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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Making Your Mind Up.



I'm one of those persons who knows what they want till they have what they want and then they don't want it any more. You with me? I just have to scratch the proverbial itch.

If I thought about what I have had from Zara this year, it goes along the lines of :

1 x floral biker jacket. Bought and returned. Too distinctive. Tight sleeves.
1 x blue jacquard jacket. Bought and returned. Too Marantish. Tight sleeves.
1 x khaki/leather linen jacket. Bought and returned. Dreadful on. Dreadful off.
1 x white jacquard jacket. Bought and kept. Versatile and flattering. Immediately felt right.
1 x oriental print tee. Bought and returned. Front seam was wonky. Not flattering. But gorgeous print.
1 x denim shirt. Bought and kept. Love the colour and softness. Just felt right. Useful wardrobe staple.
1 x white sandals. Bought and returned. Back of heel gaped. See below picture.
1 x silver/black shoes. Bought and returned. Feet too fat. Feet need to go on a diet.
1 x white shoes. Bought and returned. Ouch and cheap looking.
1 x raw denim jeans. Bought and returned. Didn't need them. How good am I?
1 x porcelain print tee. Bought and returned. Too sheer and front too low.
1 x star print blouse. Bought and returned. Very sheer plus found a tiny smudge in the print on the back.
1 x check blouse. Bought and returned. Didn't sit right.
1 x tan boots. Bought and returned. Looked a dork in them. And an eighties throwback. Third time these came home with me actually - got to love a trier.


Zara must hate me. They're not actually making any money out of me are they?


However, H&M have fared a little better.

1 x white cotton jumper. Bought and kept. 100% cotton, simple shape and flattering.
1 x porcelain print tee. Bought and returned. Better than Zara's version but decided didn't need.
1 x cream lace top. Bought and kept. Versatile and easy to look after.
1 x black crepe jacket/blazer. Bought and kept. Good fit. Quality and finish excellent.
1 x grey linen chinos. Bought and returned. Don't need. But fitted excellent. Still hankering after.
1 x low skinny jeans. Bought and kept. Love these. Current favourite jeans.
1 x boyfriend jeans. Bought and kept. Comfy, good colour and no rips to put my toes through.
1 x fan print cotton scarf. Bought and kept. Lovely. Perfect for summer scarf wearing.
1 x blue marl sweatshirt. Bought and kept. Lovely fit. Horrible composition. Pilled to high boogery.
1 x cream Victorian style top. Bought and returned. Strangled by neckline.
1 x cream Victorian style top. Bought and kept. Sized up. Death by blouse strangulation averted.
1 x mint silk shirt. Bought and returned. Daytime silk not practical but mint/sea green is my new favourite colour. Might come back with me again.


That's what I can remember off the top off my head and from my online order summarys. I told you I was good friends with the postman! But the surprising thing is that despite the fact that I thought I liked Zara more than H&M, I have had much better success with H&M. Some of it might be down to the fact that I am quite a plain dresser and most of the things I've bought from H&M are basic wardrobe staples and cheapy numbers but I also have to say, despite the immediate rabbit in the headlight effect of the Zara clothes, some of the things just don't fit or are that well made for the price. And don't get me started on the subject of Zara shoes. Some people can live with that small gap at the back .... I'm not most people. 

Mind the gap!


So having fessed up about my shopping here ... what kind of shopper are you? Careful, well thought out considered purchases, no returns. Or raving returns queen like me? And where do you actually shop versus where you think you shop?

I surprised myself here. I thought I had gone a bit mad in Zara this year but it appears not. Not a bad thing - it's good to spread ourselves around the many shops out there or else it would get a bit boring wouldn't it?




