How To Survive Not Shopping – Q&A with Stylist & TV Host Maria Von Losch

Could you resist shopping for an entire year? Holding off on buying a second pair of boots could help you save money for retirement, a house or vacation. In order to make it to your goal, you may find that you need to do more with the clothes you already own. Maria Von Losch, San Diego stylist and TV host, refrained from making any purchases for 365 days – and she wore a cute outfit every day. We talked to her about how she did it and asked her for tips so we could try 30 days of no shopping for ourselves.

SB: Why did you start your “365 no shopping” challenge? 

MVL: I really had no choice. I spent all my savings on shopping because I was in shock from my husband deciding that he no longer wanted to be married, out of the blue. I also thought it would be a great way to revisit all the pieces in my closet that I’ve ignored for years. I decided to blog about it daily to keep accountable, share my story and inspire other women.

SB: What were some challenges and how did you overcome them? 

MVL: Some of the challenges I faced were keeping on trend for each season, taking my outfit photo & blogging everyday and trying to date/have a relationship while having to explain why I had to blog every night and said guy might have to take my outfit pics. That didn’t go over with some guys.

SB: Did you have a large wardrobe when you started? 

MVL: Fortunately, I did and I have pieces in my styling studio that I use on models for photoshoots. Luckily I’m the same size, except shoes.

SB: Were you afraid your clothes would wear out? Did you learn any good laundry tips to keep them going? 

MVL: The only pieces I was afraid would wear thin were my favorite t-shirts and tanks. All my nicer pieces and ready-to-wear, I typically don’t wash after wearing just once (unless I’ve completely perspired in it). I’m a big fan of washing delicates by hand and either hang- or flat-drying.

SB: How did you deal with days where you felt you had nothing to wear? How did you get inspired again? 

MVL: Some days I truly didn’t have it in me, so I kept it real and shot myself in a few PJ’s. Oh, I also used my mannequin Margot for one outfit because I had been crying all day (this was early into my challenge). To keep motivated and inspired, I would do a series of How to Wear [insert piece] 5 different ways.

how to wear black jeans 5 ways

photos courtesy of Maria Von Losch

SB: Did you learn any new styling tricks during your challenge? 

MVL: I learned how to make a scarf into a turban and a top various different ways. Tucking shirts was a great one, I learned so many different ways to make a t-shirt or button down look great with a specific tuck technique.

SB: Did you ever feel behind the times since you couldn’t purchase any new trends? How did you deal with that? 

MVL: YES! But luckily, I own some amazing classics that helped me get through those moments and fun accessories.

SB: How often did you repeat items? How did you change things up? 

MVL: My biggest repeat offenders were my J. Brand boyfriend jeans, black below-the-knee, stretch-cotton pencil skirt, fitted boyfriend blazer, denim jacket, white t-shirt and a few hats and heels. Because I have a lot of separates, it was fairly easy to change up the pieces from various outfit pairings.

SB: Did you notice any items that held up (in quality and style) more than others? What were they?

MVL: I still am amazed by two pieces that are still going strong and never out of style: 1) navy blue scoop neck with front pouch cashmere sweater (from Neiman Marcus about 15 years ago) and my Diane Von Furstenberg grey tweed blazer with pinstriped silk lining, which always gets compliments.

SB: What did you learn about about shopping (or not shopping) while doing the challenge?

MVL: For me personally, I learned that shopping turned into a coping mechanism. That’s why we joke about retail therapy but when I’m just buying to buy and there’s no real thought behind it, then I’m completely being a hypocrite as a stylist. When I work with my clients, I always stress classic well-made staples, good separates and pieces that fit their bodies.

Maria Von Losch - good shopping advice

SB: Did you ever cheat and buy something new?

MVL: No, otherwise, the guilt and shame of lying wouldn’t sit well with me. If I had, I would’ve started over, like when someone gets sober and falls off the wagon. I did receive gifted items but I never spent my own money buying anything.

SB: Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to try a no-shopping challenge of their own?

MVL: Yes, don’t do a year, that’s bananas! Try 30 days. Also utilize some social media platform to post everyday, this helps keep you accountable and it inspires other women. We love this stuff! You won’t believe all the support I got from women I didn’t even know leaving comments and emailing me.

SB: How has the challenge changed your sartorial life? Will you do it again?

MVL: I look at style and fashion with a new pair of eyes now. I feel like I have more fun, I play more and take more risks in my styling. Will I do this again…hellz no!

 30 Day No Shopping Challenge


Now it’s your turn! Try not shopping for a month and see how many new outfit combinations you can come up with, using the clothes you already own. Then, show us your outfits and tell us about your progress on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #30DaysNoShopping

#30DaysNoShopping challenge

See all of Maria’s outfits from her shopping challenge


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