Hands up if you’ve ever walked into a shop, taken one look around, thought “this is all too hard” and walked out again! My hand is well and truly up, I can tell you that now! In fact, I did it twice in the same day last week. AND I’M SUPPOSED TO SHOP FOR A LIVING!

The calm before the store – Zara Bondi Junction just before opening

Let me explain – Zara Bondi Junction opened on Thursday. (I’m in Sydney for a month for those of you who are slightly confused about where I live right now….. join the club haha!). Friday morning, first thing I rocked up, imaginary credit card in hand, ready to go craaaaaazy in Zara. But there was just SO. MANY. CLOTHES…. and SO. MANY. PEOPLE…. I didn’t know where to start, I didn’t know what I was looking for, and to be honest, I didn’t really feel like trying anything on (MOST out of character for me. In fact I think the boy’s jaw just hit the ground reading this). It was all too much so I walked out and had a coffee.

Round two, same thing happened. I went back in and this time I even had a few things in my hands to try on… but then I saw the line for the change rooms (and the til!), and I wasn’t in love with what I had to try on, I was almost trying just for the sake of finding something at Zara (the novelty factor is still high with me when it comes to Zara). They went back on the shelves and I walked out. Again.

So don’t worry, it’s not just you. BUT, here are a few tricks on how to avoid this happening to you (maybe I should take my own advice next time)

1. Be prepared.

Only go shopping when you need something – otherwise you might find yourself wandering aimlessly around the shops, getting more and more frustrated with not finding what you want, because you don’t know what it is you want! This also might mean taking a list

2. Dress appropriately.

If you are going shopping, be prepared to take your clothes off several times. Wear clothes that are easy to get on and off in the change rooms, wear the right undies (what ever that may be – seamless undies, strapless bra etc) and if you are shopping for something that requires a heel – take one with you! It makes life so much easier in the change rooms!

3. Shop smaller.

If you get overwhelmed by big stores, the avoid DJ’s or Zara Bondi Junction. Start with a smaller boutique. The choice is not so overwhelming, the staff are generally trained to help you find what you are looking for and the whole experience isn’t so confronting. Once you become comfortable with shopping in smaller shops, and you get used to knowing what works on your body, the larger stores become easier. Stores like the lovely new SACHA DRAKE Woollahra have helpful, friendly staff (blatant plug I know)

Get personal service and helpful advice at a smaller boutique – like SACHA DRAKE Woollahra – come visit me!


4. Get professional help.

Personal shoppers (like me!) take some of the hard yards out of shopping. Any good personal shopper should be able to do most of the groundwork for you. They will ask you about you needs, your budget, your body shape and your lifestyle and then take you to the appropriate shops, filtering out all the scary, overwhelming ones.

Need help? A personal shopper can help!

A personal shopper will also help you wade through all the clothes on the racks that ARE NOT appropriate and help you find what you are looking for with much less pain and anxiety. (In fact, I find it SO much easier to shop for other people than for myself…. anyone want to take ME shopping??)

5. Walk away.

Don’t be distressed if it still all gets too much – they are only clothes. Shopping should be fun so if it turns into a big, panicky mess then leave and try again with one of the options above at a later time.

Walk away if it all gets too hard (although if you own these shoes, shopping probably isn’t very hard for you at all…..)

See? It’s not that scary after all…. now, where is that cab, I’m giving Zara one more go…… (sorry honey – don’t look at the bank balance anytime soon ok?)

Cait x