Achieving IRL Shopping Success

Achieving IRL Shopping Success

Over the holidays I went home to visit my family, and no trip home is complete without a mother/daughter shopping outing.  So, we braved the Boxing Day madness and headed into Hamilton for a bit of a mooch about.

I am fortunate that Mum and I are fans of the same sorts of shops, so she’s the perfect guide for an efficient and fun retail outing.  Hamilton has changed a lot since I last lived at home (*cough* 16 years ago *cough*) and, much like Cambridge, there’s a greater number of boutiques to be found – not quite rivalling the independent shops of Wellington, but a vast improvement on when Max was the fanciest option I could conceive of.  The increase in population, and step up in retail spend, has also meant that Hamilton now attracts Australian retailers like Country Road and Witchery.   

Mum introduced me to an excellent store (with superb customer service) called Harper Inc, which stocks, amongst other brands, both Kowtow and Blak Luxe.  Kowtow is a firm favourite of mine, but followers of my Instagram will know I had already hit the online sale (which is AMAZING) and bought a tshirt in Cambridge, so with the exception of the Getaway Pant in Case Study, I was not in the Kowtow market.  Sadly, those pants remain elusive. 

What I was in the market for, however, was a leather jacket – you know I’ll love my Cotton On buddy until it falls apart, but it’s useless in any kind of wind, and I live in Wellington.  When that gale force Southerly blows, I shiver so much that I blur slightly.  I’d been casually looking at leather jackets for a couple of years, but was cautious about taking the plunge on such an expensive item.  However, you’ll recall that my focus in 2017 is on buying good quality basics and classics, so when I found the last gorgeous Blak Luxe jacket in the shop, and it fit, and it was 20% off – I took the plunge.

And that, friends, is why it has been so cold in Wellington since the 27th of December.  I bought a leather jacket and the weather politely made it possible for me to wear it every.  single.  day.  since. 

We also mooched through Moochi, but it didn’t light any fires for me, so after a visit to Mi Piaci (new shoes!), Lovisa (more statement earrings) and to Country Road and Witchery (for bargainous, out of season knitwear, earrings and a basic black maxi dress) we were done and dusted.

I know there are so many women out there who hate shopping, and obviously I am not one of them.  However, I absolutely agree that there are good days and bad days when shopping, and after many years of careful trial and error, I’ve worked out a few things that will be game-changers on the day.

Harper Inc - I will be back!

Harper Inc - I will be back!

First, make sure you choose your shopping buddy wisely.  They need to be firm but fair in their feedback, and (this is important) they need to be in the right frame of mind and mood for shopping.  They need to be happy to go to the same kind of shops that you like, and it helps if they too are keen to shop – even a saint would get bored eventually if there’s no reason for them to browse. 

Secondly, you need to be rested and comfortable.  Do not wear stupid, or new, shoes.  Do not wear that outfit that makes you feel frumpy and blah.  Come to this having eaten some good food, wearing a great outfit with good (nude) underwear, and feeling alive to the possibility of an amazing find. 

My beautiful Mum, dreaming about all the excellent purchases to be made after our coffee break

My beautiful Mum, dreaming about all the excellent purchases to be made after our coffee break

Thirdly, you need to have a plan.  Even I would be ready to toss it in after 15 minutes if I just went to the mall on a mindless wander.  That is not how adults entertain themselves – shopping is not a pure hobby, it’s an activity you do ultimately for a purpose.  Are you out to get a particular outfit, or do you want to fill some gaps?  You can still buy a few extras here and there if the budget allows, but avoid coming home exhausted with a bunch of crap!

Fourth, know where you are going to go for a break.  Mum and I had coffee at a sweet little French themed café on our way from Centreplace to Chartwell, and it was both well timed and free of crowds – ideal.  

Of course, the best way to shop if you want to be comfy, surrounded by great snacks and without the pressure or stress of crowds is to shop online, and I also picked up a few items from my wishlists over the Boxing Day sales as well.  Many sales are still ongoing, so I suggest checking out some of the links below for awesome bargains – even if you aren’t (finally) picking up that shirt that’s been on your Iconic wishlist for two months.  No doubt, your favorite shops will be having an online sale right now as well.  And remember – if you buy basics out of season, they’re even cheaper x


Fashion BNKR (extra 50% off sale orders over $200 until midnight 8 January - what?!)

The Iconic 

Kate Sylvester

Mi Piaci

My outfit:  tshirt from Kowtow, jeans from Cheap Monday via The Iconic, sandals from Country Road last year, satchel from Witchery circa 2012, sunglasses from Glassons, bracelets from Silk and Steel