In reference to cowboy's post above, and building on some of maj's observations, thought I'd share my own experience of the past couple of years.
some background/context in spoiler
So essentially it's been a 14 month no cop followed by a 13 month no cop, with very limited forum browsing. Anyway here's what I've learnt:
#1 - I have plenty of clothes. I didn't need more. And after a while of no cop I didn't want more either. Those clothes you don't really like any more and want to gradually replace? You'll like them again. You'll wear them again. They're just clothes, and they do their job. Not buying clothes is very easy.
#2 - Money is money. If you can pay your rent, bills etc, put some into savings, have a decent social life and still have a bit left over then spend it on what makes you happy. If that's clothes then buy clothes. Personally, I earn enough money now at my new job to spend a fair bit on clothes again, but for the most part I'd rather put it towards weekends away, days out, nights out, nicer food etc.
#3 - Time is ultimately much more valuable than money - the time you spend choosing what to wear before you leave the house, the time you spend browsing forums and auction sites, the time you spend making trips irl to see/buy something in person, even just the time you spend thinking about clothes. Tracking the amount of money you have and how much you're spending is quite easy, tracking the amount of time you invest is a bit more difficult. Re-directing the majority of the time I had spent looking/thinking about clothes and forums into other things was by far the most fruitful aspect of no cop.
#4 - I actually really like clothes but I like clothes much more now than I ever did before. When I stopped buying, I appreciated what I have more, and when I did make purchases, I enjoyed it more because it's less of a routine thing. Cutting out forums means I now have a much better sense of what I like to wear and the kind of style I want to move toward, because it's a much more personal thing now. I don't know or care what people on forums are wearing anymore and that means more freedom to discover things for myself. And while my taste in clothes has changed a huge amount over the past couple of years, and there is that small part of me that wants a major wardrobe revamp, I'm more than happy to carry on with what I have because...well, see point #1.
For what its worth, I don't think a cop freeze is necessary for everyone, nor should everyone wean themselves off forums. But its been a valuable experience for me and I've managed to achieve a lot just by spending money elsewhere and better utilising the time that I previously would have wasted sitting on the computer looking at forums and planning my next buys, and I'm sure there are others who could probably benefit too.