Topshop sweater, Fernando Frisoni silk tank, Virginie Castaway studded leather shorts, Tristan Blair patent booties, straw hat from Masons, vintage leather bag and scarf
Contrary to dazed expressions on my face, I was not sick when these photos were taken. As luck would have it in a weird facial prophecy kind of way, I got sick two hours later, long after we’ve left the beautiful university premises of downtown Auckland for a shopping odyssey out in Onehunga. Speaking of which, if you think I looked unwell here, you should’ve seen my face turn blue when I realised that this was the largest outlet mall in NZ.
Back to real ailments and not completely ignoring snobby figurative ones, it is a day when your body insists against you moving, browsing or wallet unloading. It’s even worse when the day is still young and you’ve only gone through a third of the (even if its largely unimpressive) stores on offer. It’s a sad sad day.
Despite all these things working against me, I did manage to come out with a leather clutch, nomadic vest and classic cable knit. When I say come out, I don’t mean myself personally. The Boy actually had to finish point of sale whilst I squatted outside Ralph Lauren, clenching my stomach, to the scared bemusement of passers by.
Having now fully recovered from the bad eggs benedict (in the end, it only took a long nap and some vitamin C), I think it was worth it. I’ve since forgotten the pain but still have the purchases for memory. I recall a similar incident shopping at Festival Mall in Pattaya where after I’d picked up a pair of tapered and awesomely golf-appropriate pants, I was suddenly overtaken by severe tooth pain. It was crippling and I ended up in that very same embarrassingly Asian squat position in front of my favourite Spanish label, waiting for the Boy to finish the purchase up. After I recovered, with pain killers desperately in the system, I still walked back into Zara to make sure I hadn’t missed anything in my state of dental excruciation.
Sadly, another toothache came back within half an hour and despite the drugs and my hyperventilation, I ended up in the food court in tears because of the pain. It was then that I had to throw the proverbial towel and call it a night.
In many ways, shopping is a sport. There are people who do it well and others who just don’t know how to play the game. Ultimately it’s not about what you buy but how you go about doing it, or at least that’s what the people who come home empty handed tell themselves.
Like all sports, there are codes of practice. For example. if I’m shopping with my best friend at the best sale in the universe, there is an unspoken rule. Whoever picks it up first, makes direct contact, or where applicable, eyes it off for a split second, it’s theirs. With strangers, it’s more dog eat bitch. I once had someone follow me around at Fleur Wood because she realised she wanted the dress I just tried on, the only one available in the studio. I could see her following me from the corner of my eye, waiting to pounce the moment I showed any signs of hesitation. The dress was beautiful so I was always intending on buying it but the competitive bitch in me found another reason to take home my 42nd black dress (no exaggeration, I counted my walk-in last night) . Excessive I know, but it was so satisfying I think I’ll do a future post of the dress in celebration the win.
To avoid future moral or social conflict and maintain harmony in store, I think there’s only one solution. Shop with friends who are a different size from you. Preferably she/he would be bigger so they can help you fight off change room pariahs. They’re enough to make anyone sick.