Once upon a time, I was sitting on my sofa, at home, nice and comfy, on a Saturday afternoon. It was bliss.
But, there is always a but.
I needed to buy some new clothes, autumn was around the corner, my jumpers were frayed, my work trousers faded, I wanted to refresh my wardrobe. Also, I like clothes, I like trying on new clothes, I like the change and I like the art of matching outfits.
I hate shopping.
On that Saturday afternoon, I did not want to leave my sofa to go to Oxford Street. It’s busy, the shops are too crowded with people, bad music, noise, awful clothes. It’s a chore.
So I sulked and stayed at home instead. I imagined myself like a little toddler, having a tantrum on the floor of Mango and beating my fists into the plastic tiles.
It’s not fair, I bawled, why can’t they bring the clothes to me?? Why do I have to trawl through everything, all by myself. Can’t it be like the old days where I’d go shopping with my girlfriends and we’d have a whale of a time, laughing, gossiping, putting the world to rights, styling each other?
I suppose I could have used online shopping, certainly it’s convenient, but it’s not fun. It’s not enjoyable. And I like to physically try things on before I buy. Yes I can easily return things online, but it’s a right pain to find a Post Office open around my office hours – assuming my parcel wasn’t delivered there in the first place because “you were out”.
I didn’t want shopping to be convenient or digitally native. I wanted it to be fun. How do I have fun?
I spend time with my friends and loved ones, that’s how. We go to the cinema, to museums, to restaurants and to bars, to country pubs and city sights.
So this got me thinking.
How come you can order a five course meal to a table in a restaurant, but not a skirt? How come you can enjoy a film in a comfy chair next to your friends, but not enjoy an evening dress? How come you can meet your friends over cocktails, but not over cocktail dresses?
Because no one has created a social venue for clothes. We have social venues for golf even! But while food enjoys the social setup of a restaurant, clothes are stuck in glorified supermarkets.
So I’ve invented the first social venue for clothes: House Of.
This is shopping made fun, this is shopping as part of your social life.