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Handbag addiction...HELP ME!!!

(28 Posts)
bellaandolliesmum Fri 13-Jul-07 12:51:18

My husband and I had a conversation recently about my handbag addiction and he told me that I was insane (in a nice way!!). I informed him that all women love bags and it is pretty typical for women to go a bit mental around a sale.
Is this true???!!!
I have four gorgeous Mulberry bags (three bought on sale), two Mulberry wallets, two Orla Kiely bags and a wallet and I just recently bought a Chloe Bay bag from the Brown's sale. <WARNING: never go anywhere near Brown's as it is full of too many gorgeous things that are truly unaffordable...even in the sale.>
Now, I have coveted the Chloe bag since I first saw it in Selfridges. But why, oh why did I buy it??? Am i ill? Am I alone in my shopping mania? We can afford a bit of shopping and I do work hard, but there is always something else I must have and I cannot stop myself.
There is a woman at my daughters school that actually dislikes me because I shop so much. We have a pair of sunglasses in a similar, but of course mine are Dior. She paid £6 at Hennes and they are almost the same.
!!!
And the Boden sale...I spent £300 and have spent £600 on autumn pre-orders.

Is there a shopaholics anonymous?
I am serious

brimfull Fri 13-Jul-07 12:57:47

can you afford this addiction?
I could easily become addited but sadly can't afford it.I would never even contemplate a mulberry bag ...way to £££.

I did get lovely bag in priciples sale which was ££ for me at £48 reduced from £70.

FluffyMummy123 Fri 13-Jul-07 12:58:36

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FluffyMummy123 Fri 13-Jul-07 12:58:59

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HolidayboundHorsewoman Fri 13-Jul-07 13:05:09

Can't help as I love bags, too.

The OP sounds alot like my aunt who really cannot help herself. If she likes it, she buys it. You will rarely see her in the same thing twice. My problem is that I have expensive taste and limited funds. However, I am blessed (?) with an overactive guilt mechanism which kicks in if I so much as think about buying something for myself. My sister is the same, and our youngest sister calls us 'shopping bullimics' i.e we buy one day, guilt trip, then return the item.

Shopping can be an addiction just like anything can. I used to spend way too much, until we hit a very lean time that lasted for a year (DH's employers were going skint, and he often didn't get paid - caused millions of problems). There's nothing like a financial crisis to make you examine your habits and reform your character. I swear, I am almost afraid to spend money these days, in case it dries up again.

yorkshirepudding Fri 13-Jul-07 13:06:20

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Tutter Fri 13-Jul-07 13:07:51

methinks you are not going to win most popular mner of the week award with yoru handbga musings...

frogs Fri 13-Jul-07 13:09:48

You're barking. Pay your mortgage off instead.

MrsBadger Fri 13-Jul-07 13:17:41

What are you trying to achieve when you buy things?
It sounds like it's gone beyond the reasonable and rational doctrine of working hard to earn money and deserving to buy the odd nice thing with it.

Do you want people to (eg) say 'Oh gosh, that woman has the Chloe Bay bag, she must be really cool / stylish / rich / successful'?

Or are you buying a lifestyle - (and this is my downfall) the thought that by buying something from (eg) Boden will make your children as blonde / life as carefree / ankles as thin as those of the women in the catalogue?

Or is it a complusion that something is missing somewhere and getting that 'must have' item will make everything complete?

In some ways it's less about the money (though that is an issue) than about the act of shopping itself - buying seven handbags in a weekend is just as weird whether they're £5 market ones or £500 Mulberrys.

If it's making you unhappy (which it is) and if people close to you are worried (which they are), it does sound like you need a bit of help...

bellaandolliesmum Fri 13-Jul-07 13:20:33

OKAY!
My point was not to smugly say what I have.
I don't need any of these things and it makes me really worry about my mental state. Sometimes I am sick afterwards.
Also, part of my point was that I can buy the same things for much less. And who really cares what I have anyway??
Of course I cannot afford it. Of course I cannot!!!
If I am at risk of being unpopular then I certainly came to the wrong place for advice...

bellaandolliesmum Fri 13-Jul-07 13:23:52

And I will add that the first expensive bag I bought was 3 years ago and I saved for six months for it. I buy maybe two bags a year, I just never throw them away.

brimfull Fri 13-Jul-07 13:26:11

2 bags a yr is not an addiction is it?

MrsBadger Fri 13-Jul-07 13:32:01

Okay, so how is everything else apart from the shopping?

Stressful job? DH away too much?

Is the shopping valuable me-time where for an hour or two you get to walk on air in Bond St before schlepping home to wailing kids and undone ironing? (this is my main joy of shopping - looking at pretty things without anyone wiping their nose on my sleeve / demanding data for clients before it's been generated / looking eloquently wounded whan I suggest that stuff won't get washed if it's not put in the laundry basket etc)

jackie2kids Fri 13-Jul-07 13:35:03

bella, people have been unfair and missunderstood you.

Mrs Badger had good advice.

You are not alone. Lots of people are in the same boat (ie buying things they don't need), the cost of the items is not the point.

Try buying nothing but food for a while (I think there's a thred like this in environment bit).

Or read 'Affluenza@ by Oliver James. Makes you think.

Good luck.

EmilyDavidson Fri 13-Jul-07 14:01:22

Why dont you sell some of them ? Maybe sell half of them ?

.....and use the cash to buy another one.

I'm rather a handbag lover myself but not such expensive ones.
If you only buy two year I dont think thats excessive.

perhaps you dont need to stop buying handbags ,perhaps you just need to stop feeling guilty about it

bellaandolliesmum Fri 13-Jul-07 14:29:48

Maybe I have a void in my life that I am filling up with stuff!!

