Back when I could buy all manner of clothing for my daughter at $5 a pop, when she was in the T sizes, I went to Old Navy often. So often that it made sense to open up a credit card with the store during one of its 40% off promos. Soon after, I began to make all of my purchases on the card and paid off the balance immediately from checking (this was before my emergency bathroom renovation). Every month I had store credit to spend at Old Navy, and it was great.

Actually it was awful. Old Navy itself is fine. The clothes are cute and functional for my kid who prefers leggings to jeans. It’s a store that’s easy to bring kids to. However, after a year or so of always having store credit, it wore on me. I felt like I always had to go to Old Navy, especially for those 40% off weekend. It was worse if I needed clothes for me. I mean, have you seen women’s clothes at Old Navy? It’s never been clear to me what the designers of Old Navy clothes think that a human female body looks like. Blouses are flowing, thin tarps. All pants are low rise. Shirts go down to your knees. If you buy a pair of pants in one color, the same style and size pants in another color fit differently. Plus knowing the conditions that the clothes are made under makes it all worse.

This year, inspired by my lifestyle guru Susan, I decided to change the way I shop. No more fast fashion, and more buying clothes second-hand, for me and my kids. I stopped using the Old Navy credit card. It feels great to have that place out of my life. I wear the same outfits every week, but who cares? I think that being photographed year after year in the same sweater makes me look timeless.

It also helps that I can’t afford new clothes. And that I mostly dislike shopping. I still glance at the clothes at Target and want new things. But I have to remember: the percentage of clothes I get from Target that do not immediately get holes is very small.

Eliminating stores to go to and things I can buy helps relieve some of the shopping anxiety I feel. Having that rule for myself, that ties in money and closet space – two things I have none of – helps.

I don’t have to buy clothes for my kids anyway. Half of my attic is filled with hand-me-down clothing from my friends’ sons, and they’re fun clothes, in good condition, and none of the shirts say “mommy’s little heartbreaker,” or whatever, and grandmas have been buying clothes for my daughter whenever she goes out with them. Plus, we all like to wear clothes from Blue Bones Vintage.

I miss H&M though.

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