Serious Saturday: Permanent Shoppers

First my outfit, then some talk.


Even if I'm slightly freezing my butt off, I REFUSE to give in to the weather and be succumbed by fall fashion. I have too many beautiful summer frocks that need their moment in the limelight.


Now onto the talk. I have spent the largest part of my Saturday semi-aimlessly prowling ASOS, etsy and the likes, filling my virtual shopping basket to the brim. I say semi-aimlessly because of course, I'm telling myself I am driven by a clear goal. Take your personal pick: 

- It's the last days of the sales and you HAVE to save some money by spending it (huh?)
- The bad weather has made you realize that you need more cute sweaters
- You've just received a 20% off voucher from ASOS 
- You want more color in your life
- You haven't shopped in quite some time and you feel like you've earned some self indulgence
- Maybe the bad weather just has you bored out of your mind. 

Truth is, there will always be some reason to shop.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't frown on some controlled shopping. We work a lot and we might as well DO something with our hard earned cash, right? I'm taking on this subject because as of late, I have felt increasingly fed up with shopping and "stuff" in general. It's like everything is a dime a dozen, how can I take the plunge and invest my hard earned cash in something just like that when I know there are hundreds of other, possibly cuter or cheaper versions out there? That's where my virtual shopping basket comes in.

Trying to make sure I'd invest in the right option, I have favorited hundreds of things on etsy and my ASOS saved items bag is never empty. I am always contemplating buying something, my mind is permanently wanting. On one hand, I like how e-shopping has taught me not to give into impulse buys since my virtual basket allows me to wait for a few days and see if I still desperately want my saved shiz. On the other hand, I strongly dislike how internet has basically brought the market (to use some Marx terminology) into my personal livingspace.

Considering how much time I spend on my laptop, it has almost become a part of me fysically, an extension of my reach and my view. This makes the penetration of buying and wanting in my daily life incredibly intimate. Using my laptop and the internet as my medium I am able to shop 24/7, prowling my options non stop. It's almost impossible not to give in to it: you see someone, possibly a blogger, wearing something cute online, you check the deets and you tag along to the e-store she got it at or enter some search words on etsy to find something similar.  But then you notice another piece, another look, another possibility.

To go for a total Carrie Bradshaw moment: does our virtual shopping turn us into virtual people? If we never fully commit, how do we even form an identity? If you ask me, this obsession with finding the better, cheaper, perfect option is turning us into permanent shoppers. Might we see this as another side of the modern tendency people have not to get married, not to settle down, not to stay at one job, not to buy but to rent?

Me thinking about possibly maybe getting bangs and ending up settling for clip in bangs has set off this thought in my head. By having all the options in the world, it gets harder and harder to know for sure that you're making the right decision. This in-between identity is incredibly relevant in the strange twilight where fashion and internet meet: the styleblog. Because what else is a blog than a place where young girls try out identities, where fully committing to a look basically means saying goodbye to relevancy and hip-ness?

Has internet changed us into permanent shoppers and if so, is that a good thing, a bad thing or something in between? Please chime in!


PS: I know this post is vague as hell, just another stream of consciousness! :-)

dress: Etsy (calicovintage)
clogs: H&M
straw bag: Pimkie
belt: River Island

27 comments

  1. Such an interesting post! That Carrie Bradshaw totally got me..the rest of the post was narrated in her voice, haha.

    You bring up a really interesting point, especially the bit about style bloggers. I just started my blog, but I already have this odd feeling like there is IRL me and virtual me, where the virtual me is free to experiment with fashion and essentially just play dress up. Which I think is a good thing. But sometimes I do worry about spending so much time sitting in front of my computer in my little virtual persona, interacting with other virtual personas. But I hope that as long as you can remind yourself that life on the internet is always a little over-polished and distorted, then I think it's okay. Or at least that's what I tell myself, haha.

    Now back to the internet!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You look gorgeous!I love your dress :))
    I have that spending-money-disease as well.Though I have loads of clothes as most of us do, I still cant help it and buy many clothes/shoes/bags etc that I dont really need..!And of course it is related to the weather conditions and my psychological condition...

    x
    Anastasia

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOVE the outfit!
    and YES !! What you are saying is SO true...I am ALWAYS shopping even if I'm not buying things. Even when I was searching for a place to live with my friend I never wanted to settle because "what if something better comes along that's cheaper" But if I waited then I could have missed out on a great house and luckily my friend doesn't think like me so she pushed the issue.

