Setbacks on the Path to Minimalism

Recently I had a setback on my journey to minimalism. I had an upcoming interview, and I purchased three interview suits. I only need two. So why did I purchase three? I purchased three with the intention to return one. I don’t know which one. But my consumerist family  urges me to keep all three. They don’t know about my decision to pursue minimalism just yet. That is a discussion I am not ready to have. Anyway, I failed as a minimalist that day.

Part of me felt like I had no options. I had to have two looks for my two day interview. While this is true, I did have some options:

  • Get only one suit and change the shirt. In theory, I could have worn the same suit on both days and used a different shirt to make it look like two suits. God forbid that anything should happen to that one suit (like a ketchup stain, or whatever).
  • Make a decision. I could determine which suits I would actually need for the interview and return the other.
  • Check alternate sources.I could have checked the thrift stores, or consignment boutiques for a suit to wear.

In my defense, I had NO suits that I could wear to the interview. I need at least one suit. But do I need three? Probably not. Not now, at least.

What to do when you genuinely need something?

  • Focus. What is it that you really need? Don’t get caught up in indecision. Think carefully about what you need and how much. Make purchasing decisions based on this.
  • Don’t get caught up in cute. Part of the reason that I got three suits is that I got all caught in how cute I looked in all of them. I need to remember that I will look cute in lots of things. Cute is not need. Not all cute items should be purchased.
  • Ignore the sales associates. Of course they will encourage you to buy more, more, more. That’s their job. We must ignore their messages, and stick to what we really need.

Hopefully we will all learn from this failure today.

*I did have a small victory today, though. I returned one suit. I also did not make any purchases from the Lancome counter, even though they have a gift with purchase. I was temped, but I kept on going. I guess today wasn’t a total failure…


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