Scarves Scarfaholics Anonymous - shopping and mental health

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Do you feel in control of your scarf consumption or do you struggle a bit?

  1. I am fully in control, for me this is simply a pleasurable hobby

    42 vote(s)
  2. I only rarely feel like I may be buying (or think about buying) more than I want to

    32 vote(s)
  3. I have a problem :D

    55 vote(s)
  1. The orange slippery slope is actually an understatement. It's more like a black hole - once you're in you don't get out. Or an orange hole.
    I am a very visual person, I like beauty and I really appreciate the beautiful designs, the touch of the luxurious materials and I love to integrate them into my outfits.

    But I don't feel fully in control.

    Don't get me wrong - I am fortunate enough that I can afford all my purchases, so my worry is not financial in nature. Rather, I observe that I am in this loop of craving, buying, release, more craving... which is a typical sign of addiction. And I think there are certain features of this particular "collection hobby" that may fuel that loop (which is a typical addiction loop).
    Here is a definition of addiction from the beautiful book "in the realm of hungry ghosts" by Gabor Maté:

    1. compulsive engagement with the behaviour, a preoccupation with it
    2. impaired control over the behaviour
    3. persistence or relapse, despite evidence of harm
    4. dissatisfaction, irritability or intense craving when the object is not immediately available

    I don't know about you, but I can relate with most of the above.
    I may not experience harm financially or physically, but I do often have feelings of guilt and shame. I often hide my purchases (even though I buy them with my own money and am free to do whatever I want).

    The thing is, our biology is wired in a certain way and I believe H scarve collecting taps into that and that's why it can get so addictive.

    So I am curious to know: Do you have a similar experience? Would you like me to explore this topic more and share some of my tricks that I'm implementing? Maybe you have tricks and tips of your own - I would be very grateful to hear them!
  2. I completely agree with you that the criteria with which to identify addiction by these definitions can be used against collectors and hobbyists.

    1. compulsive engagement with the behaviour, a preoccupation with it

    This is also the definition of love

    2. impaired control over the behaviour

    This is also a characteristic of love

    3. persistence or relapse, despite evidence of harm

    This is also a pattern of behaviour detected in 'love gone wrong'

    4. dissatisfaction, irritability or intense craving when the object is not immediately available

    This is also evident in grief over a loved one's absence, passing, unrequited response or disengagement

    Ergo, I think I just need to get married to an Hermes scarf (or at least get married in one).

    Seriously. I really like this thread because it makes us think. Particularly in view of no. 3. If someone has a serious shopping habit (as in drug-addiction habit not just visiting the scarf counter every few months) then they should seek help, addiction needs outside help.

    I am having a problem atm, as I overdosed on luxury items the last few months of 2019 and that behaviour has impacted my SS20 scarf dosage a month after the season's scarf launch. Can't have everything, especially when one is addicted to multiple drugs from several different dealers.

    Certainly I can relate to being a visually stimulated person, I can literally say I love the world of fashion as I love art, beauty and colour. I do feel I need it around me everyday, every day.
  3. hehe very keen observations - it's actually the same neurotransmitter - dopamine - involved in both romantic love/infatuation and "addiction" (it's maybe too strong a word, i know)
    i like your conclusion though :biggrin:
  4. I also want to clarify - I do not "use this AGAINST" anybody!!! Please do not understand this as a critique in any way shape or form. it's me being vulnerable as this is just something I am struggling with and I thought if there are others feeling similarly we could share tips as to deal with it - in the end it's not about how many scarves you buy - if you buy ALL of them and it doesn't cause you any suffering, then awesome! do it!

    But if you're like me and notice that certain parts of your brain are getting activated that take (some) control away from you, then I hope that in this thread we can share tips and tricks as to how to deal with it while enjoying this beautiful hobby.

