January 15, 2013 — 29 Comments

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Tomorrow is January 16, 2013.

That is an important day, friends, and not just for Kate Moss because it’s her birthday. See, tomorrow is the day I shall give myself a hearty pat on the back. Why? because it marks the end of my “No New Clothes” pledge that I made a short 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. And wouldn’t you know it: since putting my closet on a thrift-only diet, it’s never been healthier.

That pledge was quick decision, born out of frustration with recent Mall purchases, and elation with new thrift scores. While it was a pledge made in haste, it has had a transformative, lasting effect on this blog, how I shop, and the way I dress. Four months into my Mall-free year, I wrote a progress report as a guest blogger. While I considered penning a similar summary today, I would be a near-rewrite of what I wrote back then (and you can read it here). The benefits I listed there—freedom to shop any trend, choose from any decade, wear any brand, and look in any size—have been (I hope) been illustrated by many of the posts I’ve written since.

When I made this promise 365 days ago, I thought that I’d be starved for some clearance rack goodies by the time January 16, 2013 rolled around. But my appetite to revisit the mall has never been weaker. Meanwhile, I have never had more fun getting dressed, and less guilt about where I spend my money that I do right now. And I really mean that. When I look over what’s in my wardrobe, nearly every piece feels like a score. And while not every piece tells a story, some of them tell great ones. And that’s why this breakup is permanent.

So what’s next? Another pledge that lasts indefinitely? An updated button? I don’t think so. Mall shopping is not something I’m “banned” from anymore: it’s just not something I plan to do. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want do. Really, this is what New Year’s resolutions are supposed to do. You make a resolution, and at some point, it stops being a resolution, and becomes just another thing about who you are. And that’s what happened this year: I am Juliane Claire Van Huizen, and I shop at thrift stores.

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Will I ever buy clothing from The Mall again? I’m sure I will. I mean, I still need to go there for my skivvies, socks, and bathing suits. And there are other exceptions, too: I may still go there for a fine pair of leather boots, and if my friends want to plan a weekend trip to scope out some outlet malls, I’ll shop right alongside them because I love those girls. But mostly, I’ll carry on exactly as I have for the past year: Thrifting things like this pleated silver skirt from Talize, this cozy black turtleneck is from Salvation Army, and this vintage pink (suede!) coat from Granny’s Attic Treasures on Ottawa Street, that cost me a mere $10.

As I list those items, they highlight exactly why I’ve signed up for a lifetime of second-hand style. I never would have sought out a pink suede coat (or pink suede anything, really), and even if I had, I’d be hard-pressed to find one at at the Mall for $10. I’ll take this coat over clearance racks at H&M any day, any year.

In closing, I have to thank all those who’ve shown enthusiasm as I blogged my way through this year. I’d like to think I would have come to this conclusion without a blog, but I don’t think that’s true. Blogging has not only provided heeps of encouragement for my efforts, but a certain level of accountability as well. And for that, I am truly grateful.

…All the sudden I’m realizing that I haven’t made a pop-cultural reference or used an exclamation point in a couple hundred words, and this post is starting to sound like some kind of sad farewell, which is crazy because I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to thrift and blog my way to infinity and beyond! (Whew, back on track). But it is nice to take sometime to reflect once and while, huh?

So as I put the Mall in my review mirror for good, please join me in raising a glass to a brand new year of old stuff (not really though because I don’t want you to spill on your keyboards). And while we are metaphorically toasting, please also toast me for not titling this entry “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together,” because while thrifting is easy, that was hard.

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29 responses to Resolved


    Thanks Julie for a fantastic blog! I have loved following you this year through this journey (even though I only found you in April!). Every time I read your blog it encourages me to go out again to the local thrift store and try to find some more great items. The benefits you listed in your original post last year are the same for me. I just don’t stick to it as well as you do…I get discouraged. Lol. But I have a new resolve this year to keep trying!



      You’re so very welcome Amanda! Another tall lady takin’ on the thrift life is that more commendable. It’s not always easy for us, but I think we can pull off even more than the average 5’5er 😉



    You are an inspiration lady! I love your style, your dedication, and your ability to make the seemingly lame cool again. You’re the best, and I’m glad you’re not going anywhere. I’d miss you too much.



    Well done! I love the idea of having a wardrobe with so many “stories.”



    Beautiful outfit and wonderful coat. I love this color. The skirt is very pretty and socks combine great in this outfit. Great proposal.



    Yay! Glad you aren’t going anywhere. 🙂 This skirt is just adorable. Can’t wait to see what you thrift this year!

    Also, you really should have titled this “We are never ever ever getting back together.” I probably would have been on the flooring, dying with laughter.




    I truly enjoy your writing, your enthusiasm and the way you express yourself through your clothing. Thanks for blogging about it.



    Great post, love the sentiment. I’m almost disappointed when I am wearing an outfit that doesn’t contain something from a charity/second hand store now. In fact, I just realised that today is one of those days! I always feel a little bit proud when my entire outfit is from a thrift store, especially if it receives a compliment! Keep up the good work xx



    Julie, I am so inspired! Congrats on making it a full year, and I loved this line: “You make a resolution, and at some point, it stops being a resolution, and becomes just another thing about who you are.”

    I really feel like this is something I could take on, especially since money is tight these days and I rarely set foot in a mall unless my mom wants to go and needs a buddy.

    You rock! 🙂



    good for you! I love the whole outfit, that pink suede coat is really cool! I think I have the same black boots : )



    Hi Julie! Although i haven’t followed your blog for the whole year that you swore off shopping at the mall i have followed your blog for the past 4 months and you have made quite the impact on the way i shop! I have loved reading and seeing all of your amazing outfits. Thank you for motivating me to do the same thing you did a year ago! Oh, and i dont know if you remember but the website is finally up if you want to take a look. I hope you dont mind that i mentioned you in it but if you please let me know.
    I look forward to seeing more! keep up the great job!



    You are an inspiration! I’m so glad I found your blog.



    You look (as usual) really good, which is proof that you don’t need to change a thing. I don’t visit this blog because you thrift, because I don’t – it’s just not my thing. But I visit it because my taste is equally eclectic and I enjoy seeing you put all these different looks together and *plus* you’re one of the only bloggers I visit who has not sold out à la “Oh look at these Warby Parkers, they’re so amazing” (sponsored post) and you can’t tell if the blogger even rates the item or not. Please continue doing you!



    It’s amazing how what starts as doing without totally can become a new lifestyle by choice! I went to hit up the clearance racks the other day and only found one pair of super marked down pants that were worthy of my USD. Thanks again for being such an inspiration with this!



    Love this! Skirt + jacket especially. Really like the photos, and LOVE your blog design and logo! and HEY I am a fellow Canadian! 😉




    I’m no longer certain where you are getting your information, however great topic.
    I must spend a while learning more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this information for my mission.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Easy Does It « We So Thrifty - March 6, 2013

    […] “new” new. As in, not from the thrift store (yes, that still happens sometimes). I have suede coats and vintage trenches galore, but I still lacked something 100% suited for Canadian winters at their […]


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