Keeping Your Love for Clothes in Check

reasonable clothes shoppingThere is nothing wrong with enjoying clothes shopping as long as it is a habit that you keep under control. There is a large difference between a person who looks forward to the times when their budget will allow them some clothes shopping and a person who cannot function without regular clothes shopping, in spite of their budget restraints. Money aside, it is also unhealthy for a person to be dependent on something like clothes shopping. Being dependent on clothes shopping is a form of addiction, which is universally unhealthy to everyone. The best thing you can do for yourself in order to practice healthy clothes shopping habits is to use restraint over your time, money and energy.

Your time is valuable. Spending time wisely means dividing it up evenly between your spiritual, relational, purpose-driven and health conscious faculties. A person giving equal amounts of time to each of these four areas is a person living in balance. Someone who is giving excessive amounts of time to their shopping habit is throwing off the balance in their life. Some of that time should be reallocated to the things that matter more in that person’s life.

Depleted finances are usually the most obvious indication that a shopping habit is out of control. Money is always hit hard when someone is compulsively shopping for clothes. When someone observes their finances heading toward crisis, they need to reevaluate their clothes spending immediately before irreparable damage is done.

And lastly, compulsive clothes shopping is something that consumes your thoughts and energy, as well as your time and money. Who you are as a person can become wrapped up in excessive clothes shopping and can make your behavior neurotic, obsessive and inaccessible to the people in your life. It is very important that you keep clothes where they belong in the scope of your life. Mentally, you know that clothes do not mean as much to you as the people you love or your own physical health, but emotionally, you may have forgotten.

Clothing Retail Therapy

retail therapy clothingThe phrase “retail therapy” is one that makes penny-pinchers everywhere groan, and shopping fanatics everywhere cheer. The phrase refers to shopping for the sake of stress management. It is a loaded phrase because it represents some things that are healthy and some things that are not. Indeed, there are some very good reasons to embrace retail therapy. It is enjoyable, stress relieving and a healthy form of expression, when it is kept under control. On the other hand, it is financially detrimental, frivolous and generally irresponsible when it is not kept under control.

When clothes shopping is done in balance with the rest of a person’s life for how much time, money and energy it absorbs, it can certainly be considered a healthy activity. When a person shops for clothes only when their budget allows for it, when they are not neglecting other life responsibilities to engage in it and when they are not dependent on it, it is a healthy activity. Clothes are a way for a person to express their own personal style. Shopping for them is stress relieving because it is a simple, enjoyable activity.

When clothes shopping becomes too high a priority to a person and their life begins to revolve around it, it has become unhealthy. Shopping for clothes is something that a person can grow to be dependent on for its escapism qualities. As soon as a person is dependent on it, it is no longer a healthy activity. It should always remain optional. If spending money on clothes is damaging a person’s finances, it has become excessive. If a person is buying clothes they do not need simply for the feeling of buying clothes, their hobby has become frivolous. It is one thing to have an enjoyable hobby in clothes shopping. It is quite another to have an addiction to it.

Why We Love Clothes

love for clothesClothes are something we all invest in and think about, but this does not mean that everyone’s feelings about clothes are the same. Some people do not invest a great deal of time, money or energy into choosing their clothes. They consider clothes a necessity so they put a bare minimum level of energy into choosing them. Others, however, live for choosing outfits. Their time and their thoughts revolve around their clothes and fashion. Their favorite hobby is buying new clothes and coordinating clever outfits. These people truly love clothes. But what is it about clothes that makes certain people so passionate about them?

  • Flare. When a person has a flare for fashion, they will spend their lives finding new ways of expressing it. Fashion is a way of life for people who have a talent for mixing, matching and designing clothes. Not everyone has this ability because it takes finesse and an eye for design. A person’s level of flare is unique to every individual and is usually an intrinsic quality.
  • Skill. Having skill is different from having flare. Skill is something a person needs to work at in order to acquire. Having a skill for building outfits may come from going to a clothing design school or program. It may come from a lifetime of focusing on fashion and practicing techniques that are absorbed from experts. But it always comes from work, and therefore carries a certain amount of pride.
  • Attention. People who are good at coordinating clothes and making a statement with them naturally receive attention for it, as does any talented person who shares their abilities with the world. People who are talented at fashion are often the types who do not mind attention on them in the first place. Often, they enjoy standing out for their aesthetic uniqueness.
  • Control. Every creative ability offers the lure of control. People are meant to submit to what they cannot control in life, but they are also meant to be in control of minor things in their lives, such as their creative abilities. Choosing clothes and coordinating fashion efforts gives many people this needed sense of control over something in their life.

Chronic Clothing Addiction

addicted to clothesWe all know someone who we tease for being fanatical about their love for clothes. Their day, from sunrise to sunset, revolves around choosing outfits, changing outfits, talking about clothes and thinking about clothes. If they felt the same way about drugs as they did about clothes, their life would be at risk. Fortunately, an addiction to clothes poses no immediate danger (other than to your savings account), however, any addiction is considered mentally unhealthy and should be eliminated. It is a question of optimal mental health; if you have begun to value clothes at a level higher than your relationships and your responsibilities, you are not achieving optimal mental health.

Clothing is frequently thought of as a harmless thing to be addicted to, but friends and family of a true clothing addict would tend to say otherwise. The obsessive, neurotic behavior over clothing becomes more than they can handle. Clothing addicts spend a great deal of time inside their closets and in front of mirrors, trying to match every small occasion to the perfect outfit. Their hobbies, interests and conversations always revolve around clothes, and the time, money and energy they put into maintaining them does not allow them enough resources to focus on the other areas of their lives. This can lead to failed relationships, poor work or school performances and even a decline in health if the problem is severe enough.

Those who have recognized a clothing addiction with themselves, or have been confronted about it by someone else, are advised by mental health professionals to seek mental health guidance in order to bring their lives back into balance. Inpatient rehabilitation is extreme for such a mild addiction, but support forums and self-help literature come highly recommended. An obsession with clothes can be a reflection of deeper mental issues that can become legitimately harmful if left unattended to. A severe clothes addiction can warrant addiction counseling or support groups, so if you are clothing addicted, do not hesitate to reach out for help.