48 comments :

  1. I have learnt a thing or two from you Sue - I wasn't ever good at returning things I wasn't quite happy with. I couldn't be bothered, but I saw that you did...and then some and I thought , right I am going to send things back if I'm not happy! So , back went the Asos jeans that were a bit too big and changed for a size smaller and are now perfect. Back went a Sainsburys pair of trousers that I am sure they labelled wrong - and I was right . They were a 12 not an 8 ( damm I thought I'd lost weight) and I took a dress back to Next I didn't need as I decided to wear trousers to a wedding on Sat. Felt really good!! AND I have been happier with H and M lately too :)

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    1. I've always done returns for as long as I can remember. I think it's something I inherited from my sisters and going shopping with them when I was younger. I've even been known to take £2 tops back (much to the amusement of one of my friends) rather than just keeping them because I can't be bothered to have anything extra cluttering up the wardrobe which I'm not going to use. I also find that shops who have a good returns policy are more likely to have me as a returning (no pun intended) customer.

      And like you it feels really good when you can return something which you've mulled through but know in your heart of hearts.

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  2. Hmmm, I was just considering those sandals. I think I'll wait

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    1. They were really nice, they looked nice on too and I could stagger quite far in them but I couldn't live with that annoying gap at the back. It might just be that I have short legs so the ankle strap wasn't going as far up my leg as it should have been. But have a try - they might work for you.

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  3. I'm definitely an obsessive, impulsive buyer - I was thinking the other day how much money I would have in my pocket were it not for online shopping. I see something online, it gets lodged in my brain then I have to buy it - normally in multiple colors too...however, I am getting far better at being discriminating once they arrive. I sent the Vince Nina in nude back as I knew I didn't need them - and I preferred the black. I have just ordered the nude and black minimal heeled sandals from Zara - I'm pretty sure my toes won't cooperate with them but I needed to scratch the itch so I can move on...Sometimes I also think I am a different person from who I really am - I love jeans and jackets with tees so why do I buy blouses and shirts (HATE ironing) and skirts? I like the idea of them but never wear them - I am trying to be more accepting of my style:)

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    1. It's a definite scratch the itch for me. I know some of the things won't work on me even or are not my usual taste but I sometimes try to push the boundaries a bit ... and then fail miserably. But you were good about the Vince nude shoes - I don't think they would have had as much impact as your black ones anyway.

      I often think with the explosion of online shopping, it's a bit of feeder for a shopping maniac like me. At least in the old days when magazines ruled - the choice was a little more limiting and you were only aware of what was shown at the beginning of each month. Irony, is I had more money then and less shopping opportunity.

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  4. ha-ha-ha, that made me laugh, only in my case, I buy, don't return and forget what I bought. I almost bought a dress two days ago on one discount site but then had a small doubt in my head: 'wait a moment, don't I have this dress already???' just when I was about to be transferred to paypal...fair enough the dress was in my closet, forgotten about and never worn!!!
    I just like to click on the 'buy' I suppose...

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    1. Ekaterina - what are you like and why does it not surprise me one bit?

      But you can be sure that your taste is consistent if nothing else. My hubs has done that before me - bought the same shirt twice. I think I hid the first one and ... he replaced it when he couldn't find it. Hmmph.

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  5. I am a serial returner too Sue, I never take the labels of anything until I actually wear it and am anal about keeping receipts just in case. Both shops are my favourite but I know the sizing can be really hit an miss at times, but I can actually buy online with less hassle now as I have sussed out my sizing in both places. But generally if I have doubts they always stick with me and the items usually end up going straight back so I try to buy only things I love.

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    1. Phew - I am not alone then. I do exactly what you do and keep the labels and the receipts until the very last moment and I have decided to return. I like the luxury of trying things on in my own home to make sure it really does work with what I had in mind of teaming it with.

      The other thing I'm bad for is buying and keeping something just because it fits. It's a strange mindset but when I was working, there weren't as many petite ranges so it was hard to find good fitting, well proportioned clothes for small people. So when I find something, I tend to go for it. But I'm trying to stop that now especially if I don't fully love the item.

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  6. I've been returning a lot lately! This odd in-between seasons always brings it out in me. I'll figure out what I want to wear soon enough.

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    1. I didn't know you'd been buying! I love learning about people's purchases even if they are not always successful - in which case I like to find out why they weren't successful.

      We are sort of mid-season now and everything seems to be slowing down. I'm just looking forward to wearing some of the stock piled stuff which hasn't made an outing yet (and which didn't get returned).

