I hate shopping (UK edition)

Whenever I tell people I don’t really enjoy shopping, I get the same look that people give me when I tell them I don’t like chocolate. It is supposedly hard wired into the female genetics that these are the two things women are supposed to love and doing otherwise would make me less female? Whatever it is I also prefer playing computer games and looking at boobs. Take that, you female stereotype.

There are several things about shopping that I generally dislike. The small range in Singapore which gives a greater chance of owning the same thing as your colleague. Happened to me once. We actually bumped into each other in the lobby, screamed and ran in opposite directions. I never wore that Mango top ever again. I’m not sure if she burnt hers.

I also dislike having to shop with other people around. Having to work your way around other people in the aisles, working your way through the racks only to have some rude girl smash the hangers into your fingers while she’s working down the same rack on the other side. If I could some how buy clothes online perfectly (in size and fit) I’d do so.

Then there are the sales staff who shadow your every step in anticipation of your next move. That’s fucking creepy. Stop doing that.

Finally there’s the constant taking off and putting on of clothes. After the 3rd piece of clothing, my arms are annoyed at the motion, my head is annoyed at being forced into things. My hair always become a total mess after each change it looks like I was riding in a convertible with the top down in Highland winds. If there’s a way to stop hair from getting in the way, INVENT IT.

Because I don’t enjoy shopping that much I don’t do it very often (less times than fingers on a hand). But the odd times that I do shop, I go batshit nuts and spend hours at it. I remember spending 7 hours once at a single mall in Shibuya. When I do shop, I go all out.

So here I am in London walking down Regent Street popping in and out of shops doing batshit crazy. In that time I not only spent a bit of cash, I also found another new thing about shopping I dislike.

I guess in Singapore we are spoilt as sizes are pretty much fixed. It’s a choice of XS S M L XL and so on. Sure other types of sizes are shown but S M L is pretty much standard across most shops with minute differences.

In London, the sizes don’t just differ due to different countries size charts available, it’s different across the shops on one street. At the first shop I was struggling to figure out whether I was a US2 or a UK2. Then whether I was really still a 2 or the recent bout of eating has turned me to a 4. Then the question of whether it’s a US4 or UK4.

Then at the next shop they drop UK & US sizes and everything was a 30-something. I spent the next few minutes agonising over my size again. Not only that, every piece of clothing you try you need to grab at least two sizes you think fit you. It’s fine if you’re at like H&m when they allow a 10 piece clothing limit. Some stupid shops only allow 4. Why bother keeping the shop running if you’re going to stop people from trying?

Then at another shop they had sizes starting from 0 onwards downstairs. When I went upstairs I realised they had a petite section. Not all brands have petite cutting. Top shop and Banana Republic do. So there I was trying to figure out if I was a 2P or a 4P, or which P size equates to a 0, and whether a 2P equates to a UK OR US 2.


To make things more annoying, in H&M where consistency is a bad word and not to be used, the clothes on ground level follow the UK2 and so on sizes. The clothes on the upper floors don’t. So while I fit into a UK4 downstairs, upstairs I fit into a UK12. And it doesn’t say ANY WHERE that I’m in petite or kids section or what. It is totally bizarre. And the 2 dresses I tried of different designs but from the same rack, I fit a 12 in one and an 8 in another.

If you had read all that I salute you if you understood a word I said. Because I don’t understand why all the sizes aren’t consistent!! I’m a UK4 at banana republic but a UK8 at H&M. Don’t even get me started on Urban Outfitters.

So there you go. My once a year shopping pilgrimage that I allow myself, made crazier by the madness of British shopping.


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