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The New York Post has been garnering a lot of buzz with their piece on women who struggle with “shopping bulimia.” And whether or not, we’re buying it or not, it seems that there are women getting away with the trend.

The condition with the catchy name (termed by the paper) is meant to describe the habits of women who frequently buy and return clothing, shoes and accessories. The self-confessed “binge-and-purge” shoppers find the items either online or in the store and eventually give them back without wearing.

While some women chalk it up to not wanting to spend time waiting for a dressing room or compulsively adding things into their online shopping carts, all the women have their own excuses. One woman even says that she would try on clothes but is scared bedbugs- a fairly legitimate fear. But even with their different excuses all of the women in the piece admit they have a problem: they are impulse buyers.

In the piece, one woman talks about prepping for a special event saying she “spent more than $1,000 on potential ‘Wheel of Fortune’ outfits at Zara, J.Crew and major department stores.”

While it may make little difference given the virtual barrier of online shopping, reading the piece we had to wonder how these women avoided getting known with customer sales reps from store to store as a chronic “shopping bulimic.” The women in the piece though are privileged, moneyed Manhattan housewives. It makes us wonder if pulling this buy then return would work if the women involved were women of color.

Tell us what you think Clutchettes: would women of color be unable to pull of chronic buying and returning or is “shopping bulimia” colorblind?

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  • Sia

    Buyers Remorse is REAL. I know because I experience it. I don’t buy stuff just to “have it” or to “show off”. I genuinely buy things that I need. However, it causes me a lot of anxiety to purchase things. This goes back to when I was a kid and my parents always told us that we didn’t have enough money to buy clothes. I have internalized this and even to this day I feel guilty for wanting or buying clothes and end up returning them days later. It isn’t about retail therapy for me.

  • Shopping bulimia. Like the actual eating disorder it seems to be more common, accepted, and possibly even encouraged among lithe white girls with a knack for style. As for black women I think if the “phenomenon” originated with us (which it most likely did we just go to Ross or Macy’s instead of J. Crew) it would be looked down upon and we wouldn’t be so open to talking about our destructive fetish.

    Additionally, shopping bulimia may have become the only way to keep up appearance in this not too distant financial crisis. After three years, maybe more, of scrimping, saving, and weathering the storm we the women of the United States (black and white alike) are regaining our confidence in the economy by going on shopping benders we probably know we shouldn’t. We feel we’ve earned it, and what better way than to restore our former fancy selves then to invest in the ultimate symbol of some kind of status be it that outfit not on sale on the mannequins or an iPad 2.

    http://changecomesslow.com/2011/03/15/a-world-trained-by-apple/