17 Jan 2007

A Decent Shopping: need one and will have one soon

I admit I am a fashion victim. Though now I don't do shopping often, mentally I still am.

I like buying high quality stuff that fits me well and makes me beautiful. Why not! I am able to make good money to support my addiction. But I have changed from a brand shopper to a smart shopper.

Once, about 10 years ago, I was so fascinated with "brand names", and during that period of time, I really contributed a lot to fashion industries. So now I have a wardrobe filled with Dolce & Gabanna, Dior Homme, Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander, Hermes, Yohji Yamamoto ... all those names you still read on the fashion magazines. I still wear and use these I purchased long time ago. Their design is stylish, their cut is impeccable, and their quality is perfect. I must say, not being snobbish, that I really have a good sense because whatever I bought at that time is still wearable and still fashionable. Of course, it is my great sense in fashion preventing me from buying stuff that only survives for one season.

Now, I try not to shop by names. I found this way of shopping truly unhealthy. Do I really need to pay this much for fashion products? I agree that big brands produce good quality products, but recently the price of their products has become ridiculous. I still remember my first Prada leather shoes I bought 10 years ago cost me less than USD 200 with discounts. They look formal and are extremely comfortable. You can never find Prada leather shoes with such price now. Maybe you can find one in outlets when you are really lucky. These big fashion brands spend so much in advertising which gains them popularity. However, in order to cover the expense in advertising, they keep increasing the price of their products. Increasing the price is acceptable because that is the mechanism of the market. What is not acceptable is paying the price of which more than 50% is the expense of advertising. I strongly believe that I should pay for the quality of the product only.

The problem is that I cannot quit my addiction. I still naturally look for brand names when I go shopping. This frustrates me a lot. I know I will be tempted to buy, but I will not allow myself to do it. Whenever I read the price tag, I just cannot control myself from laughing. The number shown on the tag is just ridiculous, and whoever pays that price must be out of his/her mind. Imaging yourself paying the price for a handbag that you could actually buy a car! Since I know I cannot accept low quality products, my alternative is to shop for simple items that I really need in outlets. In fact it is quite fun to shop in outlets. I always find something surprising. The minus are the location of outlets and you may not find the size of yours.

I am going shopping in Hong Kong this coming February. Though the purpose of this trip is to visit a very dear friend of mine and to see a Kunqu performance, shopping should be done. I haven't done any decent shopping for almost four years. Being a poor student in London forbade me from doing it. Then my teaching job exhausted me, so the only thing I feel like doing is to stay at home and watch movies. I kind of did some little shopping during my holidays, but they were always quick ones before heading to the airport. These should not be considered as "decent shopping" which means to spend a good deal of time to look for the most perfect item. It requires three specific steps, to check out what the store offers, to try them on, and then the last action taken, make decision to buy. A decent shopping is a serious thing to do, it is time consuming, and it requires a good commitment. I guess this is why most men don't like shopping - I am referring to straight guys only, not us, the fabulous group!

I have found some great outlets in Hong Kong from the Internet. They are Joyce Warehouse and Prada Space Warehouse in Hong Kong Island and IT Sales Shop in Kawloon. My friend told me she shops in these places quite often. I am so excited about this trip, and we have planned a good day just for outlet shopping! Isn't this great? After all these years' dull life, I am finally doing decent shopping again. Hopefully, I will find what I need at a good bargain price!

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