You know that “Born to Shop” bumper sticker? You don’t have one on your car because you can’t relate to that in the least. You’re more of a “Save the Whales” kind of girl and your idea of shopping generally consists of a quick trip to Target to replace your white T-shirt that you spilled red wine on. While the vision of leaving a shopping center with armloads of bags (reusable of course) overflowing with cute clothes really appeals to you, the act of acquiring them? Not so much. But since you’ll also acknowledge that clothes shopping isn’t quite as bad as shopping for ye old bathing suit, there’s hope for you yet.
Even if you’re not an avid clotheshorse, shopping for clothes with the right companions can be a highly pleasant experience. If shopping isn’t really your thing, then you need to carefully edit your list of who you’ll go with. You’ll want to spend it with your girlfriends who are fun, low-maintenance, and supportive in the dressing room. This may mean leaving your best frenemy — the one who gushes about your cheekbones but takes jabs at your cankles — behind. You might also want to warm up with a half-day trip before you go all in. Regardless, the all-day shopping trip is practically a rite of passage for women, so if you haven’t had yours yet, the time is now.
How to Plan for an All-day Shopping Trip
The kids are at Grandma’s, your wallet is uber-organized and you’re wearing a cute outfit, so you’re ready for your big day out. Or so you think. After a full day of elbowing through crowds and smelling overly sweet cologne pumped out of doorways, even the most enthusiastic of shoppers can start to get a little mall-weary. So how you’re dressed will make a big impact on your trip. First off, what are you shopping for? You want to look cute, but comfort is the name of this game. If you’re looking for tops, then think of wearing a blouse you can button and unbutton without pulling it over your head and having to recomb your hair each time. If you’re looking for a variety of outfits, a sundress or maxi that you can slip easily on or off might be the ticket. You definitely don’t want to be wearing sneakers as those are a pain to put on and take off repeatedly. On the other hand, if you’re buying a fancy cocktail dress, take the sky-high heels along in a tote bag so you can see how they’ll work with the outfit. Just wear some flats for walking.
Prime time for the mall is Saturday afternoon on the weekends (say around 2 p.m.) So avoid it if you can. Right when the stores open or a couple hours before they close on Saturday is a lot more chill. Sundays are a little quieter, but most stores have shorter hours too, so your “shopper-tunity” is considerably less. Another good option is Friday night because most of the weekend sales start on Friday but most shoppers are doing other things in the evening.
If you have a more flexible schedule during the week, then weekday mornings at the mall are ideal for a quick in-and-out. If you get there right when the stores open, you won’t encounter many more folks than employees and a few mall-walkers. Lunchtime tends to get a little busier but traffic tapers off again in the afternoon hours. Independent boutiques are always more low-key than big department stores any time of day. If you have an all-day shopping trip planned, it might be best to start at the mall, have lunch, and then visit the boutiques in the afternoon.