I have a confession to make. I have a secret that I have been hiding. I can’t go on living this lie anymore. I feel I really must tell you the truth. As they say, “new year, new you.”
I have an addiction. If you guessed chocolate you would be sort of correct.
If you thought divine French cheeses , that would be close too.
But no, this one hurts the purse strings, and not the love handles:
I am addicted to shopping and I am determined to find a Cure for Couture.
Whew, I feel so much better for putting it out into cyber space. It means I really have to do something about it.
How did my love of couture, my penchant for Pucci, my hankering for Hermes get so out of control? When I was a little girl, my mother and I would drive from Wichita Falls to Dallas, Texas just to shop at Neiman Marcus. Yes, Neimans was my gateway drug. And it helped that my Father was friends with Stanley Marcus. Can you blame a girl for getting hooked?
After my parents moved to Newport Beach, California, shopping became a way for my mother and me to spend time together and bond over our love of designer goods. We would make a day of it or two or three.. shopping, morning snack, shopping, luncheon, shopping, late afternoon snack, shopping, dinner.
First we hit Fashion Island. The sun would be shining… we would cruise leisurely from store to store. take in the view to the ocean all while we shopped NM, LuluLemon, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, Tahari, there are so many more.
Then we would hit South Coast Plaza and made a day of it as well.. Sax Fifth Ave, Dior, Chanel, St. Johns, Versaci Gucci etc.
You get the picture.
I used to look forward to my shopping sprees with my mother. I mean wouldn’t you? Fashion and French cuisine all in one day! Oo la la
I lived downtown in NYC, the Village and then Gramercy.
I was-too busy running Flavors Catering and Carry-out to make time for shopping in NYC. Back then I lived so far away from my beloved 3 B’s – Bloomingdales, Bergdorfs, and Barneys. Getting uptown was a hassle so shopping was spread out and irregular.
I used to buy my clothes from a personal shopper who imported clothes from France and Italy and sold them from her apartment on the Upper East Side.
She had amazing prices, and I would make one trip a season and buy most everything I needed.
Then if I needed a special dress for a party, I would buy it ahead of time.
When I “moved on up to the Upper East Side” just a few years ago, I knew I was in trouble. Madison and Fifth Avenues have all my boyfriends: Oscar, Henri, Louis, Roberto, and Christian. Obviously since I was so close we had to go on some dates. Next thing I knew I was a woman obsessed. The perfect shoe had to have the perfect dress, which had to have the perfect necklace and earrings, and of course the perfect handbag, and a fabulous coat . I mean seriously.
Uptown is just different.
I so identify with the woman who wrote the book, Primates of Park Avenue. Women dress up to go to lunch. They have their Chanel and Hermes bags. They wear dresses… different ones too. It’s rare that I see a friend in the same outfit twice.
I became an expert at searching the sale racks, and finding that perfect piece at a sample sale. It is exhilarating each and every time. But the more I shopped, the more I realized I just bought to buy. I didn’t need anything. In fact, I would get an LBD for an event, and go home and realize I had several of them already. I was buying because in the moment I wanted them. They fed a need, but then my buyers remorse would kick in and I would return half of what I bought, or even worse hide my new purchases from my husband. Eek. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about right?????
Right before the holidays this year, I had a closet cleanse and I realized that I had so much stuff and could wear a different outfit everyday for the next 3 months. So…. I am giving up shopping for clothing and accessories – yes, even shoes – for three months. You heard me correctly, three months: January through March. While I am sure I will miss the comfort and high of shopping, I am kind of excited to see how I spend my time now that I won’t be in the stores
This isn’t going to be easy, I know that. I am going to be tested by many friends who know me as always game to shop a sale, but I think it is important to recognize that my love of shopping has gotten a bit out of hand. I am sure many of you can relate to this, or perhaps another vice that has taken over your life.
I could use all the help I can get, so if any of you out there in cyberspace can relate please reach out and give me much needed support on my 3 month hiatus, if you feel so inclined please join my Cure to Couture. I will be posting every other week with an update on how I am progressing and managing to stay out of the stores – and off the internet (eek). Who knows, by the end of this experiment maybe I will have enough new recipes for a new cookbook!
Leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you!
Deep breath. Here we go!
Hello Bebe, Thank you for the comment. Would love to read that article. I am replacing my old habits with some new hobbies. If you have any suggestions please let me know.
I read an article recently that I really liked that suggested that you replace the-need-to-buy with new experiences that excite you. Oh, however, those ties to mother are really hard to replace.
From another Texan
Go Pamela Go!!!
Holly, You always look amazing, and I love how you throw together your colors.
Now I can understand where this talent comes from and that you have a trained eye for
fashion and beauty! I really think this blog is about our mothers!!! I miss mine so much too and I think shopping has filled the void of her loss this year.
Thanks for sharing your shopping addiction!!!
Although I grew up on a farm where I would have to make sure the animals were fed and in winter the water had not frozen I learned to have a good sized wardrobe. Lots of garden and work clothes school clothes and dressy cloths. Believe me I relate to your shopping addiction. I luckily learned to see at an early age so I made so many interesting clothes and went to all kinds of thrift shops where I found the best clothes. Fabulous twenties and thirties forties and fifties attire made so beautifully I found the most well made riding gear and Scottish plaid jackets that seemed made for me. By the time I went to fashion institute I had so many great outfits of all kinds. Many of the girls in my class had a contest going on who could come up with unusual outfits every day without repeating. I of course won. Cheerleader one day. Chic army fatigue look the next. Flapper. Fifties circular skirt with those saddle shoes. Riding gear etc etc. and hats and gloves and shoes etc. it was fun
After a so called (friend ) borrowed so many of my best things and took off to a foreign country my addiction basically stopped By then I switched to bodywork and Yoga and meditation
So my gear changed. I still couldn’t help the odd super expensive designer frock for black tie events. I still became obsessed with the right gear the right fabrics all kinds of cashmere light for summer eves and scarves etc and the right cotton Lycra blends and silk long johns for colder weather and linens for summer. Only what is comfortable on the body. Silk knits merino wool knits. Still a food and fabric snob. I just can’t help it!!
Feel free to get a massage regularly and it will help your addictive tendencies. We are highly creative sowe must find other avenues of expression and fun. So much love. A great article !! Ps my mother was Scottish and dressed very French Chic and simple and elegant always
I miss her so!!
I agree! I know there is nothing wrong with loving beautiful things. It’s this anxiety
that there’s never enough that I’m trying to overcome right now. I also agree that
everything in moderation. My Mother used that phrase alot!!! And I deserve a reward
from Madison if I actually make it through the next few month shopping free!!! Yipee.
I can certainly relate to how shopping was a big part of your life with your mother. I spent many Saturdays with my mother and aunt at Saks and Lord & Taylor. Shopping was uplifting and made us feel beautiful. Nothing wrong with that.
I grew up with stylish women and so my tastes are even more sophisticated and expensive and this has gotten me into trouble at times financially. Also, I have bought items that I already own so taking stock of what one has is a great idea.
Maybe you can channel some of your creative energy into other projects reward yourself with a treat from Madison Avenue! Everything in moderation, right? I love this topic…more than chocolate!
I am going to have to begin enjoying shopping in my own closet too!!!
Thanks for commenting Joanne
Great post! I gave up shopping for sport when I left my corporate job and like the job, never looked back. That’s not to say I don’t still take a whirl through Bloomie’s on occasion and search for a bargain – but I get just as big a thrill searching my closet for pieces I forgot I had!