Are you intelligent shopping?

For 15 weeks I have been on a self-imposed shopping ban – no new clothes, shoes or accessories. The aim is to refrain for 6 months. So far, I am succeeding.

The main driving force behind the ban when it started was money; a lack of it due to my over-indulgence in shops like Topshop and a desire to pay off my student overdraft and to maybe start putting together some meaningful savings.

However, while my bank balance at the end of each month is looking decidedly healthier, the ban has also made me think about why and how I shop in the first place. It is certainly true that shopping can be a form of therapy; there have been countless occasions when, after a bad day at work or a difficult test at university, I have found myself trudging home from town hours later with a few shopping bags in tow. And I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t felt compelled to dash to the shops after a long and stressful day in the office in the past 15 weeks and make myself feel better. But I have resisted. Nearly always, after such a trip in the past, something, if not all of what, I have bought has been taken back once I have felt better anyway.

The ban has also made me question the way in which I shop.

In recent years cheaper and cheaper clothes available on the high street have fuelled a trend for “throw-away fashion”. Despite the obvious ethical questions behind how a t-shirt can possibly only cost £2 or a pair of shoes only £5, the price tag is often too tempting for many people to dwell on these for too long. But who wants a wardrobe full of cheap clothes that will not only age quickly but likely fall apart after just a few wears. It might be boring to hear it, but spending more on essentials and basics that you will return to again and again really does pay off. With no new clothes to inject something fresh into my looks for over 3 months now I have had to really stretch my wardrobe to stop my outfits looking tired too quickly and I have found that it is those items on which I spent a little more that continue to look good.

Likewise, I have also begun to realise that I shouldn’t always buy something just because I love it; it needs to be able to fill a gap in my wardrobe. There is no point in buying a skirt for which I know I have no shoes and, in the same vain, there is no point in buying items which are essentially the same as others I already own; unless to replace something. This is particularly true of accessories; I have discovered an absolute treasure trove of earrings and necklaces, most forgotten and bags for every occasion. Sure, it is always nice to have something new for a special occasion but going without means that you appreciate it so much more.

As the recession has hit and people are thinking more carefully about what they spend their money on, so-called “intelligent shopping” certainly seems to be a trend that has come to stay. Fashion lovers everywhere are more conscious and well informed of where their clothes come from and so have sparked a trend of greener, wallet-friendlier and more intelligent shopping.

Make-do-and-mend – of the post-war era – has made a comeback. Indeed, the credit crunch has made some people look to new ways to acquire a new outfit without spending too much money. Swap parties have become THE place to “shop”, while many women are learning to customise old or tired or charity shop finds.

Tell me how your shopping habits have changed – or not – as a result of the credit crunch?

Happy shopping ladies. More soon. Love, SG


About sugarandspicesg

fashion blogger
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