The thing I’ve found in London is that there are great stores and tons of them, but nearly all of them sell their wares way beyond what I could afford of I want to keep my life on the budget I’ve been working under.
This doesn’t mean that I never splurge—it’s just rare and something I do only after a lot of thought. And I’ve found—as an individual who really does love to shop—whether you are wandering around a physical store or flipping through a virtual one, you can have the same basic experiences with only a few dangers and draw backs.
Growing up, I never liked online sopping—even the idea of it perplexed me. You can’t run through the idles seeing what other people are holding, feel the fabric and really see and feel the details, try something on just so you can say you tried it, gage your size by trying on different sized—while the wide web of the internet shopping ethos have done a great deal to right these issues, it’ll never be the same.
And I’ve always recognized the dangers (because I really like to shop!). You can now shop without making the effort to go somewhere and you can do it wherever and wherever you are which means if you aren’t careful, you will end up spending tons of money on things that were whims because you didn’t have to physically cart them back across town.
Not to mention the loss (of excitement and sobering reality) of having to hand over your money to a stranger and realize that you are giving up something for getting what is in your hands—a sensation that can make your discernment process a bit stricter in terms of what you let yourself buy.
And now that I’ve put in the effort to tell you all the problems with online shopping, I want to mention a site I’ve found this year and have come to really love: Chicwish.
I think I first stumbled upon this site thanks to a pintrest tag after I’d fallen in love with Audrey Hepburn films. I found this wool midi skirt that just screamed Audrey style circa Roman Holiday and after giving myself a week to stare at the tag in my browser favorites, I just had to get it—and just in time for Christmas! I got that happy shopping feeling in my gut and promptly watched Confessions of a Shopaholic to reaffirm that loving shopping is good, but control is better.
Back in January, I wrote a post covering my fashion wish lists—capes, plaid/tartan, and collared dresses—but I left out one look that anyone flipping through my style pintrest board would quickly discover: I have an obsession with tulle and a desire to run around town in a fashion tutu.
Why was this left to the wayside then?
Generally, I’m a practical dresser. Yes, I tend to lean to a carefully fashioned practicality—a cotton blazer is just as easy and warm as a hoodie—over flashier pieces and what is a tulle tutu if not a statement piece?
And yet my love of them continued to flourish.
I’d convinced myself for a while that I would simply make my own—I’m crafty like that—but as time went on, it became more and more clear that it just was not going to happen. Then, when I was still looking through stores, the closest I found besides petty unlined petty coats—not made in either quality fabric or true outerwear wearability to really work as a substitute—came in the form of high school dance dress which, while cute, never has the versatility I was looking for.
Which brings us back to Chicwish. After my Christmas purchase, I began receiving updates from the site and, therefore, received their email about the big styles they are currently promoting, Bloom and Tulle.
To say it was hard not to splurge is an incalculable understatement.
Anyway, if you are looking to purchase a skirt like this, now is the time to get looking. The site currently has a range of styles (including dresses), lengths, volumes, and colors to look through and, if my cart is anything to go by, a lot of the merchandise is on sale.
I approach online shopping like you would (or at least should) approach shopping in a store. Put the stuff you like in your basket—this gives you a clear visible range of the style and individual pieces you are looking for.
Then, go through the basket pulling together similar items and narrowing them down to what you really want, discarding as you go.
When you have your short list, ask yourself the reality questions: when will you wear this? How often? What am I giving up for this? Is it worth it? What things do I own that I can wear with this, or do I have to buy more to make it work? Do I already have something that makes this redundant?
Once you answer these, you’ll discard what you don’t need, save what you still have to think about and head out to buy what you have really thought about buying—this can easily be a week after putting it in your cart (depending on availability)—one of the convenient positives of having the store at you fingertips!
Like I said, I love shopping, but it’s about shopping well—a skill that is honed just like any other in your arsenal. And Chicwish and its unique pieces, for me, definitely makes the cut in this city I can’t really afford and yet love so much.