Why do we spend a fortune on one particular T-Shirt just because it has become the ‘Season’s Must Have’? One costs Â£58 in Topshop but an almost identical item can be obtained in Primark for a mere Â£2. A lot of people would not be seen in the Primark clothing. Why? Would it somehow make them feel inferior, or is it more about conforming? The answer may lie elsewhere.
I was sitting in the Italian restaurant in Sloane Square opposite Hugo Boss savouring a glass of Rose and a bowl of Spaghetti Carbonara engaged in one of my favourite hobbies of people watching. Even from an early age I have been what I consider as a very observant person and pick up on what people are wearing and how they walk, talk and so express themselves.
Today I find myself drawn to the succession of women entering and leaving Hugo Boss. Now, I have nothing against Hug Boss but I realise that there is a ‘type’ of woman who seems to shop there. Maybe this is the type of woman who frequents all such high class shops.
I am watching glamorous women strutting in and back out of the shop clutching a shiny black bag with the distinctive blocky gold text emblazoned across the side. Inside will be that naughty gift for themselves or maybe something for the partner.
The 21 women I see all seem to be cut from the same mould. Stick thin wearing tight jeans, which emphasise their ridiculously skinny legs, a pair of suede high heeled boots, a clingy T-Shirt, a designer bag resting on their elbow joint and dark glasses covering their black eyes. Each coming out looking chuffed with their purchase.
But are they buying for themselves or for their partners? I start asking myself ‘does a certain type of woman dress their man to their own specifications?’ are they then ‘wearing the trousers’ in at least one aspect of their relationship?
Even in this ‘credit crunch’ era, is there still a type of woman who spends her time shopping or wining and dining while her partner slaves away to try and pay the school fees and those credit card bills?
The waitress interrupts my thoughts and delivers a spoon and a rather delicious looking Chocolate Fondant, which looks a little out of place amongst the fruit salads on the other tables.
As i take my fisrt taste i become aware of the couple on the next table. He very tall, dark and handsome. She a clone of the women I have been watching and clutching a Hugo Boss bag too!
She leans across the table, taps his hand and says something I can’t quite catch. He jumps up and quickly returns with a waitress in tow. They order a brace of G&Ts and a bowl of olives. She then fishes through her clutch of ‘labelled’ shopping bags. Choosing a Ted Baker bag she pulls out a black knitted round-necked jumper costing some Â£315 (equivalent in Primark is about Â£7.50p) and presents it to her husband. Looking at the price tag he throws a small row. She says she was only thinking of him. This persists for a few minutes until he melts and leans across the table, kisses her and says what an amazing wife she is.
This little cameo seems to sum up my view of the new vogue women, who seem to spend their whole lives in designer shops, desperate to get the next best ‘his and hers’ tops for her and the partner. Which he of course knows nothing about until the bill comes through.
Another thought. Are these women turning their partners into clones whilst trying to model them into something they want them to be? Demanding they wear this shirt with that tie and those chinos? Are these women doing it for their partner’s benefits? Or to address their own insecurities? Does that designer label make them feel somehow more confident or more of a woman? Or is it just how we continue to live in the world of the AmEx card?