Friday, 29 May 2009

Breaking News! I walked out of Primark!

Today I exercised self control I wasn't aware I possessed.
As part of my non-shopping, fuller, healthier person rehabilitation my friend and I have signed up for some (cheap) Bikram yoga classes. Now as I'm going to be doing yoga in a sauna I realised none of my jogging bottoms would really be appropriate. So I needed some gym shorts. I felt that was ok, I do actually need the shorts. I'm sure housemate Claire will approve. And the pair I picked up only cost £1.97 so I hardly broke the bank.
And would you believe it, I walked in Primark, picked up the shorts, paid for them... and walked out.
I walked out!! I didn't buy anything else! Does this mean I'm cured from my shopping addiction?! Ok, probably not.
I admit I had a couple of very weak moments. I saw the cutest quilted clutch. I didn't look at the price, I knew that would make me buy it. And some gorgeous gladiator sandals, somehow so much nicer than the pair I had on. And this amazing red patent bag, and such a cute little floral skirt with mismatched buttons, and this great blue bandage dress and...
Ok, so more than just a couple of weak moments. But I didn't pick anything up, I didn't actually buy anything but the shorts I had planned to buy! I am rational and in control!
I am so proud of myself right now. I think another Milky Way is in order.
Although I may have to find another reward, otherwise I am going to become quite tubby.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Admitting my number

It's not quite the end of week two yet, but I know I am going to get to it easy. Milky Way, woo!
I became a member of my local library, have acquired an obsession with reading a whole saga of books - which will hopefully keep me occupied during shopping hours. I have not purchased any magazines and when I flicked through my sisters Company mag, I read all the features rather than analysing the fashion pages. I haven't gone in any shops and I am certain the desire to is fading. Admittedly walking past Selfridges on Monday was a difficult moment. But I did it!
However, it's not all good news. As I mentioned in my last post, I seem to very quickly have replaced spending my money on pretty clothing with spending my money on other frivolous but not at all necessary things. These things include cocktails, chocolate, cocktails, chocolate, etc.
And as I'm doing quite well at the giving up shopping, I think I can give up other unhealthy expensive things too. Or at the very least majorly cut down.
But, well, I need a target. I need to be able to see my overdraft disappearing. It's like when you go on a diet. You need to see weight loss to keep motivated.
Currently my overdraft ain't budging. I need to see results for sacrificing some of my favourite things in life.
So, I'm going to do something potentially embarrassing. I'm going to admit quite how big my overdraft is. Now I don't want any people turning their noses up saying it's not that much. In my eyes it certainly is! And this is before student loan. This is purely consumer debt. And even worse, I've just been paid.
Ok, big breath. My number is... £1,974.48. I owe the bank nearly two grand.
But it's not impossible to sort out. I've been in this situation before and I got out of it, even though I certainly wasn't paid as well as I am now. And it will go down, every week the number is going to get smaller. That's my motivation ladies and gents.
Fuck me, this is going to be so hard.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Shopping is a motorway in my head.

If I get through today, that is one whole week where I haven't shopped. My Milky Way is sitting at home waiting to reward me.
Firstly, it seems I have replaced shopping with eating out. Three restaurants in two days. It's not just clothing shops where I throw my money away it seems. I cannot afford the lifestyle I am living. The lifestyle I desire and feel I deserve but have not earned. 
Also, I have realised, I walk in shops out of habit. They have a pull over me, it's almost totally outside my consciousness, like a magnet. 
Everyday as I walk past River Island I end up walking in some bizarre diagonal line toward the shop and then, in a fit of self control, away. I must look extremely odd to anyone watching me. 
I used to do this as a little girl with the fridge. Sometimes I would just open the fridge door and look in. Not because I was hungry or because I was going to eat anything, just because looking at food made me feel more content. Used to drive my mum batty, it made the kitchen cold.
Fast forward 15 years, replace food with shoes and it's my bank manager going batty... Possibly with joy due to the amount of interest I'm paying on that fucking overdraft.
Also, sub-consciously I have made shopping part of my routine. I am a woman who is slave to routine, it gives me control and purpose in an otherwise messy life. That is why I need shopping so much, every thursday evening, my body is geared for shopping. If I'm waiting to meet someone after work and am left hanging around Oxford Circus, what is there for me to do while I'm waiting? Go in shops! My body is geared up for the pretty lights and the thrill of the purchase. The want, want, want. The more, more, more. 
A friend and I were discussing mind roads at lunch yesterday in restaurant number two, the Natural Kitchen on Marylebone High street. I had Crayfish tart with Hollandaise sauce, veeeery nice. 
Anyway, I digress. The mind is like a road map, and if you go down a particular avenue often enough, it becomes a bigger road. Whereas other aspects of the mind, which you don't go down often, remain little country roads. Thus, shopping is a motorway in my head. 
I need to leave the big comfortable, convenient motorway to happiness. I cannot afford the motorway. I need to change my routine, go down the budgeting country road. Turn myself back into that thrifty student who thought spending £35 on an item wasn't throwaway, it was an investment purchase. Turn myself back into that thrifty student who was really very disciplined with money. 
Sadly, that thrifty student wasn't very well dressed. 

