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Shopping, the good and the ugly
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Today was my most frustrating shopping day ever. My goal: to find one single cardigan or light sweater to take along to Eastercon. I went to three different shops: Next, Wallis, and Dorothy Perkins. Success? Absolutely zero. According to Next, we've already moved into T-shirt and shorts weather. (Not according to my body temperature, we're not!) There wasn't a single cardigan to be seen. According to Wallis, we all wear only business clothing, all the time. Ahem. And Dorothy Perkins...well, there were size 8 sweaters (equivalent to size 6 American) and size 20s, and not a lot in between...and what there was was just awful. Desperately unflattering to any shape except maybe a stick-insect (and even then it wouldn't be flattering - just tolerable.)


On the other hand, on Friday I made one of my nicest shopping discoveries in a long time. Marks & Spencer has a new line of fair-trade shirts, and not only are some of them really nice, but they're all actually very cheaply-priced. (I don't know how they've managed this, but I'm grateful!) I was so happy about finding these. I hate buying sweatshop-made clothing, but it's almost all that's available - on the high street, you can pay cheap, cheap prices at Primark and know that you're benefiting off other people's suffering, or you can pay high prices at Gap and know that it doesn't help - you're still supporting notoriously awful sweatshops. Until now, every time I've tried to buy sweatshop-free clothing, I've had to order from a specific fair-trade catalogue, and the selection has been terrible, not to mention way above my usual spending limits. But on Friday I got two short-sleeved shirts and two long-sleeved shirts for a total of £24, which is really, really cheap, by British standards. I was thrilled. And I'll definitely be going back to M&S next time I need a new top. I just hope they'll expand their fair-trade range soon into other kinds of clothing.

So...let's hope the Radisson hotel at Eastercon has the heating cranked up high. Otherwise, I'll be shivering in my nice new fair-trade tops! Curse you, Next, Wallis, and Dorothy Perkins. But thank you, Marks & Spencer!

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