November 11, 2015

What you have is more than enough


Tony typically checks Facebook far more prolifically than I do, and cuddle bunnies that we are, I am sometimes curled up beside him when he does, reading his feed at the same time he does. For years now, long before Chronically Vintage and I joined Facebook in December 2012, I'd been doing just that, and have continued to ever since. In that time, I've noticed some striking differences between the typical kinds of content that appears in Tony's Facebook stream and that of my own.

Chief amongst which, and rather glaringly, is the fact that exponentially more posts that appear in my Facebook feed are geared towards getting the (typically female) reader to buy something. Now, it should be stated for the record of course, that the percentage of such "commercial" Facebook posts will be substantially influenced by what sites you've opted to like and who your friends there are.

Still though, the more time that's passed, the more I've come to see that on Facebook, as well certain other social media sites (Instagram springs to mind immediately), there is a substantially larger number of ad based posts encouraging customers to buy something in my own stream than in my husband’s.

While there are no shortage of ads and commercials out there that specific target males or which are designed to garner sales from both genders, I've long come to realize that women are often marketed to far more often, aggressively (as in the sheer number of ads we see), and with immense pressure to buy said item (or service, etc) in order to make ourselves, in the eyes of the public as seen via the advertiser's perspective, more attractive, desirable, important, worthwhile or popular.

In addition, it also seems (at least amongst those in the circles I travel in) that women are more apt to post about their latest buys on social media and their blogs, which in a round-about way begins to feel like a sort of advertising stream unto itself.

There is so much constant pressure to buy, buy, buy! Who cares if you just spent a $100 on a new jacket, surely, we're told day in and day out, there's a million other things we (supposedly) still need and simply must get ASAP!

Don't get me wrong, if doing so is financially viable, I love to shop - especially for vintage and second hand items from sources like thrift shops, yard sales, Etsy, and eBay and would miss it greatly if I wasn't able to so at least once in a while - but I have no desire whatsoever to give into the constant stream of ads or the peer pressure to keep up with the Joneses that can, and does, run rampant through both advertising and the fashion/lifestyle blogosphere.

Over the years, I've had a few dear online friends share with me that they couldn't help but feel a bit envious of the wardrobes of others in our vintage loving community, and in turn they felt guilty about having those kinds of covetous thoughts.

It breaks my heart to hear this, not so much because that person is experiencing a bit of jealously, but because they don't feel like their own wardrobe is up to par and/or they can't help but feel that they're not buying enough to make themselves as well liked/popular (especially on social media sites) as certain others in our midst.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say I've never longed for something that I saw another person have or which came to my attention via a Facebook post (or on Instragram or Twitter or Pinterest, etc), before the green eyed monster of jealousy can even so much as think about rearing its ugly head (generally speaking I'm not a jealous person at all in any area of my life, but it's simple human nature to want what is beyond our grasp at times and to feel envious of those who are able to obtain it), I remind myself of one simple, yet incredibly important fact.


What I have already is more than enough.

Just as what you have is almost certainly more than enough as well.

Seriously.


 photo tumblr_mcb4x5GoH61qgwmzso1_r1_1280_zps9e0df779.jpg

{Each of us is allotted a finite amount of time and money in this life, but our ability to feel happy with what we already have is limitless. Embrace what you own right now in the moment. Make do and mend. Stop comparing yourself to everyone and their well dressed dog, appreciate your existing good fortune, spend time with people instead of coveting their possessions from afar, and shop with love, not lust, in your heart. If you do these things, your world will change in untold positive ways. Click through to this image's source to read a powerful reminder of what how truly blessed we all are to own what we do.}


Stop for a moment and think about your closet? Is it bare? Unless you've experienced something horrible like being robbed or have recently gained or lost a very substantial amount of weight, chances are you have dozens of items of clothing on hangers and in your dresser drawers. You have makeup in your cosmetics case, hair accessories and lovely toiletries in the bathroom, and likely scores of different items (ranging from decor pieces to craft supplies) around your house, especially if you've been living on your own (aka, not in your parent's home) for more than a couple of years.

You probably never go hungry from lack of food in the house, and your utilities and housing are most likely able to be paid in a timely manner. You probably gave gifts to your loved ones last Christmas and received several in return. You may have a car, motorcycle, bicycle and/or boat to get you from point A to point B. Even if you have a very modest income, chances are, nearly all (or all) of your basic needs, plus several important but less vital wants, are covered right at this very moment.

For this, and so many other reasons, you are incredibly lucky. You are doing better than a staggering percentage of our fellow human beings around the world. We need to stop feeling like life is a never-ending shopping spree, where momentary want trumps long term desire, and where no matter how much one acquires, it's never enough. Because it is.

This doesn't mean that I'm implying you should lock up your wallet and never buy anything else again. Of course not! That would be foolhardy, impractical and completely unnecessary. No, what I'm trying to convey - and what I hope will be the resounding take-away message from this post - is that you're free to step off of the constant merry-go-round of consumerism any ol' time you like.

You don't need a 43rd dress, just because that stylish vintage/rockabilly/pinup gal you follow on Instagram just announced that she has "like 200 dresses now". Good for her. She is she, however, and you and you, and as I touched on in the post How to build a vintage wardrobe on a budget last year, you probably don't know the dynamics of how she came to possess so many garments and if she spent far beyond her means to acquire her wardrobe.

President Theodore Roosevelt famously said that "comparison is the thief of joy", and I could not possibly agree with that statement more. We - as a society - need to shift our thinking, at least some of the time, away from the constant desire to try and have “what that guy is having”, just because they have it and we don't. I can promise you that even if you think you don't have a lot, there are millions of people out there to whom your worldly possessions would seem almost like those of a king or queen.

Instead of constantly focusing on what to buy next, why not opt instead to think about ways in which to replenish some of the joy that constantly comparing yourself to others has robbed you of, that cost little to, ideally, nothing? (A point which Stephanie Lynn from The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart discussed in this post on contentment last year). There are countless lifetimes worth of such experiences out there, just waiting for us to step away from our Facebook feeds and discover or reconnect with them.

You are free to shop and do as you please. I don't believe in dictating to anyone. We're all adults and we're able to make our own choices, but it is truly beneficial to incorporate feeling content with what you already own, at least some days, into the fold of our lives.

It's a magical, incredibly liberating moment when you realize that what you have in your possession right now is more than enough. That you are richly blessed both in terms of what you own and the opportunities you've been afforded in life.

Today, on the 11th of November, the solemn date that marks Remembrance Day and honors the the memory of all those who gave and scarified, made do and survived with whatever they had at the time, I encourage you to find happiness both in what you already call your own.

Those things that cannot be bought on sale, like a quite walk in the woods, snuggling your pet, making your grandparents a special meal, giving of yourself and your time to a charitable cause, taking digital photographs, writing a snail mail letter to an old friend, or simply allotting an afternoon to yourself to try and restore a greater sense of tranquility and contentment to your world.

In doing so, I can all but assure you, the next time you do opt to buy something, when you get it home or it arrives in the mail, chances are, you won't feel as inclined to put it on a shelf, toss it in the back of your closet, or stuff it in a drawer and forget about it.

You won’t be quite as (if at all) consumed already with the desire to obtain the next item you simply "must" have, and that sense of inner peace with your possessions, your financial situation, and your place within the circles you inhabit, will make you feel happier and wealthier than any number of purchases ever could.

