I’ve never really gotten the hang of online shopping. I much prefer mooching round the shops, seeing the mannequins, feeling the fabrics and being seduced by the music and the lights. I love nothing more than hauling a load of stuff into the changing rooms for a big try on, imagining all the places I’ll wear these outfits. Then I’ll usually hand back said items while I head to another shop to mull it over and try on yet more stuff. It’s a legitimate day out for me. Which is why I think I found it easier than most to not shop during lock down. Adding to basket and then having to wait for the delivery just doesn’t satisfy the itch in quite the same way.
I know there are countless people who feel the other way; who love opening those parcels and trying it all on in their own time, free to make a decision without looking at their watch. But whilst the methods may differ, what I have come to realise is fairly universal, is the hit we get from shopping in any form.
Not being able to visit an actual shop meant I had to sacrifice the shopping warm and fuzzies. Which wasn’t always easy and there were days where I longed to wander round the Trafford Centre getting myself in a tizz over which top I wanted the most. What I realised I didn’t actually miss all that much was the clothes themselves. I felt no more or less satisfied with my day because my clothes came from my wardrobe and not from the Hermes driver. Which further emphasised that I don’t actually need the new clothes, I need the experience of buying them to hit that high. Which then got me wondering how many of us are actually addicted to the buzz of browsing, to the excitement of new outfit opportunities and the feel of something new? Is it really about the clothes, or is it, as with most things, just the thrill of the chase?
Obviously, I can’t speak for anyone else. I only know from my own experience that the joy of finding something I really want, of convincing myself I must have it and then the butterflies (yes shopping butterflies are a thing) when I actually buy it is intoxicating. I won’t get that feeling every time I wear whatever it was I bought; maybe the first time, possibly even the second time but it won’t be long before my eyes wander to the next thing I-just-can’t-live-without.
If, like me, you suspect you’re getting your kicks far more from the hunt than what’s on the hanger then I have no advice! It’s hard. Window shopping brings the by-product of wanting stuff and wanting stuff is a persuasive little bitch that nestles right inside your head like a hummingbird on crack. All I can offer is to be aware of it. To recognise that you don’t actually need another white dress, you just need the fizz you feel when you first get it home. It’s a one-night stand, a brief flirtation at best and before you know it, you’ll be on the prowl again.
Don’t blanket ban shopping or, indeed, new clothes. We all deserve a bit of a buzz every now and then and if you get a high from a new pair of hi-tops then go for it. But if you are trying to shop less, if you think your need for a shopping hit is getting a bit out of hand maybe have a think about why you do it and if you need to do it as much? Zara Special Prices can definitely still get my adrenaline going and I do pine for Primark every now and then, but I’ve come to realise that if I don’t buy anything I still love looking. Taking the purchase out of the equation hasn’t taken away from my excitement. Ok, it’s not exactly the same (who am I kidding) but in recognising my shopping habits, I’m slowly weaning myself off the rush and creating a wardrobe and a lifestyle that will last long term.