HELLOOO everyone. I am writing this post from Amsterdam Soho House where I am meant to be working and getting through emails, but alas, I have the urge to shop. This urge has led me to want to write this post, about what shopping means to me, the journey I have taken with it and how the online community has changed my relationship with it.
Firstly, I have always loved shopping. LOVED IT. I am a big advocate of retail therapy, and it’s always been a big part of my life. Mum and I used to go shopping most weekends when I was younger, and through my teens any family holidays were always injected with some shopping and I would feel so incredibly excited for a shopping day somewhere new. It all comes down to a love of clothes and the new lease of life you feel when you have new pieces you want to style and feel really excited about. I remember Mum buying me something one weekend and then counting down the days util the following weekend when I was back out of my school uniform and able to wear it again! Moving through Uni was when online shopping became a big thing for me, and like many of us will have done, I knew the ASOS new in like the back of my hand and hung on desperately for the Net-A-Porter sales which slowly but surely became my way to build up a designer shoe collection. My relationship with shopping changed when it became a big part of my job, something that me in Leeds aged 13 with Mum would have never believed would be possible.
At the beginning of my blogging career I shopped the most I ever did. I almost fell into a space, which I do not recommend to anyone wishing to start a blog/already established with it, where I needed new clothes to feel inspired to create content. Once again, it meant spending a lot of time in the ASOS New In, and generally spending a lot of money on clothes. I have said before that Testing Basics really has informed and changed the way I shop in terms of focusing on quality and buying a lot less. But it doesn’t mean I don’t still love shopping and all the excitement that still comes with having something new hanging in your wardrobe which feels as though it bursts with opportunities for outfits that will make you feel amazing.
In more recent months, the ongoing discussion of sustainability in fashion has once again shifted my relationship with shopping. ‘Shopping’ has almost come to feel like a dirty word online, especially promoting it in excess. I couldn’t agree with it more, the larger environmental impact the haul culture on YouTube has had is maybe not one we will fully understand for years to come. And while there is still a long way to go, the fact it’s been such hot topic has had a huge impact, there was a time I would expect to see several ‘ASOS HAUL’, 'COME SHOPPING WITH ME’ videos in my subscription box every week, whereas now they really are few and far between. On a personal level, it’s meant that I can’t remember the last time I checked the ASOS New In. This conversation, combined with Testing Basics, made me really hone in on what I like and where I want to spend my money. It doesn't mean a high end wardrobe, but it does mean a lot of re-wearing the pieces in my wardrobe, and whenever I get comments from you all noticing that many items I own are on a heavy rotation, I take it as a big compliment.
I think I now shop the least I ever have. Now I do need to address, but not dwell on, the fact I get sent a lot of stuff so there is still the ongoing excitement of new styling opportunities. But I do still LOVE shopping so much, and while the discussion of sustainbility is rightly at the forefront of my mind, I will always be an advocate for shopping (just way more responsibly). And I still relish the moment I feel the need for some retail therapy and loose some hours online browsing and lusting over things, imaging the outfits I would wear, how the styling would be, what else new I might like to style with them?! It’s actually a thought process that makes me shop more consciously too, and the time I spend online shopping has thankfully dramatically reduced over the years, and I don’t allow myself to have any shopping apps on my phone. Because of what I get sent, my own money often does go towards higher end items from brands that don't send me things (by which I mean, if & Other Stories didn’t send me things I would never be out of there, but thankfully they do so it does allows me to spend money elsewhere). Which is why I currently have around 34729271 tabs open for Matches Fashion and a Wishlist which will incur a national debt.
Anywayyyy - I am going to push this discussion over to the ‘Chat’ section on here as I would love to hear what you think. How has your relationship with shopping changed over the years? How does it make you feel/do you find the way people promote online still uncomfortable even though it’s improved in lots of ways? Basically, share your thoughts! This is a fashion blog, I encourage you all to shop everyday, even if it’s sort of indirectly as opposed to wish lists etc etc - but I still promote consumerism, and partake it in all the time too, so I really want to know what you guys think about it all too.