The ‘confession’ I’m going to share today seems strange considering that 1) I spend a LOT of time on the internet, and 2) I post a shameful number of photos of myself loitering in the street to illustrate my outfits.
Obviously I put it in the title (the clickbait was ridiculous with just the first part, I hope you understand), but try to act surprised anyway won’t you.
Here goes…I almost never shop online. There, I said it (twice).
Side note: I mean for clothes/shoes/accessories, rather than for books, gifts and experiences.
This might seem like an odd topic for a blog post, and I assure you I have every sympathy with you if you couldn’t care less, but recently (and ironically, having had two of my very rare online orders arrive in a day) I read three *relatable* Instagram captions in a row about accidental/frequent online orders and realised that actually – shock horror – I basically never place online orders, so I did not in fact relate. Someone call an ambulance please, this millennial appears to be broken.
And then, of course, I wondered why. I live a large portion of life on the internet, I feel lost without a device to hand and since, you know, I’m not my nan, I’m free of that innate fear that past generations seem to have of handing over money digitally. I get a real kick out of adding to my wardrobe, and I crave variety. That all sounds very much like someone who should be placing ASOS orders like – well, like it’s going out of fashion, I suppose.
And yet, I don’t. I occasionally panic order when I need an outfit for a specific special occasion and haven’t yet found anything. A couple of times I’ve ordered an ‘it’ item that was tricky to get hold of (like that Zara basket bag last year). And…that’s it.
Not that that’s a problem, of course, because I hardly think the world needs more rabid consumerism, but I’m not exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to my shopping habit (and in any case it’s probably a good thing it’s in store, because when I did place those two orders recently, my card got declined the same weekend – all of my worldly money was essentially sitting on the spare bed in multiple sizes with a delivery note).
In person you can feel the fabric, the weight, get a sense of the size and cut even if you don’t feel like queuing for a changing room – and that’s important, especially when you might not have quite the same proportions as the model in the photos online – but my wondering didn’t have to go far beyond those practical elements before hitting on what is probably the main reason I tend to avoid buying clothes online.
I think it’s all tied into feelings similar to those I trot out at least every other blog post; lack of time, guilt over productivity, and (the big one) feeling inundated by choice and information. In other words, something that I could and probably will write about in its own right; digital overwhelm.
Sitting at my computer looking at stuff that I might not even end up buying and not making any progress with the other things I’m supposed to be doing on said computer never fails to make me feel mildly panicked. To add to that, lots of online shopping experiences involve so much choice that it leaves my ever-indecisive self in quite the conundrum, forever wondering if I’ve missed something better than the thing I’m currently scrolling past. THE ITEM might be the next scroll away…or the next one…or the next one.
There’s a whole wealth of things we could unpick about this, but let’s keep it light and shopping-specific this time; my (until now entirely unconsidered) lack of online shopping comes with a few sartorial drawbacks. It means that shops I’d likely be a very regular customer of that don’t happen to have a store near me, or only have a small concession, I hardly ever shop at. It means I only ever seem to buy from the same high street stores (which I discussed more here).
I never see online exclusives, let alone purchase them, and sometimes find a better version of something I’ve already bought because I didn’t research. There’s also something about the way blogging seems to be so much about linking people to things All. The. Damn. Time. that makes me think my dirty little store-buying habits are almost hypocritical.
And there’s my oh-so-shocking shocking confession, straight from the mouth of a clearly malfunctioning millennial. Obviously, it matters not even a tiny bit, but not everything we ever talk about has to, so there’s ‘point’ as such to this. I am really keen to shop around a bit more (in an effort to conserve some pennies) and buy from new, interesting places though, so perhaps I wont remain broken forever. And with that, I’m off to browse some new in sections – at least at some point this weekend anyway, since it’s clear it might take me a while to spend less than several hours doing so…
What I’m wearing
Shacket – C/O Dorothy Perkins | Top – Primark | Trainers – Superga| Skirt – H&M | Bag – Topshop | Earrings – C/O Pilgrim| Sunglasses – Primark
Photography: Robert Poor