Dear Shopping Savage,
I have a self-diagnosed shopping disorder. It started when I was a teenager working to pay for back-to-school clothes and from there its just escalated. If I'm not browsing in the mall, I'm shopping online. I've tried to find "shopaholic's anonymous" meetings but my online search resulted in me buying a pair of shoes. Can you offer me any advice on w
Your first duty is to take a long, hard look at your closet. Take everything that still has a tag on it or has yet to be worn - not just clothing, but shoes and accessories as well - and put them into piles. You have to promise yourself that you are not going to buy anything new until you've worn everything that's already new in your closet. Pair your "new items" with the remaining apparel and accessories to create restructured looks just by combining pieces you already own.
Use current fashion magazines to inspire looks that you may not have thought of. Browse discount clothing stores in the event that it's necessary to buy something while still merging your wardrobe. But be honest when determining whether something is "necessary". Shop with a friend who will discourage spontaneous spending.
At this point, you've probably been able to save money or pay down bills by cycling through your closet, so why not keep it up? You can consign any clothing that you don't plan on wearing again, creating disposable cash that you could either save or splurge. Lastly, give yourself a monthly clothing allowance and what isn't spent should be put towards something you've always wanted to do, like take that vacation you've never been able to afford (hint, hint).
If all else fails, you could check out this book. Ironically, it may be one of the last indulgent things you purchase for a while.
Need sartorial advice? Email me: ShoppingSavage@gmail.com