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'My 2017 Resolution Was To Not Buy Any Clothes'

Can it be done?
by Ash Mahinay | Nov 28, 2017
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It might not be as popular as the rest of the holiday traditions, but a lot of us still set new year’s resolutions for ourselves whenever the first of January rolls around. A lot of us also tend to fail miserably at them—this author included, of course.

This year, I tried a different approach. Instead of vaguely vowing to do something—go to the gym, lose weight, be a better man, etc.—the goal was to not do something. In this case, it was “no buying clothes in 2017.” It may sound easy for you aesthetically challenged kuripot types out there, but I talked to some friends about it and they were all like “hmm, di ko kaya yan bro.” It’s now a month away from the deadline and I don’t expect to be doing any shopping aside from gift shopping—so I think I can say I did it, fam!

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Here’s what I learned:

It can get much more concrete if you state your goals in the negative

Should you “start saving” or “stop buying expensive coffees?” Aim to “lose weight” or “don’t order extra rice?” Doing it this way, you can also whittle down your goal into a specific action that seems doable rather than a huge lifestyle change. You don’t have to go out of the way to not do something after all.

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It’s not a constant struggle!

Like anything else you have to quit, I felt intense FOMO because I wasn’t allowed to do something. But after a couple of months, I reached a zen state where I could walk into a store and feel no earthly desires.

You rediscover old clothes that are perfectly fine

After a month or two, my clothing rotation started feeling a bit claustrophobic so I had to start using the stuff at the bottom of my closet. These items are the 2-3-year-old clothes that tend to get neglected just because you keep getting new stuff–they’re often not old enough to be worn out, and not bought too long ago that you’ve outgrown them. This is where the waste happens! I felt like a Planeteer because I saved these fits.


New clothes you want to buy tend to look like some of your old clothes

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Aside from some super on-trend piece, I realized that I often already own a version of something I want to buy. If you’re not a kid (or a scene-chasing poser) your personal style is probably already set—or will be the same for a few years at least. What’s uso has also been in a pretty stable place lately so I wasn’t really missing out too badly when stuff goes on sale or whatever—P300 for chino shorts at Uniqlo doesn’t sound so exciting when you already have three!

Sportswear is really tempting

It just tickles the impulsive part of the male brain. New football jerseys and shoes are what brought me closest to breaking my resolution—probably a combo of hype and my peers getting the newest stuff. It’s also some of the most expensive clothing to buy when you think about it without the “ok lang yan, pang sports naman” or “minsan lang” mindset.

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I didn’t save money (…or did I)

Not buying clothes just ended up in me rationalizing spending on other things (aka car parts) so I didn’t really end up saving any money (ha ha, hu hu). I did cut a big expense out, meaning I spent less overall without necessarily putting money in the bank. Being able to prioritize something else was probably a lowkey reason I succeeded in my resolution—so if you really need a wardrobe upgrade in 2018, then maybe you can ditch something else for it!

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