Since I was a little girl, I was seduced by the glamour of the fashion world. I would tear out my favourite pictures from fashion magazines for my ‘style file’. My ultimate dream in life then was to own an inexhaustible closet that could provide an impeccable outfit no matter what the occasion was.
During my teenage years, shopping was literally my cardio. I loved spending an afternoon by myself, visiting my favourite fashion stores, trying on clothes, styling myself and then tearing my hair out when I had to eliminate pieces from my shopping bag due to my limited budget.
When I came of age, it was only natural that I wanted to build my career in the industry that I am so obsessed with. I went into fashion journalism.
The nature of the job requires me to spend all day looking at beautiful clothes and accessories, each more amazing than the last. Not a day passes where I don’t discover a covetable ‘IT’ bag that my heart aches for or a pair of exorbitant showstopping heels that I so desperately need on my shoe rack.
I was quite worried that I would turn into a complete shopping fiend and live from paycheck to paycheck because the environment had the potential to trigger an immersion-induced buying behavior.
Yet somehow, I find myself shopping less than I used to. Thanks to the research-intensive role, I developed a new level of appreciation for fashion. This newfound savvy changed me as a shopper. I was no longer looking at fashion superficially.
It’s not just about how the bag looks, but what goes behind it. I became more acutely aware of the designers, their inspirations, the materials used and the workmanship. Now, before I am willing to commit to an expensive purchase, I need to be able to justify its price against its design and quality.
I also delved deeper into the way the clothes are being produced. Are these clothes being made by people who work under vile labour conditions with low pay? I started being more discerning about purchasing fast fashion after watching a documentary. I’ve become much more mindful about the fashion I consume.
And even if I had the money to buy them all, would that make a difference in my life? Would there be a point where I can say that I feel completely content with my wardrobe? After so many years of intensive shopping, I learned that the answer is a resounding no. There will always be that one pair of shoe that is missing from my shoe rack.
I still enjoy my shopping trips both physically and virtually, but it takes a lot more for me to part with my money these days. Sales have ceased to be my nemesis because I make it a point to ask myself these questions before I commit to a purchase. I am only willing to spend on things that make me truly happy when I put them on.