I am writing this blog post after a full day of shopping in Birmingham, or, lack of it.
It is no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love fashion. I love wearing it, styling it, writing about it and I even intend to work in the industry when I’m older. However, when the opportunity arises to go out to a big shopping centre, although initially keen, I often shy away and never leave with anything that I want. Sometimes I even buy stuff that I don’t even like, just so I leave with something and not feel as if I have wasted a day.
I’m not sure when my shopping habits developed like this. At the age of eleven I would have jumped at the chance to go to a big shopping centre and spend money on clothes. But at the age of seventeen, I struggle to leave with one piece of clothing without doubting myself. Perhaps it is my hesitation to spend money (as it is my own and I have the ever impending threat of budgeting at university), my picky style or even my lack of self confidence.
Since my early teenage years, my perception of myself changed. It is still changing and evolving. This is true of both my style and opinion of myself. Obviously, as I have gotten older, I have refined my style of clothing and have in consequence, become more picky in what I buy. Meaning, there is less clothing available that I like enough to buy. Sometimes, I can become narrow minded in my shopping, I have a particular style (that evolves during the seasons), that often I scrunch up my face and scoff at some pieces on the shelves. This does not mean, however, that there is nothing for me to buy. But I still leave shops empty handed.
Why do I do this? I think perhaps the biggest obstacle to my shopping experience is my ever building self doubt. About both whether I love the piece enough to commit to buying it, and whether it actually looks nice and compliments my figure. Clearly, my lack of enthusiasm to spend money does not help, but I think my problem is how I view myself. You cannot enjoy shopping until you learn to love yourself.
Every time I emerge from Topshop changing rooms, the wish that I had a thinner body and a fatter purse circulates around my brain (which is rubbish!). Coupled with the busy atmosphere of shoppers, I often feel flustered and rushed. I then give up on the day and start to feel tired and overwhelmed at only 1 o’ clock. I then go home, and regret that I did not buy anything. I even avoid sales, because the amount of people rummaging and the vast number of clothes that are hanging half off of hangers, scares me.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I will buy lots when shopping, but I often find it difficult to find a happy medium. I either leave with lots of clothes (some that I am not even that crazy on), or I leave with nothing at all. I follow fashion closely, and in my mind I know exactly what kind of clothes I want and what my style is, but I can never find that in shops. For these reasons, I tend to sway towards online shopping, as I get to examine all of the brands and styles, without the pressure of shopping centers. However, with this technique I often disregard the concept of saving money, as it is a lot harder to visualize the amount of money you are spending. Plus, half of the fun of shopping is browsing clothes and trying them on.
As aforementioned and probably evident from my previous blog posts, I am a major follower of clothes and fashion. My distaste for shopping has developed from my lack of self confidence and budgeting issues. In order to tackle this, I have come up with simple steps…
- Look online before you go at the sorts of clothes/the style that you want and where to get them.
- Make sure you are not feeling low on body confidence. Try on some more daring outfits, you never know, it might suit you!
- Go with somebody who does not mind going back and forth to shops as you doubt and become indecisive on what you want to buy.
- Have a good breakfast and lunch to keep you fueled throughout the day.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes!
- Go to the best shopping place. If big shopping centers are not your thing (they definitely aren’t mine!), then go to a smaller town with good shops that is perhaps a bit more open (do some research on shops local to you).
- Relax! Don’t try to find something you love, but rather something you like and you will practically wear. Do not, under any circumstances, buy something you do not like just for the sake of it. If all else fails, there is always online shopping!
I have put together this blog post after a long reflection on my shopping habits. I must not be the only person who feels like this. In the hopes that this helps people who are feeling the same way, please let me know if you also experience this. Remember, fashion is great but shopping is something completely separate, it can be an enjoyable experience. Try and slowly get back into it by entering with a different perspective.
‘Self love is the elixir of an immortal heart’
-Amy Leigh Mercree