I think a few of us from time to time, get a touch of the Spendy-Spends! You know those retail therapy moments when you fingers are tingling and you just fancy popping out to the shops to have a little mooch about. There is nothing you need, there is nothing you desire. You just fancy the search to find something new to bring home in your hands. The Spendy-Spend wish machine can reach us far and wide these days and will always effortlessly come to your aid. You don’t even have to put a bloody bra on or lipstick to get spending, FFS! You can joyfully lie in bed with your boobs tucked under your arms holding a Gin in one hand as you blissfully swipe away on your screen showcasing your fave shopping sites.
The Fashion Economist Interpretation Of The Spendy-Spends
Why do we feel the Spendy-Spends? I recently read an online article in The Independent by Steve Connor (here) on why spending money is like a drug. I agree that money and spending money stimulates the brain’s reward centre. I reckon a lot of purchases made by Shopping Queens have some type of emotion attached to them. If I recall the times when I want to spend, it’s because I’m sometimes bored, frustrated or sad and simply take comfort in treating myself. Lunch-break shopping, post argument browsing and a peek at eBay following a week of being Nurse Nancy at home, looking after sick kiddliwinks, all fall under this category. Likewise, if something fantastic has happened in my world and I want to celebrate, then I get a Spendy-Spend tingle to go and indulge myself, for this end of the emotion spectrum too. In my wardrobe I have ‘new job’ shoes, ’emigrating’ jewellery, a ‘new baby’ bag and ‘you triumphed in that shit situation’ coat…… or three!
I’m confident any Shopping Queen can relate to these emotional purchases. A good old shopping stint helps us feel better. Why does it help us feel better? Because it helps us visualize a cheerful or happier moment. From personal experience, when that Topshop UK order arrives on my doorstep, this side of the pond, then I feel so much closer to England, my beloved home. As I unwrap the packaging, I can happily dream of walking around beautiful London reaping blissful memories from years ago. Buying a fab jacket from Topshop can be not only different from the Canadian style I currently live in but help make my hazy dream-state walk down High Street Kennsington, seem just that little bit closer to reality. So, for a moment, lets fly a flag in praise for retail therapy being a healthy element in our coping mechanisms for life. Obviously the flag is lowered to half mast for those tricky times when we don’t recognise when to stop and consequently slide into overspending and indulging too much time in dream land as opposed to reality. There is no judgment from me, just a little rub on your shoulder to say “Enjoy darlin’, now get back to reality, you’ve got this and let the gratitude for what you have, be your fuel to get you through today”.
Shopping tricks: How to tackle the Spendy-Spends?
We know that reckless spending is not good for our souls, our bank balance or the environment. To buy 5 cheap tops from a high street giant, that will never see the light of day, has a dramatic effect of the lives of people making our cheap fast clothes in those dangerous conditions for long hours. It’s a lose-lose situation if that bargain shirt never even comes out of your wardrobe. A sheer bloody waste.
But we also know the joy of hunting down and finding something that feels like it is meant to come home and live with you. The good thing about having a bout of the Spendy-Spends is that you are in hunter-gatherer mode. Like a cave woman on a mission to find the perfect accessory to go with her animal fur loin cloth, you have heightened senses for shopping focus!
So here are a few of my tricks that are tucked up my sleeve for dealing with the Spendy-Spends:
- Go thrifting – Search those charity shops, thrift stores and pre-loved consignment spots. You are not always in such a good hunting mood, so you may as well make bloody use of it and go searching. Who knows what bargain treasures you will find? Take some extra spending points for supporting sustainability within the fashion industry too!
- Wardrobe gaps – If there is something in your wardrobe that you are missing or simply need to replace, then now is the time to get searching for it. Use your best online and in-store detective skills. Scour the nation for that item you’re in need of and maybe the spendy-spend powers will work their magic?!
- Online fix- Scratch that itch by searching through the beautiful sites like Etsy for hand-made items or scroll through eBay or pre-loved sites. Take some extra spending points for supporting small businesses within the fashion industry too!
