It’s the best workout, anti-depressant, detox and mood-lifter. And that’s a statement backed by surveys, research and testimonials. While it might be damaging to your wallet’s health, it can be beneficial for your health. But like any workout, it makes you never want to walk again; like any detox, it tires the life out of you; and the mood-lifter can turn a downer when you realise how painfully the bag handles are gnawing into your hand. Shopping is fun – usually. Sometimes, though, it’s not. Even the most seasoned shopaholics agree. So now that you’ll be buying Diwali gifts by the ton for your mom-in-law, your boss and his cat, you need to know more than ever... How to shop without getting tired.
Always be prepared, especially when you know you are in for a big shopping day tomorrow.
List, List, List: Write down everything you need beforehand and if you are looking for gifts, then make a rough estimate of what you want to buy and for how many people, according to budgets. Organisation takes away a good chunk of the stress. Stylist and personal shopper Rishi Raj advises surveying your wardrobe well before setting out. "Keep in mind all the parties you will be attending in the festive season and vaguely group the separates that you want to wear together. If you find something lacking, then add it to your list," he says.
Shopping and partying don’t mix: A full night of partying followed by a day of shopping will do you no good. Ease off a bit on the days that you have set aside for shopping so you get a good night’s rest.
Friend indeed: You might want to be the Universal Soldier, but if you decide to take a friend along, ensure you have the same goals in mind and that he/she is willing to accommodate your needs.
Head over heels: While you might dress to impress at all times, it would be a wise idea to keep the six-inch stilettos aside in favour of something more staircase and baggage friendly. Stylist Vijayeta Kumar advises wearing something comfortable which allows ease of movement. "If you’re going to be trying on a lot of clothes at stores, wear something simple that doesn’t take ages to take off and put back on. Jeans and T-shirt work just fine," she says.
Prep up: But the final leg of warming up doesn’t end until you take a realistic estimate of how much you want to shop, and from how many places. Natasha Chopra, head of styling services for Select Citywalk mall, Delhi, says that it’s better if you try and not do it all at once. "It would be helpful if you don’t go out blank but do a bit of research about what you want to buy and from where. Taking an approximation beforehand via a short visit, asking friends or surfing online could really help, as you then know exactly where you will be headed. A little research can go a long way," she says.
Keep it real: Personal shopper Rishi Raj advises shoppers not to try doing it at all at once. "It’s important to understand that the shopping cannot be completed in a single day alone. A lot of stress builds up with last-minute purchases as it’s not just you but everyone around you also, trying to get things done." We suggest you break it up and start much in advance, so that you at least manage to avoid both the Sunday strollers who somehow deliberately walk slowly in front of you and the enthusiastic pushers who shove past at you at any cost.
Walking the Distance
Now, chill: You’re at the mall, just relax. If you think it will be a fun experience then it certainly will be. Natasha Chopra of Select Citywalk mall says it’s important to enjoy the experience. "There is so much buzz around, the colours and sights are really worth soaking in. If you keep making a monster out of it in your head, it will become one. Also, be open to some experimentation and trying out the latest products," she says.
Put it down: But no matter what you do, don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking you’ll be able to carry the tonnage on your own shoulders, unless you are indeed a professional bodybuilder. Look for one of those trolley bags that most malls these days tend to have, or if you are going street shopping, carry one along. Harpeet Suri, a PR professional and a self-confessed shopaholic, never shops without one and also uses it to stack her umbrella, water bottle, energy bars and sunglasses (if they aren’t already perched on her head). "My trick is to never be on my feet for too long, so whenever I visit a store or a shop, I immediately pull up a stool and sit down, whether they offer one or not," she confesses, adding that she never misses a foot massage when she gets a chance to relax while shopping. "It is so energising that I am back on my feet, right in time for a second round."
Baby’s day out: For those who like to shop plus one, the one being the baby in the stroller, there are certain things you’d like to keep in mind. Don’t get him/her along for the long hours of shopping, as babies and toddlers find it very tedious and you often see them screaming and throwing tantrums at any given market place. If you must, ensure they are in a good mood. Entice them with the wonders of the market, the play area of the malls or a treat. But whatever you do, don’t let them go hungry or thirsty. Dr Simran Saini says that hunger is the biggest reason why kids become irritable in markets. "Mothers must try and limit their shopping time when they are with kids and they should always carry some sandwiches or snacks to feed them every now and then. Entertaining them with a packet of chips or something equally unhealthy is not advised," she says.
Flip, turn, check: There is nothing worse than reaching home after a tiring shopping outing to realise there is a gaping hole in your brand new jeans or a missing string in your bandhanwar once you’ve gone through your purchases. So, amidst all the shopping madness, do check for defects. And keep all the receipts safely, in case you need to replace something later.
5 Major Shopping spree mistakes
1. Filling up on food, thinking it will give you extra energy. Or not eating at all to feel light
2. Wearing high heels or fussy clothes
3. Masquerading as the shopping coolie, carrying all the shopping bags in your hands
4. Joining the weekend rush
5. Pretending it can be done in ONE day
Eat it to Beat it
Just like a war or exam, the food you eat before you shop decides how you perform. So, don’t overeat but don’t starve either. Dr Simran Saini, nutritionist and weight loss consultant associated with Fortis Group of Hospitals, suggests healthy snacks like dhokla, steamed momos or corn, paneer tikka or bhelpuri. “These are mini meals that fill the stomach and give you energy,” she says. And do we even need to add that you must keep hydrated with water, energy drinks or lemon water? But don’t go sipping it every 15 minutes. If you do, you’ll spend all your time in the restroom queue rather than the shopping floor!
Affordable, pricey, desirable, useless, wacky: gift ideas for family, friends, colleagues
Wine cooler fitted with LED lights from Philips. Available at Philips Light Lounges.
Rs 8,850 Watch it
Go back in time with this wall clock. Available at Retro at Select Citywalk, Saket and Pacific Mall, Subhash Nagar, New Delhi.
Mind your WorR
Alphabet book ends. Available at Paraphernalia, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi.
Rs 3,000 a pair.
Ganesh Bhalchandra, made of granite, resin wood and embellished with sterling silver. From Frazer and Haws, Shop No. 11, Lodhi Colony, Delhi & Landmark Building, Pali Naka, Mumbai.
For storing baubles: handcrafted, teakwood jewellery box from The First Leaf. Order at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuff goodies in bright katran potlis. Available at ‘U’ at Select Citywalk, Saket, New Delhi and Highstreet
Palladium, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai.
From HT Brunch, October 9
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