Sunday, June 23, 2013

a newly opened door closes again

You know how I told you I found a clothes shop in a small town in Hampshire that had clothes that apparently had been designed with me in mind, and how my sister sat next to the mirror, egging me on to buy them?

Did I tell you that when I got home I found another branch of the same shop in Bakewell (my local town) that I had hitherto ignored as not being relevant to me and my taste?

Well, one of the linen blouses I bought in Hampshire hung on a clothes hanger in the bedroom for a week or so and every time I looked at it, I wondered why I didn’t want to wear it when the colour and fabric were perfect. Then one day I realised I didn’t like the collar and neckline. So I took it back to the shop in Bakewell (they have an exemplary returns policy) and got my money back and then asked if they had in stock the dark navy linen jacket my sister had failed to persuade me to buy. No, they said, but they would order it.

It came, I tried it on, it was too small. They ordered the next size up, I tried it on, dithered, tried on the smaller one, dithered, bought the larger one and that then hung in the bedroom for several days. Yesterday, I took it back. It was a different assistant and I found myself uttering a long stream of reasons why this jacket was not for me – the sleeves were too long, it didn’t fit quite right, the colour was too dark, it was more formal than the things I usually wear, I went shopping with my sister and her taste is not the same as mine….my excuses went on and on in an embarrassing stream until eventually the assistant said, “If it’s not right, it’s not right.”

She gave me back my money and I slunk out of the shop more mortified than I have been since I was 14.

I still ADORE the first linen blouse I bought – the boxy cut, the asymmetric neckline, the fact that if I wear it with indigo jeans I look smart (I live in jeans)…

cream shirt

But I feel as if I can’t go back to the shop again. Ever. Or if I do dare cross the portal, I shall have to buy something and not take it back, whatever their policy on returns. Oh dear. Now I remember why I like shopping by post.



Anonymous said...

Dear Sue
Firstly I love your blog. Secondly do, do get the confidence to go back to the shop. I can relate to all the feelings you describe but have learnt, in my late 50s, that good, independent clothes shops really enjoy finding women clothes that suit them.
Very best wishes

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Jill. I am glad you like the blog. This cheers me up. I shall consider what you say about the shop....maybe I will go back in the autumn.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the advice - you may have been their most interesting customer in a long while. It's not all about the sale.

Best 2 bits advice I was ever given on clothes shopping:
- do you feel sexy in it?

If yes, the last hurdle is:

- can you live without it?

One no is a strike.