My first solo shopping trip
I take the number 10 bus into Leeds city centre, on my own. My precious notes safely stored in my shiny purse. My clothing allowance is a new grown-up privilege now I’m 13 and becoming more and more bothered about what I will and won’t wear.
Those boring trips to M&S with my mum are to become a thing of the past. With no fitting rooms for kids in those days, I remember hopping around on one foot, trying on the totally lame childrenswear that I hated.
And trying to hide between the clothes on the racks on the shop floor to avoid being seen in a state of undress. Those clattering ugly plastic hangers so loud in my ears. Always feeling SO embarrassed and resentful.
I head towards the thumping beats coming from Chelsea Girl, so very excited that I can finally fit into their smallest size. The windows filled with colour, fun and inspiration.
Goodbye kids clothes, hello style freedom!
Shopping alone allows me to focus. Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping with my friends – another new pastime now I’m ‘so’ grown-up. But shopping on my own means proper time to seek out what I really love.
A pair of yellow and black jersey trousers catch my eye. SO different. SO cool. I select a pair. But what would go with? More yellow of course. A batwing jersey top and OH my, a wide yellow belt to wear low slung across my hips!
I head towards the crowded communal dressing room (remember those?) and try on the new attire.
Wow! No longer boring. I am a TEEN.
A teen that will only ever wear cool and fun outfits from now on.
I pay for my yellow outfit and head home on the bus, an energy and excitement fizzing through my entire body. Times have changed.
From this day forth, I am dressing as ME!
Little did I know that this day was the beginning of my journey to support women to feel fabulous in their clothes. Giving them the knowledge and confidence they need in order to take their personal style to the next level, without pretending to be something they are not.
I see your style as your packaging. And when it makes you feel amazing, you show the world who you really are.
And I’d love to hear about your own style stories! Can you remember your first shopping trip?! Do share with me in the comments below.
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That sound like me as well. Love meeting friends for a shopping trip, but I rarely buy anything just a good look round and discussing various styles and then what I enjoy most is the coffee and chats about ‘setting the world to rights’.
Serious buying I do solo…
Simple things can bring so much pleasure can’t they. Let’s hope we can do more of it soon. I love how you so your ‘serious’ buying alone!
Helen – oh what memories your words brought back for me. The joy of being allowed to go shopping in London with money in my pocket and no Mum by my side. Mum hated my first solo purchases which told me that I had got them right!
I had a Saturday job and would save and save for special clothes that I wanted. The first was a suede coat. I loved it and wore it to death.
I have always preferred shoping on my own – until I get a chance to go shopping with you Helen. On my own I am free to go from shop to shop at whatever pace I choose. I can go back to shops without feeling I am dragging someone with me. I have lunch when I choose be it at 10.30 am or 3.30 pm in a vegetarian/vegan cafe or restaurant.
I might come home with no purchases, which is often the case due to my small size, but will have enjoyed my day out with time to myself. I go the ‘big city’ – Exeter usually. I make sure I make the most of the day and also visit an exhibition or go to the museum.
It will be great to see clothes for real again. I have just received a top from Theory. Gorgeous colour and fabulous fabric. Oh dear whilst it should tick all the boxes for my style, colour and shape it does nothing for me. Must remember that I am not the super tall, very skinny model in the photographs. However, living where I do in rurual Devon online shopping, guided by you, has been good during lockdown.
I loved reading your shopping memories Barbara! Thank you for sharing them with us. I think you are right about being able to stop and look and go back and not have to take anyone else’s agenda into account. Although having said that, I can’t wait for the day I can spend a lovely day with a friend browsing and lunching in Brighton. Hopefully not too long now. x