Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

They Call It Retail Therapy

I was standing in the fitting room in Topshop by Charing Cross, with a 60 KWh current running through my hair after trying on a couple of highly synthetic party tops. A blue little wrap dress had completely out-foxed me by this stage. Was I supposed to tie that string around here and… no, that didn’t work… maybe it should go like this… but were you supposed to bare one breast like that in the fashion of an Amazonian archer?

I miss my sister a great deal most of the time, but never more than then. (That might not be strictly true, but go with me on this one, OK?)

Don’t get me wrong, now. I enjoy roaming like a lone wolf down the London high street, and I like it even better when I’ve got girlfriends around. Aurora, La Senorita and I have made many last-minute raids on H&M in Long Acre Street to complement our office outfits with something cheap & glittery before heading out on town – which I realise sounds very naff and Cosmo of us, but hey!

(My favourite defence against any criticism, by the way. I feel any accusation can be deflected by a bright “but hey!”. It’s got the right combination of resignation and cheer.)

Still, nothing beats shopping with my sister. She has seen me squeeze into golden flares in Poland (but still loves me) and helped me hide skirts in the scarf section of Zara in Brussels. She is the person who surgically removed me from a little silk dress in Strasbourg, and the only other living human being who not only understands, but actually says things like: “I want it if it makes me look like I do in that mirror, but not if it makes me look like I do in this mirror.”

She would have wrapped me up in that baffling Topshop dress in a jiffy, spun me around like a ballerina in a tin box and ordered me to buy it.

“I really miss my sister”, I thought as I stepped out of the fitting room to check my reflection at a distance, left breast modestly covered at last.

Beside me, a Bambi-eyed girl was pirouetting around in those city-shorts that make long-legged people look sexy and tomboyish, and the rest of us like we should sling an axe across our shoulder and set off for the mine, singing “hey ho, hey ho, it’s off to work we go”. You know, those ones.

She glanced at me, smiled and said: “That looks really good. You should buy that one.”

Suddenly everything seemed much brighter.

“Oh, do you really think so?”

Guys, you can keep the camaraderie of the football stands. We girls have the sisterhood of the fitting room.


At 6:06 PM, Blogger Sugar said...

Så sant! City-shorts och kortisar går inte ihop. It's not fair

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Mel said...

You're right, there's nothin' like a sister for a shopping buddy. I'm sure you looked beautiful in that dress once the static electricity subsided and you got your breast in the right spot.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Sounds fun, but I think I'd still rather be shouting "The referee is such a F*cking W*nker!" with my Aberdeen buddies!

Boys will be boys!

At 4:31 AM, Blogger shellz said...

SO TRUE! My sis and I always squeeze into the same change room, and try on each other's outfits. Besides which, a sister will enjoy being DEADLY honest with you about how it really looks. Now, that's love...

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Helen said...

So true about needing a sister to shop with! I'm looking forward to hitting Oxford St at Easter with my sister when I come back for the weekend! Can't wait!! Helen

At 4:36 PM, Blogger treespotter said...

a bit OOT, but is the Charing Cross book any good?

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Swedish Girl said...

I read it YEARS ago & liked it. It’s a weird little book, but it’s funny in a dry and nostalgic sort of way.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Amelle Romano said...

its always good to have a girl company while your shopping


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