Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

2008 passed for me with just a kiss under the stars. It was a very quiet evening camping in the bush with little to signify what a glorious, tedious and monumental year it had been.

2008 was the first time I'd ever fulfilled a new years resolution! Now that it has passed, I'm a bit sad, and also scared. It was such an achievement for me, not buying anything new, that I'm worried about reverting to my old spend-thrift ways.

Today was the first test - I headed into the city intending to buy a 2009 diary, and hoped I wouldn't be led into too much temptation. In retrospect, it was probably significant that the outfit I wore was almost (bar the necklace) 100% thrifted.

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This picture is mainly to gratuitously show off my new yet-to-be-christened easel, my Christmas present from the boy.

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Weird close up but hopefully shows the detail of the shirt.

It was a weird feeling, walking through shops and knowing that I was actually able to buy whatever I wanted. It was a feeling of gluttony, like when you've eaten healthily for months and months and are about to gorge on a feast of junk food.

In the end I bought the diary, some underwear and tights, and just one dress. It's a beautiful dress, locally made and not from a sweatshop. It was also heavily discounted so I don't feel bad at all about buying it. I consider it my little gift to myself for surviving the year.

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It looks much more flattering on!

Now, though, I'm hopefully going to maintain the shift in perspective that last year gave me. Not buying anything new helped me to rediscover how much I love thrifting; it helped me to break out of the cycle of earning and spending my money; it allowed me to think more deeply and thoughtfully about the environment and the world we live in. So I'm going to try and carry on not buying anything new unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm going to try and think about every purchase and not impulse buy. I'm going to try and plan and budget for each new item and have it be something to celebrate, not feel guilty about.

I've been trying to think of ideas for how to stick to this plan. Do I donate a certain percentage of the price of new items to charity? Do I impose a limit on how much I can spend or how many items I can buy? Do I make a rule that each time I buy a new item, an old item has to go? I'm still trying to decide... but for now it's just my conscience that will dictate it, and I hope it has the mettle to follow through.

Happy new year everyone!


T-shirt: vintage via my mum
Skirt: H&M thrifted from an op shop (I don't think we even have H&M here in Aus?)
Belt: Northcote op shop
Shoes: op shop in Dunedin, NZ
Bag: Camberwell market
Necklace: Drink me, Alice 2007

22 comments:

Sarah said...

Hiya,
that dress is lovely! I'm curious to know if you really didn't buy a single new item of clothing last year - did you cheat at all? if not, i really applaud you!

annah-logue said...

i adore that dress! it's gorgeous!
and you've really inspired me to try this myself. i'm not trying for a whole year but i think maybe a month...with the exception of a diary!

did you even buy underwear secondhand?

ana b. said...

I love how your vintage year is still very much in your consciousness. And the dress you bought is beautiful, especially since it's locally made. Good luck on your new resolution/plan. And I spot that Pink Floyd song in your title ;) That song has a lot of memories attached to it for me too!

Te said...

Love the outfit! Those lyrics were a post title for me once too. It's a great song, love PF! :D Happy 2009!

oniomania said...

i stumble upon your blog only yesterday and already i am in love with it.

being a shopaholic i don't think i will be able to do what you did, but by reading your blog it has made want to change my spending habits. maybe instead of buying heaps of little things thought the months i should save my money and at the end of every month shout myself to an outfit that i have always wanted. most of the time i go out shopping and find that the dress i really want is either too pricey therefore buy multiple cheap and mass produced items that are forgotten after one use. I should also think about the story behind the make of the garment as you have. e.g. is it contributing to sweatshops etc. do you have any recommendations on how to look out for these things?
you have really inspired me. thank you.

Skye said...

Congratulations on your vintage year!

That dress is very lovely and a very fitting reward. Maybe don't set yourself any "rules" for now and just go with the flow and see how it turns out for a while. If then you're not quite happy with how you are operating with shopping and clothes, then maybe work out some guideline to stick to. I do operate a "one out, one in" policy on my wardrobe and have done for most of my adult life - it does stop me from buying stuff I know I won't wear.

heartofpearl♥ said...

congratulations for holding through last yr, i honestly don't know how you did it but you're amazing!

it must feel crazy now that you've got all this freedom, but hopefully you're able to control your spending as always! the new dress is so cute, cant wait to see it on! x

ana b. said...

