Since the age of 14, when I started earning my own money, I have been the ultimate consumer.
Back in those days my friends and I would lose whole days at a time roaming around Westfield’s only to buy one item and were very happy to do so.
As the years went by my love of shopping and fashion continued & having more salary further fuelled my favourite pastime. The feeling of endorphins and adrenalin pumping through my veins from first sighting beautiful items and then having it handed to me in a lovely paper shopping bag (the cute bag not to be underestimated as a meaningful part of the experience!). I would somehow look down to see a handful of bags full of items I had just bought in no time at all. Temporary insanity I guess!
I can’t remember when I made my first online fashion purchase and what store it was from, probably about 5 years ago when it was gaining momentum but still far from common place. I do however remember the feeling of receiving the package in the mail, so exciting, just like the lyrics from the sound of music Brown paper packages tied up with string…there is something very special about receiving a package in the mail. It was also thrilling to have something different & unique, that no one else would be wearing since it can’t be found in Australian stores.
However this uniqueness is more of a distant memory now for the online shopper, with anything and everything at our easy disposal on an array of popular sites. My heart sunk the day a girl wore the same ASOS brand dress into the office that I had bought the night before. That day I realised the store wasn’t my secret treasure and of course today ASOS is very far from it. The online shopping revolution has also made it far too easy to rip-off a look, like something you see? Ask where it’s from and within 2mins you can be at the e-checkout buying the same! Most girls don’t like being asked how old they are, but hey, if I tell you that will you stop asking where I got my clothes from? I mean, I don’t mind sharing sometimes but not every day!
Retail shopping is a beautiful sensory overload, with so much choice right in front of your eyes. In stores we can touch the beautiful fabrics, smell gorgeous leather and see a piece up close, sitting amongst the range in its full glory. We can try it on, ensure it not only fits, but fits in all the right places and makes us feel a million dollars. The instant gratification of buying something that we love.
There is nothing worse than waiting for an online order to arrive, only to find it’s just not right or looks very little like the photos. The “you have a package at reception” email if about the best a girl can get in her day, running excitedly to collect, tearing the package apart and…it just better be perfect!
In my eyes though, the awesomeness of online definitely makes up for the negatives;
- Price! Apart from the very obvious, we are also buying opposite seasons from the US and Europe, so just when are starting to shiver, coats are going on sale and when we start hitting our beaches bikinis are hitting the clearance section! Most offshore stores are now taking full advantage of our countries love of online shopping, offering free shipping & in some cases even setting up a local base. Like we needed more to encouragement!!
- Range! You can buy absolutely anything you want from anywhere!
- The ultimate shopaholic pastime. Instead of rushing to the shops after work before they close, you can shop whenever it suits you. While waiting for my morning coffee, I can buy a new pair of shoes, on the bus ride home you can have your whole races outfit sorted. Weird too that I happily spend hours searching sites and filling wish lists and carts with items I may never get around to buying or dream items I can’t afford, yet there is nothing I hate more than window shopping at the shops!
The debate rages on with bloggers, retailers, media and beyond. But I say why choose when you can have the best of both worlds and limitless choice!