I’m clearly shopping the wrong way. I know, you’ll laugh, but when I go shopping, I have an outfit in mind. It might be for a wedding, or a party, or I might just have wrecked my jeans and need a new pair.
So I go to shops that sell wedding outfits, or party gear, or jeans, and look for the stuff that’s in my size. I try on a few different ones, and when I find the one I like, I buy it. Simples.
Except it seems I’m doing it wrong. The correct way to shop is to decide I need something red. Or green. And then go out and buy something red or green, without worrying about what it actually is or if they have it in my size.
I’m still trying to get my head wrapped around this concept, the idea that you want to buy a specific colour of item, and don’t care what size or shape it is.
But considering the way charity shops are now arranging their racks, this is how people shop.
I love charity shops. I can hunt for bargains, find all sorts of unexpected treasure, experience the thrill of victory when I scored a pair of Dior kitten heels in my size for a fraction of what they have cost in Brown Thomas. And I can do all this without spending a fortune, and feeling that the money I’ve spent is going to go to a good cause. I’ll take a chance on something that is an unusual colour for me, because it is in my size and it is cheap.
Some of my best Nimhneach outfits have been the product of charity shops.
All that is coming to an end. The trend in more and more charity shops is not to sort clothes and shoes by size, but by colour. So you walk in and see a rack of red clothes. Dresses, skirts, tops, kaftans, bras, scarves, all in together, just because they are red. Sometimes the rack is even graduated, so the pinky things are at one end and the deep reds at the other. Very useful, if I’ve set out to buy a crimson item of clothes, and don’t care what it is.
Unfortunately, I’m more likely to be looking for a sexy top, or a cool dress, or a funky pair of shoes – in my size! I probably don’t care what colour they are, as long as they have some chance of fitting without making me look as if I’m pregnant with twins. I like blue or black jeans, but if there is a pair in my size that are purple, I will try them on. You never know how they’ll look until I twirl in front of the mirror.
Despite my love of charity shops, I’m spending less and less time shopping there, simply because the new way of sorting all clothes by colour makes it too difficult to find something I want to buy.
Or am I missing something? Is there a trick I can use to find the dress that fits like a dream in a charity shop organised by colour?