It’s not me, it’s you.

January 16, 2012 — 39 Comments

Last week Thursday, my sisters and I descended upon The Salvation Army for the 5/$15 sale. This rare occurance means that all my finds are not $5.99 as usual, but $3! We approached the racks with a careful determination –  piling up pieces and strategically laying out our changerooms. I quickly found 5 new items, and was quite pleased with my varying selection – 1 dress, 1 cardigan, 1 skirt, and 2 new shirts.

I went home with 5 more items than my closet currently has hangers, so it was time for a mini-binge to make room for my new steals. I did a quick scan of the territory, and pulled out the items I never wear, don’t like, and quite simply forgot about.

I removed some frump-tastic items from the back corners of my closet – a khaki skirt that looked like garbage after one wash, a gray cardigan that was the Eeyore of my sweater collection, some pinstriped pants from my bland “young professional” phase, etc. This pile was a testament to the unremarkable. As I bundled up these leftovers, I noticed one common thread between these sorry pieces of polyester and cotton – they all came from The Mall. All of these cast-offs came into my possession in exactly the same way: they were purchased in a panicked haste – last-minute impulse buys to make me feel better about wasting three hours of my Saturday doing my best Zombie walk from store to store.

Giddy from the success of my 5/$15, and motivated by the lumpy pile at my feet, I’ve decided to make something official. It’s something I’ve been toying with for some time now, and I think Mondays are the perfect days to share sweeping declarations. So, here is my sweeping declaration for this here 16th day of January, 2012:

That’s right peeps. This relationship has officially gone sour. For 2012, I will only buy clothes that are thrifted, or come from an independent retailer I intentionally desire to support. This means no Winners, no Walmart, no H and no M, no Zara, no Cleo, no Ricki’s, and no Guess. Mall – we’re breaking up. And no, it’s not me – it’s you.

*However, I do require some small exceptions to my Year Without a Mall. I will only revisit my former flame for two reasons, as follows:

1) To buy undergarments and various hosiery. I don’t think this requires any explanation.

2) To buy pants – my “38 inseam unfortunately limits my ability to thrift pants. I’ve tried. I look silly. However, just the other day my Mom gave me some jeans that were too low-rise for her tastes, so perhaps I just need to find a way to trick my mom into buying more low-rise pants.

So there you have it! A resolution for 2012, only two weeks too late. I should feel daunted by my new pledge, but I’m actually feeling confident and excited. It means I’ll stay motivated to keep thrifting and adding new-old pieces to my closet. On Friday night, I put together two of my 5/$15 finds – this lovely, delicate lace top, and a basic-black skirt. $3 dollas each! And, in order to ensure there is a sufficient amount of dorkiness in this post, here I am, taking “the vow”.

And now, I’d like to extend the call to my thrift fashionistas all across the interwebs – any of you care to take the pledge and break up with the Mall? I’ll make you a button! And teach you the secret handshake. And invite you to my clubhouse. No boys allowed! Okay, okay. Some boys allowed. But only nice ones.

(I think I’m actually serious about the button. Stay tuned for that!)

Anyways, that’s it for today. Let’s all raise our cups, and give three cheers for new years, old clothes, and sweeping declarations. Happy Monday everyone!
Update: Join the movement! Grab a button. Allz you gotta do is grab a button using the code below, add it as a widget on your blog, and watch your closet grow! Magic!

39 responses to It’s not me, it’s you.


    You look great in your thrift store finds! Love your resolution!



    As I was scrolling up to click out, I looked at your picture again and the top gave me a good idea for a refashion. I’ve got a lace top (too small) and a plain top that I could put together. I’ll post it if it turns out. Thanks for the inspiration!



    Ahaha you are too funny!! Love the resolution!

    But wait… does Homesense count as a mall? You aren’t giving up THAT are you?!



    yup! i gave it up years ago!



    Love the post! In fact, I just stumbled across your blog and love the whole thing.

    I’m from Australia, and in October I took a similar vow for ‘Buy Nothing New’ Month – our version of promoting ethical and sustainable shopping. I really enjoyed it.

    I have to agree on the undies part though.


    Stepping My Way to Bliss January 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I have been giving this very idea serious thought myself lately…just haven’t said it out loud (or on my blog which will really hold me accountable). So, yes, I am with you with the exception of undergarments, nylons and bedding. Oh, and I do need to replace my JJill black pants but I will try ebay first. Happy thrifting to one and all! ~~bliss



      I was the same way – I haven’t bought clothing at the Mall for months, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to officially declare myself Mall-free. Well, I did. And it felt great – I encourage you to do the same!