    In the end, addiction is a very strong word, maybe obsession is better or minor compulsion - I don't know. it's a spectrum anyways... hope that clarifies this, I do not want to attack anybody!!
  5. I know I can relate !
    I fell down - hard - that orange slippery slope.. and not just for scarves, but a lot of other H items... for ten years i had a single H scarf and recently it’s become an obsession. I guess i am looking for something special, that people could recognise on me.. something to hand down to my daughters when i pass...
    i would love you to share your tips !
    It’s really strange because i feel like it’s perfectly acceptable to buy a €400 scarves when i am pretty sure a lot of my friends would consider €60 too expensive for an accessory.
    Not sure if the meaning is the same in English but in French “accessoire” means something superfluous, that’s not needed. And H made these essential to me !!
  6. So one trick that has been working for me recently (also for clothes) is calculating and tracking cost per wear. Maybe just hearing my numbers may be enough or you could try it yourself (it's probably not for everyone).

    I wore my Kawa Ora CSGM 3 times so far, so basically each wear cost me like 360$. Now some of my older CSGM I wore more - my Phoenix 30 times. that's still 35$ per wear.

    I have 30 scarves (started collecting early 2017) and wear a scarf every single day since pretty much 2018 (that's about 600-700 wears).
    my average Cost per wear right now is still 57$ (I have a spreadsheet..). That is still very expensive to me - Imagine you would rent your scarves for 60$ per day!! whoot??!!

    summing it all up in one table is a reality check in itself and not for the faint of heart (but kinda fun) (It also made me realise that i need to up my insurance)

    In the end, I want to bring down that cost. And here's the point. Whenever I buy a new scarf, I not only start at a high Cost Per Wear (CPW), I also have less opportunity to bring down the CPW from my old scarves.
    A season has 180days. Assuming I wear a scarf every day and don't want to pay more than 10$ per day that gives me a budget of 1800 per season. But that will mean my cost per wear on my older scarves will stay the same.
    It kills the rationalization: "But I'll wear this tons" - because you'll wear it at the cost of wearing something else.
    for tracking, I use an app called cladwell. It's free and you can do outfit planning with it. It's a great way of love your current capsule more (i.e. instead of looking at new stuff you play with your old stuff). I have uploaded all my scarves as "shoes" (because they don't let you do accessories) and I typically plan out the outfits for the week on the weekend. The app will track how often you wore your item for you, which is kinda neat.
    Here's a screenshot of the user interface:
    this is how the outfit layout looks
    and that's the stats you get when you click on an individual item
    USCGirlie, mcl1818, ninakt and 41 others like this.
  7. It’s a balance; one I am still trying to find and one that will look different on everyone. It’s not a quantity or financial thing. Someone may have unhealthy habits surrounding purchasing one scarf a year.

    I firmly believe the quote in my signature and view that as my starting place. How much time am I spending on this (earning, searching, looking, deliberating, buying, and/or hiding)? Is this more or less time than I want to be spending on this? If it’s more, how much more? What can I do to lessen my time spent? Does that much more constitute a problem for me? Do I have paths I can take on my own to reduce it or is it something with which I need outside assistance?
    USCGirlie, Sandy777, jans131 and 15 others like this.
  8. I think if you are beginning to find your shopping or amount of things stressful then a refresh is in order. I hate clutter so I try to buy what I truly love and will work with my closet. I organize my closet a lot. Sometimes I make mistakes but I try to stay focused. I also keep lists on my phone of what I need or want (which right now is a lot because I am reconfiguring my wardrobe to adapt to some changes in my professional life that necessitate a much more casual wardrobe). I find with H a lot is on the web or this forum so you can pre plan what you want to see in store. Ask yourself if you love it, does it fit with your lifestyle, do you already have something in that colourway or colour? I find it really helps me be streamline. If you haven’t organized your closet in a while that may be a good place to start and you can hire an organizer to help.
  9. What makes the slope so slippery - in my opinion - is FOMO. fear of missing out. it gives you a sense of urgency, which certainly makes me crank out that credit card easier.
    Also, I find that the rush of wanting something is by no way proportionate with the short high of getting it. This is classical "salience attribution" - if only I get that one thing, it's all gonna be ok. Well no, life goes on, our wants have babies and new wants knock on the door. And actually, by making their goods artificially scarce and making us wait, the tap into that FOMO even more.

