for?
  • Is the cost worth the value?

Judging Criteria for other items

  • Do I love it?
  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Do I already have something similar to this?
  • How often will I actually use this?
  • Does this item serve more than one purpose?
  • Does it fit into my lifestyle?*
  • How difficult will it be to dispose of this item? (Sustainability)
  • Is the cost worth the value?
  • Where will I store this item?
  • Can I wait for another week/month before I buy it?
  • Do I need it right now?

Step 2 of my change process for shopping is to go from ‘buying it and returning it’ to not buying at all in the first place.

*Note: the question ‘Does it fit into my lifestyle?’ refers to whether the items you purchase actually match the way you live. For example, I spend 80% of my time at work and 20% of my time socialising with friends. This means it doesn’t make sense for me to have 80% of my wardrobe focused on casual clothing when that only takes up 20% of my life.