Lessons Learned On Regent St.

You can easily learn what kind of shopper you are on Regent Street or any other crowded shopping scene. Visiting London, with all it’s richness in history, all it’s mammoth buildings and culture, of all I visited no place had more traffic or more people than Regent Street, the famous shoppng strip in London. So, while there is plenty to do in London besides shopping, and probably many other places to shop that just Regent street, don’t ask me why I found myself here more than once on this one week trip.

Already I find shopping to be incredibly frustrating, my common issue, among the others, being that I never leave with what I came to shop initially. My additional problems would be lacking the income that will satiate my taste, not being some nationally known actress who has stylist knocking at her door to play dress up (cause let’s be honest - planning outfits actually takes some level of organization and skill not all of us are naturally born with) and lastly, and less obvously, the actual event of shopping can exhaust me to a ridiculous extent.  Outside of my lessons this could be better titled as “White Girl Problems.” Typically I’m more inclined to spend an equal amount of money on fashion magazines, than the actual items I’m eyeing in the magazines. I love fashion, I love the history of it, the creativity of it, the aesthetics of it, and yet still I find the event of shopping to be exhausting.

In observing theses issues about myself I do have a point  - somewhere. I am unbelievably asthetically affected, probably not much more than most of you, but for the sake of my issues, let my walk you through how a typical routine goes for me: I see a JCrew catalog shot in streets of Prague; a deep, dominant, Bond-like beautifully haunting scenery to offset the bright, lusterous, but typically clean basic layers of clothing and I am elated with awe and want. I am inspired and ready to hunt. Next, I go to the stores I assume will have such lustrously layered pieces, often traveling an hour or more away, since Lakeland is no-shopping-man’s land. I see what I want, in store I clearly cannot afford to dress half myself with and I am dumb founded. I see prices tags and am frustrated. Then after three hours of relentless searching, I’m tired, hungry and frustrated. 

So I’m in London for a week, and what do I do when I’m in the, possibly, most gorgeous, enriching cities in the world? I go shopping. And I go again. The first time on Regent Street almost felt like the end times, as if only hours are left before the earth crumbles and it’s everyone’s last opportunity to shop. That or zombies have taken over the city and they are just minutes from hitting Regent Street and climb up Topshop to sabotage every last article of clothing. So naturally everyone shops like it’s a sport. People clammer over clothes like stores will never restock. I couldn’t even see the clothes in front of me, let alone compare one shirt to the next. What possessed me to go more than once? Well, it’s London for crying out loud. It doesn’t matter that I can buy everything online now, or that every store in the city is are globally accessible, I wanted to say “I bought this from London.” But by second time I went there I was cofused as to why my already tired legs dragged me all the way over and in lue of skipping dinner no less (and this is a girl who likes to eat!) I couldn’t figure out why I was there again since I already couldn’t loosen my tight grips off the pounds in my hands (a 1.6 equivalent of the US dollar) to put down for all the clothes I envisioned returning home with.

My shopping issues really are quite lame but putting them on paper somehow helps to see the variety of other issues I often face in making up my mind: what it will cost me to get what I want or where I know need to be. Will I be depressed if I’ve forked out the $200 for an outfit (because, believe it or not, this amount is lavish for me at the moment)? Likely not. Regretful? Maybe. I might end up at customer’s service to return an item (since I already have a shameful habit of resorting to do this more often that I’ll admit). Likely. But I would not be depressed, wondering or overwhelmed if I finally made a decision rather than just wondering and wishing. Shopping is a hassel for some. Desicion making for others, a monster. 

Deciding what you want and following through with it, paying up for it, is something we all have access to but don’t necessarily commit to. Well, this may seem like a heavier lesson than most might face while shopping on Regent Str., but then again that’s just an little insight into my over-worked, analytical mind and a one place not to go on your next trip to London.