So remember when I said that I felt a shopping binge coming on? It happened.

I happened to be in Causeway Bay and there was a Gap sale on and I wandered into it because I’ve always loved Gap’s style even though it is a tad on the expensive side for the casualness of the clothing, and for once, the sale prices were actually good. And wham. V found himself standing around for 20 minutes with no end in sight and finally, he decided to just get a seat. One hour later, I still wasn’t done and he suggested I come back on a Monday morning when the lines for the fitting queue weren’t quite so long, not to mention that I should be looking at Mango which was on sale too.

After all that trying, I came away with a pair of jeans for a really good price, one T-shirt, again dirt cheap, and a tank that I ended up returning later. I’m pleased about the jeans because it does thrill me to own Gap jeans but also I’m so in need of jeans to suit my newly trim ass.

So, I decided on a shopping day. I didn’t even need to come into Causeway Bay because the mall in my part of town has all the four shops I targeted – Gap, Zara, Mango and H&M. What I’ve realised is that while there was a time when shopping for me was a whimsical exercise, now with time and money not on my side, I need a strategy.

I need to compare. I need to try on because I have bulges in places that can be hidden but only with the right clothes. I need a good refund policy. All this takes time, and prunes the stores I’m willing to visit. Gap never used to be on my list, but now it is.

Anyway, I first visited H&M. The tragedy is that when my friend was in town we browsed in H&M and I ended up buying a pair of slouchy cotton pants which I noticed are now on sale for half the price. And of course, I’d lost the receipt. Well, I’m actually quite good at keeping receipts, but somehow this one got lost even though the pants were still in the bag with the tag on. Finally, today, I stopped searching for the receipt, ripped the tag off and wore the pants. They are wonderful, but my heart breaks a little to think I could have got them 50% off. The rest of the stuff in H&M was not awesome though. I dumped my pile in a corner and left for Zara.

Zara has beautiful clothes. Just that they are in the 200hkd and above range on sale, which is fine because they are well tailored and can be worn to office, except I don’t need such clothes anymore. Ditto Mango.

So on to Gap. And yeah, lots of things that suit my current aesthetic. Which I realise has returned to blue and denim. I am feeling the desperate desire for a denim skirt, or dress, or shorts. I got myself a dress, a pair for cropped trousers, a couple of tops, and a jersey dress that is way out of my budget but looked so good. I also tried on one of those black jersey sheath dresses and loved it, but I realise that this is not going to get worn a lot. The same problem with the jersey dress, and I’m still thinking I might return it. One month return policy, even on sales items.

I belatedly realised that I had not really bought t-shirts which were the thing I claimed I needed. These days, T-shirts which are the simplest thing really, have become annoyingly expensive, by which I mean they are not to be had for less than 70$. This is 20$ above my preferred price point. Unlike some boys, I do not want to be spending good money on a T-shirt, although just about anything will not do either. I bought a couple of stripey T-shirts but I’m planning on returning them having finally found acceptable options in Baleno.

Oh, and finally, I bought a swimsuit. I have been swimming a fair bit and a trip to Bali is coming up, so I figure two swimsuits in the closet is warranted. I’m pleased that I got one at a decent rate – nice swimsuits are another thing that are insanely expensive for an itty bitty piece of clothing – and its a design that I’ve been coveting for some time. Gave it a whirl in the pool yesterday and it was great.

Hurrah.

Except I am so broke. I have two  conference trips with a little leisure tagged on and am literally watching the pennies. In addition my beauty supplies need replenishing.

My Shiseido make-up removing gel got over, and I went and bought this Bioderma micellar water, which is really not working for me. It’s supposed to be the wonder item that French women and models use and I cannot believe I fell for that trick. I am not French nor a model but a mother-of-two with oily skin living in Hong Kong which has 90% humidity at this time. What was I thinking?

On a more positive note, a friend kindly leant me some Moroccanoil to try and I think it’s the thing for my hair. Only I can’t afford it. Dilemmas dilemmas.

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