    I think Im at that awkward phase where I’m not too sure if I’m in a relationship with the mall…..I mean things used to be pretty serious between us but it’s no longer the “foot popping” romance that I now have with thrift….yup I threw in a princess diaries reference



    I love this post! The mall has done nothing but frustrate me lately. This is a wonderful resolution.



    I’ve realized how much time I waste at the mall, only to come out with nothing (what a shame) or an ill-fitting sale item. I think this is the perfect way to save the environment, and money! Good luck.



    Ok, I think I can do this. No…wait…I KNOW I can do this. Just a few days ago I went thrift shopping and came out with three dress shirts for work and 1 pair of pants. It can be done. Agree on the undergarments stuff. I’m in!


    Meagan Tutti-Peters January 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Julie, I just wanted to welcome you to the mall-less life. Your post has led me to give up the last hold the Mall had on my heart, even my beloved H&M will be behind me now.



    Love the outfit! 🙂 Great sweeping delcaration as well!! 🙂



    Wow love that shirt…lace is always in style…like it, love ittt



    You look lovely! Good on you for making your pledge. I rarely shop retail but I don’t know if I could go a full year!



    Oh my sister and I did that a couple years ago…But it is very worthwhile and exciting venture!



    you are too cute! I love love love your style!



    First off, I love you blog! Thank you for stopping by mine so that I can find you!! I love this resolution, I have been living this way for a couple of years now, with the here and there trip to Forever 21 for new jewelry. I am ruined, I cannot stand to pay retail prices for anything anymore 😀 Good luck to you, I can’t wait to see your finds!!



      Totally agree! Every time I went to the mall last year, I felt like a grumpy old person, rolling my eyes as the prices “kids these days” pay for clothes! And the blog love is mutual, since you’ve been doing it for years and still look fantastic, I’m convinced it’ll be an easy transition.



    Can’t wait to see your progress through your blog and how the journey goes. I’ve been mainly thrifting for quite some time now, with the exception of stores like Buffalo Exchange (that are still second hand). I am not buying anything that is costing me an arm and leg for quite some time (until I graduate school and can land a better job at least). I’m perfectly content with all the awesome clothes I find thrifting. I think you can do it!



      Thanks! I’m hoping that even when I can afford to give an arm and leg for a sweet top, I may not be able to any more, because I’ll know full-well the sweet thrifty threads that are around AND allow me to keep all my limbs. Looks like you’ve mastered that.



    38″ inseam? I thought I had problems with a 34″ inseam. I love your resolution…who needs the mall anyway!



    I couldnt agree more with what you said in this post. Last year I decided to go a month wearing only 13 items of clothing from my closet (not including shoes) and decided to also not shop for new clothes that whole month. It was an eye opener that was way overdue. I would often just rummage through stores at the mall on my way home from work or when i had time to kill. I had no idea how silly it was getting. I swear that there are way too many women out there who don’t realize they ‘have a problem’ if only we could go on a stacey & Clinton esque intervention. It could totally be a hit show, we go into houses of women who buy new clothes weekly and slap them around. after the slapping, we could possibly give them some lessons on not wasting. but the slapping would be the highlight.

    I rarely go in malls anymore, and when I do, I assure you there is some brown paper bag breathing and I usually run out screaming. I buy almost exclusively at thrift stores except the occasional really really really on sale item (which i often end up feeling guilty about) and the occasional 350$ Frye boots that were originally 500$. That makes them a steal right? right? thank you.

    Ok I need to go drink more coffee now. Glad I found your blog through Yen. Go Canada. Unless you’re a leafs fan…



    I just found your blog thanks to Jentine at My Edit and I knew I had to check it out because I made the very same resolution this year! Good luck!



    Good site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days.
    I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Thrifty Thursday: Take the Pledge to Break Up with the Mall | Amy Morby :: Designer :: Writer - April 19, 2012

    […] pieces. Well, whether you call it a whim or a resolution, on a January night not so long ago I made a pledge to break up with the mall completely for one whole year. I look an oath, I made some rules, and I […]


  2. Resolved « We So Thrifty - January 15, 2013

    […] year ago. If you were a reader way back then, you’ll recall I made a bold promise to “Break Up with the Mall” for a whole year. Translation? I would buy only second-hand clothing for a solid 365 days. […]


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