Thursday, 7 October 2010

Love shopping, fashion and cool new things. Do I?

The very sentence 'we know you love shopping, fashion and cool new things' was in an email to me from some marketing person. It doesn't really matter who from, in fact it was no one I'd even heard of, but the sentence had my eyes popping out of my head. Really, do I?

Actually no I don't like shopping, except for some reason in French and Italian supermarkets on holiday. I do like shops and I do like checking out stock and knowing what is in them. But I would never choose to shop. One of my clients asked me for help the other day in choosing a birthday present. I introduced him to Net-A-Porter. He loved it. For him it was the most pleasurable experience, no effort required. I suspect his girlfriend will love me too.

It is why people love Ocado, it is why if you could you would buy your food only from M&S and Waitrose. Anything that makes the shopping experience less of a chore and more pleasurable is the key.

Then there is fashion. Well of course I love the fashion industry, it enthrals and amuses me in equal measures. But I don't love fashion in some blind must have latest thing way. In fact I think fashion needs to reclaim some moral high ground and create an expression of culture through clothes. Of course marketing, profits and big companies dictate otherwise. Then there is the issue of people buying to create wealth. Our disposable incomes actually helped to fuel economic growth in the developing countries. Yet now we face such hard times (thanks to a few!) we need to not love fashion as we did.

I've fallen off the wagon of late in respect of not putting money aside as savings and instead spent it. However, I need to get a grip and return firmly to the fold of making do. On Sunday I decided to do a Make Do Magic post which provides useful shop things from range of products - please don't expect laptops or laptop folders type products - and I'll continue to do this. Which promptly puts me in the actually do I look bothered about cool new things. The coolest new thing I could ever get is a Miele washing machine.

My spending spurt is in direct correlation to the outpourings of our coalition government. I find their use of the word 'austerity' 'deficit' and 'cuts' rather preachy. I feel as if I'm being told off and I ought to know better. Being a bit rebellious by nature I want to do the opposite. Ah, that would require the means. I'll just keep switching the radio/telly off whenever they are on instead, it will stop me ranting at radio/telly too.

All of which puts me back firmly into the slow fashion camp. I think the buzz words should be cherry picking, creative and cunning. Both Vintage Vixen and Fashion's Most Wanted have impressed me with their resourcefulness (cunning) and I'm planning a Make Do 12 month strategy to ensure I employ more cunning (resulting in healthier personal finances) but satisfy my creative nature and my vanity. I think if you love fashion on any level you have a good healthy dose of vanity. I'm going to devise a cherry picking plan which will allow me to buy but within parameters. And in a way that doesn't really involve shopping particularly for cool new things.


  1. Kate I am with you, yes I love Net a Porter as the I love the whole shopping experience, also I almost always know that the item will fit and be great quality as I have favourite brands, but I am a huge Ebay fan, I buy a lot of my clothes on there, especially second hand designer clothing and bags. I use a couple of sellers that I know and trust, I dont share them easily .. incase I am bidding against you LOL...
    I have always been a huge fan of the "Charity shop" too. It was the only way for me to dress with quality on a low wage.. and stylish too.
    It is so depressing listening to the cuts etc, friends husbands with great pensions being cut .. just as they are getting nearer to the age, benefit cuts etc etc.. I know it has to come form somewhere but child benefit will raise 11 billion and the Bankers are paid 7billion in bonuses.. Now that is unfair xx
    I am on my soap box now.. should we emigrate ??

  2. What a brilliantly written post, Kate. I'm honoured by the mention as I find your blog constanly interesting. xxx

  3. Oh well maybe this is why the SS11 collections have been so dire, they are helping us resist temptation!

  4. I am totally with you and love your cherry-picking plan. I'm completely fed up with being told to suffer more, especially when it's quite clear that the very people telling me to cut here there and everywhere aren't hurting at all ! But, as you've said, if it results in us all getting a whole lot more creative then YAY !!!

  5. I hate shopping too, and due to budgetary constraints have to be fairly savvy with what I buy for myself. But it is really worthwhile spending proper money on some things - I just bought a pair of black wool Valentino trousers (via ebay I hasten to add) and the difference between them and the numerous pairs of cruddy cotton work trousers I have gone through is astounding. Wish I had spent the money on something decent years ago.

    Anyway, yes. Love fashion, don't like shopping. And often we love fashion on a cerebral level, rather than just being 'want want want'.

  6. Dear Kate, I totally agree with you as ever. I too am honoured by the mention, thank you.

    As you know I have very little budget for clothes so most of them come from Ebay. My taste in interiors is for older things and I know what clothes suit me so I don't really follow fashion that much. I could never buy super expensive designer clothes as I just don't have the money. My bank account is always in a tragic state and I don't even have an overdraft or a credit card anymore. I'll share more of my bargains soon.

    I really enjoy your high street picks because I can actually afford them. As I don't go shopping very often your brilliant blog is invaluable for that and a whole host of other information.

    I've thought about using Ocado but I do love to go food shopping and have a look around.

    I bet your friend will be delighted with a present from net-a-porter!

    My dad has just bought a Miele washing machine and absolutely loves it. I have a Smeg AAA one and it does silk and cashmere brilliantly on the handwash setting. A great washing machine is a worthwhile investment. Hope you're having a good week xx

  7. Great post, I too have felt like an angry woman at the 'preachy' statements from our government about austerity, being frugal...blah blah! I've heard that around 20 of our government are millionaires, how can they provide a steer on living without a wage or a decent pension to see you through old age. Can't wait for your future posts!

  8. Hi there-another fabulous post my dear and key words here for me especially are cherry picking and being creative. I love to see what is in trend via Vogue and Elles catwalk collections twice yearly and then thrift what I feel is a satisfactory alternative and what will work for me. of course, I'm always keeping my eyes open for those wow items, pieces that I will treasure and have for years to come.

  9. I wish they would preach about the importance of NOT buying from mass-produced high street shops and inflated designer labels, and instead encourage people to spend their money on independent retailers (either on independent websites, ebay, etsy or in real life).

    Of course I'm biased, but that would surely be a healthier approach to belt-tightening (whilst also helping small businesses who are struggling in the current climate)?

    Sigh. I have two basic things I need to buy, and then I'm resolving to stay away from the High Street for the whole of this season.

  10. Ha, I'm laughing because I am not fond of shopping either! I wonder sometimes if it's a result of having to spend lots of time in stores for work?

  11. Count me in for the cherry picking!
    My mother got a Miele washing machine last year and adores it, more than anything else in the house. Perhaps even more than my Father!!!!



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