Believe me, I speak from experience, rooted in the knowledge that, though I am free to acquire more as I please, and to derive happiness from doing so, ultimately, what I am already blessed to own really and truly is all I'd need at this moment in my life.

91 comments:

  1. Great post, Jessica - and it touches on what we've been discussing in relation to the likes of PUG et al recently nicely. I really respect the sentiment here and agree completely that women are aggressively marketed to and it does feel overwhelming at times. And as we discussed - not only is what we have more than enough, but why should we want to have all the same things everyone else has anyway? x

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    1. Exactly! Though I penned this post prior to our most recent conversations on this important topic, a lot of what we've been discussing lately is woven through this piece. I know that not everyone will nod their head in complete agreement to every last sentiment that I made here, but I hope that it will give each reader some pause for thought and the chance to reflect on just how fortunate and blessed they already are.

      Thank you for your great comment, my sweet friend. It's wonderful to have you to talk to about these kinds of topics (and oodles of others!).

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  2. I agree with your perspective. Consumerism is a bottomless pit whose promise of happiness is empty.

    As far as advertising, you are also correct. Companies, directed by advertisers' research, go to where the money is. I read that 80% of consumer spending is done by women. I was shocked to learn many men don't even buy their own underwear! So if women are the primary buyers, they are going to be the primary targets for advertising.

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    1. Well said, Ally. Thank you very much for your impute. It really is a bottomless pit and while, as touched on here, I have no qualms with the act of buying (given that I'm an Etsy shop owner, I'd be quite the hypocrite if I did!), I really think that, in general, a great deal of today's society would be well served by giving serious thought to how, why, and when we buy.

      We're broke as a collective whole, working long hours to inch through life, buying more and more, but scoring lower on happiness, quality of life, stress, and mental health front than we have a long time. As the recent rescission around the world testify, this is not a wise or healthy way for us to live as a collective whole and a rethinking how one shops is certainly an important step in possibly reversing some of these trends.

      ♥ Jessica

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  3. What a timely post, dear friend, especially as we roll into the Holiday Season with its buy! BUY! BUY! For me, the two best kind of fashion bloggers are those who make stuff -- knit/crochet, sew, up cycle -- and those who have a limited amount of clothing in their wardrobe and come up with incredible and fresh combinations. I love seeing gals knit complicated stitches and make new dresses for occasions just because they had the fabric and the time. I adore seeing the same skirt worn a million different ways because, let's face it, that's reality. I tip my hat to those who can take the same dress and style ten different ways. Basics are key.

    Sure, I just bought yet another pair of Docs ... or two ... but I haven't bought "a new wardrobe" in a long time. I did so when I lost all of my weight because I had to. Nowadays, I need to buy pieces here and there because I'm slowly gaining all that weight back. I refuse to buy a whole new wardrobe because I KNOW I'm on my way to losing all that weight and will be able to wear my old wardrobe. Sigh, for me it's a vicious cycle of weight fluctuation and a crappy thyroid. BOOOO!

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Franny. So true about the immense pressure to buy around the clock during the winter holiday season. Doing so because you genuinely want to is one thing, doing it because you feel like you're "failing" as someone in the 21st century if you don't is a whole 'nother matter and its heartbreaking that so many find themselves in the latter camp.

      I adore those kinds of bloggers, too, and would say that - to a degree at least - I fall into the group that restyles their existing wardrobe. A lot of items have appeared here multiple times, and in the case of shoes, some probably dozens of times now. I don't have a huge wardrobe and I'm ruthless with what hold onto, so you'll always see some repeated items here over the course of a given year (and from year to the next).

      I totally understand and think that it's wise to just buy here and there. That's my usual approach, too. I'm really sorry that you're dealing with that kind of cycle, my dear friend, and am always here if you need to talk about it more in private.

      Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  4. I appreciate this post. Really needed to hear it today, as I look at my budget and prepare to head into holiday spending. There's so much pressure to find the perfect gift or perfect party outfit or perfect food item. Makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it, lol.

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    1. Doesn't it though, and really, what does that say? What would most of our ancestors even just a few decades ago think about the mind blowingly huge spend fest that the winter holiday season has become? I'm in no way opposed to shopping or buying mindfully, but I'm not behind mile long credit card bills, shopping as a source of stress, and the need to buy for the sheer sake of spending money just because it's December.

      I'm very happy to know that this post was timely for you, Jen. Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Here's to a relaxing, beautiful holiday season,
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. Great post, Jessica! I have been buying and buying lately, and I have started to notice that I haven't even been needing those clothes I've bought.. I should do a christmas cleaning in my wardrobe and really check out the items I don't even wear and give or sell them away. But I know it is not going to be easy to get rid of some of the pieces..

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Sara. It can be genuinely challenging to purge your closet for sure. Even though I try to be quite ruthless with culling mine, it hasn't gotten that much easier over the years. A super small closet and limited storage space elsewhere do helps me to prune more successfully though. I'm a sentimental, nostalgic person though, so I can certainly relate to your own struggles with parting ways with some of your wardrobe. Best of luck - I'm always here to cheer you on.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  6. Wow! So awesome! :D This post pretty much sums up my life right now. As I've been going through and discarding a lot of my possessions, it's really made me realize that so many things are just not necessary. I still get the urge to shop a lot but before I purchase, I definitely think about it a lot more and often decide to put off purchasing until I'm sure about an item or end up not purchasing at all! (Although I've have not found it difficult to spend my monthly personal spending money each month!)

    The bottom line is that stuff cannot make you happy long term. If it did, millionaires and celebrities would not be turning to drugs and alcohol or committing suicide at an alarming rate. But we all buy into the lie that if I just have that one thing then my life will be perfect and I'll be happy forever.... until I'm not and need that next thing.

    What I have is enough! :D And thanks so much for sharing my link. I'd totally forgotten that I had written that post. It's so cool to see that I really have grown in my contentment since writing it.

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    1. Excellent point! That is so very true and while substance abuse, depression and other life altering problems are not the domain of the well off alone, it is amazing how often those with hefty bank accounts fall under the spell. I think that more than buying happiness, what money can help to "buy" is peace of mind, which itself can bolster happiness levels for some, but there we're talking about things like being able to pay hospital, lawyer, car repair, home improvement, etc bills without going into debt or even bankruptcy, not a thousand dollar pair of shoes or a ten grand bottle of wine.

      You're very welcome! That post and your message stayed with me all this time, resonating deeply and I always figured I'd pen a related post myself one day, so made sure to bookmark your post for when I did. Thank you for writing it and for the inspiration prompt it gave me.

      Here's to delighting in what you have and for the beauty of letting go of unnecessary abundance in our lives.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  7. Yes, exactly. I write about this a lot (I think perhaps you read my non-sewing posts sometimes, so mayhap you've read a few!) and it is one of the things that really bugs me about modern life in the internet age. I struggle with finding the right place to be in terms of having enough, but not too much, and being happy with what is there (I'm often struggling with the sheer amount of stuff that six people in a small house seem to "need"--surely it can be less!! The grocery situation alone is quite daunting)

    Thanks for sharing this today.

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    1. Indeed, I truly appreciate that this is a topic you've delved into before. It's one I love hearing different people's viewpoints on and which I think we need to keep at the podium, so to speak, all the more nowadays, with rapid change technology (aka, the drive many have to get a brand new iPhone every year or two), fast fashion world, and ever worsening world economy breathing down our necks at every turn.

