I started out this lockdown, back in June whatever, vowing that I would avoid internet shopping. I may have shared that sentiment in this column.
I have no doubt I have written, nay, lectured readers about leaving things in your cart for 48 hours to decide if you really need them, about shopping locally, about saving carbon points, about reducing what you have rather than recklessly buying more stuff.
But somewhere around five weeks ago, bored rigid in between binge watching TV and making too many trips to the local bakery for crème-filled croissants, I contradicted my own advice and went online shopping.
Each purchase was an unmitigated disaster.
I will now share some of my recent horror stories, proof I am nothing if not hypocritical.
- I bought a swimsuit. What made me think that a swimsuit, bought online, would go anywhere near being the correct fit? It’s hard enough to find one that fits and is flattering, when you’re in a changeroom, in a multi-brand department store, in a major city.
- I read about this cool lingerie brand in The New York Times that makes big undies and stretch bar tops in fab colours, and I didn’t do the conversion math properly and I now own bubble-gum pink Bridget Jones knickers and a skimpy top that are Bonds quality, if that, and came in around A$160.
- I woke up at 3.30am and decided it was imperative that I buy shorts with a matching short-sleeved shirt in a sort of poo-brown colour. In terry towelling. From the USA. They are soft, and quite sweet but it is an outfit more suitable for say, an eight-year-old, in the 1960s.
- Some lavender-scented pulse point therapy roll-on perfume to induce calm, restful sleep that arrived smashed to smithereens and I cut myself on the glass in the bottom of the box and got cross and then I couldn’t sleep.
- A beige linen blazer that is so long in the arms I will have to wear it with the sleeves rolled up, which will then obscure the nice button details. It’s that boxy, oversized fit that is popular at the moment, which requires no proper tailoring nor design skill and really means it’s a cross between a shirt and a jacket. A shacket. Yuck. Frumpy.
- This one did my head in. It was photographed beautifully, displayed by a gorgeous tall, willowy model, a large raffia beach bag with leather handles, reduced from $350 to $100. Chic. Good for summer re-entry. It arrived. It was a common garden variety straw shopping bag made in the Philippines, that was already coming away at the handles. Worth A$15 max. It was going to cost US$35 to return and all those carbon points, which didn’t seem like a sensible resolution. It isn’t going to last more than one wear, and I’m furious at myself for enabling the whole rotten, wasteful process. I deleted the app. I’m only buying in stores from now on.