How I became an Instagram shopaholic

And tried to snap out of it

(Image credit: Rex)

And tried to snap out of it

My name is Penny, and I’m a shopaholic. Or an Instagram shopaholic I should say. I know, so 2017, right?

Full disclosure: I’ve always been into shopping, I love the buzz of buying something new and the anticipation of wearing it the very next day to work. Some people might spend loads on takeaway meals, going to the cinema, or a fine wine maybe. Me? I’ve always been passionate about clothes (hey, I’m a fashion editor after all).

But, somewhere along the last year or so, it all got a bit out of hand.

It all started innocently enough. I followed one or two fashion bloggers and editors I liked on Instagram, then a few more (ah the pitfalls of the follow suggestion). I’d casually double tap outfits as I went along.

Then one day, I saw a top I really liked. Tapping on the picture to bring up the credits, I noticed it was from H&M (bargain), so off I clicked to buy it online - and that’s how it all started going downhill.

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Soon, I became addicted to checking my feed, to see what my style crushes were wearing, looking to get out of my style rut. It didn’t help that most of the people I followed were UK based and wearing the latest high street drops. Before I knew it, I was exclusively shopping from Instagram.

It was basically the equivalent of buying something you’d seen on a friend, but multiplied by a hundred. Honestly, I can’t count how many clothes I have in my wardrobe right that I’ve bought because I liked the way they looked on an Instagrammer.

And it turns out, I’m not the only one. A recent survey showed that one in four millenials felt social media made them spend more money because they constantly compared themselves to others. A classic case of ’Keeping up with the Joneses’, digital era style.

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The problem is, apart from the fact it’s not good for my bank balance (£40 here and there does add up people), it’s actually making me lose sight of the clothes I really like. Because if you start copying other people’s style, don’t you all end up looking the same?

Plus, there’s no denying the fact that constantly comparing yourself to others, which, let’s face it, I’m basically doing, isn’t good for the soul.

So these days, I’m trying to wean myself off of it. I still go on Instagram, but I don’t obsessively check what everyone else is wearing. I’m not going to lie, I still slip up now and again and buy something, but mainly I’ve reverted back to online shopping or even going to an actual store, old school style. And I pick up things I really like, rather that what everyone else does.

Sure, it's not like I'm the only person on Instagram wearing those Zara shoes, but it's kind of nice to know I'm not purposefully copying anyone. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.