There's a legendary story among my friends about one of us – we won't name – who, after a night out, found herself in a high-end boutique purposefully purchasing a handbag, much to the delight of the staff.
She only had recollection of buying the bag when she woke up the next morning spooning said bag in her bed, surrounded in the tissue paper she'd joyously scrunched up and strewn about herself in celebration of this excellent purchase.
Who among us isn’t guilty of online shopping when two wines deep. Credit:Shutterstock
The bag is still used by my friend, and so is the anecdote by the rest of us. But she is certainly not alone in shopping while, er, merry.
According to a recent article in Forbes, Americans spent an estimated $US39.4 billion ($55.23 billion) on spontaneous drunk purchases last year, up from $US30.43 billion ($42.66 billion) in 2017.
Research from finder.com has found men are more likely to drunk shop than women (though tend to buy food over other purchases), millennials spend the most while drunk, and 52 per cent of women say they've bought shoes or clothes while tipsy.
Given one of my chief hobbies, and modes of relaxing, is wish-listing items on the Net-a-Porter app, I enter fraught territory after a glass or two of wine.
I once ruthlessly tracked down a pair of Alexander Wang sandals online after a long, long lunch, triumphantly finding them on sale on an obscure website and feeling as though I had a won a prize (my credit card statement revealed I had not, in fact, won anything).
Meanwhile, the shoes, a half-size too small ("they'll stretch out," I reasoned with myself out loud, cheeks flushed with success and rosé ), were returned. My lesson was probably not totally learned.
Fashion e-tailer The Iconic says customers aged 18 to 24 are more likely than any other demographic to be late-night shopping and at midnight on a Friday and Saturday night the percentage of daily sales by 18 to 24 year-olds is at least 30 per cent higher than The Iconic's average customer.
Weirdly, Calvin Klein receives its highest product views between the hours of 10pm and 6am, with the Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Bralette ranked as the 4th highest selling item for these late night shoppers.
According to eBay, a lot of people are buying makeup in the early hours of the morning with 15 per cent of Australian shoppers making purchases between 12am and 9am. A clear indicator that people have fallen down a wine-fuelled YouTube beauty vlogger tunnel on a quest to nail the perfect smoky eye, for instance, and now have all the tools, but perhaps not the confidence from the night before, to do so.
There are whole corners of the internet dedicated to people sharing the purchases they made while drunk and then later regret. A personal stand-out is the person who bought their pet toad (?) 100 tiny top hats while under the influence.
And, yes, there is much to be concerned about here when it comes to conspicuous consumption and making bad decisions while inebriated. Of course it is a bad thing to wake up the next day with not just a searing hangover and a vague recollection of doing The Nutbush with Bill from accounts at the staff Christmas party, but making a sizeable, regrettable dent on your credit card is another source of shame. We're definitely not advocating problem drinking or a shopping addiction.
But sometimes it's OK to do something silly. To throw caution to the wind, fire up your favourite shopping app after two espresso martinis and buy the puffy sleeve blouse that sensible and sober you would have refrained from because it's not your "style". Maybe drunken you has better style? Or least a sense of giddy adventure and a willingness to experiment.
Sometimes, too, it's OK to UberEATS 20 chicken nuggets to your door after your best friend's hen's do, and high five yourself as you eat them with relish.
So long as your actions aren't impacting on others, or sending you broke, the occasional champagne-fuelled ruthless hunt to find the perfect pair of strappy mules you absolutely have nowhere to wear, or a spontaneous fiddle leaf fig purchase, after drinks with the girls is A-OK.
There's much to learn about yourself in discovering the tastes of your tipsy alter-ego in the cold, harsh light of the morning, and, at the very least, it makes for a highly enjoyable dinner party anecdote.
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