Do you get it yet......?
Ok so fresh with new resolve following Susie So Sos fantastic post on shopping at Primark I headed off , with a friend for moral support, to try again. On the agenda - jumpers, preferrably with some content that is natural, a scarf, a belt, p.js ( for me this time), jewellery, and some kids bedding. Quite a list really.
- The first thing I did wrong was go at 11am rather than 9am, but I have 3 kids to get to school and the darn shop is a half an hour drive and then a walk and a coffee away so whats a gal to do! I did see a rather nice jacket just inside the entrance, but on closer inspection the collar was rather wonky so I hastily moved on to the 'knitwear'.
- Now I did try, really I did. I looked at a fair few jumpers here. I also looked out for Sue hiding in a corner undoing and checking buttons in case she could help me, but no such luck! On the surface there was a few things I liked the look of , but touch the fabric and it goes downhill. Rough, rough, rough. I could not find one item that was not less than 98% acryylic. In the end I was throwing items back on the pile like a pro declaring "nope" " nope" and "nope again", before realising I was one of the culprits who leave this store in a devastatingly muddled mess that makes it so unwelcome to shop in at times. So gave up and empty handed moved onto...
- P.Js. Now I rather fancied the bird print p.j bottoms on Susie SoSos blog. Looking all ironed and pretty and well worth the money, but heres the rub. I'm a funny shape. Long legs. Short body you see. ( Think Olive Oyl)I need long bottoms. They seem to come in regular or cuffed and unfortunately I don't have regular or cuffed legs so it was a no go from the start. If you are a regular or cuffed type of gal then 100% cotton p.j bottoms from £3 are to be found. There were some rather pretty owl print ones . So Primark I will confess your P.Js could be a winner - as long as you don't have long legs.
- Accessories then . Now I have had success here before. Buying a few scarves and the odd jewellery item that isn't too yellow or guady. If you can get over the fact that you will see a lot of people wearing your scarf then no problem. I have a lovely owl print scarf in grey, but so do two of my friends! Good job I don't mind. Today I was on the hunt for a splash of animal print. I don't want to spend much as it will go out of fashion and accessories are easily and cheaply replaced. It is also a good way of trying this trend out without looking like the old MDAL. Success - scarf in 100% cotton. Gorgeous print and feel, although the stitching needs a bit of attention, but for £4 who cares? Also an animal print belt with a gold buckle. Not too much bling, not too over the top and only £3. It won't last longer than this winter, but then will the trend?
- I had no luck with the bling today. All brightly coloured and gaudy. Horrid. Some you win some you lose.
- Now the bedding, again I was pleasantly surprised.100% cotton and some lovely simple and classic designs. I couldn't decide between two designs and also was uncertain what size bed we are getting my eldest son for his new room so chickened out on the purchase, but I will be back.
- Whilst in the depths of the store I also picked up 6m of wrap for £1 and Susie is right- it does the job and doesn't rip.
- I also saw a few other odd bits amongst the piles of tat that is there - packs of strong wooden hangers for £2.50, antibacterial handwipes £1 for 2 packs, a scarf or tie hanger for £1, and of course my usual purchases of kids underwear and jeans.
So where am I now with the whole Primark is amazing thing? Well I would say I'm on a learning curve. I still cannot find adult buys that satisfy my need for quality over cost and the fear of throwing things away too soon when they wear out gnaws at my conscience. BUT there are bargains to be found if you hunt and look AND there is money to be saved by doing this. Wrapping paper is a huge expense with three kids so thats a big plus. Bedding - if it's good quality then it's a winner. I must admit to being a White company addict but for the youngsters I don't think they'd know the difference. Scarves for yourself or as a present that is pretty , yet affordable - yes. I'll go with that. Teachers gifts at end of term maybe?
We still breathed a sigh of relief when we left and scurried guiltily off to M & S to look for school uniform. I don't know if it was the release of PPS (Post Primark stress), but I came out of M & S with a half price Mac and a pair of £5 P.Js ( 100 % cotton of course with the top included !). Very happy. And I know they will last.
I think it all comes back to the old question of budget . We have to live within our means and here is an outlet for us to get more for that budget. But,the questions that then get raised are:
- Is it a quick fix, but not a long term saving?
- Does it perpetuate the consumer mentality - Buy cheap, throw away quickly?
- Is this good for our environment?
- How do they get those prices down - or is it just easier to ignore that fact?!
- Are these really the great prices we think they are?
Very provocative questions I know and I'm sure apply to a great many stores other than just Primark. In our quest for fabulous fashion at great prices I think the answer is to be wise, open minded, do the research, shop around and then decide. And then throw into the mix a bit of the old impulse buying just to keep it fresh!