23 October 2010

Hello my name is Carly and I'm a shopaholic.

I was reading a post on Mamamia that I completely identified with. It was about shopping hangovers. Lana, Mia Freedman's assistant, wrote:
The shops like individual gambling tables or slot machines, each one offering the promise of a big win, something new and exciting. Something that will improve my life and make me look and feel better.

I walk into the shops and I just know that I am going to win….
I replied to the post:
Agreed! I often shop to a) reward myself after an achievement and b) to make myself feel better.

Sometimes I dream over the clothes I see in shops, and need to go back to buy them, thinking they’ll complete me somehow. They don’t. The jeans don’t enhance that great piece of writing I am rewarding myself for. And that pretty dress does not compensate for the boy that I long for.
Recently I have shopped because I’ve been sad, and bought SO many things. When I bring the haul home, I realise, I have heaps of clothes, on my spare bed, my floordrobe, on the clothes horse and in my two wardrobes. And I consider whether I even needed the clothes I just bought.

There is a sense of security in a shopping mall and also a sense of guilt like with gambling or drinking. It feels good at the time, but when you realise you should have saved that money for something more important then the regret sets in.

To clarify: I am no longer a shopper where my spending compromised payment of more important things. I've learnt that lesson. I have had a good savings plan for a couple of years now, and I can (sometimes) see progress. I only use my credit card to pay for concert tickets and occasional travel (and pay it back by the next pay day). I have Visa/Mastercard debit cards for online shopping.

Shopping makes me feel good. I list it as a hobby, along with writing, cooking, seeing live bands and eating cheese. I love shopping centres. I love a suburban shopping strip. I love a cute boutique store. I love a (tasteful) craft market. I love browsing online stores. I love reading magazines. I love fashion blogs. And the Vogue Forum. Hell, I even love doing groceries. The only thing I really resent with shopping is when I have to spend around $100 on a chemist visit. Oh, and I don't really like buying shoes.

Considering my sprawling love for all things retail, I manage to control myself quite well. I don't buy everything I see (and I see A LOT in my retail browsing!). I am not influenced by friends' shopping habits. I buy many sale items. I am not a designer label lover. I use layby. But still, I find myself shopping. And buying more stuff. If there was a shopping Olympics, I'd win Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Shopping makes me happy. I don't know how long the post shopping happiness continues. There is probably a mathematical equation to measure this. The clothes I buy make me happy.

I don't drown my sorrows with booze. Actually, when this happens, it's generally booze under $10 (I had $6 wine the other week - UNDRINKABLE!) because I've already spent my pennies drowning my sorrows shopping.

The giant pile of clothes on my spare room bed because they won't fit in my wardrobe, and my floordrobe just looks messy, does not make me happy. (I was going to take a photo and post it here, but I feared Faux Fuschia with her impeccable wardrobe organisation skills may disown me as a friend!)

I need to stop shopping.

I don't need more stuff.

Except for a new bra and possibly new shoes for the ball next week.

I have bought more things in addition to the beautiful things I bought on the beautiful day with Sydney Shop Girl last week, and lots more in the weeks before our morning out.

These are some of the things I've bought recently (in the last six weeks). Pay attention to my justifications for purchase:

♥ Cupcakes for colleagues and I. (I did receive payment for two cupcakes, though). They were delicious. I had the croquembouche one - on the right. I accidentally left one in the fridge at work. Colleagues reading this, please don't eat my cupcake!

♥ Magazines. Did I really need four of them? I only bought Grazia because it had a Mimco voucher. I bought Instyle to read on the plane almost two weeks ago, but only got around to reading half of it in the hospital waiting room last Wednesday. The other two haven't yet been read.
Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown CD. It's growing on me.
♥ Mimco hair accessories. A clip and a headband. I've worn the clip and the headband is for the ball next week. That Mimco voucher made me spend a lot more than the voucher was worth. Clever marketing.
♥ Floral dress. From Harris Scarfe. A very unexpected place for me to buy clothes from. The dress had me at hello.
♥ Hot pink dress from Sportsgirl. Because I have a skirt in the same material and I love it and have worn it about four times in the six weeks I've had it. And the dress was $23.95 from $129. Practically free. And I plan to wear it under the cropped silver and white tee shirt that I have had, unworn, for six months.

♥ Pyjamas from Sussan. Because I love their pyjamas and I have a weakness for them. And they were on sale. And I needed them for my trip away.
♥ Pyjama shorts from Sussan. Because they were hanging near to the pyjamas above. And they were also on sale.
♥ Pyjamas from Temt. Who knew Temt sold pyjamas? These were pretty. And a bit sexy. I rarely wear pyjamas at home, and (without being the bearer of too much information) found I didn't need pyjamas for my trip away.
♥ My giant bag. I loved the colour. I loved the style. I had to have it.
Unfortunately I did not check its size to my height ratio before I bought it. My bag means I get an influx of boys offering to carry it. (There's been two boys offer, and I've taken two offers for carrying my bag.) And I can never find anything in it. So it's beautiful but a little annoying.


