Five Style Things I Used To Buy, But Now I Don’t

I buy fewer and fewer things as time goes by – a function of having pretty much what I need by age 62, and an intense dislike of shopping, except at thrifts and online. Going away for the weekend to Orlando to “shop the outlets” used to be a fun sisters-event; now I enjoy sitting with my sister over coffee, and talking about the Coach sale.

And some things, well you just don’t need them too much in the silver years. For example, no more feminine hygiene products to clutter up my under-sink and purse. No more nude pantyhose for those office events, yay. Done with disco jumpsuits (yes I did), hair color, and fast cars. But not dead yet.

Here are a few categories I don’t buy anymore, and I’d love to hear if you have any.

Clearance rack items. I used to motor to the 50% off racks first thing, and get swept away by all the money I was “saving.” Er, most of my wardrobe boners were picked up on clearance, it turns out. I no longer get a thrill from those racks at the back of the store; I look for what I really want.

Duplicates. With rare exceptions (I just bought a second pair of these fab Loft jeans because I wear them constantly), I don’t want/need two black cardigans or French sailor striped tops. I once had four nearly identical pencil skirts – just because I love a style/s doesn’t mean I have to carpet my closet with them.

These are my current favorites, as in “six days a week.”

Miracle face creams. Haha! To have those dollars back I’ve spent on “age-reversing” potions and creams. The ones “seen on TV” or promoted by celebrities, or lovingly applied on the home shopping channels. I’m now happy with Retin-A, vitamin C serum, sunscreen, and grapeseed oil (for moisture).

Fast fashion. Enough said? In addition to deplorable working conditions to manufacture them, most fast fashions fall apart quickly. Give me slow, repeatable fashion, like a vintage wool jacket or Doc Martens boots.

“Fine” jewelry. Those ads in the lady-mags still make me swoon, but I have what makes me happy right in my jewelry box. Inexpensive, yet arty, Etsy jewelry, on the other hand: come to Mama.

This gorgeous cuff is under $40, and it’s handmade.

Bonus #6: anything that’s not love at first sight. We can trust our love-meters on this.

Stay fabulous and enjoy every sandwich, xo

Some swoony, I-love-you-right-now pieces to browse:

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  1. What fun this post is: and what a me-too chorus from readers (and me too)! I’m going to try and buy no new clothes this year: I rather like this, and I’m not short of stuff to wear, so it’s no hardship — in fact I find it pleasurable, strange to say. Seems I’m not the only one to get a kick out of not-shopping, and we are not being cruel to ourselves in any sense.

  2. Patti, you’re so right on this. I’ve begun to realize how unfulfilling normal retail shopping has become. Store after store I walk past because there are so few that carry anything even worthy of my time to go inside and peruse the racks. However, I can come home bagfulls of resale finds that I truly love. I’ve got my own post on the topic that I’m working on with more thoughts on the subject.


  3. Good article that speaks for a lot of us. And our beauty routine are pretty much identical and i wonder how many over 60 has pretty much done the same. I use free samples when i get them but when it comes to using my own money, well those four can’t be beat.

  4. You speak the truth so honestly and frankly but with a nice touch of sweet humility that makes winding back over shopping so much more palatable. Time to treasure what we have and halt the madness of rampant, meaningless consumption.

  5. I have rarely been able to get things to fit me properly at sales or full-price at the beginning of the season, so I pounce on ANYThing in good natural fabric that I like and that actually fits. Although everything needs taking up except mini-skirts which are normal length on me, LOL! My winner-winner-chicken-dinner is footwear. Sales,, are full of the small sizes at ridiculous prices and I can get shoes I REALLY love. So glad that at 65 I don’t have to buy boring things that “go together” for work any more!

    • Love what you said about things that have to “go together!” Thanks for coming by, xo

  6. I’m with you on the Clearance rack thing. I used to wait until the really expensive stores I can’t afford to shop in regularly put out their end of season clearance racks and end up buying things that I never wore. I learned that just because something had been marked down from $500 to $49.95 didn’t mean it needed to be in my closet. I rarely ever go into a “new” store anymore, unless it’s for socks, underwear or shoes.
    I’ve been using Olay ProX on my face for years, and haven’t found anything that works better (that I can afford).

    • lots of “same” here. So right : just because something is a great deal, doesn’t mean it works for me. xox

  7. I hate shopping in stores so only shop online and only for things that will stand the test of time. I have never been a fine jewelry person and rarely buy costume jewelry. I have a handful of one of a kind pieces bought on trips or special occasions and have meaning to me. I buy a back up pair of jeans. tees and sneakers if I really love them. I must be honest tough I still love fashion and although I don’t buy as much as I used to I still do. Love the thrift and consignment stores because it is just like treasure hunting!