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  7. Oh I love to buy and return - it actually helps you not to spend more than you need because you have time to try on and process what you have and need. My worst habit is buying lots of cheaper pieces 'cos it only costs a tenner' and then not buying the one thing I actually want (pair of converse at the mo!!). Need to be sensible!

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    1. Oh you do what I do - I like the quick thrill sometimes but luckily, some of my quick shopping thrills have been quite good. Are you doing that thing currently where you keep buying Converse lookalikes instead of the real things?

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  8. I seldom return things seeing as I get most stuff sent internationally. I've only done two orders from Zara (waiting on the second), and as I'm going through a mail forwarder it's tough luck if I don't like it... I think it's good that you don't settle for second best! I need to be more like that

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    1. Oh gosh - I didn't know it was so difficult for you to get hold of Zara stuff - I just automatically assumed that they ship everywhere. In which case, I can see why returns are not high on your list.

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  9. I'm pretty decisive and very lazy so not a big returner....however since I've started doing a lot of online shopping I send anything that is not right back immediately. Funny about Zara. I love the look of their stuff but once it's on it never looks that great on me at all, wish it would.

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    1. The fit of some of the clothes is a bit hit and miss for me. The dresses are usually a touch too short or way too long. The shoes also don't work on my feet for some reason. I have loved their jacket offerings though this year but thankfully only came away with only the one jacket. And sometimes the finishing can be a little off. Now I sound like I don't like Zara but that isn't the case. I love Zara - it just doesn't love me back the same.

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  10. oh dont get my started on Zara!! sizing all over the place so I cant order online & the stores look like a group of teens have done a supermarket sweep style raid so I cant bear to step foot in there unless its first thing on a Monday (never going to happen!) Used to love it about 10yrs ago, but the quality is so bad now! I havent had much luck with H&M the one here is so poor but I did go into the sister shop & Other Stories on Friday and I like, only bought a necklace & tee but made an order online when I got home, will blog when the item arrives! SJ x

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    1. Well after the miserable models, they got in the pretty pubescent looking ones but they do sell the clothes a bit better and "refresh" the original offerings which are still going. I never used to shop in Zara all that much about ten years ago - I was in Jigsaw and Whistles but I've kind of lost my mojo a bit with Jigsaw and Whistles is priced a bit higher than I would like these days. I would love to visit a &Other Stories store - I haven't tried the shopping online yet and the only time I wanted something, they'd sold out in my size. C'est la vie - not meant to be.

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  11. Haha - when I read your post, I thought - this is me!!! I am a serial returner and proud of it. I HATE having things in my wardrobe if I dont 100% like them and always keep labels on until I wear them. The bottom of my wardrobe is a mess of shopping bags and receipts in case I decide I want to return an item.
    I keep a spreadsheet of things I buy and return and see that I actually buy most of my clothes from DKNY pure (when they have sales), whistles, jigsaw and COS. Invariably, I have bought lots of 'cheaper' items but I always end up returning them as the seams bug me, or the fits not quite right etc.... so instead I lust after items in my favourite shops and then snag them when they have discounts/ sales.
    I have also just bought this jacket (after returning 2 other items) - there is no way I would have been able to afford it otherwise - but I just love it. It seems to go with everything in my wardrobe - yay!
    http://www.selfridges.com/en/Womenswear/Categories/Shop-Clothing/Blazers-jackets/Tweed-jackets/Abonye-metallic-jacket_670-10082-E13ABONYE/?ddkey=http%3AGalleryTemplate3Across&freeText=MAJE+ABONYE&msg=MSG_SEARCH_ONE_MATCHING_PRODUCT&recentSearchesBean=com.salmon.ec.search.databeans.RecentSearchesBean%4059ab2f5b&shouldCachePage=true&x=-1002&y=-67

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    1. Wow you are committed - a spreadsheet? Now I wouldn't quite go that far but it's certainly a reality check if you should ever need one but I would be too scared. I only covered off Zara and H&M ... I didn't mention any of the other high street shops out there which I've perused lately.

      I'm probably a bit like you with seams and things - quite picky about finish even from the cheaper shops - I still have some level of expectation like pattern matching and neat stitching. Even on a £2 vest.

