Has Shopping Become the New Religion?

How many people do you know who regularly go to church on a Sunday?  Not many?  This is may be why....

I was away for the weekend and it turned out we did a bit of shopping:​

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John Lewis in York on the way down (and they have to be applauded for the width of their car parking spaces - but then, looking at their customer demographic, and the number of Range Rovers, I'm not really surprised!), and 

The York Designer Outlet on the way home

Now, as we approached the outlet, crawling along behind a huge queue of cars just after 11am, all of the comments I’ve heard about flocking to Retail Centres on a Sunday leading to the question "Has shopping become the New Religion" rang true. I don’t imagine that the churches in the area were that full!

Now, you may not have been to the McArthur Glen York Designer Outlet, but I imagine you might have been to a similar kind of shopping centre where big brands have shops selling previous season’s stock at knock down prices. Most of the shops here are clothes shops and there are some expensive designers (Armani, DKNY, Paul Smith) plus high street shops (Marks and Spencer, Next, GAP) as well as a gadget and toy shops to keep the men and kids happy as the women got engrossed in their task (sexist generalisation on purpose there...)

Everywhere there were tickets proclaiming 50/60/70% off RRP. Clever marketing – how many of you love a bargain? The shoppers at the York Designer Outlet certainly did; there were lots of people carrying lots of bags. However, as I walked round the shops and looked at the stock, and what people were buying, it did make me think that a number of them might be buying clothes based on the savings that were being made rather than what suited them (“it was a bargain”), and that some things might migrate from the bag, to the back of the wardrobe, to the charity bag without ever being worn. It's possible there would be a bit of buyers remorse going on later as it's worth remembering that some of the clothes being sold were several seasons old and hadn’t sold in the first place for a reason – I’ll try not to say they were hideous 😀  

Gillian Lewis: Spectrum Blog Post

Why did I buy all of these things?

Have you ever regretted buying a "bargain"?

#selfimage #coaching

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Now, I’ve made shopping mistakes:

  • I've been seduced by a low price and a designer label
  • I’ve bought clothes that were a bit too tight thinking I’d lose some weight and fit into them
  • I’ve taken clothes home and wondered what on earth made me choose something that did nothing for me
  • I’ve stood looking at a bulging wardrobe and wailed “I haven’t got a thing to wear”
  • I’ve given brand new clothes to charity

But I don't do any of these things any more!

By having an image makeover, I discovered how to select and buy clothes that work for my colouring and body shape, and co-ordinate with other items in my wardrobe so that when I buy something, I wear it.  As a result, everything I buy is good VALUE because the cost per wear can work out to be very low, rather than a seemingly “money-saving bargain” which is never worn and utimately becomes another thing to throw on the "EXPENSIVE MISTAKE" pile (although, don’t get me wrong, I love a real bargain which ticks all boxes).

I got excited when I realised that there was a Sandwich_ shop (no, not food! :-D). Sandwich_ is a Netherlands based clothes brand I really like. They build a complete capsule wardrobe around certain Soft colours every season and it all works together wonderfully.  They are expensive, but I usually buy in the sales. When I see new season stock being released, I’m looking to see what the Soft/Warm colour is and whether I need to start looking for specific items to complement my wardrobe at the end of the season. I didn't think they had any shops in the UK yet, only stockists, and the places I’ve found locally that sell the clothes don’t always have the full range so I have to rely on the internet to see everything in the range. So, seeing the outlet shop, I felt like it was Christmas and all of my prayers had been answered: rails upon rails of Sandwich_ clothes!

The temptation to run amok with the credit card was high but:

  • I ignored the rails with colours which didn't work for me and focused on the ones which did
  • I flicked through for styles which I knew flatter my shape
  • I thought about what I was actually needing to fill a gap in my wardrobe
  • I created a shortlist of 3 items

Three items in that whole shop! Then I tried them on with a very critical eye, and the shortlist reduced to THE item I loved and bought (and it was a bargain :-D).  I know that I won't be sitting on the sofa regretting spending the money on that dress!

That may feel like it’s difficult to shop, but instead, I know that I’m adding clothes to a wardrobe which never fails me. It’s adding cream on top. I know that I’ll never be in a position where I say “I haven’t got a thing to wear” and so have to run round the shops trying to find something, ANYTHING, to wear for one night that I then shove to the bottom of the drawers and never wear again. And that saves me time and money, over and over again.

Do you want to know how to do it for yourself?

If that sounds like something you would like to know how to do, find out about the consultations that I offer to help you do just that:

I'd love to hear your comments on this post

Gillian Lewis
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Gillian Lewis

Self Image Coach at Gillian Lewis: Spectrum Coaching and Consultancy based in Darlington, County Durham, UK
What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles.Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect.Sometimes it's serious.Sometimes it's just fun.Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience.If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you 😀
Gillian Lewis
FOLLOW ME
About Gillian Lewis

What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles. Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect. Sometimes it's serious. Sometimes it's just fun. Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience. If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you :-D