I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with a chain store love affair. In fact, chain stores are the epitome of a New Zealand girls wardrobe in general simply because of a lack of access to big fashion brands and a wider array of options.
Unfortunately, the inexpensive convenience of chain store shopping means sharing your favorites with hundreds of other girls and when you live in a country as small as New Zealand it means that the chance of running into another wearing the same clothes is all to high.
Chain store shopping has nothing to do with a lack of creativity, or love for innovative & interesting fashions – if I could afford it I would constantly splurge on New Zealand designer clothing.
But let’s be honest, when we’re actually looking for something to wear that’s a little more unique & individual, the chain store route just does not satisfy…
Do not despair! Meshing flair and individuality with a love of shopping the high street is not as difficult as it might seem. Meet shopping outside the box head on with some of these ideas:
The internet has little boundaries in terms of access to fashion. There are so many places to shop online, each offering unique clothing, shoes and accessories that will set you apart from other chain store shoppers. You also have access to second hand, vintage and hand made clothing and accessories, often at quite a bargain, really allowing you to grab ahold of really original items.
You may have to pay for shipping, but it is often worth the extra $$ in exchange for picking up something really unique. Just be sure to check sizing, measurements, and ask all questions first!
Look Around for Different Shopping Locations
Sure chain store often dominate shopping center’s, but look up odd alley’s, markets or in a new part of town and you might find stores you never knew existed before – stores that don’t sell clothing in mass quantities. I love trolling through Asian fashion stores located in alley ways off of the city’s main street. They are little gold mines, and I know my finds possess some degree of unique-ness.
I don’t recommend splurging on every purchase, but from time to time it’s okay to spend a lot of money on one item of clothing. I recommend spending a little more on a really nice, well cut pair of shorts than buying several pairs for less.
Swap Out Buttons, or Make Other Minor Alterations
This one is new to me, but it is one that works. It is relatively cheap and easy to swap out the buttons and replace them with your own. I swapped out smaller buttons for large round ones on a grey cardi of mine and it had a pretty altering effect!
On the same line of thought you could go for actually altering the piece, and there are some relatively easy ways to do this. Shortening longer skirts/pants, for instance. If you like the ‘bare bones’ of an item of clothing, then there probably is a way you can alter it into something that is a little more individual. This is a seriously awesome example of how a pretty average bag was altered into something amazing.
As far as alterations are concerned, if it seems to tricky, take it to an alterations place and they’ll sort you out!
If you want to incorporate individuality into your wardrobe just do it. Believe me, it is totally worth it when you get your hands on unique pieces that aren’t likely to crop up worn by those on the street around you. In a final note, good luck! & I am always welcoming of online shopping suggestions myself. 😉