Monday, 18 May 2009

Ten ways to avoid shopping

1) Don't leave my office in my lunch hour, instead read on my offices pretty roof terrace.
2) Don't buy magazines. Not only are magazines expensive but they are also full of pretty clothes and outfit suggestions. I must avoid these at my peril. I cannot want the latest it shoes, if I am unaware of their existence.
3) Don't look in shop windows. In fact when leaving or going to work, always be in a rush, this way the lure of Oxford Street will merely blur as I run by. 
4) Don't go in shops. In fact, try very hard not to buy people clothes as birthday presents so you don't have to go in shops. Madness ensues when I go in shops. 
5) Become a member of my local library. This means I can get the pleasure of getting something new, without actually buying anything. 
6) Replace my shopping addiction with a reading books addiction, this is going to make me a fuller, better, more interesting person. I can really work the hot librarian look too. So love geek chic.
7) Have fun with my current wardrobe. Pull out old clothes and mix it up, be a bit more creative and make outfits I hadn't considered before. This will hopefully satiate my desire to look new and different.
8) Leave the plastic at home. If I only have £20 cash in my purse, I will think twice about handing it over in Top Shop. I will want to buy drinks and food with it.
9) Don't talk about clothes or shopping. The more I talk about clothes and shopping, the more I think about clothes and shopping. The more I think about clothes and shopping, the more I will want to go shopping for clothes. Other acceptable topics for discussion include: Books, current affairs, health, sex, Robert Pattinson.  
10) Reward myself with a treat for every week I haven't shopped. Milky Ways work.  

Friday, 15 May 2009

The final splurge

My final splurge is proof that I have to stop.
In just one hour, I spent about £150 on four pairs of shoes and two tops.
FOUR pairs of shoes, in ONE HOUR!
Honestly, I felt sick as I sat on the tube. I knew I had spent too much. Even as I was passing over my card at the counter I knew I was spending too much. But I couldn't stop!
This is why I have to stop and go 100% cold turkey. Mini measures, weaning yourself off, that I cannot do!
Sadly I didn't find the boots that I feel are the hole in my wardrobe. Totally the wrong time of year, I shall have to wait for the autumn/winter collections to come out in August.
But I did find a pair of gladiator sandals, just £16 from New Look, that will come in very useful. Also a pair of very sweet white flat sandals, again, veerrry useful for the upcoming summer months and again only £22 from New Look.
New Look also provided well on the top front. This seriously cute 'Go bananas' T-shirt only cost £12 and was perfect for WCRF's 'Go banana's on Fruity Friday campaign.' (That's the charity I work for, just in case you didn't know.) and this very cute red & white striped vest top with cute ruffles, again very useful for summer and just £12.
That's the useful stuff over with. Now, for the frivolous stuff.
My first pair of new heels were less frivolous than the second. I had been looking for some weddingy style heels for a while to go with my strapless red cocktail dress and beaded cream clutch. So when I spied these beautiful cream Marilyn heels in Primark, just £15 with the cutest gold edged bow detail, I just had to have!
After that I honestly thought my spree was over. My feet hurt, I was very hungry. I was homeward bound. But then what did I spy in the Dorothy Perkins window just as I was heading for the tube... the most beautiful Miu Miu style pink crossover courts with a snakeskin heel. I honestly have been waiting for these shoes to come into DP for months and months. How very serendipitous they have came in during my final splurge. It was fate, my one last shoe present. Just look at them, for £55, and they really do look designer.
So that's it. Unless anyone happens to see any black biker style boots for under £50, I'm finished, shopping ka put.
Right now I'm not that depressed. I'm enjoying my new purchases too much.
Can't see that lasting long mind...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Hello, my name is... and I'm a Shopaholic.

