The art of new-season shopping

Don’t panic. Absolutely do not panic. The shops are full of lovely new things to buy but, says Stacey Duguid, it’s worth taking your time 

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By Stacey Duguid on

I'm doing my usual third-week-of-August routine, zigzagging round a shop like a demented mouse that's had half its brain removed in a sadistic lab experiment. There's a mountain of new-season stuff strewn across the changing-room floor and I'm protecting it like a rabid Alsatian dog (ie as if it were THE ONLY NEW SEASON AVAILABLE TO BUY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD).  

Christ only knows what will happen if I don't buy the Isabel Marant Étoile boots currently glued (with sweat) to my feet. The world will end? I MIGHT DIE? Whatever happens, I'm ready for mortal combat should any woman come near my changing-room stash.  The fact the shop is empty and no one else is remotely bothered about buying autumn clothes on a muggy August day really isn't the point.  

I can't recall a single August when I didn't get The Fear as the 1st of September loomed. It doesn't stop with me – I mean, who goes shopping for kids' winter coats on August 1 “in case they sell out”? My mum was broke when we were little and buying new clothes was a BIG deal, which is probably why I remember most of my childhood clothes. But I can't blame a frugal childhood on my seemingly uncontrollable knee-jerk approach to new-season shopping. Bloody inner voice: “Buy it, buy it, buy it now”, bloody September. 

I now know, of course, that knee-jerk new-season shopping before the entire collection has even arrived in store or online is foolish, so I return the MiH coat to the rail, and the Isabel Marant boots to shelf, and all the other things gathered in the changing room like a psychotic squirrel's nut stash and walk out of the shop unscathed. (So proud.)

Before you venture anywhere near a shop or retail website, make a list of stuff you really “need”: carrots, spinach, awesome new coat. 

Predictably, though, the moment I arrive home, I go into full SFM (September Fashion Meltdown), yet to be recognised as an official syndrome, but basically what happens when fashion eats your brain. What if I never find another pair of boots slash why did I leave The Perfect Coat hanging like a discarded boyfriend I still love for some other woman to pick up? Then, around an hour later, when common sense kicks in and I've had a proper look online, I always find a ton of stuff I prefer. This usually happens after I've bought a couple of new season “must-haves” I no longer “must have”. Not this year. 

*Prepare to be bored* Before you venture anywhere near a shop or retail website, make a list of stuff you really “need”: carrots, spinach, awesome new coat. Then think, “Do I love it, does it go with anything else in my wardrobe?” before walking away for an hour, especially when it comes to buying boots or a coat, undoubtedly the two most important things you'll buy between now and December.  

I'm biding my time before I commit to anything, holding out until I can hold out no more. Until then, I'll be hoarding things in changing rooms and spending hours clicking things in and out of my virtual shopping basket. What's the rush anyway?* We've got ages until it turns cold.  

*So, erm, the editor just informed me the Étoile boots are sold out everywhere. I don't feel very well. I actually might die. 

Some non-knee-jerk new-season bounty:


A wool trench in navy (so NOT knee-jerk)


Grey wide-legged trousers to wear all autumn


A silky dress (that may bring on SFM)


A very nice grey jumper


I hope these don't sell out



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