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Henry Conway on the Art of Retail Therapy

The Resident columnist Henry Conway embraces the shop-till-you-drop mantra with gusto. ‘Tis the season, after all… 

Retail therapy is by far my favourite type of therapy. Who wants to lie out on a Freudian chaise longue telling your life story, when a personal shopper can give you the same advice and bedeck you in things that will transform your mood instantly?

Over the years when I hit a rocky patch I will always go get my hair properly blown-out (the bigger the better at Nicky Clarke, of course), and get some new threads. Coming into party season, you are spoilt for choice in London. Gone through a break up? Crushed velvet will help.

Gone through a break up? Crushed velvet will help

Worrying about Kim Jong Un? Go for sparkles. When the world is in torment, at least you can control looking fabulous to cope with the horror that surrounds you.

Mood is a funny old bean. We can go through swings and roundabouts for all sorts of reasons – sometimes you do just want a bed day, and that’s what Net-a-Porter is for. Should you not wish to step out and face the world, invite glamour into your own home.

Henry Conway on how to host a New Year's Eve party in London

Henry Conway

As the weather turns and we hunker down a little, the one thing Londoners can hang on to is the ability to dress up. On my travels around the world, nowhere else can you pull on something smart as an armour to the outside quite like you can in our own dear metrop.

Be boy or girl, this season is the season of layering. The only people that can afford not to are those with chauffeurs – for the rest of us it’s all about layering up and investing in a good coat.

Preferably, while away your downtime doing some online research – you can check out all the trends on your favourite shopping sites, then pooch down Bond or Sloane Street and get those key pieces in real life.

Much like online dating, the short cuts are there, but nothing beats picking something up in the flesh. The flirting, the wondering should you buy, should you not. The trying on for size, and then the decision to purchase – I do love a shopping excursion to get me back on track.

Those of you who are unsure of what suits you, or don’t trust your own taste, then my go-to personal shopping faves has to start with Matches, which has a brilliant menswear as well as womenswear department (and most of their stock is online to get a good idea of what you’re after beforehand).

Much like online dating, the short cuts are there, but nothing beats picking something up in the flesh. The flirting, the wondering should you buy, should you not

Then for the bigger experience, give Selfridges a go – it can be a little overwhelming on your own, so having a helping hand, and a place to retreat to, is ideal. For all those one-season buys, or for some party glitz, Topman and Topshop’s personal shopping spaces are easy and their staff are good trend barometers.

Christmas shopping can be stressful enough, so get it all done at the same time. The ‘one for you, one for me’ approach to retail therapy is as practical as it is soothing. Treat yourself – as they say in therapy speak, if you can’t love yourself, no-one else will.

Follow @henryconway on Instagram



 

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