I have also bought two presents - three Sia CDs and a Ben Cousins DVD.

Ok, so I feel a little sick, and guilty for showcasing my recent purchases. My justifications for purchase seem so silly. Just like Lana in the Mamamia blog post, it's a shopping hangover.

There always seems to be an excuse for shopping:
'Retail therapy.'
'An event to attend.'
'A reward.'
Rewarding myself for NOT shopping!'
'I just might need that item one day.'
'It was cheap.'
'It was onsale, 75% off.'
'It looked great in the magazine/in store.'
'If I don't like it, you can give it away as a present.'
'It IS a present.'
And the old 'there's always someone I know who shops more than me, so my shopping is just a blip on the retail radar.'

It's time I stopped these excuses. I don't need more stuff. I should be content with the stuff I have. I have great clothes. It'll be fun to mix and match my existing wardrobe/floordrobe/bedrobe. I should save for a rainy day. Because hell, my hot pink silk Sportsgirl dress isn't going to keep me dry.

Hello, my name is Carly and I'm a shopaholic. And it's time I reduce my intake. Not cold turkey, just buy less stuff.

Tell me your shopping confessions. So I don't feel so bad about mine.

(PS: this is my 300th blog entry! This blog has come a long way, baby.)


  1. Carly!!!!!!!!!!!!! Floor-robes are the Devil's work!! If I lived nearby I'd help you action a declutter. xxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Oh Carly, I indemnify with this post sooo much! I do love all your new purchases though. Your bag is classic. I have one a similar size and often joke that I can climb inside the thing myself (being so short). I bought a lot of Harris Scarfe clothes when we still had one in WA.

    I also had a chuckle at your not needing pj's for your trip. I have a sexy nightie that I keep in my overnight bag and have not once taken it out in three months. Note to us. Sexy pj's are not required in our wardrobes!

  3. Omg I wrote indemnify not identify! Haha. Lawyer much

    I too have a floor wardrobe. A bed wardrobe and two hamper wardrobes!

  4. I agree with FF- I think you need to declutter too- so you at least know what you have.

    Also, I bought those same Sussan pj's this week- very cute & comfy. We have great taste!

  5. Floor-robes... I like it.

    Carly, do a purge. It's very therapeutic and enables more targeted shopping practice.

    I've also been doing housework and have decided it's way easier with less stuff to contend with.

    Good luck.

    SSG xxx

  6. Wow, that is one giant bag. I reckon you could fit yourself in there if you tried.

    Congratulations on your 300th post!

  7. Hi Carly, what an interesting and very honest post. I have the same sort of justifications for buying. The other night I sat and watched Confessions of a Shopaholic with Mr B and he kept humphing and looking at me, it was too close to home! For a while I really did stop spending money on myself and the best thing apart from saving money was the unusual freedom from guilt, a great feeling! xx

  8. Wow, epic post. I found it fascinating how you tied it all together, and I can definitely identify. That said, you got some great bargains so don't feel bad, those purchases can be easily justified ;)

  9. Hi Carly!

    Great post. Can completely identify with it. I am currently 3 weeks into a clothes/unnecessary purchases shopping ban!!! So far so good but I need to do it as my consumerism is out of control!

  10. Hi Carly:)
    Hope you are oki.
    Kings of leon...they are sooo great, and their new album even better...

    Thats just something about them:)

    Have a great day - SP

  11. I can definitely identify with this post, as I am quite similar. I don't really need anymore stuff, but keep buying!

    That Mimco headband is really pretty.

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  13. *Drool* those cupcakes look delicious! Are they from the cupcake place in Melbourne Central?

    I'm currently doing the Salvos "Buy Nothing New" month to try to curb my shopping habit. I must admit, I have bought a hat and a pair of headphones but I think that's ok because 1) my old headphones broke and I need them for exercising because I can't exercise without music (and secondhand headphones - gross!!!) and 2) hats are essential for sun protection!! Not that we've had much sun anyway...hahaha!

  14. Congrats on 300 posts!! I am much less of a shopoholic than I used to be, has a lot to do with not having the physical stamina to go and browse. I used to shop a LOT! I have to say, I haven't thought about it in a long time and I don't really miss it. I still get a buzz when I get something new and awesome, but it's no longer something I really turn to to make me feel better...hmmm, just sorting out my own thoughts, comment style ;P

  15. Love shopping. Love this post.

    Shopping helps to feel a void. It incite a temporary happiness and high that I feel I can't seek from anywhere else.

    Shopping is basically really, a "cheap" temporary therapy for me.


  16. All of your purchases are wonderful! Love both of those dresses! It was so great meeting you tonight!

    M xx

  17. Congrats on your 300th post! As a fellow shopper, I am telling you, do NOT feel sick or guilty about retail therapy. It's totally legit. You found some great stuff and some great sales. If it makes ya feel good, do it! :)


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