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Sunday, April 6, 2014

how much you shop ... how much time and how many you see (and discard) .....

Wearing a new dress no doubt lifts one’s spirits – when you are out to buy one, you think of that perfect dress – matching your thinking, likes and more.  There are some Qs – to which ‘silence’ would be the best answer….  You attend a marriage with your family ….. and few weeks later, your wife asks you about the colour of saree [was it peacock blue or copper sulphate … !] … I am weak in identifying colours -  Colour is a function of the human visual system, and is not an intrinsic property. Objects don't "have" color, they give off light that "appears" to be a color.  It is the ‘Visual perception’, the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible light.

Copper(II) sulfate, also known as cupric sulfate or copper sulphate, is the chemical compound with the chemical formula ‘CuSO4’. This salt exists as a series of compounds that differ in their degree of hydration. The anhydrous form is a pale green or gray-white powder, whereas the pentahydrate the most commonly encountered salt, is bright blue.  Here is representative depiction of ‘peacock blue’….  Can you really distinguish them … ladies do – but mostly those employed in ‘blouse’ matching centres are male !!

For many Chennaites – weekends are lost in Thegaraya Nagar – (more popularly T Nagar)  that  has everything for people of all walks of life… from platform shops, pedlars, small shops to sprawling shops – mainly textiles and of course Gold jewellers.  Some of the famous shops selling textiles include :  Nalli, Kumaran Textiles, Pothys, Chennai Silks, Kumaran Stores, Sri Krishna, Murugan Textiles, Textiles India, Saravana Stores, Saravana Selvarathinam Stores, Jayachandra Textiles and more…   sure you have had to accompany your wife on a buying spree, have you taken your mother, your sister, or friend – to one of these saree shops ….and can you tell any difference ? – there would be no end to surprises of the women’s power to distinguish colours, relate to what they have and what someothers have …. and contemplate moving to another shopping complaining that ‘the shop where they had spent hours – has little of variety; salespersons did not display enough (when they would standing near heaps of garments)’ – compare this with a Europa showroom selling Van Heusen; Louis Philippe, Allen Solly – size 40 – slack – some 20 odd pieces to chose – and you complete your purchase so happily ….

T Nagar shops where the chemical element with the symbol Au (Latin aurum – shining dawn) enamours woman is different ….  Infront of those garment shops – there are crowded waiting places -  you can find concerned menfolk, waiting with patience, as their woman do the shopping inside ….in Tamil magazines, you can read jokes on the long hours of their wait – not knowing the fate of their purse; and the look that the salesperson might do when confounded with the Q of whether one looks slim and beautiful on that outfit and whether it is similar to the one that she wore for a function a couple of years ago !!! …….if there was a smile on your face, thoughts running fast of your own experience – do read on what Daily Mail says ‘Women really don’t  know what they want: Indecisive female shoppers try on 40,000 pieces of clothing in their lifetime, but only buy one in seven’

The interesting article that appeared on 26th Mar 2014 states - Indecisive women try on and reject more than 40,000 items of clothing while shopping during an average lifetime, a new poll has revealed. The number is enough to clothe the population of a town such as Yeovil in Somerset or The Shetland Islands in Scotland. [what is so rejected in T Nagar would be enough for population of Mylapore, Triplicane, Mambalam, Nungambakkam … by Chennai standards !]

Researchers quizzed men and women on their changing room habits when on a shopping trip ~ and in that search of that elusive perfect dress – the number of items one tries an discards, quickly piles up. Women admitted to trying on an average of 12 items each shopping trip with five such outings each month. It means they try on around 720 different items of clothing each year - or 43,200 over the course of a 60 year shopping lifetime. Yet despite trying on more than four times as many clothing items as men, women actually buy less per shopping expedition, according to the research.

It further states that - Women only actual buy one in seven of the clothes they take into the changing room…. The study found women try on an average of seven items to find one they are willing to buy, while men are happy to purchase two out of every three items tried on in the changing rooms.  Many men said they had already chosen to buy the item before they tried it on for size and men were also more likely to go shopping with a particular outfit in mind. Men also went shopping half as frequently as women, averaging just 2.5 visits to clothing stores each month compared with five for ladies. They tried on an average of just three items each trip making 90 items a year or 5,400 during their lifetimes - eight times less than their wives and girlfriends.

The research confirms the theory that men have a 'hunter gatherer' instinct when it comes to shopping, while women are more happy to graze among the aisles. Fashion conscious women spend up to 22 minutes in a changing room trying on their seven items. Men, however, will be in and out of a cubicle in five minutes. Women were also more likely to view shopping as a social activity with the vast majority preferring to do it with at least one friend while 85 per cent of men opted to shop alone.  One woman among those quizzed said: 'I'm really indecisive when it comes to buying clothes. It takes me ages to pick the things I want to take in and even longer to try them all on. 'I must get through around 50 items during a typical trip and out of those I probably end up taking about ten per cent home with me.'


A spokesperson for NetVoucherCodes, who conducted the study, said: 'It isn't easy to find the right clothes but it's shocking to realise that women try on and reject more than 40,000 items during their lifetimes. Many a times, statistics get extrapolated ~ but not sure whether this theory would work fine with Indian women – given the overflowing wardrobe with many never worn or even forgotten that some such thing was bought at a high price ~ and accompanying women to ‘matching centre’ where they buy matching blouse material for their colourful saree could be quite an experience [is it the body colour of the saree or the border colour ?]

Life is always interesting, when you see colours !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
27th Mar 2014.


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