The Diderot Effect

Hello there πŸ™‚

I’ve recently been having a bit of trouble controlling my impulses. As most of you well know, I’ve been going the minimalist route. A loose version of the colorful capsule wardrobe; AKA: I don’t have a lot of money, so I have very few quality pieces that currently fit.

I received a few new items for my birthday several months ago. πŸ™‚ However, I’ve been noticing recently that I find myself wanting more. I catch myself perusing online shopping venues, walking through luxury store chains, searching for that perfect piece, made of 100% natural fibres, that I cannot afford yet desperately want to bring home with me. I’ve been questioning why I remain unsatisfied with the items I have.

Finally, I realized what was happening. This urge to buy all new, not just replace worn out items. Thus comes the Diderot effect. It’s a driving factor in consumerism and marketing firms depend upon it.

The Diderot Effect is a theory coming from Frenchman ___ Diderot in the 18th century. He wrote about this consumerist cause and affect theory when he received a nice new dressing gown as a gift from a friend. Diderot noticed, that when compared to his new dressing gown, his belongings looked shabby. He needed to replace his items, so as to match his new dressing gown. He went so far as to even replace the art in his home!

This compulsion to purchase. When 1 purchase leads to further purchases to ‘go with’ the original purchase, this is the Diderot effect. It can be a short term ‘over shop’ or a long term consistent need for new items, even when the original item is not worn out or damaged.

The question remains however, how do we break this cycle? When is enough, enough? Please share any ideas you have on this. If this is a standard problem, a logic issue, there HAS to be a well known way to counter our thinking. I just don’t know what it is.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Photo Source: Pixabay, copyright free images

Minimalist Wardrobe Challenge #2 – Items & I’m So Mad!

I’m so mad, I’m so mad, I’m so mad!!!

OK, basically I’m mad at myself. I’m super frustrated & I don’t know what to do. I’ve been working on post #2 for my Minimalist wardrobe challenge. And although I really didn’t have that much to begin with, it was taking me forever to categorize & photograph my clothes to share with you. (Mainly because I was always wearing 1 piece that I needed to photograph…or washing them.)

Then guess what happens. So I’m almost done with all of it & getting ready to post when it occurs to me that there are some items in my wardrobe that I have opted not to wear recently. I have been steadily gaining weight since the surgery last year, and some of my items are tight….impossible to button/zip and make me look like an overstuffed sausage. So, I opt to take a quick trip to the wardrobe and try on a few things again. Just ‘trim the fat’ of those few extra items, so getting dressed in the morning. And guess what? SHIT DOESN’T FIT! 1/3 of my already small wardrobe, is too small now. It’s only been 2 months! WTH?!? Please pardon my foul language. I am just severely frustrated.

So, despite all the perfect photo set-ups (which you won’t see now). I get to basically just describe what I have. Please excuse the fact that the photos I’m posting aren’t so great. I was frustrated and basically just tossing items out of my closet.

7 Sweaters (Some are borderline too small) – Wool, Cotton & Cashmere

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8 Shirts. This includes 1 polo, 1 button up flannel, a navy turtleneck & white button up I received for my birthday and long sleeve T-shirts for layering

3 pairs of Pants. 1 pair of pink dress trousers I received for my birthday, an old pair of navy corduroys and my cropped summer destroyed jeans. (The jeans are really tight, and not suitable for winter weather. But I can get it in them, so they count.)

I have 1 pair of sweatpants & 1 pair of leggings, plus 1 pair of snow/ski pants also. I mainly use these around the house (well, not the snow pants) & the ‘rules’ say that gym wear & loungewear don’t count. But in this case, I guess they kind of do. Because without them, I would be crying.

I only had 1 cotton blazer & 1 light jean jacket to begin with, but they are also several sizes too small now.

0 Skirts & Dresses. This is the biggest shame of all. I love dresses. Especially maxi dresses. They are so comfortable & easy, plus they automatically kick your look up a notch. Sadly, the black dress I purchased last year (shown here) is now 2 sizes too small & my only winter maxi dress is an XS. Hahaha….yeah, squeezing into that does not a pretty picture make. By the way, I have actually been on the hunt for a good winter maxi dress (in 100% cotton or wool, of course) and the most affordable option I can find is like 150 Euros. So, while I’m saving my cents for that humongous purchase, I’ll be searching for a sale. Please let me know if you can recommend anywhere online.

I’ve had 2 ‘incomings’ of clothing this Autumn/Winter. My Birthday and I brought back a T-shirt from Trinity college (Thank you, honey. My new hubbs got them for us) and 1 very oversized Aran ivory wool sweater. These have been included in my overall clothing count. Geeze….does that mean I really only had 13 total items of clothing beforehand? Yikes!

Here’s my Birthday bounty: 1 pair pink dress trousers, 1 long sleeve white button up (this Β lady needed something work-worthy) and 1 navy turtleneck.

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This is what we brought back from Ireland: 1 Trinity College T-shirt and an oversized Aran wool sweater πŸ™‚

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I have to admit, that while I have some classic pieces which I will cling to as long as they last & I’m addicted to my cashmere sweaters. I don’t really LOVE my wardrobe. Honestly, most of the time I don’t even like it. I don’t think its so much the pieces in it; as I said, I’ve been clinging to my sweaters for ages and am distraught when one finally unravels. So I guess I do love them. But I think it’s how I feel in them right now. I feel huge. I feel frumpy. I feel…unkempt. I feel old. I miss the days when I felt sexy, happy & confident. If I was wearing the exact same items, only 3 sizes smaller? Well, I would probably LOVE them then because I would love myself. So how does one deal with this unexpected train wreck of self confidence? Diet? Exercise? Well, its not that easy. My body is changing & I am terrified that I will be this size (or even larger) forever. That no matter what I wear, I will just look like I’m hiding myself – or my back half will be shining through in all its blubbery glory. I am just not happy with what I see in the mirror.

I can say though, that I have had quite the laugh today as well. In order to make myself feel better, I did a re-google on minimalist wardrobes. I find it astonishing that having 40 items of clothing in your closet is considered a huge challenge and lifestyle overhaul. I have less than 20 that I can actually wear. And while I very much don’t like having to wash laundry every day or every other day so I have something to wear, and I’m constantly wishing I had the available funds to buy myself that maxi dress, long leather skirt or great fitting perfect pair of jeans – having twice as much clothing in my wardrobe would not be a challenge AT ALL. It would be great, actually to have enough variety to feel like I’m not actually wearing the same thing every day. I don’t want a uniform. I want to feel pretty. It’s ironic, really. I wanted to do this challenge myself. Because, I had clothes there but I didn’t realize why I wasn’t actually wearing them. When I removed everything I can’t fit into – I realized that I’ve been an unwitting minimalist (wardrobe – wise) for quite awhile. Now, I guess it’s just suppressing the urge to treat myself to a post-Christmas spree that’s the challenge.

What would you say your wardrobe looks like?

-Mliae

If you would like to read post #1 of my minimalist wardrobe challenge, you can read it by clicking here.