LONDON SUMMER SALES AND MY JOMO

Dear world,

After a joyful period of healthy wellbeing, I am now coughing and sneezing so I’m pretty sure I caught a cold. Fingers crossed that it will be gone by the time I fly home. I’ve not done much recently except watching several episodes of Secret City on Netflix and reading books – update: by the time I’m publishing this post, I’ve finished watching the first season. I’ve also finished a very well-written novel with an unusual plot, I’d recommend it if you are looking for something to read on your summer holidays. The book is called The beach hut and it talks about several people at different stages of their lives that have all spent a meaningful period of time at Everden, a little town by the sea in Dorset. I was happily surprised by the unusual organisation of the novel as well as the detailed language and the humanity of each character. Again, if you are feeling like you want to read a well-written novel that is not too heavy but it is not either superficial or predictable, I truly recommend it.

This is also the month when sales are on and shops are full of tourists from all over the world, queuing and queuing to buy anything at a more affordable price. I would normally be among them, but this year I’ve still not ventured into the city centre. I do have a list of clothing that I’d like to buy and finding it at a discounted price would not hurt. At the same time, I don’t want to end up queuing for a g e s  or shop online to then have troubles with refunds and returns.

 

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The photos for this post were taken in Kingston Upon Thames

 

There’s also another aspect of shopping that I’ve only just started to appreciate. Whenever I go shopping, I feel like I’m willingly choosing how other people will see me and judge me. I choose the category other people’s brains will associate me with. Which category do I want to be part of? Each hanger offers me a different option. Do I want people to think I’m a professional, hard working person? Do I prefer to be the elegant, sleek woman who has never truly left Paris? Do I belong to the group of women who always wear pink or to those who only wear black? Do I listen to rock and roll music? Am I comfortable living in a PJ all day? Maybe.

What do I want people to think of me? What social group do I want to be part of? That’s a hard choice. What if I change every day, what if there are days when I fancy something pink and days when I’d rather wear black jeans and high trainers? There are days when I go to work wearing polished trousers and days when I just want to stay in my joggers. We use clothes to communicate who we are to other people. How am I supposed to communicate who I am with just one style?

The problem here is that I can’t afford a wardrobe that is as complex as I am, which means I need to select the sides of me I’ll hide in the closet and the ones that will shine through my looks. How am I suppose to make such a choice? Do I hide the rock and roll Ester that loves listening to Guns and Roses, or do I hide the artistic one, who prefers vibrant prints? But most of all, how am I supposed to take such important decisions in an overcrowded shop where there are hangers everywhere? Of course, I could shop online, through refund policies change during sales periods and I’d rather try clothes on before purchasing them online.

 

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The flipside of the coin is that, on the other hand, I can choose to be whoever I want to be, including who I wish I was but I’m not. I can decide to go for a comfortable, sporty look that will make people think I’m an athlete or I can opt for a very smart shirt as if I was a girl boss. Thanks to all these high street shops, all looks come at approximately the same price now. Shirts and suits are not as expensive as they used to be so we can really play at being whoever we want to be. People won’t care too much but you may start to work harder towards your goals if you are dressed up for the part. I myself am more likely to actually go for a run if I start by wearing sportswear. After wearing my favourite leggings for half an hour, I normally feel like I do want to go out and practice some sports.

 

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So now it’s really up to me, I get to choose who I want to be and what do I need to play that role. Taking that decision should also help me stay away from temptation and buy a whole pile of clothing I won’t really use that much, just because they are on sale! After all, I might not miss out on sales this summer…

I hope all this nonsense will actually make some sense to you guys. My world is a bit upside down at the moment, but I like it that way. If you are in London and you are planning to go shopping in the city, let me know: I’d love to hear your stories as well!