      So true about our homes being filled with such a cacophony of stuff. I said to my mom a few years ago that it's amazing how few items we buy nowadays are devoid of needing other items and/or an ongoing expense to keep them operational. For example, if one purchases a Swiffer, which is certainly a handy product (I own and use one myself), you need to keep buying wet and/or dry pads for it and, with some models, a specific cleaning product. In days gone by, a broom and/or mop, bucket and little homemade or store bought cleaner was all you needed and likely lasted you for years. I think that a lot of the way we shop today hinges on the fact that we need to keep buying new stuff to ensure our existing stuff is able to remain operational and that is a drastic change over the way (by and large) our foremothers and fathers budgeted, shopped, and filled their homes.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts here, sweet lady.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  8. Good post. And "Comparison is the thief of joy" is something I should add to my list of mottoes. (The others are "The problem is not the problem. Your attitude to the problem is the problem," and "Do or do not, there is no try" - Roosevelt's probably more respectable a role model than Jack Sparrow or Yoda!)

    I am very bad for comparing myself to others and finding myself completely wanting - so often I've considered giving up blogging because I'm 'not good enough'. Time away from social media and its marketing helps at those times.

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    1. It is truly a wise, succinct way to look at the all-too-human nature of envy or feelings of being less (rich, pretty, talented, etc) than someone else and one of my favourite quotes as well. If I had a child, I think I would put it, along with a few other deeply important life quotes, in their nursery - for what a better and healthier place the world would be if we had the message ingrained in us from early childhood onward.

      Please don't let those negative thoughts ever completely take over, sweet Mim. You and your blog are both awesome, both inspiring, and both a great asset to our wonderful little vintage blogging universe.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Oh, I won't give up! I know I have negative phases when I want to give things up, and I tell myself to wait a bit - a month or whatever - and see how I feel then. It always passes. (Though not by buying more stuff. The solution is usually to step back and take time to enjoy what I have.)

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  9. Thought provoking, and thoughtful post. especially at this time of year when many are giving thanks for what they have, and wishing to be with loved ones. Charity really does begin at home and giving is such a balm for the soul. It's always good to give away some of our stuff instead of accumulating more .... and more. x

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    1. That it most certainly is, dear lady. This post's aim - and I think most picked on as much - is not to discourage shopping in general, but rather to remind us all that sometimes it's perfectly alright (and very healthy) to be at genuine peace with what we already own. Giving to others and/or decluttering our homes can go a very long way on that front for sure, as you wisely pointed out.

      Many hugs & happy holiday season wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  10. You have a standing ovation in Ontario with much whistling, clapping and a "Bravo"! I hope you can hear it.

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    1. I most certainly can and it touched me straight to my core, sweet Debra. Thank you deeply from this westerly side of the country.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  11. Very thought provoking writing my dear Jessica. I have to say that although I make efforts to tone down, I do sometimes try to look for happiness in things. I guess it happens at some point of our lives - in my case when I started working I was able to provide for myself things that i had longed for as a child and in a way that child continues to live on… I do know that things will give you some type of comfort, either physical or emotional, but never happiness.

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    1. Goodness, do I understand what you mean there (I grew up with very modest means and often went without) and it's something that I have had a very complex relationship with throughout my adult life (especially in my early to mid-twenties). I have been consciously working on, especially in the past five years, and I can honestly say that I've made a lot of positive strides, but I'm sure it will always be a part of who I am and how I approach money/spending. Thank you for sharing such a candid element of yourself with me (us), dear Lorena.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  12. excellent post. I have in the last year in the attempt to save money kind of mentally ignored all those ads and push to buy buy even thought they are in my feed everyday. I DO have enough clothes and I'm very blessed with everything else in my life.

    I also realized a long long time ago getting into the vintage world that I cannot EVER compete and nor do I want to really. I would be broke if I tried, very broke.

    Once again, excellent points Jessica.

    Liz

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    1. Same here - massively!!! I do find - and there's nothing wrong with this (for any of us) - that I long for certain items, but my desire for them is virtually never tied to envy because someone else may have them. They're simply beautiful/cute/clever/etc items that have captured my heart and spiked my pulse. I've never tried to "compete" in the vintage world in the slightest either. That's not the kind of person that I am and to me, doing so would take so much of the fun out the spontaneity, joy and creativity of sporting old school styles. Major kudos for living your life the same way, dear Liz.

      Huge hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  13. What a wonderfully humbling post and ever more poignant today. About 10 years ago (before social media) I made a conscious decision to stop buying women's magazines because I was so tired of being told how I should look, what I should wear and how I should live my life. It was a game changer when it came to my self confidence and self worth because suddenly I was no longer comparing myself to these unobtainable images and lifestyles. I now rarely, if at all, compare myself to anyone or wish I had someone else's life, wardrobe, looks etc and am happy just being me. I have to say, though, your post has spurred me on to purge some of the companies I follow on Facebook!

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    1. Thank you very much. That is such a healthy, wonderful outlook on life, dear Cate. It's truly fantastic that you don't find let comparison rule any part of your world these days. So very many of us would be helped immensely by embracing the same wise mindset.

      Many hugs & happy mid-November wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  14. Wonderful post Jessica! I especially love the photo you chose of a WWII child getting a pair of new shoes, what an emotional moment. I consider myself privileged to have spent much of my childhood with survivors of the Great Depression and WWII, and I have to say that it had a profound affect on my attitude towards material goods. They had small wardrobes and neat homes. They mended, fixed and kept everything they owned for life. And yet even without new things they were a joyous group who knew how to have fun around the blazing fireplace or out on the patio. To say it was a simple time is true, yet they had everything they needed to look beautiful and be happy. For me they are an inspiration. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy what I have and not let the demands of those "Mad Men" marketing guys push me in the wrong direction!

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    1. What a touchingly lovely - and, for me personally, very relatable comment, dear Jen. Thank you so much for sharing it. I too grew up surrounded by wise, earnest living elders (particularly in my pre-teenage years) and believe that the examples of how they lived their lives, drew happiness from simple pleasures, and didn't outwardly yearn for much in the way of material goods has shaped and helped guide my own life ever since.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  15. Excellent post, Jessica! These are some ideas that I have been thinking about in the past year or so. Of course, I have been guilty of buying according to the "latest fashion" as a teen and I must admit, I ended up with more clothes than I really need.

    And now with the whole idea of "sustainable fashion", "eco-fashion", "fashion revolution", "slow fashion" and the likes, I am trying to streamline my closet and curb my buying habits from the past. I am probably not going to buy a dress made by women in Vietnam with dental benefits provided by the manufacturing company in the next 10 years or so, but for the past year, I have been trying to do the following:

    1. Minimise purchases of mass-produced clothes
    2. Buy vintage, and try to keep vintage shopping to when I travel overseas
    3. Attempt capsule wardrobes

    Everything is still a work in progress and I am bound to fail at times (e.g., like that time I bought the "Aloha" tee from F21 and felt like I sold my soul to the devil). But I do feel liberated because I am no longer governed by what is cool according to Fashion Week or the most popular rockabilly blogger/Instagrammer. Also it encourages me to be more creative with my outfits!

