(image by Megan Hess)

Resolution can be such a dirty word. More often than not, we make these so called resolutions in January only to break them by March. They can be worthless if not looked after well. I decided, this year, a resolution wasn’t for me. However, a challenge was….a challenge at changing my outlook.

I have spent many hours in my office/closet marveling at all of the beautiful things that it contains. However, the vast majority of these pieces have only been worn once or twice. Let me tell you, it is an utter heartbreak to look at an item that you have spent $500+ on, only to realize that it’s not seeing the daylight nearly as much as it deserves. It’s not that I don’t love these items. I really do. I absolutely adore them. “Well”, you ask, “Why aren’t you wearing them then?” It is with a sad reply that I state, “There just aren’t enough days…and I keep purchasing new shiny objects to line my shelves and hangers with.” The joy that purchasing these items gives is intoxicating. I’m more often than not love drunk off of a purchase. What I often fail to admit is that this stupor is fleeting. It breaks my heart to admit that the silent whisper of my shopping cart calls to me within a week or two of purchasing an investment piece because this intoxication has faded and it is time to create the high again. Simply said, I’m addicted.

Upon realizing this, I’ve decided that a change is in order. I need a challenge. A change of thinking. I’ve evaluated and decided something somewhat extreme. I am not shopping for a year.  Yes, you heard me right.  Starting on Monday, this will overwhelming idea will commence.

Without doubt, no words fully encompass my feelings. Horrified doesn’t even begin to explain the emotion I feel about this. However, I’m curious. Can I actually do this? Can the girl who blogs about clothes, shops in the wee hours of the night, and dreams of purses actually stop shopping?

Here are my rules:

  1. No new clothes, shoes, handbags, or accessories can be purchased with my money. Basically, if it can be worn, it can’t be bought with the exceptions following.
  2. My birthday (February 27) will be exempt from the challenge.  I will allow myself on my birthday to purchase items that I wish (within a budget).
  3. 4 hall passes will exist during the year. I will allow myself 4 occasions where purchasing something is permissible. No more than that. These 4 will be reserved exclusively for something that is so rare and so lust worthy that I might just die if I don’t purchase it.  Considering the fact that I typically purchase hundreds of items for my closet each year this should be an endeavor indeed.
  4. However, if an item rips, tears, stains to the point where it can no longer be worn, it is permissible to repurchase the item.
  5. In early December, before I had even considered the idea of a no shopping year, I placed a Valentino Glam Lock handbag on layaway via Fashionphile. I will finish purchasing this handbag & it will become part of my collection around early February.
  6. Sponsorships & gifts do not count.
  7. I will blog my journey. You will continue to see outfit posts as you have. However, they will be a newfound creative mixture of items from my closet with my thoughts, feelings and fashionable desires mixed in along the way.

While incredibly horrified at the idea of essentially giving up one of my most favorite things, shopping, I am thrilled to see my creative energy bloom. Currently, because my wardrobe is ever growing, I rarely have to style pieces multiple ways. In fact, as stated earlier, I typically wear them once or twice (at most!) and then hang them up for safe keeping. As a result, my creative energy is lacking and I have truly missed challenging myself to create outfits based on what I have, rather than adding pieces to complete something new. In all honesty, when I was purchasing less, my stylistic eye was better as I was forced to create. It is with great hope that my creative inner fashionista returns as this process begins.

I must admit, this post scares the hell out of me to publish.  I’m exposed discussing this, but I’m also afraid to fail.  I’m feeling incredibly vulnerable and overexposed letting you all in to my thought processes like this. It’s not something that I ever thought I would do. However, hopefully, in sharing my story, I will be more apt to stick to this challenge and be able to gain inspiration as the days go on and the task gets increasingly difficult.  Be sure to keep checking back to see how this challenge goes & getting more personal, informative & thought provoking content in the days that will come.





  1. January 6, 2017 / 4:07 am

    I identify with so much of what you said- I’m completely guilty of this too! I far too often pull something out and realize it still has tags & has been in my closet a year!!

    I’m really working to limit my shopping this year, so I’m excited to follow your journey and receive inspiration for mine 🙂

    Good luck girl!

