Closet needs vs. wants

Wearing a Madewell top that I hardly ever wear but can’t seem to part with, and old Abercombie & Fitch jeans.

As of this week, I’m halfway through my no-spend month. If the beginning was full of optimism and adrenaline, then this must be the crash.

I’ve been browsing websites more than I did at the beginning of the challenge, mainly because I use shopping as a form of procrastination. I’m currently avoiding finals and having to unpack those random, last things from our move that have no easily discernible place in our new home.

That said, focusing (as much as I can manage) this month on what I already own has shown me that most of the items I think about buying are definitely wants, and not needs. I have never really considered this distinction much in the past.

Here’s what I can tell you I actually need:

  • Some basic, well made tees in neutral colors. I have been eyeing these tees from Known Supply right now.
  • A new pair of black flats, since mine, while comfortable and in good condition, have bows on the front and just don’t really fit my style anymore. Another hold over from my more conservative and “corporate” wardrobe. I don’t really wear flats often in the summer though, so these could wait.

You might be thinking, “Kellie! You just told us you had $8,000 on your credit card! You aren’t buying anything, ever!” And I did have $8,000 on my credit card. But while I was reckless with my spending over the last two months, it fortunately hasn’t been a long-standing pattern. I was able to pay off approximately $5,600, leaving me with a small buffer in my checking and savings just in case. I didn’t pay it all off, but I’m close.

Sadly, this revelation doesn’t change the fact that there are still loads of things I want, though. I wish I could say I’ve had some awakening that I truly don’t need anything, and that I’ve discovered my authentic self, and that I’m going to be an obsessive saver! But I haven’t, and I’m probably not. I really love clothes, and that will likely never change. I just need to be smarter about consuming them. A lot smarter.

So, as a way to better document my wants, to really think about how much I love them before making a purchase, here is a comprehensive list that I can reflect upon and use to decide if any of these items should (or can) be added to my wardrobe at the end of my no-spend month.

Also, I might as well put all my mindless, useless browsing to use in a blog post. The below is actually a bit of a mood board and the direction my closet is evolving toward – which is pretty cool.

The Wants.


Elizabeth Suzann Harper Tunic


Cuyana Mini Circle Belt Bag (which I also reflected upon in this post)


Doen Rosebay Top (though I can’t decide if I like it more in frappe or salt…thoughts?).


ABLE High-Rise Jean in Carla Wash (I really want a pair of dark, high-rise jeans – mine are too low-waisted since I like to tuck everything in. And these look perfect.)

So there they are – the wants I have identified so far! What do you think of them? Any votes on if I should splurge on one of them, and if so – which one?





  1. I always like making the lists of the things I want, I find it helps relieve some of the “want” pressure to just give them a space to be pretty and enjoyed. Good luck holding off on making any purchases! It can be hard. But usually time goes by and so does the desire.

    • Totally agree! I keep looking at this post and admiring them, but it does help to make a more thoughtful decision! xx

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