I am a geeky girl. But a girl nonetheless, and I think of shopping as fun as opposed to a chore. So how do my shopping habits reflect my views on life??
My mum started working when I was very young, so most of my life I was looked after by my wonderful grandma. I have always considered her my role model. Like the best teacher, she taught me by not by words; but by action. She came from a well-off family and was by nature very generous. I saw her giving people gifts and money, helping other people with their daily struggles, not for show but through genuine goodness of heart. As her only granddaughter, needless to say, I was showered with gifts and all the toys I ever wanted. So you could (rightly) say I was a bit spoiled. But she also taught me how to share and care, so I never got the “oh she is a rich brat” treatment from anyone else.
As I grew up, my dad decided it was time for me to get pocket money. It wasn’t very much, but since all my needs were taken care of (clothes, books etc were funded by parents) I didn’t need very much. I enjoyed the freedom of buying snacks for after school or saving up for something nice. I could decide for myself! Then I learnt that even though my parents would get me all I wanted, it felt special to save up for something, (I usually did this for birthday gifts for family) and surprise them.
All this while I never really thought much about shopping. But then I came to university. As per my culture, parents pay for my basic education (and I will do so for my kids-full cycle). So in that way I am very fortunate not worry about student loans and such, since I also get a monthly allowance from them. For the first time, I got to manage everything by myself. It was quite a shock, paying my own bills and managing ALL of my own money. Needless to say, I made some mistakes, spent it all on shopping, or travelling, and then having to penny pinch for the last week of the month.
After I settled down a bit, shopping was more of a status symbol. Every day I would see other students with the latest fashion clothes, or being laden with many shopping bags, and I felt like I had to do the same. My weakness being bath and body products and perfumes, I felt like I needed to buy all the latest products that came out. And then when I wanted to travel, I would be grumpy because I spent it all on shopping. I was keeping up with trends I didn’t even really like.
Then, on one of my trips back home, I wanted to buy a pair of noise cancelling headphones for the long flights and study sessions in the library. This time, I went with my mum who told me I could get the Bose Quiet Comfort 3- The Best headphones ever! I was quite surprised, as these were quite expensive. But she just smiled and said, “well these are the best, so now you wont have to worry about them not working well or anything. It will be cheaper than replacing them twice a year or so.”
Then after a bit of a think, I found my true shopping style. I like classic and timeless pieces. (Audrey Hepburn anyone?) Leopard print just isn’t me. I like jeans and girly tops and dresses. I wear only simple, silvery jewellery. Mostly earrings. Little or no makeup. So, for me, it made sense to buy good quality stuff that would last for a long time, in styles that I really like, so I would wear them over and over again.
Thanks to the internet, I was able to stumble across great blogs (see blogroll) and come across ideas like cost per wear which was slightly more organised than: “Will I wear it lots??” After lots of research I bought the Longchamp Le Pliage in graphite, and 2 years later, it is still going strong, after almost daily use!
Last month, I bought my first pair of designer heels, by Salvator Ferragamo. They were nothing fancy, just a pair of simple black heels with a small bow, but for once, they were heels I could actually wear and dance in, unlike cheaper ones I had bought before and had to dance barefoot while getting stepped on by other people. Similarly, after being sick of my cheap mp3 players breaking on me, I succumbed and bought an iPod, followed by my iPhone 3GS, but do I get my moneys worth? Oh yes.
This is not to say that only branded stuff is worth buying. My favourite black tunic was bought in a street market 5 years ago. Almost all of my jewellery is non -branded. And where am I going with this rambly post??
Quality over quantity. Sweet and simple.
Until next time, Love, Me 🙂