No Buy Year: Low Buy November

This is the journal covering the second month of my no buy year, November low buy.


On September 21, 2022 I started a year long low buy/no buy. My goal is to get a grip on my shopping and learn to be more content with the great clothes I already have. Follow along each month as I document my experiences and how I did.

November 25

Black Friday is here, which I fully expect to be my most challenging period during the entire low-buy year. Something about deals and fomo really gets me. So far I have held off all of the deals from places I would be shopping right now. Most retailers have had their deals going for at least a week.

However, today has been an off-plan disaster in terms of sticking to my no-buy November. 

First, I bought a mystery Zuri dress. It wasn’t on my list. I decided early in October that I was ready to invest in one, and the one I really wanted is out of stock in my size. I resolved to just wait and see what happened and what was released, waiting for the perfect statement dress to add to my wardrobe.They had a mystery sale for BFCM and I went in. I added to my notes the name of my dream dress just in case. I will sell it if it isn’t 100% love.

Second, I bought something completely whimsical and not me. At some point about a week ago the concept of lace up style boots entered my head and would not leave. So I started researching, as I always do. I thought black would be safe, and started looking at a few different brands I trust and learning about how boots are made. This, to me, is a “lifetime” purchase, so I wanted a boot that could be resoled and last forever. 

I loosely considered white doc martens, but 90’s me never wore them, and 40 year old me said she never would. Until someone in my local homeschool group posted a brand new pair in box 60% off retail. I caved. I bought them. 

That’s 2 completely unplanned for, non exception items I have bought. One would think I’m not very good at this not buying things thing.

November 27

I bought a few wool items. I can rationalize them as being on the exception list or close enough, or I can just share and move on.

  • Emerald green dress with nursing access (exception list)
  • Black cropped cardigan
  • I also got a free black v-neck tee with purchase (not sure how free things count, but considering I had to BUY to get it, probably counts)

There were a few things on my BF planning list from last month I did not end up getting. When it came down to it, I didn’t want the pink turtleneck or the dressy top enough to buy them at the BFCM discount. If they are 50% off in the future, perhaps, but also keeping in mind that if I don’t want to buy something badly enough at full price, I probably shouldn’t buy it at a discount anyway. So we shall see. 

Nor did I get the nursing hoodies, but that’s because they did not release any I liked the color or pattern.

November 28

The boots experience has left me with a really profound thought. I purchased them very whimsically, without my usual hemming and hawing about whether or not I should. I usually spend eons comparing brands, doing research, thinking through the implications, before buying something new. 

But this time I didn’t. I considered a few things because I’m still me, but when I saw them on sale I just did it. But I had this image in my head of myself a certain way, and it stuck around and I acted.

I still feel strangely foolish buying them. But I also feel a great deal of joy because I did.

Which builds upon the thought I was having at the end of last month that my perception was more aware and not dulled. This seems like the next stage of that thought; the buying of something based on true excitement, because you can recognize what clothing makes you happy and what clothing is meh.

As to the courage it takes to buy something crazy and foolish, and then to wear it and not care what anyone thinks…why does it matter? Whose approval is it you really need? 

I’m going to say that clothing should be fun. Getting dressed should tap into your creativity. Not every day, no way…no one has the time or energy for that. Creativity can come in the wardrobe design portion, simplicity with repetition. The Radiant Woman Intensive can get you there if you need help.

And maybe I had forgotten that it was supposed to be fun (and not just a business) and these silly boots are reminding me of what I stand for in style and fashion.

November 30

The biggest shopping month of the year is over and I am glad. Since this is technically a low-buy year instead of a full no-buy, I feel moderately ok with how it ended. 

In a perfect world I would perfectly stick to everything I said. But considering how off the rails my shopping was before, this is definite forward progress.

After 2 full months I’m ready to begin getting rid of some of my clothes. I expect that this will ramp up as time goes on and I move through the seasons and see what I’m not loving and wearing.

Final Thoughts on Low-Buy November

Here’s the simplified recap on November:

  • Items Purchased: 5
  • Items Returned: 0
  • Items Exchanged: 0
  • Items Decluttered: 0
  • Net Change November: +5
  • Net Change Total: +4

My ratio of 1:1 in looks horrible right now. However, I am about to resell 5 wool dresses that don’t suit me. I also need to get rid of some shoes so it should even out. And if I find the energy to purge nursing clothes that will be a huge declutter.

I’m getting more and more in tune with what I have and what I love and letting go of all the “should’s” in my wardrobe. I still have a bit of a brain problem trying to collect the “perfect” wardrobe. But I expect some of those “wardrobe essentials” for a perfect wardrobe will be finding their way out before this no-buy year is up.

Did you enjoy this recap? Would Black Friday have been your big challenge too?

no buy november low buy

Black Friday can derail your no-buy November without careful consideration.

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