Sunday, August 2, 2009

Of Shopping Joys and Some

Shopping is one of my bigger passions in life. I love to indulge in retail therapy like any real woman. It does not have to be expensive or grand, for me to enjoy, I like to take my time about even my groceries, going about unhurriedly, picking things up. Shopping is therapeutic to me, quite like blogging itself.

Early on in my marriage, the DH had a lot of on site assignments to attend to, which meant, he used to be out of station quite often, sometimes for lengthy periods of time. In a city like Bombay, with its hectic pace, I hardly had time to socialise with friends, weekends usually reserved to being with my better half. So when the DH, was out of station, it was quite a boring deal getting back home after office, with no one to meet, and a few days at a stretch, would start making me feel low. And that would be my cue to shop. I think that is when the madness really caught onto me. with a job, earning dough, meant I did not need to ask anyone to buy anything, for the first time in my life, and it was just such a wonderful feeling to buy. So I would shop, and buy things for myself, while the DH was away toiling in some unsightly place as an excuse for a site. It was then that I realised the power of retail therapy.

However for a shopaholic, I am not brand conscious, and I always need value for money. Denims and sneakers, and the only two things, I think are worth being brand conscious about. The rest, not so much. I think brands are bland. And I have my reasons for that too. (I cannot afford high end designer stuff, so I am not even going into that territory.) I prefer shopping from places, where I am comfortable with the pricing or the costs are worth the goods. Clothes were such fun shopping for, always, especially Indian wear. One could walk into a departmental store, pay about twice or thrice the real cost, and shop at one stop, but I always preferred the normal shops, or cloth markets. So much more variety, and the right pricing. Here though, the shopping always happens in malls, in the big stores, and I so miss the days at Mangaldas Market.Brands, offer good quality, nice fits, but somehow, I miss the chutzpah of the rasta(read - street side) shopping. The excitement of finding something great, out of a heap, just does not exist when I am in a store, and am confident that everything in there is good. I miss Linking Road and Hill Road, I miss Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar. Aah! The colours, the choices, the fun. I get bored of things easily, and good stuff, which does not wear or tear, means that I am stuck with them for longer than I would like to be.

Prices are important to me. Growing up in a very middle class family, I value money, and so overpaying for things just does not appeal to me. There is no fun in shopping if there is a nagging doubt about the pricing attached to it. So I always need to be satisfied with the pricing. I look for thrift stores, and browse through for the finds. And shopping is so much more fun when I need to find things rather than, just pick stuff off the shelves. I always search for places which are priced more to my tastes, in a new place, I am more likely to find the shopping delights before anything else. I do enjoy shopping for luxuries, a diamond here, or a pair of designer sunglasses there, a classy watch maybe, an exquisite home decor item, but I enjoy them only when they are occasional. What fun would it be, if that is what I bought all the time?

Life here is about mall hopping. In the summers, its way too hot to be anywhere outdoors, and that basically means, outings at malls, which also means, some shopping being indulged in each time. Malls, are such beautiful places, designed to entice you to get things that are not really needed. Shopping to me, also involvesambiance . The fun of shopping in an Indian market can never compare to the stuffy calm experience the malls here can be. I am more of aSarojini Nagar market(Delhi) or a Crawford Market(Bombay) person. Malls enthrall me, only when they are occasional occurrences.

Now that I have said so much about my shopping preferences, I must say something about my latest shopping sprees. A couple of weekends back, I went hunting for some tops. Needless to say, I found pretty much noting to my liking, what I liked in style, would inevitably be too sheer for my tastes. After looking through nearly ten stores, I finally managed to find a stand alone store, which had a few things that I liked, and I ended up buying the same pattern in different colours. Happy that I atleast found some. It had been so long since I bought any tops, that I was rather glad.

This weekend, I went hunting for accessories. Sraikh's latest ventures, and Kimberley's blog, which Sraikh had linked, and I am now hooked to, have me enthralled. Both the ladies are accessorising so beautifully, that I am terribly tempted to follow suit. I have always loved buying junk jewellery, and used to gladly stock up, but I never wore them. Infact they simply laid with me, till I passed them on to someone else. But now I try and wear them. So this weekend, I picked up some lovely neckpieces.

