What with the indomitable and wonderful Mary Portas with Channel 4's Secret Shopper (9pm Wednesday's) and my style challenge, (yes I know I fell off the wagon but more of that in another post) suddenly the high street is ruined for me.
Yesterday after my interview for an arts magazine, full of joie de vivre as the French say or hwyl as we Welsh say, I plunged into first John Lewis (mainly to use their toliets) and then Zara. Now I can't knock John Lewis on their service, though occasionally it borders in to arrogance or patronising, but they can never seem to get their fashion buying really spot on. It is better and the layout in Oxford St is 100 times better than before but the sight of all those clothes still depressed me and the shoe area seems to have gone backwards in its stock. But I love their tights section and other accessories downstairs and the rest of their store but the fashion bit leaves me cold and stressed!
When Sharon and I went mental in Knightsbridge, okay maybe only I did, I saw a lovely polka dot top in Zara but I'd already blown the budget. I thought I thought I would return and try it on. Of course I picked up some other items to try as well. The whole experience was hideous.In part, my body shape is changing as I get older so I can't blame the sizing issue on Zara but the cuts differ wildly so you never know what to go for. You are only allowed six items to take in (I had 9) and they can't hold them for you so you can swap them in and out. I managed to change very quickly , put things on and swap over to the items on the rail ready to go back into the shop. This is where they put your items so if the person clearing up the rail is swift and organised you are stuffed. In short the other items were ill fitting, poor quality and the polka top was ok.
I then had to queue for ages as they only had two people on the five tills and both were dealing with returns/exchange stuff. Not a word of apology, no eye contact, talking to colleague and so I refused a Zara bag and put the top in my own bag.
I realised that I can not be bothered to go through that again. I've had it with high street shopping. I admit I'm used to shopping for my clients in Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nicks, Bond St and Browns but most of their items are out of my price range, although where they are not I will choose to shop their first and the lovely Fenwicks. I get my designer fixes from TK Maxx (where I expect nothing ref customer serivce and they are always really nice) and the Outnet.
Which is why online shopping is a better fit and more fun. No hassle other than returns and companies like ASOS make this a doodle now. And especially when you can get what you want - behold my £12 ASOS turban!!
I love it!! Excuse the poor photo taking with my iphone. I truly need a photographer at my beck and call. Although I'm dreading seeing yesterday's photo shoot of me.
My other delivery was a rug which I'd ordered with some Christmas vouchers I was given. It is so soft and fluffy the petit garcon is in rug heaven, he declared the arrival of the rug 'really exciting' and has been found on it every since!
And I'm ruining my little boy with fab ice lollies!