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What I Learned from NOT Buying Clothes for 2-YEARS!

Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence
Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence
From 2017 - 2019 I didn't buy any clothes, challenging myself to make magic out of the clothes I already had. I learned so much...  It even propelled me to  launched this exact company around it! Read on to see what I learned and how it changed my life.


July 24, 2019
Wow oh wow! Has it been two years already?!

I am happy to announce that I have successfully completed two years of not buying clothes, jewelry, purses, shoes, and accessories!!! Can you believe it? I hardly can.

Crazy that these two years went by so incredibly quick and in that time I surprisingly never felt a deep desperation to go on a huge shopping spree, to buy new clothes, or even have that dreaded moment thinking “I hate my closet”.

“Why is that?” I would ask myself, “Why after all this time I still find joy when I walk into my closet? Why do I feel a sense of freedom?  And why do I feel like I have a different relationship with my closet than a lot of people do?” After two years of trying to answer these questions, I smile because it has come clear to me and I have realized why…. read on, it’s a little lengthy but worth it!

Two years ago I wrote to you this:
I’m challenging myself to not buy clothes for a whole year [which then turned into two years]! 😳  I really want to do this to appreciate what I already have and not feel the need to want more. I read a quote that said, “Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for it.” Although that can be applied to everything in life, I am applying it to my closet. This is my challenge to test my fashion abilities, my style abilities, and to really make magic out of my closet.


• I did accept a few pairs of shoes I was gifted: during the challenge, I tried not to accept gifts however here and there I would. My friend had a few pairs of shoes left over from a clothing exchange. She brought them to me and I accepted!
• I DESIGNED AND MADE MY WEDDING DRESS! Yes, my friends, I did not buy my wedding dress, I made it.
• I did buy my wedding shoes. I cannot make shoes, and come on a girl deserves a new pair of sparkling shoes for her wedding!!
 I didn’t buy any new clothes for any of my wedding festivities: bachelorette party, two showers, rehearsal dinner, etc. I came close and in the end, I am VERY surprised at my self for not buying new clothes during this time.
• I did replace my black strappy heels and black classic purse with new ones. In year two I changed the rules that if anything in my closet becomes horribly worn out I could replace it. Well, those two things were falling apart so I treated myself to some new ones.
• I did except Christmas gifts. My mom got me a few pieces of clothing over the last two Christmas and I kindly accepted.

And that’s it! In the past two years that is my report! Pretty impressive I think.

When I look at my clothes today (two years after not purchasing anything new) I still have this overwhelming sense of gratitude. Why? It’s because of how I choose to treat my clothing. That each and every piece is a gift in my life, not something that is disposable. We each specifically chose our clothes to be on this journey with us and now have to choose to honor each of those pieces for that. I do not look at my clothes as possessions of mine and then, in turn, simply have whatever feelings I want about them (oftentimes for people that might be hate or frustration, or being sick of that piece) instead I look them as a gift in my life and treat it as so… with kindness.

Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence

As the  Marie Kondo craze carries on, there is an important method she goes by to declutter your closet. It’s to hold each piece of clothing and ask “does this bring me joy?” If it does, keep it, if it does not, thank it for its service and put it in the giveaway pile. I realized I had been doing this for years (in my own way) before Marie Kondo had put it into words AND IT WORKS!

Believe it or not, you have an energy exchange with everything in your life…including your closet. If you are filling it with things that you semi-like or holding on to just for the heck of it and not filling your closet with items that you enjoy, there is a negative energy exchange when you get to your closest. It is going to be one of semi-like, hate, and/or frustration… but definitely not joy and you will carry that energy with you throughout the day. I feel like using this method is a huge reason I still love my closet after accomplishing not buying clothes for these past two years.

However, let’s rewind a little bit.
Marie Kondo talks about the declutter of your closet, I’m going to talk about how to not get there in the first place. I realized I use a method similar to this when I shop. When I am in a store I practice intentional shopping, I don’t just shop for retail therapy. Instead, I shop with intention. When I see a piece I like, I ask myself :

  • Why do I like it?
  • Does this bring me pure joy?
  • Would this add to my closest or do I have something so similar that it will just create clutter?
  • What is my initial and true feeling when I try it on?
  • What do I already have (shoes, accessories, etc.) that I can imagine wearing this with?
  • Is this a big fat YES with no other doubting thoughts?

I go with my gut and don’t just aimlessly buy. I look at my closet as my close girl gang. We do not allow new members in without a deep cross-examination before they can join 😉 We ask, what are they going to bring to the table? OR, are they just going to take energy away from the other members? Silly to think, but I swear, think this way and the relationship with your closet will change.

I have a lot of rules for my closet and hold it to its utmost respect because that is where I start my day. I want my morning’s energy to be full of joy and gratitude and give my day a chance to start off right.

So think about how you treat your closet? What is your relationship with it? I believe to have a good relationship with it is also a very important positive step to an even bigger topic… great confidence…. but we will get into that another day 😉

Today is the day to celebrate my two-year anniversary of not buying clothes! Hip hip hooray! I hope me sharing my philosophy on my closet inspires some of you to rethink the relationship with yours.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and stay tuned for what is to come next!

Casey Lum-Dautel

Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence

Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence

The jacket was my dad’s when he was in his 20’s and the shirt was my Grandma’s.
Pants are Zara, shoes a thrift store, and glasses from my old boutique.

Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence

Wear Joy Project - Style Tips - #365nobuy - self love - confidence

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