No Shop November 2019 Recap

No Shop November is over, so it’s time to review how I did.

I can already tell you, I did pretty bad. I didn’t manage to not buy anything, or just the things I needed. I mean, I did pretty well for the first half of the month, but right at the halfway mark I failed and bought something, and then a few more times in the last little bit of the month.

I kept a little diary of how I felt and did during the month (on some days, definitely not a whole lot towards the end when I basically failed the challenge), so let’s look at that first and then at what I bought. And at the end, my thoughts on the whole challenge.

Dear diary…

November 5, 2019. I am 5 days in now and have already bought a few of the things that I was allowed to buy/actually needed. I do find myself thinking about small things I want to get that aren’t on my allowed to buy list, like accessories. And also bigger things, like I have a few (well one) pairs of shoes that I find myself really wanting, a nice pair of OTK or knee high boots. And also good sock boots and a pair of everyday heels. And white jeans, I really want white jeans! I know I don’t need those things, I can wait a month before I buy them and if I still want them then I can get them. It’s so far a lot harder than the book thing, the need to shop for clothes and shoes is a lot bigger for me. Might have something to do with seeing all these things on Instagram and YouTube..

November 7, 2019. Although I am still fighting the urge to shop (I was seriously considering going to the stores today or tomorrow to just have a look) I am also noticing that I am more so trying to identify the things that I feel like would add something to my wardrobe. Maybe it’s just to try and justify any possible slip ups during this month or justify a massive shopping trip after November, so it’s not all that good, but I feel like finding those pieces that will truly fill up a gap in my fashion and beauty collection and holding onto the want for them a whole month might be really good. If I still want them after a month, it might be okay if I buy them. For example, a bigger backpack, but a nice cute one for work. I use my Longchamp one every single day for work, but sometimes it’s a bit small, so a bigger one would really add something to my wardrobe. There’s one from Michael Kors that I currently really want and it’s actually also one I’ve been looking at for over a year now. Something I’ve wanted for so long is justified, right? After the month is over, of course.
I feel like this post is turning into a shopping wish list. Not very good for a no shopping challenge, but that’s just where my mind’s at in the first week of this challenge. Interesting….

November 14, 2019. I had to spent a few hours alone in the city today, surrounded by beautiful shops with wonderful things and I’m not gonna lie, I had a little look around at all the things I wanted to buy. I tried on some shoes, and I was even really tempted to pick up some jewelry. However, proud moment for me, I didn’t. I managed to walk out of every single shop I went into without buying anything, and I have to say it felt pretty great. I still have a massive fashion and beauty wish list, but for now I managed to stick to my no shopping rules. Yay me!

November 15, 2019. Halfway through the month exactly, and I bought some things I wasn’t allowed to buy. But you know what? I don’t mind, because I love the things I bought and I’ve been wanting them for a long time!

November 20, 2019. Payday is always the hardest, especially when you have to be in the city anyways to buy some things you need. So I’ll admit, I also bought some things I didn’t need. I just got sucked into all the stores, I tried so many things on and I was in such a spendy mood, and like I said, payday. I am happy with the things I got, but bummed out that I didn’t manage to stick to No Shop November better. This challenge is so much harder than I thought (and I thought it would be pretty hard!) I feel like the first half of the month I did really well but now at the end…. ugh. Well I’m going to try at least to stick to it for the remainder of the month, I am sure I will. The trick is just to not go anywhere near shops..

I didn’t manage to stick to it for the remainder of the month. And I also just stopped with the diary after the 20th. I think I just kind of gave up after this, as you will see from what I got.

The things I was allowed to buy

  • Storage boxes. I told you in my original No Shop November post that I wanted to get some storage boxes for a whole bunch of my clothes, and I did. I got two medium sized ones in which I put all the clothes that I wasn’t feeling at that moment and I have put them away in the back of my closet. My closet now feels a lot more organized and a lot less cluttered.
  • Rituals facial sunscreen. Sunscreen is a vital step in my morning skincare routine, even in winter.
  • Lush eye cream. Same goes for eye cream. I’m pretty sure I even mentioned this in my original post.
  • L’Oreal Elvive hair mask. Can’t live without my hair mask, and I ran out about halfway through the month.
  • Batiste dry shampoo. Obviously beauty products are things that you can actually run out of, so they were mostly on my list of things I was allowed to buy.
  • A tripod for my camera. This is another thing I think I mentioned in the original post. I’d been wanting a tripod for a while and had decided that I was allowed to buy one in November even though I did the no shopping thing. I am very glad I did, as it is absolutely amazing for blog photos! Especially now that G is working full time again and thus has no time to help me.
  • Books. 5 in total. But I will come back to that on Friday.. 😉

So that is actually quite a long list of things I bought over the month. Obviously I told myself I was allowed to buy these things before I started the challenge, and I happened to run out of a few products throughout the month that I had to replace, but still, it’s quite a lot in my eyes.

