Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top 7 Tips to Surviving a Solo Shopping Journey at the Mall

If you're similar to me, you have many happy places -- be it a happy mental place or a certain environment or activity that arouses happiness. Over time, I have come to realize where and what my happy places are. When I close my eyes and see the smiles of my grandma Shirley and grandpa Phillip, I feel peace. When I lay on the sand at the beach, the sounds of kids playing combined with the sounds of the ocean waves crashing practically rocks me to sleep. And when I step foot in a mall, be it an outdoor shopping center like Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga or an indoor hotspot like the Brea mall in Orange County, I can barely walk without skipping.

From touching and trying on new merchandise to inhaling yummy scents, walking around and discovering can make for a fun afternoon. And from what my clients have expressed to me, it is my excitement that gets them excited to shop! Sometimes I will text a client from a store and share the details of a major sale going on....or call/e-mail another client the next day regarding the new arrivals at their favorite store. Sometimes, my excitement is on overload and I will just go ahead and purchase a really great accessory (if it's a steal!) to complement his/her style. Just 'cause I know it could be gone the next day.

So recently, I was thinking of all of the little things that can negatively affect a shopping journey at the mall. And anything that does not benefit a person's time spent at their happy place is just annoying. So here are my top 7 tips to surviving a solo shopping journey at the mall. These tips can be helpful for both the window shopper as well as the shopaholic, and well, everyone in-between who enjoys spending time on their own being out and about around fashion. These are very basic tips, but surprisingly, they can be overlooked. So take notes, or better yet -- print out and post somewhere!

1. Wear comfortable shoes -- Cramped feet will end your shopping trip before it even starts! You will only have yourself to blame if you do not wear the appropriate footwear before walking the mall.

2. Have a shopping list -- I preach this all the time. You may not end up necessarily buying what's on the list (it's very easy to get side-tracked and make random purchases), but it's smart to have a starting point and something to gauge your progress and how off track you may have gotten!

3. Figure out where the bathrooms are -- Nordstrom restrooms are hands-down my favorite pit stops. The lighting is great for freshening up your makeup and it's nearly alway the cleanest. The public bathrooms are conveniently perfect for when you just gotta go already! But if you are able to walk a few more steps or turn that corner to enter Nordi, I highly suggest it.

4. Take a few breaks and sit down and people watch -- You'll get to see real people wearing clothes that show real style. A perfect time to be a fashion critic, and learn what is not acceptable to wear in public as well as what works great for various sizes, shapes, and heights. (Just be sure to not be toooooo rude and stare if you don't like what you see. Give them credit for at least trying.)

5. Use your social skills to build your confidence -- See an ultra-cute outfit on someone? Tell 'em you like their style! Can't find a certain store? Instead of looking at the map diagram in the middle of the mall, ask an employee at a kiosk or someone walking next to you. Speaking up and talking to a stranger is actually a really good confidence-building exercise.

6. Take some time for a quick nosh or a sit-down meal -- Whether you decide that you just want a quick bite from the food court or want to treat yourself to afternoon dining at a delish restaurant near or at the mall, remember: You can walk off the calories afterwards!

7. Remember WHERE YOU PARKED -- No need to call the police right away. Think for a sec before you let your anxiety get the best of you. Which direction was your car faced? Did you walk in the main doors of the store? It is always best to park in the most familiar area of the lot. Wouldn't it be nice to end your shopping journey with a smile on your face and able to leave right away versus walking for a half an hour almost in tears, 'cause you thought your car was stolen (ummm...yes...this hits a little too close to home for me.)

If you enjoyed these tips and feel that either you or someone you know could benefit from such info, please comment and let me know. Your feedback will inspire me for my next shopping mall-related article.

Photo Credit: http://www.ctpost.com/


Becky said...

Love your post

The Honeyroom said...

Great tips and I actually per shopping solo than with friends, when alone I can actually take my time and really browse.

The Honeyroom

Beth Kline said...

Nice post..........with useful information. thanks.

Digital SLRs said...

This is a great, well formatted and easy to understand post with useful information, keep it up and keep writing this way.

Kat said...

This tips are great! I knew the comfortable shoes and the list one, but I never even thought of finding the bathrooms or actually remembering where I parked! I'm sure these will save me some major anxiety attacks in the near future!

Wedding sherwani said...

Awesome post! Interesting info to know.Its hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic.