Avoiding the seasonal clothing trap

A reader emailed asking:

Any suggestions for how to avoid the lure of new clothes that comes with the change of seasons? The emails and catalogs are calling to me…

The idea that we need new clothes for a new season sure is a win for marketers, but something I’ve never understood from a practical point of view. I’ve lived most of my life in the Northeastern United States. Every fall I pack away my warm-weather clothes and unpack my wool and heavy pants. Which means each fall and spring I unpack a whole new wardrobe!

Usually the excitement of seeing a t-shirt or a skirt I haven’t seen in six months (coupled with the warm air) is enough “new” to satisfy me. Especially if I unpack something I’d forgotten I even owned.

But realistically that’s hard. So two concrete suggestions:

1. Allow yourself to purchase one new “seasonal” item to freshen up all your leftovers from previous years. I just did this today, in fact: a lightweight pair of pants for spring that I plan to wear while sitting at an outdoor cafe in Paris with an old friend.

2. Get rid of all those catalogs and emails! Unsubscribe from the emails. Cancel all the catalogs. I use Catalog Choice to make it really easy to cancel catalogs. It lets you track and resubmit requests when somehow you keep getting those same tempting catalogs!

The less stuff I see, the less stuff I want and need. So what works for me is to see less. Best of luck as you fight the temptation to keep buying and buying and buying.

  1. makeitdo posted this


In 2012, I'm not going to buy anything except what I've used up or worn out. For all else, I'll make do with what I already own or I'll do without. I've come up with some guidelines. Update: for 2013 I'm going to continue along, but not as strictly.


I'm Meg Hourihan. I live in New York City but was raised in Massachusetts. I blame my Yankee-ness for this crazy idea. Read more about me and this project.


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