In Defence of Breakup Shopping

Here's why Ariana Grande's retail therapy makes us want to say 'Thank You, Next' and gift ourselves

breakup shopping

Words: Daniël Geldenhuys | Photograph: Getty 

After Ariana Grande broke up with Pete Davidson, she went to Chanel and bought two grande bags worth of fashion. It was one of the first times she was spotted in public since fans learned that her whirlwind engagement was over, her icy confident expression a precursor to her mega meme-generating single 'Thank You, Next'.

Breakup shopping is a real thing. A subsection of retail therapy, it's a way to reassess and reaffirm the way you see yourself from the outside in. It's also a catalyst for the type of reinvention, however big or small, that helps you get back out there and move on with your life.

Annoyingly, there's an air of taboo around breakup shopping. The Daily Mail published a story warning women against the financial turmoil it could cause. A study, which they refrain from sufficiently referencing, says women are likely to spend about R800 more than what they wouldn't normally have spent after a breakup. Sophie Saint Thomas for Refinery 29 implies that breakup shopping isn't a healthy outlet, before rightly acknowledging her financial privilege to do so.

"I'm not sorry," says Youtuber Kym Does Kym in a post-breakup shopping haul video. She's absolutely right: there is no shame in treating yourself after an emotionally taxing episode in your life. As long as it's not the only way you're dealing with your breakup (be sure to also reconnect with friends, maintain a healthy fitness routine, seek exciting new challenges at work, start a new hobby etc) it can be majorly beneficial, and nothing to be ashamed of.

There's also this lovely fact of life: if you bought something in an emotionally fragile state that isn't really going to have a function in your life, you can always return it.

To an extent, breakup shopping is also statement shopping. You're looking for pieces with presence – something that expresses a sense of optimism and joy about yourself. You're building a look that says 'I'm doing great! I'm my best self, doing the most.' Even if that's not completely how you feel, this is the time to harness the 'dress for the job you want' mentality. Your feels will catch up to your look soon enough.

And yes, breakup shopping doesn't only apply to relationships. It works great for moving on from a job, housemate from hell, or bad habit. Moving away from toxic things in your life is something fashion loves to celebrate. Happy shopping!

And with just a week to go until Xmas, why not go on and gift yourself? Breakup shopping starts here. Lucky You.

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