The courage to share imperfection

In recovering from my over-shopping habits, the most progressive choice made has been reflecting on my choices, my mistakes and imperfections.

Having the courage to be open, to put it out there, and to reflect is ever so challenging!

My most recent accountability posts here and here were felt like pulling teeth. Some of my admissions on the OHH Facebook forum are painful and it’s ever so scary to click that “post” button.

There have been times I’ve gone missing from writing because it took deep courage to report back on my choices.

One of my first ever articles, The Full Story, is one I still can’t go back and read.

I am however a big believer that the human spirit is a beautiful one. That the majority of the time people show up in support of one another. Us human beings are more often than not intrigued and want to hear others’ stories of mistakes and trials to be there in a positive way. Read More »


The true cost of fashion consumption 

Recently I watched a documentary called The True Cost.

I’ve talked a lot in OneHundredHangers about the the influence of the fashion industry and marketing on our mindless consumption in today’s world. And this doco put a fresh new spin on my outlook and added another notch to my passion for living with a capsule wardrobe, having gratitude for what I own, purchasing quality over quantity, and being less wasteful.

It makes me really sad to think that big fashion chains make us feel “rich” by offering consumers new, ridiculously affordable options every day, whilst exploiting human beings in poorer countries to supply our frivolous fashion demand.

Western shoppers come home with full shopping bags of garments weekly or even daily at as little as $4.99 a pop.

We’re enabled to live the celebrity life donning new throwaway outfits every week for cheaper than cheap, whilst international garment workers are earning all but $3 a day. Read More »

What Happens Next? My new approach to capsule wardrobing…

So my verdict is in, and no, living with a capsule wardrobe probably did not help assist me in spending less or shopping less in the end.

But it still had it’s benefits. I’m more mindful in my shopping, my style is more refined, getting dressed every day is enjoyable and easy, I am better presented most days, I’ve saved a good amount of money and payed down some debts.

My shopping ban was rewarding and as much as I relapsed twice, I learned so much. First of all that I could even do it! It put me in the savings zone which I’ve learned I prefer well over the feeling of guilt after over spending! I look forward to being back in that place!

I will continue with living with a capsule wardrobe, and I will continue with my shopping ban for now, but a few things are about to change with my approach to living with less and trying to tackle my over shopping quadrums… Read More »

My shopping spree reviewed- enabling thoughts and frivoulty

After my spring capsule wardrobe shopping trip, I found myself in a place of quite severe guilt and shame. I struggled to pull myself out of that place, and it was a second unplanned shopping trip a week later where I metaphorically threw my hands up in the air and said “what the hell, whatever goes” and shopped up a storm.

After that point, I’d done so much damage, I financially couldn’t have afforded one. more. thing! I felt the post shopping guilt and shame once again, however I finally felt like I had purchased everything I “needed” (not that I ever even needed anything in the first place). I’d scratched that shopping itch that I didn’t seem to fulfill the first time around. The thing is, that shopping itch wasn’t out of needing to fill a few more mindful gaps in my wardrobe. It was from longing to treat myself and purchase a few fun, unplanned items.

27 items and a lot of dwelling later, I finally let go of the guilt and started to allow myself to enjoy the new wardrobe. You can read more about my post shopping-ban shopping spree here.

The intention behind pursing pseudo-minimalism and living with a capsule wardrobe, for me personally, was to tackle my carelessness with money, overspending and never ending shopping habits. I had just accumulated so much stuff! And when I shopped, it was no longer for one or two items, I would tend to purchase a whole “set” of things that “go with each other”.  I was pursuing an image, trying to live the high life that I really can’t afford, nor do I even want! And above all I had this strong desire to scale back in search of something more than accumulating “stuff”.

Living with a capsule wardrobe sure has made me more mindful. I’ve saved a heap of money, learned to go without constant shopping. I’ve become more intentional and seen benefits in all areas of my life including relationships, my career, time management, and my general happiness. The benefits of living with less and getting rid of the clutter are miraculous!

