over50feeling40: July Monthly Style Tip: For Those Who Seriously Hate to Shop
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Jul 7, 2017

July Monthly Style Tip: For Those Who Seriously Hate to Shop

It is the First Friday of the month, and the time I usually offer one style tip to keep in mind throughout the month.  Something happened recently which has resulted in the post being a bit different this time.

In fact, this post may be for a very small segment of the audience.  But, I feel really compelled to address the fact there are some women who hate shopping so much it makes them physically ill.  Recently, I was with a group of ladies discussing all the great sales going on and planning our shopping strategy.  One woman boldly declared she never shops and hates it to her very core.

We probed to find out why and to encourage her to go…and she began to experience the beginnings of a panic attack.  I still wanted to encourage her to get over her fears, but when she began to look ill, I stopped. This was a reaction I would have expected from someone being asked to jump out of a plane…not go to the mall.   I thought about her for days and how, if she will allow me, I would be willing to walk through this with her and face the shopping demons: 

After much thought, here are my tips for handling this situation:
1.       First, go to lunch.  I would listen to her tell her story of why shopping is such a huge fear. And I would mentally note each road block she mentions.  I might ask her to explain fully and to really consider what is going on in the store or dressing room.
2.       Then I would offer to shop with her.  If she is feeling overweight, I would teach her the principals of fitting her current body and how to look great right now.  If she is feeling old, I would teach her how to look current and put together.
3.       I would try to show her that clothing which does not fit well is not an indictment of her…but of the clothing. Not all clothing is for all women.  Sizing is not universal.
4.       Above all, I would show her that it is fun and to laugh throughout the process.  Clothing that does not fit or look right is not an indictment of the woman or a reason to think badly of yourself.

Hopefully, a fun, positive experience would be a good start to such a woman feeling better about it.  I do understand low self-esteem does not just happen, and is not completely fixed in one afternoon.  All I ask for is a willing heart and belief it can turn around.  I hope this woman and others will be willing to go forward and enjoy life more.  It is just too short not to.

How would you handle this situation?

Has anyone else experienced this type of extreme hatred for shopping?  Maybe give us some insight as to why it would affect your health.....

For those who like to shop...here are some fun items currently on sale.....

Smile While Your Shop!


  1. Wow. I don't like shopping, I've always wished there was just a store that always had the same thing, nice basic casual office wear, pants that have the waist at the waist, not down around the coccyx (pet peeve, I basically can't shop at any of the stores near my SoHo office because they are all aimed at twentysomethings with the lowrider pants and lots of skin), blouses in the cool colors I favor (specifically I love teals and other blue-greens and it always bugs me when you walk into a store and they've decided that this year everybody is supposed to wear mauve or orange or something). I would go to that store ALL THE TIME. Or at least when something wore out. But I don't get anywhere near that wound up. Just increasingly crabby.

    I actually do tend to wait until I need a few items before I grit my teeth and hit the stores - I'd rather concentrate the unpleasantness in one day.

    I did learn this year to make sure that my shopping trip to go replace the pairs of pants (or whatever) that are all getting shabby at the same time because I bought them all at the same time doesn't coincide with prom season. Holy cow, I went to Macy's and didn't figure this out until I had an armload of decent-looking stuff to try on. By that point I'd invested enough time in the shopping trip that I decided it was worth waiting however long it was going to take to get into the changing room. Fortunately being patient paid off, I did find some nice things on sale, so the wardrobe is now spruced up enough that I won't have to shop again for a good long while!

    1. Thank you, Bonnie...I appreciate you sharing this so much. I think these are all understandable reasons to not like shopping. I can see where living in SOHO would present some challenges. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. Hi, Pam! There are actually some people who literally are "afraid of the marketplace", agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations where you might feel panicked, trapped, helpless or embarrassed. If I had a friend who just "hated shopping", I would offer to go with her, and take her to a smaller shop (such as J.Jill or Loft) and offer to help her. If I knew some of the people who worked there, I would introduce her and maybe forewarn them if possible that she was anxious about shopping, and perhaps if she could find a friendly employee to latch on to, this would help her. I worked at both the stores I mentioned, and we often had shoppers that would come and look for a specific employee. Back to agoraphobia, this can be so severe that the person may not even want to leave the house. But, a lot of times, it can be that they just don't like crowds, etc. Professional help is probably needed to overcome agoraphobia, so sadly sometimes a friend can't really help that much. There is always online shopping!! :)

    1. Good to know, Beth. I was not aware of this...I will do some research. You are always helpful!


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!