  8. I agree 1000%. I don’t buy in those categories, either, particularly outlets and sale racks.

  9. I laughed at the ‘feminine hygiene’ comment! If only I had known how much I would be spending on that stuff I would have asked for stock in Kimberly-Clark for my 13th birthday;) I only wear ‘real’ jewellery as a) it’s my husband’s default gift and b) I have been lucky enough to inherit some beautiful pieces.

  10. I’ve never had much success with outlet shopping.. tried it with high hopes a few times, without much luck. And I’ve never owned “fine jewellry.” It doesn’t suit me. My engagement ring and a lovely single pearl necklace that my husband bought me in Broome, Australia, where they’ve pearl diving is part of their history.
    Love the cuff on those jeans:)

    • Yes, IMO outlets are not all they’re cracked up to be. You’re one of my models of Smart Shopping, and I love your systematic approach. Real pearls are fabulous, yeah? xo

  11. You have much more self-control than I do, Patti! I’ve never bought a lot of repeats, but I do have multiple black cardi’s, though they’re in different shapes and lengths, so in my mind that doesn’t count! Haha! I do shop mostly thrift, but I do still enjoy clearance sales, but I don’t buy just because something is on sale – if I don’t love it, or feel it would truly round out my wardrobe for some reason, I won’t spend money on it. And I’ve always just loved fun, cheap jewelry – for better or worse!

    • Sounds like you’re a smart shopper, Ronnie! On-sale is great as long as we love it. xo

  12. My thing in youth was shoes. Very very nice shoes. I remember the first time I spent $400 on a pair; I actually had to have a drink. It was my entire week’s pay. Somehow the prices of things like very very nice shoes are now around $1200 which the pay scale never caught up to. But I will never forget those shoes and all the others that were so pricey, they were all so beautiful. My thing now is runners. I have lots of them in velvet with velvet laces and they cost next to nothing. I never got caught in the “youth creams” out there. My dermatologist told me in my 20s that the best moisturizer was “Glaxal Base” and I still use it. It has saved me a fortune. Love your blog.

    • Love how you wrote about your beautiful shoes – they brought you joy! Runners are wonderful too. Now you’ve got me looking for Glaxal Base – you see, we aren’t done shopping! thanks for your kind words too, xo

  13. I don’t like to go shopping in a store at all! I much prefer to shop online if needed. Since I make most of my clothing, I try to buy very little these days. I use the Vitamin C serum too! I use very little cosmetics. I like to keep it simple and I can be out the door quickly if need be. LOL I love cheap jewelry (my husband is a lucky man). The cuff is so nice and definitely something I would wear myself. I’m a big fan of Etsy jewelry. We have traveled a bit and I’ve always tried to get some jewelry everywhere we go. One of my favorite pieces is a necklace and bracelet set, very chunky with colorful stones, at an outdoor flea market in Italy. I paid 5 Euros for it (not much over 5 USD at the time).

    • “I love cheap jewelry” – that’s music to my husband’s ears too. I can understand you loving your Italian flea market finds! xo

  14. Guilty as charged. I just the same beautiful purse in black and brown. The problem is I never change my bag except if I’m going to a fancy dinner, wedding etc…
    I totally agree with you on all fronts. I’ve made my list for spring. A black dress and a pair of linen pants.

  15. Isn’t that cuff gorgeous? And those Docs are sweet too.

    I’ve learned that I can no longer buy heels above 2.5″.

    I will still shop clearance racks at Anthro and have picked up some pieces I love. Really I can only afford the clearance racks when it comes to Anthro.

    I’ve stuck with the same face cream since I was 15…Oil of Olay. Fancy? Nope but it doesn’t bother my sensitive skin and seems to do an okay job. Overall I just don’t buy much makeup or skin care as a rule. Nothing ever does what it claims to. It’s all a bunch of hype.

    That photo of before and after is hilarious! I feel like if I stare at it long enough a hidden image might emerge.


    • LOL at the hidden image! Agreed, Anthro clearance racks have good stuff. And Oil of Olay is still IT. xox

  16. Patti!
    I have those same Loft jeans! very comfortable 🙂 i am with you and have been closet cleaning .. looking to donate to the womens shelter and Goodwill. i am waiting until spring to invest in some spring items i have made a list of wanting to add. i agree, and have reached an age where I feel quality over quantity. I enjoy shopping my closet now.
    i do have a skin care routine, but also don’t buy into fancy marketing and hype. i use products that look very clinical on the outside but were recommeded by an aesthetician that I enjoy. The girls are getting younger in the skin care ads!
    Have a great day and stay warm!
    jess xx

    • Great minds buy the same jeans! Whatever skin care routine you follow, you look gorgeous. thanks for commenting, xo.

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