Sunday, 17 March 2013

Little Black Dress

I've been shopping this week.  Real carrier bag, shop til you drop stuff.  Not online browsing, which always seems so clinical to me - and a bit hit and miss unless you're a standard size and know the brand really well.  I didn't actually buy anything to wear for myself just stuff for my grandchildren.  Well, I did buy some body lotion and a new eye shadow but that was about it. And of course I bought a few books from the Oxfam shop, as one of my friends has often remarked getting me past a bookstore is like getting the sun past the dawn chorus. It was great fun. 

I love to shop on my own and take my time deciding what I want to look at.  If I take a friend with me I always feel I'm keeping them from what they want to look at or else I end up trailing in their wake while they look at something which doesn't interest me. And if asked for my opinion I find it hard to give a straight answer.  Choosing clothes is such a personal thing and it's hard to tell someone that a dress doesn't suit her if she is singing its praises while asking your opinion.  So I'm a loner when it comes to shopping.

What kind of shopper are you? While shopping this week I made a few observations.  I saw women with very small babies asleep in push chairs, obviously enjoying a bit of freedom while baby is napping.  Then there were a number of mother-daughter combinations, some very harmonious, some showing signs of unravelling. Then there were the carefree young girls, usually three to four of them, squealing in delight as they each tried on the latest thing and then decided they couldn't afford those prices.  Once in a while I espied a patient husband standing outside the fitting rooms with (presumably) his wife's coat over his arm and looking very ill at ease.  Surely it was a proof of the strength of his character that he didn't cut and run for the cafe upstairs?  Hang onto that man!   To balance this impression, I did see a few husbands who were actively involved in helping their wives find something to wear, making suggestions or shaking their heads. I'm not sure I'd like that for myself.  But as far as I could see, the majority of shoppers were women like me who were simply browsing without intent.  Surely one of the nicest ways of spending an afternoon?

Some years ago an IT colleague of mine told me that in the near future all shopping would be done online and the high street stores would become obsolete to all intents and purposes.  I told him that that was a man's vision.  Us women still love to get out and prowl the stores and get that indescribable kick when we find an item that fits us, suits us and is marked down by 50%.  Online shopping could never give us that!


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