20 in 2020 update: Month two of my low buy year

We are now two months in to the 20in2020 challenge, a delightful instagram community of people trying to limit their clothing purchases to under 20 items this year. This month…I bought more things. I dealt with some guilt. This post is me letting the guilt go because there’s NO LOOKING BACK. Here’s what I bought, what I learned, and what’s on my March wishlist. Plus my thoughts about the extremely philosophical question: Do I shop end of season sales?

What I added:

I added four things to my closet this month. FOUR. I feel like a freaking failure tbh. I mean…I hit 20% of my shopping limit in ONE MONTH. I also bought and returned 2 things–one dress for engagement photos (more on that later), and a swimsuit.

Ok. That’s the end of the guilt. All things considered, these 4 things were all great additions for me, including:

2 sweaters: These were both “one-in-one-out” replacements for bedraggled old sweaters, a teal sweater that lost the war to moths (and is currently sitting my garment recycling bag–though if anyone has ideas for reusing a sweater for cleaning I would love to hear them? The fabric seems a bit weird for repurposing into cleaning cloths). The second was a yellow sweater that fits better than my old yellow sweater, which was always too short. So, did I think about these choices a lot? Yes. Have I worn them both multiple times this month? Yes.

1 pair of pants. This is a duplicate–I have owned (and adored) these Everlane slim cropped work pants for about a year and decided another color was in order. This was on my wishlist at the start of 2020 so I thought a 2 month wait was sufficient. My review of these pants is here if you’ve been considering them.

These are also a swap for my wide leg pair of Madewell pants, which I like, but no longer feel quite appropriate for my workplace and job. They’ll end up on Poshmark. (Yeah I know they’re reaaaaally similar but sometimes when you have a complex about something you just have a complex about it ok):

And lastly, shorts. I know. I’m buying shorts in February? But they are shorts I really wanted last summer, and they are at a bit of a high price for my little heart to take. So when I saw them in the Elizabeth Suzann sample sale, I decided to strike.

So this leads to the question: To buy in the off-season or not? When I was a big time shopper in college the answer was a resounding YES, and I would come home with a huge haul. I have more complicated feelings about sales now and recognize that I usually end up with “almost perfect” clothing instead of the clothing I actually want, which leads to me buying more things instead of just buying one right thing.

I’m allowing myself to buy things on sale if they were already on my wishlist (like my January purchase!).

But I also recognize that clothing is not really a “need” for me at this point, and I’m usually buying it because at least on some level I’m excited to wear it soon. Going on vacation? Time to buy shorts! Did the temperature drop one degree in September? Time for all the ankle boots! So I’m trying to be careful that my new purchases don’t lose their charm by the time their season appears.

I’m doing this using the very sophisticated method that is: hiding them from myself. I tried the shorts on. They fit. I shoved them in my summer clothes box. No selfies. No fantasizing about all the outfits I will make with them. I’m hoping if I do that stuff in May, my brain will be like “oh yes we bought shorts I don’t need any more of those ok it’s cool.”

And if that doesn’t work, I have at least 5 blog readers able to say “HEY YOU ALREADY BOUGHT SHORTS STOP.” Counting on you, friends.

What I talked myself out of: I had “engagement photo outfit fever” this month which is a term I just made up but I wanted to buy approximately 80 things for our upcoming photos. Instead I made a Rent the Runway wishlist and will pick a couple of options to rent for the photos. Because, sensible.

What’s next:

I have a few goals this month:

  • Recommit to budgeting. I’ve re-downloaded You Need a Budget (YNAB) and am planning to use it religiously. I like YNAB. It’s easy to use and doesn’t shame you for spending money, as long as you have a plan for where it’s going.
  • Reading more: I finished 0 books in February, woops. If I start reading a book and dislike it, I tend to abandon it, but feel some obligation to finish it, which leaves me in the not-reading-anything purgatory. I finally got over that at the end of the month and started Life After Life, which I am enjoying enough to finish. I’ll download a couple new options after that and try to be more honest about quitting books I’m not enjoying.
  • A hobby jar: Now I’m treating myself like I’m 6, but I’m also making a jar of hobbies I’ve been meaning to pursue, so that when I find myself mindlessly browsing the internet I can pick a slip of paper out of the jar and do that thing instead. My ideas so far are letter writing, baking new recipes, doing a short yoga video, and going for a podcast walk. What else should I do?

The wishlist:

Onto the shopping part. I am interested in a couple of things right now:

  • A Universal Standard dress. It’s getting warm out and my dress wardrobe is just not going to cut it for teaching when it’s super hot here.
  • More Brass: Brass is releasing a pleated trouser this month, which is a style that has been on my wishlist, but it’s been hard to find a long enough inseam. So I’m hopeful that this will be the pair. But I’m also willing to skip it if it’s not going to fit.

How was your challenge this month? I can’t be the only one feeling shopping guilt by the end of month 2?

4 thoughts on “20 in 2020 update: Month two of my low buy year”

  1. Uh well. Kinda about to hit my max. Though I’m counting other items too, not just clothes. (Clothes I’m actually doing okay ish. But. Like why isn’t it July already 😂?)



    1. Hahaha I feel this. I kind of feel like a toddler throwing a tantrum whenever I see something cute at this point, like “whyyyy does this have to count toward my 20 items.” Fortunately my fiance is having none of it hahahah!


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