Me again! I've tagged you. Won't take it personally if you don't feel inclined to carry it on ;) xx

Trains and Sewing Machines said...

Cute detail on the white shirt! And that dress looks adorable :) It's very inspiring what you've done this year, I would really like to try that, I'm just not sure that I have the will power!

Lady Melbourne said...

I commend you on a year of thrift shopping, I think that you have shown us all it can be done. I hope that you find the balance you are looking for, I look forward to seeing how 2009 pans out!
LM
x

Homely girl said...

I am a faithful lurker, briefly delurking to say - Congratulations on your achievement this past year! You've inspired me to do the same for 365 days in 2009, only I don't have the time to blog about it. But no new clothes for me except undies in 2009 - thanks to you ;-)
And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your cute new little dress - seems totally you (even though I don't even know you, but you know what I mean ;-)

a cat of impossible colour said...

That dress is so cool! Wow. Really unusual, and a great shape.

And congratulations on your vintage year! :D

That parcel still hasn't arrived - I'm thinking it may have got lost in the mail somewhere :( I once sent a parcel to Oz for a friend's birthday, and it was returned to me the following year with about a million stickers from different countries on it, so weird.

Happy New Year!

A xx

esme and the lane way said...

Congratulations! That is such an achievement.

I found it weird to be 'allowed' to buy new things, too, and I still feel pretty much the same as 6 months ago...

Your new dress is really cute, and I agree – locally made and designed etc is a long way from fast fashion.

Miss Karen said...

That is a really gorgeous dress! And that reminds me, I need to get a 2009 planner too! Must get one tomorrow...

Pretty Little Pictures said...

Beautiful dress :) That little sweater is from an op shop in dunedin too - i'm still so impressed with your year and how you stuck to it, an inspiration if nothing else :)

Missa said...

Love the shoulder details on your tee and the new dress looks super adorable, can't wait to see it on!

Sounds like you came away from 2008 with a wonderful new philosophy on clothes shopping, happy new year to you!

thevintageyear said...

Sarah: I didn't cheat at all, but I did make sure my boyfriend gave me clothes for any gift-giving occasions!

Annah: I think diaries are a necessity and you can't really buy one second hand, it wouldn't be the right year! Oh and I didn't buy underwear secondhand except a corset thingy once. Underwear was an exception to the rule.

Ana: thanks, yeah it is a great song!

Te: Happy 2009 to you too. I think these PF lyrics are one of my favourite song lines of all time!

Oniomania: good luck in your endeavour! Quality over quantity is a great idea!

Skye: I really like your advice, I think I'm going to try that first, thank you.

heartofpearl: thank you!

Trains & Sewing Machines:
thanks so much :)

Lady Melbourne: thank you so much for your kind words!

A cat of impossible colour: I liked how unique the dress was too :)

Esme: I hope the weird feeling doesn't go away for you or I :)

Karen: I got the cutest diary from Borders, all their diaries are half off

Pretty little pictures : thanks!

Missa: yes, I think the most valuable thing about this year is how much I've learnt about myself! Thank you, happy NY to you too!

thevintageyear said...

OH! and Homely girl: Thank you so much for de-lurking to post such nice words. And BEST of luck for your 2009 endeavour, I'm sure you will find it just as amazing an experience as I did!

a cat of impossible colour said...

Hi again! :) Please don't worry, it's not a big deal at all, I just thought I would let you know. It might just have got caught up in crazy Christmas delays or something.

Hope you're having a good day - it's another sweltering 30-degrees day here, yuk. :P

Lavender said...

Such a good achievement. Congratulations! And such a cute new dress as reward. I went to the mall this week to look at the sales and just felt sick looking at all the piles of clothes that no one wanted on tables and racks - I ended up not buying anything.

Taylor said...

i love the first look! youre adorable :)

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