How Shopping has Evolved

A shopping spree used to consist of dedicating a large portion of the day to walking store to store, trying on a bunch of clothes and carrying your purchases with you along the way.  I would come home tired, sore and completely satisfied with a day’s discoveries and treasures.  Today, a shopping spree looks more like lounging on the couch with my laptop opened while binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  Several days later, my purchases arrive at the door and I try them on in the comfort of my own room, deciding what to keep and what to return.  

Shopping was Active and Social

Some of my fondest childhood memories were spending the day shopping with my mom and grandma.  With three girls, we would dedicate an entire day to walking through the whole mall only stopping for lunch at the Old Country Buffet. I was always the most difficult.  One year I drug my whole family from one end of the mall to the other in search of  the perfect three-quarter sleeve shirt and ended up settling for whatever the mall had to offer.  

In the 90s, hanging at the mall was the social life. There wasn’t much shopping going on, but the mall became the main hang with different cliques of kids in front of different stores.  Even when I first moved to New York and was feeling incredibly homesick, I’d walk around the Manhattan Mall because it felt familiar.  

Perks of Online Shopping

I can no longer say that shopping is my cardio.  My favorite stores are those that I trust the most based on countless visits over the years. They are now my most trusted online go-tos. I’m confident in the sizing and familiar with the styles and cuts that look good on me.  

Even if I’m feeling adventurous with a new store or style, I might visit the store to try something on, but only if it’s convenient. I usually end up purchasing it online.

Online shopping allows me to do my research.  When I’m looking for the perfect flowy trench coat, I will scour the internet to look at every possible option before I make a purchase.  If it’s an item offered at several retailers, I’ll also look for the cheapest price and best shipping deals.  Reviews from other shoppers are so useful if you’re on the fence about the size, color or quality.  Even if I gamble and the item doesn’t work out, returns are quite easy.  The biggest downfall of online shopping is the lack of instant gratification.  Although, glass half full is that I get more excited waiting for the mail to arrive and love opening new packages.

The Best of Both Worlds

This past week I stopped at Banana Republic for some retail therapy.  I still get a feeling of familiarity in entering my happy place at an actual store.  Seeing the fabrics in person is an added benefit  where I can be drawn to something in the store that I may have overlooked online.  That was the case with this off-the-shoulder striped dress.  I was not in the market for a dress like this, but it caught my eye from the hanger. There was no harm in trying it on, but it fit perfectly and I felt great in it.  Without having a reason in mind for why I should purchase it, I didn’t buy it. I immediately regretted this decision. I ended up on, striped dress in the cart.  Additionally, there was an ivory pleated peplum top that was too big in the dressing room, but they didn’t have a smaller size available.  The correct size also went in my online cart, along with three other items I didn’t see in the store.  

I’m now excitedly waiting for my Banana Republic order to arrive.  Check out my four purchases from my combined in-person and online shopping.   Click each item to shop!

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