(Zara dress, New Look shoes and clutch, Gucci sunglasses)
OK, so if I’m going to tell you the story of my clothes, there are two things you’re going to need to know first:
1) I get obsessed with things. Like, REALLY obsessed.
2) The second I decide to buy one of the items I’ve become obsessed with, it will sell out instantly, forcing me to spend the rest of my life searching for it in stores and on eBay, and whining to anyone who’ll listen about how it’s SO UNFAIR and THE WHOLE WORLD IS AGAINST ME and FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMSOMG.
For this reason, I tend to feel that I don’t so much “shop” as I wage war upon clothes, ruthlessly hunting them down despite all the odds, to finally emerge victorious. Well, everyone has to have a hobby, don’t they?
There are 7 basic stages to a War on Clothes:
Stage 1: Identification of Suspect
In the case of the mint green Zara dress, the suspect was identified pretty quickly – probably within a day or so if it appearing on the Zara website. “Well, obviously I’m going to be buying that,” I thought, confidently. I mean, it was mint green, for one thing: I LOVE mint green. ( A bit too much, actually, but that will become apparent in good time.) It was full-skirted: I LOVE full-skirted dresses. It was made from a ponte roma fabric: I LOVE this kind of fabric (because I’m clumsy and prone to creasing my clothes as soon as I put them on, and ponte roma resists my efforts to crease it for longer than many other fabrics). The dress was as good as mine then, so I proceeded to stage 2:
Stage 2: Stalking of Suspect
For me, one of the main Rules of Shopping, is that I will only ever find something I want to buy at a time when I can’t actually afford to buy it, so I have to stalk the item online, visiting it every day or two to make sure that it’s still there, while plotting my eventual purchase of it. I always do this with a feeling of foreboding in my heart, though, because I know that as soon as I’m ready to go to stage 3…
Stage 3: Attempted purchase of Suspect
… I will bypass it completely and proceed straight to stage 4:
Stage 4: Discovery that Suspect Has Now Sold Out, Normally Just a Few Minutes Before Stage 3 Commenced, D’oh!
Stage 4 is accompanied by much weeping and wailing and banging of my head on the desk. So much, in fact, that this deserves to be a stage all by itself:
Stage 5: Weepin’ and a wailin’
With the worst of this over, however, it’s time to rally the troops and begin stage 6…
Stage 6: DECLARATION OF WAR
Exactly how this stage goes down will depend on the item I’m at war with: in the case of the Zara dress, for instance, it mostly involved me refreshing the Zara website repeatedly in case it came back into stock (this sounds futile, but actually, Zara frequently re-stocks items, but usually only after I’ve gone to a huge amount of trouble to find them in-store first). When this failed, I would generally move onto visiting stores in person, and then stalking eBay until I finally found it, but luckily in this case there was a reprieve:
A REPRIEVE! A REPREIVE!
The reprieve was delivered by my mum, who was, quite honestly, fed up hearing me complain about the whole war on clothes, and just did what I should have done all along: she picked up the phone, called the nearest branch of Zara and asked if they had any of the dresses in my size.
And they did.
Just the one, though.
So the nice manager (who my mum has now added to her Christmas card list on account of how well they bonded) put it aside for me to collect.
And two days later, it came back into stock on the website anyway.
Stage 7: Inevitable Restocking of item, plus concrete proof that Amber is an idiot.
And that’s the story of the mint green Zara dress. And also the story of a disturbingly large number of my clothes, actually.
Now, however, the dress has a new story, because now it’s the dress I wore to my friend Mhairi’s birthday lunch this weekend. Which makes for a much shorter story, true, but also a much more enjoyable one!