I’ve recently discovered while holidaying in Airlie Beach, that telling myself, “I really like that top but we have this store at home so I can just wait and buy it there”, results in disappointment. There is something about buying an item on holidays that has more appeal – despite the fact it may be the same stuff from the same store, just in another city.
Now I don’t often buy cheap clothes these days; however, on the occasion I do it’s either from Cotton On or Supré. The price generally reflects the quality as most items are $10-$50 and really don’t last many months; a much better deal than the surf stores who charge $60+ on stuff that lasts the same (or less) amount of time.
During my weekend trip to Airlie Beach I discovered that the town had gotten both since the last time I visited. Airlie is quite a small town, so other than spend all day on the beach relaxing (or tanning as the case may be for my not-so-sun-safe-friends) or pay money for an expensive cruise to one of the surrounding islands (which we forgot to book before arriving therefore couldn’t afford it) is to go shopping. I didn’t buy Airlie clubbing appropriate clothes, so I bought in a cute simple navy dress from Supré for $20. While at Supré, I finally discovered a flattering pair of black denim shorts that I had been searching for in vain for months. Considering they were the good version of stretch denim, $40 was a steal, but they were a fraction too big in the XS, however had run out of XXS. So I figured, “No don’t buy them here; otherwise you will get home, realise there are XXS sizes at Supré at home and then you’ll seriously regret it.”
So after getting home yesterday, I trailed through all the Supré stores today only to discover that Airlie Beach has such a small store they only stock basic Supré gear and therefore I can only buy the shorts at that store and not even online. Great, my picky-ness has now bitten me in the butt. Such discrepancies confuse me. Surely the basics should be found at any Supré store and only the specialised stuff can be found in the larger stores – that’s generally how the system works.
So now I’m wondering if there is some sort of formula the big chain stores use to determine what stores get what stock? Basics always sell, one would think that all stores get the basics. The more specialised gear, however, should be distributed to the stores it will sell best in. I worked at Jeans West for 4 years and this is generally how it worked. Every store got the core wall jeans and the tops that were a part of the 2 for $40/3 for $50 deals, the stores who made the most money got the fashion lines.
To be honest though, now I cannot find those shorts, they have partially lost their appeal. Because when you’re on holidays there’s something about finding a piece of clothing that grabs your attention above the rest. It adds to your experience and memories, it’s not the same as buying the same thing at home somehow. The thing that caught your eye in a window or display enough to make you want it more than the other lovely things in the same area. A piece of clothing does not just cover or reveal certain parts of the body. It evokes a memory, a time, a place and the feelings surrounding it. Walking through the busy streets of Sydney, a relaxed afternoon at the shops with my father, the fun I have at work with the girls dressing customers and discussing what stock we like. The situation surrounding the time you buy or try on an item seems to have an impact on whether we something or not. A shirt I tried on in Cotton On in Airlie seemed so laid back and so in tune with the beach and the vibe of the town. At home it’s just another shirt and I become unsure it is something I want. This does sound like I am merely indecisive and have short-lived impulses and while I am glad I didn’t get the shirt and now have an extra $20 in my pocket; I still believe shopping is something more than just a want of pretty materials. People shop for fun, for necessity and even for comfort after a stressful day or rough break up. So next time you’re looking into your wardrobe, think about the stories behind your clothes. If you’re trying to be good and donate clothes to charity, try to separate liking an item of clothing, or liking the memory behind it which stops you from giving it away. If you’re indecisive about buying an article of clothing, ask yourself if it’s actually something you want or whether there is an emotional reason behind wanting it. Figuring this out could be beneficial in the long run.
Before I finish my blog post of random ramblings. Have you ever heard of a free sale? In Airlie Beach there is a store called Beachworx and over the weekend they celebrated their birthday (it was either their 12th or their 21st, I wasn’t paying very good attention) and in celebration they had this big section of the shop all for free. Not buy 1, get 1 free – get 1 free and get the 2nd 50% off! Now of course there was a catch, you couldn’t return it and while the deal ran for 3 days, only once during the 3 days could you get it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the nicest of stuff. All cheap overpriced surf stuff that I presume they couldn’t move and therefore, were giving away. A risky move, because I know some small business retailers wouldn’t do it, solely because it runs the risk of people (like me) thinking you’re incapable of moving large amount of stock and also sends a bad message to your suppliers. However, great advertising ploy! There were lots promotional of mens shirts and singlets (although many women bought them too) that were printed especially for the event reading, “Airlie Beachworx, the best surf shop in the world, gave me a free shirt”. I got a Billabong skirt for myself, as it was the only free thing that was both nice and fit me, and a promotional Beachworx singlet for my boyfriend (apparently he’s gotten me a present from Europe so I thought I should get him an Airlie present).
In all, a fun trip to Airle, a few clothing realisations along the way and many more adventures to come 🙂 ♥