Shopping is meant to be fun, and should be rewarding, perhaps even relaxing. There's a zone many of us get into when we're in a boutique or at the mall. It's the time we get to spend thinking of ourselves as individuals, choosing what we like, celebrating our bodies and spirits. It's our opportunity to redefine, reinvent, or reassure ourselves that our style, our taste, our abilities to score good deals are not lost causes.
Shopping with friends is an ideal way to share an afternoon of ideas, conversation, laughs, and opinions. Sometimes your friends can help you make tough decisions, talk you into a fabulous purchase, or out of a terrible mistake. Choose your shopping friends wisely! It helps to have similar taste, but is certainly not required. Your closest friends will likely be familiar with your tastes and existing looks, and are likely to be the most honest with you. However, your closest friends are also the ones who will be less likely to point out newer, fresher options, because they know you too well. If you shop with your BFF's, be sure to let them know if you are interested in garments outside your norm, otherwise they will not see you in the less-obvious choices that are available, and will gravitate you toward the same ol' same ol', thinking they're being helpful.
Shopping with friends who aren't your besties has it's up and downs too. These people are not familiar with your everyday style, and may be able to gently push you in a new direction, simply by adding a bit of their own taste and style to the mix. Perspectives you hadn't considered could suddenly come into full view. While a fresh perspective is always nice, it can be intimidating, especially if your confidence in your personal style is a panic area. Don't be afraid to stand by your choices, defy judgement, and enjoy yourself, even if your friends don't necessarily agree. Conversely, don't be afraid to listen to others opinions and take them to heart without getting your feelings hurt. Constructive criticism, as well as gushing praise should be taken objectively and applied with an editorial eye. While style is a matter of personal choice, our own tendencies to focus on our imperfections will sometimes hinder us from our stylishly creative potential, always easier seen from the outside looking in.
Shopping alone can be equal the fun and reward as shopping with friends, if not more. Let your mind wonder as you peruse the selections. Spend as much or as little time in any given spot as you like, whether that be admiring a single garment, trying things on in the dressing room, or making a sweep around the stores and then going back for more details later. The beauty of shopping alone is that you are truly left with your own taste and opinion. Without distraction or influence, your editorial eye will become even more sharply focused. The time spent examining each garment on the rack, and in the dressing room, is no one's but your own. Feel free to move slowly and take your time making up your mind.
Shopping alone is treating yourself to a special day alone with you. We like to reserve days for our friends, family, and loved ones, but so few of us take the time to devote a special day to spending time alone, free to do or go wherever we want. Shopping malls and boutiques plant us in the middle of bustling excitement, without us having any obligations to keep up. However, it does have it's pitfall too. When there is no one there to reign us in, the urge to buy impulsively can be very strong, which is why it's so important to hone the editorial eye & keep it in focus on solo extravaganzas. Know when to tell yourself when, especially if no one else is available to do it.