These three are from the Al Arsa Souk. Its difficult to find pieces that are not completely traditional here. And all my previous buys have been absolutely traditional pieces, but this time, I looked for ones that would also gel with western outfits, and these are three of my finds. The red one, is red corals, the green stone is Akik/Hakeek. My favourite is the blue, red and white one, though I have no outfit that this would particularly suit, but the combination was so eye catching, that I just could not let it go. The stones are firoza/turquoise(blue), pearls(white) and red corals(red). The red corals in this one are big, and since most of the pieces are antiques, one of the stones is a bit worn, and I can actually see the coral-like insides. Also bought a plain, slightly long string of pearls, but have left it at the shop, so that some silver beads can be added to it for the extra zing. [ Prices: Red Coral string - 25, Akik string - 25, Pearl string, with silver beads - 60, the three stone combination string - 60, yes, I love good deals! ]

Then while mall strolling yesterday, found a part sale on at Claire's. A while back I had bought a chain from there, and loved it. So I walked right in, and see what I got. The first two chains from the left are for just 5 each, and the hoops, and the last chain for 10.(If you click on the image, and see the enlarged version, you can see the prices.) Yes, I absolutely lucked out people. Now am so eagerly waiting to get a chance to wear these. While leaving the mall, we also picked up two small vials of ittar, amazing fragrances, we just could not resist them.

This was the most important purchase this weekend. My last frame too has been destroyed by the BB. I am not sure how long I will be able to keep the new ones out of his hands. Wish me luck. The store had huge brands, and even the 'non-big'(I know that is not a real word) ones were Italian, because they hardly have anything indigenous products in the markets here. So I came back with the biggest frames I could get, because size, was my first priority. The good news being, my power has dropped a bit in one eye, and that makes me happy.

So tell me, what do you like the most of all my purchases? Got any favourites, or ideas on adorning them? And, I am still looking for a nice plain white shirt, yes the front open kinds!
[* All prices are in AED]

PS - Thanks D, for the Picassa tip, did the pics on that. :)


mindspace said...

cool additions!!
now you too should do at least a wk of daily outfit series pairing up with some of these..

I am looking forward to it..

Anonymous said...

What no? Not here as well...

Sorry but I've a fear of shopping something like shopophobia. My legs hurt with the continous walking, my eyes hurt with looking around in stores for my wife while she's busy searching for the perfect jeans (I dunno, somehow all look the same to me)...

Thankfully after Yuvaan, we don't have those crazy mall weekends :) And after she's discovered my shopophobia, she lets me stay at home once in a while :)

Anonymous said...

I love the blue/red one.I agree with mindspace above. You need to do the daily outfit now. Mine ends today and you need to take it up.

Passionate Goof said...

Mindspace - Thanks. :) Daily outfits? How, I am home all day sweety, don't really deck up, for me its only weekends. And i would feel so damn conscious putting up pics. ;)

Rakesh - Scoot.... go away, you cannot be on my blog. I love to shop, but not all the time, exploring the outdoors are an even more exciting option, but the climate here is such a damper. When will THIS sandstorm end???

Asaaan - Me too. It was so eye-catching, I just could not let it go. I so don't dress up except weekends, so can't really do the daily outfit thing. But you definitely rocked lady! And why is yours ending??? I want to see more.

Solilo said...

That's beautiful collection.

Brand or no brand, our personal style statement and choices makes it stylish.

Now can we see some combination shots? :)

Sraboney said...

I like the jewellery...I'm not into shopping but I appreciate interesting purchases by others...I like your style...

Solilo said...

Beautiful header, GM. You, your family, your travel, interests. Perfect!

D said...

Nice shopping and a nicer header!

Shruti SriHarsha said...

I just wrote about shopping and soo nice to see the stuff you shopped lady!!!!!
Liked the accesories, those blue ones will go very well with plain kurtis...
I bought some Linen stuff this time and loving it:)))

Passionate Goof said...

Solilo - Thanks. I so agree with the personal style funda. Its a lot about personalisation. Combinations shots.... will try to put some up, when I do end up wearing them. :)

Like the header? Thanks. Took me an entire day to make it, and I think I am not changing the header now for a while to come.The good thing was I did not have to crop along outlines, that definitely saved time.

Bones - Thanks, that's so sweet of you. Try on some jewellery, you will get hooked. Trust me.

D - thanks.

Shruti - Aah! Another enthusiastic shopper. :) What did you buy, details please!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

I am an absolute sucker for jewelry. And I'm not talking gold or precious stones. I mean tribal jewlery, chunky stuff and what others call 'junk'. What can I say? Haven't I said often enough that I am a gypsy girl, a true boho :)

So I guess what I am trying to say is that I LOVE the stuff you picked :)

Piper .. said...

beautiful header!! loved all the pictures, though personally i`m not a big fan of accessories or even dressing up in general.
Oh and btw, I`m back. Just havent been able to log onto chat because laptop`s gone for a six. The G will repair it tonight.

Passionate Goof said...

M4 - Totally with you. The couloured stuff is so much more attractive than gold n stuff, they look so boring to me. I love bright colours, and gold just does not ever appeal to me. Silver though, I like. :)

Piper - Thanks!! I am just getting into the wearing of tehse things, earlier I would buy and keep but never wear. :( Now I have started wearing them, and love it.