But one thing that clearly hasn’t changed is my frivolity! On my recent shopping trips I overspent. I’m over dwelling on it and I am fortunate enough to be able to quickly get past that financial setback. I decided to stop beating myself up, but it’s thank you to an insightful reader that I didn’t just bury my head in the sand and ignore some highlighted shopping habits of mine. I was ready to ignore the ‘insert large figure here’ too much that I spent and the enabling behaviours that came with it.

So it’s time to talk accountability. After all the purpose of this is to grow and develop over time. So by further analysing what I purchased and why, I’m hoping to come up with a better set of principles next time I shop. Read More »

Jess’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe

My Spring capsule wardrobe is finally locked in!

And this one was a challenge. After four months of being on a shopping ban, I struggled to “let go” of the rules, to deal with the guilt of shopping and then I relapsed and over-shopped! Trying to then fit the 26 new items into my preferred 40 item capsule wardrobe then became a bit of a riddle!

For my winter capsule wardrobe, my breakdown was as follows:


Tops: 14

Sweaters & Cardigans: 5

Pants: 6

Skirts: 3

Jackets/Coats/Outerwear: 8

Dresses: 1


Read More »

Finishing off your Capsule wardrobe- A few tips to help pare down


If you’re in the process of creating a capsule wardrobe, paring down your clothing to a minimal number of items can be a big challenge. For first timers it involves a dealing with the fear of missing some much loved items. You might be worried that your new capsule wardrobe just won’t work.

The tips below are based on the idea that you’ve already culled your wardrobe and are down to a pile of maybes and a few definites. There comes a point where you’ve culled the majority but it’s a real struggle to get down to that smaller number that truly makes it a capsule wardrobe.  Here’s a few tips that might just help make the final chop a little bit easier and lead to a wardrobe that is loved and appreciated…

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Minimalism Bust. The shopping ban was over and so she shopped! Up. A. Storm.

My dear OHH followers and newbies alike. Recovering shopaholics, shopping ban battlers… I must tell you something. For I have sinned!

Oh yes people, ohhhh yes! I have experienced a relapse of mammoth proportions!

See, my plan for capsule wardrobe rotation was as follows…

  1. Identify what to keep in my wardrobe from winter to spring
  2. Identify what to take out of storage for spring
  3. Identify the gaps that need filling
  4. Shop for those gaps, mindfully, intentionally and within a reasonable budget (erm, keyword here, just keep in mind… reasonable!)
  5. take everything out of the wardrobe, and mindfully curate the options and place back in the wardrobe a selected 30 to 45 pieces
  6. allow another week to trial the selection and edit further if needed
  7. lock down the spring capsule wardrobe by the 12th of September

I dutifully started this process and here you can read about what I chose to keep on from my existing wardrobe. And here you can read about the gaps I decided required a shopping venture to fill.

At that point, step3,  I was very confused to say the least. I didn’t desire or long for hitting the shops. Shopping felt so foreign after months of avoiding their glittery shiny new-ness! I felt very lost and very much like I’d forgotten how to shop! Lets face it, shopping for me in the past has been all about frivolity and fun. Lest be honest, I was pretty careless in the past! I wasn’t sure being mindful was something I could do when released “into the wild”. I feared failure, relapse and the unknown! The adrenalin and excitement of a shopping trip evaded me. Such an odd and empty feeling that I’d never felt about the possibility of adorning beautiful new items. I was scared and hesitant.

I scoured online stores, browsed some shops and couldn’t comprehend the spring fashions and how they would fit in my capsule, which was at the same time seemingly becoming old and tired. I hunted excessively online for “smart” items that were wearable, mindful and practical and fit my “gaps”.

I built up the courage, and with a work trip to Melbourne I had the a perfect opportunity to use some after work time to set out with my shopping list, and complete the feared purchases.  And here comes the accountability….Read More »