Does My Bum Look 40 in this? has started me thinking again about how we shop now. Kat was just debating whether it was worth blowing the budget on the luxe version of the M&S jacket she had found, or stick with the cheap one.
The idea of having a 'budget' is quite alien to me. My budget has pretty much always been defined by what's in my bank account and what my immediate earning potential is.
Even when I was pretty flush with cash, I always had an 'off' button, but having said that, if I found an unrepeatable deal, I could easily spend £1000+ on one trip to Bicester Village. The consequence of this is that I have a fairly large wardrobe of high-end designer clothes, shoes and handbags, and I will never 'need' to buy anything again....
...and yet I still do...
What is it that makes us shop when it is no longer about need?
In one click we can buy anything that we desire, so what makes us press that button on some occasions and not on others?
I'm rubbish at sending things back, way too disorganised so everything I buy I know I am keeping.
If you shop online, how often do you buy things knowing that much of what you have bought is going to be returned?
Do you have a monthly/annual budget or do you just buy what you want?
Most of us work, have worked, work sporadically, but do know what it is like to earn and spend our own money, do you find it more difficult to spend when it is not your own money or does it not make a difference?
Even though your income may have been unaffected by the credit crunch/recession, do you spend/shop less than before?
I am finding it quite liberating to no longer shop, I keep thinking that I should get back into a corporate job, but actually, by not spending, I tick along quite happily (actually much more happily) and spend time doing 'work' that I enjoy, as long as I am not greedy about what I want. However, as already mentioned, I bought pretty well when I did have a high disposable income. Thank goodness I went for the classic vintage LV luggage, some nice bits of jewellery and lots of Valentino (clothes), Chanel (shoes) and Versace (evening dresses), they don't really seem to date and I can still wear most of it today without looking like I am 20 years out of fashion.
Are you influenced by what you read in the editorial of magazines?
Do you feel the glamour of glossy advertising campaigns? I have to confess there is a Cavalli tv ad with a tiger print dress that I would buy in a heartbeat if I ever found it.
Do you read the more homespun style bloggers and respond because they are like you?
Do you like to wear what your friends wear?
Do you like to wear clothes that you know your friends will KNOW are expensive?
Do you care about designer names?
Do you care about fabrics and finishes more than anything else?
Do you love certain colours and seek out colour above all else?
Do you try to dress like celebs? Generally I would say 'no' to this, but I quite fancy this dress for Christmas evening this year....
For my part, I think that I am mainly influenced by what I see wherever I am...which is a poor excuse to keep shopping, but probably the truth. We go to the same places every year and my wardrobe reflects 'the look' of each of them;
St Barths: Pure glamour, jewellery and accessories, with a back to nature feel (mainly designer clothes, labels will be noticed here, bought mainly from Bicester Village, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill)
London: Smarter, more office like, fitted clean lines a designer piece, shoes or bag (London clothes need to be more pulled together, freshly ironed, dry cleaned, spot free, simple shapes and good shoes. I know at some point soon I will probably invest in a classic black Alaia, it is sad to say it, but it would give me a lift in an environment where I might feel like the visiting country cousin, ditto Valentino Rockstud shoes)
Cotswolds: Jeans and cashmere in Winter and jeans and tunic tops in Summer, like the pics above, but without any of the bling accessories or bags, far too 'look at me' for the Shires!
In short my shopping choices are informed by location, following the 'crowd' that I think look like they are having the best time, and insecurity (I'll spend, spend, spend for a confidence boost!)
What is it that makes you shop? And how do you spend it?....
PS I still don't have a 'budget' but I think I probably average about £100 a month now.