Okay, so I hate myself a little for being such a fashion cliché, but if there was ever a series of books I could relate to, it was the Shopaholic series by Sophia Kinsella. Every girl has read and re-read them and practically knows them by heart. Hell, we all watched the movie and agreed wholehearedly when she said the world gets better when she shops. It does though.
I’ve been obsessed with fashion and shopping as long as I can remember. I remember my best friend and I sitting in my room when we were teenagers as I tried to work out how I was going to tell my mum that I had spent my entire allowance on heels I bought at a market stall. She tried to talk me down from my shoe high by asking if I’d rather have enough money to go out with my friends and have a future or live in a room full of shoes. Um, the latter, obviously. It was a silly question. She knows better now.
And, of course, when I started working in the fashion industry and blogging, things were taken to a whole other level, as you can probably imagine. My expensive little hobby was also my job and I became obsessed with filling my wardrobe with the hottest trends and fell head over heels in love with every statement piece I met. Often buying things to wear at fashion events and specifically for my blog or Instagram.
I don’t buy things just to wear for my blog or Instagram or events anymore, give myself a monthly shopping budget and try my best to get the most wear out of items I buy, but I still constantly live in a state of ‘Treat Yoself’, often not having enough money to socialize with friends because I spent too much on the outfits I was going to wear when I would see them, if that makes sense?
I had two little shopaholic moments just last week – I rang Paypal to check why they had set up a Direct Debit for me and if it was going to be a monthly thing, they clarified the issue but then decided to run through my spending from the last couple of months, stoping short when they noticed I bought five handbags on 26th of June, thinking there must be some sort of mistake. There wasn’t. I also went charity shop shoppng with my friend Andra on the day these photos were taken and bought a cute Russel and Bromley straw bag after asking myself if I needed it, had the space for it, could afford it, etc. and all the answers to those questions came up as hard “No’s”. *Insert akward monkey emoji here*.
Thing is, it is 2018 and the age of fast fashion and I know that I’m not alone. Every single woman with an interest in fashion is a self-confessed shopaholic and relates to what I’m going through. I mean raise your hand if you’ve ever talked yourself into buying a a pair of shoes because you’ll need to fill the shelves in the huge walk-in wardrobe of dreams in your five year plan. Raise your hand if you believe in Becky Bloomwood’s ‘antiques of the future’ theory. Raise your hand if you’ve bought something thinking you could pass it on to your children one day (not even sure I want children, but whatever I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it).
Anyway, I thought I’d share some of my crazier shopaholic moments in this blog post, and I hope you’ll share yours in the comments so just in case my husband happens to read this, I can show him that I’m not alone and we’re all in this together 😉
The Parada Minimal Baroque Obsession of 2011
I was 21, fresh out of a breakup and on a family holiday in Spain. My mum spotted the then newly launched Prada Minimal Baroque glasses in a shop window in Marbella and I knew just then that I just HAD to own them. That my life would be incomplete without them. My mum told me that since they were pricey, if she bought them for me, I wasn’t allowed to buy anything for the rest of the trip. It was really hard to walk away from them, but I needed to think it through as sacrificing a high street spree on the rest of the trip sounded like a HUGE commitment. However, when we were in Barcelona a few days later and I saw them in another shop window, I tried desperately to get into the store to buy them but they had their shutter half down as they were closing and wouldn’t let me in. Prada didn’t ship to Mumbai at the time so I was gutted on the way home from my holiday thinking I’d never get to see them again. But I was absolutely elated when I found them at Dubai airport and promised my mum perfect grades, tidy rooms and well-walked dogs for the rest of the year if she bought them for me. She did. I was over the moon. Until I wore them to fashion week a few weeks later and somebody stole them when I put them down to take some photos. I was absolutely heartbroken and my mum knew it, so as a surprise, she ordered them from Milan to my aunt’s home in London, who then carried them from London all the way to Mumbai for me on her next trip. I still have them in my wardrobe now and wear them every time I go to Italy. Also, just realising now that my mum is an absolute SAINT. How did I get so lucky?