However, the things I bought that I wasn’t “allowed” to…

The things that I wasn’t supposed to get…

My first “unsanctioned” purchase were over-the-knee heeled boots from Mango. I got them exactly at the halfway mark, and I just couldn’t help myself. They were on sale, I had been looking at them for a while now, they are the only pair of OTK boots that have ever properly stayed up on my legs.. I love them, and I don’t really regret the purchase, but it wasn’t really allowed in the challenge.
Going hand in hand with the boots were some OTK socks from H&M, a two pack of plain black ones. I got them mainly to just add an extra layer in case I want to wear the boots when it is really cold.

Then, when I was on my own in Utrecht to buy the tripod, I couldn’t help myself, I had to have a browse around the other stores. And there I picked up a dark blue pair of Levi’s Mile High skinny jeans. I didn’t need more jeans, I had enough, but I was realizing over the weeks before I bought the pair that my other dark blue jeans were a size too big and I had actually put a new pair on my wish list for after NSN. Clearly I couldn’t stop myself from getting them during the challenge though. I don’t know why, honestly waiting those extra few weeks wouldn’t have done me any harm whatsoever, but apparently in the moment I just couldn’t stop myself.

During that same trip I walked into the Zara Home and I smelled something delicious. You may have seen it in my Christmas Gift Guide, but I picked up their Gingerbread Christmas candle. Twice. First in the smaller size, and then last weekend in the bigger version as well because I (and le boyfriend as well) love the scent so much. Another thing that I didn’t need, but desperately wanted. And in my defense, I had been on the lookout for somethings that smelled like this for almost 3 years now. So I feel like it was kind of a justified purchase. Although why I couldn’t wait until December…?

Something that I got mostly out of habit, but also kind of feels like a necessity but wasn’t really, was my favourite Rimmel eyeliner when I saw it was buy one get one for free at the drugstore. I always get my liner in that sale because it means I save €9, but it didn’t really fit in the challenge this month so I’m putting it on the “things I wasn’t supposed to get” list. I do feel like it should be kind of in between the two lists though, as I do truly use this every single day, and I’m always in need of a new one (that’s not actually true, they actually last pretty well).

One thing that definitely belongs on the “I should not have bought this” list (although I do love it), is a cashmere cardigan that I got at my local secondhand store. Secondhand stores are the devil when you are trying not to shop, because you know that there is a big change that the item that you love will not be there next time. That was how I felt about this 100% cashmere piece, it was too good to leave behind, even though I didn’t need it and it wasn’t on my cheat list. I am glad I got it, I have worn it a few times and I know it goes with a lot in my closet, but I also feel kind of guilty about getting it.

My last two purchases were Black Friday scores. I had not thought about the fact that it would be Black Friday during No Shop November, which made it honestly a lot harder to finish the challenge on a good note, and I didn’t. On the very last day of November, Black Saturday I guess, I went out to buy a backpack. I mentioned in my Fashion Wish List post a few weeks ago that I wanted a big backpack that would fit my laptop, and with all the sales going on a few of the bags I had my eye on had a really good discount. I originally wanted the Michael Kors backpack, but it turns out that they are not actually a whole lot bigger than my Longchamp one, so I went for a gorgeous brown Matt & Nat one instead. I do not regret buying this during NSN one bit because I saved a good amount of money and I do feel like, looking back, it is something I actually needed.

One things that I really should have waited to get, even if it was just a week, was a stunning little pinky ring from Aynur Abbott. It is gold, it is perfect and it is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but it isn’t something I needed, and therefor I shouldn’t have bought it during the weekend.

Basically the conclusion is, I can’t not buy anything for a whole month. Which is honestly pretty bad, because I really don’t need anything. I buy things that I want because they are pretty, and when I want them I want them RIGHT NOW. I think that is the worst part of it, I can’t seem to wait for just a few weeks longer. It’s something I really need and want to work on.

I’m glad I challenged myself to try all of this. I feel like I did learn a bit more about my shopping habits, and I also feel like I’ve seen a lot of things that I want to improve, and also ways how I can improve them. I definitely want to continue this challenge in a smaller way: I want to put things on a wish list, a waiting list so to speak. And when I have saved up for them, when it makes sense to buy the thing, I am allowed to buy the thing. I also need to evaluate more if I actually need the thing, not in a “well you don’t need it because you have clothes and shoes” kind of way, but more looking at if it will actually add something to my closet, or if I have something that gives off a similar look.
I am going to try harder to shop secondhand first, because I love shopping secondhand and it is so much better for the world. But if I can’t find the thing secondhand, or if it doesn’t make sense to me to get it secondhand, I will of course let myself buy it new. But only if it truly makes sense to buy it.
And lastly, I need to stop putting myself into situations where I might get tempted to buy something. If I need to go into town to get a tripod, or a hair mask, or some other thing that I need, then I need to just go to that store and nowhere else. I should not go browsing, I just need to stick to that one store. Okay, and maybe the cute cheap secondhand store every once in a while..

I also just want to say that there is nothing that I bought that I regret getting, I love all the times and will use them/have been using them a ton. But it annoys me that I couldn’t wait just one month before getting them.

Can you ever see yourself doing a challenge like this, or do you feel like you can control your shopping more than I can. If so, what are your best tips for me?

Thanks for stopping by ❤

-x