Shopping is fun, as is avoiding it
Greenpeace has just released the results of a study on shopping habits with more than a thousand women aged twenty to forty. Unsurprisingly all women said they loved to shop. All agreed they shopped to feel better, de-stress and have fun. But they were also quick to point out that they shop more than they can actually wear and often feel exhausted after a shopping haul. Interestingly enough online shoppers and avid instagram and facebook users were even more prone to being lured into buying stuff they didn’t need and ended up not even wearing. So what’s the cure? Swear off social media? No really an option because after all – looking at beautiful images can be an aesthetic pleasure as well as a great source for inspiration.
Over the last years when I’ve grown increasingly annoyed with my habit of shopping clothes I didn’t need nor wanted to wear, I’ve developed my own little way of enjoying shopping while not shopping. Sounds like a contradiction? Read on, try out and decide for yourself.
Let’s start with the physical way of shopping that means browsing actual stores. Go hit your favorite stores, pick everything you like, take it to the changing rooms, dress up, dress down, the works.
Then take a moment to re-evaluate. Of these ten or so items – which ones do you really like? Envision yourself wearing them. To what? Will this be a one-occasion-only outfit? Do the items complement your wardrobe and will help you build new outfits? Do you really like the way the fabrics feel on your skin? Is the fit really for you? If any of your answers point to: “Ah, this isn’t really what I want” then set the piece aside. Because, let’s face it: When did you ever start loving something you weren’t so sure in the shop and took it home anyway?
If you still have plenty of things you feel you absolutely need to have do this simple trick: Put them on lay away for a day. Sleeping over it is the best way to find out whether you really want and need something. If you’re still in mad love the next morning – fine go for it. Most likely though you won’t feel the urge to buy anymore. Nonetheless you’ll have gotten all the nice benefits you get from shop-hopping and browsing the aisles: The inspiration, the weird yet reassuring feeling you’re part of the shopping masses and can take part in this kind of cultural activity (isn’t it weird that we’re more likely to go shopping for leisure instead of looking at art, go the the movies, see a play etc.?)
If you’re more of an online shopper the act of buying is even easier. Just type in your credit card numbers or drain you pay pal and you’re all set. The downside: When the goods arrive and you’re just not that into them chances are high you’re too lazy (or ashamed) to return them. Which means you’ve spent money on clothes you don’t need and don’t like. (And I am not even getting started in the environmental aspect of senseless shopping here) Since you can’t go through the process of trying on and re-evaluating here I can only encourage you to buy and hoard as much stuff that you get sick and tired of looking at the bags and boxes and stop for the sole reason of regaining dignity. If you don’t want to go down that road I recommend a tad of willpower for not entering your credit card data but sleeping on those shopping decisions for a night as well.
Text: Alex Bohn
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