    At times it is a good thing to be always shipping and thinking there is something better, because it stops you from actually spending money, but when it is actually a "need" that needs filling and you keep thinking you'll find something better that's not so good, especially if its something you need right away.
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't shop online cause I don't have any credit card, I've chosen this option for many resons, and yet I do window-shop a lot on websites but after a while I feel totally useless and vain and I think 'damn, I could be doing something more useful' haha so I stop.
    But I acknowledge that fashion bloggers need to constantly sort of 'update' their wardrobes and that 'need' turns them into what you call a permanent shopper: always on the look for the new it thingy, for the cheaper, the better, the exclusive.
    I have to admit I'm kinda wishy-washy myself when it comes to shopping but since I don't consider myself a fashion blogger I try to avoid that urge to shop all the time but you don't really have to 'be' a fashion blogger to go nuts shopping ahha.
    If it's bad or good, I cannot say it really. It depends how much it affects your daily life, your budget and your goals in real life ( not virtual). I'd place it along a line and say that if your shopping habits are taking over your daily life and preventing you from actually making decisions in other contexts well then it's time to stop it.
    I'm done rambling now. BTW, great outfit, I see your style is becoming more and more ladylike. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. pretty dress
    love the shoes

    Check out and participate on my first GIVEAWAY:

    http://yajairasfashionnotes.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-first-giveaway-monet-necklace-and.html

    http://yajairasfashionnotes.blogspot.com/
    http://eleven23shop.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. This outfit is perfection :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting questions Annebeth! I personally don't buy the majority of things online. I prefer the hunt of a thrift store trip and the touch and feel of fabric or objects in my hand. I find the internet very convenient for certain things but I don't think I would call myself a 24/7 shopper. (My boyfriend might disagree! haha.)
    Anyway, you're looking very pretty in your floral dress.
    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  8. i think this is one of your best articles so far! not only because of the uber interesting topic, but because the way you have written it! just perfect! i am not going to talk about it, because it would take me too far! the thing is: i am a magpie and yes i always want more and more... and it will never stop because it is in our genes! again, i want to do some research about it!

    PS you look incredible with those perfect colored flowers

    ReplyDelete
  9. I loved reading this. It's pretty much summed up my exact thoughts as of late. Even something as seemingly simple as clothing can turn ordinary thoughts into something much more complex. I'm constantly, literally constantly online browsing when I have my laptop on my lap. There's at least six tabs open with items I'd like, or even consider. Compared to others, I really don't think I have so much, but regardless, it tends to feel excessive. I have a few dollars - would I rather spend it on food, a magazine, a cheap top, a trip to the movies, or gas money for an adventure in a friend's car? Of course, that's not such a hard question to answer, but just the mere fact that I feel the need to spend money feels like a problem sometime. But what else is it used for? I don't have many serious expenses just yet... I've put off getting my license/a car because I can't afford anything consistently, I live with my parents, and they cover my living costs.

    Ah, this probably makes no sense - it's nearly 5am over here! But it's a very interesting topic.

    xox

    ReplyDelete
  10. For me personally, although I like to look at all the pretty clothes online, I don't tend to buy clothes online that often. If I see something I decide I really want, I'll usually go into the shop and get it from there. I think you can never be completely sure of the sizing or the feel of clothes unless you physically see them/try them on for yourself. Plus I hate to pay delivery fees!

    Love the dress :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. die jurk heeft echt vrolijke kleurtjes :D!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I whole-heartedly agree with this article, and even touched on a few of these ideas very briefly a while back. I feel as though these days, I am trying to distract myself by getting out and doing something/anything that isn't going to the shops or sitting at my laptop because in those cases it's almost impossible not to be looking (even if I have no intention of buying). I like shopping online from the point of view that I can get many things that I wouldn't otherwise be able to find, but I absolutely dislike how it has turned me into someone who simply thinks about acquiring things all the time.

    I also feel like I shouldn't have to bribe myself away from the computer to control these impulses, but honestly, I don't know how else to do it sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You look lovely! I love your dress. I like the point you bring up. I am always creating or filling shopping carts online, but never actually purchasing them. I love shopping, but it can be too much many many times.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Glad I've had some coffee before reading this post, lady. You have some good points. When something suddenly causes the feeling of need in me after only seeing it once, and not in real life, I tell myself I can't have it because I don't want it enough. I try to curb my impulses. I try to only buy one or two nice things instead of a bunch of crappy stuff. I tell myself that my laptop is giving me cancer as a last resort scare tactic to stop me from online shopping when it gets out of hand.
    I think I want new stuff all the time because wearing something new gives me this feeling that I'm in a fantasy life, someone different, etc. Since I am married and can't go out flirting with new men all the time I flirt with new identities via clothing. Maybe I need to tell my therapist that....