At the risk of sounding smug: I have beautiful children and an adoring, wonderful husband. I have a nice, IKEA decorated, average size home.
This is not about not appreciating those things.
I live thousands of miles from my family and have only a few close friends who are all usually just as busy as I am. My part-time job is okay, but is in no way what I hoped to be doing when I left university. I am a bit bored and dissatisfied with my life, it's true.
It is possible that my shopping might be in response to people I work with and certain friends. A friend bought a FENDI bag for £1200 the day I walked out with my Chloe bag marked down to £400. I would have spoken to her about this issue, but she is childless and has a great job and can afford to splash out as often as she likes.
Also, it takes just one person to say that they like something I am wearing to make my day. So it even seems like a challenge at times to find newer and better things.
Maybe it stems from not feeling good enough about myself. I think I am attractive and have never felt that my looks have been an issue.
I am not sure what it is.

Not that this is going to come out making any sense. I have had to re-type what I wanted to say so many times for fear of saying something that one of you may find offensive, that it is all just a mess.

I have had a few tears over this this lunchtime and that bothers me as well.

Thanks to those of you who have had practical advice.

moopymoo Fri 13-Jul-07 15:22:37

Sorry people were a bit harsh. It does sound like this is a bit of a problem for you and that you are trying to fill a gap. new stuff gives a quick buzz that can be addictive. but you have spotted that your reaction t oit is not particularly healthy. some counselling migth help, cbt could help you hook into that feeling and find it in other ways. something like going back to studying, a different more challenging job, volunteering. hth

MrsBadger Fri 13-Jul-07 15:24:40

aha we strike at the root of the problem
(and well done for coming back in the face of derision)
Sometimes just thinking about why it happens can help a bit, and I bet the memory of this thread will give you pause next time you hit the dept stores.

Rather than going for mainstream must-have items that people will comment on because they've all seen them in a magazine, how about being a bit more devious and/or eclectic in your shopping? Think of the smug points when someone admires your scarf / bag / top and you can smile sweetly and say 'Oh, thank you, how nice of you to notice' safe in the knowledge it was £10 in H&M / £3 in Primark / 50p in Cancer Research etc.
On a really dull and practical note, stopping reading the kind of magazines that feature expensive bags will help too (I wouldn't recognise a Chloe Bay if you dropped one on my toe )

On the 'bored and dissatisfied' note, is there anything that you've always loved doing or always wanted to try?
The £900 Boden bill (for example) would pay for a year of watercolour classes, or scuba lessons, or Arabic, or membership of a really swanky gym, or even start you off on an OU degree in literature or art history...

And whatever you do, keep coming back to MN - we need more style gurus about now we're in the thick of the wedding season. Might suggest a name change though - being defined by your kids is never a good place to start

florenceuk Fri 13-Jul-07 16:08:18

I think some of it is about just enjoying shopping. I did very little for ages and then when DD was two finally got rid of maternity bra and bought a new wardrobe. I changed my childcare arrangements so that I had more time to shop on the way home (not the reason I changed them, just the result). Since then I find I buy something virtually every week, even if it is small, like a £3 vest. And I buy all the fashion mags and just generally think a lot more about what I am wearing. Mind you, as I have an H&M habit rather than a Mulberry one it is a bit smaller in £££. Also I don't go into places like Selfridges or Browns because I just don't think it's worth it - Jigsaw is as posh as I get. Maybe you need a hobby where you can still shop but it's cheaper - knitting is good!

florenceuk Fri 13-Jul-07 16:17:35

Actually I think when Nigel Slater went on a diet he wrote down everything he ate and it helped him to cut down. Maybe you could start by recording everything you buy? What did you buy this week? Put it on here so we can make rude comments

PinkMartini Fri 13-Jul-07 16:28:34

Mrs Badger you are very wise.

Florence interesting about Nigel Slater - where did he say that?


And to the OP as someone who has a couple of (salebought) "classic" and "recognisable" Mulberry bags and they're getting all too popular despite the hefty price tag. So maybe en even better time to find an H&M/New Look habit.

And do change your name - you're also possibly quite recognisable with that name.
What about PhoebeBayswater or something?

bellaandolliesmum Fri 13-Jul-07 18:15:04

I do have a Primark coat which I love and wear everyday!
I have discussed this at length with my dh and he I feel much better. I am going to start having lunch in the park this summer instead of hitting the shops with workmates (who are more seriously fashion addicted than I will ever be). Rainy lunchtimes can be spent in the pub! ;)
Changing my name is probably a great idea, thanks for the advice.

FluffyMummy123 Fri 13-Jul-07 18:39:23

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lizandlulu Sat 14-Jul-07 15:56:52

i think you are all being a little harsh on bellaandholliesmum. lots of women love shopping and buying things, and as long as you can afford it and work for your money, i see no problem. i have an extensuve collection of bags, and they are my reward for working so hard!! my bills get paid and my child wants for nothing and it sounds like she is the same. each for their own, if you ask me.

RubyRioja Sat 14-Jul-07 16:26:41

Bellaand Dollies Mum - I'd like to echo some of Mrs Badgers advice. I used to shop for fun especially in times of stress. I was lucky in that my tastes were more high street than designer and I could afford then without getting into debt. When I realised what I was doing, I stopped, but I understand this can be an addiction like many others, but that people do not take seriously.

I think a useful exercise is to go window shopping (if you can) and make a list of what you would like to have bought and keep a running total for a month. It made me look twice I can tell you.

If you cannot, then I would promise not to shop at all for a month just to try it!

BTW DD3 is still wearing the (new) clothes I bought for DD1 - I bought so many to cheer myself up, that she could not wear them all.

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