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Spend

it Well

CHLOE'S

column

..

I hate to play up to stereotypes, but I am a woman who loves shopping. As soon as my wages hit my bank account I’m thinking about what pretty things I’ll spend it on. My idea of heaven is a full purse and a whole child/husband free day to spend trotting around Leeds City Centre unencumbered, to spend as long (and as much) as I like browsing the rails and trying stuff on.  

As all mothers will know, such an occasion is incredibly rare, especially the bit about the full purse as most of my monthly farthings evaporate as soon as they land in at NatWest. Children are expensive luxuries and require a great amount of upkeep, especially mine who seem to grow three inches a night and go through trainers and leggings at an alarming pace. Not to mention the amount of food they can put away. Farmers can’t keep up with the speed at which raspberries disappear into their little faces. They can gobble a punnet each in less than two minutes and at £2 a pop, we’re spending more on soft fruits than Michael Jackson did on nose jobs. 

Occasionally I’ll secure myself a bit of disposable income to splurge on clothing and I’ll turn to online shopping for an easy life. After all, most high street fashion retailers have great websites and you can find awesome independent sellers via social media. I tend to get totally sucked into the vortex of the internet though and emerge out of a scrolling induced trance to find my spine spasming against bad posture and eyes aching from back lighting - but I’ll have a few order confirmations and feel like a kid at Christmas when Santa from DPD arrives. 

The main pitfalls of online shopping are:

A) Money doesn’t feel ‘real’ and you’re likely to say ‘sod it’ when you can pay instantly via one touch of your iphone. Don’t start online shopping under the influence of alcohol. My friend once went out for a boozy brunch and woke up the next day to find she’d bought herself a course of fencing lessons and a book called The Wonderful World of Chickens. 

B) Just because the model looks good in it does not mean you will. 

I’m regularly disappointed that I don’t look anything like the 6ft bronzed Brazilian teenage goddess from the website when I shove my 32-year-old corned beef thighs from Yorkshire into something called a ‘bandage dress’. Sob. 

C) Some websites are dodgy. Crucial knowledge if you don’t want to piddle your hard earned pounds up the wall and line the pockets of swindling scumbags masquerading as high quality retailers. My advice is: If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. I’ve learnt the hard way, most notably a ‘designer’ jumper I ordered directly from China off ebay. Yes it was highly discounted but it came six weeks later smelling of petrol and wasn’t even sewn together - it was just the material.  

"Even when the garments are sewn together some websites are sneaky in the way they photograph an item. They can make it look like the most gorgeous outfit when in reality it’s a hideous dress with a great filter on the photo." 

Be sure to read the customer reviews and check out Trust Pilot to suss out the company before you enter your card details. Online shopping is super convenient and it opens up a world of brands that you might not find on your doorstep but personally I don’t think you can beat pounding the streets and being sure that an item fits like a glove before you invest in it. In my opinion most things in life are better physically than digitally, if you know what I mean. 

"If you have any embarrassing stories you want

to share, I'd be delighted if you'd send them to

me at chloe@excellemagazine.co.uk.

After all laughter is the best medicine and I

promise we'll be chuckling with you - not at you!"