5 min readMay 10, 2016


What am I thinking when I go shopping for clothes?

Shopping is an art, shopping is a stress-buster, shopping is fun and relaxing, and shopping is a necessary evil! You would have listened to these and tons of other things, thoughts and anecdotes about shopping.

Most women would agree that a nice, unhurried shopping trip is all they need to recharge their sodden batteries. And, when this shopping trip happens to be for clothes, accessories and other fun stuff, there is nothing like it!

However, many of us mere mortals do have our moments of doubt, moments of stress and moments of confusion, when we are on one of these coveted outings — looking for the best outfits, the latest trends and the most stylish apparels.

At least, I can vouch for it, and so do many of my friends, who, when coaxed a bit, agreed that shopping indeed can be a little daunting — not always maybe, but on occasions, yes. 10 or 20 random thoughts always keep circling my mind, and to my surprise, they did not turn out to be exclusive to me — they pester a lot of women (and men too — I even asked my husband, my co-workers and even my boss!).

So, basis my own reflections and my interactions with scores of people, here’s a list of top 10 thoughts that many of us deal with, when we go shopping for clothes.

My Size!
Most of our tribe are thinking any of these — Should I try a smaller size than my usual one? Oh My God, have I gained an inch!! Have my weight-loss efforts brought any results? What if I can’t fit in my usual size jeans? Will they have a curvy-special section?

For the lankier souls — Oh, will I finally be able to graduate from XS to S? Now that I have gained a bit, should I stop buying from the ‘kids’ section? Oh, will they have a petite section?

Does it ‘look’ good on me?
Fashion has a nagging habit of looking great on others, but only about average on us. Thankfully, not always! But, that doesn’t stop us from doubting ourselves, and wondering if what suits so well the catalogue model, or worse, our perfect 10 friend — will that suit us too?

Other questions that fall in this category are — Does it go well with my complexion? Or body type? Will I look OTT in this? Oh, is it making me look like a plain jane? etc. etc.

The Finances
Most of us are not gifted with legacies the size of palatial bungalows, limousines and private yachts that we permanently dispense off with the pain of looking at the price tags.

So, it comes naturally to many of us to check — even if ever so slyly — to see, if the price range is what we can ‘afford’. Well, that’s quite a relative term, and as we grow up, start earning and going places — our ‘affordability’ standards rise (they should, ideally). But, do we ever stop referring to the price tags? Nah!

The Math
I have bought one, should I buy another? I love this one, it fits perfectly too — should I buy one piece each in every colour? Do I have to buy this dress, this month, when I already have spent so much on sarees? Will an expensive Salwar Kameez make a good enough gift for her wedding? Oops, already 3 things!

And, the one we invariably calculate, while whiling away time in the billing queue — Hmm, what will be the total? Should I keep ‘this’ back?

Well, we may have grown up hating Math, but it does come handy as Shopping Mathematics.

Is it worth?
Okay, I am all set to spend an astronomical (relative, again!) on a special dress, sari or ensemble. It looks great, feel lovely and fitted fabulously, but is it worth all the money.

Will I wear it again? Will it keep hanging unworn at the back of my wardrobe? Is it durable — the color looks as if it will bleed?

And, the more random one like — Why am I spending so much for this function? It’s not even someone close, who’s getting married! This dress is neat, but the designer tag makes it too expensive. But, I don’t want to let it go! Is it worth?

Is he/ she assessing me?
Well, this is my worst shopping spoiler — the silent assessment by the sales’ staff!

Bless the malls and multi-brand outlets, where the sales’ staff tends to be less nosy. I (and many of us) hate the ‘free advice’ many sales people tend to provide.

This one is my pet peeve — “Ma’am, I will give you a bigger size in this one, don’t worry.” Oye, did I ask for a ‘bigger’ size? This, invariably, means, they were judging me, and decided that I ‘need’ a bigger size. Such a shopping dampener!

Are the Trial Room Mirrors making me look fatter/ slimmer/ whatever!
Trial room lighting is harsh, it’s stark and the mirrors from all sides, to say the least, are daunting. At home and at offices or at all other ‘realistic’ places, we are not used to so much of scrutiny (self-scrutiny is the worst). Naturally, going full monty in a trial room is not easy.

Haw, since when did I gain so much around my hips?

Oh, the cellulite! So much of orange peel — I have to do something about this. My boobs — ouch!

Where will I store this?
This one’s funny. We all know, in the day and age of so much choice, such short-lived fashion trends and constant barrage of new, latest styles and fads, the storage space is a shrinking violet. However big our homes may be, however magnanimous our wardrobes may be and however sweet our parents (or spouses) maybe, most of us fall short of ‘space’.

In this scenario, it’s natural to think of storage, when buying and adding more to already crumbling, burgeoning wardrobe space.

Elusive Wardrobe Cleaning/ Re-arranging
Already thinking, “I will surely throw out all the junk, once I reach home!”

We all do. At least, many of us do. When buying new clothes, it’s natural to think of the ‘mess’ that’s piling back home. No wonder, many of us ‘promise’ ourselves (yet again) to throw, spring clean, arrange, classify and what not — our spiraling-out-of-control wardrobes.

The Next Time
For shopaholics like me, clothes’ shopping is so important and necessary that the moment I am done with one trip, I start imaging, planning and envisioning my next. Do you?

The experiences of many people helped us compile this list. But, this can’t be all-inclusive. So, do tell us what are the other thoughts that go around in your mind, when you go clothes’ shopping.

Meanwhile, happy shopping!


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