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How to get the best from shopping overseas

Written by Jackie O'Fee on July 14th, 2016.      1 comments


We’ve all got them – that top you bought at a bazaar in Turkey, those batik MC Hammer pants that were perfect for those balmy Balinese nights or the scarf that everyone on your travels seemed to be wearing. The items bought on holiday that don’t translate once you’re home.

We might, after a time, throw that piece of holiday nostalgia away, but more often it stays, tucked away in a drawer or bereft at the back of the spare room wardrobe. 

Then there’s those pieces that you still wear many years later: the dress garnered from that boutique in the alleyway in Paris, the leather jacket from that tiny store in Rome. I have long espoused that we are emotionally connected to our clothing, and certainly clothing bought while travelling has some of the very strongest sentiments.

But when travelling it’s so easy to be seduced by the environment, the people we see around us, the romance of where we are. Surely, if we are in Paris we must buy some gorgeous item of clothing? In Italy, we need that beautiful pair of shoes. You can’t leave Shanghai without a silk jacket, right? It’s all so wrapped up in our experience, we often get it wrong.

So how to choose wisely?  If your intention is to shop while you’re away the easiest way to ensure you’ll be buying items you’ll actually wear and enjoy at home for years to come is to follow a few simple guidelines and ask yourself some questions:
  • Pre-trip planning: grab yourself a fashion magazine before boarding – you can do this a couple of weeks out or at the airport bookstore. Heading to the northern summer while it’s freezing at home? Grab a title from your destination to see what’s trending and make sure it’s published in the same season as you’ll be shopping.
  • Google is your friend. Research where the best shops for you are. Be it outlet stores or high-end boutiques, it’s nice to know where you’ll find what you’re looking for.
  • When shopping ask yourself: Is this a trend you’ve seen at home? Maybe it’s the opposite season but if that piece is on trend you will have seen inklings of it online, in magazines or hints of the style during the previous season at home.
  • Can you imagine wearing that at home? It may work brilliantly on the beach but if you can’t see yourself heading to a cafe with friends in it – it might be best left behind.
  • Do you absolutely LOVE it? Leave anything ho-hum behind, if the romance of a holiday isn’t enough to sell it, you’ll hate it in real life.  
  • Get professional help: Contact a personal stylist at your destination and have them show you the best of what’s on offer.
This has been a rather thinly-veiled advertisement for our upcoming shopping trip to Melbourne! If you fancy getting away with a small group and exploring the shops of Australia’s most stylish city under the guidance of a Personal Stylist, join us on the 12th - 16th of September. Call us on 529 5115, email for details. Be quick - there’s limited spaces available!


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