Tuesday, 26 June 2012

There's No Such Word as Can't

If i had a penny for each time i heard my mum say that to me when i was little, i would be a millionaire.  Alright just a little exaggeration. She would often say this to me if i couldn't understand something in my homework, or if i couldn't remember something for a test or exam (i will never ever in my life forget that 7x8 is 56), or if i was trying to draw something and i couldn't get it right.  
I like to think that i have her to thank for my stubborness and sheer determination.  I dare say that sometimes the Mr is not so grateful for these qualities. But there is one thing that i just cannot get my head round; cannot understand the appeal and cannot do.  That is Shop Online.  

I feel like such an admission requires capital letters. 

I have tried tried tried so much, and, in typical 'me' style, it really frustrates me that it doesn't appeal to me!!  And why doesn't it? Every single high street shop i can think of has their own website where you can browse, back and forward through all their goodies and fill your 'basket' until your little hearts content and pay just a fiver in postage for the pleasure.  Whats more, you can buy and browse at 'any o'clock', twenty-four seven - wearing your pyjamas if you like.  You can go shopping if its pouring down outside!! If you are ill! Or hungover, or simply cannot be bothered to head town-wards.  There are 'online exclusives' on most sites -  things that mere high street trawlers like me cannot even hope to come across.  
You can shop all the things you may never have had the chance too.  The wonderful worldwide web reaches everywhere.  I live in Carlisle, and i like it, its a sweet little city but as lovely as it is, we don't have the best selection of shops.  Not say like your bigger cities - London, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc, so your choice is limited a little bit.  And the really good stuff is often worn by half the population.  Shopping online means you can cast your net so so much further.  

You can shop all the stores you love, worldwide, from your sofa.  And apart from the fact that you can 'visit' all the places your feet can't, whether you live in Carlisle or not; you can reach even further than that.  There are specialist websites set up to house exclusive collections, hard to find designers, designer collections at fab reductions, or even just all your favourite labels in one place - Net-a-porter, Asos, Boohoo, The Outnet .  You can buy vintage - handmade even.  Once only found in quirky little vintage shops in small villages, or second hand markets, or Cancer Research shops; sites like Etsy and Ebay make this kind of shopping available to the masses too.  Chances are you have them all book marked.  
Not me.  I would like to say that i don't know what it is.  But i think that i cant do online for many reasons.  For a start, i feel overwhelmed - you are all trying to throw all the clothes and accessories in the whole world at me.  It swamps me.  I have never been a shopper who thinks 'right today i need some new jeans and a skirt, and some new boots.' My shopping 'method' is very much an emotional and heart felt one.  I very rarely need anything.  Christ knows the Mr can vouch for that one a million times over. 
I work in retail, so i regularly buy Monsoon and Accessorize bits for work, at least once or twice a month as part of my job is representing the brand i work for and their product (its a hard life).  For this reason i don't think i ever have the 'urge to splurge' on clothes at the end of the month.  Because i have worked where i am for over five years now, i really do not ever need anything.  Trust me.  I have enough clothes, shoes and paraphernalia to clothe the whole of Carlisle twice over. With spares. 
For that reason my shopping is never really intentional or planned and is often spur of the moment.  I just go a wandering and come across something.  But i cannot 'wander' online.  Browsing is not the same.  I don't need somebody to merchandise something together for me to know how to wear something, or what to do with it, but i become inspired when i wander around shops on the high street.  
Maybe working in retail for most of my life makes me more susceptible to this, but there is so, so much work and thought that goes into making a store look the way it does.  From the outside, your windows play such an integral part in the succession of the rest of what's hidden inside. Each garment is thoughtfully picked.  Each accessory selected to perfectly compliment what it is dressed with.  Even the way the mannequins are positioned in the window is carefully thought out.  And then there are window props - put there to catch the eye, to entice the shopper inside, to compliment the outfits and to fit the brand.  You don't get that online - the clothes are laid out alphabetically, or by type or by 'New In' or 'Best Sellers' etc.

Once you enter a shop, the entire layout has been carefully considered not only to help make your experience a pleasurable one, but again to reflect the brand and their customer.  Merchandising is done with you in mind.  Outfits are built  with accessories easily reachable for those that can't match a top and trousers, or think that a fascinator was a close friend of Terminator.   Nobody tells you that online.  On top of that, often in the store you can see staff wearing the clothes - real people wearing it - which is a million times better than seeing a 7ft giraffe model it who has never eaten anything in her life but ryvitas.  
Don't get me wrong, i know what i like and what suits me and it is not because i need someone to show me what to do with everything; i just miss that whole experience from online shopping.  I like to feel what i am buying; to see the colour in daylight, to try it on there and there; and to be immersed and inspired by all the things around me that go into making me fall in love with something so very much.  I like to consider.  To try it on, to think and imagine, maybe have a cappucino…..then make an informed decision - not fill my virtual basket with something that isn't yellow and actually turns out to be more of a green and that looks nothing like i envisaged.  

Maybe i am an online shopping prude,  if there is such a thing.  Maybe one day i'll wake up and just get it.  And the thing is, i know i am missing out, big style, but i just cant do it.

Sorry Mum. 


  1. I totally agree with you... I find online shopping so boring, let me wander aimlessly around a shop looking at the pretty window displays and cleverly laid out styles anyday! Plus I don't like the hassle of having to wait for something to arrive, wondering whether it'll fit when it does eventually land on my doorstep and then having to send things back when they do arrive because I've normally bought about 4 different sizes of it all!
    Kaz :) x

  2. I much prefer going into a store and feeling the fabrics, trying on the dresses and talking to the sales associates - such a better experience than online.



  3. Great post I really enjoyed reading it! I agree shopping online is a little dull...takes the fun out of buying the clothes!



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