Friday, October 12, 2012

My 6-Month Seamless Pledge Recap

On April 1st, I began my 6-month Seamless Pledge.

My initial pledge was this: I'm not going to buy any new, mass produced, RTW clothing for myself. If I need to make additions to my wardrobe for whatever reason, I've got to either buy used/vintage or make it myself! (with the exception of underthings - those I might try my hand at making, but will absolutely not be buying used, so I've given myself leeway to purchase new ones if necessary)

At first it was difficult for me, but I channeled my deep urge to shop into perusing vintage clothing online and in antique stores, as well as modern used stuff at my local Goodwill. This usually resulted in diffusing the craving for shopping, since there's usually less instant gratification in shopping used/vintage, as you've got to sift through things to find what you like and then see if it'll even fit.

After a little while.. maybe a few weeks? I found myself a bit numb to the whole clothing shopping thing in general and had no deep urges to buy. When I saw something cute online or in a shop window, I took a mental note to use it as inspiration for sewing.

I did cheat a few times, but I actually don't really want to call it cheating, because I didn't feel guilty...and I think it made sense to do. I received a few gift cards to clothing stores (modcloth and j crew) for my birthday in July and ended up using them to buy clothing - shock! I took the time, though, to make sure I was purchasing well made things that would get a lot of use in my wardrobe, as opposed to the "frosting" type pieces I'd usually gravitated to. I also allowed myself, without the use/excuse of a gift card, to buy a couple of pairs of jeans (can't sew yet), shoes (can't make, difficult to find used), an athletic/outdoorsey rain jacket (no idea how to sew, couldn't find used), and a few underthings new, rather than used, during my seamless pledge - a slight departure from the specifics of my original pledge, but I always made sure to look at used options first before buying new.

Despite what the fact that I purchased a dress from modcloth (with SEWING-themed fabric) the very moment the pledge ended for me seems to indicate, the pledge really did make difference in my mindset. (Just FYI, though, that dress was made in the USA and is good quality enough to hang out in my wardrobe for years to come, so there's that.)

"Well-Thread Dress" from Modcloth

It might sound like I'm doing a lot of explaining why I didn't completely adhere to the strictness of my initial pledge, but I really did drastically change my habits and got a lot out of this experience. Not only did I really focus on NOT buying fast-fashion, trendy, impulsive, cheap, low-quality pieces, but I also was able to hone in on the things that I already had in my closet.

I took the time to examine EVERYTHING clothing/apparel related that I owned, and only let myself keep things I would wear for REAL. I donated SO MUCH stuff, you guys! Heaps! Mountains of stuff that I'd been holding on to, and that had actually been like subconsciously dragging me down. I'd kind of been ignoring the little twinge of guilt I felt every time I stepped into my closet and tried to come up with something exciting/satisfying to wear, passing over SO many things I'd bought on a whim, liked for a month, then either got over due to the trendiness, or didn't feel comfortable wearing due to the low quality or change in fit.

It sounds a bit dramatic, but it kind of was life-changing for me, someone who has been in LOVE with clothes and shopping for them her entire life, to be not only not shopping, but also ridding myself of all of this closet baggage! I've always been good at purging things from my wardrobe bit-by-bit, after a while, but this was the biggest dumping of items yet, and I feel like the choices I made will impact my daily life. Yeah, it's just clothing, but I feel like I've started to actually build a sensible daily wardrobe that I can rely on for whatever needs/events/occasions life throws my way, and not always feel the need to shop -- it's a bit freeing. The basics have been covered and I'm just trying to fill in a few gaps here and there, with special focus on now trying to only sew things that really make sense for me.

Get ready to see some more separates in my finished projects section in the near future. (My sewjo may be a little bit rusty right now -plaid skirt is still under construction- but I'm getting there!)

Have any of you taken the Seamless Pledge? What changes did it bring about in your life?


  1. Sounds like a great change for you! :)
    I have never done the Seamless Pledge but I'm already hardly ever buying new clothes. I think it's good to adjust our mindsets like you have!

  2. Good job on making it a year! I think, like you said, that the challenge just makes you more mindful. Since I've started sewing apparel the way I look at clothes, fashion and shopping has definitely changed. I am still sometimes tempted to just go out and buy something right away, but I'm sure I do this way less often than before. :)

  3. Great job! I'm so glad you made it! I felt similarly about the Seamless Pledge-- it was oddly freeing to not shop! I'm not much of a shopper, really, and I'm not very fashionable, so I have a weird relationship with shopping and tend to buy stuff impulsively that I won't wear very much to try to make myself feel better about my appearance. So now that I'm done, I feel like I can identify what I need and will wear, instead of shopping for some sort of imaginary me!

    1. I totally know what you mean about seeming to shop for an "imaginary" you! The pledge definitely helped me in that area. I really began to focus on not just how fun or fancy or new my clothes were, but on how they reflect ME and my point of view.


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