    I am probably going way beyond the socially-accepted length for a comment on a blog post. But I just wanted to share my thoughts. x G

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    1. Not in in the absolute slightest, my dear, and I really want to assure you that you need never worry about such things here on my blog. I not only enjoy, but welcome thoughtful, detailed comments and wholeheartedly appreciate yours on this important topic.

      Those are excellent, commendable guidelines by which to govern your wardrobe and ones that so many of us would be well served by as well. I buy very little new clothing myself and a lot of what I own has been thrifted, is vintage, or was a gift. I will buy new, but it is rarely an impulsive decision and rather the fulfillment of a genuine wardrobe need that can't be met at the thrift store and/or a product so breathtaking and special that I know I may regret it for a long time to come if I don't buy it (though, being of a modest budget, I usually have to save up and sometimes by the time I do, the item has sold out). I think that element of shopping/acquiring items - mindfulness - is something that we need a lot more of in today's world. I'm by no means anti-shopping, but I do think that we should all really stop and take stock of why we're buying a non-necessity type item when we get the desire to do so, especially if it's rather akin to others that we already have.

      Many thanks & hugs alike,
      ♥ Jessica

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  16. fantastic post as always! anyone who runs a blog I would assume feels like this. I am always wary of posting product reviews (which I end up doing) and thrift hauls because I don't actually shop all that much and sometimes posting such things looks very consumer-ish of you.

    I often try to tell myself the title of you post quite often I own very cute items but have a weird thing where I don't use them because I cherish them and tend to look for "new to me" items that are more practical to use than my pretty items. Slowly but surely I am getting in the habit of using what I already own. I try to be strict and make sure I will use what I buy hence why I often end up empty handed a lot which is okay by me I like to window shop.

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    1. I think you're fantastic at showing retail restraint, dear Daphne. So often in your thrift store recap posts, I see pieces that I would have been super inclined to snap up, but which you had the willpower to leave behind (not that there's anything wrong with if they had been bought, I'm just using this as an example). You shop wisely for yourself and your Etsy shop and I've never, ever thought that your blog that sort where you flaunted anything you'd bought/saw/were reviewing/etc. In fact, your review and purchase posts are amongst my favourites on your site.

      Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  17. These are thoughts that I've had over the last few months. Going from a regular wage to a student budget means that buying things because I want them has had to virtually cease and I am trying now to buy only becaue I need them. It isn't always successful, especially with make up but I do consider purchases carefully and budget accordingly. I think some of the problem is that we have become a throwaway society who rely on cheap clothes rather than buying fewer clothes of the best quality that one can afford. I find that most people looked absolutely astounded when I mention that I mend clothes rather than just buying a new item.

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    1. Yes, massively so. If something lasts you 1/5th or even 1/10th (or less!) the amongst of time that a better quality item would, we end up, in the not-so-long run paying the same, or more, for multiples of the same item as we would have if we'd bought a better quality, higher priced item. The problem is, there's often a large gap between "fast fashion" prices and better quality goods and for many the latter is just not feasible (at least on a regular basis) and so, if buying new, we may have little choice there (thrifting, sewing, sales, clothing swaps, consignments stores, and other similar methods of acquiring wearable items can help a fair bit though, but still...).

      I think it's awesome that you make some of your own clothes and sincerely commend you on doing so, dear lady.

      Many thanks for your terrific comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  18. This is an excellent reminder that "big Brother" is always watching. There are companies that track every purchase we make (from credit cards), every click we make (using cookies), and every comment and like we do (Facebook). My husband's facebook feed is completely different than mine and I think that is based on his own clicking and purchasing. I used his computer once to research some little girls dresses that I was making for a friend and he had little girls dress ads on his facebook feed for months after because of it! That's creepy! How did facebook know that I looked through JC Penneys website? Yes, as women, we are targeted aggressively. Especially as a fashion blogger. My feed is full of dress and jewelry ads. My husbands feed is almost empty of ads. But I do follow quite a few designers or local businesses so that might have something to do with it.

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    1. It's really amazing just how aggressively women are targeted to day in and day out, practically everywhere we turn. I think that even if one is able to tune it out/ignore the temptation that presented to us so frequently, surely it must still be influencing and impacting us on some (potentially unhealthy) subconscious level. Where once our ancestors sat on their porch together on a Sunday afternoon and watched nature and their neighbours go past, we now see a constant stream of ads on tiny electronic screens made for one. Objectively, there's no way the latter can be better for us on almost any level and I think that as more time goes on, at least a percentage of us will start to try and reconnect more with the world outside of the web and to try and tune out the constant marketing that is pushed on us 24/7 in the process.

      Thank you very much for your great comment, dear Mary. I really appreciate you relating your own FB experiences here, too.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  19. What a great perspective and what a perfect time of year for this post. As someone who is a struggling single mom of two, who sews all of her own vintage wear (otherwise I wouldn't have any), it's hard to see the constant barrage of ads and want to indulge the impulse to buy. I want all the pretty dresses and shoes and sweaters and skirts, but my needs take a back seat to my children's needs. It's even harder when dealing with depression and anxiety and stress and wanting to indulge in the retail therapy. I just wish we'd all take a bit more time to appreciate what we have and realize that everything else is just extra. We've lost sight of the difference between wants and needs. Thanks again for putting things back into perspective. :)

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    1. In case no one has ever told you (or told you lately), dear Kacy, you are an amazing mother and your care, love, and drive to put your children's well being first can not be overstated or commended highly enough.

      I completely agree that, as a collective whole, we've lost sight of that deeply important difference and it is a genuine shame. I think that we must strive to return to the days of when we knew which was a which. I'm sure, dead sure even, that the world's economy would be improved massively if we did so - not to mention the bank accounts, stress levels, and clutter problems so many face nowadays.

      Thank you very much for your candid comment.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  20. What a thoughtful and honest post. It chimes with me, as I've just literally had a 'What do you want for Christmas?' conversation with my husband where I've told him that "I don't want stuff. I want experiences. A surprise day out somewhere maybe". That's how memories will be made, and cherished in years to come. Not by wearing my 200th dress. I'm downsizing my wardrobe too presently, getting rid of items that don't quite hit the mark, and replacing a few things with considered purchases that I hope will stand the test of time. I agree that there's been a bit of an aggressive marketing campaign from the vintage repro section recently, which has actually had the opposite of the intended effect and has turned me off a bit. When you see the umpteenth person in the same dress on social media it starts to feel a bit like mainstream fast fashion, which goes against what I love about timeless vintage styles.

    Well written, thank you xx

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    1. So many yeses to every wise, insightful thing that you said, sweet Porcelina. The older I get, the more I feel the same way and Tony always has (sure, he likes collecting/buying certain items, but he's not very materialistic at all and that he inspires me on that front all the time) so we're with you in wanting experiences/memories, not (just) things, completely.

      Thank you so much for your fantastic comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  21. Thank you so much for this post today. I've been struggling with the desire to buy a new wardrobe for my new job, and I'm always tempted to buy new lipsticks. It's nice to see a style blogger reminding us that it's enough to just be who we are without buying to change or improve that.

    That said, I've had a bit of a tough day and found myself in your Etsy store considering a little retail therapy! Maybe next pay day...

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    1. Hi lovely lady, I'm very sorry that you've been having a challenging day/week. A new job is usually such a stressful time and one that is certainly an amply justifiable reason to purchase some new clothes and/or makeup.

      It's so sweet of you to support my Etsy shop. I truly appreciate it and always delight in seeing what items catch your eye most of all there.