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for your awesome feedback, ladies. I love that my readers are thinkers. Laurel, I LOVE the point you brought up: "I think I want new stuff all the time because wearing something new gives me this feeling that I'm in a fantasy life, someone different, etc. Since I am married and can't go out flirting with new men all the time I flirt with new identities via clothing." I really feel this way sometimes too! Stuck in your own life, in your town, in your house, in your relationship (I know it sounds a lot harsher than I mean it), fashion and buying things presents us with escapism.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love the floral print dress my dear! So summery, even if the weather isn't that summery. In regards to your question, I am actually not a huge fan of shopping via the Internet to buy cheap (or cheaper) goods. It's really important to me to know where my clothes are made and who is making them. Most of the "cheap" things online are often made through underpriced labor in "third" world countries. Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy etc. are just a few of the large corporations who use such tactics. They hire out labor in US territories such as Puerto Rico to make goods. Very young women are recruited to work in these factories for a fee, and then they are forced to work for very little money to pay off this fee. It is comparable to modern day indentured servitude. I'd much rather pay more for goods if I know they were made not through these practices. This isn't to say that every low priced good is made in this way, but I would guess that many of them are.

    Have a lovely weekend! Looking beautiful as always! xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great article, I really feel like you wrote it about me: I got the ASOS 20% off coupon and plan on spending my Sunday even re-browsing their web which I've browsed a million times just to find something I can save the money on.
    Since I've discovered certain fashion blogs (yours included), I feel this irresistable urge to shop more. However, I've discovered many thrift stores in my town at the same time so even though I shop more I spend less. Does it make any sense? :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for your comment Tatiana! Yes it totally makes sense :) I can only find redemption in the fact that most of the goods I acquire are secondhand, somehow it feels a lot "cleaner" to me to buy something someone else had already discarded, recycling instead of stimulating mindless consumption. But it's still buying buying buying...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey !
    Love your outfit, it's so perfect for summer :)
    Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm really good at making virtual shopping carts but also BUYING whats in the shopping cart... so bad! I love the print of your dress, sorry it's cold! You're more than welcome to take some heat away from DC :)
    La Petite Marmoset

    ReplyDelete
  21. I totally get what you're saying. I feel so materialistic because every time I move, I think I have to take all these things with me, but it's just stuff and I hate it, but then I try to throw something away and I get sentimental about it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Really interesting post! I love that pretty floral dress you're wearing too. The green shoes work so well with it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This was an interesting post. I do feel like I am too involved with the virtual me sometimes, and I spend a lot of time just sat on my arse, on my laptop. And on one hand, it makes it easier to buy things - like you said, I will see something really cute on a blogger and it's so quick to search for it and buy it. But also, like you said, when you are in a shop, you do buy things out of impulse - the items look SO pretty in real life and you just cannot resist.

    To be honest, although it's not good to spend too much time on the virtual you, I wish I could do it more... I wish that I had more time to take photos, and catch up with peoples blog, but it does get too involved with the real me, so I can't.

    Sometimes I also get annoyed that some of my fave bloggers who I interact with a lot don't live near me. I kind of want them as real life friends, because of course we have a lot in common. But that's probably just me being a virtual loser...

    This subject could really be talked about for hours - on another note, I adore that dress! xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love following your stream of thoughts. I have my moments where I think: OMG all those things you buy have absolutely no purpose at all except for instant (and very quickly fading) 'happiness' , so why bother buying them in the first place? Ofcourse there's also the moments where I feel utterly happy with the beautiful things I have gathered over the years and where I can spend hours looking at my treasures. And there the internet offers a wide range of treasures to treat myself to a little extra :) oh the internet, a two-faced fairy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I actually think the ability to internet shop/browse is really good for us. Sure, you can reach a point of abuse, where you spend TOO much time browsing, or TOO much money. But it's no different than most other things, all good things in moderation!

    I've found it's helped me to see what is available out there. For the longest time I was stuck following the fashions I saw in malls, with no other choices. I was unaware of where I might find better quality and/or cheaper items of the kinds I liked anywhere else.

    Plus as for trying out identities... I think it depends on the blog! I know all the outfits I post are very much ME. It's not a costume, or something temporary, it's how I go about my day. But I see no harm in it being about costumery either, it's a good way to explore without pledging yourself 100% to something. Like getting a henna tattoo before getting a real one.

    ReplyDelete