posted on: Thursday, 9 June 2016
It was bound to happen; I was so good for months on end and convinced myself that I never need to shop again. Clothes? Pah. Don't need any new clothes. Shoes, never. There's so much consumption I tell myself, I am over all of that. I would look to my cupboard and think: I have more than enough. And I do. But then the summer season starts, the weather changes and I am beset with the need for something bright and new! Personally I blame the British weather. We spend so many months in the greyness of the winter and it's cold and blah and there's nothing to do but get through it in jeans and boots. Then there is spring and I tell myself that summer will be a damp squib, I need not embrace the prospect of warmth and bare feet and exposed shoulders as summer really won't properly arrive. It's happened before; summer has passed us by. But this year, this month, there has been a run of sunny weather and we hope, we hope, we glimpse the possibility! Plus, there's that (broiling) return to Florida in late summer which will surely require some wardrobe adjustments.
So I scour the internet and I think about silks, linens and sheer fabrics and pretend that 'resort wear' is something I should have. As I mentioned before, I don't really 'do' shopping anymore. Instead it is a project-based acquisition of a desired item that has leaped many mental hurdles before it is genuinely considered. I get brand-obsessed, which in itself is interesting in the technological-inspired habits of the modern shopper. I check google images, I check Pinterest, I look at Instagram, I send screen shots to my friends and ask questions like: am I too old for this?! I have to accept there has been a massive shift in the way I acquire clothes. It's also linked to my age; no longer are there impulse buys. I look for 'pieces' now, things that I will rely on for years and years and that will bring pleasure each time I bring them out. I am swayed by others, the school my son attends happens to have a number of mothers who are 'in' fashion and who come on the school run looking like they're just stepped off a photoshoot. They probably have. It's enough to provoke doubt in the mind of the average mother like me. I soldier on. I think a lot about style. I emulate and I internalise and try to make something mine.
I often feel that all of this frippery is surplus to requirement, that my interest in clothes is somehow futile and self-absorbed. And it really is, but isn't anyone's interest in clothes representative of so much more? It says so much about a person. What you wear is the external statement that you make every day. It says what you love and what you hate. I see so many women who have opted out of the whole event of dressing and it makes me sad. I wrote about it once here and a comment was left saying that sometimes women lose their way and they don't even know that they have. I guess that can be true but still, there is always always the chance to turn up and dress up, isn't there?
I lament that rural Sussex does not lend itself to fashion. There is very little scope for all that. And can I just say that my feet have adjusted entirely to my housewife existence and I literally can not tolerate heels for longer than an hour. My feet are staging a rebellion after years of mistreatment.
And then there's the money. I don't earn money right now and looking around the blogosphere I am not sure how many women do (is 'blogosphere' even a term any more?! Remember when blogs were so current...so very cutting edge... that they coined their own 'sphere'?). If I were working I wouldn't have time to muse over all of this stuff. I would be out there...working. So instead there is this strange dichotomy of having lots of time and no money and wanting to shop. Are there many understanding bank-rolling husbands? Have people squirrelled away savings? Does blog advertising pay more than I imagined? Does clothes shopping constitute the pay-back of a toiling wife and mother? These things intrigue me and often, when I look at the literally endless summaries of brands on fashion blogs I ask myself: who is paying??!! But I digress...we all have out own little habits and parameters for this pursuit.
So in the end I have a list of things I want that I largely can't have. I add to cart and try to leave it at that. I send the web hit algorithms into overdrive of the brands I like. Then I put it all in the (mental) freezer for a few days and see if it's a whim or a real desire. Deep freeze.