With an entire world at our fingertips and almost anything, and anyone, at our doorsteps on express delivery, have our dating and shopping habits began to mirror one another?

Whilst online shopping has revolutionised the retail industry over the last decade, the same has occurred with online dating. With every brand jumping into the twenty-first century by creating their own unique online worlds, dating apps have replicated the same by creating online spaces for every sexual orientation, fetish and fantasy you can think of; with the added luxury of filters to aid your countless hours of browsing. Knitwear, accessories, jewellery. Bisexual, leather, bear. Whether you’re looking for boots or bondage, we now have the tools to narrow down every single detail our heart desires. 

However, the downfall to an infinite number of potential matches is the infinite number of potential problems that could go wrong. Often the thing we first see on the screen of our handheld devices is not always the same as when it comes through the post, or knocking at our door late at night. If your date or delivery doesn’t look like its pictures, it’s always good to remember that everything comes with a returns policy. And sometimes you don’t even need the 30 days to decide. But in this new era of filtered fucking and curated consumption, can we ever truly expect something to be the same in person as what it portrays to be online?

If something isn’t what you expected to be, then what we initially think isn’t for us can actually feel different after we’ve tried it on. Sometimes the jacket at the end of the sale rail, or someone at the end of the bar might need a second glance, but can actually end up being a timeless classic you wear time and time again. But I like to think that if something or someone doesn’t feel like the perfect fit, then no matter how much you try to accessorise it, probably isn’t for you.

The stores on Oxford Street are similar to the clubs in Soho in that they feel exciting, endless and you see things exactly as they truly are. After a few visits you quickly realise that although the atmosphere might feel fabulous, and at first glance might look full of purchases just ready for the taking, there isn’t a huge amount you’d actually want to take home with you. But when we combine the factor of slim pickings with a little bit of digging, sometimes you can find a hidden treasure amongst last season’s collection. And this time around you know exactly what you’re getting before the exchange of a pin or phone number. Has the swipe of a credit card become a safer option than the swipe of a tinder profile?

Whether you avoid online dating like the plague, prefer to find your new outfit in a brick-and-mortar store, or simply enjoy a mix of both, always keep your receipts.

By Jordan Wake