REAL WOMEN: MY SHOPPING LIFE BY LORNA CALDWELL

Single mum Lorna Caldwell shares her highs and lows of shopping and what it means to her

What kind of shopper are you?
I’m a born shopper. I’ve always loved it. Only in my, ahem, 40s have I learned to shop sensibly though. I know what I’m going to wear and what I am not. I can walk away and think about it now – rather than suffer the impulsiveness of my twenties and thirties.

Do you spend more on fashion or beauty?
Fashion without hesitation. I don’t really believe in beauty products, I wear Clarins when I want to splurge a little but I can’t say I see any huge benefit over cheaper products… apart from pretty packaging. I do spend on nails and brows regularly though, that is important to me and if I had more disposable income I’d have more treats like this.

Where do you tend to shop – high street, online or do you dabble in boutiques?
My very favourite would be Zara – very affordable price point and I love that they get new lines in so regularly and move the products around so it always seems fresh and new. But shopping like this tends to make you believe that items are disposable – wear a few times, it was only £30!! When I shop somewhere like Whistles, Anthropologie or Edinburgh’s wonderful new(ish) comer ‘Biscuit‘ I make a very considered and definite decision – always something classic that I know I’ll love and wear repeatedly for years to come. And I’m a believer in ‘price per wear’ being an influencer. Some of my most expensive items have a lower price per wear thansome of my very cheapest purchases.

What kind of spender are you?
Depends what it is. I will usually buy expensive knitwear, coats, shoes and bags – I believe you can’t pull off cheap in these items. However an inexpensive pair of summer trousers, a tee or sweatshirt is fine and cheap allows variety. I certainly don’t have a lot of spare cash so expensive items are few and far between.

How does shopping make you feel?
It’s my pleasure so I’ll try as often as possible to meet a friend for coffee / lunch / wine (other pleasures) and a wander round the shops. I enjoy it even if I don’t buy.

Has that changed over the years?
I think in my forties I spend more time thinking about whether an item is needed/ really wanted/ ‘wearable’. I have many things I have had for years and years and they are things I LOVED when I bought them!

Have you one buy that was an emotional buy that you still love that reminds you of a certain time in your life?
I have lots of these. I have a Karen Millen cami and cardigan that I wore to many friends weddings that is simply beautiful and although I’ll probably never wear it again (or fit into it again!) I cannot part with it. I also have a maxi dress I loved and had alerted so I could wear it when pregnant, again I can’t part with it.

Describe your go to look for every day.
My go-to will always be white jeans – summer or winter. Ideal with a navy t shirt or a grey marl cashmere. I also have a passionate relationship with animal print and furs…never cheesy or Bet Lynch-esque but usually featuring somewhere in my daily outfit.

What is your #MyShoppingMeHappy moment? When Clark (my husband) died, after I had Connie (I was pregnant when he died), I lost lots of weight. Everything looked nice. I shopped myself happy because everything looked nice but really I was miserable.

Shopping for what is more of a mission than a pleasure? I hate having to spend

 

 

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