Friday, 26 April 2013

Shopping Dos & Don'ts For People Who Don't Really Like To Shop

So I mentioned that my friend Jenn and I went shopping last weekend.  And not just "let's run in here on our way to do something else" kind of shopping, but actual shopping shopping.  Which can kind of be the worst.  Neither of us are big shoppers, and it was super unusual for us to both just have a day where we didn't have to rush to get home for anything and could just kind of browse.  It turned out to be a very fun (and successful!) day, but raised some funny situations and different tips and tricks from both of us, and we both thought it would be a funny blog post.  (Jenn is a blogger too, but hasn't written anything in far too long, so I'm publicly calling her out on it now!)

  • Do leave your coat in the car.  Even if it's freezing out.  There's nothing worse than having to drag around your stupid coat.
  • Do wear something comfortable that is easy to get on and off and will make you feel better about yourself when you've tried on something awful.
  • Don't pay attention to sizes, they're stupid.
  • Do cast a wide net - we were grabbing arm loads of stuff to try on, it really is the only way to know about most things.  Grab extra sizes because most of the time there's no one around to grab you something else.
  • Don't buy something you don't completely love, because you'll just hate it when you get home.  We were focusing on "home runs" only.
  • Do try to just laugh when things are terrible.  We both had basically the worst trying-on experience ever at Target - with piles of things to try on, nothing worked on either of us.  Every single thing I tried hit me in the worst way possible.  I tried on jeans that wouldn't even fit over my calves.  It was brutal, but just made us laugh.
  • Don't pay attention to lighting.  I don't know what it is about Lululemon, but they have the most unflattering lights ever.  Somehow when I was trying on pants there (this was a few months ago, but it applies here) I could see every single cellulite dimple through the pants.  It was horrifying.  But I bought them anyway, and they look completely normal at home.  I don't know why stores have such terrible lighting, but they do. 
  • Do walk away when H&M has stupid racks that don't have any kind of cap to hold the hangers on.  They just slide right off the end and make a huge mess and it isn't worth cleaning it up.  Trust me.
  • Do be grossed out by terrible change rooms.  H&M was not making friends with me this day - their fitting rooms were awful.  Size stickers on the walls and floor, dirt and hangers everywhere, and giant dust bunnies under the bench.  Not cool, H&M.
  • Do know thyself.  We were both equipped with very specific rules for ourselves as far as what works and what doesn't.  While it's always important to try things on to know for sure, there were a lot of things that we could eliminate right away based on knowing what works and what doesn't.  I know that if a neckline is too high, it will look terrible on me, so I don't even bother.  And...
  • Do know each other.  It's always great to have someone else looking for things for you.  Knowing each other's rules made this way easier - especially when you're totally different on things.  Jenn and I are two completely different body types and have way different tastes, so it was fun to find things for each other.  For example - Jenn can't stand all the exposed zippers that are in right now, but I think they can be fun.
  • Don't be a coupon hog.  I had a coupon for Smart Set that I wouldn't be able to use that day, and likely wouldn't have used another day, so I passed it on to Jenn.
  • Do pre-shop.  Jenn did a pretty intensive pre-shop in person, while I like doing an online pre-shop.  Check things out ahead of time, scan the sales racks and see if anything grabs your interest.  This is good on lunch breaks and stuff where you can whip in and out, but maybe don't have time to try things on.  It will save you time on the actual shopping day when you can just get things you want to try on.  This is also a good step to do if you're waiting for payday to come.
  • Do stop for a good lunch.  I'm getting old - my back starts to hurt after too much walking, so burgers are often necessary.
  • Don't lose focus.  I was looking for stuff for a Niagara Falls bachelorette weekend that I have coming up, and potentially for dresses for weddings this summer.  It's always my habit to look at stuff for Vivian though, which just ends up being a big time and money suck.  Put the kids clothes down and put yourself first for once.
  • Do stock up when you find something you like.  I found a dress that really flattered me at Old Navy - nothing special, but it just worked.  And it was on sale for $20, so I bought two.  I will probably be living in them this summer.  But...
  • Don't get discouraged.  When in doubt, turn to accessories.  They always fit.  Unless you have stupid giant wrists like me and there are bangles EVERYWHERE.
  • Do realize that for some reason about 75% of the stuff that you like when you're at Old Navy, you will probably hate when you get home.  For me at least, Old Navy is the worst offender.  For every article of clothing I've gotten at Old Navy and completely loved and worn to death, there's been a giant pile of cast offs.  Those clothes that I like in the change room and then never seem to fit me right when I get home.  Curse you, Old Navy.
  • Do visibly pout if you can't use the coupon you had.  Jenn did this, and she ended up getting the discount anyway. 
  • Do try to go out on a high note.  We ended our shopping trip at Maurices and had a great experience.  Great selection on sizes, cute stuff that really flattered us both, good prices, the cutest change rooms ever and super nice staff.  They had the kind of staff who starts a change room for you and then keeps coming back to collect more items from you.  This is basically the best thing ever.  Keep my hands free, load up that change room.  And don't put limits on how many items I can try on at once (I'm giving you the side eye, Target)  I'll definitely be making a point to keep checking them out.
  • Don't allow yourself to be stopped by random high schoolers in green screen suits doing flash mobs in the mall to collect money for something or other.  Keep talking and walk on by.
  • Don't put your empty Tim's cup in the bottom of your basket and then put all the clothes you want to try on on top of it.  Because your Tim's cup will tip over and spill just a tiny amount of coffee in the basket and maybe get a tiny bit on the clothes, which you will then have to pretend never happened as you dispose of the evidence and get a new basket.  Hypothetically speaking, of course.

1 comment:

Nikki Stafford said...

Ha!! Loved this. This sounds SO much like when Sue and I shop, right down to me ending up in the children's clothing section. BAD BAD! And Old Navy clothes being disappointing when you get home.