You probably can’t even begin to fathom how the two words have ended up on the same page without talking about colour blocking or credit cards being blocked! Most of us shopaholic fashionistas overlook the obvious meaning of the phrase shopping block, it couldn’t possibly hold the same meaning as writers block – could it? Yes! It could and it does! I was dubious about putting this on paper, a little embarrassed even to admit that I am experiencing a shopping block, A Love Affair with Fashion is about applying buying technique to us crazy uncontrolled consumerists – Am I becoming a sane controlled consumerist? Well in a nutshell, no.
As I create a basket of clothes on ASOS my partner says to me, ‘Why not have the money sitting in your bank account instead of in your wardrobe?’ He believes that I should save my shopping for occasions only – this attitude is sensible, however not feasible; impromptu drinks, dinners and gatherings do not always provide time for last minute ‘occasional’ shopping and with summer approaching who knows when someone is going to decide to throw a barbecue?
One of my best friends (a Primark advocate, house saving, ex excessive – shopaholic who believes she needs to have something more solid in her life than a pair of stack heels) who prides herself on her bluntness says to me so very bluntly, ‘Your shopping habits prove that you are not serious about life – no – no – you are not serious.’ I suppose you can’t be serious about fashion and shopping while being serious about houses and the accumulation of wealth unless your bank balance resembles that of Victoria Beckham or Kate Moss (I said bank balance, not wardrobe)!
What I haven’t told you is, I turned twenty five recently- What do I have to show for my twenty five years on this planet?
A bloody impressive collection of shoes, belts and vintage bags, a degree which helps me to write about the impressive collection and a blog dedicated to writing about how to get an impressive collection! Ok, I simplify, of course there has been a spiritual and emotional journey in there, some growth and all the other stuff, but I haven’t managed to accumulate the pillars of what you might call, ‘success.’ The concrete stuff, like a house or the metal stuff, like an engagement ring or a new car! I don’t doubt that I’ll get them, but before I didn’t care when, now I do! It was only yesterday that Gordon Brown when announcing the budget referred to the under 25’s as young people and I realised, slightly bemused that I am the benchmark of the adult, not the prequel, not the young adult in their early twenties – no, no – this is the real thing.
I’ve started to hunt for bridesmaid dresses for a friend’s wedding and my partner has just moved in with me, I am entering that time in life when your Christian Louboutin’s only look as good as the assets you have in life and I have no assets (at least none that I have invested any of my own capital into). Suddenly the shoes, belts and vintage bags are losing their impressiveness and the urge to buy has become less exciting and more laced with guilt.
Welcome to The Shopping Block…
As I said in Taming The Shoe, the key in life is balance – everything is good in moderation. How do I exercise moderation and balance when I have a lifelong, loving commitment to fashion?
Of course if you’re just an average shopper who enjoys the odd shopping spree every now and then you’re safe and the extremity of my plan will probably go way over your head. This plan is for those of us that feel as though it is our duty to shop and diagnose ourselves with illnesses such as shopping block when we can’t seem to find anything else to justify buying!
My Plan: Save what I spend (on clothes) – Let me reiterate… The amount of money I spend monthly solely on clothes must also hit my savings account monthly. For example, I generally split my wages in two halves, recreational allowance (eating out, drinking, petrol, etc) and then of course shopping. With my new plan if I’m spending £500 a month on clothes then I’ll put £500 a month into a savings account, if I can’t afford to save £500 a month then I know I need to spend less money on clothes to place less money into my savings account –
deduct money from my recreational allowance, divide that sum by two, put half into my shopping allowance and the other in my saving allowance – resulting in spending less on going out and socialising.
The aim here is not to teach myself to save money – I am not a money saving expert! It’s about placing fashion into context, learning how to love fashion and shop healthily. This way my shoes and my assets will be as impressive as each other and I will always be worth just as much as my Christian Louboutin’s!
Healthy Shopping! X