what I learnt from going on a new clothes ban

This spending ban that I have partaken in since the start of January (in fact the last piece of new clothing that made its way into my wardrobe was on Christmas Day thanks to a few Paloma Wool goodies) was partly as a result of a need to save up for a Stockholm trip that has now been bought for May ahhh, but also because I know I don’t need any new pieces in my wardrobe and I know there are more than enough unloved items of clothing that I don’t wear to college or at the weekend for work that could be so easily integrated into my everyday wear.

It was around this time last year, or perhaps a bit before, when I started to get more serious about where I was actually buying from, why and the long term use of garments that I would buy in the future. Six months on I wrote a post about where my ethical buying had bought me, in terms of what I was buying and what I still wanted to change in terms of my buying habits. One aspect that I know I did find harder was to stop buying pieces that I knew I wasn’t going to wear for years to come, not necessarily trend-led but either the material wasn’t as long lasting as I wanted it to be or I knew I would look at it in a year or so and question: now why did I buy that piece again?


Now I’m wearing my own clothes everyday for college I actually thought it would be a lot harder not to buy any new clothes but actually it’s reinforced how many clothes I actually own. When I used to go on a ‘clothing haul’ I used to go for the one in, one out but I think that probably showed me, more than anything that I had too many clothes in my wardrobe and whilst the ‘one in, one out’ rule did limit my spending because I didn’t have a need to get rid of clothes, I really didn’t actually need to buy them either – the argument for buying new clothes became somewhat circular for me (much like Descartes’ argument for God being circular and succumbing to the Cartesian circle, philosophy revision right there). So alas this clothing ban began… and what have I learnt from it?


Clothing ban results + analysis (because this could be considered an experiment?) 

  • I spend a lot of money on books and food. After I decided I was going on a clothing ban and bought the trip to Stockholm, the money that I have saved up since and consequently spent have seemed to have disappear down a foodie hole or indeed provide a means to propagate my reading addiction further. Upon reflection, if I want to save I need to make use of my school library more and perhaps bring packed lunch instead of buying from the college cafeteria (I may even have to resist the butternut squash and sweet potato soup). Needless to say, I think I’m more likely to start getting books from the school library than I am to bring in food.
  • The ban worked! I actually stuck to it and it’s been a nice refresher in my wardrobe, I’ve rediscovered pieces I haven’t worn in a while, made use of the clothes I already own and I didn’t come to the common dilemma of ‘I have no clothes to wear’ when I’m planning my outfits for college, fab times.
  • It’s made me more reflective about my purchases going forward. The next time I buy a piece of clothing, I think/know/hope it’ll be a long lasting piece among the clothes I already own whether it be a seasonal buy for summer or a versatile garment. If you’re not sure whether you want to buy ethically or not, I think giving yourself time to assess what you wear already is the perfect opportunity to think about what you’d like, or perhaps need to buy in the future.


yellow gingham trousers, short sleeved bodysuit, wavy ring, striped dungarees, white denim jacket, blou t-shirt

There are a few things that have been on my mind to buy for a while although I am trying to save up for shopping in Stockholm because I know they have some really nice vintage and ethical stores there and I am SO looking forward to try on before I buy because shopping online is always a gamble even if it has been so far so good with purchases I have bought. The Acey have a new spring collection out and I adore these striped dungarees, they could be worn as trousers under a jumper for colder months or under a t-shirt in spring and I <3 them. Also, a little shout out to Lima Limafor creating the most gorgeous ring, it’s so cute and I’ve had my eye on it for a while so I may have to cave in.


Have you ever been on a clothing ban and what has it taught you? Or, if you’re currently on one – are you finding it hard at all and how long do you want it to last?I think a new clothes ban is always good to find out what you really want out of your wardrobe and assess why you buy clothes, I know it certainly has confirmed that when I do buy new pieces for my wardrobe they’re going to be much more loved than my new purchases were before.

lots of love, eleanor xx


  1. Lucy Jane 25th March 2018 at 1:23 pm

    I have tried for so long to go on a clothing ban but my self control must be very minimal. I do buy a big percentage of my clothes from Charity Shops but every now and then I’ll fall into the endless pit that is online shopping and that does not end well! I definitely would love to do a successfully clothing ban for a few months as I know, I don’t need anymore clothes! Really loved this post and it got me thinking!

    Lucy Jane | Infinity of Fashion

  2. Besma (@BesmaCC) 25th March 2018 at 9:30 pm

    I love your ethos! Having forayed into curating a capsule wardrobe, I’ve also found I own enough clothes (in enough styles) – the buying is purely a pleasure thing in my brain, and I’m learning to slowly switch that off.

    Also, Lima Lima are fab! Got a beautiful pair of ear climbers from them for my birthday.

    Besma | Curiously Conscious

  3. Libby-Jade Harris 29th March 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I’m not on a ‘complete’ clothing ban but I haven’t bought any new clothes this month which I thought would help me save money, but I am in the same place as you- everything I save I am spending on books! Over the past few months I’ve definitely tried to cut down on randomly buying clothes unless I think I definitely need them. I feel like by not buying new clothes I keep wearing the same things over and over again but that’s good because has made me realise how many clothes I can easily get rid of but also made me the sort of clothes I need to buy. Loved this post :)x

  4. Ceri Heathcote 14th May 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Great to see your experiment! I did a no new clothes year, a few years back and also found that it made me more creative with my outfits and made me consider new clothes much more carefully when I finished it. I am now doing another no new clothes year for 2018.


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