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
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. :)