“You must really love to shop,” smiles the postman as he hands me over the second (okay, fifth) parcel I’ve had delivered this week. This time it’s from Asos, online shopping giant and, in my opinion, one of the greatest inventions since George Foreman grills. And I’ll admit, I do love to shop, but in our shiny, technology-filled world where online shopping is so easily available I’ve developed something I never wanted to: real-shop-phobia.
I know, I know, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but the easiness of the online world has made me dread going into an actual real-life shop. Having to rake about to find something you like that is also in your size? Panic! Massive queues? Double panic! Crazy, sleep deprived sale shoppers invading your personal space? Great, big, massive PANIC!
Now, it may sound like I’m exaggerating, but just sit back and think – do we really need to even set foot in a real shop? In 2014, the UK had the highest online sales in Europe, raking in £44.97 billion (insert typical dad-joke of how I’m probably responsible for around half of that), and we’re just one small country. With just the click of a button, pretty much anything can be purchased online, and I feel a little warm and fuzzy thinking of how easy my Christmas shopping will be thanks to this.
My postman, however, does not share the same feeling. With the help of the endless online emporiums, I can put my feet up with a cuppa and leisurely browse the sites, while all the technophobes are battling their way through rain, wind and snow simply to get to Topshop.
Online shopping doesn’t end with just looking through a website and buying something, hoping you can find an outfit it’ll go with. Don’t worry my friend, there are now fancy new apps to help with that. Step forward, style icon, queen of boyfriend jeans and all-round superwoman Alexa Chung. Alexa launched her new app Villoid this month, and it’s already saving morning wardrobe crises. Like a cross between Pinterest and my beloved Instagram, you can pin outfits together, follow other users’ boards and give a little Insta-style love heart to anything you find particularly likeable. The app’s best (or arguably worst) feature is that with just one swift tap on any loved item, you’re transported to the store’s website where you can purchase it there and then. It makes my bank balance cry out in pain, but handy, right? So my crafty, fashion-y friends, get pinning and wave goodbye to all those shopping centre dramas.