      Many thanks for your lovely comment - best of luck with the new job!

      ♥ Jessica

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  22. Really well said. Interesting comparing your fb feed with your husband's!
    I struggle with gift giving because I can't put myself in their shoes, don't know what they have, or just not very cool :-) I always hope they understand my intention when I handmake something, but sense sometimes by actions that they are puzzled.
    I also want to give my kids gifts but find it difficult not to spend. We really don't spend a lot compared to so many, but growing up as a missionary kid in PNG I had a lot less and was completely happy.
    As far as my own clothes, I am a thrifter through and through, and a handsewer.
    But I am making a big purchase of a dslr camera this christmas for myself as a reward for taking on homeschooling!
    All the best,
    Jazzy Jack

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    1. A DSLR is one of the best investments anyone can make in my opinion and I truly hope you adore your extremely well deserved present.

      Thank you very much for sharing some of your thoughts on this important topic with me (us), dear lady. I'm a die-hard thrifter, too, and my wardrobe would be a mere fraction of its current size were it not for the awesomeness (and budget-friendly-ness) that is thrift stores.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  23. The whole creeping idea of consumerism has always been really off putting to me. It's one of the reasons I sew/wear vintage, because it seems much more mindful, making and buying quality pieces that will last. I don't usually become jealous looking at other people's wardrobes, it just gives me inspiration overload, which then fuels my never ending to do list. The only slight irritants I get have to do with living in Australia. International shipping is usually prohibitive, and there is very little here in terms of vintage hats/patterns that often seem abundant elsewhere.

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    1. Oh my word, can I relate! Shipping to Canada, even from the States in a lot of cases, can be laughably high, then you add on our steep import/duty fees and it can cost you an arm and a leg in a no time. The Canadian dollar, much like the Australian one, has been in awful shape for quite a long time now and that doesn't help matters one iota either.

      it's fantastic that you sew and wear a lot of vintage. I'm not a sewer, but a great deal of my wardrobe vintage/thrifted/gifts and when I do buy new, it's usually repro or something vintage-y looking that I'm unlikely to ever find in a thrift shop here in our small town.

      Many thanks for your lovely comment and for sharing your feelings on this important topic, sweet Kaitlyn.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  24. This is why I love to see the same garments constantly re styled in blogs. You can really play with what you have and not need to buy other things just for the sake of it. Of course like everyone else I feel that need for nice and new things!

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    1. Same here! Fashion feels so much more realistic and relateable when we see at least some of the same items appear in the wardrobe lineup of the bloggers we follow.

      Many thanks for your great comment, sweet dear.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  25. Excellent post! It's so easy in our society to constantly compare our belongings to that of others. It's hard to be made to feel that even though we have what we wanted yesterday, we won't be happy unless we have what's new today! I do some Bible study and I try to apply the principle of being content with the present things we have, even though it can be difficult.
    I try to make sure that the reason I want something is not because it's on a whim or because it's been advertised to me, but because it's something I genuinely want and will love for a long time! It's only valuable if we ourselves appreciate it.

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    1. That is such an immensely important distinction and I'm really glad that you brought it up, Sabrina. Thank you! There's nothing wrong with wanting something or even buying it, but ideally one should try to stop and contemplate why they want it and how it will play a roll in their life if they do opt to purchase it.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  26. Denise@BuyRVintageJunkNovember 11, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    As the weeks lead into the Holiday season your message is especially timely! I just had a 'gimme' moment the other day while looking through a box of costume jewelry. After sorting quite a few pieces I had a small let down, and immediately thought ~I really need more vintage costume jewelry~ and then realized how ludicrous that was!!
    As usual, your down to earth perspective makes everything crystal clear. We love our collections of vintage clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc but wanting stuff shouldn't take over our lives.

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    1. Precisely, dear Denise. You hit the nail on the head 100%. It's totally okay to want and sometimes buy items, but the constant craving for more, more, more, when most of us have such a rich abundance already is not healthy on any level and I think it speaks deeply to the fact that certain elements of life that were once commonplace (like greater civic involvement, knowing and spending time with your neighbours, living close to most or all of your relatives, making and/or growing a lot of what you need to survive, etc) are now far less so for most folks and that they're trying to fill a gap that they might not even realize they have.

      Thank you very much for your terrific comment. I wish you the merriest of holiday seasons!

      ♥ Jessica

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  27. This is a great post, especially since this is the time of year where advertisers really push their products. I also hate that so many stores in the US are now open on Thanksgiving with major sales. It pressures the public to forego time with their family just to get a deal on a product. As for me I plan to be home on Thanksgiving and not go shopping. In fact I'm going to either make all my holiday gifts this year, or buy from local shops.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

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    1. I completely agree, especially since that trend is happening here on Canadian Thanksgiving and most other holidays, too. It seems Christmas Day is often the only day that some businesses are closed nowadays. It's a shame indeed and not only causes what you described, but also robs countless employees from the ability to spend the holiday with their own loved ones because they have to work. We'd all survive with the malls being closed for a day and could add a lot of joy back into the world if they were and more people (both shoppers and employees) could be at home celebrating with their families.

      Thank you very much for your wonderful, spot on comment, dear Akram.

      Big hugs & happy Thanksgiving season wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  28. Oh my it IS a "magical, incredibly liberating moment" for sure.
    I sat back and read through this entire thing, word by word, devouring each sentence and word slowly and with wonder. As the American Thanksgiving is quickly coming upon us, and all the commercialism of the Christmas season isn't far behind (something I've already been stressing about) this struck me deeply at the heart. It's amazing, isn't it, all that i can have and yet still be unknowingly thankless and ungrateful?
    Oh what a joy, inspiration and great fun it was to read this. i'm saving it for later, and probably sooner rather than much later, for this is so good and i know i'll need to be reminded.

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    1. It truly is and I think that as a society, we are getting worse and worse at seeing just how staggeringly fortunate, blessed, privileged and rich (in ways far exceeding actual dollars and cents) that we actually are. Never have so many had so much and yet it seems like so few us are content or happy. Perhaps that's because, as most of our foremothers and fathers knew, true happiness lies not merely in what we own, but how we live our life, the people we share it with, and the good that we do for others. Messages that, tragically, are slipping away (to a degree at least) in the 21st century.

      Thank you deeply for your wonderful comment and for sharing with me just how much this post spoke to you, sweet Abigail.

      Many hugs & happy Thanksgiving wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  29. Loved this post! I enjoy shopping, but I'm not much of a buyer. My rule about purchasing things is typically "Will I regret it for the rest of my life if I don't buy this?" As you can imagine, most of the time, the answer is no, but since I'm a dramatic person, occasionally the answer is yes, that that question and decision has resulted in the much-loved wardrobe and possessions I have today. I wouldn't say I have a "lot" of stuff--moving internationally twice in one year doesn't really allow for all that much in the way of possessions, but what I do have, as you said, is way more than I need, and I enjoy my little possessions, rather than finding them to be too much of a weight, so I think that's a sign that a happy balance has been struck.

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    1. That is a very wise way to approach shopping and one that I've really been striving to take in recent years as well. I love to shop and don't see anything wrong with doing so, but I want to ensure that as often as possible, I'm bringing items into my life that I either strongly need and/or that will create joy for a long time to (or be highly educational, as in the case of certain non-fiction books).

      That is a beautiful way to look at what you own and one that we would all be well served by taking a lesson from, dear Rachel.

