The Great American Apparel Diet Ends Tomorrow

BlogHer Original Post

I've seen a lot of posts in the past few years about curbing mindless shopping. Sally Bjornsen started The Great American Apparel Diet two years ago in an attempt to go for a year without buying new clothes. While she completed her diet in 2010, she extended the project out for another year -- and it's ending tomorrow after hundreds of bloggers from 17 states and a handful of countries joined her quest to stop the madness.

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Credit Image: halah1.geo on Flickr


She writes:

My original plan for TGAAD was to conduct a one year experiment for myself. I put it out there to my friends and family and opened it up to anyone who wanted to join me. I had no idea the nerve we would hit with the public and the press. In that first year we received tons of national and international press and recruited over 250 women from around the world to give up shopping for one year.

Fellow BlogHer Grace Hwang Lynch is one of the bloggers on The Great American Apparel Diet.

In the early weeks of my Year (Almost) Without Shopping, TGAAD was a big part of keeping me on track. On more than one occasion, I followed my old habit of wandering over to the mall when I had an extra hour between appointments or before picking the kids up from school. Those after-Christmas sales were mighty tempting. It sounds cheesy, but I really did think about those 300 other non-shoppers at TGAAD, many of whom have blogged their accomplishments — and slip-ups — and that was enough to keep me from buying something I didn’t need. Either that or I’m just really competitive, and the idea that if all these other shopaholics could kick their habit, then so could I.

I wasn't part of the diet, but hearing about it so much and my own efforts to curb my spending have made me extremely aware of how much I treated shopping as entertainment when I was a teenager and young adult. As I've grown older, acquiring a mortgage, a husband and a kid (with whom I can't believe I have to share my money) -- things have way changed. I don't judge my friends who still like to shop for fun, but it's just not fun for me anymore. There are too many other commitments I want to make with my money, and there's not enough of it to toss around on something pretty and, let's face it, kind of useless.

Could you go for a year without buying new clothes? Were you part of the Great American Apparel Diet?

Rita Arens authors Surrender Dorothy and is the editor of Sleep is for the Weak. She is BlogHer's assignment and syndication editor.

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