I’m going to admit it: I suck at shopping.
As a girl, I realise that this is an activity I am supposed to have a natural affinity for, and that being a female human sans shopping stamina is a bit like being a panther without claws or like a dolphin that can’t swim. Unless my shopping trip involves chocolate or books, my enthusiasm levels match that of Marvin the Paranoid Android, and I’m about as fun to be around.
In Australia I used to get around this in two ways:
1) Only going shopping when I had enough money to go into mid-range clothing stores that had organised displays and played music at a volume level that didn’t stress me out.
2) Buying the same thing from the same place in order to minimize time spent inside a shop or mall.
However, neither of these tactics work here in the Netherlands. The first one because I am an international student, and therefore never have any money, the second because I haven’t established my routine places because (see previous statement about being poor).
My difficulty is compounded by the fact that European sizes are completely weird. 8, 10, 12 – these numbers make perfect sense to me. 36, 38, 40 – what in the name of hyperspace is this supposed to signify? And of course, instead of investing the time to discover what my European size is, I just convince myself that my fraying dresses are actually edgy, the fading colours give a hip “lived-in” look, and that my laziness is actually a bold stand against consumerism.
But today I decided that the state of my underwear draw was really too pitiful, and that is was time to update the most important part of my wardrobe – the bit that nobody sees (except by accident when I’m biking while wearing a skirt – sorry Den Haag!). So I trundled off to the cheapest place that sells knickers, which because it was cheap is naturally full of people. This made trying things on too much effort, so I decided to go with the fool-proof method of looking and my articles for purchase and going “Yeah, that looks about right” or “Nah – that’s not going to work, love”.
Which resulted in me buying bras that are too big and knickers that are too small.
Equal parts wishful thinking and denial there B.