      Thank you very much for your terrific comment.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  30. Excellent post! It's very easy to fall into the consumerist trap. With the proliferation of advertisements, "haul" videos, product reviews, etc, there can be a lot of pressure to "keep up". I don't mind people sharing things they genuinely love or support, but it does all get a bit much sometimes. I've stopped following blogs where every outfit post is just another pretty dress. I love to see pieces repeated, worn in new ways, and accessorized into a different looks! I don't want to see 80 different dresses; I'd rather see 10 dresses worn in different ways!

    I'm a bit of a magpie, so I don't think I could ever completely fall off the consumerist wagon, but I do try to make sure everything I own has a story (either a memory associated with acquiring it or a story about the object itself). It certainly reduces the impulse to just buy all the pretty things, and focus instead on making nice memories which are always worth more than the object itself.

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    1. Agreed massively across the board. There's nothing wrong with shopping or acquiring new items (especially if such is done mindfully, as you discussed), but it shouldn't the star factor in anyone's life, IMO, as there is so very much more to their world and the incredible gift that is getting to experience being alive.

      Thank you very much for your wise, terrific comment, sweet Kate.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  31. jess!! my very wise friend!!! fantastic post! thank you so much!
    this are my thoughts too - but i never could made them in such a smart and beautiful text!!! THANK YOU!
    i will made a link to this on my blog - it needs the widest auditorium ever!
    hugs&kisses!!!!

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    1. Thank you deeply, sweet Beate. I appreciate you sharing this post on your blog a great deal and can't begin to tell you how touched I am that you did so.

      Huge hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  32. Dearest Jessica, I don't know if I have just passed the age of comparing myself to others or if I realized at some point in my life that I simply didn't care. I grew up extremely poor and I remember wanting clothes and pretty things but they were far to out of my reach. We were lucky if we had a place to call home and food to eat and I do know hunger.

    By the time I was your age I had managed to build a life and one day in an instant the rug was pulled out form under me. I was half way through college with a child that was 12 years old and no where to go. Somehow I managed to get us a home and finish college.

    As you know I have a beautiful life now but I know that you can never take anything for granted. The things that you have are merely things and you can loose them at any time. However, the people that you love and the ones that love you are going ot be there for you. Those important things that you do with you loved ones and the joy we get from life itself are precious.

    You know I love all things pretty and vintage. I am a girly girl if ever there was one and I love clothes in general and especially dresses. I love pretty make up and accessories and I can never pass up a good deal on a vintage handbag. Yet, I always keep in mind that there was a time when I did not have these things and I appreciate them but if I lost them all tomorrow, I would still have my family, loved ones, joy in life, my college degree and all the talents that I was blessed with when I came into this world.

    You words are so very true and you have such a way with your words. Thank you for helping us stop and take a look at our habits and for reminding us of the things that really matter.

    Gentle Hugs, Beverly

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    1. Sweet Beverly, thank you deeply for your wise, beautiful, insightful comment and for sharing so much with me about your own life and outlook on shopping/acquiring new items. For much of my childhood we were not well off either and I too can wholeheartedly relate to what it was like to go without, to be hungry, and to wonder if you'd still have a home to return to at the end of a school day. These things shaped and molded me profoundly as a child and caused me to have a very complex relationship with money, though that relationship has - through very conscious effort and work - improved a lot in recent years.

      That is so immensely true about the fact that no matter how solid our lives may feel, everything can change at the drop of the hat (I have experienced it first hand myself) and that we can't take what we have for granted for even one wee moment.

      Thank you again. Your beautiful soul shines through so radiantly in everything that you said here, my dear friend.

      Huge hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  33. I don't usually comment, but I just have to say thank you for this post. I've found more and more, I've stopped reading a lot of my favorite vintage blogs because they've started to feel like a catalogue of purchases and not a celebration of all things vintage. I love that even your outfit posts feel more like you're sharing something you love rather than sharing the latest thing you've bought.

    Every time I'm having a rough day, I can always pop over here to get a brighter, fresher perspective. Thank you for always putting a positive spin on things and for your thoughtful, thought-provoking perspective. This really is one of my favorite corners of the web.

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    1. Dear Grainne, I can't begin to adequately tell you how much your comment sincerely touched me through and through. I have always tried to be very mindful of the exact points you mentioned and to remain as humble as possible at all times. That's just how I was raised and even in the "look at me! look at me!!!!!!!" internet age, I have no desire to sell out my core principles and change the way I behave or share my life (and wardrobe, new items, etc) with others.

      It means a great deal to me that you follow my blog and that you enjoy/are comfortable with the way that I do just that. Thank you again - your beautiful comment was truly one that will standout for me from this whole year.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  34. I was nice told by someone close to me that one should only spend money on 'experiences'. An interesting thought and it always stuck with me. I'm giving you a standing ovation my love, because once again, you've hit the nail on the head! xxx

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    1. That is a wise piece of advice for sure and one that Tony would sing from the rooftops, too. Sure, three's some items he likes to buy and collect, but in general, he's one of the least materialistic people I've ever known and his health approach to spending and the acquiring of personal goods has been a great help and inspiration to me over the years.

      Thank you deeply for your beautiful comment and sweeter than sweet compliment.

      Huge hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  35. I have never been happier and more content since I decided on a "one in, one out" policy. I haven't acquired much since and I'm already thinking about giving up more clothes to donate to charity! I really don't need all those clothes!

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    1. It really is such a smart, handy, effective way to life your life and structure your wardrobe and I completely commend you on adopting and living it. I won't say I have always adhere to a set-in-stone 1 in, 1 out policy at present, but I do try to be ruthless with my purging, to give items away often, and to not let our wee little home become overcrowded with possessions. And I love that, the older I get, the easier this approach actually becomes. Another point in favour for growing up!

      Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  36. This is so wise, and thank you for saying it. It's really easy to get caught up in what other people have and start to feel your own comparative lack. I know I go through cycles where I get obsessive about finding all the things that I want - a particular style of pants, or a certain color of dress, this one trendy style of shoes.
    And, I hate to say it, but I think a lot of it is because I'm a fashion blogger. I love doing this, and I want to be successful, and I feel like the most successful girls doing this are the ones who have a new dress on in every post. Of course, a lot of them are getting the clothes for free, but I've definitely justified purchasing something I didn't really need because I felt like it was an "investment" in my blog. After all, if I show off a lot of killer new outfits, I'll get more readers, and then I'll get free stuff too, right? RIGHT?! (Picture me giving serious desperate crazy eyes.)
    Which is not to say that there's anything wrong with getting brand sponsors - I think that's something that you incorporate into your blog in a really tasteful way, without every post turning into a list of "care of" items that are, inevitably, Amazing and Wonderful. But I'm digressing, and I'm also sounding rather sour grapes right now, so anyway.
    Recently I've been trying really hard to balance out an urge to shop with a little bit of a reality check. How many things are in my wardrobe right now that I haven't worn, or haven't worn more than once? Don't I have other things that I've been putting off doing for financial reasons, like getting my bike tuned up or taking Brian out to the movies? Have I been putting money into savings lately? If I feel good about the state of the rest of my life, I might get myself a little something, but I'm getting better about putting the other stuff first.

