Of course, "less" is relative to your income, and for the most part, unless you are independently wealthy or have "sheikh" status, spending "less" is an underlying thought when most of us go shopping. But in fact it really doesn't matter how much you spend (as stated, some have greater expendable income than others) we really should be purchasing less, quantity wise, and looking great with less choice.
And so I propose three holiday season challenges for you and your closet:
1 Challenge yourself to choose what you have in your closet instead of claiming you have nothing to wear and heading out to the shopping mall. Essentially go "shopping" in your closet. For formal and semi-formal Christmas parties, bring out that little black dress or the trousers and possible tops along with all the accessories and shoes that you can add that will dress up the basics or dress them down to accommodate the variety of events during the holidays. By pre-planning and playing with ideas, you will surprise yourself with all the combinations. Going shopping under the stress of getting something new for a particular event is the worst way to go shopping. You end up buying something you don't really need and it just may end up never being worn again.
Because of what's going on with the economy, I think women are realizing that maybe they don't need a closet full of clothes. They just need the right clothes.
2 Challenge yourself to see the potential in a thrift store item or in a single piece that can complement what you already have. If you do feel that you must buy something new for the holiday season, take the advice of the the North American television show, Diva on a Dime. The hosts choose a runway outfit and then proceed to duplicate the look for the client. It is always fascinating to watch. The hosts scour thrift stores, vintage accessory shops, fabric stores, and sample designer trunk sales to find the "look" without the extravagant price tags.
Buy what you don't have yet or what you really want, which can be mixed with what you already own. Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.
3 Challenge yourself to spend only a certain amount of money. Decide on that amount before you leave your home and do not go over that pre-determined number.
The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.
Men don't seem to have the problem that women have when getting "dressed up" but Diva on a Dime also inspires me to ask, are there television shows like this for men? I would think that there must be an audience of men who are looking to look good for less. In fact, thinking about my brother who has a limited "formal" wardrobe, a show of this kind would be perfect for him when he has special occasions to attend. Whether he would actually watch or act upon the suggestions is quite another thing.
Consider yourself challenged and let me know what you found in your closet and how you re-invented it.