The Zara Straw Bag Debacle
Straw bags for summer had just started to trickle into the market last year, and weren’t anywhere near as big as they are this year. I tried really hard to find a nice one that wouldn’t break the bank and found that Zara did this totally cute little piece, unfortunatey it was really popular and despite my checking their website daily, had been sold out for weeks with no signs of being restocked. I had a holiday to Turkey booked and thought it would go with all of my outfits, so I tracked it down on eBay where it was double the price, contacted the seller about express shipping it to me all the way from Portugal. The whole thing cost me more than double what the bag was worth, but it arrived on time and was just what I wanted. Sadly, the holiday fell through and I happened to find it at the original price at the Zara in Manchester the week after.
The DPD Van Incident
I needed to wear a jumpsuit for this post I had to write for a brand. Normally, the brand I’m working with would send me one to wear in my post. But this particular one wasn’t gifting at the time and I didn’t already have one I could use. I ordered one off Asos and when it arrived on Thursday, was absolutely HUGE on me. My deadline was on Monday and I had arranged to shoot this look with a friend on Saturday so I could edit on Sunday. So I basically had 24h to order a new jumpsuit that would fit properly and match all the items I had planned to style it with. I found one on Asos again and ordered it on Next Day Delivery, however, when it still hadn’t arrived by 10.30am on Saturday and I needed to be in town to shoot it at 12pm, I started to panic. The online tracker said the driver was in my neighbourhood but the delivery wasn’t scheduled to be made till 2pm. So I got in my car and actually drove around till I found him and convinced him to let me have my parcel early. He said he needed to check the barcode off at 2pm, so we had to tear the bar code / label off the delivery bag so he could check it when he needed to, but that way I was able to take the jumpsuit with me then and make it to my shoot on time! Whew!
The Mango Bucket Bag of Dreams
I fell head over heels for this Mango dupe of the Staud Moreau bucket bag of 2018 after seeing it on some of my favourite bloggers. Sadly, it was sold out in the UK, but it was half price in India. So I ordered it online and had it sent to my mum’s house and asked her to ship it to me in Manchester. The bag was £25 on sale, cost her £55 to ship and the cost me £17 in customs duty. The total cost was almost double the original price of the bag. But on the bright side, still a whopping £200 cheaper than buying the Staud one.
The F&F Skirt Saga
If you follow me on my new Instagram account, Midsize Collective, chances are you will have seen my posts on Insta stories about this skirt I’m wearing in these pictures and how it created a total frenzy on my Instagram feed with over 60+ DMs. I first saw it on my favourite blogger, Hannah Gale, and since I buy 9 out of 10 things she posts, I knew I had to have it. Now, in case you didn’t already know, Tesco have recently taken all of Tesco Direct offline, including their clothing section, Florence and Fred, who exclusively sell this skirt. Since I could no longer buy it online, I went into two of my local Tesco’s looking for it but since their clothing sections were so limited, they didn’t have it in stock. Also, since I didn’t have a product code for it since it wasn’t listed online, they couldn’t tell me which Tesco near me stocked it. When I went to the third large Tesco, there was a lady named Jan who was so helpful. She had bought the skirt herself, so I gave her my phone number and she texted me the product code! She then went in to work the next day and used the code to track down the skirt at a Tesco 3 miles away from me and reserved it for me till 10pm that night. What a total legend! The world needs more people like Jan and honestly, I think she could be running this country with one arm tied behind her back! It was so worth driving to four Tesco’s miles away from me to finally be able to get my hands on this skirt because when I did find it, it was reduced from £22 ro £13. Woohoo!
I have a feeling this isn’t where the crazy shopping stories end, so I’ll be sure to let you all know when I update this post with more midadventures. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram – @MascaraEverysaturday and @MidsizeCollective so you don’t miss it! See you at the next post! xx
Photography: Andra Dorolti