Why I didn’t buy new clothes for my Holiday
I didn’t buy any new clothes for my Holiday to Portugal this year. One evening a couple of years ago, Eoghan and I sat down and watched a documentary on Netflix – Minimalism, a documentary about important things. Although I have always been one that cares for the environment, something in this documentary really hit home.
Before this, I had always been a bit of a hoarder and loved buying things. I’d feel a little buzz of happiness when I bought something new. Be it a new item of clothing, or some silly trinket that I did not need. After this documentary all that changed. I won’t bore you with details but it just made me realise I did not need things. And since watching it, I have only gone purposely clothes shopping a couple of times, and I no longer buy “stuff” i don’t need. It also made me realise the amount of clothes I have kept in my wardrobe over the years that have not been worn with tags still on. It encouraged me to either donate these, or push me to wear them.
How I felt about not buying new clothes for my holiday
In the past, before going on a holiday I would go on a a big shopping trip for new clothes to wear while I was away. It is only now that this seems so unnecessary to me. For my holiday this year I purposely picked up one item beforehand – a €3 sunhat on sale in Dunnes. That was it. And by the way it is an awesome sun hat and don’t regret this purchase at all! You can see it in the image below, it is so cool haha.
I still feel really good about the fact that I didn’t go shopping for holiday clothes, which is what I always have done growing up. As a child before going on our annual sun holiday my ma would take us all to Penneys (Primark) and pick up a load of things. I guess it’s different when you’re a child because you’re constantly growing and need new things but now, I don’t see the need at all.
The items I did bring were versatile and could be worn a number of different ways. These were mostly items I’ve worn before and will be happy to wear again and again.
I was also so happy to see that my sister had not bought any new clothes either. She had brought some of her old items, and had borrowed numerous dresses from friends. Which is a great way to have new clothes to wear without being wasteful.
How to stop buying clothes you don’t need for a holiday
- Watch that documentary. I promise you it will make you think twice about needlessly spending money on things you don’t need.
- Plan outfits beforehand. It’s fun to put new outfits together using your old clothes. Do this well in advance. That way if you really need to buy something new you will know in plenty of time. I think we buy new clothes to mix things up and feel like we look different. If you make the time to plan your outfits you have the time to be creative and can do this without spending money.
- Borrow clothes from friends/family members. My sister did this and it worked out great. She had lovely dresses she’d never worn before, and afterwards she was able to give them back. She didn’t have to spend money but still got to wear “new” pretty outfits.
- Change your mindset. Despite what instagram/magazines/media tells us – we don’t need new clothes for every event in our lives. In the past, there used to be 4 collections of clothes a year, one for each season. This has increased to 52 for most high street shops, one for each week of the year. This has been done to make us feel like we are always behind and need to constantly buy clothes to keep up. You need to realise this is not true and that you don’t need to keep up with these trends. If you constantly feel like you need to buy new clothes, stop reading magazines and unsubscribe from any clothing brand emails. These are just influencing you to spend your money. It is up to you to change that mindset.
- Alter the clothes you have. I have turned plenty of old jeans into shorts. Adding belts or patches or rips to clothes can give them a whole new look and can make you eager to wear them again. Safety pins are my ultimate accessory. I find it hard to find clothes to fit my bum as well as my waist. I use safety pins to pinch in the waste to fit properly. Without this, I just wouldn’t wear the clothes if they didn’t fit in the right places. Take whatever items you have left at the bottom of your wardrobe thinking you will have them altered “some time” and just do it.
- Plan and pack ahead of time – I bet there’s a mountain of summer clothes buried in the bottom of your wardrobe somewhere that you forgot you had. By not leaving it until the last minute, you have time to find these items and don’t need to run to the shops thinking you have nothing to wear.
- Will I wear it after the holiday? Ask yourself this question. If it’s a no, you definitely don’t need it.
Why stop buying new clothes before going on holiday?
There are so many reasons you should try and curb your spending before going on holidays:
- Save this money for more important things. If you go spending over €200 before you go on clothes, just think what better use you could have had for that money. That would probably cover most of your food costs while on holiday. Or you could use it to go on cool tours and activities. Surely having a fun holiday is more important than having new clothes? Buying experiences will be more rewarding than buying clothes.
- You won’t wear it all. How many of us bring a big suitcase load of clothes on holidays to only wear our favourite 3 outfits over and over again? I have never worn all the outfits I’ve brought on holiday. Chances are if you go on a spending splurge, half of these items won’t see the light of day while you are abroad anyway.
- It’s wasteful. We get so used to feeling this false sense of happiness when buying new things. But that’s what it is, false. It’s a waste of your hard earned money and it will be a waste sitting in your wardrobe not being used after your holiday. “85 percent of used textiles still go to national landfills in the US” – The Balance Small buisness
Where did I get the clothes I brought for my holiday?
I am a sucker for a bargain. I have realised that there are more important things I’d rather spend my money on than clothes. The only real time I spend money on clothes now, is if it is a good bargain.
Out of all the items I brought, the majority of them were sale items and ones I’d had a while:
- Bikinis: all bought a few years back in Penneys on sale at the end of Summer. I used to work there and so got my pick of the sales.
- Sunflower skirt: I had been drooling over this skirt all Summer on MotelRocks. I am not one for online shopping or spending time looking at clothes. Sunflowers are my favourite flower so when i saw someone wearing this on Instagram (damn influencers), I kept tabs on it all summer. When it went on sale I had to nab it. The waist was too big so I used a safety pin to tighten it.
- Sun hat: as mentioned this was my only conscious buy for the holiday. it was on sale in Dunnes for €3
- Sandals: At the start of summer when the good weather came, I realsied the only footwear i had were converse, vans and big chunky boots. I had nothing to get me through the warmer months. Midway through the summer Paul Byrons had a huge summer sale. I picked up these lovely sandals at nearly half the price as they were an item I genuinely needed for the hot weather.
- Shorts: I have had these shorts in my wardrobe for over 7 years and have never warn them. I always hung on to them but never wore them. When going through my wardrobe and clearing it out, I didn’t want to give them to charity as I liked how high wasted they were. When i booked my holiday I knew straight away it was time to wear them.
- Black cropped tee: I got this on sale on Missguided a couple of years ago. I wore it a few times during the holiday because it is super versatile.
Although a lot of my clothes for the holiday came from fast fashion retailers, they are all items I have had a while and/or am happy to continue wearing again and again. As mentioned I rarely buy clothes, in the past year alone I have only bought a handful of items. So I don’t feel as bad about shopping in these stores.
Do you buy new clothes for a vacation?
I know a lot of people use going on holidays as an excuse to go on a spending spree. I’d love to know if you go on a dedicated shopping trip before a summer holiday? If so, why do you feel the need? After reading this blog post will you be inclined to stay away from the shops and root through your wardrobe for some suitable outfits? I would love to hear your opinions, comment below and let me know.
In the past, didn’t think twice about spending money but I am not glad that’s changed. Saving money is so much easier now and I am able to use it on the things that really make me happy. On my holiday I got to go on a tour out in the ocean and see dolphins. I got to go exploring caves, and got to eat as much as I wanted. All this was possible because I had the money. I hope reading this post inspired you to think twice too, although I’m not here to try and shame anyone either.
This post was inspired by Joy of Blog’s “WHY I DIDN’T BUY ANY NEW CLOTHES FOR MY HOLIDAY“. I read this a while back where Edel discussed why she had not bought clothes for her holiday Barcelona. After my holiday I realised I had not bought any new clothes for mine either and decided to share why.
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