      Your jacket is lovely - that one's out of my range ... even with all my returns :o)

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  12. I'm a proper returner - always have been - even for those £2 tops. I should keep a log of all the things I buy and then return as you've done - be quite amusing! I'm still thinking of whether or not to keep the biker jacket I bought from Zara the other week. In fact I never have much time to try things on instore so I just buy and return if they don't fit. The gap in the sandals would have done my head in too by the way. I seem to always be in H&M and Zara these days but I have to walk past a large Primark to get to both so inevitably end up in there too! :)

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    1. It's not amusing - it's scary. I did it again today. I bought a skirt I'd seen that I liked. I liked the fit but once I got it home, nothing I tried on really worked with it ... back it goes. But itch scratched and happy.

      And after all that wittering about not getting on with Zara footwear - everything I tried on today ... fitted. Pah.

      Which biker jacket are you umming over?

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  13. A very good analysis! I hate returning stuff but it's a necessary evil of online shopping. Season to season, the quality and sizing changes plus since I buy mostly during sale times, I tend to over order if I'm not sure about something to decide when I have it.
    My blog's category cloud shocked me, Banana Republic is almost as big as Hermes! Zara is only big because of a few great basics I managed to score a year ago in the sales and the kids basics that I can wear as well. I would not buy full price anything from the women's section, my money goes to BR or Gap and H&M (all departments!).

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    1. That's one brand I have nothing of - Banana Republic. I bought a lovely skirt years ago in New York and scoured the shops to get one in my size and then never wore it and sold it to a friend. And to be honest, I've not looked since but I should as I need to widen my shopping horizons (the Grumps is probably shaking his head at this point).

      I do a bit of shopping at Gap too but not that much. Not sure why as they are a brilliant stop off for basics at the end of the day.

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  14. I rarely buy online. I'm too indecisive and frankly, I hate the hassle of having to return. I prefer to shop instore, touch, feel, see & try on the clothes. I really only shop online if what I want isn't instore. And I dither too much .. so the 'buy' button isn't really a big draw for me

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    1. I love doing both. The shops which I can't do the touchy feely thing, I have to go online for like Toast and Plumo. But I do love a play in the changing rooms and yes it does cut back on the returns "a little". I'm pretty indecisive when you think about it ... hence all the returns!

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  15. I've also returned many a item to Zara, I try and avoid the store now because I would hate to be recognised as 'that girl that returns everything'! Haha, over-paranoid me!

    But it's important to love what you buy, its a waste of money and resources otherwise. Too much guilt involved in keeping an item you know you wont wear. And sometimes you just don't realise that until you've got it in your hands! I fully support you in your buying and returning ways!

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    1. Do you know, I don't like certain stores because I recognise the shop assistants. And when I used to shop in Jigsaw, there was the most lovely Spanish assistant there who always looked after me. When she was going back to Spain, I even bought her a little present she was that nice (yes, I really am that bonkers).

      As I don't have the ready income I used to have (like a lot of us SAHM's these days), I can't afford to have wasteful purchases .. even £2 ones. And sometimes, the thrill of it all makes us buy but in the cold light of the home mirror - that's when I can fully appreciate how good an item really is ... or not.

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  16. This made me smile so much since it made me think of my shopping habits and also that the DHL guy actually knows me now! How bad is that? I shop heaps online but I actually feel more comfortable doing it. Away from the crowded change rooms or those ones where they have no mirror in them and you have to go out into the shop (I hate those) especially when things look horrid! I tend to get things and know straight away if I love it so if it makes it past day 1 then it's a keeper. I would say maybe 60% stays and the rest goes back. I figure that is pretty good odds for buying online

    - Mandi
    Find Me A Muse

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    1. It's not that bad ... I was speaking to the Parcelforce guy the other day saying people will be talking as you're always at my door and he said, I wasn't that bad. So there.

      You must be talking about the Kooples changing rooms - I have never bought anything from there yet because of the lack of "private" changing rooms. I just want to give their things a try to size up their clothing without the whole shop floor looking at me. I've never gone to the trouble to order online from them either consequently.

      And 60% keeps is not bad.

