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71 Dresses in 71 Days: Week 6

I’m in week six of my No Shopping Project — wearing every single one of my 71 dresses in 71 days before allowing myself to buy even a bobby pin for my hair.

I’ve had some pretty cool stuff in my inbox this week. First was a link to Vanity Fair contributor Buzz Bissinger’s self-proclaimed Gucci addiction. (Buzz is also the scribe of both book and series, Friday Night Lights and seems, to me, to be dabbling with transgenderism)

Here’s his opening salvo regarding his addiction:

“In the past few years, I’ve bought eighty-one leather jackets. Dozens of boots and leather gloves. I’ve purchased pants that cost $5,000. I own a $22,000 coat. This winter I took a tour of Milan’s Fashion Week (all expenses paid by Gucci, in appreciation of my many, many purchases), where I spent tens of thousands more and began to seriously grapple, once and for all, with a compulsion that could cost me more than just my life savings. My name is Buzz Bissinger. I am 58 years old, the best-selling author of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ father of three, husband. And I am a shopaholic (…)  All for $638,412.97.”

Reading Buzz’s confessional piece made me feel superior. Let’s say each one of my 71 dresses cost 100$, which, on average, is probably pretty accurate. Simple math tells us I spent $7,100 on my dresses. Nowhere near the sum Buzz admits to. But then again, simple math might also tell us that Buzz’s earnings when juxtaposed with my earnings might bring our income/out-going monies on a par.

The fact that my mind even works that way — tabulating how much healthier my addiction is than Buzz’s addiction — tells you I’m as real a shopping addict as Buzz. And what bravery and courage and impetus for change his article is.

I’ll share another contact in my inbox. Jill Chivers of Australia challenged herself to a one-year ban on shopping and created a program to help herself, and others, recover from their shopping addictions. I plan to take her 30 day shop your wardrobe challenge.

In the meantime here are my next seven dresses. I would so appreciate your helping me to select one to donate to Out Of The Closet, a charitable organization the funds the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Yes. Boden. Need I say more?

Dress #36.  Yes. Boden. Need I say more?

This is another Boden dress with pockets.  Admittedly the pockets create a wider hip.  Yet I can store my shiv and my maxi pads in them without detection.

Dress #37.  This is another Boden dress with pockets. Admittedly the pockets create a wider hip. Yet I can store my shiv and my maxi pads in them without detection.

Another purchase on a road trip with the family to San Francisco.  This was purchased in a little shop in Big Sur.  When I wear it I feel the need to allow my armpit hair to grow out and put it in a French braid while eating peyote.

Dress #38.  Another purchase on a road trip with the family to San Francisco. This was purchased in a little shop in Big Sur. When I wear it I feel the need to allow my armpit hair to grow out and weave it into French braids while eating peyote.

Oh the color block dress from Boden.  Lighter on the breast, darker on the hips.  A recipe for fabulousness.

Dress #39.  Oh the color block dress from Boden. Lighter on the breast, darker on the hips. A recipe for fabulousness.

This Boden dress received a rating of 3 on the site.  My new book received a rating of 1 on Amazon.  BOTH ARE WRONGGGG!

Dress #40.  This Boden dress received a rating of 3 on the site. My new book received a rating of 1 on Amazon. BOTH ARE WRONGGGG!

I. Can't. Breathe. This Lilly Pulitzer dress was purchased on Cape Cod when Clare was just a toddler and Bridget not yet conceived.  It's a size 6.  It doesn't fit unless I stand very still and don't breathe.  I don't want to give it away, but I will never be that skinny again unless I contract scurvy, which is possible considering my piratical nature.

Dress #41.  I. Can’t. Breathe. This Lilly Pulitzer dress was purchased on Cape Cod when Clare was just a toddler and Bridget not yet conceived. It’s a size 6. It doesn’t fit unless I stand very still and have all the air sucked out of my lungs by the succubus who are my children. I don’t want to give it away, but I will never be that skinny again unless I contract scurvy, which is possible considering my piratical nature.

I love polka dots and I don't know why.  They make me happy.  Perhaps it's because I'm dotty?

Dress #42.  I love polka dots and I don’t know why. They make me happy. Perhaps it’s because I’m dotty?  Yes, Boden.


18 comments

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  1. Ginger Kay
    Ginger Kay 26 April, 2013, 10:54

    Dress #41 should go. It doesn’t fit.