    • aarbrun@gmail.com
      January 6, 2017 / 6:28 am

      Awww you made my day! Thank you! This was the scariest post I’ve written to hit publish on!:)

  2. Jaime
    January 6, 2017 / 5:37 am

    Oh my gosh you’re not alone! I am so guilty of exactly the same thing. I feel as though this same challenge I something I should be doing as well!

    I look forward to your new posts as I hope to be able to take in the same challenge with inspiration from your blog!

    Thank you for being so honest!

    • aarbrun@gmail.com
      January 6, 2017 / 6:30 am

      Thank you so very much! This post was frightening to hit publish on! Good luck to you if you do decide to take it on as well!Thank you for the positive vibes! 🙂

  3. Irene
    January 6, 2017 / 6:36 am

    Me, too!! I don’t identify as much as I am excited to follow your journey!!!!
    Go Girl!!!

    • aarbrun@gmail.com
      January 6, 2017 / 6:44 am

      Thanks, Irene! It took me a long time to decide if I wanted to post this. Thanks so much for such a positive response!:)

  4. Liza
    January 6, 2017 / 8:03 am

    I can identify with this. I’ve been trying to save for a Goyard but I keep buying other random stuff that adds up. I probably could have bought the bag 100 times by now if I could just limit my “need it now” spending. Have you had good experiences with Fashionphile? I was considering getting a used one on there.

    • aarbrun@gmail.com
      January 6, 2017 / 8:34 am

      I adore fashionphile. I have purchased 5 or so bags from them and have been happy every single time!

  5. Sarah
    January 6, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    I wish you luck on your journey! There is a book I read that was life changing for me, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I suspect you will find freedom. Great post!

    • January 22, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      I’ll have to read that! I’ve thought it looks so interesting! Thanks for the tip!

  6. January 11, 2017 / 8:34 am

    When I started blogging about fashion 3 months ago I felt the same way. I have such beautiful items in my closet and yet I hardly ever wear them and even worse sometimes I don’t even remember buying an item as it’s tucked away deep in my closet until I find it when I’m looking for something else.?

    I think what you are doing is great! I am doing something similar this year. I’m limiting my shopping only to twice a month and I’ve told myself that I cannot order online which means I’ll need to drive to the store to buy something for which I will need to set aside some time. This has been working for me for the last 3 weeks and I actually feel like I have more time to do other things now since I’m not doing online shopping all the time.

    Loved reading your post!? Keep up the great work you are already doing on your blog! Xoxo ?

    • aarbrun@gmail.com
      January 17, 2017 / 6:56 am

      Thanks so much! It’s so sad to know that you don’t full access your wardrobe, right?! I think that’s what bothered me most about my habits. All the pretty items need to be given some time in the daylight. 😉 Best of luck to you! I love how your changing your shopping ways as difficult as it can be! Thanks for reading and being so sweet!???

  7. Kristen
    January 19, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    Will you pare down what you currently have as a part of the process? I have been working on getting my wardrobe and bags down to timeless classics all around. It is not easy!!

    May I ask what your top 5 handbags are? I am trying to find the perfect combination of bags to rotate all year.
    I have the Pochette Metis, black Gucci disco and then (I’m embarrassed to say…all three canvas print Neverfulls lol).
    Been thinking of condensing those down to maybe one Goyard or Tory Burch Perry…something classic for work.

    Anyway, I just discovered your blog because I was googling about the Disco. So glad I found you! Love your style and what you have to say! Effortless chic is definitely my goal!

    • January 22, 2017 / 10:23 pm

      I’m so excited that you found me because of that! You’re too sweet!
      As far as paring down my closet, I’m not sure. I’m pretty consistent about editing my closet every few months and suspect that I will continue to do that. As far as a larger cleanout, I’m scared to do it while I’m not purchasing items. Time will tell.
      Thank you for asking about my top 5 bags. I’ve actually been thinking of doing a post on that soon! It’s hard to decide!
      Your handbags sound amazing! I would evaluate how often you use each of the Neverfulls before you decide. They are amazing bags and each give a completely different look to an outfit. They are fabulous work bags! It’s okay to have duplicates if they are well loved!
      Thanks so much for reading!

      • Kristen
        January 23, 2017 / 7:27 am

        Would LOVE to see a blog on this…your top handbags, top accessories, wardrobe staples etc! Thanks!

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