High Street Shopping = Hell

En route back from the dentist [oh yeah, I have to have yet another wisdom tooth removed. Score will now be Removed Wisdom Teeth: 5, Remaining Wisdom Teeth: 1. Am toothsome freak.], I actually ventured into the shops. It felt weird. I felt a bit shaky. I started to hate people again. I really don’t hate people at all, I’m always happy to be chatting to someone new and I’m always polite to anyone I meet. But I hate people when they shop.

I think I’m just spoilt now. I’m pretty much entirely vintage orientated (around 95% if you will) except for a handful of modern things for which I run in, squeak, pick up, buy and run out again. I cannot deal with changing rooms; I haven’t bought new jeans in a good couple of years for this reason. If the queue for the till is more than four people I put things down and run out again. In fact, I did that with two pairs of sunglasses today. I know my measurements off by heart, so why on earth should I have to take three different sizes in each piece I’m interested in into the changing rooms because shops can’t get a grip on sizing?

My heart sinks when I see a rail full of the same thing. Or things clubbed together to create this season’s ‘look’. Where’s the fun in that? The sudden vogue for stripes makes me (Queen of Stripes) want to bung mine in a box until they’ve all gone away. [I’m alarmed by the sudden belly top phenomenon. Can it really be over 15 years since I craved such things myself? Cheap nylon ra-ra skirts and belly tops make me want to take a pair of scissors to the rails of the high street. And they’d look much better for it.]

See? Spoilt. Utterly.

I expect the thrill of the unknown, of the great discovery just around the corner. I’m also spoilt in that, when I am expected to enter proper shops with friends, I can at least window shop in comfort in Westwood or wherever. The prices might make my eyes water, but there’s all sorts of varied, well made pieces which make my heart skip a beat and aren’t made from 100% polyester. The staff are bonkers and lovely, and want to smooch your backside just to make a sale (makes a change from surly teenagers in Topshop, non?). And you can be sure I’ll be heading straight home to check out ‘ending soonest’ eBay auctions for Westwood; it takes the edge off the tears of poverty. Boohoo.

Today I was really quite shocked. Have things got worse on the high street, or have I just been away too long? Sizing issues are definitely getting worse (and I can tell purely from looking at them, nothing was going to induce me into a changing room…), prices are pretty ridiculous for quality no better than Primark. Who I loathe, but at least their prices are honest in relation to the quality.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who browses websites, like Topshop.com, thinks ‘ooh, that’s kinda nice’ then goes in store and cannot restrain an involuntary and very audible ‘bleurghhhhhh’ when they actually pick it off the rail. See above. £50 for a viscose Ossie copy? Viscose used to be nice. Some of my favouritest Jeff Banks pieces have been viscose. It felt like a walking fire hazard. And no amount of Sure would rescue you from sweating like a bitch in it. What’s wrong with these people??

The worst thing of all, though, is the fabric. Even when you might possibly find something in a natural fibre, more often than not, it’s been lined in polyester. Or the nastiest stretch nylon. Errrr…..why? Why not just line in cheap cotton? At least then you can just wash and iron to your heart’s content and your skin will be able to breathe. A couple of frocks I contemplated buying, with the intention of hacking out the aforementioned ny-lining. Then I caught myself and slapped my own wrist. £25 for something I’m going to have to alter to make it wearable? Kill me now. I should be mooching around vintage shops for something which looks the same and won’t make me boil in the bag.

That said, it’s not all bad. Topshop offered up a black bodysuit which will go nicely with a whole host of gorgeous vintage skirts I already own (and surely some I have yet to acquire) and I’ve fallen in love with a pair of shoes in M&S. They’re wildly impractical (Wedges? Shiny? Colour block? They won’t go with anything, my feet will sweat and I’ll probably fall over! I must be brave and resist temptation to buy the safer blue version. I might as well buy these gorgeous blue buckled heels.) but I love them. And they look much better on a foot than these photos make them look, I can assure you.


I had to physically remove myself from the temptation and be going back when I’ve thought about it good and proper. Because, frankly, my heart really wants to buy these
Terry De Havillands from TinTrunk’s Etsy shop:


In conclusion: High Street Shopping is hell. Vintage is best. Westwood is a goddess.

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6 Comments on “High Street Shopping = Hell”

  1. Poor you on the wisdom tooth front. And yes the high st is a wide expanse of durge at times. I do think you are right but I also love it as well – there are often hidden and delightful surprises.But yes I really want a Westwood Anglomania dress for my graduation xx

  2. Couldnt agree with you more! I cant cope with the high street and like the salvation of vintage and designer stores. Westwood and Chanel are like havens x

  3. WendyB says:

    You know I'd rather buy inexpensive vintage things from eBay than cheap made-in-China, made by the tens-of-thousands fast fashion!

  4. Retro Chick says:

    I agree with every word!I always feel a bit weirded out by racks of identical clothes in a variety of sizes! I do most of my shopping in Charity Shops, Vintage Shops or Antique Markets.I mostly only venture onto the High Street at sale time, then I deal with hate it instantly inspires in me!Sizing issues are a whole other kettle of fish though! Don't even get me started!

  5. TinTrunk says:

    So much to agree with here :)I can't wear most synthetics either (although I'm fine with vintage rayons and viscose) because they reduce me to a clammy, flushed mess. You have to take three garments of ONE size to try on since the allowances vary so much. What ever happened to quality control? I did fall for the Hulanicki dove grey suede jacket from her Topshop collection last year, although the cheap suede is cardboardy, like starched chamois leather (I'm hoping it will wear in). And thank you for featuring my Terry de Havillands! I have to keep them packed away out of sight in case their lure overcomes me. They're two sizes too big for me, but they'd look divine on my mantlepiece!

  6. Laura says:

    I've had this exact same rant so many times!The thing that really annoys me about Topshop is that you pick something up, it looks like it would be really lovely and you turn it round and find a massive exposed metal zip running all down the back of it. Every time. Ugh, such a waste of time even looking in that place.Lauraps. first time on your blog and it's my new favourite!


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