I received some terrifying news this week. My bank statement. 
I'm in trouble. 
I'm not thousands upon thousands of pounds in debt. However, well, it's not that far from thousands upon thousands of pounds in debt. 
And I know the bulk of it is because of my little shopping habit. I work near Oxford Street, the clothes just jump into my hands as I walk home from work! Honest!
Do you know what is depressing about this situation? I don't shop designer. I have never shopped designer. In fact, the only designerish item I own is Karen Millen and according to Gok Wan that's high street. 
Also what is depressing about this situation? Despite my jokes I don't actually have a credit card. I cut it up years ago after spending £90 on bras and then buying a plane ticket to New York in one afternoon. I just knew it was too dangerous. 
I also don't have any store cards, just the worlds largest overdraft - my bank keeps extending it! I don't even ask for extensions, I just get congratulations letters through the post telling me that my overdraft has been extended by xx amount. 
Amazingly, according to the magazines out there, and in fact my bank, my financial position isn't that bad. So what kind of situation is the rest of the world in exactly? 
I have no mortgage, no car loan and I am in virtually thousands of pounds of purely consumer debt. I don't even want to talk about my student loan on top of that. Talk about terrifying.  
And why am I in this debt? 
Because of my love of shoes, handbags, pretty tops, nice skirts and dresses. Because of my addiction to new shiny items I can wear. Clothing I think will change my life and of course never does. 
Don't get me wrong, I love love love fashion. It's such a huge part of my identity, how people define me. How I define me. 
What am I without it? I'm still interesting, funny, clever and sexy without the latest pair of it shoes, aren't I?! 
I have tried to budget for a clothing allowance. It doesn't work, I just go into shops and go mental. 
So I have made a big decision, until I have cleared my ginormous overdraft, I am not allowed to clothes shop. 
No buying shoes, bags, earrings, shirts, shorts, anything I can wear. 
I have some rules to my new challenge. 
1) If I am buying someone else a present, I am allowed to purchase clothes for them. 
2) If an item of clothing that I really need (say I get a huge hole in my ballet pumps, or all my jeans rip) I am allowed to purchase a replacement. However, these replacements can only be bought from budget shops, Primark, New Look, Dorothy Perkins. My housemate Claire is judge as to whether I actually need said item of clothing I am replacing. 
3) I am allowed one final splurge.
4) The only gaping hole in my wardrobe is boots. If I see a pair of boots that I love which are cheap (i.e. less than £50) I am allowed to purchase them.
5) People are allowed to buy me clothes as presents.
So this is no longer going to be a shopping blog... more a non-shopping blog as a chronicle going cold turkey from my addiction. 
From now on I'm going to have to think more Gok Wan's capsule wardrobe. I have to start mixing and matching all the amazing different items I have in my wardrobe, be a bit more creative and stop the colour coordinating obsession. I don't have to wear pink shoes with a pink dress - I have loads of shoes, I'll definitely have something that matches... 
The only thing that's getting me through this is the thought of the final splurge this evening.  

Monday, 11 May 2009

The perfect dress

For my birthday party I think I wore the perfect dress. It was the perfect shade of red, it was perfectly cutesy but also very sexy.
The fifties style flarey skirt was so much fun to dance in. It had a tantalising little cut out at the back as well as a very sweet little bow.
It was tight, fitted with wide supportive straps that added to it's oh so fabulous vintageness and you didn't need to bother with a bra.
And I absolutely adore its runched sweetheart neckline. I feel it made my boobs look rather mavellous indeed.
Slick on some red lipstick and some gold jewellery, some leapord print heels and matching clutch and I was retro fabulous.
Brilliantly if you add more gold jewellery, patterned black tights and my black goth shoes - as previously shown in shoe pervert - you have this whole new Peaches Geldof esque look. (I know she's a bit of a brat but I do like her clothes!)
For another look you can mix with the white shoes as also mentioned on my last shoe pervert (and yes, one amazing person did actually buy them for me, and this amazing person wasn't me with my credit card!) loads of pearls and you have a whole new look again. So very versatile.
This is the dress I have been looking for all my life. AND it was only £39.99 from River Island! Once again, thanks mummy and daddy for another fabulous birthday present!
(And before you ask, the Lion on my shoulder is my daemon.)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Shoe Pervert - more birthday love.

And these multi strap white sandals, £75 from Faith, go just perfect with my new poplin dress. Anyone else fancy splashing out on me for my birthday? No? Ah well, credit card it is then.

I love my birthday!

My parents are actually truly amazing. You know those parents who buy rubbish hand knitted jumpers or socks for their offspring? That never happens to me. Such are my wonderful parents so accustomed to my stylish ways, for my birthday they take me shopping. Big grins all round! (Except my dad, who by shop four usually looks as if he wants to commit suicide.) 
This year, I did very very very well I feel. I am nearly prepared for the summer months, yay me. I've worked out that I just need 11 more pairs of shoes and then my collection is complete! 
But anyway, back to the extremely cute clothes that have been purchased and pictured above.
Well, from Dorothy Perkins I found these fantastic multi strap lace ups with a splash of gold on the heel. Looooooovvvveeeeely! They work with jeans for the pub, a mini skirt for the club, a knee length skit for work. And just £38 as well. Proper bargain. Even my dad was impressed. 
Next up, my parents gave all their money to Top Shop. Just look at this Gossip Girl preppy long red cardie with apple detail on the pocket. So cute! And only £32. 
Then, this rather cute floral mini also for £32.  I know I have one already but this one was a totally different colour scheme! Much more summer. 
And finally, this super cute stripy poplin dress for £45. Soooo perfect for all those days wandering about Clapham Common! I just need to get some white multistrap sandals to go with it. And I've seen the perfect pair in Faith! Shoe pervert post coming right up.