    Reply this comment
  2. Sheryl
    Sheryl 26 April, 2013, 10:56

    What a great project. Perhaps I should do this as a way of cleaning out ALL the stuff I never wear. Will it really help cure my addiction?? (Maybe I just need to lose my car keys so I can’t go anywhere). I vote to rid yourself of the size 6 Lilly Pulitzer. Whatever you do, do NOT give up the polka dots!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 26 April, 2013, 11:41

      The polka dots stay. What’s been really cool about this project is seeing all of these dresses lined up next to one another. I can instantly tell which ones work and which ones don’t. And I can also see the overlap between dresses. I do recommend this project. I might move on the wearing all of my skirts before buying anything new. I don’t have nearly as many skirts, but it will delay shopping and spending even longer.

      Reply this comment
  3. Chloe Jeffreys
    Chloe Jeffreys 26 April, 2013, 11:23

    I love them all, except #4. I’m also not the biggest fan of #3, but a girl has to have at least one dress in her closet to wear when she attends an event where she needs to carry a shiv and a box of maxi-pads.

    Reply this comment
  4. Cathy
    Cathy 26 April, 2013, 11:30

    You look so beautiful in all of them. It’s too hard too choose. Any of the dresses would be a welcome donation.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ellen Dolgen
    Ellen Dolgen 26 April, 2013, 11:35

    i say donate #41,since you can’t breathe in it! but it looks fabulous – and so do you!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 26 April, 2013, 11:39

      Yes, I hate to part with Lilly, but she just doesn’t love me any more. xo

      Reply this comment
  6. Caryn/The Mid Life Guru
    Caryn/The Mid Life Guru 26 April, 2013, 15:47

    I vote for #37. Your other dresses are so much more flattering. As far as #41–it is a classic and is really pretty. You might surprise yourself one day and be able to fit back in it, even without having scurvy. (You make me smile). By the way, I’ve been thinking of you and your project as I did a similar ban in 2010-2011. I recalled that shopping-habit-breaking adventure in a recent post: http://www.themidlifeguru.com/2013/04/assessing-how-to-accessorize-your.html

    Reply this comment
  7. Debbie Roes
    Debbie Roes 26 April, 2013, 19:23

    You look lovely in so many of your dresses! I just found your blog today through your Huffington Post article (a fellow blogger linked to it).

    Like you, I have a shopping addiction and have committed to conquering it this year. I started my blog, Recovering Shopaholic, to share my journey and hopefully help others along the way. I’ve been taking on a variety of challenges, including Project 333, in which participants only wear 33 items for 3 months. The objective is to wear only our favorites and it’s helping me to appreciate what I have more and to not continually strive for more, more, more.

    Many of your dresses are lovely and you are beautiful! What helps me is to rate my clothes on a scale of 1-10. Anything that’s less than an 8 doesn’t really deserve a spot in my wardrobe, especially since I have so much. I wrote an article on this called “The Enemy of the Best is the Good” (it’s linked from my archive page).

    I wish you the best of luck and will follow your continued progress!

    Reply this comment
  8. Elizabeth Lee
    Elizabeth Lee 27 April, 2013, 21:07

    Honey, you’re a beautiful woman with way too many clothes. Ditch #37 the stripes, they are not flattering. Pitch out #38 it’s not your style if it makes you want to grow out your underarm hair. Dump the color-block dress #39 because the sleeves are an awkward length and the light blue at the waist looks wrong. Your Lily Pulitzer is lovely, but if you can’t breathe, kick her to the curb and move on. Life is too short to wear dresses that leave you deprived of oxygen.

    I love seeing all the dresses lined up one after another like this. It’s so easy to tell which ones make you look your best (hello, polka dots!) and which ones are a miss (I’m looking at you, horizontal stripes!).

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 27 April, 2013, 22:33

      Elizabeth you crack me up! I know that damned striped dress just isn’t working. I want it to work because I love THE IDEA of it. But the reality of it sucks. Thanks for your honesty.

      Reply this comment
  9. Janie Emaus
    Janie Emaus 27 April, 2013, 22:56

    In honor of your NOT shopping, I bought a new outfit today to wear to a reunion. I’m still years away from having as many dresses as you!

    Reply this comment
  10. caryl
    caryl 28 April, 2013, 07:36

    36, 38, 41
    Those are my ‘donate’ picks.

    Of course, you look fabulous in them all, but still….

    Reply this comment
  11. Linda Chase
    Linda Chase 30 April, 2013, 13:26

    Definately dress 41, just because it doesn’t and never will fit- and believe me I know how hard it will be to part with it. If you can’t, the chuck the horizontal stripes, just on general principal. The polka dot number is absolutely adorable!

    Reply this comment
  12. Donna
    Donna 1 May, 2013, 12:16

    I vote 37, 38 and 41 for donation from this group. Dresses should be flattering *and* comfortable. Life is short. I really like 36, 40 and 42 from this group. It is funny that I live in Northern CA and have never bought anything like what you are bringing back home with you from the road trips!! Next time maybe buy a scarf or magnet instead 😉 Also, when you are done with the dresses, bring on the skirts!

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