To Shop or Not to Shop?

Posted by StephanieKopf on February 23rd, 2012

There’s this phrase. “I don’t really need it. But…”

My friend insists on going shopping „for real“ if she needs a new dress for a special occasion. Which I understand. You do need to try it on, after all, you need to feel the material, make sure that it’s exactly what you want and that it makes you look exactly the way you want to look like. However, after only a few minutes in the changing room, she zips out, looking horrified. The dress is dangling off a hanger, forgotten. “What’s the matter?” I ask, concerned. “I look horrible in that dress!” she screams. I take a quick look at the dress. It’s actually very pretty and would really bring out the colour of her eyes. But she won’t be convinced. Though I saw the real problem the moment I stepped in to the changing room myself. The lighting in there was enough to make anyone run out there screaming – my rear looked like I hadn’t been working out for the last 6 months at all.

So that’s one problem. But unfortunately you can’t completely abandon real shopping, however frustrating it might sometimes get.

Then again, statistics on e-commerce and mail order trade show that there is an alternative out there, and a very fast developing one. No one is stopping you from sitting down in your pyjamas with a cup of coffee in front of your laptop and surfing to some online shops. No one will bother you, there will be no watchful saleslady immediately asking you if you “need help” when you just walk in to a shop, all the products are photographed in a flattering way (though you have to read the descriptions carefully to make sure you’re not being cheated and that possible defects aren’t being disguised) and you don’t have to live through the inconvenience and the possible subsequent horror of the changing room.

Although everything has it’s advantages and disadvantages, and it just depends. Say you can find what you’re looking for on the web, but then it’s delivered to you and you discover that it isn’t really what you were looking for after all and you have to send it back. But going shopping might entail some of the experiences mentioned above. Still, it’s just life and there’s no need to dramatize if you do encounter the odd badly lit changing room or spend a fruitless afternoon looking for the perfect pair of shoes online. Speaking of which, trust me: it’s better to buy shoes in the non-virtual world. Flip-flops or casual shoes are OK to look for online, but high heels – better try them on first and walk around  before you open you wallet! Your feet will thank you! Interestingly, statistics on U.S. footwear production show an extreme drop in numbers from 1985 to 2007. Probably because most of it is being imported from China or Bangladesh nowadays.

Bottom line: do what you like, be attentive, but try not to take it too seriously and maybe have a drink with your friends afterwards.

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Joined: February 23rd, 2012
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