I have three main vices in life. One a glass or two of white wine, two a love of crips and three I am a shopping addict.
By far the worst is my addiction to new clothes, shoes and accessories and anything that looks pretty and feminine. I can trace my love of clothes and shoes back to childhood. I distinctly remember getting a buzz when I got new brown suede boots from Dolcis in Debenhams on Princes Street and walked out the store imagining how great these boots were going to be. Or getting a clothes allowance when I was older and enjoying being able to go out on shopping sprees. I can also trace my love of European shoes to visits to France when we were teenagers and getting shoes that were that bit different to what you could get back home. And as for when I discovered Canadian shopping malls when I worked there post School for a summer I was addicted and came back and I don’t kid you with three suitcases full of new clothes and shoes.
I could blame my addiction on my school life as the uniform of Park School for girls did not make one feel very feminine or allow for any individuality and I think that when I left school I just enjoyed making my style my own. But it didn’t end after my student life in fact I confess I used a small loan to buy my first suit. All paid back a long time ago and I am quite proud that I still wear the suit today so it was good value for money however it shows how far back the addiction goes. Working meant I needed work clothes and casual and with more money in my purse I had a ball and as I climbed up the career ladder I bought more and more clothes until it was quite an addiction and something like any addict I just couldn’t stop.
My previous post mentioned my reaction to the recession and having to cut back and yes of course this has been the case. In some ways I have done really well. I never go shopping after meetings in Edinburgh anymore and there have been no blow outs in Marks and Spencers or a spree along Buchanan Street if I am in Glasgow.
But on line has been a constant temptation to me and though I am better than I was I confess that I have a regular splurge with my two on line favourites Next and Boden. And like any addiction I am worse when I am down or tired.
So I now have a wardrobe that consists of my main wardrobe, two blanket boxes, four drawers under the spare bed, a shoe cupboard and boxes under my own bed, chest of drawers and a huge package box. I kid you not that is the extent of it and I regularly find clothes that I had forgotten I had.
Two years ago I had to stop and stop I did and you know I started to shop in my own vast wardrobe and it was fun and I found loads of ways of wearing old favourites and found as expected clothes that I had forgotten I had. But then old habits die-hard and I soon started again.
What has hit me over the past few days and weeks is that as much as I love the thrill like any addict of the purchase and when the purchase arrives at first it soon loses that thrill and actually I have enough clothes to last me years and years. Especially as I do not believe in the adage that you should throw out after not wearing an item for a year. So I am writing this partly to confess that it’s an ongoing issue for me. For those of you who know me it won’t come as a surprise the women who rarely wears the same item twice in a month. And partly as I am hoping that if I write it down it will make me think twice the next time I think about buying. Andy may see this and laugh or even cry as he often looks at my wardrobe and I know its going through his mind “That’s my investment right there and in the room next door.” But I am going to try to be good just after I have another look at that new Boden catalogue!
No seriously its time to face up to why I have this addiction. My childhood insecurities of the blue and green of the Park uniform are long behind me and I know I am lucky that I have so many nice clothes to wear I just need to look into the wardrobe not outside and again remember that it’s not what you look like it’s who you are inside that counts. And I don’t want my legacy to be that I gave Imelda Marcos more than a run for her money. So I will keep you posted how it goes. Can I manage not to buy from now until my birthday? What do you think?