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  17. I am a raving return queen, too! I seem to fall in love with something, HAVE TO have it, try it, don't love and return. For me, I never get out to shops, so it's the only way I can try. Sometimes I wish things would just work, but I guess the flip side of the coin is more money from returns to try again.

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    1. Well if you never get out to the shops, you have to depend on online shopping and with online shopping, there are no guarantees.

      But I agree with the flip side - I love it when the money gets "recycled".

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  18. Hilarious post - I love it when the local postman gets involved in your purchases.

    We've just moved and I had some furniture (not clothes) delivered recently, the guy actually introduced himself and said to me - 'if you are anything like the previous lady that lived here we will be meeting quite often' lol! I assumed he meant on the delivery side of things ... at least I think he did!

    My shopping mentality has evolved over the years. When I was in my 20's and early 30's on a good London salary I would have put myself in the addicted and totally committed bracket. I bought exactly what I wanted, when I wanted and more often than not I kept the goodies.

    I don't have that luxury anymore (*sob sob*) and as I've got older I am preferring to shop online. Can't be as bothered with the faff of changing when I am out and about. Actually I also use Pinterest a lot these days - I book mark things and then go back and buy when I can.

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    1. The postman even knocks on my door now to take parcels for other people as do the deliver men. I took a hen house in for a friend not so long ago. The delivery guy remembered me from when I'd taken another delivery from her but when she wasn't around, he just thought he'd give me a knock on the door. I must have a friendly face.

      I'm just like you - 20's, 30's, bought as I pleased but not anymore. Kids and being at home makes the shopping a whole different ball game. It can be fun though when I score a fab bargain.

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  19. A serial returner like you Sue! I never have enough time in shops and always like to take home and see how it fits in my wardrobe. I recently had a big success trip to H&M (sharing details soon!) which surprised me also. I also find that once I find something I love in a shop it spurs me on to buy more, it puts me in a good positive mood to shop. x

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    1. What I love in a changing room can change quite swiftly when I get home and whilst I might have thought I looked like the dogs doodies (as the Grumps would say) originally, weighing it all up in front of the mirror usually tells another story. I also like having the time to thoroughly check the finish of items.

      Can't wait to see what you've picked up in H&M! I love a good show and tell.

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  20. I hate returning things so I like to make sure something is right before I buy it. That said, having two small children in tow kind of makes it harder to try stuff on so I return stuff more often than I used to.

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    1. I've kind of gotten over the stigma now because not only do I have to take my stuff back - I have to take stuff back for the Grumps - he hates shopping so I sometimes have to cover off what he needs and if it's not right, off I go back to the returns desk ... again.

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  21. Such a great post, you always make me smile....xx

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  22. Wow - that is an impressive tally. I find the same with zara - I have massive trying on sessions instore and then buy nothing. I think it suits a certain body shape...all my tall super slim (size 8) friends seem to get on great with it...the rest of us with curves and bumps need to try it on to find the odd gem that fits well. Great post - has got me thinking about where I've mostly shopped this year...off to consider. See - fashion can be deep and meaningful ;) xx

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    1. It's not impressive - it's downright scary. But I'm half glad that things don't fit or lose that initial "lustre" and I'm happy to let them go back again. Could get expensive otherwise.

      And I tell you what I miss - when M&S had 90 day return policies!

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  23. I agree with Avril Zara is made for a certain body shape and it certainly isn't mine! I do love their stuff though. I wish I had bought half as much, I don't feel like I've had a lot this year to be honest. x

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    1. Yes, Zara is designed more for the willowy and long of leg .. err not me then. But like you, I love the clothes but maybe after reading so many blogs, they are a little too distinctive and I have to ignore the initial gut instinct of what immediately grabs you as it will probably have grabbed every other man and his dog too.

      You've had some good purchases this year - well considered ones.

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  24. I tend to hoard the Not Quite Rights and fiddle until I find a way to wear them. I LOVE H+M though, their basics range is ace. River Island is really good this season, too. Zara is always a bit hit and miss, I love their shoes but they are too big for my baby feet.

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  25. I'm the same. I've bought and returned more items than I've kept. It's just that if they don't fit right, I know I'd never ever wear them.

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