RTW Fast 2018 Wrap Up

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My 2018 Ready to Wear Fast has come to an end! This year, I'm proud to say I did not buy a single clothing item--not dresses, not shirts, not pants, not even bras or underwear (though I did buy 4 pairs of socks). I learned a lot during my fast, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share my thoughts here.

Frustrating parts:

- I really should have bought a new raincoat/rainpants before going on a hiking trip in England. I lucked out and we didn't get any rain, but if we had, I would have just been out of luck. I could have borrowed some, but I didn't think and ran out of time. Fasting definitely takes a bit more planning/forethought than just popping over to the store and picking something up.

- I really hate sewing tee shirts. I didn't really need any new tee shirts during this fast but I did make a few and... I really just don't enjoy it. If I were to do a RTW Fast in perpetuity, this would become very annoying. Honestly I'd probably just stop wearing tee shirts?

- I wanted to buy some tees to support various podcasts, etc. and came thisclose to buying a shirt from the merch booth at the Shredders show I attended before realizing it was forbidden! I did end up buying a baseball hat from Two Girls One Ghost to get around the fast restrictions while still supporting the creators.

What I loved/what I learned:

- I like having designer things, and I'm often tempted to buy, for example, the same label I saw my favorite actor/blogger/whatever wear. I know this is stupid but it's human! I enjoyed not being tempted to buy expensive things that I might not love as much as I should, just because of the brand/who wore it/etc.

- The biggest thing I noticed was that by eliminating a whole category of potential purchases I had some amount of, like, brain power diversion or choice paralysis elimination. I'm not sure how to best describe it but I really liked knowing that I just didn't have to think about clothes shopping. I am someone who really enjoys shopping but also never buys anything. I will pick up a million items and decide which ones I like and then panic and put everything back. (I did this with toys when I was really little, too, my parents tell me. It's just who I am apparently.) This also applies to clothing sale emails--I just delete them without worrying I'm missing anything!

- I was forced to finally tackle making a couple of things I was dreading: bras and tee shirts! I'm 1 for 2; I loved making bras and will continue to avoid making tees.

- I didn't actually buy more accessories, I don't think, so I probably saved some money. I didn't tally it up in any way! I probably bought a little more fabric, but not much. I think the money is probably a wash.

- Not having the ability to purchase new things helped me assess the current state of my wardrobe, as well. I come to the same conclusion after every Me Made May--I need more tops!--and not being able to buy tops reaffirmed this. Unfortunately, I didn't learn to love sewing tee shirts, so I'm likely to have the same feelings during next year's Me Made May as well. Oops!

- As I went through the year, I did several closet purges, of both handmade and store-bought clothing. I don't have any statistics or anything to back this up, but I so think I ended the year wearing more handmades every day than I started the year off with.

- I was better able to focus on basics and sewing practical items I will actually wear, rather than one-off patterns (or "cake" rather than "frosting" if you've been a part of the sewing community for as long as I have haha). This made my blog a little boring as you saw endless variations of Ginger jeans, Granville shirt, and Simplicity 4475, but I like what I like! I wear what I wear.

Will I do it again?

I'm giving myself all of January to buy any staples (read: tee shirts haha) I may need, but then I plan to be back on my fast until the end of the year again. I might make a few exceptions for merch (i.e. that concert tee) though. I'd like to maintain this sort of mentality through the years between now and the next official fast.

Would you recommend the fast?

Yes! There won't be an official fast in 2019--I think it happens every 4 years?--but I'd definitely encourage each and every one of you to pick a duration of time and do a wardrobe fast, whether it be for a month or a whole year, and get yourself ready for RTW Fast 2022!


ps: the real challenge would be a fabric fast...

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  1. Wasn't it a fun year? I'm kind of glad it's over, but also learned I don't need nearly as much clothing as I once thought I did. Also I hate making tees, too! I do plan to continue fasting, but won't feel bad about buying the occasional item (like leggings, I hate making them). I am going to attempt to fast from fabric and pattern buying too, but we'll see...

  2. I have done the RTW fast before and I like it. I feel like I make more purposeful choices that way. I think buying the concert tee or making your own is fine if you dislike sewing them. I think the whole point is to increase your sewing skills throughout the year and make you more mindful of the few things you will end up buying.

  3. I did a fast a few years ago before I knew there was an official fast. I did it because my closets were bulging. I'm not sure I would do it again, because sometimes there are situations where I need to buy something and it iseems silly not to buy something only because of a fast. The experience made me much more mindful of my purchases, and I think I buy much less overall than before the fast. But sometimes, I want to be able to buy something and not feel guilty about it.

  4. I completed the fast this year. I did it in 2015 and more or less kept going until this one though I did have a couple of purchases (my MO outfit - I ran out of time to make it). I didn't take the opportunity to purge but have identified gaps in my wardrobe - trousers!! These I can't buy. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to sew them either. I didn't sew much at all - I certainly have far more than I need. This year, I will. I probably won't buy much if any RTW (doesn't fit, I'm not the right demographic for what's on sale etc) but I will organise my wardrobe. Happy New Year



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