Except for the end-of-season A.P.C. sale scoop, I've mostly returned to thrifting as my primary mode of acquisition.
I've tried the French Method, to some success. It definitely has helped me develop a more discerning eye. However, I feel that my love of thrift shopping and vintage clothes limits me from really implementing the French method. It's true that even with thrifting, I can select items more carefully and with an eye towards wardrobe building. But otherwise, shopping from a list just doesn't work all that well when thrift shopping means everything is a jumble. You never know what exactly you'll come up with when you survey secondhand goods. While patience and moderation are virtues of the French Method that can carry over to thrifting, it's difficult to adhere to a minimalistic point of view if you like vintage. At least, it is in my experience.
Somewhat relatedly, I also don't get the same satisfaction from buying new as I do from uncovering vintage goods. I've never blogged about the things I purchased new that would be considered more covetable. I never wrote about the Rachel Comey Mars boot that I purchased last November for my birthday, or the Marc Jacobs Teri handbag that I recently pulled out from oblivion from the back of my closet, or the Miu Miu and Mulberry Bayswater that were my first forays into expensive handbags, among other things. I just never felt good about broadcasting items like that, though I do appreciate seeing them on other blogs.
My aesthetic doesn't really require any high-end items. I'm not really minimal and clean in my outfits, where texture and cut matter a lot. Rather, I like earthy, slightly outdoorsy, and for want of a better word, quirky, looks. I love vintage prints, uncomplicated tailoring, and that crisp cotton blend that you can only find in older fabrics. My heart beats faster when I chance upon a beautiful vintage piece among all the detritus of a secondhand shop.
I still plan to shop outside of thrift for the easy basics and sharp tailoring that might toughen up my wardrobe a bit. But I think there's something in the air, and spending on luxury items just doesn't seem necessary right now, not just for personal reasons, but also for financial, environmental, and ethical ones.