Many men may dispute this but I think the vast majority of women would agree that shopping definitely requires a certain skill set. Now new research suggesting that these skills are not perfected until a women reaches her 50’s gives us plenty of reason to start training now.

A study conducted by MyHighSt of 2000 women suggests that, like many things, our shopping skills improve with age. Whilst the amount of time spent shopping appears to decline, women in their 50’s feel much more confident in their choices. Many young girls will buy whatever is on trend but older women know what suits them by this stage. Jewellery Designer, Sophie Harley, agrees “As an older woman, I think women’s shopping skills do improve with age. We know exactly what our style is, so we tend to zone in on the particular classic fashions that we know will suit us, rather than the latest fashion trends.” Clare Burgess of AlliumB agrees, “My shopping skills have definitely improved with age, I know what suits me and what I like, so I’m really focused on finding it. Occasionally this takes time (almost 2 years to find the perfect watch for my 40th), but as I’m not compromising I know I will love it forever.”

According to the research many women develop this strategic approach with 43% describing their shopping trips as “well thought out” and with six out of ten women conducting online research before purchasing. This military precision reaps its own rewards with 97% saying they feel nice in what they have bought. Sophie, takes a different approach “Personally, I don’t plan my shopping trips, I tend to buy clothes when I’m just generally out and about, otherwise I never find anything. Also as I know my style well, I have a 2 hour max shopping window to get the things I like which works well for me.”

So do we get older and wiser when it comes to fashion? Who hasn’t got cringeworthy photos of bad fashion choices from their teenage years or can’t remember the pangs of guilt from clothes you bought in your twenties and never wore? As we get older we have less time to spend trawling the shops so it becomes all the more important that we make wise purchases. Our choices also become more dictated by our lifestyle; miniskirts and Doc Martens might be fine for stomping to and from school but are not going to take you from boardroom to dinner to parents evening. The older woman’s wardrobe has to be as hardworking as she is.

This survey may not go a long way to convincing men that shopping skills need to be perfected but I think we can all agree that we’ll have a lot of fun practising.

Samantha Vandersteen

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