Crimson Confessions Of A Shopaholic

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I’ll be good next month…

It would be rude not to…

A girl can never have too many black tops…

Clothes envy is an ugly thing…

I’d be a fool to say no…

White is the new black in any shopaholic’s world.The white lies we fashion ourselves with sugarcoat our consumer wired brains.

Each lunchtime when I venture outside my workplace, I am faced with an antagonising decision. East, swimming among a sea of faces towards the wide-spread and endless joys of Oxford Street? Or West, up the treacherous, cobbled Covent Garden lanes which open up into shopper’s paradise?

My intention is always just to pootle around the shops, suss out the latest trends, see what tickles my eye. This always escalates to second base – picking up some goods to try on. Just as a little fyi, now my curiosity has risen. It would be rude not to.

Besides the fitting room limit, the only other is how many hangers my spindly fingers can clasp around. Once inside the changing rooms, the hunger games begin. Although all cloth contenders usually come up trumps.

I’m very rarely struck by Cupid’s arrow in the fitting room. Most of the time I like, or even more so, have lukewarm feelings towards an item. Either way, I still want to give it shelter in my wardrobe. I’m just a charitable person. A charitable person who recognises that clothes envy is an ugly thing. Always best nipped in the bud at the till point.

While I’m punching in my kind-souled digits, I manage to brush away any guilt with one solemn pledge. I’ll be good next month. The sacred words professed every (bi-)weekly shopping ritual.

It’s honestly not my fault, my poor mind can’t differentiate between what I want and need. Of course a girl can never have too many black tops, they’re a constant necessity. Naturally I want to add to my collection. I need a new item every week to ensure people can never predict my outfits like the days of the week.

Like a true pro, before I even hit the shops, I’ve prepared my descent into the shopaholic’s honey-trap. I stalk the relevant shops for items I’ve scoured out online. All the time, keeping an open eye and mind for anything which might take me by surprise. Without fail I’m lured in by numerous items I’ve already snubbed online. When they’re showcased on a hanger they spring up like dark horses on a woven wonderland. I’d be a fool to say no.

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Online shopping might be an entirely different game but is still plagued with just as many pesky perils.

ASOS is my number 1 go-to for clothes. What I love about ASOS is their heart-shaped ‘save for later’ button. So cute and sculpted with love. Giving your items some tender, loving TLC. Giving you some darling deliberation time. When I’m trying to be good I’ll keep on giving some loving but putting out nothing.

Then comes the time when my ‘saved for later’ list is Mount Everest high. I see the dreaded orange sign splashed below some of my love interests, ‘low in stock’.

I begin to panic.

This could be just a few heartbeats away from the alarm bell-ringing ‘out of stock’. These three words are red coated nightmares which crush the heart you first clicked on.

My adrenaline mounts and without batting an eyelid I’ve purchased £100 worth of goods. My mind is popping pound sterling signs so swiftly I couldn’t even say what items got lucky. It’s fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine, I tell myself. My ASOS premier account dispatches the items within a day and offers a pick up return service if need be. I also only know too well, there never is a need be. Lukewarms, likes and some lucky loves accumulate in my wardrobe. You could find Narnia on the other side. But, hey, I need these in my life.

I’m always forward buying. I’m actively searching for and buying summer clothes at the pinnacle of winter. I’m terrified they’ll disappear by the time Nature’s ready for them. I spend my entire winter prepping myself for summer. I know a good bikini is like tropical gold dust on the shelves. The entire time I’m also making in-season purchases because all the real corkers seem to be churned out then. Invariably my infatuation with each item is always over before it’s even begun.

I undermine each item’s value and special appeal with my ruthless shopping. I can’t remember the last time I felt proud of buying something with my hard earned cash. Shopping has ceased to become a treat as it’s become a fully integrated weekly ritual. My wardrobe is full of stuff but feels me with no satisfaction. I realised something had to give.

For the next month I’m abstaining from any fashion related purchases  My daily patrol of my ASOS ‘saved for later’ list, will be exchanged for the ‘saved for later’ list, collecting dust and mounting in my wardrobe. I’m practically startled by a stranger every time I open it. I know if I work with what I’ve got, I’ll grow to know and appreciate my fabric friends all the more. I’ll become more creative and style-savvy pairing up items, as opposed to buying a fresh outfit each time (which would reach its expiry date within two weeks). For all the items I realise if I haven’t worn them by now and probably never will, I’ll give them away to charity. I’ll find greater solace knowing that my redundant purchases will benefit another in more than one way. I’m hoping after a month of adhering to the stylish philosophy ‘less is more’, I’ll be left feeling all the more fulfilled.

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