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    1. Thank you deeply, dear Jessica. I truly appreciate you speaking so candidly and for delving into the fashion blogger side of things. When I first started sharing outfit posts here on a regular basis (something that, interestingly enough, didn't happen until my blog was about three years old), I felt a lot the kind of pressures that you described as well, but that quickly started to subside as a.) my readers responded so positively to seeing certain items "recycled" in outfit photos and b.) I simply didn't (and don't to this day) have the means to splash out a ton on new items all the time. My budget is very modest, but I'm able to stretch it a lot thanks to thrifting, and that helps to inject new pieces into my closet and outfit posts, so these days I can honestly say I almost never battle those thoughts any more.

      I sincerely appreciate you saying that you are fine with the way that I weave the sponsored items that I'm blessed to receive into my posts. It never stops being surreal that brands want to work with me and my blog, and I value and appreciate every kind, generous gift that I have. I don't flaunt them and never will. That's not who I am or how I operate. I let them shine in their own special way, but also try to star many items that I bought (or were given as gifts from loved ones, not companies) in my outfits, too, and constantly aim for an evenhanded balance of the two in the course of the looks that I share here.

      I love that you ended your terrific comment on the wise note that you did - and it struck me that that approach to spending/saving/the cost of daily life was one that our ancestors knew so well, but which a great deal of folks in today's world have absolutely, 100% lost sight of. We need, as a collective whole, to sit down and seriously rethink and reevaluate our priorities when it comes to how we shop and how we manage our hard earned money.

      Many thanks again for your spot on comment.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  37. Eloquently spoken Jessica. And as Denise said, so timely too. I love to shop but won't part with my money unless I really want or need the item - which is rarely. I have a beautiful husband who wants to shower me with gifts and often says to me "I wish I could give you everything". My response is always "I already have everything".
    xxx

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    1. That is beautifully touching and an important reminder to us all that the most important things in life are not, at the end of the day, actually things.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  38. I had this long comment written out in my head, but I would just be repeating everyone's points and great responses.

    All I have to say from experience with "trying to keep up" (with myself) and going into debt. It's not worth it. Those material possessions are not worth the stress, depression and worry that they cause because I believed it wasn't enough. Now free from debt, I learned a very humbling and hard lesson that I never want to repeat ;)

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    1. Here, here, dear Meagan. They are not on any level at all. I think that a lot of us have to figure this out as we get older and that's okay. Life lessons can take time (and hefty credit card bills) to really sink in and value. I had a complex, at times challenging relationship with money for much of my life (not helped by the fact that I'm a stress spender), but I'm very happy to say that I've got a far better grasp on such things these days (I worked really hard on forming a better, healthier relationship with money and spending) and will never again buy what I can't afford in the moment. It's awesome that you've reached that liberating place as well in your life. I'm so happy for you!

      Big hugs & many thanks for your great comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  39. Dear Jessica, such an amazing post, could only come from a girl like a heart like yours, golden! Actually you wrote about what I think. I loved this "Each of us is allotted a finite amount of time and money in this life, but our ability to feel happy with what we already have is limitless." Yes, people confuse possessing with being happy. Not all, of course, but many. I won't lie to you, I have a good situation. But this doesn't make myself better than anybody else in the world and I never show off, because I find it ridiculous. Nevertheless, I see people with twisted values. A girl I know has no money at all, yet, she sacrifices loads of things to be able to buy things, to post and be admired. She is always posting "new ins", something I don't like and as she can't buy as much as she wants, and she desperately needs to post purchases, then she posts the latest coffee she bought in a coffee shop. She is so confused and all she can care is clothes, shoes, and feels so envious when someone else can have what she can't. Instead of focusing on the ability to walk, see, smile, read - these things are not important for her. I am sad to see that in the world things are going this way. We can all be happy, and we won't take any possession to the grave, so we'd better smile NOW! Of course buying is OK, but just not to post and show to the world "I can". So what? In my opinion, but of course I respect any opinion, disagreeing or not. Hugs and kisses!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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    1. So am, dear Denise. This constant need to buy and to flaunt what we purchase day in and day out is not healthy for anyone - be it the folks buying or the ones seeing and often feeling envious/inferior/saddened/like a failure/etc because they can't (or opt not to) do the same. That's ridiculous, if you ask me. Instead of coveting others, why not take stock of one's one blessings and riches (far beyond material items), and try to help others with our time, instead of envying those in our environment or blog feeds. We need to return, as a society, to a much healthier relationship with spending and our fiances. There are so many like the woman you described out there and it has only gotten (worlds) worse thanks to the prevalence of social media.

      I'm not, in general, knocking SM in the slightest, but it has only fueled the fires of these problems for many, as I touched on here in regard to Facebook, and the thing is, we all have the very real ability to not let it get to us the way that it can, and does, for so many. From unsubscribing, to only following friends, to not being on such sites in general, if it comes down to that, we have the ability to a degree at least to distance ourselves from some of the constant marketing and bragging that our days and online experiences are so frequently filled with.

      Thank you for your excellent and very wise comment, dear Denise. I really appreciate it.

      Many hugs & happy weekend wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  40. Jessica,
    This is an essay worth reading. This is an essay that should (no, no: MUST) find it's way into a daily-read of most of people, and I do mean a magazine-spread or a page in the newspaper.
    Why?!
    Because this world has forgotten about "drawing the line". There are no limits to asking for more. And, sadly, the more we accumulate, the more we need. Heck, we even go as far as piling up so much items (better known as "stuff"), that TV stations make their living out of it - those "hoarder" series that focus on the worst of our fears: the fear of "not having enough".
    Long time ago I have realized that I can not cope with this idea, because there only a certain number of item we can wear/use in our daily lives. Why having 50+ summer night-out dresses when your schedule allows you just a few such nights?! My needs are small and my finances are limited.
    And so, I have embraced the frugal life-style. I never buy an item that I won't use. I never reach out for a dress unless I intend on wearing it a lot. Truth is: I am having, by far, less items than most of other folks, but I don't think that makes me look "poor". It's such a sad term, don't you think? People "tag" us with because they believe that filling up one's wardrobe with garments make them "rich".
    Oh.. such a useful post.
    Stellar choice of words!

    Marija

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    1. Excellently said, my sweet friend. I completely agree with regarding the fact that there is no limit in place on asking/feeling entitled to more, more and even more around the clock. Of course not everyone is this way and we each have the right to live as we please, but there are certain ways of doing so (living) and spending our money (or saving it) that were fundamental to the way society operated in recent centuries and which we're feeling the (often negative) effects of not having in place to the same degree any more.

      It truly absurd to label someone who opts to be smart with their money, to buy less, and to not just make do with - but to enjoy - their possessions as being "poor". Usually, nothing could be further from the truth, for we are rich in joy and sustained by the pleasures of life itself, not merely what we bring home in plastic shopping bags or that arrives in generic brown boxes on our doorstep.

      Thank you deeply for your insightful, wonderful thoughts on this subject and for be the wise, money savvy woman that you are.

      Huge hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  41. This is such a great post, Jessica! I think the Internet does equal amounts of good and bad and I've never understood the need to overshare about purchases. That kind of thing has always rubbed me the wrong way. Recently, I've started making changes to my feeds to eliminate seeing things that I don't like. I love that on Twitter you can mute people and unfollow on Facebook with out unfriending someone. Now if only Instagram had this feature...it has definitely helped curate my feeds to be more things and people that make me happy and less posts that make me feel like I'm not living up to other peoples standards. It's definitely a very worthy and timely topic to think about...so thank you!

