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Heat’s Up, Cards Down: Why I’m Going On A Shopping Hiatus

It's the first of July. The sun is high and so are the temperatures. Something about the heaviness of the heat makes me want to slow down and sit a spell. This extends to my shopping habit as well. July makes me want to ice my credit cards and enjoy the fruits of my (shopping) labor.

I love to shop. As a self-proclaimed fashion curator, I find it relaxing - even therapeutic. My lust for shopping, even under the summer heat, doesn't wane. But too much of a good thing gets indulgent and makes you gluttonous. Yes, even for the most dedicated hobbyist. The collecting overcomes the collection, burying the treasures you hunted for. It's time for a break, a pause, a breath to enjoy.

As it turns out, my husband and I are in need of some big-ticket items this season. I pulled the trigger on a mid-priced stove to replace the older one that is moving into our other property. I also have my eye on a new microwave for the same reason. Plus, we have some large bills rolling in due to a chaotic spring. So when the purse strings started getting a little tight, I knew it was time to reign things in. It’s not that big of a deal. I’m not in need of anything. I have more items in my closet than even most women find reasonable. But, again, it’s my job.

I did create two exceptions for myself: a Stitch Fix box that was already scheduled, and a bra haul - because it’s overdue. Other than that, I’ll be taking a break from buying jeans and dresses and shoes and tees. No jewelry or scarves or hats or purses. For 31 days. I can do it. I have piles of pants awaiting their debut and dresses I’ve yet to rip the tags off of. Thank goodness I did a shoe haul early in June. I’ll be fine.

While I’m waiting for these 31 days to pass, I’ll be keeping myself busy by culling my closet collection. Mid-summer is such a great time to do a closet cleanse. It’s something about the heat that makes you want to pare down and go minimal. Your mind is in carefree mode, conducive to letting things go. In the past, this was the run-up to the big fall fashion season. It was the time to make room for all those back to school/back to work/post-vacation/cooler weather purchases. I don’t know if that’s much the case anymore, particularly in our post-pandemic world. Does fashion even have seasons anymore? Kids go back to school in August (at least on the west coast) when the weather is still blistering hot. And with WFH a solidified reality, is summer still vacation season? Or, are we now vacationing from January to December with our laptops in tow? Those, I suppose, are questions for another time.

But in honor of the traditions of the Before Times, I declare a summer closet detox as appropriate. Thus, that’s how I’ll be wiling away these 31 days while I wait for shopping to resume. I’ll revisit my style icons to make sure we’re still in alignment. I’ll ponder what emotions I want to evoke when I get dressed. I’ll define my style and make Pinterest boards in ode to it. I’ll try on all my clothes, I’ll keep, toss, and sell. I’ll reorganize and style. I’ll enlist the help of my favorite shopping buddies and clothing experts. I’ll make future shopping lists and research where to go.

With a defined style, detoxed closet, and purposeful shopping list, I’ll head back out on August 1st. I'll dive, shoes first, back into shopping, with all the glee of a child shopping for the first day of school. It will be the perfect relief for the end of summer heat.


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