I love online shopping.
Clothes. Shoes. Bags. Watches. Books. Homewares. Toys. I tried groceries but there were just too many items to keep track of, and I need to see those red “special” tickets to know what I want. But failed Coles and Woolies attempts aside, I have generally been very good at shopping online.
I jumped into it very early on, I think my first online buy was on Ebay sometime in the late 90’s or very early noughties. It was a very promising start to a new world when I scored a 1961 first edition, first printing of Jack Kerouac’s “The Subterraneans” for under $15 including postage. I later found out it was worth around the $150 mark at the time. Since then I have lost track of all the items I have bought, and online shopping has changed enormously in that time. There wasn’t as much to choose from, postage to Australia was usually on the steep side, and you never knew what kind of quality you were paying for.
Fast forward ten years and it’s a very different story. Particularly fashion shopping. Sites like Net-A-Porter, My Theresa, The Iconic, My Wardrobe, Asos, Shopbop, and Topshop lure you in with a visually appealing site, lookbooks, sales, free shipping and returns, and Paypal makes it all feel safe.
In fact I think what I like the most about the whole experience is the way you can be tucked up in bed at all hours of the night while you browse beautiful dresses, hot heels, and lush bags. You can put things in your virtual shopping basket, and go on an imaginary shopping spree as if you have a black American Express card handy. No commitment, no wasting anyone’s time, and no saleswoman making you feel bad for putting things back after trying on half the shop.
But seriously? I think I need a reality check. There are things in my various shopping baskets all over the world wide web that I was THIS CLOSE to buying. Everything in my baskets is there because I deludedly seem to think that I may very well be back to complete the purchase. Halston dresses, super sexy Gucci heels, Miu Miu bags, and tons of Simone Perele lingerie. So then I have to ask myself: just who do you think you are????? Because to judge by my near-purchases I am some glamorous well dressed woman who has so many fabulously exciting places to go, darling. My virtual shopping basket has me ready for everything from a Mediterranean holiday to a black tie wedding to a movie premiere to the red carpet at the Oscars. All down to the super-high and not-made-for-walking-in strappy heels that my slightly wide, Balkan, size nine feet will never see, much less try and squeeze into. Cinderella I aint.
But maybe that’s the fun? Remember the cardboard dress-up dolls we played with when we were kids? With the folded tabs to tuck over the dolls shoulder? I loved those, I spent hours playing around with all the options to come up with the best outfits. I also loved cutting out pictures from the few decent fashion magazines I could get my hands on. (Note to my Mum: New Idea and Woman’s Day had pretty shitty fashion spreads). My high school binder was an homage to the current fashions, and I used to spend hours creating collages with all the pictures I had collected before painstakingly covering the whole thing with clear contact. I was so careful I never had any bubbles, so as to not ruin the pics. (Let’s not forget these were the days of Linda, Cindy, Naomi, Christy, Karen, Elaine, Nicky, and Tatiana. My binder was HOT). Anyway, it seems I haven’t progressed very much, indeed only the technology has. Because I am still browsing and collecting pictures of beautiful clothes that even if I did buy, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear. Truthfully? EVERY TIME I see a dress I love the first thought in my head is always “is anything coming up where I can wear that?”. Not suprisingly, the answer 99.9% of the time is no.
The funny thing is that the dresses I have that were expensive and look great on are usually dry clean only, so in the end I can’t be bothered wearing them knowing that I will have to get them dry cleaned afterwards. Or they’re so dressy that I only end up wearing them once.
So I guess I will keep having fun looking without the disappointment of it looking like shite when I try it on, or my feet looking like burst sausages in those Louboutins.
And I’ll enjoy my jeans-and-converse real life in the meantime.
No dry cleaning needed.