How can you tell if she's lying about her shopping?
Men, read on if you dare. Katie Gunn spills the beans on women's retail secrets
Last Saturday night as I got dressed up for a rare night out with the girls, I saw my husband shoot me an accusatory glance. "Are they new shoes?" he asked. "What, these?" I answered, "I've had these since last year, don't tell me you've never noticed them?"
Now, when I said last year what I actually meant was last week, but there was no need for him to know that now, was there? Anyway, my husband didn't take much more interest in the matter, but the incident got me wondering how many more women were telling their partners these little white lies.
Following a quick poll of my friends and a little research it seems the practice is more common than I thought.
Indeed, a recent survey by women's magazine Marie Claire found that 40% of the 1,500 20-40 year olds surveyed had bought clothes or beauty products that they had kept secret from their partners, and a shocking 80% of those women's new clothes, shoes and handbags were kept secret. It seems that the recession hasn't stopped us spending; it's just stopped us admitting to it.
Now I'm not saying every woman carries out these little deceptions, or that every man is waiting to catch us out. In fact, last time I got a day free to myself I hot-footed it to Dundrum for some much-needed retail therapy.
Four hours later I returned, guiltily shuffling in the front door with my bags. Actually there was no need -- my husband was just happy that I'd had a good day out and got some nice things for myself.
So, in a bid to make amends in some way, I am going to give all you husbands/ boyfriends/partners my Top 10 Tips for spotting your darling other halves' secret shopping sprees (sorry girls!).
1. Smuggling In From The Car She comes home without a bag in sight, waits until you leave the house, then rushes to the car, takes her haul out from under the blanket on the back seat and runs back inside to stash it all.
Next time your suspicions are raised, try heading 'to the shop' before hiding under said blanket. A nice loud 'gotcha!' should deter any similar episodes.
2. I bought It In 'The Sale' How long this one has been going is anyone's guess, but remember: 'Sale' does not mean free, and anyway -- can she prove it?
3. My Sister/Friend/ Mother Gave It to Me Pretty much anything can be passed off with this one.
Next time you meet her oh-so-generous friend, make sure to thank her for all the new clothes she's been passing on.
4. The Stash So where does all the swag go? Straight to the back of the wardrobe under a pile of old jumpers so that tags and bags can be dispensed with in our own time. Check regularly.
5. Beware the 'Inflated Cost' So you've noticed the new shoes and you want to know how much.
If she tells you a figure that makes your jaw hit the floor, she's probably using this one.
Once she's had her fun, she'll reduce the figure to a more manageable one and you'll be kissing her feet in gratitude. Cruel.
6. Change in Season With summer long over, so are our sunny wardrobes. What's a girl to do -- she can't wear flip-flops and shorts in the rain now, can she?
7. Clothes Tags On The Bedroom Floor Sometimes we just get sloppy.
Watch out for random price tags lying around the room. These can easily be slipped into your pocket and brought out later. Watch her squirm.
8. Broke The Day After Payday? She has money, lots of money, it's burning a hole in her bank account and that dress is just unbelievably gorgeous, and those shoes! Oops. Pauper again.
9. The Feel-Good Factor It's a rainy Monday evening; she's been stuck in traffic and is late home from work. But rather than the 'Grumpy Girlfriend' you'd been expecting, she skips in the door with a big smile and a kiss for you. Something's up.
10. Pay Attention To What She Wears If you don't, how are you ever going to tell what's new? You never know -- she might even be pleased.