Personal Stylist and Colour Analyst

Michelle online shopping on her laptop

Is Retail Therapy Actual Therapy?

Retail therapy can leave you feeling a million dollars or have you crying into your hands. I have a few thoughts I'd like to share with you.

Does retail therapy actually make us feel better?

I know we can’t compare shopping with professional therapy but surely shopping can make us feel better…..or can it? Or does it, in fact, have the opposite effect? 

I think we have all experienced that shopping trip that resulted in tears in the changing room and a distinct lack of shopping bags to show for our retail efforts. However, online shopping is a whole different shopping game where we get to visualise our virtual selves in the outfits opposed to our actual selves and we get that buzz as we hit ‘add to basket’. And it’s so easy (too easy?) we don’t have to arrange a day, sort child/dog care, travel, pay for parking or lunch – you just pick your phone up whilst sat on the sofa in your pj’s and there it is – that instant high! 

And then the come down hits a few days later when the items arrive, and believe me, it is no less demoralising in your bedroom than it is in a changing room!

Style tip!

When online shopping, I leave items in my ‘basket’ overnight and see if I still want them in the morning.

Do you shop on a whim or know exactly what will suit you?

Even as a stylist, I’m not immune to the instant hit. But I always know when I have shopped on a whim because either the parcels are a complete surprise when they arrive or I can’t even be bothered to try them on, so they get sent back unopened. However, these days I leave them in my ‘basket’ overnight and see if I still want them in the morning.

I also know my style and shape (I can help you with this), so I recognise the items that aren’t for me. It’s very easy, especially online, to be enticed by the clothes that look fabulous on the model, but you must remember that the model is a different shape to you, because we are all different, and that’s ok! A good tip is to check the model’s height and size so you can add or remove inches as required.

So, retail therapy can be an instant high followed by a crashing low or it can be a continuous high when you find the right thing. It’s clear that when we start that search, internet or real-life, we are seeking that long term high – that item that makes you feel a million dollars every time you wear it, and when you find it, it makes you feel so good, so is that a form of therapy? Maybe it is.

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