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    1. Same here, especially if someone is in a position where they're able to buy new items frequently. If one tends to purchase less often and doing so is quite an event, then I think it's more justified, but I could never personally fathom feeling the need to share every last time I added some little thing to my home or wardrobe. Sharing in general can be a great thing and its certain some of the lifeblood of many bloggers and Youtubers, but if a person is taking that "share everything you buy/are given" approach, how does that not strike them as being rather boastful?

      Awesome job on purging some of your social media feeds of things that weren't making you happy. That's something we'd all be wise to follow your example on.

      Tank you very much for your terrific comment, sweet dear.

      Many hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  42. It's just so easy to fall in the trap of constantly buying new things, afraid that you aren't stylish enough. On social media women always seem to buy new stuff and you might feel left out if you don't. I'm guilty of this, though I did actually loose a lot of weight and gave away many of my old clothes. I still think I 've spent more than I should have, and I took the decision to stop it. I recently made a budget of how much I can spend per month and I am trying to live up to it. I'm also trying to define my sense of style, so I won't buy clothes and shoes I'm not going to wear. It is shameful to spend more than I should and not feel content, while I have so many clothes that wait to be worn in my closet, and have all my basic needs covered. What made me change my mind, was an article I read. The author said that materialistic possesions don't stay in memory after many years but experiences do. eg After years you won't remember this awesome red dress you bought, but you 'll remember that you went a trip to Rome. So it's best to spend less on objects and keep your money for experiences, such as travels,. going out and learning new stuff, such as a language or a type of dance.

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    1. That is most certainly is, especially when we now have (in many parts of the world and/or many families) multiple generations of this kind of mindset/way of living. Sure, the social media aspect of it is newish still, but the rampant (if not endless) consumerism is, sadly, not so young any more. It's painful to watch people, even total strangers, fall into that trap, as you so perfectly put it, and to know that a lot of lives (and psyches) are paying a very real price (far beyond any number on a sticker or tag) for it.

      Huge congratulations on your weight loss. That sort of change definitely requires new clothes and I don't think you should be hard on yourself for it, especially given how wisely you're budgeting now. I too set a cap (it's very modest, believe me) on my spending each month because I refuse to shop beyond my means at this point in my life (not that I did so often when I was younger, but just in general, I absolutely won't do that now that I'm in my 30s and have to start really thinking about the health of my fiances for the rest of my life, very much including retirement).

      Thank you very much for your terrific, insightful comment. I really appreciate it and completely agree with you (and that author) regarding the immense importance of experiences over (just acquiring) items.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  43. What a well written beautiful post, dear. I couldn't agree more. I am sick and tired of ads everywhere (and dating site ads too). I follow a good handful of vintage gals on IG and Bloglovin.I follow them to be inspired. To pair colours or items I wouldn't have thought of pairing, and things like that. I am not envious, not the slightest bit, honestly. I am able to be happy on behalf of others. Oh, your new shoes are darling - that's me. I cannot remember ever being envious, I can proudly say that. I don't understand jealousy, really don't. I think I have a LOT of clothes, you would never hear me say I don't have anything to wear. I also sometimes show what I've bought on IG, but it is because it is flea market treasures, and that's a good story, in my opinion. I am Etsy addicted, but I might favourite something and wait several months before I decide to buy it - if ever. It is good to sleep upon it, before taking the decision. When I started working part time, my salery decreased about 20% and it was not a problem at all. I think for many shoppers it is just a bad habit, like smoking. And vintage is to the rescue, since it is a "fashion" that lasts for very long. What I have in my closet is both vintage and old to me, but I still love it. Thank you for writing this fabulous post, and hopefully open a lot of other shoppers eyes and giving them something to think about. Have a lovely day, dear. :)

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    1. Yes, yes and yes again!!! Same here!!! I don't idolize or feel envious of anyone when it comes to material possession, let alone the people I follow on social media, and I don't try to keep up with their lives and shares because I want to copy them or one day have their exact life or wardrobe. Goodness, no!!! I want to be inspired by their originality, touched by the milestones in their lives, happy when we can all celebrate the holidays together, moved by the wise quotes they may share, awestruck by the beauty of something in nature they capture an image of, or to otherwise feel like we connect not just because of what they buy or receive, but because of the connections we've forged over months or often many years of knowing each other online.

      That is such a great point about shopping being an addictive habit for many, akin in ways to smoking. It's a comforting thing to do and one that can, very temporarily, often help feel like it fills a void in one's life, but if you're shopping for the sake of shopping, where is the true enjoyment and satisfaction in that act any longer?

      I really admire your mindset and would say that it jives a great deal with my own on this front as well. I don't get jealous either. I feel so blessed in countless ways far beyond what I own and that alone makes it a snap for me to feel happy for, and at peace with, what others own and/or share online.

      Huge thanks for your fantastic comment, dear Sanne. I really appreciate your insight and experience here.

      Tons of hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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  44. This is such a timely and beautifully written post, Jessica. I am often saddened by the rampant consumerism in my country (United States) this time of year, especially. Thanksgiving is no longer about family and giving thanks, it has now become about shopping for Christmas. I remember when no stores opened Thanksgiving day. Now they open on that day with 'early black Friday' sales. It's so sad. And Christmas too has become about gift giving only. I get tired of being marketed to and pressured to consume. I am very frugal and I love and enjoy everything I have. Like you, I think purchases through carefully so that I can make the most of my money. There are so many youtube 'beauty gurus' I stopped following because their channels became all about 'hauls' - who needs THAT much makeup? It just seemed so vapid and wasteful to me.

    Another great post!!!! Thank you, and thanks to all who responded, I love reading everyone's opinion on the subject because it's nice to know there are others out there that think like me. :-)

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    1. Thank you deeply, dear Tanya. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this important topic and for raising the point about Black Friday (and by extension, Cyber Monday) sales here. At first they were very much an American thing, but in recent years, I've seen some Canadian shops and online retailers follow suit, too, and also even more recently, some in other parts of the world, too. We, as a society, really need to focus less on what we buy, and more on how we spend our limited, incredibly precious time on this earth - especially during the holiday season.

      Many hugs & joyful weekend wishes,
      ♥ Jessica

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  45. What a beautiful, comforting and important post. So true and so necessary a sentiment. While I try to keep my own covetous thoughts under control, my social media feeds are often full of exciting new (or old) things I'd love to own and resistance is hard! But I do find that the more impulsively I buy, the less satisfied I am with a purchase, and the more likely to realise that time has passed without me even using the item. Often when I've waited (or procrastinated) for a purchase, I've ended up not even needing it. Our old TV keeps plodding along, my Dad's spare laptop is as good as new, I fit back into some of my old clothes eventually, another winter goes by with my old coat, and so on. And my happiness is unaffected.

    Well done for writing this and reminding us.

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    1. Fantastic point, dear Tanith. It's a bit like binge eating, especially if you weren't famished. It might feel like fun in the moment, but afterwards, you're left feeling oddly unsatisfied and often filled with remorse. I don't eschew shopping/buying in general in the slightest, but I do think that we, as a collective whole, need to reintroduce a far greater level of mindfulness into our purchasing habits, and loved reading that this approach is one so many of my readers take, too. Three big cheers to that fact!

      Thank you very much for your excellent comment.

      Big hugs,
      ♥ Jessica

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