This is part of our tribe. The female part. A group selfie taken after an exhausting shopping trip at Melbourne Emporium. I love the buzz of shopping in the city with the kids, but with four girls at a range of ages and stages the demands are well… quite unbelievable. We find ourselves looking for clothes, shoes, lip balms, books, toys, food, toilets, escalators. We find ourselves looking for each other when one or more little people attempt hide and seek amongst the clothes aisles. My patience is tested and my calm voice starts barking orders.
‘Stay close, take care.’
‘Hold hands. Don’t touch!”
“No. I am not buying that.’
“No, not today.”
“Do you know how close it is until Christmas?”
“What did I tell you 5 minutes ago?”
“Didn’t you just go to the toilet?”
But part of me wants to laugh. We go into a shopping mecca so I should expect that the advertising magic will work on them, as it does me. They will want to look, they will want to purchase. It is a temple that creates envy, desire and promotes consumerism.
So I am hoping to train them to use it as a starting point for inspiration. Observe the people, take note of the changing fashion you see, look at the way things are displayed and put together. Be inspired to use what you have, maybe with a little something extra to create an entirely new look.
My girls have been schooled in hardline vintage shopping. The know how to embrace the challenge of an opportunity shop and come out with a great pair of Sass and Bide jeans and a pair or Vera Wang ballet flats. We look for as new, quality brands that have much life, great fabrics and cuts in clothes. They know that op shops are the best place to extend your book collection, buy for Dad’s vinyl revival, pick up the odd piece of costume jewellery or an occasional chair for your bedroom. We have found some great prints and frames, recycled lamps and sourced amazing vintage fabric.
My line in the op shop is different. There is less stress and more adrenalin as we are on the hunt for a bargain. When pressed to make a purchase it is hard to say not to a $2 cashmere sweater or another pair of Walnut shoes, as new for $5. So I am aware of my own inconsistency. Am i savvy? Maybe. Do I pinch pennies? Sometimes. Hopefully I am training the girls to be able to make more with less. To recycle, reuse and revitalise something old, vintage and preloved.
This tribe of mine will be shopping for opportunity for a long time. And making the most of Girl Time.