    The power is being with the urge and letting it pass. appreciating something beautiful on somebody else.
    for me, this currently is watching all those beautiful pics of c'est la fête. I could just forbid myself from going on this forum (tried that, doesn't work). So now instead I try to "surf the urge". I feel the urge in my chest, then I say to myself that I appreciate the beauty on the tPFler who posted it, am happy for them, and let it go. Same with that japan scarf. The one I like has similar colors to my animapolis, so I really have that niche filled. So I appreciate the pictures, am happy for the person owning it, and let it go... and once the pictures are out of sight, I feel the urge is gone pretty soon as well. just make sure to not save the pictures because they'll trigger the want again.

    then I try to fill my time with some other activity, such as playing my instrument or read.
    USCGirlie, mcl1818, ninakt and 31 others like this.
  10. This is amazing. I’m still mulling over my thoughts because I fall into the “compulsion” bucket for more than just scarf shopping, but what a neat tool! And I also find your rational interesting and absolutely true. Anything you buy, even if you think you’ll wear a lot, just means you’ll use past expensive purchases less.
    klynneann, Bova123, wisconsin and 2 others like this.
  11. I totally have a problem. I have not even unboxed my latest buy when I am already thinking of the next...! The scarves are the most exciting thing for me about H. So many designs, patterns, colors... it is like an endless candy store! Thank you for the tip re cost per wear - I totally need to make a spreadsheet too and somehow I have the feeling I am not going to like the numbers on it.
  12. Love your scarf collection and the app, OP! This is a great thread. What you said reminds me of how I was a decade ago when I made purchases...I went through an involuntary decade-long drought of not having a lot of disposable income and I was able to cut back out of necessity. Now I’m able to purchase again and one technique that helps me is keeping a list on my phone of target purchases and every time I buy something I ask myself if I want it more than something on my list. I also read a recommendation to wait a month before making large purchases because if you still want it after a month then you really want it but chances are you won’t. I know that is hard to do for H, but those are two ways I’ve found that help me. Overall making deliberate purchases has actually started to make me happier in the long run!
    MissIn, crisbac, klynneann and 9 others like this.
  13. I totally agree with a lot of what’s been said here. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in the excitement of purchasing something new and we get FOMO. I looked at my Amex end of year statement and was appalled at how much I spent at certain stores and in merchandise all together. I’m going on a shopping diet the rest of the year. I have three major items I want to purchase but I’m forcing myself to also give up 3+ items I don’t use in order to sort of balance things out. I also clean out my closet from time to time and sort of uncover goodies I forgot I had. Sometimes I feel guilty too because I think wow maybe I should have donated all of that money rather than spending it on consumer goods. I think being mindful is key and having other hobbies. It’s a fine line on how to enjoy even websites like this without being pushed maybe to purchase something we don’t need. I guess no one needs a designer bag lol but you know what I am trying to communicate hopefully.
  14. i totally get what you are saying. Nothing wrong with spending hard earned money as long as it doesn’t spend itself and it’s deliberate purchases that add value and bring you joy rather than stress :smile:
    Langsam, Bova123, QueenieQ and 4 others like this.
  15. i think those are really good tips. shopping with a list in mind is always great. One of my main weaknesses still is in social settings with SAs. I’m so bad at saying no. maybe having a list to point to would be nice in that case. also, cool off periods are great. waiting for a night, or a week or a month- whichever you can do. one that I want to try is leaving the tags on for one week so I can still return the item if I change my mind.
    klynneann, Bova123, Alice1612 and 2 others like this.