- Make use of Gift Cards – Do you have any gift cards loitering around? Track down that ‘safe place’ where you store the gifts cards you’ve been given. Maybe you’re like me and have a ‘safe place’ that is so safe that it takes 55 minutes to bloody remember where it is and actually find it! Gift cards are perfect for times like these. They truly are a gift.
- Have a sort out – If you have zero funds and no reason to try the above suggestions then resort to the big guns. Sort through your wardrobe and have a purge or just re-arrange. It always helps me to have a good sort out during ‘dry funds’ moments as it helps me realize that I am a lucky duck owning some beautiful things already and often discovering some things I’d forgotten about. Why buy more when you can just admire what you already have. This tactic gives you top marks for sustainability, the environment, your bank balance and your soul. Gratitude is everything and there is no better angle to take than to be mindful and grateful for what you have.
- Fix something up – Maybe you could spend this time in fixing up beloved clothing you already have? Sew that button that fell off one of your fave shirts? Maybe you can finally take a trip to the tailors to get those trousers hemmed so you can finally wear them? Don’t even talk to me about the 2-year-old Zara sailor jeans I have in my cupboard that for some bloody reason have a 35″ inseam (wtf?!) and have been lying there like sleeping beauty waiting to be kissed by a seamstress!
- Write and plan – If you’re bored and not only want to go spending but find your fingers wandering to the biscuit tin, then keep them busy and get writing! Log some of your fave outfits, the outfit possibilities, your fave pieces, your wardrobe plans for the next month or next season. Writing lists and things down is a great way to move your sub-conscious ideas or thoughts to your conscious mind. You are more likely to make them happen if they are written down. Drum up those cool fab outfits and make them happen over the next week or two!
- Presents – If you don’t have any guilt free shopping funds then consider shopping for future presents. I know its bloody bonkers to go Christmas shopping in July, but if it helps curb those Spendy-Spend feelings and gets a job crossed off the list for the future then why not embrace it. Consider future birthday gifts, possibly your kiddies friends birthday gifts etc. Shove them in a large plastic bin and sit back with a smug smile. DO NOT however buy gifts of Gin or chocolate as that smug smile will no doubt be soon smeared in those said chocolates or appearing in an iced glass near you soon! Yep, been there, done that!
My Latest Spendy-Spend Moment
There is nothing quite like making use of that hunter-gatherer mode when you feel like spending! Last night after dinner, I left my noisy crew of boys and went with a mate to have peek around my local thrift store, Value Village. The vintage gems that you can find during these moments are absolutely priceless. Of course, its down to a lot of luck on the day for what is available. But when you’re in the mood to find something, then those spendy-spend powers get working their magic.
I went with no expectation but just a pocketful of change and knowledge that if I find something then it has to be something that is different, unique and down right bloody fun. These spendy-spend moments are not for sensible shopping.
So as we paw our way through the racks chatting and laughing, I spied some magnificent glimmer and shimmer and knew I had struck gold, literally! For last nights grand sum of $7.99 I managed to find a gold lamé jacket that would give any Dynasty 80’s Tv cast member, a run for their money! Boom-Shakalaka.
I instantly threw on the jacket and bloody loved it. It’s the perfect note of metallic crazy that will team up so well with roughed up denim for a night out. For the price of a couple of coffees I have bagged myself a fab bit of vintage Lamé and had a bloody good laugh with my mate to boot! It’s vital to have empty bladders on these shopping nights!! I’m awarding myself for top marks for supporting: individual style, sustainable style, charities associated with the thrift shop and my Visa card balance. I now feel compelled to audition for any upcoming Bet Lynch look-a-like contests as this jacket would work so well behind the bar at the Rovers Return on Coronation street!
So there we go, the retail therapy Spendy-Spends were addressed, dealt with and successfully put to good measure. We’re only human and I never see the benefit of chastising myself or making people feel bad about their own past shopping actions. Learn and move forward. These little Spendy-Spend tricks have helped me in the past, so maybe they can help you too? Do you have any golden tips that you can leave in the comments below? Knowledge shared is knowledge gained. Help a shopping Sista out!
Thanks for reading