“Why can’t I be more like other women?” This is a question I almost never ask myself. Flawed though I am, I’m content enough being me. Today, however, after a 3 hour shopping trip that produced just one purchase, I found myself asking this question.
For me, clothes shopping is not the fun, relaxing, stress-release that is portrayed in popular culture and experienced by my friends. For me, clothes shopping is akin to a trip to the seventh circle of Hell. I HATE it. I hate it the most when I need something specific: a dress for a friend’s wedding; work clothes; new shoes; let’s face it, new clothes in general. Part of the problem is that I am not very materialistic – I have never felt the urge to have the latest styles/shoes/phone/other goods. I don’t get a buzz from spending on things I don’t need. I don’t want things I don’t need. So I only go shopping when I need something.
So now, I seriously need some new clothes. To be honest, I need a whole new wardrobe, as I don’t wear most of what I currently own; I’ve had a lot of it for too long. I would like some new styles, a slightly different look. I am bored. But although I look in magazines and at what other people are wearing, when I get to the shops, it just doesn’t transfer. Today, I saw lots of colours I like (dark red, dark green) and styles I love (grungey, 90s) but I just can’t put it all together.
I wander, touching things, picking up the odd thing to try on, forcing myself not to buy yet another stripey jumper or t-shirt. Sometimes I try loads of things on, and only one item looks good or fits well. It’s just such a drag. All the trying on and taking off, looking in mirrors, realising that you’re a different size in every shop you go to. Sometimes it’s easier if a friend or family member is there, but I feel guilty asking anyone to go with me. Maybe they don’t mind so much. But if shopping for myself is my idea of hell, then so is being dragged around the shops by someone else. So I usually undertake the painful exercise alone.
Before anyone suggests online shopping, that isn’t for me either. There are three fundamental problems: 1. Too much choice. Anyone who’s met me knows that ‘indecisive’ is my middle name, so the sheer volume of variety is just overwhelming. 2. I’m a tactile shopper. I like touching things, picking them up, trying them on. Not possible online. 3. I am impatient, yet lazy. I don’t want to have to wait for purchases to be delivered before trying them on, only to have to go to the trouble of returning them if they are unsuitable. Better to waste a couple of hours in one go at the mall than even more, painfully dragged out over a week or two.
So today, I managed to buy one pair of skinny jeans. Something that was on my list, but not one of the things I most needed. Maybe I should advertise on Gumtree (if it exists in Spain) for someone who loves shopping and fashion to come with me. I could be their little project! Failing that, does anyone know how I can reach Gok Wan?