I remember so clearly the day my first student loan came in, mostly because it coincided with my discovery of Topshop (Topshop in Bournemouth is notoriously poor, so Topshop in London was like a revelation). It was the first time in my eighteen years that my bank account had shown (what I thought was) a considerable amount of money, and I had no one telling me how to spend it.
I’d just moved out, started at London College of Fashion, was living in London and making new friends, essentially figuring out who I was, and trying to buy a wardrobe that reflected who I was. The result? Most of my student loan lining the bank accounts of Topshop, Zara, Mango and Primark.
These days though, the contents of my wardrobe is a lot more permanent. When I do go shopping, I try to operate a strict one in, one out policy, and generally speaking I only buy things that really speak to me. Perhaps some of it is to do with getting older, but there are other reasons I shop less these days.
I’m more comfortable with my own style now. I think during my time at uni I was constantly conscious of what other people thought of my style, and would buy pieces heavily influenced by trend and by what other people were wearing (cue me ending up with leather shorts, oversized mens check shirts and a pair of sky high Jeffery Campbell heels). Nowadays I know what I like + what suits me, I don’t jump on every trend bandwagon and I’m buying less because of it.
I’m trying to be less wasteful. Fast fashion is exactly that, fast. Even when you truly love a piece, the chances of it lasting more than a handful of rounds in the washing machine are slim. I want to curate a wardrobe full of pieces I love that last me a long time, and unfortunately, nothing from Primark is likely to fit the bill. I find wardrobe clear outs where you have a big pile of clothes good for nothing but the bin really depressing, if I’m done with a piece of clothing I want it to be because it doesn’t suit my style anymore so it needs a new home, not because it’s fallen apart and needs the bin.
I’ve got expensive taste. Is that awful to admit? I think I got it from my parents, but these days it’s cashmere sweaters and designer handbags that get me hot under the collar, not trend led pieces or a new Topshop Collection. I’d rather save up and buy one beautiful, classic piece that I know I’ll wear for years to come, than blow a third of my paycheck in Zara every month.
I find it hard to dress my body. It sounds silly but I genuinely feel like, particularly on the highstreet, brands aren’t catering to women with my shape. I’m tall with broad shoulders, big boobs, a small waist, hips and no butt to speak of, and finding clothes that work with my proportions or flatter my shape is difficult. There aren’t many companies catering to women with long legs and no bum, so it’s a little harder for me to just go into a shop and buy everything that takes my fancy.
My money priorities are elsewhere. Right now any disposable income I have goes on homeware and coffee or meals out with friends. I have plenty of clothes, so right now I’m enjoying spending my money on making my home more cosy, and spending quality time out with friends.
I have to say, being more selective with my shopping (and as a result, shopping less often) feels quite grown up! It also means that when I do buy something new, it’s all the more exciting, which isn’t a bad thing!
I’d love to know what your shopping style is, are you a serial spender or a little more reserved like me?
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