Is shopping stressful?

shopping bags

I am unashamedly a lover of clothes shopping. So much so that I do it on behalf of my clients (and friends!). At one time I thought all women loved shopping for new clothes. Yet many women detest shopping. They come home tired, disgruntled and generally fed up with the fact that they cannot ‘find anything to wear’. This is particularly true of older women. Sound familiar? Then read on.

What’s missing? Firstly, it’s usually a lack of a plan. ‘Aimless’ shopping isn’t a good idea. Even with a plan shopping can be a disheartening experience. Why is this? Quite simply it is personal service. If you are spending money on something that will enhance how you look and feel about yourself – and this is often the main reason women go clothes shopping – then the often cursory, disengaged service we receive leaves us wishing we hadn’t bothered. In my view there is frequently an emotional connection to how we look. Sometimes major life changes, at home or work, force us to re-evaluate what we wear. So, off we go to the high street, shopping mall or, if we are very lucky, our local independent fashion retailer, with some expectations. One of our expectations, often held subconsciously, is that the person serving us will be interested in helping us to find that ‘perfect’ piece. Remember the last time you bought something you really loved. What a great feeling! The chances are you received personal service. Someone who understands clothes and knows their own stock inside out. Someone capable of helping you to put together an outfit. Sadly, many staff in larger stores are not given the necessary training and development to be able to do this. Added to which younger staff don’t really ‘connect’ to the style needs of older women.

London's Streets Lay Quiet As Visitors Attentions Turn To The Olympics...In this composite image a comparison has been made between the unusually quiet streets of the West End, London and the busy shopping centre of Westfield next to the Olympic Park. (Top Image) LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: A general view of an unusually quiet Carnaby Street in Soho on July 31, 2012 in London, England. Overall visitor numbers to London have reportedly declined sharply despite the influx of tourists flocking to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Wet weather, concerns of traffic congestion and fears of inflated prices at hotels and visitor attractions are expected to be the cause of the decline. The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has reported a drop in numbers attending London's tourist sites of between 30 and 35 per cent in the last two weeks, compared with last year. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) (Bottom Image) STRATFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Shoppers peruse the outlets in the giant Westfield Stratford shopping mall adjacent to the Olympic Park on July 31, 2012 in London, England. Trading in the huge 1.9 million sq ft mall has been boosted by the footfall of spectators, volunteers and competitors from the Olympic Park; whilst shops and restaurants in London's West End are reporting up to 70% declines in revenue. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Not my idea of fun!

The solution? Find an independent fashion retailer or a clothes brand that recruits the right kind of staff (interested in clothes, style and delivering great customer service) and the take the time to train them well. This reduces the number of outlets you need to visit and increases (not decreases) the chances of finding something you like. I was recently in Birmingham with a client and we went into LK Bennet. Excellent service and a glass of fizz! The staff knew their business and were genuinely interested in my client.

relaxed shopper

No stress



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