The One That Got Away

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As a self confessed shopaholic, I will admit my wardrobe is very well stocked. As a student however, my bank balance might not always appreciate this fact… There comes a time in every fashionista’s life where a crucial decision has to be made: to the tills, or walk away?

While every shopper asks this question before purchasing an item simply due to practicality purposes, it is a gut-wrenching ultimatum for a shopaholic. Especially if the latter choice is made, to walk away, only to suffer the guilt days, weeks, and even months later.

If you’re sitting there rolling your eyes at the drama I’m making this out to be, don’t be so quick to judge! Think back, have you ever regretted not buying something? Have you ever wished you could travel back in time and talk some sense into your past self?

For me, it was a darling little cocktail dress from Zara, navy blue and strapless, with black detailing on the bodice. It might not sound like much, but it fit me like a glove and made me feel fabulous! And isn’t that all that matters? If you look good and feel good in something, you should buy it. Except I didn’t have an occasion for this beautiful dress. Foolish me had forgotten one of the golden rules of fashion: an occasion can always be found for a cocktail dress. Needless to say, I have never forgotten about this dress. This was five years ago…

And I’m not alone in lusting for the past. I asked around and found others who have had a fashion  dream “that got away.” Caitlin Archibold bought a pair of snakeskin boots from Asos only to return them. She thought they were too bold a statement for her to rock every day, but after seeing a celebrity photographed in the exact same pair of boots she regretted not keeping them and playing around with styling them down.

Emily Aston also understands the feeling after she fell in love at first sight with a Steve Madden black leather jacket. Despite the fact she already owned at least three black leather jackets, this one also had a black faux fur collar and she just had to have it! The only problem, she’d forgotten her purse. She went back to the shop the next day, fully prepared with her purse in hand but they had sold out. Six months on and she still remembers that jacket.

Again, Sophie Tarif has experienced this shopping regret after she walked away from the perfect pair of black ankle boots that, at the time, she thought were slightly too expensive. Now, every pair of black ankle boots she sees is compared to them and none are good enough. If only she’d splurged, the boots would definitely have been a worthy investment!

Even Suki Waterhouse has experienced such shopping regret, musing, “my one that got away is an Eighties Alaïa dress, it was body-con and just amazing, but it was a little torn and expensive so I didn’t buy it.”

This fashion nostalgia has inspired luxury resale site, Vestiaire Collective, to launch its One That Got Away campaign in a bid to reunite shoppers with their long-lost fashion love. The campaign allows users to advertise for their wish list item to the site’s four million global members. If someone has that item, hanging unworn or unloved in their wardrobe, they can choose to sell it. Not only does one party make money, the other party’s dream comes true!

If any lesson can be learned from this shared experience, it is to always, always head to the tills! Although don’t blame me when your student loan is gone within the week…

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