Secret Shopping

Today I met up with a close friend of mine and when I commented on how lovely her jacket was she told me that I had seen it before. Well I hadn’t and so she was added to the number of my friends who secretly shop and don’t tell anyone. Not their friends, husbands, or partners. I am confessing right here and now that I too keep a lot of my shopping a secret.

Most women fib about what they had purchased and then hidden in their wardrobe for a while so when their partner said “That is lovely is it new?  Indeed it was because we had bought them and shoved them in the back of the wardrobe where they were hidden for a while. So the answer was “No, you have seen this before” or“ this old thing I don’t think so” In my experience all we secret shoppers lie about recent purchases.

I have been in the fashion industry so I know that you should only buy clothes that suit you not because they have been seen in a magazine. Keep an eye on trends but just try and find your own style. Then hopefully you won’t look at your clothes at the back of the wardrobe and think did I really buy that?

You should go through your wardrobe once a year and either sell unwanted clothes on line or give them to a charity shop. Surveys revealed that most women own 107 items but insists they have nothing to wear. They also show that for whatever reason we keep holding on to items despite the fact that 39 per cent of the clothes are un-wearable. They might be too big or too small or just totally out of fashion.

A friend of my mother’s was a serious shopper her daughter showed me the wardrobe and chest of drawers which were full of her latest purchases. Most of them were still in their wrappers or in a swish bag. All unworn. Now that is a serious habit.

Many women will buy a garment for a special occasion such as a wedding, job interview or formal black tie events. She would wear it a couple of times and return it to the shop or store asking a refund. This doesn’t work with smaller shops they will just give you a credit note to be spent in their shops. But most of the big stores will give you your money back. I couldn’t do that nor would I be pleased if I thought a garment had been worn by someone else.

A lot of we secret shoppers either watch very carefully at clothes or shoes or indeed handbags which are coming up for sale. Who could resist the temptation of really wonderful clothes that will be priced with 50% off the original cost?

Online shopping is now so good that I use it all the time. Well, alright not all the time but very often! It is wonderful that if a garment doesn’t fit is too big or two small you just return it to the seller who will give a rebate.

The time spent looking for a particular item is worth every minute finding clothes and shoes and handbags that you love is thrilling!

The only drawback is that your husband or partner may catch you picking up the post which has one or two parcels concealing your latest “must have item”. I always mumble that they are for a birthday present for a friend or members of the family! However you can only use that excuse a couple of times a month.

Having just moved I was horrified by the amount of clothes I have. I think I had nine cardboard hanging wardrobes and four which were full of shoes and bags. I have promised I will sell them on a good internet site. Or give them to a charity shop. I will try hard to resist buying a bargain.

Hopefully one day I will stop shopping in secret, just not right now.

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Jane Buckle

My Grandfather was called Bertie Buckle. He was a journalist in Fleet Street then went to live in India and founded the Bombay Gazette. I am not certain this was true but that was what my father told me! I always wanted to be a journalist but ended up doing Public Relations and Advertising, both of which meant that I was writing Press Releases, brochures and articles about clients. I formed my own little business specialising in P.R and Advertising. Unfortunately my clients drifted away one by one. They thought young and enthusiastic girls were preferable to an old lady of 55! I then moved to France where I lived for six blissful years. I renovated and sold houses and finally I realised my dream and wrote for three magazines there. I even had my own column in one of them. On my return to England I pitched for freelance work with all sorts of magazines and papers. I did write some pieces but I was over the moon when Silversurfers accepted an article. I like to think Bertie would be proud of his granddaughter.

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